Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Shelf Control - Mar 19

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves sponsored by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. Here's how to jump on board:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • Link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…
Have fun!

It's been over a month since I participated in this meme. The workload has been tough. I'm doing my best to get back into the swing of things.

Today I will feature another freebie from my Kindle.

BLURB:  Purity, Courtney and Meg are the She Musketeers, until Alex and Bobby enter the scene. A twenty-seven day job interview, tingling kisses, and Pure's crazy ex make for a bumpy ride to Happily Ever After.

DATE BOUGHT: 10/19/11

WHY I BOUGHT IT: Absolutely no clue. Reading the blurb now, it doesn't even sound like something I would be interested in. I'm wondering if it was because of the reviews. I like to read something that has received more lukewarm reviews than stellar ones. Maybe I was going through  a tough time when I bought it and just wanted a light and easy book to dig into.

Have you ever grabbed a book and looked at it much later and wondered why you bought it?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Interview with Mike Martin, Author of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series is Darkest Before the Dawn.

Twitter: @mike54martin

Did you like mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels when you were growing up?

I loved the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift, a British young boy's series that had lots of adventures and they always had a bag of sweets. Later, I loved Stephen King, until he scared me too much.

What was the first story in that genre that you wrote?

I never wrote horror, but mystery remained a favorite. My first mystery was The Walker on the Cape, the first book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series.

What is your favorite part of writing in this genre?

I love the idea of discovering a crime like a murder and then taking the time to not just solve the crime, but to explore why people do these kind of things in the first place.

What do you find most difficult about writing in this genre?

There are some general rules that you have to follow that sometimes stop the flow, but it's also that readers are very smart and point out any errors or mistakes that they find. You have to find a hook or something different every time you kill someone, especially in a series.

Is there an author in this genre that you admire most?

Louise Penny is an author that many of us admire and few of us can hope to live up to. She has created characters and a world that we would all like to live in.

What is up next for you?

I have started a new book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series and I'm also working on an audio book for The Walker on the Cape. Both will be out this year sometime.

Do you have anything to add?

Thank you very much for your interest. Keep reading and I will keep writing.

Monday, March 18, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Mar 18

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Sometimes Monday comes too soon. That's certainly the case today. After a tough weekend--you can read about that here if  you like--I'm going to work on catching up since I've been a bit distracted.

I just finished this Regency romance novella and my review appears here.

I am also continuing with  my Lenten devotional.

Next up I need to read this mystery.

Then these next two follow.

What's on your reading list? Any good books you could recommend from your recent reads?

Book Review: Finding Lord Farlisle by Cassandra Dean

Finding Lord Farlisle by Cassandra Dean is a passionate and touching story of past friends reuniting after years apart.

Lord Maxim Farlisle was shipwrecked and presumed dead more than a decade ago. Many of his memories lost, he always recalled a girl with golden hair. As his memories returned, he made his way back to his childhood home to find Waithe Hall shut and deserted.

Lady Alexandra Torrence mourned the loss of her childhood friend Maxim, but her fascination with spirits leads her back to Waithe Hall to investigate mysterious activities seen by the villagers. Long since shuttered, she is surprised to discover a ghost of a different kind...Maxim in the flesh.

Both scared by their time apart, they begin to reconnect and fill in the years that they lost, realizing that all along, they have only wanted to be together.

What a fascinating novella. Dean writes an intriguing story of two people unexpectedly brought back together again. The characters are well-developed considering the short length, and you can't help but root for them to find a way of getting beyond those miserable years where Maxim was assumed dead; when he struggled with finding his way in a world where he didn't belong, with many of his memories gone.

Alexandra is likable from the start. You admire her spunk and her uniqueness. She brings out something in Maxim he thought lost. She makes him see his truth worth.

Absolutely love how the author worked Maxim's disability into the story line and kept it real.

I'm eager to see what the next book is all about.


It was eleven years ago. The pain had faded, but had never truly left. Alexandra had thought
she’d learned to live with it. But now…now Maxim was here?

