Tag Archives: historical fiction

Impatiently Waiting For: Queen of Tomorrow (Stolen Empire #2 )by Sherry D. Ficklin

Clean Teen Publishing To Be Published Oct. 2, 2015
Clean Teen Publishing
To Be Published Oct. 2, 2015

If you haven’t read Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire #1) Check the review here as well as the interview with the lovely Ms. Sherry D. Ficklin here.


Sophie—now Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia—had a tough first year at Imperial Court. Now sixteen and married to Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne, and settled in their own palace, things are finally looking up.

As a new day dawns, she thinks only of securing her future, and the future of their country, during one of the greatest political upheavals of her time. Fighting desperately against forces trying to depose the Empress Elizabeth and put the young Prince Ivan on her throne, Sophie soon finds herself in the middle of a war brewing between her beloved Prussia, and her new empire.

But even as she navigates the fragile political landscape, she quickly realizes that she has only begun to discover the tangled web of deceit and infidelity woven over the lavish court of Oranienbaum Palace.

When a strange and delicate alliance forms between the young couple, she glimpses a future of happiness, only to see it lost in a moment at the hands of those who still seek to end her life—and prevent her reign.

Out of favor with the empress and running out of options, Sophie will have to sacrifice her own innocence on the altar of Russia if she is to save the nation, and herself. To survive, she will have to do the unthinkable, betray those closest to her and become something greater and more dangerous than she ever imagined she could be… a queen


Quick Five© with Brynn Chapman

Courtesy of Brynn Chapman
Courtesy of Brynn Chapman

Name: Brynn Chapman

Who is Brynn? Science lover who writes fiction and non-fiction

Twitter: @rrsmythe

Website:  http://brynnchapmanauthor.com

Books:When Bluebirds Fly, Boneseeker, The Bride of Blackbeard, Project Mendel, A Circle of Crows, Rule of Three, Requiem Red

Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Due to her family experiences with Asperger’s syndrome,  author Chapman shows her knowledge of the condition within her books as well as an overall love for science. Although she does write non-fiction books, her fiction novels are just as passionately romantic as they are scientific. In an time where science fiction, romance and a hint of mystery is #winning, reading Chapman’s books will not disappoint.


Enjoy this Quick Five© with Brynn Chapman.

What are the key components to making a great mystery novel? Why are they important?

I actually consider myself primarily a fantasy writer–but i think my challenge with mystery–is I either reveal too little or too much. I rely on my agent and first readers to help me find somewhere in the middle.


How easy or hard has it been to tie in your love of science into your fiction novels? Do you feel that using science is what makes you stand out as a writer?

No, it is who I am, so it comes out in every story. I think I see things in my own, particular perspective–but I know many who use science..they are usually MY favorite writers as well.

What inspired your latest book “Boneseeker”?

I love The Sherlock canon and all the adaptations. And the ‘what if’. Sherlock had difficulty fitting in socially in his time period. How much more difficult would it be for a brilliant young woman, in society so set in values and the woman’s role.

Why did you choose to write Young Adult books as compared to Adult fiction?

I do write both…but I just believe my voice is somewhere in the young adult-new adult-crossover range. *shrugs


Finally, what mark would you like to leave on the literary world?
I really just want people to identify with my characters. To give them a break from their everyday life, and wish to return to my stories.

NetGalley Review: Sing for Me by Karen Halvorsen Schreck

        Howard Books To Be Published April 8, 2014            336 Pages
Howard Books
To Be Published April 8, 2014
336 Pages

* I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion*

Rose Sorensen is a good girl. She listens to her parents, does whatever they ask with no lip, and goes to church on a regular basis. However, Rose likes to sing and she likes to sing jazz but it is forbidden by her parents and those who attend her church. 

But one day her cousin decides to take her to a jazz club for her birthday and that is when things fall apart. Between falling for an African-American man and wanting to sing Jazz, Rose has a lot on her plate.

