Tag Archives: history

Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two Italian immigrants in 20th century America fight to reunite and find comfort in their letters to one another in the interim in author Audry Fryer’s “Until Next Sunday”.

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The Synopsis

Until Next Sunday is a sweet Historical Romance inspired by a true story. It is based on actual Italian love letters which were discovered a century after they were written (some of which are contained in this book.)

Rosina leaves Italy to build a better life, but the reality in America is nothing like the dream.

She is far from the Italian countryside and the beautiful olive groves where she grew up. Here the work is endless, and the winters are cold and desolate. She never expects to find love in such a place.

Then she met him.

Gianni, the shoemaker’s apprentice, is gentle, handsome, and everything she never knew she needed in her life.

But when Rosina falls ill and is quarantined, their future is at stake. All she can do is cling to the beautiful letters Gianni writes. Each week she tries to survive the long, lonely days until next Sunday for his brief visit.

Will fate bring Rosina and Gianni together once more? Or are they destined to remain star-crossed forever?

It is a portrait of the times, and a true immigrant experience. Feel the force with which these two lives find love, against all odds.

The Review

This was such a powerful love story. The world-building and setting the author is able to bring to life through incredible writing that evokes a great sense of imagery made the story feel so vibrant and captivating to read. The powerful themes of love and the “American Dream” during a time when many people from Italy were immigrating to the United States were both captivating and brought a sense of community to the narrative as well.

It was the cast of characters that really sold this narrative. The emotional connection between Gianni and Rosina was so impactful, and the way this fictional narrative was fit around the love letters of real-world individuals made the connection readers had to this story that much more powerful. The way this aspect of the narrative was able to be more prominent in the novel was great to see, as the history portion of the historical fiction romance read was brilliant for a history buff like me, but with romance being such a focal point in this novel, as well as family, it was great to see the history lift up and add a spotlight to the romance more so than anything else.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, captivating, and entertaining, author Audry Fryer’s “Until Next Sunday” is a must-read and mesmerizing historical fiction romance novel! The emotional depths of the romance between these two main characters were amazing to read, and the natural way the history of the era played to the themes of love and the story many immigrants had during this point of history was inspiring to read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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I’m excited to announce the WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour with author and Audry Fryer and her book Until Next Sunday. 

This book is written with so much heart – you can’t help but fall in love with the characters from this historical romance! 

Here’s a bit about the book:

 After bravely leaving the life she knew to come to America, 
illness threatens Rosina’s happily ever after. 
When separated, will letters keep their love alive? 


Rosina leaves Italy to build a better life, but the reality in America is nothing like the dream. She is far from the Italian countryside and the beautiful olive groves where she grew up. Here the work is endless, and the winters are cold and desolate. She never expects to find love in such a place. 

Then she met him. Gianni, the shoemaker’s apprentice, is gentle, handsome, and everything she never knew she needed in her life. 

But when Rosina falls ill and is quarantined, their future is at stake. All she can do is cling to the beautiful letters Gianni writes. Each week she tries to survive the long, lonely days until next Sunday for his brief visit. 

Will fate bring Rosina and Gianni together once more? Or are they destined to remain star-crossed forever? 

Until Next Sunday is a sweet Historical Romance inspired by a true story. It is based on actual Italian love letters which were discovered a century after they were written (some of which are contained in this book.) It is a portrait of the times, and a true immigrant experience. Feel the force with which these two lives find love, against all odds.

Purchase your own copy on: Smashwords, Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo!

About the Author





Audry Fryer is an author and professional freelance writer from Pennsylvania. Formerly a teacher, Audry wrote her first novel while her toddler son and twin babies napped. As her children have grown into teenagers, she has expanded her writing career. Audry lives with her family and two pugs in a quiet corner of Southeastern PA. To learn more about Audry, please visit her website at www.audryfryer.com

Social Media Links:

#untilnextsunday




– Blog Tour Calendar

May 9th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. We interview the author about her book and also give away a copy to one lucky reader.

