Tour Stop & Excerpt: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

Title: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: MIRA
Genre: Historical, fiction
Length: 352 pages

Summary:

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival 

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Harlequin * BAM!


Excerpt

I run my finger over my wedding band, which I had put on once more as I’d left Berlin so as to attract less attention while traveling.

“So where will you go?” Herr Neuhoff asks. I do not answer. “You should leave Germany,” he adds gently. Leaving.

It was the thing that no one talked about anymore, the door that had closed. I’d heard Mama suggest it once years earlier, before things had gotten bad. Then the idea had seemed laughable—we were Germans and our circus had been here for centuries. In hindsight it was the only option, but none of us had been wise enough to take it because no one knew how bad things would become. And now that chance was gone. “Or you could join us,” Herr Neuhoff adds.

“Join you?” The surprise in my voice borders on rude.

He nods. “Our circus. I am missing an aerialist since Angelina broke her hip.” I stare at him, disbelieving. Though the seasonal workers and even performers might transfer between circuses, one circus family working for another is unheard of— I can no more imagine myself part of the Circus Neuhoff than a leopard changing its spots. The suggestion makes sense, though—and the way he phrases it does not sound as if he is offering me charity, but rather that I would be filling a need.

Still, my spine stiffens. “I couldn’t possibly.” To stay here would mean being beholden to Herr Neuhoff, another man. After Erich, I will never do that again.

“Really, you’d be doing me a huge service.” His voice is sincere. I am more than just a spare performer. Having a Klemt join his circus, well, that would be something, at least to the older folks who remembered our act at its heyday. With my name and reputation as an aerialist, I am like a collectible, an item to be had.

“I’m a Jew,” I say. To employ me now would be a crime. Why would he take on such danger?

“I’m aware.” His mustache twitches with amusement. “You are Zirkus Volk,” he adds quietly. That transcends all else.

Still my doubts linger. “You have SS living next door now, don’t you? It will be so dangerous.”

He waves his hand, as if this is of no consequence. “We’ll change your name.” But my name is what he wants—the very thing that makes me most valuable to him. “Astrid,” he pronounces.

“Astrid,” I repeat, trying it on for size. Close to Ingrid, but not the same. And it sounds Scandinavian, vaguely exotic—perfect for the circus. “Astrid Sorrell.”

His eyebrows rise. “Wasn’t that your husband’s surname?”

For a second, I falter, surprised that he had known. Then I nod. Erich had taken everything from me but that. He would never know.

“Plus, I could use your good sense about the business,” he adds. “It’s only me and Emmet.” Herr Neuhoff had been dealt a cruel blow. In the circus, large families are the norm; ours had four brothers, each more handsome and talented than the next. But Herr Neuhoff’s wife had died birthing Emmet and he had not remarried, leaving him alone with just one shiftless heir who had neither the talent to perform nor the head to run the business. Instead, Emmet spent his time gambling in the cities on tour and ogling the dancing girls. I shudder to think what might become of this circus when his father is gone.

“So you’ll stay?” Herr Neuhoff asks. I consider the question. Our two families had not always gotten along. My coming here today had been a change. We were rivals, more so than allies—until now.

I want to say no, to get on a train and keep searching for my family. I’ve had enough of depending on others. But Herr Neuhoff’s eyes are soft; he takes no joy in the misfortune that has befallen my family and is only trying to help. I can already hear the music of the orchestra, and the ache to perform, buried so deep I’d almost forgotten, rises sharply within me. A second chance.


Author Bio

Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant’s Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Follow the rest of the tour HERE.

4 Comments

Filed under Blog Tour, Excerpt

Review: The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan

Title: The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

In The Weight of Him Billy Brennan undergoes an unforgettable journey in a startling attempt to resurrect his family and reignite hearts, his own most of all.

At four hundred pounds, Billy Brennan can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food’s colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy’s beloved son Michael takes his own life.

Billy determines to make a difference in Michael’s memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention―his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy’s dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on, quietly, privately.

Despite his crushing detractors, Billy gains welcome allies: his community-at-large; a co-worker who lost his father to suicide; a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda; and a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he saves from disposal at the toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of the suffering and brokenness within and around him that he and others will be able to realize the recovery they need.

Told against the picturesque yet haunting backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is a big-hearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand of our lives.

Review:

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan is a heartbreaking, poignant and uplifting novel of healing.