I was surprised at how much I liked this book. The book is set in a time when there is no legal longer segregation but blacks and whites are separated none the less. It is also during a time when people believed that singing anything else but God was a sin.

This is a really important time because it changed a lot of thoughts about music and it changed families. I thought it was great that the author decided to focus on this part of history. With that being said I liked Rose. Although she was completely plain, I did enjoy her character. How she remained the church loving girl throughout the entire book even though she did begin singing jazz. She didn’t change who she was, her work ethic or how she felt about her family, she just simply added singing jazz to the list of things she can do.

When reading the summary I thought the book was more about the romance between Rose and the African-American male. However, he just happen to be there. The book was more about Rose’s love for jazz and the desire to pursue it. She fell in love with jazz before she fell hard for her young man. I think for him it happened to be right place right now because most of the book, before she admitted feelings, all she could think about was the music and how that was what needed to be hidden from her parents.

I was disappointed with the lack of romance within the book but I wasn’t that disappointed because this book was well written and it was passionate. There wasn’t a lot of glitz and glamor, which is fine. The book and story is very simple and it is a breath of fresh air.

For this historical fiction I highly recommend it to those who aren’t looking for something dripping in romance and a greater purpose. Overall 5 Pickles

Book Review: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

        William Morrow   Published Aug. 6, 2013             368 Pages
William Morrow
Published Aug. 6, 2013
368 Pages

Li Lan, daughter of a genteel who went bankrupt, lives in the Chinese colonies ruled by the British. Although most of the Chinese have given up ancient customs there are a few that still practice.  For instance, the wealthy and powerful Lim family, whom have taken an interest in Li Lan and has requested she become the ghost bride for their dead son.

Li Lan is completely against this. Although she would taken care of for the rest of her life, being the bride of a ghost is complicated. When he husband to be begins haunting her and when Li Lan begins to take interest in her fiancé’s cousin, Li Lan begins to question why the Lam family wants her to be a ghost bride after all.

This was neither a good or bad read. It was interesting.

Firstly, I was surprised at the lack of details and richness in the book. It was as if the world was modern; which was weird considering the story takes place on 1893 Malaysia.  I didn’t feel inspired to know more about the culture. I didn’t see colors in my head throughout the entire book. All I saw was dull black and white.

This made the book boring. There was a lack of excitement; thrill and to be honest love. It is considered a romance but there was no romantic vibe towards it. Not even when the random romance came out of no where. Which really bothered me because for most of the book Li Lan wanted the cousin. Towards the end I though Li Lan was very selfish. There was also no depth about her character. She was plain, fickle, a bit two faced and way too gullible. I was disappointed in her from beginning to end.

The book was slow. For a woman who has the freedom to move about (her father allows her to) there wasn’t much action in finding out the secrets of her fiancé or his family. There wasn’t even a whole lot of suspense either. When things did begin to pick up it was over complicated and all I could do was stare at the wall. Sometimes simple is best and considering that the author decided to write about a ancient tradition with romance and mystery adding characters after characters on top of a fickle, boring woman is just wrong.

I really wanted to like this book. I mean look at that cover its beautiful! The author had a good idea but it wasn’t executed correctly. Overall, the book gets 6 out of 10.

Love, Pickles

Book Review: Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

     Ballantine Books  Published July 9, 2013           304 Pages
Ballantine Books
Published July 9, 2013
304 Pages

Love.Love LOVE!

 In 1912, 24 year old Elspeth Dunn is a published poet who has never left her home located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. One day she receives a fan letter from David Graham, a student that lives in America. From this moment on Elspeth and David begin a friendship and soon love through these letters.

Fast forward to 1940; WW II has begun and Elspeth daughter, Margaret has fallen for a pilot. Her mother doesn’t agree with it but doesn’t stop her daughter either. When a bomb goes off near Elspeth’s house letter from the past reappear and shortly after Elspeth leaves.

