Sunday Salon

The Sunday
Hello everybody and happy Sunday! 🙂 I am swamped with books that I will start reading as soon as I get back from the radio station. I always have a lot of books around that I’m either reading or beginning to read. It’s just finding the time to sit down and read! 🙂

There are so many wonderful books coming out it’s hard to choose which one to start reading, I suppose. 🙂 Hopefully, I’ll have some reviews coming this week. Wish me luck! 🙂

May you read well and often


Introducing Five Books Just Released Today

Meet Karen Charlton

Karen was born in Sheffield but grew up in Leeds. She obtained an English degree from Hull University. After a few years roaming between various jobs in Harrogate, Ripon and Scarborough she finally settled in Teesside, where she was invited to stay and improve the gene pool. It needed improving. ‘Catching the Eagle‘ is the true tale of her hubby’s notorious criminal ancestor.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Easter Monday, 1809: Kirkley Hall manor house is mysteriously burgled. When suspicion falls on Jamie Charlton, he and his family face a desperate battle to save him from the gallows.

When £1,157 rent money is stolen from Kirkley Hall, it is the biggest robbery Northumberland has ever known. The owner sends for Stephen Lavender, a principal officer with the Bow Street magistrate’s court in London, to investigate the crime. Suspicion soon falls on impoverished farm labourer, Jamie Charlton, and the unpopular steward, Michael Aynsley.

Jamie Charlton is a loving family man but he is hot-tempered and careless. As the case grows against him, it seems that only his young brother, William, can save him from an impending miscarriage of justice.

But William is struggling with demons of his own. Desperate to break free from the tangled web of family ties which bind him to their small community, he is alarmed to find that he is falling in love with Jamie’s wife. 

Set beneath the impenetrable gaze of a stray golden eagle whose fate seems to mirror that of Jamie’s, Catching the Eagle, the first novel in the Regency Reivers Series, is a fictionalised account of a trial that devastated a family and divided a community.

Meet Michael Burr
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Michael Burr moved to New Zealand when he was eighteen years old where he fully indulged his passion for playing rugby. He went on to train as a primary school teacher. Since 1981, he has specialized in teaching history with brief forays into educational administration, teacher training and school review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: In the dead of night, a band of Vikings ravage a lonely convent on the Brittany coast –and their fearsome leader makes a decision that will eventually lead to his downfall. 

Ranulf de Lannion is fifteen years old. Crippled, deformed and abandoned by his family to the charity of the convent, he is seized by the Vikings during a midnight raid. Contemptuously nicknamed ‘The Scraeling” by his captors, his future appears grim. 

Harald Sigurdsson, or ‘Hardrada’ as he will come to be known, is the leader of the Viking band. A violent mercenary with designs on the throne of Norway, Hardrada abducts The Scraeling on a whim. 

Ranulf grows into an invaluable asset, smoothing Hardrada’s path over their thirty-five years together from mercenary to commander of the Varangian Guard, all the way to king of Norway. 

But all is not as it seems in the heart of Ranulf de Lannion. Having sworn secret revenge upon Hardrada for the murders at the convent, he vows to end the day of the Viking forever. When the king of Norway launches an attack against the Anglo-Saxon throne of England in 1066, what role will The Scraeling play in bringing the age of the Viking to an end?

Meet James Conroy

James Conroy is a former business executive currently self-employed in logistics consulting. He also writes full-time and tutors in English literature, basic composition and creative writing. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in over one hundred internationally respected literary journals.
A collection of his poems was published in 1997 and two novels in 2001 and 2007 respectively. After living in New York and Chicago, Conroy currently resides with his wife in Newport, Rhode Island.
He is a frequent contributor to local publications and an active community volunteer.

Synopsis from Goodreads: In the midst of the Great Depression, one man must do battle against corruption with nothing but his wits and a host of great literary figures… Amos Jansen is merely a clerk. He is not a crime fighter, the next great writer, or a man of privilege. He is the humble employee of a Chicago literary society. That is, until he is arrested for murder. The scapegoat of a perfidious lieutenant, Jansen stands wrongly accused while his idols rally around him. Literary personalities the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nelson Algren, and H.L. Mencken, as well as civil liberties war-horse Clarence Darrow, join Amos in his search for the real murderer of both the society’s vice-chairman and his own father. Will the pen prove mightier than the pistol? Will mercenary police, politicians and money-barons meet with justice? Or will Jansen fail to solve the mystery and wind up literally dead?

