Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review of "Something Down There" by Nancy Widrew

Review of Something Down There

I was very interested in the premise of this book; the idea had me hooked. I enjoy stories based around cults, and the idea of members of a cult moving into a cave to completely isolate themselves from the outside world seemed like an idea that would hold a lot of tension and potential. The story is a solid attempt by a first-time novelist. Would I read it a second time? Probably not, but I was entertained the first time around and other readers probably would be too.

The basic plot is this: Karen and Jeremy go spelunking, are abducted by the leader of an underground cult, and are forced to assimilate. The tension comes from the couple's desire to reach the outside world again, the failed attempts of a friend to find them, and infidelity on both Karen's and Jeremy's part.

The strength of this novel is definitely in the setting. I enjoyed envisioning the cave, its formations, the waterfalls, and the strange flora. I just recently finished Journey to the Center of the Earth again, and so this was a nice follow-up.

And a couple of critiques. Spoilers ahead!

The cult aspect is underutilized. The members seem more a bunch of misfits rather than a group grounded and ruled by a set of strange, fringe beliefs. Some members claim to be Christian, others not. Fertility rites and gods are hinted at but disappointingly never explored or exploited. The story sort of lost my interest because I was really expecting some "diabolical cult" members, as promised in the blurb. They are cranky and demanding--like squatters sharing a derelict building--but not diabolical. Even the leader, who has somehow mutated to become something subterranean, lacks the charisma, slyness, and fervor I expected.

On top of that, from the very beginning I found both Jeremy and Karen to be unsympathetic. Jeremy is manipulative and downright mean to Karen. I had to question why she was with him in the first place. Because she was weak and gave in to him, I disliked Karen. I wanted her to stand up for herself more than she does.

The ending was unexpected. Granted, at least Karen did not stay with Jeremy, but her change of heart did not seem supported by her point of view leading up to the final decision. I wish there had been more foreshadowing as to Karen's transformation.


FEATURED BOOK
Check out this special feature from Something Down There by Nancy Widrew!
Something Down There Tour Graphic
SOMETHING DOWN THERE
Nancy Widrew
Something Down There
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: November 15, 2017)
Not all caves are uninhabited
Horror erupts when newlyweds, Karen and Jeremy, cross paths with members of a diabolical cult inside a West Virginia cave. Living below the earth’s surface has triggered mutations, rendering the cult members nearly infertile. Their leader, a wild-eyed, cunning brute, refuses to let the couple leave, believing they and their potential offspring hold the key to surviving underground. Are Karen and Jeremy doomed to spend their lives inside this sunless, subterranean wasteland, or do they escape before their minds shatter and their bodies betray them?
[Praise]
- [Name], Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now $3.99 only. Grab your copy today.

Blog Tour Schedule

Ongoing till December 2, 2017.
Get behind the scenes on Something Down There.
Visit each stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras.
To check the latest schedule, visit the Something Down There Book Page at Book Unleashed.
Something Down There Tour Graphic

Giveaway

WIN A PRINT COPY OF
SOMETHING DOWN THERE *
Something Down There Giveaway Graphic
* Available for US Residents Only
Contest runs from November 1 - December 2, 2017.
Additional Giveaway
Join the Goodreads Giveaway and win a print copy of Something Down There (US Residents only).
Contest runs from September 19 - November 15. Click here to enter.

About Nancy Widrew

Nancy Widrew
Nancy Widrew was born and raised in NYC before settling in New England with her husband. She has two grown children and two four-legged furry ones, always a source of amusement. She has had short stories published in webzines and a print anthology. This is her first novel.
Follow Nancy Widrew on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nancywidrew

