Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Wedding Wager by Jane Feather

Welcome to the blog tour of Jane Feather's A Wedding Wager.
A Wedding Wager
A Wedding Wager by Jane Feather

Lady Serena Carmichael has fallen on tough times.  Her mother's fatal choice of a spouse tied Serena to General George Hayward. In the years after her mother's death, Serena has been under her stepfather's control and has worked as a faro dealer in his numerous gaming hells.  Her beauty has drawn many wealthy young men to his gambling tables.  While in her own way Serena has tried to offset the damage her stepfather has done to the fortunes of young innocents, she has suffered her own loss.  At her stepfather's command, Serena broke things off with her first love, the Honorable Sebastian Sullivan.
Years later, when Serena and Sebastian meet in London, the two find that they have a chance at happiness.  But Serena's escape will require careful planning and courage - will the two young lovers be able to buy their happiness? Or will the cost be too great?

A Wedding Wager gives us a strong, determined and likable heroine in Lady Serena Carmichael.  While her accommodations to her stepfather's unreasonable demands had me quite angry and frustrated, Jane Feather shows that Serena's failure to fight back comes from her desire to subvert her stepfather's plans.  While the love story between Serena and Sebastian progresses, Jane Feather supplements the plot with the budding romance of Abigail and Jonas.  Light, romantic and satisfying, A Wedding Wager is a fun escape!

ISBN-10: 1439145253 - Mass Market Paperback $7.99
Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (June 21, 2011), 464 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Born in Cairo, Egypt, and raised in the south of England, Jane Feather began her writing career when she moved to Washington D.C., with her family in 1981.  As well as being the author of the Blackwater Brides series, she also wrote the New York Times bestselling Wicked series: A Wicked Gentleman, To Wed a Wicked Prince, and A Husband's Wicked Ways.  Recently, she ventured out of romance with her Elizabethan-set historical novel, All the Queen's Players, and her romantic novella appeared in the collection Snowy Night with a Stranger.  In all, she has written nearly 50 bestselling novels and there are more than 10 million copies of her books in print.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Honored Dead by Joseph Braude

Welcome to the blog tour for Joseph Braude's The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World.  

The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World
There are many ways to describe The Honored Dead

On the one hand, The Honored Dead is a gripping murder mystery of sorts.  A Jewish American investigator and his companion conduct a secret investigation into the death of a homeless Arab Bedouin man in the middle of Casablanca.  Joseph is brought into the investigation by his police contacts, but when his interaction with the victim's closest friend leads him to dig beyond the results of the official investigation.  The investigation take Joseph to deeply held secrets, outlying provinces, wealthy Jewish enclaves, and the high echelons of power.

 The Honored Dead is also nonfiction that takes us to the Arab world and provides us with the background, analysis, and a framework to better understand the region, its complex politics, and rich and many cultures - as we join Braude in his dangerous and clandestine murder investigation.   Braude is the ideal writer/narrator for this adventure.  He's an American writer/Middle Eastern specialist who had unprecedented access to investigations conducted by the security and police forces in Morocco when he traveled as a respected observer and an "embedded" investigator of the police system in Iraq.   Braude  was also uniquely positioned to analyze what he was seeing and learning through his training and professional background.  He studied Near Eastern languages at Yale, Arabic and Middle Eastern History at Princeton, worked as a consultant with the FBI.   But Braude also holds cultural and personal ties to the region - raised by a Jewis Iraqi mother, he has lived, studied, and worked in most Middle Eastern capitals.  But this second description doesn't do justice to the book - you might think that the book is packed with facts and discount the power of its story.

This is how Braude described his book on his blog, Bridge:
It’s about a murder in the Arab world.  It’s about the Arab detectives who cracked the case.  It’s about why the murder happened, and why the police tried to cover it up.  And it’s about the culture and politics of North Africa and the Middle East that formed the backdrop to the killing.

But at the heart of the book is the story of a man who lost his best friend and couldn’t go on with his life until he learned the reasons why.
The book is even more than the three descriptions above.  And it's certainly a fascinating read.  If you enjoy narrative nonfiction and want to learn more about the Arab world or if you love a good murder mystery and detective novel, or if you are just looking for an engrossing and satisfying read, I highly recommend Joseph Braude's The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World.