May 10th @ Create Write Now 
Today’s guest post at Create Write Now comes from Audry Fryer as she pens an article titled: “The Importance of a Talented Editor”. Hear from Audry on this important topic and find out more about her latest work: Until Next Sunday.

May 11th @ Pages & Paws 
Kristine from Pages and Paws reviews Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. This historical romance is delighting readers – find out what Kristine thinks!

May 13th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Audry Fryer pens today’s travel inspired guest post on Rebecca J. Whitman’s blog. Find out more about Fryer’s book Until Next Sunday and the region of Italy featured in the book.

May 16th @ What is that Book About
Today’s book spotlight at What is that Book About is none other than Audry Fryer’s latest Until Next Sunday. Readers will want to add this gem to their TBR pile right away!

May 16th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Don’t miss today’s podcast with Rebecca J. Whitman as she features Audry Fryer and Audry’s latest book Until Next Sunday.

May 17th @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A. Baird welcomes Audry Fryer to her blog today. Stop by and learn more about Fryer’s latest book Until Next Sunday and find out the inside story about “How 100 Love Letters Became a Novel”

May 18th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Behavioral Psychotherapist, Linda Appleman Shapiro, reviews and shares her thoughts after reading Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. Don’t miss Shapiro’s insight on this beautiful historical romance.

May 19th @ A Storybook World
A StoryBook World welcomes Audry Fryer and Until Next Sunday to the spotlight today! Stop by and find out more about the historical romance everyone is talking about!

May 20th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Rebecca J. Whitman reviews Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday and shares her thoughts with readers on her blog; don’t miss a chance to learn more about this historical romance that is delighting readers young and old!

May 20th @ Word Magic
Readers at Fiona Ingram’s blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about the difference between historical romance and historical fiction. Is there a difference? Find out today and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 24th @ Mindy McGinnis
Readers at Mindy McGinnis’ blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about how to create a book club kit for your readers. Sop by and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 24th @ Author Anthony Avina
Readers at Anthony Avina’s blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about Roses and what they symbolize in books. Stop by today and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 25th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Fellow author Madeline Sharples has Audry Fryer and Until Next Sunday in the spotlight at her blog today! Stop by and see what all the fuss is about!

May 30th @ Bring on Lemons with High School Student, Carmen Otto
Teenager Carmen Otto offers her 5 star review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday. Otto can’t wait for her school library to add this gem to their collection! Read more from Carmen about this historical romance today!

May 31st @ Reading is My Remedy
Chelsie Stanford of Reading is My Remedy offers her review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday – find out what Chelsie has to say about this historical romance and it’s talented author!

June 1st @ Lisa’s Reading
Lisa from Lisa’s Reading has Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday in the spotlight today! Stop by and see the historical romance everyone is talking about!

June 2nd @ KnottyNeedle Creative
Judy from the Knotty Needle offers her review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday for readers of her blog. This is a delightful historical romance and readers will want to hear what Judy has to say!

June 2nd @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A. Baird reviews Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. This historical romance is getting lots of attention – find out what Beverley thinks!

June 3rd @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina reviews fellow author Audry Fryer’s latest historical romance, Until Next Sunday. Find out from one author to another what Anthony thinks of this book!

June 4th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Linda of Boots Shoes & Fashion interviews Audry Fryer about her latest historical fiction, Until Next Sunday; don’t miss this insightful interview!
https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

June 5th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples welcomes a guest author to her blog – today, readers will hear from Audry Fryer about Until Next Sunday as well as learning what Audry has to say about Top Strong Female Characters in Literature.

June 9th @ The Frugalista Mom
The Fruglista Mom, Rozelyn, shares her review of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer! This is a book and review you won’t want to miss!

June 10th @ World of My Imagination
WOW! Blog Tour Manager Nicole Pyles shares her review of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. Nicole’s review wraps up the book blog tour for this historical romance – find out what Nicole has to say about this beautiful story!

The Lessons of History – Observed: Change Your Context – Change Your Life by Jim Giombetti Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Jim Giombetti takes readers through the moments throughout history that leaders and thought-driven individuals can learn from and apply to our modern problems in his book, “The Lessons of History – Observed: Change Your Context – Change Your Life”. 

