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Review of The True and Splendid History of The Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric


About The True and Splendid History of The Harristown Sisters

It is the age of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, when Europe burns with a passion for long-flowing locks. And when seven sisters, born into fatherless poverty in Ireland, grow up with hair cascading down their backs, to their ankles, and beyond, men are not slow to recognise their potential.

It begins with a singing and dancing septet, with Irish jigs kicked out in dusty church halls. But it is not the sisters’ singing or their dancing that fills the seats: it is the torrents of hair they let loose at the end of each show. And their hair will take dark-hearted Darcy, bickering twins Berenice and Enda, plain Pertilly, gentle Oona, wild Ida and fearful, flame-haired Manticory – the inimitable narrator of their on-and-off stage adventures – out of poverty, through the dance halls of Ireland, to the salons of Dublin and the palazzi of Venice. It will bring some of them love and each of them loss. For their past trails behind the sisters like the tresses on their heads, and their fame and fortune will come at a terrible price…

My Review

Lovric possesses a wonderful gift of language. Her prose is stunning. She also has a talent for witty banter as we soon discover with the sisters insistent bickering. Loosely based on the Seven Sutherland Sisters nonfictional story, we find Lovric’s version highly entertaining with a sharp gothic edge. Very clever, dark, humorous and touches of romance all blending nicely to create a fascinating character driven plot. The sisters are constantly at war, enjoyable at first but after a length it quickly turns to annoying, however, you understand their severe squabbling as the ending approaches, making it all fall neatly into place. Despite the fiction between the sisters, they are entangled together dependent on each other for fame and fortune, success avail as only a team. Darcy the brutal domineering, money-grubbing leader bullies the clan while allowing for outsiders to promote and take advantage of the sisters, eventually the consequences catch up and its dues ensue. Parts are outlandish leaning towards a dark fair tale feel, although the hair premise keeps you focused as well as the very individual sisters with their trials and tribulations. Well crafted somewhat enthralling read. Lovric’s writing is outstanding, making the reading adventure worthwhile. Memorable tale.

About Michelle Lovric15540

Michelle Lovric is a novelist, writer and anthologist.

Her third novel, The Remedy, was long-listed for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction. The Remedy is a literary murder-mystery set against the background of the quack medicine industry in the eighteenth century.

Her first novel, Carnevale, is the story of the painter Cecilia Cornaro, described by The Times as the possessor of ‘the most covetable life’ in fiction in 2001.

In Lovric’s second novel, The Floating Book, a chorus of characters relates the perilous beginning of the print industry in Venice. The book explores the translation of raw emotion into saleable merchandise from the points of view of poets, editors, publishers – and their lovers. The Floating Book, a London Arts award winner, was also selected as a WH Smith ‘Read of the Week’.

Her first novel for young adult readers, The Undrowned Child, is published by Orion. The sequel is due in summer 2010.

Her fourth adult novel, The Book of Human Skin, is published by Bloomsbury in Spring 2010.

Lovric reviews for publications including The Times and writes travel articles about Venice. She has featured in several BBC radio documentaries about Venice.

She combines her fiction work with editing, designing and producing literary anthologies including her own translations of Latin and Italian poetry. Her book Love Letters was a New York Times best-seller.

Lovric divides her time between London and Venice. She holds a workshop in her home in London with published writers of poetry and prose, fiction and memoir.

Published June 5th 2014 by Bloomsbury UK (first published 2014)


Scent of the Soul by Julie Doherty w/ Giveaway

01_Scent of the Soul_Cover

Publication Date: February 11, 2015
Soul Mate Publishing
eBook; 288p

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A brisk read offering history, plenty of adventure with enough suspense to enthrall the reader, a sweet romance plucking at your heart strings.

The two main characters are intriguing, Breagha with her olfactory gift along with her faithful canines stir interest from the start. Somerled, all warrior but a softness surrounds his heart. Their draw to each other is unmistakable, you cross your fingers and hope for the best for the twosome soul mates. Loads of action surrounds these two, never dull with activity abundant.

Doherty captures the surroundings, historical points, as well as cleverly inserting paranormal interest along with tangled romance blending into a page turner.

