Book Review, Giveaway AND Guest Post: In Another Life, by Julie Christine Johnson

In Another LifeJulie Christine Johnson

on Tour March 1-10 with

In Another Life

(Historical Fiction/Contemporary Women’s Fiction/
Fantasy/Romance)
Release date: February 2, 2016
at Sourcebooks
368 pages
ISBN: 978-2954168197
Website | Goodreads

Read the GUEST POST here.

SYNOPSIS

Historian Lia Carrer has finally returned to southern France, determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in the region’s quiet hills and medieval ruins, she falls in love with Raoul, a man whose very existence challenges everything she knows about life–and about her husband’s death. As Raoul reveals the story of his past to Lia, she becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder, resulting in a haunting and suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think. Steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of the Languedoc region, In Another Life is a story of love that conquers time and the lost loves that haunt us all.

MY REVIEW

This book kept me absolutely intrigued all the way through, wondering at what was real and what was not, and what was going to happen. I read a lot of books, and this one was fascinating. There’s something about the combination of historical fiction, with the touch of the supernatural, that I really enjoy. Rather like the classic Anya Seton novel “Green Darkness” (which also involves a sort of ‘time travel’ in history, and past lives).

Lia’s grief was very well portrayed, and I felt bad for her, and already from the first paragraphs, wanting for things to go well. Of course, they don’t, and the ensuing tangles kept me reading late into the night, wanting to know what happened next.

I’m trying to think of what I could say about the book without giving too much away. The history goes back to Templar times, so it’s quite a range, and I learned a lot about history as well as being entertained by the book. I think readers of books like Outlander, and the aforementioned Green Darkness, would really like this one. I’m already planning to recommend it to several people.

Don’t forget to read the author’s guest post, here, and to scroll down to enter the giveaway (below).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In Another Life- Julie Christine Johnson

Photo by Al Bergstein

 

Julie Christine Johnson
is the author of the novels In Another Life
(February 2016, Sourcebooks Landmark)
and The Crows of Beara (September 2017, Ashland Creek Press).
Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals,
including Emerge Literary Journal, Mud Season Review;
Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim;
Cobalt, the anthologies Stories for Sendai;
Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers;
and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss
and featured on the flash fiction podcast, No Extra Words.
She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology
and a Masterís in International Affairs.
A runner, hiker, and wine geek,
Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state
with her husband.
In Another Life is her first novel.

***

Visit Julieís website and blog
Follow Julie Christine Johnson on Twitter | on Facebook
Sign up to receive her Newsletter.

***

Global giveaway open to US residents only:
5 participants will each win a print copy of this book.

Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
for more chances to win

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ REVIEWS, EXCERPT, INTERVIEW, GUEST-POST

In Another Life Banner

Book review, excerpt, and giveaway for Blood Rose Angel, by Liza Perrat

Liza PERRAT

on Tour

December 14- 23

with

Blood Rose Angel

Blood Rose Angel

(historical romance)

Release date: November 14, 2015
at Liza Perrat

349 pages

ISBN: 978ñ2954168197

Website | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

1348. A bone-sculpted angel and the woman who wears it: heretic, Devil’s servant, saint.
Midwife Heloise has always known that her bastard status threatens her standing in the French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne. Yet her midwifery and healing skills have gained the people’s respect, and she has won the heart of the handsome Raoul Stonemason. The future looks hopeful. Until the Black Death sweeps into France.
Fearful that Heloise will bring the pestilence into their cottage, Raoul forbids her to treat its victims. Amidst the grief and hysteria, the villagers searching for a scapegoat, Heloise must choose: preserve her marriage, or honor the oath she swore on her dead mother’s soul? And even as she places her faith in the protective powers of her angel talisman, she must prove she’s no Devil’s servant, her talisman no evil charm.

