Ebook Review: The Fifth Crusade

fifth_crusadeThe Fifth Crusade (The Crusades Book 2) by Mark Butler

The year is 1215 in medieval Europe. Pope Innocent III is waging two Crusades simultaneously. The smaller Albigensian Crusade is a vicious war on the Cathars, an extremist sect of separatists in Southern France. The Fifth Crusade is also raging, emptying Europe’s fighting men into the Middle East and Northern Africa and slaughtering thousands. The peoples of Europe are exhausted and skeptical of the Church, which has thrust civilization back into madness.

Out of the North, a warrior emerges. He is Amir Stonefist, a master blacksmith and descendant of Vikings. Word of the Crusades has reached his homeland and he sets out into Europe with a wanderer’s heart. He wants only to avoid the wars of foreign religions, but he is tempted by the fire of combat and riches of warfare at every turn.

What follows is the fascinating tale of the Fifth Crusade, a long-forgotten war brought to life through the authorship of Mark Butler.

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Ebook Review: The Art of Love

the_art_of_love_coverThe Art of Love: Origins of Sinners Grove by A.B. Michaels

How Much Would You Sacrifice for Love?

With nothing but a strong back and a barrel full of ambition, August Wolff finds wealth beyond measure in the frozen goldfields of the Klondike. Success, however, comes at an unbearably high price. Now Gus walks alone, and all the money in the world can’t buy him what he needs.

In the late 1800’s, when women are most often seen and not heard, Amelia Starling longs for a life limited only by her imagination. Blessed with abundant artistic talent and an even bigger heart, Lia moves to the bustling city of San Francisco, hoping to make her mark and living with the pain of a sacrifice no woman should ever have to make.

Two wounded yet defiant individuals meet at the dawn of a new century, discovering a passion eclipsing all they’d ever known. Longing to build a life together, can they overcome the dictates of a cruel and judgmental society?

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Ebook Review: The First Sunday

First_Sunday_coverThe First Sunday by R.J. Berry

Rose always knew what she wanted. But the Lord had other plans for her. In this engaging story, author R.J. Berry is inspired by certain events in her grandmother’s life and loosely chronicles her life in the late twenties and early thirties. The story begins with Sunday Rose Tyler’s birth and childhood in Kittman, Texas, a small community comprised mostly of African Americans, including the Tylers. In this community, Rose has big dreams that she is determined to fulfill—she aims to be a singer. At the age of seventeen, she leaves Kittman for the big city life in Dallas, convinced she will achieve her dream there despite the reality checks her older brother and best friend, Jimmie Lee, tries to give her. When Rose arrives, her life begins to take a new turn. She meets Mama Mae, a loving African American woman who takes her in to her poor home. Mama Mae helps her find a job cleaning a house. And then Rose meets JJ, whom she falls in love with. Soon Rose realizes she has found the same happiness with this life as she would have with a singing career, and she settles into married life with JJ. But Rose remains headstrong and stubborn, causing a big problem when she becomes pregnant. Her decision against her husband’s wishes could lead to the greatest tragedy in her life. She could lose it all.God has a plan for Rose. Discover where God’s path leads Rose in The First Sunday. Continue reading

Ebook Review: Seeing Colette

Seeing_Colette_coverSeeing Colette by Yon Walls

After a fatal epidemic, a young Colette Stonethrower flees her village to a life as an orphanage guardian, until another tragedy changes everything. As she leaves again on faith, migrating far from the place of her birth, she meets a talented, idealistic stranger and makes a friend from a foreign land who becomes her trusted confidant. 

While her new life reveals her purpose—fighting for the working poor and the destitute, exposing corruption and advocating for the arts—Colette encounters the merciless genesis of urban industrialization that marks the American era of mass consumption and machination. She also witnesses the beginnings of an artistic renaissance, forbidden love, the outbreak of World War I, and encounters the blossoming of a love like no other. 

Yet, despite her struggles and some good fortune, Colette also inherits something that will endure the generations. Set at the beginning of the last century—written lyrically in prose, sometimes like a delicate poem or an impressionist narrative, with surprising characters that enter and exit as in a dream—Seeing Colette is a novella to sense and savor. Continue reading

Book Review: Eromenos

Eromenos by Melanie McDonald

“Eros and Thanatos converge in the story of a glorious youth, an untimely death, and an imperial love affair that gives rise to the last pagan god of antiquity.

In this coming-of-age novel set in the second century AD, Antinous of Bithynia, a Greek youth from Asia Minor, recounts his seven-year affair with Hadrian, fourteenth emperor of Rome. In a partnership more intimate than Hadrian’s sanctioned political marriage to Abina, Antinous captivates the most powerful ruler on earth both in life and after death.” Continue reading