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The Synopsis

How well do you understand the rise and decline of nations?

Do you understand the realities of the millennial generation as we know it?

What is the sociology behind why nations fail?

What events influenced the survival of the human condition?

How should political leaders be assessed?

The eye of the world is in pages of history and, without knowledge of the past, it becomes difficult to understand the current global chaos. Author Jim Giombetti explores the nooks and crannies of historical politics in ‘Lessons of History – Observed, Change Your Context – Change Your Life.’

Have we uncovered reality if we are still in the shadows of evolution? What do we know about life without history? Beyond the essentialism of history, the ultimate purpose of ‘Lessons of History – Observed, Change Your Context – Change Your Life‘ is to help the reader realize the truth of problem-solving. This book promises to take you on a journey to cut out barriers in getting things done and understanding international relations.

As a thought leader with in-depth knowledge of history, the writer creates well-defined concepts in chapters offering guidance into navigating global chaos. With every paragraph and every last word in this book, he explains that everything is an argument in the human condition. And by exploring knowledge in history, you can get to the very core of designing your life -and the world at large.

Learn about the world’s present state through the lenses of history and practical truths in ‘Lessons of History – Observed, Change Your Context – Change Your Life‘ by Jim Giombetti. Knowledge gives power to those who seek it, and with this book, you can gain the information to save your world.

Uncover the golden secrets of history to solve global problems and navigate international relations in author Jim Giombetti’s newest book!

The Review

This was such a fascinating read. The author did a great job of striking a balance between the history and lessons that those historical moments and the more personal and intimate moments from the author’s life. What is so great about this balance is that the history and lessons showcase the context of the book itself and the research that went into developing this read, while the more personal moments the author puts in the showcase the impact these lessons have had on his own experiences and shows the expertise that developed as a result.

The fast pace of the book and the inspirational tone that the author strikes were great motivators when delving into this read. The world we live in now can be quite morose and painful to observe, filled with racism, sexism, gun violence, and so much more. The authors can relate to some of these issues like climate control and racism and use history as a springboard to look at how learning from the past was truly moving. Learning early on about the difference between stoicism and epicureanism was fascinating to see as well, and definitely allowed me to open my mind up to new ways to observe history as a whole.

The Verdict

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. At least according to Philosopher George Santayana, that is the case, and author James Giombetti’s “The Lessons of History – Observed” is a brilliant, engaging, and thought-provoking journey into this lesson. The history buff in me was so interested in this subject matter, and the use of both ancient history and more modern history was great to see play out in this self-help motivational read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

James Giombetti, Author of The Lessons of History – ObservedJames Giombetti, known to his friends as Jim or Babe, was raised in the hills of beautiful northeastern Pennsylvania in the small town of Jessup. As an international business executive, Jim developed an insatiable desire to understand complex systems with a passion and vision for resolving global supply-chain issues. His unique skills typically apply new ideas and approaches to complex problems using simplicity in design. In The Lessons of History – Observed, Jim explores historical events and how these seemingly unrelated historical events are the root cause of today’s unresolved complex problems. He uses Will and Ariel Durant’s seminal work, The Lessons of History, as a framework to share his observations. Jim considers his wife Barbara and family to be most important to him. If he isn’t spending time with Barb or their family, you can bet he is with Beane, his loyal companion: a dead grass Chesapeake Bay retriever. The Lessons of History – Observed is Jim’s first book. Keep in touch with Jim via the web: 

Website: https://jimgiombetti.com/

Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike by Julie Gianelloni Connor Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Julie Gianelloni Connor takes readers along her personal journey along an ancient pilgrimage and the road to discovery it brought her in the book “Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike”.

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The Synopsis

“Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike” is the first book by author Julie Gianelloni Connor. The book focus on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage trail that began around 820 AD. A resurrection of interest in the Camino since the 1970s has meant that more than 300,000 individuals are nowadays undertaking the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela each year. The author made the pilgrimage in 2016 via the French route from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, a journey of some 500 miles. Her book incorporates a blog and travel journal she kept during that pilgrimage. The book is also a memoir, with Ms. Connor explaining how and why she decided to make the pilgrimage.