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

*** SPECIAL 20% PROMOTION ***
Get a whopping 20% off the regular price of Silent Meridian, a thrilling fantasy novel by Elizabeth Crowens. Check it out now.
Silent Meridian Tour Graphic
SILENT MERIDIAN
Elizabeth Crowens
Silent Meridian
Series: The Time Traveler Professor Book 1
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Gaslight Fantasy, Alternative History
Publisher: MX Publishing
Publication Date: May 15, 2016
A 19th century "X" Files meets H.G. Wells's "Time Machine" featuring Arthur Conan Doyle and partner
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is obsessed with a legendary red book. Its peculiar stories have come to life, and rumors claim that it has rewritten its own endings. Convinced that possessing this book will help him write his ever-popular Sherlock Holmes stories, he takes on an unlikely partner, John Patrick Scott, known to most as a concert musician and paranormal investigator. Although in his humble opinion, Scott considers himself more of an ethereal archeologist and a time traveler professor.
Together they explore lost worlds and excavate realms beyond the knowledge of historians when they go back in time to find it. But everything backfires, and their friendship is tested to the limits. Both discover that karmic ties and unconscionable crimes have followed them like ghosts from the past, wreaking havoc on the present and possibly the future.
SILENT MERIDIAN reveals the alternate histories of Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and other luminaries in the secret diaries of a new kind of Doctor Watson, John Patrick Scott, in an X Files for the 19th century. Stay tuned for A Pocketful of Lodestones; book two in the Time Traveler Professor series by Elizabeth Crowens.

SPECIAL PROMOTION !!

Get 20% off your purchase of Silent Meridian! Promo valid till Christmas.
Promo Price: $13.56 (Original: $16.95)
Use coupon code: silent

Book Excerpt

Take an inside look at Silent Meridian with this thrilling excerpt!
Edinburgh, 1898
Scotland was just barely crawling its way out of the nineteenth century. I was a naïve, but ambitious student studying music at the University of Edinburgh hurrying over to meet Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who would change my life forever.
“John Patrick Scott, sir,” I said as I approached Mr. Doyle, who was already seated at a back corner table where he hoped he wouldn’t be recognized. He had picked the Deacon Brodie, the pub that inspired the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I extended my hand to greet him and removed my rain-soaked hat, while my overcoat slipped out of my hands and fell on the floor by accident. It was still hard to believe that good fortune had finally brought us together, but we were both nervous.
“The pleasure is all mine.” Doyle responded like a father to his son.
“Mr. Conan Doyle, or should I call you Doctor Doyle?” I said unsure how to address him.
Doyle scrutinized me from top to bottom as he signaled the waiter. “John, call me Arthur,” he said casually, ignoring the tension I couldn’t control.
“Sir, I’m so honored that you agreed to discuss this matter. Perhaps you can enlighten me in a way that I’ve failed to comprehend.”
I wanted to ask him about my unusual turn of events straight away but he caught me off guard and was dead set on pulling me into the swift current of an unexpected conversation.
“Can I assume you believe in the transmigration of souls?” he asked.
“Until now, I haven’t given it a lot of thought,” I said, unsure as to which direction he was leading.
“Did you ever read those books about that Swiss doctor who felt his body and soul had been taken over by a Benedictine monk? That presented a curious case. He claims that he was approached by the spirit of an elderly monk before he died, and that the monk needed to rent his body to continue his spiritual mission.”
“Rent?” I choked in disbelief.
“We truly don’t take anything with us when we pass on, do we? This monk knew that he was dying, and therefore had to replace his physical body with something more youthful and vital.”
“That’s incredible. It debunks the theory that you have to die and be reborn as an infant to carry on your spirit,” I said.
Mr. Doyle had the tinge of excitement in his voice.
“John, here’s another instance. I’ve had my suspicions about a famous musician who had an obsession about a notorious and controversial mystic. You’d surmise by his overwhelming attraction to that person that he might’ve been him in a previous lifetime, but facts were clear that he was born three years before the mystic died. My understanding is that the mystic knew he didn’t have long in his present incarnation. Therefore he made plans for some sort of partial soul transference while he was still alive to imprint his essence upon the child. That would’ve allowed him to carry on and accomplish unfinished business that couldn’t have been executed otherwise. Essentially he had the ability of being two places at once.”
“Sounds more like Spiritualism,” I replied.
“Honestly, John, I don’t think there are any steadfast rules when it comes to this matter. That’s what makes it so intriguing.”
I sensed he had a secret agenda.
Doyle reloaded his churchwarden pipe with fresh tobacco and continued, “This is not at all like anything you’ve ever read from H.G. Wells or Jules Verne. We’re poking holes in every treatise written on the subject— the idea of being able to reincarnate a part of yourself while you are still alive into another soul.”
Our conversation was quickly becoming like a speeding train ready to jump the tracks. Realizing this, Doyle slowed down the pace and took a deep breath. He carefully composed his next statement.
“Fiction it may seem to be but it’s not hocus pocus. Don’t you also find it strange that you somehow found yourself initiated into a mystical order on a commuter train bound from London to Edinburgh when the instigators kept on mistaking you for me? There are no accidents.”