A thunderous scowl on his face, he made a noise of impatience. “I do not have the inclination for this, girl. Tell me why you have come.”

His voice crashed over her. That, too, had deepened with age, but it was him. It was him.

“It is you.” Joy filled her, so big it felt her skin couldn’t contain it. Throwing herself at him, she enveloped him in a hug.

He stiffened.

Embarrassment coursed through her. What was she thinking? Immediately, she untangled herself from him. “I beg your pardon,” she stammered. Always before they’d been exuberant in their affections. They’d always found ways to touch one another, even though that last summer, the one before he’d gone away, she’d begun to feel...more....

Clasping her hands before her, she brought herself to the present. Much had changed, now they were grown and he, apparently, had not died.

Maxim had not died.

A wave of emotion swept her, a mix of relief, joy, incredulity…. It buckled her knees and burned her eyes. He was alive. Maxim was alive.




Google Play



Cassandra Dean will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner
 via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Interview with Patricia Boomsma, Author of The Way of Glory

Patricia Boomsma grew up in a far southwestern suburb of Chicago, moving to Arizona to escape the brutal midwestern winters. She was a lawyer in Arizona for over thirty years, including six years as the Flagstaff City Attorney. Before going to law school, she studied medieval literature at Purdue University, and her first novel, The Way of Glory, is, in part, a reflection of her love for all things medieval. She recently earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her publications include poems in Haiku Journal and Indolent Press, a book review in New Orleans Review, an article in the Journal of Modern Literature, and short stories in The Vignette Review, Persimmon Tree, and Scarlet Leaf Review.


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Palos Heights, a southwestern suburb of Chicago. It’s pretty built up now, but when my parents moved us there it was still a lot of farmland surrounded by forest preserve.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote my first “book” when I was nine. Pretty much all I remember about it is that it had shepherds and because I wrote it at the time Alan Shepard went into space I misspelled “shepherd” as “shepard” throughout. Luckily my grandma caught it. After that, I wrote the occasional poem or story, and did a lot of writing in my various jobs, but began writing my novel at age 59, after I retired from full-time work.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Mostly during the day, and usually in long spurts. I find life distracting and so don’t write every day, but once I start, I write for many hours at a time.

What is this book about?

Set in the 12th century, The Way of Glory follows Cate, a teenage girl from Bristol, England, her two brothers Sperleng and Willard, and her aunt Mary on an armed pilgrimage to save Jerusalem. On their way, the crusader fleet joins the Portuguese and Spanish Christians trying to expel the Moors ruling Hispania.

Cate’s life changes when she finds the body of a young boy, Oxa, along the banks of the Frome River. At Oxa’s funeral, the local priest encourages the mourners to punish the local Jews presumed to be Oxa’s murderers and join those who were soon leaving to fight the Saracens. Cate assumes all pilgrims have religious motivations, only to discover that most are men looking for adventure, wealth, and a free pass to heaven. Life on a battlefield strains the family’s closeness as they face the terror and contradictions of holy war. Cate and her Aunt Mary cauterize wounds and confront decisions of who should be saved, while Willard becomes increasingly zealous and hateful toward the women in the camp and Sperleng, a soldier, becomes more entrenched in his military code.

After the siege of Lisbon, the fleet is asked to continue fighting in Hispania. Willard and much of the fleet head toward Jerusalem, while Sperleng stays, seeing the land the Count of Barcelona has promised as a way to improve his tradesman status. Cate’s dreams of sainthood change to those of a husband and children as she falls in love with Egric, one of her brother’s archers. The battles continue even after Sperleng receives land, and Cate must find her place in a strange culture. Cate’s friendship with a conquered Moor forces impossible choices between family, betrayal, and the threat of losing of all she’s known.

What inspired you to write it?

