Category: Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction

Book Spotlight | “Metropolis” by Ellie Midwood

Posted Monday, 10 February, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary of “Metropolis” direct from the author Ellie Midwood in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “Metropolis”:

I recognised the film title this novel is based on immediately after receiving the blog tour invite and I must admit, that is what inspired my interest in reading the novel! I have a propensity for seeking out Biographical Historical Fiction inasmuch as I love stories set round important time periods of History or are based on actual living persons or events; including the production of this infamous Classic film! Now, when it comes to Classic Hollywood – I have been an appreciator of early 20th Century film-making for most of my life!

As you might have gathered when I read the first Renee Patrick Cosy Historical Mystery wherein Edith Head plays a strong role in sleuthing out the details of this crafty & clever series! I had such a wonderful pleasure of being caught up inside Old Hollywood and the culture of motion pictures as only Renee Patrick can tell the story as their a husband & wife team of writers who have such a wicked passion for Classic Films!

Thus, I thought ‘Metropolis’ might be a fitting #nextread as I thought it might be an interesting chapter on not just film history but about a part of the past I don’t oft get to read as this dances round the impact of war and how people were striving to restart their lives after such great losses.

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Book Spotlight | “Metropolis” by Ellie MidwoodMetropolis
by Ellie Midwood
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Weimar Berlin, 1924

Unemployed actors, profiteers, cabaret girls, and impoverished aristocracy – out of this wild set of characters populating Weimar Berlin, Margarete Gräfin von Steinhoff belongs to the latter category. Having lost everything due to hyper-inflation, she considers jumping into the freezing waters of the Spree rather than facing the humiliating existence shared by millions of her fellow Germans. However, a chance meeting makes her change her mind at the last moment and offers her a chance to rely on the help of the metropolis itself, where anything can be sold and bought for money and where connections are everything. The bustling nightlife of cosmopolitan Berlin, with its casinos and dance halls, brings good income for the ones who don’t burden themselves too heavily with morals.

After a New Year’s Eve party, Margot finally meets her ever-absent and mysterious neighbor, Paul Schneider, who makes a living by producing a certain type of film for his rich clientele. Under his guidance, Margot discovers a new passion of hers – photography and soon, her talents are noticed by the prominent newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt itself. But being an official photographer of the most celebrated events of the La Scala and most famous Berlin theaters no longer satisfies Margot’s ambitions. As soon as the chance presents itself for her to get involved with the cinematography on the set of “Metropolis” – the film with the highest budget ever produced by the UFA – Margot jumps at it, without thinking twice. At the same time, Paul becomes involved with a rival project, “The Holy Mountain,” which stars an as yet unknown actress and an emerging director in, Leni Riefenstahl. As the two women meet, professional rivalry soon turns into a true friendship, fueled by their passion for cinematography. However, due to the economic woes facing Germany, both projects soon run out of money and now, both film crews must go to extreme lengths to save their respective productions.

Set against the backdrop of a decadent, vibrant, and fascinatingly liberal Weimar Berlin, “Metropolis” is a novel of survival, self-discovery, and self-sacrifice, in the name of art, love, and friendship.

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781660165759

Published by Self Published

on 13th January, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 238

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #Metropolis and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Ellie Midwood

Ellie Midwood

Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, “The Girl from Berlin.” Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her online.

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Posted Monday, 10 February, 2020 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Blog Book Tour | “Salt the Snow” by Carrie Callaghan

Posted Sunday, 2 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary of “Salt the Snow” direct from the author Carrie Callaghan in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read “Salt the Snow”:

Rather uniquely, I cannot readily remember the EXACT moment & reason I wanted to read this novel; except to say, it felt like the kind of Historical narrative I was seeking for the New Year. The first to kick-off my new pursuit of Feminist Historical Fiction and the first entry towards securing more Biographical Historical Fiction into my everyday pursuit of the historic past; in essence, I was DRAWN towards “Salt the Snow” – reading it felt like the natural endgame for me after being smitten by the premise!

There is a curious quotation by Milly Bennett ahead of Chapter One which I felt implored a few notations about: as it struck to ask you, if you had your druthers would you OR would you not have been tempted to arrive inside your life a century prior to your actual birth!? The plausibilities of a response are all-encompassing depending on your own perspective of the theory it produces – however for me, it would be a better question to ask “if you could travel within the scope of known history & the time it which we have lived in those years – would you travel outside your own lifetime?”