Following his oldest son Michael’s inexplicable suicide, Billy Brennan wants to make his son’s life and death matter.  Billy’s plan to raise money and public awareness about suicide is not well received by his family yet he does not let their lack of support stop him.  Publicly vowing to lose 200 pounds, he  puts up flyers and pledge sheets around town and embarks on his weight loss campaign.  Despite a few initial setbacks, Billy comes up with a diet and exercise plan that he sometimes struggles to stick to but with his new friend Denis Morrissey’s help, he begins shedding pounds.  While his ambitious undertaking takes a toll on his relationship with his family, Billy remains fully committed to his cause.  Will his efforts to raise money and public awareness for suicide prevention pay off?  Can he meet his weight loss goal?  Will Billy and his family heal from their terrible loss?

In the aftermath of Michael’s suicide, Billy and his wife Tricia are both trying to understand why their son took his own life.  Tricia just wants their life to return to some semblance of normal and she does not understand why Billy would do anything to bring more attention to their family.  Their children are, of course, struggling just as much as Billy and Tricia.  Fifteen year old John is angry and Billy is often a target of his furious outbursts.  Twelve year old Anna tries to play peacemaker as her parents’ relationship continues to deteriorate.  Nine year old Ivor is a lot like his father and harboring numerous regrets over his self perceived failings, Billy tries to help his youngest son make healthier choices.

Billy’s struggles with weight began during childhood and over the years, he has lost weight only to gain it back time and again.  Having finally given up on diets a few years ago, his weight continues to climb as he binges on his favorite foods in secret.  His relationship with food is complicated and at times, turning away from the comfort he derives from it is almost a herculean task  for Billy. The passages that detail Billy’s shame and low self-esteem from his excess weight are absolutely heartwrenching to read but they provide readers with a discerning glimpse into the struggles he is experiencing.

Equally devastating are effects that Michael’s suicide have on Billy and his family.  Everyone processes their grief differently but they are all grappling to understand why Michael took his own life.  No one is able to pinpoint anything in his behavior that should have been a red flag which makes it very difficult for them to move forward in the grieving process.  Trying to articulate their feelings for their loss is virtually impossible and Billy is helpless to bridge the growing distance between him and his family.  Even more bewildering to him is their lack of understanding for his need to raise public awareness in an effort to prevent another family from losing a loved one to suicide.

The Weight of Him is an emotionally compelling novel that is fast paced and engaging. Ethel Rohan handles very difficult subject matter with sensitivity and provides readers with an insightful perspective about the importance of eliminating the social stigma that surrounds both suicide and obesity.  An absolutely breathtaking journey of healing that is sad yet ends on a hopeful note.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Ethel Rohan, Fiction, Rated B+, Review, St Martin's Press, The Weight of Him

eBook Contest Feb. 15

Here are the eBooks for this week’s Winning Wednesday contest:

Title: The Girl He Wants by Kristi Rose
No Strings Attached Series Book Three
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 242 pages

Summary:

It’s tempting to ignore your heart . . .

Boutique owner Jayne Grandberry may be great at getting customers to treat themselves, but she’s even better at resisting her own desires. For her, love is like a sinfully rich dessert—a fleeting pleasure that will just make her crash in the long run. She has no time for such distractions, especially since she’s trying to open up a second shop in Atlanta. But she finds herself tempted like never before when her friends set her up with Stacy Cunningham.

A financial wizard, Stacy gives off a definite nerdy vibe, but he has skills that a businesswoman like Jayne can appreciate—and an indulgent one-night stand shows her a wildly different side of him. There’s nowhere for them to go from there, since Stacy, a single father, has complicated written all over him. But he’s not willing to settle for second best. And he’ll have to wait for Jayne to discover what he’s known all along: that when you open your heart to love, there will be room in your life for anything . . .


Title: The Billionaire’s Runaway Fiancée by Jenna Bayley-Burke
Invested in Love Series Book One
Publisher: Entangled
Imprint: Indulgence
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 208 pages

Summary:

Robyn Tindall’s new boss has a penchant for running off new personal assistants before lunch, but she’s not about to let herself be fired by the billionaire with a bad attitude, no matter how good he looks. She’s determined to be indispensable and unflappable, until he surprises her with a crazy proposal.

Curtis Frye is impressed with his new assistant’s dedication and decides she could be the answer to his publicity problems if only she’ll agree to marry him. It’s the perfect plan. He can offer her the world—everything he thinks a woman desires. But Robyn doesn’t want anything money can buy. She wants a happily ever after with a man who loves her. If only he can convince her love is off the table, not to mention convince his heart of that…


Title: As I Am by A.M. Arthur
All Saints Series Book Three
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, M/M, Romance
Word Count: 95,000

Summary:

Will Madden is healing.

