House Of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

House of Shadows

London, 1662:

There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.

For fans of Barbara Erskine and Kate Morton comes an unforgettable novel about three women and the power one lie can have over history

Beginning in 1596, at the Palace of Holyrood House in Scotland, this wonderful historical fiction book, King James is looking at a black velvet box, sent from Queen Elizabeth as a gift at the christening of his daughter, named for Elizabeth even though she had brought about the death of his own mother, Mary Queen of Scots.

The box contains the Sistrin Pearl and a diamond encrusted hand mirror. The pearl, born of water, found in the oyster beds of the River Tay centuries before, a part of the collection of King Alexander I. The mirror, forged in fire by the glass blowers of Murano, encrusted with diamonds of the finest quality and given as a gift to King James’ mother, Mary Queen of Scots on her marriage. It was said to have powers of prophecy and destruction through fire and flood.

Following Elizabeth after she marries Frederick, an English princess marrying a German Prince, joining lands and armies. Frederick is easily seduced by the powers of the mirror and pearl. Away fighting wars to regain his lands, Elizabeth bears children and waits.

She is waiting more for her husband’s man, William Craven, than for her husband. As we easily go back and forth in the book to their story in the 1600’s to present day at Ashdown House, built by Craven for Elizabeth. It is also a story told through the eyes of the woman who did live in the house, Lavinia, a courtesan with a connection to both the past and the present.

I can imagine quite a few different readers for this book. The history buffs of course. The love stories, those interested in the Knights of the Rosy Cross.

I enjoyed this story very much.  It came out in 2015 and is now being released by Harlequin Books S.A. tomorrow.

 

 

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Titles Released Today!

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by [Coates, Ta-Nehisi]  Christmas at Two Love Lane by [Kramer, Kieran] The Dark Lake (Gemma Woodstock) by [Bailey, Sarah] The Ninja's Illusion (A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Book 5) by [Pandian, Gigi] Mary Jane's Ghost: The Legacy of a Murder in Small Town America by [Gregory, Ted]

These are the books that were released today! And they are in the order in which I liked them.

The first one is powerful, raw, and one we should all read and think about. Number 2 is a charming Christmas story set in Charleston with the most lovable characters. Number 3 is scary as heck! Number 4 is set in Japan and is full of magic, illusion, murder and suspense! Number 5 was a story about a true murder, never solved however we didn’t hear as much about the murder and the people involved as we did about the author’s rambling drives through the countryside.

Pick up one on Amazon or try it out at your local library!

xx Patricia

The Ninja’s Illusion by Gigi Pandian Debuts on Tuesday!

Number Five in The Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series published by Henery Press.

The Ninja's Illusion (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, #5)

A fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed…

When Jaya travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery.

With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay’s trick, along with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician’s assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim.

In this the fifth installment of the Jaya Jones mysteries, Jaya is meeting her best bud Sanjay in Kyoto to see his act and the famed Akira do his impossible rope climbing illusion.

From the start things aren’t quite as they appear. Who is this mysterious Ninja they keep catching glimpses of? While tricks turn into murder Jaya turns to research and hidden secrets about a missing ship hundreds of years ago.

I enjoyed the mystery and the history of this clever book! Jaya and her friends are memorable and talented. A very entertaining and informative book. My favorite type!

Netgalley/Henery Press   Release Date is this Tuesday, October 3rd!

 

WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY BY TA-NEHISI COATES

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

This was a difficult book to review. It was also difficult to read and to know that what I was reading was truth. If you don’t know it as truth, you need to go way back and look at how we became America and who the people were that made up the rules that some people, based on their sex or skin color, were considered less than.

I’ve studied slavery and the Civil War for a long time. I worked with the Middle Passage Museum and met John Lewis, Coretta Scott King, and many other leaders of the rights movement and survivors of the what is still a racist South and North. Some people are just more blatant about it.

I along with a lot of other people expected Obama to stand up for race inequalities. But as it turned out he wasn’t going to rock the boat either way.

This journalist does. Here you get the unvarnished truth about all sides. In my humble opinion this should be a must read for all high school students. Especially places like Mississippi which in some towns have only in recent years, or make that year, have been forced to stop segregating blacks to the other side of the track schools.

There is no such thing as white supremacy. There are just insecure people who need to have someone to be better than so they aren’t the ones on the bottom.

Thank you for this book Netgalley and Random House! Due to release October 3, 2017

DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: THE DEEP HISTORY OF THE RADICAL RIGHTS STEALTH PLAN FOR AMERICA BY NANCY MacLean

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us.

Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan’s work in teaching others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan’s strategy.

Without Buchanan’s ideas and Koch’s money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.

This book came out this summer and it was to mixed reviews and comments. As always there were the trolls coming for anyone political but also some learned scholars.

I appreciated the history of the book. The author is an excellent writer. How did we get to where we are today? How is it that corporations have rights? What did our founding fathers really intend for our nation to become?

Not for everyone but if you are a politics or history lover, you may want to give it a read!

xx Patricia

The Books Just Keep On Coming!

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross (The Curious Affair Of, #2)  A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings, #1) Little Secrets

The Slave-Trader's Letter-Book: Charles Lamar, the Wanderer, and Other Tales of the African Slave Trade Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America Strange Practice (Dr. Greta Helsing, #1)

Just a few of the books I’m reading now and the ones TBR. I am actually reading 2 books from 2 different genres so I’m not getting mixed up on who is who! So far the Strange Practice is quite good! This new series from Kevin Hearne is a slow starter but we’ll see how it goes!

What has everyone else got on the TBR shelf that I need to get?

xx Patricia

 

WICKED DEEDS (Krewe of Hunters #23) BY HEATHER GRAHAM

Wicked Deeds (Krewe of Hunters, #23)

Eager to start their life together, historian Vickie Preston and Special Agent Griffin Pryce take a detour en route to their new home in Virginia and stop for a visit in Baltimore. But their romantic weekend is interrupted when a popular author is found dead in the basement of an Edgar Allan Poe-themed restaurant. Because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the corpse, the FBI’s Krewe of Hunters paranormal team is invited to investigate. As more bizarre deaths occur, Vickie and Griffin are drawn into a case that has disturbing echoes of Poe’s great works, bringing the horrors of his fiction to life.

The restaurant is headquarters to scholars and fans, and any of them could be a merciless killer. Except there’s also something reaching out from beyond the grave. The late, great Edgar Allan Poe himself is appearing to Vickie in dreams and visions with cryptic information about the murders. Unless they can uncover whose twisted mind is orchestrating the dramatic re-creations, Vickie and Griffin’s future as a couple might never begin…

All Vickie and Griffin wanted was a little stop on the way to what would now be both of their homes, before Vickie enters the FBI Academy as part of the Krewe of Hunters, a paranormal group inside the FBI.

But that isn’t going to happen. When Mr. Poe himself puts in an appearance in Vickie’s dreams and in public, she is drawn in to helping him figure out how he died and who did it! But with bodies turning up badly staged like Poe’s works of fiction, they have more current crimes to figure out. Or are they all tied together in some bizarre way?

Always a fan of Graham and especially this paranormal series of characters, this one did not disappoint. Fans of history and fans of Poe will be thrilled with the outcome!

Netgalley/Mira Books   September 19, 2017