EXCERPT

The outlaw looked on the birth scene with obvious surprise. A scowl darkened his grimy, sweat-slick face. ‘Christ drowning in merde. What the …?’ He stepped inside, a stench of smoked fish and old ale filling the room, the horsewhip he brandished in one shovel-like hand making unearthly cracks.

Despite the fearsome display, and the sword in his scabbard, a reckless courage flared inside me.

‘Get out,’ I ordered, jabbing a finger at the door. ‘Can’t you see this is a birthing room … a sacred place for women only?’

The outlaw glowered down at me. ‘Bit bold for a woman, aren’t you? Who might you be?’

‘I’m the midwife, and I order you out of this cot now!’ A drop of sweat rolled down my nose.

The room remained silent, save the outlaw’s bellows-like panting, and the ragged breaths of the women and Nica’s boys. The man’s gaze flickered sideways, locked on the newborn. He stepped towards Alix and her baby. ‘What’s wrong with its head?’

‘Nothing,’ I said. ‘He’s a perfect child.’

‘Yes, perfect,’ Poppa affirmed.

‘Looks like the head of the Devil itself.’ The outlaw laid his whip over the baby’s brow, stroking the tender skin with the tip, as if caressing a kitten. ‘Such a monstrous thing don’t deserve to live.’ His scarred face puckered into a grin that could have melted stone.

The new mother shrank away, whimpering and clutching her son to her breast.

‘Don’t hurt that newborn,’ I said, ‘or God will see you straight to Hell.’

The outlaw turned his crooked stare on me. In a movement more deft than a slaughterer’s knife, he wrenched the babe from Alix’s grasp. Jerking the newborn free of his swaddling, he held the bawling child upside down by the ankles.

As the infant screamed, writhing like a trout snagged fresh from the Vionne, the outlaw eyed the cot wall beside him. My insides seized with sudden terror.

Oh Lord no! Blessed Virgin save him.

‘Stop,’ I said. ‘Give me that child.’ I began rocking my angel pendant back and forth before the brigand, stepping towards him until I was level with the black hairs unfurling from his tunic. His eyes widened, fixed on the talisman’s glowing blue and green ones.

I knew the newborn’s life––probably all our lives––depended on not showing him fear. As a woman who’d lived without a man at her hearth for almost two years, I’d learned that terror only fuelled such lawless beasts.

With the soft, low voice I’d used to sing my daughter to sleep, I said, ‘If you don’t hand me the baby, and leave this cottage right now, a pack of wolves will pounce on you as you sit around the fire with your friends, boasting the spoils of Lucie. They’ll rip out your black heart and feed it to the Devil.’

Still gripping the bawling child, the outlaw’s eyes didn’t flicker from the swinging pendant.

‘Give me the child,’ I went on, in my lullaby voice. ‘Pass him to me now.’ The pendant swung back and forth, back and forth.

REVIEW

This book was a fantastic historical novel, filled with more detail than I could almost take in. The time period, when the Black Death was rife in Europe, made for a tense, even sometimes suspenseful backdrop for the story. At times I felt every horror-stricken moment, when Heloise had to choose between caring for her own family, and caring for those in her village struck down by the plague.

Most fascinating was the detail of midwifery, and of Heloise’s skill. And of course the knife-edge of being only one step removed from witchcraft in the eyes of the populace. I was never sure that Heloise would survive, given the malice against her.

Definitely a book worth reading, both for its plot, which was well-paced and intriguing, and for its historical detail. I think I’m going to read the other books Ms. Perrat has written, since I finished this one so quickly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Liza Perrat 2Liza Perrat grew up in Wollongong, Australia,
where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus,
she moved to France, where she has been living
with her husband and three children for twenty years.
She works part-time as a French-English medical translator,
and as a novelist.
Since completing a creative writing course twelve years ago,
several of her short stories have won awards,
notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004
and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines.
Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines
such as France Magazine, France Today and The Good Life France.
Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in her French historical trilogy, The Bone Angel Series.
The second ñ Wolfsangel ñ was published in October, 2013,
and the third, Blood Rose Angel, is published in November, 2015.
She is a founding member of the author collective, Triskele Books and reviews books for BookMuse.