Meet Evan Ostryzniuk
Evan Ostryzniuk was born and raised in western Canada, where he attended the University of Saskatchewan. After graduating with a B.A. in History and Modern Languages and an M.A. in Modern History, Evan did post-graduate work at the University of Cambridge, concluding five years of research with a doctoral thesis on the Russian Revolution. He eventually found his way to eastern Europe, where he took up positions as a magazine editor, university lecturer and analyst in the financial services sector before finally settling on writing as a career. He currently resides in Kyiv, Ukraine. Of Faith and Fidelity: Geoffrey Hotspur and the War for St. Peter’s Throne is his first novel.

Synopsis from Goodreads: As the papal wars of the Western Schism rage across Europe, a young man takes his first step on the journey of a lifetime.

Geoffrey Hotspur dreams of knighthood. As an English orphan-squire bonded to the court of Sir John of Gaunt, uncle of the English King Richard II, his prospects are few.

An inveterate gambler already deep in debt, young Geoffrey accepts an invitation to participate in a raid on French lands. His plans go awry, however, after a deadly street brawl results in his banishment from court. As further punishment, he is ordered to join a royal commission bound for Florence.

Accompanied by Jean Lagoustine, a mysterious Frenchman whose intentions towards the young squire are not all they appear to be, the ship upon which they journey is waylaid by corsairs. Barely escaping with their lives, Geoffrey and Jean find themselves forming part of a company of Catalonian crossbowmen en route to enlist with the Roman papal army.

Intrigue and betrayal dominate the war between the two popes, and the young squire’s understanding of faith and fidelity are soon challenged. The need to do right inspires Geoffrey to take a personal stake in the outcome of the conflict. With little more than his wits and a sword, the young squire must find a way to fulfill his duty to his lord, to his faith and to himself. As the war culminates in the final battle for the throne of St. Peter, will Geoffrey find that a knighthood is worth the risk to his honor?

Meet Annmarie Banks

Annmarie Banks spent twenty years as a buyer and seller of used books. She knows firsthand the excitement of uncovering a treasure among piles of dusty old books. Her first novel, The Hermetica of Elysium, draws upon that feeling of discovery as her protagonist travels through Spain and Italy in the time of the Spanish Inquisition on the hunt for forbidden manuscripts.

She grew up all over the eastern part of the United States because her father was a search-and rescue pilot for the Coast Guard. She moved every four years to a different city along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Because she changed schools and friends often, she was somewhat shy. When one is always the “new kid” , a lot of time is spent sitting on the sidelines at lunch and recess. She used that time to read books from the library, mostly history and natural science. By the time she graduated from college with a degree in English, she felt she wanted to spend her life with books. She promptly got a job in a bookstore and over twenty years worked her way to inventory manager.

Synopsis from Goodreads: 1494 Barcelona. As Torquemada lights the fires of religious fervor throughout the cities of Spain, accused heretics are not the only victims. Thousands of books and manuscripts are lost to the flames as the Black Friars attempt to purge Europe of the ancient secrets of the gods and the bold new ideas that are ushering in the Renaissance.

Nadira lives a dreary life as servant to a wealthy spice merchant until the night a dying scholar is brought to the merchant’s stable, beaten by mercenaries who are on the hunt for The Hermetica of Elysium. To Nadira, words are her life: she lives them as her master’s scrivener and dreams them in her mother’s poetry. She is pursued as passionately as the fabled manuscript for her rare skill as a reader of Ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew that makes her valuable to men who pursue the book to exploit its magic.

Kidnapped by Baron Montrose, an adventurous nobleman, she is forced to read from the Hermetica. It is soon revealed to her that ideas and words are more powerful than steel or fire for within its pages are the words that incite the Dominicans to religious fervor, give the Templars their power and reveal the lost mysteries of Elysium.
As Nadira begins her transformation from servant to sorceress, will she escape the fires of the Inquisition, the clutches of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI and the French king, Charles VIII? And will Montrose’s growing fear of her powers cause her to lose her chance for love?