ISBN-10: 0385527039 - Hardcover $26.00 
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (June 14, 2011), 336  pages.
Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours and the publisher.

About the Author:
Born to an Iraqi-Jewish family in Providence, Rhode Island, Joseph Braude studied Near Eastern Languages at Yale and Arabic and Islamic history at Princeton. He is fluent in Arabic, Persian, and Hebrew, and has lived, studied, and worked in most Middle Eastern capitals.  His writing has appeared in The New Republic, The Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, Playboy, Glamour, and Best Life.  Since July 2010, his weekly commentary in Arabic, “Letter from New York” (“Risalat New York”) has aired nationally in Morocco on Radio MED. He is also the author of The New Iraq (Basic Books, 2003). In his spare time, Braude plays jazz piano and enjoys running and yoga.  Learn more about Braude on his website at

Spiegel & Grau have generously sponsored a giveaway of The Honored Dead. If you'd like to win your own copy, enter the contest below. : )


To enter,  ask the author Joseph Braude a question below OR comment on why you'd love to read this book.

1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.

The contest is limited to US only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on July 8, 2011.

Want to learn more about The Honored Dead or increase your chances of winning a copy? Drop by the other Tour Sites

Monday, June 6th:  Man of La Book
Wednesday, June 8th:  Rundpinne
Thursday, June 9th:  Reading, Reading & Life
Monday, June 13th:  Life is a Patchwork Quilt
Wednesday, June 15th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, June 20th:  Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, June 22nd:  Starting Fresh
Thursday, June 30th:  Wordsmithonia
Tuesday, July 5th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts
Thursday, July 7th:  Silver’s Reviews
Monday, July 11th:  Tedious and Brief

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strong at the Break: A Caitlin Strong Novel by Jon Land

Today's the release date of the 3rd in Jon Land's Caitlin Strong series!

Strong at the Break: A Caitlin Strong Novel
Strong at the Break: A Caitlin Strong Novel by Jon Land

Caitlin Strong is a 5th generation Texas Ranger and the granddaughter of Earl Strong, a Texas legend.  While a woman Texas Ranger is rare and unorthodox, Caitlin's  sense of justice, amazing skill with a gun, and her unwillingness to be deterred make clear that she's a Texas Ranger - and one of the best there is.  To those familiar with her family, her skill and courage are not a surprise.  With each generation, the Strongs developed a reputation of excellence and fearlessness among lawmen and gunmen alike. 

In this third and action-packed thriller, Jon Land shares more details of the Strong family history.   Strong at the Break opens on a rare afternoon that Jim Strong and his 13-year old daughter have set aside for fishing.   But a stakeout precedes the fishing and Caitlin has spent enough time with her grandfather Earl Strong to know that the stakeout will have to come first.  It's at a religious retreat led by a fringe preacher Arno who is surrounded by bodyguards.  When Arno emerges with his young son and bodyguards, Jim instructs Caitlin to stay safe in the car and walks over to confront Arno alone.  

Years later, Caitlin faces Arno's son Malcolm  as he leads a militia movement that threatens to unleash chaos and destruction across the country.  But a fringe paramilitary movement isn't all that Caitlin is trying to subdue.  She finds herself investigating a large drug smuggling operation at the US-Canada border. 

Strong at the Break also brings back Cort Wesley Masters, the notorious gunman and Caitlin's love interest.  Cort's young son has been kidnapped and the trail somehow leads back to Malcolm Arno's group.  

In the third Caitlin Strong book, Jon Land delivers a fast-paced, action-packed and thoroughly satisfying adventure!  I've always liked how Caitlin Strong never shirks from doing the right thing.  I enjoy worrying about her and wincing as she jumps into dangerous situations (professionally and in her romantic life with Cort Wesley Masters).  This time, in Strong at the Break, we also learn more about her childhood growing up with the legendary rangers Earl Strong and Jim Strong which adds to the complexity and fun of this latest Jon Land work.  If you're looking for a thriller with a heart - and a thoroughly satisfying read - pick up Strong at the Break

ISBN-10: 0765323370 - Hardcover $25.99
Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (June 21, 2011), 352 pages.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

About the Author:
Jon Land is the acclaimed author of numerous bestsellers, including Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice and The Seven Sins.  Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island.