Quick read piquing your curiosity as to the final outcome of the magical potential union of Breagha and Somerled. Will these two soul mates join? Discover for yourself.

In twelfth century Scotland, it took a half-Gael with a Viking name to restore the clans to their rightful lands. Once an exile, Somerled the Mighty now dominates the west. He’s making alliances, expanding his territory, and proposing marriage to the Manx princess.

It’s a bad time to fall for Breagha, a torc-wearing slave with a supernatural sense of smell.

Somerled resists the intense attraction to a woman who offers no political gain, and he won’t have a mistress making demands on him while he’s negotiating a marriage his people need. Besides, Breagha belongs to a rival king, one whose fresh alliance Somerled can’t afford to lose.

It’s when Breagha vanishes that Somerled realizes just how much he needs her. He abandons his marriage plans to search for her, unprepared for the evil lurking in the shadowy recesses of Ireland—a lustful demon who will stop at nothing to keep Breagha for himself.

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About the AuthorJulie_007

Something magical happened in the musty basement of Julie Doherty’s local courthouse. She went there intending to research her ancestry, not lose herself in a wealth of stories, but the ghosts of yesteryear drew her into the past and would not let her go. The trail left by her ancestors in those yellowing documents led her from rural Pennsylvania to the Celtic countries, where her love of all things Irish/Scottish blossomed into outright passion.

She became particularly interested in Somerled, self-styled “King of Argyll” and progenitor of the Lords of the Isles. In 1164, he led a fleet of 164 galleys up the River Clyde in an all-or-nothing attempt to overthrow the Scottish crown. What would lead a man of his advanced years to do such a thing?

Of course, history records he did so because the king demanded forfeiture of his lands. But the writer in Julie wondered …what if he did it for the love of a woman?

Those early thoughts led to SCENT OF THE SOUL, Julie’s first novel, available now on Amazon.

Readers will notice a common theme throughout Julie’s books: star-crossed lovers. This is something she knows a bit about, since during one of her trips to Ireland, she fell in love with an Irishman. The ensuing immigration battle took four long years to win. With only fleeting visits, Skype chats, and emails to sustain her love, Julie poured her heartache into her writing, where it nourished the emotional depth of her characters.

Julie is a member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, Central PA Romance Writers, The Longship Company, Perry County Council of the Arts, and Clan Donald USA. When not writing, she enjoys antiquing, shooting longbow, traveling, and cooking over an open fire at her cabin. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, who sounds a lot like her characters.

For more information please visit Julie Doherty’s Website and Blog. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Scent of the Soul Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 23
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Spotlight at Literary Chanteuse

Tuesday, March 24
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Excerpt & Giveaway at Sexy Siren Book Blog
Spotlight at I Heart Reading

Wednesday, March 25
Spotlight at Genre Queen

Thursday, March 26
Interview at Mythical Books
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, March 27
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Monday, March 39
Spotlight & Giveaway at Cheryl’s Book Book

Thursday, April 2
Spotlight & Giveaway at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Sunday, April 5
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, April 6
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, April 8
Review at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Sizzling Hot Books
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Thursday, April 9
Spotlight at Deal Sharing Aunt

Friday, April 10
Spotlight at Romance Book Junkies

Wednesday, April 15
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, April 16
Review at Dreams Come True Through Reading

Friday, April 17
Review at The True Book Addict
Spotlight & Giveaway at Boom Baby Reviews

To enter to win a digital copy of The Scent of the Soul please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 3/31/15

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BOOK TOUR: Tower of Tears by Rhoda D’Ettore w/ Giveaway

02_Tower of TearsPublication Date: May 25, 2014

CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio Book

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Betrayal. Despair. Murder. Mystery. Romance. Blackmail. “If God be good, Mr. Landon will burn in the eternal flames of hell. If God be bad, he will suffer much worse.” In 1820, a young woman and her son leave Ireland for a better life in America. She soon suffers heartache and tragedy, while residing with family whom she has never met. Unbeknownst to her, the family had already set her up with employment in a factory–a factory run by a lecherous man. This is the first book in a series that will follow the McClusky family while they become Americanized while face with the Potato Famine, the US Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution.

