Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Beginnings - 10/30/15

*Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.  *Taken directly from Rose City Reader's Blog Page.

My book beginnings is taken from THE LAKE HOUSE by Kate Morton:

"The rain was heavy now and the hem of her dress was splattered with mud. She'd have to hide it afterwards; no one could know that she'd been out.  Clouds covered the moon, a stroke of luck she didn't deserve, and she made her way through the thick, black night as quick as she could."

Another fantastic book by Kate Morton.  Love her books.

I am only one quarter of the way through, but you know her books are always sooooo good.


I finished these books the last two weeks.  Both were very good.

ALONG THE INFINITE SEA by Beatriz Williams

Loved the book just like all of her books.

Review will be up closer to publication date.

Check out these reviews of other books I have read by Ms. Williams.  It will whet your appetite and send you looking for all of her books.  :)

Stop back for my review of ALONG THE INFINITE SEA.



If you haven't read any of Mr. Borg's books, you should give them a try.  They always are good mysteries.


What are you reading or what have you read?

Book Blogger Hop - 10/30 - 11/5

Book Blogger Hop
 Question of the Week:

If you could give away books instead of candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween Night, what would the titles be?
My Answer:

It would be a quite expensive Halloween, but the book I would give out would be THE PARIS ARCHITECT by Charles Belfoure.
Everyone needs to read that book.

I liked these Halloween questions a lot better than last year.  :)  

Thanks for making them not so "scary," Billy.  :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Guest Post and International Giveaway of Roman Mask by Thomas M. D. Brooke

All information in this post has been provided by the author and the publisher.

About The Author:

Thomas Brooke lives in London where he works in the exciting, and sometimes crazy, fashion world. He is also a committed writer and he spends as much time as he can in his beloved Northumbrian hills, where up until recently could be seen walking with his black Labrador Fergus, who sadly passed in January 2015. Fergus was a constant companion to the writing of the novel and prevented many writers’ tantrums.

As well as writing novels, he also writes a blog on both historical and fantasy genre novels. 

For more information on Thomas M D Brooke, visit

About The Book:

Turning a negative into a positive – the inspiration behind Roman Mask

It was an October night, and I was returning home from a night out with a few friends in my local pub in London, when something happened that changed my life dramatically.  The nights were closing in, so it was already dark by the time I left the pub, but I was in a good mood.   I’d recently returned from a trip to Pompeii , so I’d been telling everyone of my excitement at walking through the Roman streets, marvelling at the murals and depictions on the well preserved houses, and laughing about the seedier aspects of the ancient city – the brothels and street graffiti that had also survived the great volcanic eruption of AD 79.

It was probably because I was so preoccupied with these thoughts, that I didn’t see the guy who came out of an alcove and wrapped an arm around my neck.  My first thought was, ‘Am I being mugged?  Who’s going to mug me??’ – I’m a big guy, over six feet tall and I keep myself in pretty good shape, so I’d always thought the chance of this happening in London were pretty remote.  But I was wrong.

When the second guy came out from behind a car, then the third from behind a bush I knew I was in trouble.  This was no ordinary street robbery; these guys were out for blood, and the three of them surrounded me and between them punched, kicked, and smashed me to the ground, beating me to an inch of my life.

Afterwards, as I tried to hobble home – one of them had crushed my foot, to prevent me from getting up – another passer-by saw me covered in blood and called an ambulance.  I was lucky, I got to live another day.  And within a few weeks, my bruises healed, and I began to walk without a limp, all physical signs of my encounter disappeared.  But that was just the start of my nightmare. 

I was completely unprepared for the mental-trauma that such an incident inflicts on you.  That winter was torture for me.  After any night out, I was terrified to go home; I found I was scared of the dark, constantly thinking that people would jump out of the shadows at me.  I’d never previously been a heavy drinker, but over that winter I found I needed to drink a lot just to give me the courage to walk home.  I could have called a taxi, but then people would wonder why I was taking a cab for such a small journey – this became another all-encompassing fear:  that others would find out about my terror.   This might seem irrational, but at the time, that fear was almost as great as being mugged again.

Those first six months were very difficult, but then as the nights started getting lighter, an idea came to me.  After visiting Pompeii I’d been searching for a character to be a lead in a novel set in ancient Rome – someone who fully embraced the entirety of Rome, its seedier aspects as much as its magnificence.  Why not put my experiences to good use, rather than having it a weight bearing me down, let it be something that produces something positive.  At the time, the news on the television was full of stories of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress and it made me think how soldiers dealt with such issues in the ancient world.  My experiences had shown me the power that traumatic events can play on the mind, and I quite simply didn’t believe anyone who claimed that in the ancient world such a thing was not a concern because life was different back then.   The human mind was biologically exactly the same then as it is now, and just as fallible to conditions we now diagnose and understand the importance of.

So I came up with the character Cassius, a great soldier, but someone who’d been affected by a terrible battle a few years before in the forests of Germany.   I knew from my own experiences how easy it was to fall into a trap of blaming yourself for your own perceived weakness, and I knew how living a lie to hide that same weakness can become a part of life.  I then started my novel in Rome so I could show Cassius being seduced by the many vices of that ancient city – something that is all too easy under such circumstances.  I then returned Cassius to Germany where he learns to understand and come to terms with his fears, just as I did whilst writing my novel.  The novel culminates in the Teutoburg forest and one of the most dramatic and historically significant battles of the ancient world.  Cassius needs to draw on all his courage and strength in the midst of that terrible event.

I’m now pleased that I encountered those three men, that fateful night in October.  It was a terrible experience, but it gave me something so much more – I wouldn’t change it for anything.




And the winner is:

Carole - #2 

October 29 to November 4

Enter Here

Contest is Open Internationally


Best of Luck

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - 10/26/15
I hope you had a great reading week.  
This is a weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at BOOK DATE!

A BIG thank you to Sheila at BOOK JOURNEY for all your years of hosting.  Thanks for keeping this meme alive by "passing the baton."

Post the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week.

Books Completed Last Week:

CHANCE HARBOR by Holly Robinson


I really enjoyed this book.  Family saga with secrets.


Terrific book as always.  Review up Tuesday of this week.

Book Currently Reading:

ALONG THE INFINITE SEA by Beatriz Williams 

I am LOVING the read.

Books Up Next:

THE LAKE HOUSE by Kate Morton

THE HUNDRED GIFTS by Jennifer Scott 



THE MURALIST by B. A. Shapiro.

THE AXEMAN by Ray Celestin


THREE STORY HOUSE by Courtney Miller Santo

GARDEN OF LETTERS by Alyson Richman




The books below are not necessarily in the order I have planned to read them.  

I normally read in order of publication or tour date.

And....these are not for reading in the upcoming week.  :)  They are books into and including all of 2015 and 2016.

The "list" is a means of keeping me organized.

A visual display helps a lot for organization along with my Excel list. 

How was your reading week?