About Elizabeth Crowens

Elizabeth Crowens
Elizabeth Crowens is the pen name author of SILENT MERIDIAN, an alternate history/ 19th century “X Files” alternate history novel published by MX Publishing in London. Recently she won First Prize in Chanticleer Review's Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction, is on the short list of finalists for Chanticleer’s 2016 Cygnus Awards for Speculative Fiction, Paranormal and the Ozma Award for Fantasy Fiction and received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s fiction short story contest for Emerging Writers. She has also published a variety of non-fiction articles and is currently writing a column called The Poison Apple in the World Fantasy and Alfie Award-winning publication, BlackGate.com.
Recently, she participated on panels at The World Fantasy Convention, MidAmericon II/Worldcon, Lunacon, Heliosphere, the Writer's Digest Conference, Queens Book Festival, Philcon and was also interviewed for the radio show, Hour of the Wolf. A Pocketful of Lodestones, the sequel to Silent Meridian is awaiting a publication date. Current work-in-progress is Dear Mr. Hitchcock, a psychological/domestic suspense novel/series.
A 15-year veteran of the film industry in Hollywood, she’s also an alumnus of Algonkian workshops and the Gotham Writer’s Workshop and a member of the Horror Writers Association, Historical Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America. An active Sherlockian, she’s lectured on Arthur Conan Doyle, belongs to several Sherlockian scions, and is an independent scholar on Eastern and Western mysticism and Jungian psychology. A blackbelt in martial arts, she’s lived in Japan. Currently, she lives in New York City.
Connect with Elizabeth Crowens on social media:

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Friday, November 17, 2017

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY !!
Something Down There
SOMETHING DOWN THERE
Nancy Widrew
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: November 15, 2017
Not all caves are uninhabited
Horror erupts when newlyweds, Karen and Jeremy, cross paths with members of a diabolical cult inside a West Virginia cave. Living below the earth’s surface has triggered mutations, rendering the cult members nearly infertile. Their leader, a wild-eyed, cunning brute, refuses to let the couple leave, believing they and their potential offspring hold the key to surviving underground. Are Karen and Jeremy doomed to spend their lives inside this sunless, subterranean wasteland, or do they escape before their minds shatter and their bodies betray them?
[Praise]
- [Name], Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now $3.99 only. Grab your copy today.

Book Tour Schedule

Save the Date! Follow the book tour from November 20 - December 2, 2017.
Something Down There Tour Graphic
Get behind the scenes on Something Down There.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Something Down There Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Book Excerpt

Take an inside look on Something Down There with this thrilling excerpt.
Reaching into his pants pocket, he drew out a small leather case attached to a silver chain and dangled it before her eyes.
Karen grabbed it from his hand and looked it over as if she needed to make certain it was real. “I know I took the damned keys from the car,” she said. All the same, she felt a moment of relief at having a new set in her possession. That relief, however, ended in a flash.
With a powerful leap to a ledge above, Rahm crossed his arms over his chest like a dictator about to make a pronouncement. “They won’t do you any good,” he bellowed.
Jeremy swallowed hard, raising a hand to his throat. “W-what do you mean?” he said, reaching out for something to grab onto. Finding nothing, he spread his legs wide, feet flat on the floor, trying to maintain his balance.
Rahm, aware of the significance of this moment and wanting to ensure that it remained stamped in everyone’s mind, stood tall, chin out. “While you were sleeping last night, I climbed out and drove your car off a bridge. You will not be allowed to leave.”
Karen’s hands flew to her face. She began to cry and dropped to one knee. Protectively, Jeremy rushed to her side, encircled her in his arms, and pulled her close. He glared at this insane man, his new enemy, standing above. With hate etched in the dark hollows of his cheeks and in the lines of his furrowed brow, he said, “What do you mean? Why can’t we leave? You won’t get away with this!”
Rahm, a leader of few but a leader nonetheless, addressed his flock, gathering with solemnity about the pair, now unofficial members of the tribe, even if against their will. All eyes riveted up.
“You can’t leave because we need you. That is, we need your baby—the baby you will have, sooner or later. And yes, we will get away with it. You see, the harnesses are gone, and we dismantled the machinery that lowered you down. You will never be able to find your way out. Don’t even try. It would be suicidal.”
Karen stared at her husband, her jaw dropping in disbelief, as the horror of her predicament bore down with jackhammer force into her brain. Unless she and Jeremy were guided out, they were snared, trapped, condemned, damned. Without the candles, lanterns, or torches they couldn’t see the tips of their fingers, and even with their carbide lamps they wouldn’t know the way through this puzzling maze with its unknown levels and intricate network.
Jeremy’s nails dug into his wife’s shoulders. “Dear God,” he wailed. “We’re doomed, and it’s all my fault. Forgive me, Karen. Please!”
She looked at him blankly, then blinked, her breath coming in staccato bursts, piercing her lungs like wounds from a knife. She began to run blindly, crying, “Let me die! Let me die!”