These books all look so good that I don’t even know where to start! 🙂

All coming to Amazon 8 December 2011!

Introducing The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe by Glynis Ridley

Meet Glynis Ridley
I’m a Brit. living and working in Louisville, KY, where I’m an English professor at the University of Louisville. My favorite period to read, teach, and write about is the eighteenth century – which is the the setting for The Discovery of Jeanne Baret.
Synopsis from Shelfari: The year was 1765. Eminent botanist Philibert Commerson had just been appointed to a grand new expedition: the first French circumnavigation of the world. As the ships’ official naturalist, Commerson would seek out resources—medicines, spices, timber, food—that could give the French an edge in the ever-accelerating race for empire. Jeanne Baret, Commerson’s young mistress and collaborator, was desperate not to be left behind. She disguised herself as a teenage boy and signed on as his assistant. The journey made the twenty-six-year-old, known to her shipmates as “Jean” rather than “Jeanne,” the first woman to ever sail around the globe. Yet so little is known about this extraordinary woman, whose accomplishments were considered to be subversive, even impossible for someone of her sex and class.
Coming to Amazon 6 December 2011!
May you read well and often

First Ever Apps Review

Hello everyone and I hope that you’re all having a wonderful day today. Recently, I received a tweet from a Ron Davis who actually asked me if I reviewed apps on my blog. I did explain to him that my blog was primarily a book review and book-related review blog.

Anyway, long story short he was nice enough to offer me two apps for language and business use. One was the Worldictionary and the other was a WorldCard Mobile app.

He explained that the Worldictionary would actually be great for travelling. I can certainly see the use of that. I am able to speak French, a little Spanish and a little Irish myself. Languages are something that if you want to become a fluent speaker in any specific one you need to keep up with it. That’s something that I have to say I have been somewhat unsuccessful in doing. Perhaps if I had had the Worldictionary to help me I might have been able to keep up better for myself. 🙂 Oh well.

The next app that was gifted to me was a WorldCard Mobile app. This is an app that helps you keep all your business cards together. I might end up needing this particular app for myself because I do get a lot of contact cards from authors and I’m forever losing the little white cards they send me. Maybe the WorldCard Mobile app is something that I need to invest in. 🙂

Both apps can be downloaded through the Apple I-Tunes Store You will need to download I-Tunes for yourself to use both apps. Don’t worry I-Tunes is free. They might be something that you would be interested in downloading. I know that I’m going to check them out as well!

Thanks so much, Mr. Davis for thinking of me for your review and I hope to hear from you soon again. All the best to everyone. Have a wonderful day!


(pronounced My-reen is Irish for “little Mary”. My dad once told me that that was the closest translation of Mareena. My name has such a unique spelling because my dad named me. He told me as a joke once that he didn’t want to name me after a harbor marina.) 🙂

May you read well and often

Sunday Salon

The Sunday
Hello Everyone and welcome to the first Sunday in December. It’s freezing here today and I have to go out at 11:30 AM to do my radio show. Brrr! I guess I have to bundle up! 🙂

Anyway, even though I haven’t posted any reviews yet, I am reading and have been updating my blog’s template. I have many things coming up in December though, definite reviews for Chill Run by Russell Brooks, Untraceable by S. R. Johannes, Black and Orange by Benjamin Kane Ethridge and many other books so stay tuned for the posts! 🙂

I have also been helping my mom update her blog at Moonshine and Rosefire. A shameless plug for her I know, but she would never do it for herself; she’s too nice! 🙂 She’s reading so fast as well, compared to me she has two books read already this month. It’s only the 4th of December and she’s posted two reviews. Wow! 🙂

Anyway, that’s my update for today – kind of a slow day for me but very good. See you all next week! 🙂

May you read well and often

Chill Run Contest extended by the author, Russell Brooks

Hello everyone! I hope that you are all having a wonderful day today and I have a confession to make. The new book Chill Run by Russell Brooks is being released today, December 1st, 2011 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

My confession is that I am currently reading it and I don’t think that I will be posting my review today. I want to finish the book before I write my review. 🙂 I’m sorry to all of you who might have been waiting with baited breath for my thoughts on Chill Run but please be patient for a little while longer; my thoughts on Chill Run will be along soon for your reading enjoyment.