***

Visit Lizaís blog
Follow Liza Perrat on Twitter | on Facebook | on Pinterest | on Google +
Sign up to receive her Newsletter.

***

Global giveaway open internationally:
8 participants will each win a print or digital copy of this book.

Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
for more chances to win

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, EXCERPT, AND INTERVIEW

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Guest Post: Marquita Valentine

I’d like to introduce the very lovely Marquita Valentine. She writes fantastic stories, small-town romance with a touch of the supernatural. I can’t recommend them highly enough!

Thanks for having me here today, Alyssa!

In my latest release, Third Time’s a Charm, the heroine, Rose Holland, is kinda witchy. I know what you’re thinking-Kinda? Yeah, kinda…In that her witchiness is almost entirely observed by the hero, Sasha Romanov. However, until almost the end of the book, Sasha explains it all away. Poor insulation, predicted bad weather, faulty wiring, or even being lightheaded from chopping wood. Bless his heart.

For example:
“Don’t play dumb with me, Rosebud.” The front door slammed shut, even though no one was around to close it. The fine hairs on Sasha’s arms rose under his sweater.
“Want to try that again?” Rose’s hands fisted at her sides.
The wind gusted and the chimes hanging from the ceiling danced.  Bad insulation—that was the problem. There was always an explanation when it came to the supposedly supernatural events that surrounded the Hollands.
I’m sure bad insulation is the only reason the front door slammed. And it had nothing to do with the fact that Sasha had just ticked off Rose.

Door-slamming and almost electrocuting the hero, aren’t the only things that Rose may or may not be responsible for. But Rose never admits it. Not once. Which (hee!) I love about her character.

And isn’t there a saying that talks about how it’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for? Poor Sasha doesn’t have a chance! <G>

What’s your favorite book with a hero or heroine that may or may not have supernatural powers?

And here’s the blurb for Marquita’s latest:
Not even Holland Springs’ Most Notorious Resident can stop this Love Spell.




Customers come to Rose Holland’s apothecary shop for three things: to hear her uncanny matchmaking advice, to buy the “magical” hair and skin products she sells, and to accuse her of trying to steal their men. For years Rose has been entirely innocent and almost content with that status quo. But that was before sexy, smooth-talking Sasha Romanov came to town and made her want to use her love potions on him… until he broke her heart. Now corrupt town officials want to seize her land and sell it to an industrial giant, and her only hope for help looks like the one man she can’t trust—or stop herself from falling under his spell.

Alexander “Sasha” Romanov seems like every woman’s dream: charming, handsome and fabulously rich. But while the people of Holland Springs think he’s in town to generously invest in their economy (and possibly one of their daughters), Sasha struggles to save his sick mother from his vicious uncle’s plans by doing everything the greedy businessman wants. And Vlad Romanov wants Rose Holland’s land—at any cost.

Despite Sasha’s vow to get the job done and keep his hands (and everything else!) off Rose, the blue-eyed witch enchants him. But his mother’s life remains in the balance. Sasha must find a way to protect his mother, sabotage his uncle’s plans, and win the woman who’s captured his heart without destroying everything she loves.

“A refreshing, whimsical contemporary romance with complex characters and bursts of emotion that tugs on your heartstrings. Kept me up till one AM reading!”~ Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author

Marquita Valentine writes small town romances that are anything but small. Lisa Kleypas, Carly Phillips and Rachel Gibson are among her favorite contemporary authors. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man — and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tater tots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

You can find Marquita all over the internet:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15730301-twice-tempted
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarquitaValentine
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/marquitaval
Website: http://marquitavalentine.blogspot.com/
Blog: http://ladyscribes.blogspot.com/

Want to pick up a copy of Third Time’s a Charm? Grab it for Kindle or Nook!