Giveaway

WIN A PRINT COPY OF
SOMETHING DOWN THERE *
Something Down There Giveaway Graphic
* Available for US Residents Only
Contest runs from November 1 - December 2, 2017.
Additional Giveaway
Join the Goodreads Giveaway and win a print copy of Something Down There (US Residents only).
Contest runs from September 19 - November 15. Click here to enter.

About Nancy Widrew

Nancy Widrew
Nancy Widrew was born and raised in NYC before settling in New England with her husband. She has two grown children and two four-legged furry ones, always a source of amusement. She has had short stories published in webzines and a print anthology. This is her first novel.
Follow Nancy Widrew on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nancywidrew

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

NEW COVER REVEAL !!
The Spitting Post
THE SPITTING POST
Jason R. Barden
Genre: Horror, Dark Fantasy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: December 8, 2017
Vincent must find the Spitting Post, but only the purple swan knows the way.
Vincent Carpenter’s life is a wreck. He has given up his dreams. He has lost his job after an economic disaster. His ten-year marriage is crumbling. Then he awakens in a maniacal land of frighteningly vivid realism with skull trees, glowing forests, ravenous beasts, and other psychologically haunting adversity.
While traveling through this demented unearthly world, he has a chance encounter with a beautiful maiden dressed in green; before he can start a conversation, she disappears into the unknown. Vincent must try to find her at a fantastical place known as the Spitting Post. But first he must overcome many macabre misfortunes and face nightmares that question his sanity. Will he reach her? What will the Spitting Post reveal? Will he suffer more disappointment and tragedy? Or will he find peace at last?

Pre-Order Links

The Spitting Post Teaser

About Jason R. Barden

Jason R. Barden
Jason R. Barden began writing poetry around the age of thirteen. At age thirty three he decided to transition into fiction writing with his first novel The Spitting Post. In addition to writing he enjoys hiking and photography. Jason lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he is currently working on a collection of his poems.
Follow Jason on Facebook at Facebook.
The Spitting Post Tour Graphic
For more information, visit The Spitting Post Book Page at Book Unleashed.

About The Wild Rose Press

The Wild Rose Press
The Wild Rose Press has been publishing electronic and print titles of fiction for more than nine years. Our titles span the sub-genre spectrum from sweet to sensually erotic romance in all lengths to mainstream and womens fiction. To check out the latest and upcoming releases and more, visit https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com.
Social media: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

PRE-ORDER ALERT !!
Check out this upcoming psychological thriller and reserve your copy today.
Releasing November 15, 2017
Something Down There Tour Graphic
SOMETHING DOWN THERE
Nancy Widrew
Something Down There
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications (November 15, 2017)
Not all caves are uninhabited
Horror erupts when newlyweds, Karen and Jeremy, cross paths with members of a diabolical cult inside a West Virginia cave. Living below the earth’s surface has triggered mutations, rendering the cult members nearly infertile. Their leader, a wild-eyed, cunning brute, refuses to let the couple leave, believing they and their potential offspring hold the key to surviving underground. Are Karen and Jeremy doomed to spend their lives inside this sunless, subterranean wasteland, or do they escape before their minds shatter and their bodies betray them?
[Praise]
- [Name], Goodreads Reviewer

PRE-ORDER Links

Pre-order this exciting psychological thriller today for $3.99 only!