Savoring the Camino is also a practical guide to the Camino for those interested in it. While the prevailing culture of the Camino is to walk the route, Ms. Connor believes that walking is not the only way to undertake the Camino. Taking buses, taxis, or even driving are also valid ways to experience the Camino, in her opinion. She advocates for pilgrims to slow down and savor the pilgrimage by stopping in churches, cathedrals, museums, and interesting towns and cities along the route. Not everyone experiences spiritual or personal growth through the act of walking; Ms. Connor urges pilgrims to take the trip in the manner that will most connect them with their spiritual, religious, and transcendent well springs.

After completing the pilgrimage, the author journeyed on to Madrid and Toledo, and there are chapters in the book covering those visits. Ms. Connor also recounts activities following the journey related to the Camino, such as writing an open letter to relevant governmental authorities in Spain and hosting a thank-you dinner in Houston for those who helped her plan and organize her pilgrimage.

The book also includes a useful chapter on resources as well as an index.

The Review

The heart and honesty with which the author writes was an immediate stand out to me as a reader. The reader quickly discovers that the author’s motivations for the journey this book is centered around are both painful and heartbreaking, and yet the author’s strength and courage to overcome the defining moments of her life were inspiring as she undertook this pilgrimage. The book as a whole felt like a great mixture of a history lecture meets a travel guide meets an honest and open conversation with the author herself.

The balance the author struck between the Travel, Memoir, and historical genres of nonfiction books was amazing to behold. The author’s ability to bring the emotional component of her own journey in one sentence and then effortlessly shift into the history of Camino de Santiago and the significance of the trail is spot on and does an incredible job of tapping into the imagery that illuminates this author’s writing style. 

The Verdict

Engaging, thoughtful, and inspiring, author Julie Gianelloni Connor’s “Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike” is a must-read nonfiction book. The history and culture that the author brings to the journey and the emotional impact of the author’s personal journey perfectly mirror one another and keep readers invested in the author’s story perfectly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Julie Gianelloni Connor’s book, Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike, won a silver medal in the 2020 national eLit competition, was a finalist in the annual Self-Publishing Review competition, earned a gold star for its cover, and topped its category in the annual awards given by the Texas Authors Institute of History. Her book also garnered No. 1 status on Amazon in two categories: new books on hiking and walking and new books on Spain and Portugal. It is both a memoir and a guide to traveling the Camino through Spain. Julie’s author website is JulieConnorAuthor.com. Julie also writes a blog (CaminoForBoomers.com) focusing on the Camino de Santiago; the blog complements her book. 

She is the owner and editor of Bayou City Press in Houston, Texas, which specializes in travel writing, Houston, and international affairs. The Bayou City Press website (BayouCityPress.com)carries columns on travel and on Houston. 

Julie founded Bayou City Press after spending 33 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, first with the U.S. Information Agency and later with the U.S. Department of State. She had nine overseas assignments in seven different countries: Israel (twice),Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Colombia (twice), Malaysia, and Chile. In Washington, DC, Julie worked on a variety of areas, ranging from nuclear non-proliferation to international women’s issues. 

Julie received a B.A. from Rice University (English and History), an M.A. from the University of Houston(Creative Writing), and an M.S. from the National War College (National Security Strategy). She also studied journalism at LSU. 

Before joining the Foreign Service, Julie worked overseas in Portugal, Spain, and England, teaching English as a second language. 

She has one son, James, and two cats, Halloween and Mimi.

The Decline of America: 100 Years of Leadership Failures by David D. Schein Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A long and thorough study into how the last 100 years of American history, and the presidents who presided over them, have not only impacted the United States but how they can be used as a roadmap to what the next 100 years looks like take center stage in author David D. Schein’s “The Decline of America: 100 Years of Leadership Failures”.