After I retired, I took a trip to Spain and was amazed at the Moorish architecture and culture, so different from Northern Europe. I’d studied medieval English literature and history in graduate school, and couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like for someone from medieval England to come across medieval Spanish culture – if I was amazed, how much stranger it would be for them? So, I started researching whether that ever happened, and came across articles talking about Anglo-Normans settling in Spain after the Second Crusade. I used that as the historical context for a story about ordinary people confronting the mixed motivations of religious warfare and living among people from a very different culture.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

I spent two years trying to find an agent or an independent publisher before deciding to self-publish my novel.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

The ebook is available from Amazon, but you can order a paperback from any bookseller, including online at IndieBound, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

What is up next for you?

I’m editing my second novel now. It’s a very different novel, set in the present and focusing on the strained relationship between a mother and daughter after the daughter goes to college and joins what her mother fears is a cult.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: The Way of Glory by Patricia J. Boomsma

Publication Date: November 14, 2018

Edeleboom Books
eBook & Paperback; 390 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Cate, a teenage girl from twelfth century England, joins her brothers and aunt on a crusade to save Jerusalem that stops in Hispania to battle the Moors. Life on a battlefield strains the family’s closeness as they confront the terror and contradictions of holy war. Cate’s dreams of sainthood change to those of a husband and children when she falls in love with a soldier, but she finds no peace even after the family settles on land taken from the Moors. Cate’s friendship with a conquered Moor soon leads to impossible choices as she faces the cost of betrayal and the loss of all she’s known.

Praise for The Way of Glory

"One of the many impressive things about The Way of Glory is how lightly it wears its scrupulous research. This fine novel invites you to lose yourself to the compelling character and tumultuous life of a young woman trying to find God and love at the heart of a crusade rooted in greed and hate. This is a remarkable debut by a writer to watch." -Naeem Murr, author of The Perfect Man

"The Way of Glory convincingly portrays a place, a time, and a people vastly different from our own. Historical fiction is a fantastically difficult genre to get right, but Pat Boomsma manages it with aplomb." -Pinckney Benedict, author of Dogs of God

"The Way of Glory is a riveting read from first page to last, as it expertly traces the trajectories of several compelling characters caught up in the Crusades. As the protagonist, Cate will steal your heart; she's as complex a fourteen-year-old as you will ever meet, and the fate she struggles against is a complicated and often frightening vortex of forces, made ever richer by the intense evocation and very thoughtful depictions. This is a remarkable novel." -Fred Leebron, author of Welcome to Christiania

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

I grew up in a far southwestern suburb of Chicago among the trees and sloughs of the Cook County Park District, then attended college in Michigan. After graduating, I dreamed of an academic life teaching English literature and began a Ph.D. program at Purdue University. There I concentrated on medieval studies, receiving a Master's and continuing on for four more years before realizing that no one I knew was finding a permanent, let alone tenure-track, position. So, instead of writing my dissertation I went to law school. I moved to Arizona to escape the brutal midwestern winters and have been practicing law there for over thirty years. My first novel, The Way of Glory, is, in part, an extension of my love for all things medieval.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, March 15
Interview at The Book Connection

Saturday, March 16
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Monday, March 18
Guest Post at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, March 19
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, March 20
Guest Post at Among the Reads
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, March 22
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, March 23
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, March 25
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, March 26
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Thursday, March 28
Feature at Passages to the Past

Saturday, March 30
Review at Impressions In Ink


During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a paperback copy of Brandon-Tudor Knight! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on March 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Way of Glory

Monday, March 11, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Mar 11

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

It's hard to believe two weeks has passed since I last posted this meme. Time slips away faster as we head toward the spring market. That's part of why we snuck away for a little R&R this weekend. I didn't even bring my laptop; so rare in my world that the children thought I had gone crazy.

Thanks to our time away and the time in the car, I was able to finish The Morning Mind. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it was extremely interesting.

I also polished off The Last Fifty Pages

I'm reading this devotional for Lent, which began this past Wednesday. 

Next up are these ones:

As of right now, that's it for books I must review. I would really like to read The Liberty Bride after that. I think this is my favorite cover of the series so far. 

What have you been reading? Are you caught up on reviews? Are there any spring and summer releases you're looking forward to?