My Thoughts
Historical references, religious references, the disparity between Ireland and America well presented with accuracy and plausibility. The 1800’s Irish immigrant plight is brought to the forefront in an affecting manner. The characters and varying trials are emotional evoking plenty of empathy.

D’Ettore creates a family saga full of despair, incredible hardship, plenty of tragedy, not to mention betrayal, murder and rape.

The female protagonists are pillars of strength, all victims and yet survivors of the condition of the time. I was impressed with the many surprise twists D’Ettore cleverly weaved throughout the narrative. The characters were full of surprises as well. Somewhat predictable, twists adding a multilevel feel, very complimentary.

Entertaining, heartbreaking story sure to capture your attention and heartstrings. Looking forward to D’Ettore’s next installment. I always enjoy a well crafted historical fiction involving Irish immigrants, their strength and determination always inspires.

Recommendation: 3/5


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National Military Family AssociationNMFA_LOGO_TAG

$1 per sale will be donated, regardless of what format is purchased—ebook, print, audiobook & regardless of site purchased—will be donated to the National Military Family Association. This organization helps families reconnect when the parents return from deployments, as well as helping families with other transitions and keeping the children active while the parents are deployed.

About the Author03_Rhoda D'Ettore

Rhoda D’Ettore was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, into a family of 5 siblings–which has provided her with plenty of comical material. She began working at the United States Postal Service at 25 years old, and over the past 15 years has accumulated many humorous stories about situations that the public never gets to know about. Her first ebook, “Goin’ Postal: True Stories of a U.S. Postal Worker” was so popular that readers requested it in paperback. Recently, she published the humorous “Goin’ Postal” in paperback along with another story entitled, “The Creek: Where Stories of the Past Come Alive”. Combining these two into one book may seem strange, as one is humorous and the other is a heart wrenching historical fiction, however, doing so proves to the reader Rhoda D’Ettore’s versatility.

Rhoda D’Ettore received her degree in Human & Social Services while working at USPS, has travelled extensively, and loves history. Over the years she has volunteered for several community service organizations, including fostering abused and neglected dogs for a Dalmatian rescue.

For more information please visit Rhoda’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tower of Tears Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25

Spotlight & Giveaway at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, August 26

Spotlight & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, August 27

Guest Post at Mythical Books

Friday, August 29

Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Monday, September 1

Guest Post at Book Babe

Thursday, September 4

Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, September 8

Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, September 9

Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Thursday, September 11

Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, September 12

Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, September 15

Review at WV Stitcher

Tuesday, September 16

Review & Giveaway at Beth’s Book Reviews

Friday, September 19

Review at Unshelfish

Review & Giveaway at Brooke Blogs

I have (my personal copy) 1 copy of Tower of Tears up for grabs! To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address. Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends 9/26. Winner will be chosen 9/27 and notified via email. Winner has 72 hours to respond or new winner is chosen. Please ONE entry per person.
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The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor


Recommendation: 3/5

Inspired by true events surrounding a group of Irish emigrants who sailed on the maiden voyage of R.M.S Titanic.

Gaynor undoubtedly gallant and audacious taking on profound subject matter of the Titanic for her debut novel. She did a wonderful job and her graciousness apparent throughout the novel.

I was very fond of the story. I enjoyed her pictorial writing and her extensive research. She excelled in the depiction of the characters. The anguish was clearly felt of the family and friends left behind as they attempt to decipher the fate of their loved ones aboard the perished vessel. The thought of having to check a list of the lives lost, seeing if your beloved’s name is listed is pure torture. As the ship is making its slow decent into the icy inky ocean depths the scene is horrifying. The reader is able to sense the terror, panic and agony of the passengers and crew, their waves of fear halting.

The twists added to the emotional spell of narrative and of Maggie. Having Maggie find peace softened the story, minimizing the punctuation of its somberness slightly. Story was well done, wonderful first effort by Gaynor.

Grace Butler could have been erased and her absence would not have impacted the integrity or depth of the narrative. She really didn’t add or take away from the story, her presence was neutral.

A story with a message of love, survival, loss and pain, most of all discovering peace.