The Synopsis

“The Decline of America” offers a carefully documented analysis of the last seventeen U.S. presidents. These men, eight Democrats and nine Republicans, have shaped the last 100 years, not only for America, but for the world. Each president is profiled with unsparing scrutiny so we can see where it’s all gone wrong.

David Schein follows these critiques by proposing ways to improve America’s outlook for the next 100 years—before it’s too late.

The Review

The author did an incredible job of thoroughly researching and developing this book. The sheer volume of statistics and facts that the author was able to comb through and relate to the reader for these several presidents was the perfect balance of history and politics. The heart and passion for which the author writes are evident and yet are presented in a cool and collected manner that speaks to the topic of this book. 

The interesting and unique thing about this book is the different impact it will have on different readers. For instance, I myself am more democrat in my political views than republican, but I’ve always prided myself on taking in information from all sides of a conversation and being open to hearing all discussions being made. So it was very insightful and fascinating to see the author’s unique perspective and approach to certain administrations, and while I may not view them in the same light, I think this is relevant to how passionate we as a people can be in terms of politics. Yet the ability to listen and acknowledge our differences without animosity or ignorance is something everyone could stand to learn from, and it made this reading experience quite fulfilling. 

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, engaging, and insightful, author David D. Schein’s “The Decline of America: 100 Years of Leadership Failures” is a must-read book on history and politics in the United States. The thoughtful and well-researched book really challenges readers to see from others’ perspectives and take into account that everyone is going to have different interests and goals in the political arena, and our viewpoints on how an administration will perform or does perform are usually dictated by those perspectives. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dr. David D. Schein is an author, professor, consultant and public speaker. He is a tenured Professor, the Director of Graduate Programs and the Endowed Chair of Management and Marketing at the University of St. Thomas’ Cameron School of Business. He is also the President and General Counsel of Claremont Management Group, a Human Resources consulting firm in Houston, TX. He often speaks on employment and consumer matters. 

Saving Thomas by Scott Kauffman Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A reporter still reeling from his wife’s death finds himself confronted by the past when someone he met in his childhood resurfaces as a war hero from WWII, and he must uncover the mysteries behind the man’s service and his identity in an effort to recover a lost friendship and save his job in the process in author Scott Kauffman’s “Saving Thomas”.

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The Synopsis

After his wife’s death, reporter Jeremy Michaels concentrates on writing news stories that try to bring justice to the underdogs of the world, until an announcement by Buckingham Palace shatters his glass cocoon. The village hermit from the hometown Jeremy fled is to be knighted for still-classified services during World War II, a man Jeremy knows well from a certain childhood adventure.

The editor of the newspaper Jeremy writes for sends him back home to find out why, but he is scooped by the hometown paper’s revelation that the man worked inside the French Resistance. Yet the knighthood is refused, and Jeremy’s chance to save his job—and an old friendship—lies in discovering the truth.

The Review

The balance and engagement the author made with the reader throughout this novel were incredible. The attention to realism when it came to the memories and events of the war and the psychological and emotional impact it left on characters was so eloquently crafted, as was the cruelty and vicious nature of war in general. The imagery played a heavy hand in these scenes, as did the contrast between that dark past and the struggles of the more modern age.

The characters were the true heart of this narrative. The emotional struggles within protagonist Jeremy were so painful yet honest to approach, as his struggles with his wife’s loss mixed with his need to find the truth and the conflict over his childhood events. Thomas’s vision and POV really honed in on the war narrative, and the toll it takes on a person when confronted with that haunting past. Yet it was how these characters found one another, came together, and both the strengths each had and the pitfalls they found as time went on that made this narrative so engrossing. 