Book Tour Schedule

Save the Date! Follow the book tour from November 20 - December 2, 2017.
Get behind the scenes on Something Down There.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Something Down There Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Giveaway

WIN A PRINT COPY OF
SOMETHING DOWN THERE *
Something Down There Giveaway Graphic
* Available for US Residents Only
Contest runs from November 1 - December 2, 2017.
Additional Giveaway
Join the Goodreads Giveaway and win a print copy of Something Down There (US Residents only).
Contest runs from September 19 - November 15. Click here to enter.

About Nancy Widrew

Nancy Widrew
Nancy Widrew was born and raised in NYC before settling in New England with her husband. She has two grown children and two four-legged furry ones, always a source of amusement. She has had short stories published in webzines and a print anthology. This is her first novel.
Follow Nancy Widrew on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nancywidrew

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Anthology Cover and Table of Contents Reveal!

Mrs Clausedited by Rhonda Parrish


When you think of Mrs. Claus, do you imagine a quiet North Pole homebody who finds complete fulfillment in baking cookies, petting reindeer and crafting toys alongside elves? How about a magic-wielding ice goddess, or a tough-as-nails Valkyrie? Or maybe an ancient fae of dubious intentions, or a well-meaning witch? Could Mrs. Claus be a cigar-smoking Latina, or a crash-landed alien? Within these pages Mrs. Claus is a hero, a villain, a mother, a spacefarer, a monster hunter, and more. The only thing she decidedly is not, is a sidekick.

It’s Mrs. Claus’ turn to shine and she is stepping out of Santa’s shadow and into the spotlight in these fourteen spectacular stories that make her the star! Featuring original short stories by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, C.B. Calsing, DJ Tyrer, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Kristen Lee, Randi Perrin, Michael Leonberger, Andrew Wilson, Ross Van Dusen, MLD Curelas, Maren Matthias, Anne Luebke, Jeff Kuykendall, and Hayley Stone.

Table of Contents:

“Wight Christmas” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
“The Asylum Musicale” by C.B. Calsing
“Desperately Seeking Santa” by DJ Tyrer
“Christmas Magic” by Jennifer Lee Rossman
“Good Morning” by Kristen Lee
“Moves Like Jagger” by Randi Perrin
“Miss ‘Lil Toe Head” by Michael Leonberger
“Unexpected Guests” by Andrew Wilson
“The True Story of Christina and Kristopher Kringle” by Ross Van Dusen
“Shouldering the Burden” by MLD Curelas
“You’d Better Watch Out” by Maren Matthias
“Captain Lizzy and the Stranger in the Fog” by Anne Luebke
“Agatha Sings to the Scorpions” by Jeff Kuykendall
“Red to Hide the Blood” by Hayley Stone

ANTHOLOGIST BIO

Rhonda Parrish is driven by the desire to do All The Things. She was the founder and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine, is an Assistant Editor at World Weaver Press, and is the editor of several anthologies including, most recently, Sirens and D is for Dinosaur. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012 & 2015), and Mythic Delirium. Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com.

FIND IT ONLINE

Official page:
http://www.worldweaverpress.com/store/p141/Mrs._Claus.html

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36269396-mrs-claus

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075NRZK8X

Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mrs-claus-rhonda-parrish/1127107534

Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/mrs-claus-not-the-fairy-tale-they-say

iBookstore:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1285590090


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Anthology Just in Time for Christmas

A short horror story I wrote,"The Asylum Musicale," will appear in an upcoming anthology.

The inspiration and source material was an article in the publication produced by the patients at the Uttica State Hospital in the 1850s. I love finding slightly innocuous things like that which can be spun into the creepy, the off-putting.

I'll be posting the table of contents and the cover art as it is made official by the editor and the publisher. I do hope my readers can budget a few dollars around the holidays for this, as it is my first acceptance in a very, very long time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review of "Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter"

After reading my review, make sure you scroll down to the contest entry!