Until then, please accept this combined Book Release and Contest Post. First of all, the Book Release part of my post:

Meet Russell Brooks:

Russell Brooks is the author of Pandora’s Succession, Unsavory Delicacies, and the mystery/thriller, Chill Run. Russell has been compared to a young Robert Ludlum in the way that he wrote Pandora’s Succession and Unsavory Delicacies.

Synopsis from Goodreads: You know a publicity stunt has backfired when someone dies. Starving author Eddie Barrow, Jr., will do anything to get a book deal with a NYC publisher. Even if it means getting caught by the media while engaging in S&M with a female celebrity as a publicity stunt.

What Eddie gets instead are details of a billion dollar fraud scheme from a suicidal client who’s fatally shot minutes later. Now on the run from the law and the killers, Eddie seeks help from two unlikely friends—an alcoholic and a dominatrix.
With few resources, Eddie races to clear his name, unveil the fraud scheme, and expose the killers before he becomes their next victim.

Coming to Amazon and Barnes and Noble on December 1, 2011!

Now on to the second part of my email: the Contest! Below is an email that I received from Mr. Brooks. In his own words:

1. Every person that leaves a comment with their email address (Important) is automatically entered in the draw. You could your email address on the current blog or on my blog If you’re not comfortable leaving your email address out in the open, then email me with “PICK ME” in the subject and I’ll respect your confidentiality.

2. To be sure the contest is fair and impartial, Clinton (my cat) will select the 10 winners for a free eBook copy of Chill Run

The contest will run from Sunday November 27, 2011 to December 1, 2011 at 9PM EST. The winners will be announced via my blog and my page on YouTube the same evening.

I wish you all luck in taking part in the Contest and stay tuned for my review of Chill Run! 🙂
May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up for November at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark

Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is a reinstatement of my personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews on my old Blogger blog Emeraldfire’s Bookmark but am now in the process of transporting all my old reviews over from Shelfari. I have been helping my mom set up her own new reading blog at Moonshine and Rosefire this week along with reading quite a bit as well.

Anyway, I started out November with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with…umm…uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Bookmooch or the authors and publishers for review. I have bought one new book this month that is a reinstatement of an ebook that became corrupted for me back in June.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile:

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine! I think?)
Demi and the Dolphins: A Lesson in Ecology by Alyssa K. Harrell and Marlene Siegal, DVM
– Robin of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern
Say Not What If by Andrew Friedman

Added to my TBR pile (Wait! Didn’t I just clear a space over there? What are more books doing there – oh yeah, I’m a reviewer! :))
Impaled on the Horns of the Devil: The Development of Vulnerability to an Abusive Marriage by Barbara Boatright
My Corner of the Sky: Though I Never Expected Life to be Quite Like This! by Kerri Dyer-Keen
The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey: A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary by Deborah Barnes
Black and Orange by Benjamin Kane Ethridge
The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood
The Once and Future Prince by Olivia Gates
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition by Otto M. Frank
Lady of the Knight by Tori Phillips
Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood
Merlin’s Legacy: Daughter of the Mist by Quinn Evans
Familiar Christmas by Caroline Burnes
Bewitching Familiar by Caroline Burnes
Shades of Familiar by Caroline Burnes
Familiar Fire by Caroline Burnes
Covert M.D. by Jessica Andersen
The Illegitimate King by Olivia Gates
A Gentle Thief by Amanda Dickson
The Ice Bridge by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Untraceable by S. R. Johannes
Chill Run by Russell Brooks
Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi
Catching the Eagle by Karen Charlton
Harald Hardrada: The Last Viking by Michael Burr
Literally Dead by James Conroy
Of Faith and Fidelity by Evan Ostryzniuk
The Hermetica of Elysium by Annmarie Banks

Well, there it is…the breakdown. Holy Mackerel! I need to read more next month. Here’s a further (shaming) break down:

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 287
Grade Range: A!

So, there you go! The month that was November. All in all, a terrible reading month for me. I hope that you all had a better reading month than I did. Maybe a whole lot better! See you next month. 🙂

May you read well and often