The Verdict

Haunting, brilliantly written, and entertaining in its delivery, author Scott Kauffman’s “Saving Thomas” is a must-read novel of 2022 for fans of historical mysteries. The layered path readers had to take to uncover the mystery was well-paced and did a great job of balancing the history with the mystery itself. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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About the Author

Scott claims his fiction career began with a in-class book report written in Mrs. Baer’s eighth-grade English class when, due to a conflict of priorities, he failed to read the book. An exercise of imagination was required. Scott snagged a B, better than the C he received on his last report when he actually read the book. Thus began his life-long apprenticeship as a teller of tales and, some would snidely suggest, as a lawyer as well, but they would be cynics, a race Oscar Wilde warned us knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. Scott is the author of the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences, and a recipient of the 2011 Mighty River Short Story Contest and the 2010 Hackney Literary Award. His short fiction has been appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review. He is now at work on two novel manuscripts and a collection of short stories. He is an attorney in Irvine, California, where his practice focuses upon white-collar crime and tax litigation with his clients providing him endless story fodder. He graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and in the upper ten percent of his class from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where he was a member of the Environmental Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Conflict of Laws.

The Fire Starters (Nicholas Foxe Adventures #3) by Jackson Coppley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Adventurer and history-searching hero Nicholas Foxe returns, this time racing against the clock to stop a guild of fire starters who trace their origins back to the days of Ancient Rome as a plot to target places in the United States in author Jackson Coppley’s “The Fire Starters”, the third book in the Nicholas Foxe Adventures series.

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The Synopsis

In The Fire Starters, Nicholas Foxe uncovers a guild of pyromaniacs that traces its roots to ancient Rome. Were these modern-day fire starters responsible for the fire at Notre Dame? Were they responsible for a firebombing at The London Eye? Do they now have targets in the United States?

Nick finds an important clue deep in the ruins of Nero’s buried palace and realizes the fire starters work has just begun. The lives of thousands are at stake. Can Nick and his team stop the fire starters before it’s too late?

The Review

Jackson Coppley has done it again! The perfect blend of deep dives into history and mythology from around the world and incredibly rich and complex character development, the third book in the Nicholas Foxe Adventures series was an instant hit. As a fan of history, I loved the author’s research and the highlight of Ancient Rome and the surrounding cultures of the age of Emperor Nero showing off during the early chapters of the book, while also adding very human and personal character connections to highlight the danger and mystery that our world houses.

The thing that always makes a Nicholas Foxe adventure stand out for me is that the protagonist, Nicholas, remains vital to the narrative, and yet allows the story to develop fascinating characters with backstories that feel solid and well-developed, whereas some thrillers tend to have rushed character development instead. Having Nicholas’s connection to newcomer Ray Woodward was an amazing way of introducing this mystery of the fire starters, and gave the narrative a much more rich connection between the history and the characters overall.

The Verdict

Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code, author Jackson Coppley’s “The Fire Starters” is the perfect next chapter in the Nicholas Foxe series. The novels feel so cinematic and engaging, that one can only hope these stories make their way to the silver screen someday. The way the author makes history feel more alive and pronounced than it has in a long time in the literary world is great to see unfold, and I do hope that fans and I alike will be treated to more Nicholas Foxe Adventures in the future! If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jackson Coppley weaves stories from a sophisticated knowledge of technology and a keen sense of adventure. Coppley travels the world with his vivid imagination at work to create exciting stories with characters readers feel they know.

https://www.jacksoncoppley.com/

Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir by Sverrir Sigurdsson and Veronica Li Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Authors Sverrir Sigurdsson and Veronica Li take readers into the heart of modern-day Iceland as Sverrir goes on a voyage around the world in the same vein as his Viking ancestors in the book, “Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir”.

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The Synopsis

This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icelander’s success. Spurred by this favorable wind, Sverrir answered the call of his Viking forefathers, setting off on a voyage that took him around the world. Join him on his roaring adventures!

The Review

A truly magnificent and engaging read, this book really does capture the adventurous spirit and rich history of Iceland and author Sverrir’s Viking forefathers. The balance of history, culture, and life experiences through travel was great to see unfold here, from Sverrir’s family history to setting out into the world and studying in Finland, to making a life and home after years of travel with his wife and co-author Veronica Li, this book really does a great job of educating and allowing the reader to identify with the authors and their journeys. 