In Tim Symonds's Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter, we are treated to a mystery wherein the great detective is asked to look into the past of the up-and-coming physicist, Albert Einstein.

This is a book for nerds, both for Einstein nerds and Sherlock Holmes nerds. It is chock-full of inside references and history. Those already savvy in the lives of the historic and fictional characters involved will really get them, while others might feel a little lost. I am both an Einstein and a Holmes nerd, so I appreciated most of these references and allusions.

This book is extensively well researched, as the end notes and acknowledgements show. The tone and characters fit right along with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's canon, as well as those who have come between him and Tim Symonds. The author also gives us a deeper grounding into Watson's point of view than Doyle would have, which probably appeals more to modern audiences. There are many lush geographical details and a nice touch of the macabre to boot.

A couple of things sort of irked me about this story. The first is that the title case is not presented until about a third of the way through the story. That seemed a little late in coming. The other issue for me was the sheer number of times other cases were mentioned by their story title. To me that became a little distracting, even if it is a hallmark of the genre.

This was a very satisfying summer read for this nerd, and I look forward to more adventures with Holmes and Watson from Mr. Symonds.
Another adventure brings Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson face to face with Albert Einstein
Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE
MYSTERY OF EINSTEIN'S DAUGHTER
Tim Symonds
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: MX Publishing
Publication Date: January 13, 2014
The Dean of a Swiss university persuades Sherlock Holmes to investigate the background of a would-be lecturer. To Dr. Watson it seems a very humdrum commission - but who is the mysterious 'Lieserl'? How does her existence threaten the ambitions of the technical assistant level III in Room 86 at the Federal Patents Office in Berne by the name of Albert Einstein? The assignment plunges Holmes and Watson into unfathomable Serbia to solve one of the intractable mysteries of the 20th Century.
In Tim Symonds' previous detective novels, Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer At Scotney Castle and Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Bulgarian Codex the author based pivotal historic facts and a principal character on real life. So too in this new mystery.
“Einstein’s Daughter by Tim Symonds takes the reader back to the early years of the 20th Century. It is an enjoyable romp for both Sherlock Holmes fans and for history buffs. The story is based on a true fact of Albert Einstein’s life and it is interwoven with Sherlockian grace. There are many Holmes pastiches, but Symonds manages to find the true voice of Conan Doyle.”
- Yvonne Beltzer

About Tim Symonds

Tim Symonds was born in London, England, and grew up in Somerset, Dorset and the Channel Island of Guernsey, off the coast of Normandy. After spending his late teens farming in the Kenya Highlands and driving bulldozers along the Zambezi River, he moved to California and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with an honours degree in Politics.
He lives in the ancient woodland known as the High Weald of Sussex, where the events recounted in Sherlock Holmes and The Dead Boer at Scotney Castle took place. His second novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bulgarian Codex (MX Publishing 2012), took Holmes and Watson into the very depths of the Balkans in 1900. Holmes and Watson were back in the region – Serbia - in Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter (MX Publishing 2014), and not long afterwards in ‘Stamboul’ investigating a plot against the despotic Sultan, in Sherlock Holmes And The Sword of Osman (MX Publishing 2015).
Visit Tim Symonds's official website:
http://tim-symonds.co.uk/

Purchase Links

Available now for $5.99 only. Grab your copy today.

Book Tour Schedule

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter Tour Graphic
Follow the book tour from July 5 - 18, 2017.
Check out excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more features on the book.
For the latest tour schedule, visit the Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Giveaway

WIN $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD
Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from July 5 - 18, 2017.