Thanks to therapy and a growing support system, he’s taking baby steps into a promising future. One of those steps leads him to an online chat room, where he quickly bonds with fellow PTSD sufferer Taz Zachary.

Despite their virtual connection, Taz is initially freaked out at the idea of meeting Will face-to-face. A sexual relationship may be the last thing on his mind, but his craving for human interaction—and more of the way Will makes him laugh—gives him the courage he needs to take the next step.

In person, the chemistry between them is undeniable. But Will is hurt when Taz doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get him into bed. Still, acceptance, love and happiness all seem within reach for the first time in forever—until demons from the past threaten the future they both finally believe they deserve.

Book three of the All Saints series.


Wednesday is contest day on Book Reviews and More by Kathy. Three lucky winners will win the eBook of their choice! Here’s how to enter:

You must Do TWO of the Following:

1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.

OR:

2. Be or become a fan of Book Reviews & More by Kathy Facebook page

OR:

3. Follow me on Twitter (@BookReviewsMore)

Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

4. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.

And don’t forget to:

5. Fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Friday afternoon:

CONTEST OVER

*I am the only person who will have access to info that is submitted to me UNLESS a publisher or author has donated an eBook for the giveaway. For a prize donated by an author or publisher, I will forward your e-mail and format selection to the person responsible for distributing the eBook. In the event the contest form is not working, please leave your book selection in the comments below.*

It’s that easy! The winners will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail the winners the eBook of their choice in their preferred format. The winners will be posted HERE on Saturday.

***The eBooks in this giveaway have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

1 Comment

Filed under Contest

Tour Stop & Giveaway: Half by Eli Lang

Title: Half by Eli Lang
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, M/M, Romance
Length: 250 pages/Word Count: 75,000

Summary:

Living between worlds has never been comfortable, but it’s where I’ve always fit: between human and fey, illness and health, magic and reality.

I’ve spent the last six years looking for a cure for the nameless sickness eating me up. If I believed there was one out there, I would keep searching. But there isn’t, so I’ve come back home, where my past and present tangle. Come home to live . . . and to die.

But my father insists I meet Kin. He’s a healer, and determined to help, even though I’m not so hopeful anymore. But Kin isn’t what I expected, in any way. He sees me, not my illness. He reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. And I can’t help falling for him, even though I know it isn’t fair to either of us.

Kin thinks he has the cure I’ve been looking for, but it’s a cure that will change everything: me, my life, my heart. If I refuse, I could lose Kin. But if I take it, I might lose myself.

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing


Author Bio

Eli Lang is a writer and drummer. She has played in rock bands, worked on horse farms, and has had jobs in libraries, where she spent most of her time reading every book she could get her hands on. She can fold a nearly perfect paper crane and knows how to tune a snare drum. She still buys stuffed animals because she feels bad if they’re left alone in the store, believes cinnamon buns should always be eaten warm, can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the tardigrade, and has a book collection that’s reaching frightening proportions. She lives in Arizona with far too many pets.

Author Links: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Half, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

27 Comments

Filed under Blog Tour, Contest

Tour Stop & Giveaway: Autumn’s Dance by Sarah Gai

Title: Autumn’s Dance by Sarah Gai
Season Named Series Book One
Publisher: Sarah Gai
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Length: 171 pages

Summary:

“A story that captures your heart and continues you thinking about it long after you fall asleep.”

Autumn Nash lives a nomadic existence with her harvest-travelling father, except every summer when they return to one place like clockwork…Ligonier, PA. But this season, Autumn meets a young man who changes her world and makes her long for more.

Eric Foster has been sent to stay the summer in Ligonier with his grandfather in hopes of altering his path as his life spirals downward. His direction changes the moment he sees Autumn; he knows his very reason for breathing is solely to be with her.

When Autumn is ripped away from Ligonier, she leaves Eric confused and devastated that their time is over. Both teens struggle through the years gone by without the other. Will Autumn ever see the boy who changed her life again? Will Eric wait for her? Will Autumn ever make it back to Ligonier? And what will happen when buried secrets surface?

Discover a love that takes you back to what it’s all about—the confusing, yet simplistic, beginnings of falling in love and watch it evolve into something that takes your breath away.

Add to Goodreads.

Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo


Author Bio

So this is me in short. I’m plus size and completely adorable (or so my husbands tells me) A momma of three princes who light my world. I drink way too much coffee, chocolate is a staple. I love to write after midnight and my love for short stories will never fade. With such a limited amount of time to enjoy quiet writing, I have mastered the  skills of fitting a lot into a small amount of pages. Humour keeps me smiling and well.. if you’ve read my books you’ll know that I put a lot of myself into the characters. And to answer your questions. My best friends and I forgot the part about growing up and love every minute of it. Aside from writing I also run a publication IndieLove Magazine,  promoting Indie Awesomes from a range of fields and professions. Check it out at www.indielovemagazine.com

In 2017 I will be saying goodbye to Chick lit for a while and heading into Contemporary Romance. I hate to be put in a box! Join my street team at www.sarahgai.com and come have some fun!

Love to all xo.

Wanting to write for all the women out there who want a good short read about strong friendships, romance and body positive, love the skin you’re in kind of fiction. Check out http://Facebook.com/sarahgaiauthor or www.sarahgai.com

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 Comments

Filed under Blog Tour, Contest

Review: Switching Gears by Chantele Sedgwick

Title: Switching Gears by Chantele Sedgwick
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss

Summary:

Still mourning the loss of Lucas Nelson, the boy she loved in secret for years, seventeen-year-old Emmy Martin turns to her passion for mountain biking to try to fill the empty void in her life. But just when things start looking up, Emmy discovers her mom has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Confused and angry that her parents didn’t tell her sooner, she throws herself into mountain biking like never before.

When Cole Evans, the rich boy who usually doesn’t care about anything but himself, offers to train her for the biggest mountain biking race of the season, she accepts, determined to beat her nemesis, Whitney, and prove she’s good enough for a sponsor. The more time she spends with Cole, the more she realizes he’s different than she’d expected, and, to her surprise, she’s falling for him. Torn between the deep feelings she still has for Lucas and her growing ones for Cole, she knows she must choose a path: one offers her the chance to love again, while the other is blocked by the overwhelming heartache for the boy she lost.

As she drifts further away from her family and closer to her dream of being sponsored, a terrible accident threatens any semblance of peace and happiness she has left. Instead of closing herself off to the people she loves, Emmy must learn to rely on those she has pushed away if she’s going to have any chance of getting her life back again.

Review:

Switching Gears by Chantele Sedgwick is a poignant young adult novel about loss, family and unexpected love. This companion piece to Love, Lucas that can be read a standalone.

Following the tragic loss of her best friend and secret love, Lucas Nelson, seventeen year old Emmy Martin’s life is still off kilter.  An avid mountain bike racer, she is disappointed when she comes in second place in a race against her nemesis Whitney.  She is still also smarting over losing her team captain spot to relative newcomer Cole Evans.  So when Cole offers to coach her after she agrees to race against Whitney, Emmy turns him down without hesitation.  However, their paths continue crossing as she trains on her own and she begins to realize there is more to Cole than she previously believed, but is Emmy ready to move on to a new relationship?

Emmy is initially not an easy young woman to like.  She is prickly, closed off and refuses to let anyone except her best friend Kelsie get close to her.  Emmy is extremely close to her mom which is why it is so upsetting when she learns her parents have been keeping secrets from her and her brother Gavin.  After learning the truth about her mother’s recent diagnosis, Emmy refuses to talk to her parents and she begins avoiding spending any time at home.  Instead, she throws herself into training for the upcoming race against Whitney and as she continues running into Cole, she is surprised when she begins to realize she might be falling for him.

Kelsie is a wonderful secondary character and she is extremely loyal to Emmy.  She easily overlooks her friends moodiness and she is quick to agree to anything Emmy asks her to do.  But Kelsie refuses to let her friend wallow in her grief and she gently, but consistently, urges Emmy to consider giving Cole a chance.  Their friendship is refreshingly lacking in angst or drama and Kelsie’s upbeat personality is a nice contrast to Emmy’s numerous issues.

Cole is a fantastic love interest for Emmy and he refuses to give up on her no matter how unpleasant she is to him.  At first he seems like he might be a little too perfect but underneath his clean cut, wholesome facade is a normal teenager dealing with the same issues as other kids his age.  Cole accepts Emmy’s refusal to let him help her train without putting up a fuss but he is not fazed by her attempts to keep him at arms’ length. His persistence pays off and a tentative friendship forms between them which eventually deepens into a real relationship.

Switching Gears by Chantele Sedgwick is a sweet young adult romance that is fast-paced with engaging characters.  The storyline is well written with realistic problems and issues to overcome.  The ending is a little overly melodramatic but the epilogue is nice.  All in all, an enjoyable young adult novel that readers of all ages will enjoy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 Comment

Filed under Chantele Sedgwick, Contemporary, Rated B, Review, Romance, Sky Pony Press, Switching Gears, Young Adult