What really stuck out to me however was the way the authors managed to tie their more “modern” adventures around the world to the ancient Viking culture. As a people known for their travels and explorations, it was interesting to see the cultural note that so many Icelandic people have to make a name for themselves and learn from distant lands in order to bring more knowledge to their home country, in an effort to become the best. It felt like the perfect chord that brought the past and present together as one and really shows how ancient cultures still have an impact on our world today. 

The Verdict

A masterful, thoughtful, and culturally-driven memoir, authors Sverrir Sigurdsson and Veronica Li’s “Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir” is a must-read book. The attention to detail really brought the personal and broader history of Iceland and the author to life, while the teamwork and chemistry of both authors and their writing styles allowed the information and culture of this book to be absorbed by the reader. Even the utilization of images and guides to highlight Iceland and its language was both informative and engrossing all at once. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

Sverrir Sigurdsson grew up in Iceland and graduated as an architect from Finland in 1966. He pursued an international career that took him to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the U.S. His assignments focused on school construction and improving education in developing countries. He has worked for private companies as well as UNESCO and the World Bank. He is now retired and lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and coauthor, Veronica.

Veronica Li emigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong as a teenager. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University. She has worked as a journalist and for the World Bank, and is currently a writer. Her three previously published titles are: Nightfall in Mogadishu, Journey across the Four Seas: A Chinese Woman’s Search for Home, and Confucius Says: A Novel.

Sverrir Sigurdsson Author | Facebook

www.linkedin.com/in/sverrir-sigurdsson-29b51732

The Day the Pirates Went Mad by Trevor Atkins Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young girl must face impossible odds when she is the only one who stands in the way of a pirate curse taking over her entire ship’s crew in the Golden Age of Piracy in author Trevor Atkins’ novel, “The Day the Pirates Went Mad”.

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The Synopsis

In 1701, orphanage runaway Emma Sharpe changed the direction of her life when she stowed away aboard the New Adventure. A year later, she’s rated an able seaman and is an important part of the crew. Just how important becomes clear during her next voyage to the West Indies when the crew recovers an abandoned pirate treasure. As tempers fray and unusual arguments become more frequent, Emma starts to believe there might really be a curse on the gold they took. With the help of cabin boy Jack Randall, Emma dares to confront the growing threat of violence amongst the formerly close-knit crew. Will they save everyone in time? Can they save themselves?

THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD takes place at the turn of the 18th century and the Golden Age of Piracy is just around the corner. Follow the adventures of eleven-year-old Emma Sharpe as she learns to sail the sea, bonds with her shipmates, and then must save them all from a cursed pirate treasure before it’s too late!

[Warning: Some readers may find the descriptions of discovered deceased pirates disturbing.]

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THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD is an entertaining ‘cozy’ historical fiction that also conveys a ‘boatload’ of learning about the life and times of those sailing the seas 300 years ago, during the Age of Sail.

Intended for grades 5-7, this story can also be suitable for sharing with younger grades when supported by an adult. You know your kids best! 

The Review

A truly fantastic and engaging historical fiction read. The author not only finds a means of balancing the historical aspect of this narrative but writes the protagonists and the novel in a way that allows for children ages 10-12 to learn and discover life in the 18th century on the high seas. The author’s attention to detail in terms of language and terminology amongst the sailors and the era the narrative took place in was amazing, and the theme of how wealth and power can influence the mind, whether you believe it to be a curse or not, was really fascinating to see unfold here.

What stood out the most however was the incredible character growth and development here. Emma is a fantastic school-aged heroine for the age of pirates. An orphan who became a sailor and part of a crew and family makes for such a gripping tale, and the evolution of her character as she makes her way up the ladder of the ship’s crew and finds the adventure she has always sought was truly a great means of investing in this story.