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Another adventure brings Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson face to face with Albert Einstein
Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE
MYSTERY OF EINSTEIN'S DAUGHTER
Tim Symonds
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: MX Publishing
Publication Date: January 13, 2014
The Dean of a Swiss university persuades Sherlock Holmes to investigate the background of a would-be lecturer. To Dr. Watson it seems a very humdrum commission - but who is the mysterious 'Lieserl'? How does her existence threaten the ambitions of the technical assistant level III in Room 86 at the Federal Patents Office in Berne by the name of Albert Einstein? The assignment plunges Holmes and Watson into unfathomable Serbia to solve one of the intractable mysteries of the 20th Century.
In Tim Symonds' previous detective novels, Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer At Scotney Castle and Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Bulgarian Codex the author based pivotal historic facts and a principal character on real life. So too in this new mystery.
“Einstein’s Daughter by Tim Symonds takes the reader back to the early years of the 20th Century. It is an enjoyable romp for both Sherlock Holmes fans and for history buffs. The story is based on a true fact of Albert Einstein’s life and it is interwoven with Sherlockian grace. There are many Holmes pastiches, but Symonds manages to find the true voice of Conan Doyle.”
- Yvonne Beltzer

About Tim Symonds

Tim Symonds was born in London, England, and grew up in Somerset, Dorset and the Channel Island of Guernsey, off the coast of Normandy. After spending his late teens farming in the Kenya Highlands and driving bulldozers along the Zambezi River, he moved to California and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with an honours degree in Politics.
He lives in the ancient woodland known as the High Weald of Sussex, where the events recounted in Sherlock Holmes and The Dead Boer at Scotney Castle took place. His second novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bulgarian Codex (MX Publishing 2012), took Holmes and Watson into the very depths of the Balkans in 1900. Holmes and Watson were back in the region – Serbia - in Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter (MX Publishing 2014), and not long afterwards in ‘Stamboul’ investigating a plot against the despotic Sultan, in Sherlock Holmes And The Sword of Osman (MX Publishing 2015).
Visit Tim Symonds's official website:
http://tim-symonds.co.uk/

Purchase Links

Available now for $5.99 only. Grab your copy today.

Book Tour Schedule

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter Tour Graphic
Follow the book tour from July 5 - 18, 2017.
Check out excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more features on the book.
For the latest tour schedule, visit the Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Giveaway

WIN $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD
Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from July 5 - 18, 2017.

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review of Refuge for Masterminds

First, my review

Look later in the post for the full synopsis of the story.

As a teacher of middle-school students, I’m always looking for books I can enthusiastically recommend to my students. Particularly, I keep an eye out for books with positive female role models, characters who are quirky and confident and gifted. Kathleen Baldwin’s Refuge for Masterminds gives me not just one girl for my students to look up to, but several. In addition, Emma Stranje, the headmistress of the school for unusual girls, is a teacher who is brilliant and mysterious. Who doesn’t love that?

This is the third book in the series, and I read it without reading the first two. I was not lost at all and felt as comfortable in Ms. Baldwin’s world as if I had all the background the other two books provided. And her world is a vibrant place of gowns and balls and pet wolves. She must have done a good bit of research, since I did not get pulled out of the reading by any anachronisms.

I loved the relationship among the girls and their teacher, all of whom have unique strengths and characteristics. They function well within the confines of their society while still showing how they can be independent and influential. Following Jane through this story was a delight. The conflict is centrally focused on her, and she works throughout it with creativity, humor, and poise.

The romance subplot was sweet and entirely age appropriate. Alexander and Jane have a fun time playing off each other, and it’s entertaining for the readers to witness the growth of their intellectual and romantic relationship. I would have no qualms recommending this to my teenage readers.

I look forward to reading the other novels in this series, and commend Ms. Baldwin for giving me a book I will definitely get my students to read in the future.

Here are some favorite quotes from the author!

Alexander pulls several twigs out of my tangled hair. “There’s another possibility. The way I saw it, that fellow had a pistol tucked inside that great big coat of his. If there hadn’t been two of us, I figure he would’ve pulled it out and blown your pretty little brains out all over the forest floor.”

He has a point, but I refuse to credit it. “Don’t be ridiculous.” I cough up something that must’ve flown in my mouth during the tumble. “My brains aren’t little.”

* * *

His lips curve up into a wry half smile. I wait for the stinging barb he is sure to fling at me, but Alexander does not parry with a sharp-witted reply. Instead, he lets my teasing words drift on the night breeze, floating along with us like the last savory notes of a violin sonata.

* * *

There is a magnificent ferociousness about our headmistress. I’d wager a considerable sum she could stop a person’s heart from beating simply by applying that cold hard glare of hers. If she can’t make a heart stop altogether, she is certainly able to make it a skip a few beats.