Margaret has only one letter, a clue to find out what happened to her mother.

This book was so cute and romantic and perfect I cannot stand it. It is written in letter form. Some letters are longer than others and others are just lines or telegraphs. To be honest this didn’t add or take away from the story. Every letter was detailed and held the same conversation tone as a “traditional” novel.

David and Elspeth had no intentions of being anything more than a fan and an author. However, Elspeth was interested in David and his life because it was nothing she has ever experienced. David enjoyed speaking to her because they shared a love a literature.

I thought their relationship was pure love and it was beautiful.

Regarding Margaret and her relationship there are letters exchanged between her and her love but it mostly centers around her mother and her family. I though the characters each of them played a good part; they weren’t annoying or even misused. Again for a lack of a better term perfect.

Overall this book gets 10 out of 10. I thought it was a great love story. If you are looking for the harlequin  type love story this is not the book for you.


Love, Pickles


Book Review: Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Adults Only

 Grand Central Publishing      Published Aug. 1, 2010          382 Pages
Grand Central Publishing
Published Aug. 1, 2010
382 Pages

I love love historical romance but was a bit bored with this book.

Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire is looking for a killer in St. Giles London unable to navigate the streets Huntington hires Temperance Dews, widow and care taker of orphan children, as his guide.

In return of Temperance helping Lazarus will introduce her to high society so she can find a benefactor for her orphanage. But of course when a single attractive “innocent” woman is around a well known ladies’ man things tend to heat up.

Temperance was very hard to like . . . honestly I’m pretty sure I didn’t like her. The author made her too innocent as if she was this saint and her sexy side needed to be released.  Even when you discover her big secret it’s still like really . . .? Huntington was too cliché other than the fact he liked being tied up there was really nothing to him.

The story itself was slow. Granted there is not a whole lot of action in a historical romance I think that if a book involved alley hoping in the middle of the night, a killer and money it should thrill more than my sexual thoughts.

As for the sex scenes . . .  let’s just say innocent or proper is not the term to use for Temperance.

Overall, the book gets 7 out of 10. I just wasn’t into it.



Don’t forget to like & Share :)

Graphic Novel Review: Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

          First Second   Published  Sept 10, 2013              336 Pages
First Second
Published Sept 10, 2013
336 Pages

Historical fiction at its best.

In China 1898, Little Boa sees his father fall to pieces after a band of foreign soldiers try to change Chinese culture and traditions. Having enough of the “foreign devils” (i.e. white people) taking over, Little Boa uses powers of the ancient Gods to recruit and train Boxers ( common people train in Kung Fu) in order to take China back from the foreign devils.

This is the first book of two and it is extreme details. Little Boa is fighting not only white people coming to China to change its ways but also Chinese people who have converted to Christianity.  Little Boa and his Boxers begin traveling to fight injustice but when the God he transforms to commands him to get China back to where it use to be his goals shift.

If you like history than this is the perfect graphic novel for you. It is full of traditions and those that strongly believe in it. The book is also filled with extremism so if you are a bit sensitive regarding that then this is not the book for you.

Little Boa is an interesting character because he is still a little boy that allowed his anger to seek revenge. He holds on to what happen to his father and how he becomes a broken man and that leads him to seek help. However, even when he has this God like powers he is a ball of mess who can’t tell the girl he likes he likes her.  He doesn’t have a big enough back bone to actually understand how bad things got and how fast it got. Also he wasn’t wise enough to fix it.

What I thought was odd though was how these Boxers who have these abilities and appearances were able to die in these forms. It is as if it didn’t serve any protection, which I thought was weird and even the character was confused by it.

As for the graphics . . . flawless. It wasn’t graphic or gross or simple. The author was detailed, particular and clean. Also it is in color not black and white; this adds a lot to a graphic novel more than you think. There was a balance of pictures and words which made the graphic novel worth the time.

Overall the graphic novel gets 9 out of 10.



Don’t forget to like & Share :)