The Verdict

A marvelous, entertaining, and educational read, author Trevor Atkins’s “The Day the Pirates Went Mad” was a must-read historical fiction and middle-age level narrative. The way the author writes really brought out the imagery and tone of what life on the high seas must have been like, and the swashbuckling adventure that the crew found themselves on as they traded treasure for trust made this a masterful story to get lost in. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Trevor Atkins lives with his family on the west coast of Canada. He has been working with words for much of his life, but has only recently pursued historical fiction. A storyteller and role-player of detailed characters, Trevor finds it natural to weave together many intertwining plot threads when writing. His bane is the perfecting effort of revision‌—there’s always something more that can be tweaked and improved. But then comes the day when enough is enough, and the story must be set free for others to read!

Inspired by R. L. Stevenson’s novel “Treasure Island” and Y. E. Allison’s poem “Derelict”, THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD was originally intended as a short story for my daughter, peppered with nuggets of knowledge about real life during the Age of Sail and the Golden Age of Piracy in particular. As I found myself diving down one research rabbit hole after another, the tale grew into the novel it is today.

Follow Trevor on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/trevor.atkins.author and check out https://emmasharpesadventures.com for “behind-the-scenes” and additional materials meant to deepen the educational aspects of Emma’s adventures.

Want More Pirates?

Trevor also designs educational tabletop games. “Pirate Pursuit – The Spanish Treasure Fleet” is a game of cat-and-mouse on the high seas where 3–5 players must use their knowledge of real pirate lore to catch the crafty pirate before they plunder the Spanish treasure fleet! Visit http://silverpath.com for more…

 E-book: https://www.amazon.com/Day-Pirates-Went-Mad-ebook/dp/B091JMKVG3/

·       Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Day-Pirates-Went-Mad/dp/1989459021/  

Discovering The Colosseum: Between Myth and Reality by Mauro Poma Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Mauro Poma takes readers on an exciting journey into the heart and history of the infamous Roman Colosseum in the book “Discovering the Colosseum”.

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The Synopsis

A fascinating journey into the world of the largest amphitheater in Roman history to explore its curiosities, stories, characters, animals, gladiators, and much more. . . The author will help you discover the tricks used by the Romans to build this giant of history, describe the atmosphere of the events, the animals employed, and their fate. Who was in the audience? How were death sentences executed? What happened in the hypogeum? With a compelling style the author will also describe the great and undisputed protagonists of the games: the gladiators. Where did they come from? Who were they? Why did they fight? Why did they keep their helmets on before being killed? Where did their blood go when they died? He will also take a look at some of the mistakes in the film “Gladiator”, starting with the famous gesture of thumbs down. . . Discover the Colosseum: a monument, once abandoned, that has given shelter to criminals and prostitutes. It has been transformed into a fortress and sacred place, a bomb shelter, and huge roundabout; it has also hosted millions of spectators in its time, along with visitors, tourists, pilgrims, and the many plants that grow within its unforgettable arches.

The Review

As a longtime history buff, I was instantly drawn to this book. One thing that has always fascinated me is the line that so often blurs between pop culture and entertainment and the facts of history, and the author does a great job of really delving into the real history and culture of the infamous Colosseum. 

The author does a fantastic job of balancing the statistics and facts of the Colosseum and its history, from the hunts and how the Romans would bring in the powerful animals featured in the games, with the more personal and approachable writing style that allows the reader to feel like they are in a conversation with the author, rather than being lectured or talked to. The landmark’s history just comes to life right off the page, really allowing the reader to feel transported back to the Colosseum at the height of its power. 

The Verdict

An informative, engaging, and thought-provoking history-driven book, author Mauro Poma’s “Discovering the Colosseum” is a must-read non-fiction book. The amount of history, culture, and facts the author provides to the reader complements the author’s natural and personable writing style and encourages the reader to want to visit this landmark for themselves. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born and raised in Rome, scholar of the Eternal City, Mauro Poma is a qualified tour guide of Rome, a writer and a lecturer. He has got two degrees: one in History and Conservation of the Artistic and Archaeological Heritage and one in Political Sciences. He is the author of the book “Discovering the Colosseum”, that is the revised and enlarged English edition of “Alla scoperta del Colosseo”. He works as lecturer at Dante Alighieri association, the most prestigious Italian cultural association in the world.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mauro-rometogo/