I want to be just like her someday.

* * *

Maya rests her hand on my shoulder. “You must trust that wisdom will come when you need it. You were made for a time such as this.”

* * *

There is a language every sister knows, a language tender beyond words and rarely spoken. It runs like a string between two hearts, and we only pluck that string in times of trouble.

* * *

Alexander is wearing a new set of clothes, his shirt is clean and neatly pressed, the cravat articulately tied rather than hanging in a haphazard loop, and even his hair is freshly combed.

He . . . he looks . . . like a gentleman.

I find this unsettling in the extreme. He ought to look like our rough, unpolished Mr. Sinclair. Not this pattern-card Adonis. I have a nearly irresistible urge to go and mess him up, to rumple his shirt, to tousle his hair, and to muddle up his cravat.

From Award Winning Author
Kathleen Baldwin
The stakes in this game of spies are life and death.
Book Cover
REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS
Kathleen Baldwin
Series: Stranje House, Book 3
Genre: Young Adult, Teen Alternative Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Lady Jane Moore has a secret. A secret that must be kept buried. If anyone discovered the truth, her life at Stranje House would crumble. And with Napoleon Bonaparte threatening to invade England, everyone at Stranje House is already in mortal danger.
There’s a traitor in the house. Someone is sneaking information to Napoleon’s spies, Lady Daneska and Ghost. Jane is determined to find out who it is before suspicions rip apart the bonds of friendship at Stranje House. Her desperate hunt for the traitor ensnares a brash young American inventor, Alexander Sinclair, Robert Fulton’s nephew, into an ambush that puts his life in danger. Sinclair is the most maddening young man in all of Christendom, a sharp-tongued rascal with boorish manners, but Lady Jane cannot bear the thought of the golden-haired genius being harmed.
Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save Alexander, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?
Fans of Gail Carriger, Patricia Wrede, and Caroline Stevermer will love this Regency-era alternate history filled with spunky heroines, handsome young lords, and dastardly villains.
"Baldwin has a winning series here: her characters are intriguing and fully rendered."
- Stacey Comfort, Booklist
"Refuge for Masterminds moves at a fast pace from the first page and doesn’t stop. Although it is written with a young adult audience in mind, it is a fun and enjoyable novel and will also appeal to adult readers."
- Francesca Pelaccia, Historical Novel Society

Purchase Links

Other Books by the Author

Don't miss the first two books in the Stranje House series:
Book Cover
A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS
Series: Stranje House, Book 1
Napoleon is exiled, Europe is in shambles and Britain is at war on four fronts. Daughters of the Beau Monde who don’t fit high society’s strict mold are banished to Stranje House, where headmistress, Emma Stranje, entangles these unusual girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.
"A completely original--and totally engrossing--world, full of smart girls, handsome boys and sinister mysteries...Sign me up."
- Meg Cabot, NYT Bestselling Author of The Princess Diaries on A School for Unusual Girls
Book Cover
EXILE FOR DREAMERS
Series: Stranje House, Book 2
Tess Aubreyson can't run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. But with Napoleon threatening to invade England, Tess’s disturbing dreams may be the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her friends at Stranje House.
"This spy school for girls . . . is impossible to put down! . . . I recommend this book to anyone that loves brave girls, adventure and great friendships."
- 5 Girls Book Reviews

Giveaway

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$10 Gift Card + hardback copy of Refuge for Masterminds
Contest runs from May 15 - June 3, 2017.

About Kathleen Baldwin

Author Pic
Kathleen Baldwin loves adventure in books and in real life. She taught rock climbing in the Rockies, survival camped in the desert, was stalked by a mountain lion, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, spent way too long in college, fell in love and married her very own hero.
A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS, the first book in the alternate history series for teens, was awarded Spirit of Texas in 2016, is a Junior Library Guild selection, and Kansas NEA Reading Circle gave it a starred review in their 2016 “Best of the Best” for High Schools. Ian Bryce, producer of Spiderman, Saving Private Ryan, and other notable films optioned the series for film.
REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS, Book 3 in the Stranje House series, releases May 23rd.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure, "completely original and totally engrossing."
Official website: http://kathleenbaldwin.com/
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