And, that leads me into my pursuit of Historical Fiction as a genre interest & as a pursuit of literature devouted to the past & to the explorations of those who not only lived *but!* could have lived if they are completely fictional & byproduct of the author’s imagination. For those stories give us a cursory window into life as it could have been & the trajectory of where life is still progressing towards becoming. All of life is an experiment in learning – of growth through experience and the compassionate ways in which we interconnect with not just our own humanity but the collective conscience which threads our humanity. If we read the past, we are better insulated for the future but all of history cannot always prepare of us for the present.

This particular novel simply stood out to me to be read and I found that it was the first novel of 2020 I could lay my thoughts inside after a jarring beginning to a New Year whose first few weeks were rather crushing to the spirits of a girl who tries to focus on the positives & now feel weighed down by the negatives. My soul still is remorse & in grief for the Australian bush wildlife & the people who were in jeopardy of losing their own lives – either by the fires or the humbled attempts to save the wildlife who called those areas their home.

My gratitude to Ms Callaghan for giving me a hearty story to chew on & find myself entreating into her novel with a renewal of joy for finding her story.

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Blog Book Tour | “Salt the Snow” by Carrie CallaghanSalt the Snow
by Carrie Callaghan
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

American journalist Milly Bennett has covered murders in San Francisco, fires in Hawaii, and a civil war in China, but 1930s Moscow presents her greatest challenge yet. When her young Russian husband is suddenly arrested by the secret police, Milly tries to get him released. But his arrest reveals both painful secrets about her marriage and hard truths about the Soviet state she has been working to serve. Disillusioned and pulled toward the front lines of a captivating new conflict, Milly must find a way to do the right thing for her husband, her conscience, and her heart. Salt the Snow is a vivid and impeccably researched tale of a woman ahead of her time, searching for her true calling in life and love.

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781948705646

Published by Amberjack Publishing, Chicago Review Press

on 4th February, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 304

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Published by: Amberjack Publishing (@amberjackpub)
an imprint of Chicago Review Press (@ChiReviewPress)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #SaltTheSnow and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Carrie Callaghan

Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, The MacGuffin, Silk Road, Floodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Posted Sunday, 2 February, 2020 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Russia, Russian Literature, the Thirties

Blog Book Tour | the sequel to “The Secret Heir’ takes us further into the back-story of King David in the pages of “The Runaway Heir” (Book Two: of the Saga of David and Secret Heir series) by Janice Broyles

Posted Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary of “The Runsaway Heir” direct from the author Janice Broyles in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What I enjoyed from the first installment of this trilogy:

I found the first meeting between David and Michal to be a humbling one – David hadn’t been granted instruction on what his role to the King (ie. King Saul) was meant to look like nor was he given any encouraging words of advice except to play his music. It is here where Broyles shared a passage from Psalms (and I admit, I love Psalms!) which related to the musical interlude. To his credit, David has a lot of strength and courage in his young heart – he is used to being shrugged off and mistreated by his family, to find his bravery at court amongst the King felt like he was truly embracing the gift he had received from on High; as he wasn’t rationally reasoning his visit here – he was choosing to go with the flow and to embrace whatever came his way.

Curiously there appeared to be a disconnect between David and his father – of how the son was trying to grow into a measure of worth befitting a man who was anointed with an important position in the future whereas the father used that secreted honour as a rite of fuell to dismantle his son’s spirit if he could break him with his fist. Why his father was so aggrieved against David from the beginning is unknown (at least at this junction) and what was hard to accept in the context of his story is how without his fellow shepherds he would have been cast out completely alone.

One of the areas of the novel I enjoyed the most were the nuanced moments between the events – where Broyles gives us a glimpse into the ordinary hours each of her characters might have lived and thereby extending the situations we might have read about through the Scriptures (of the Bible). These little tucked in moments give more breadth to whom we’re reading about – seeing Michal trying to round out her knowledge of the lyre (the instrument David plays), the vexations of her sister Merab not willing to ‘let go’ of the idea of love and the cunningly discouraging way their mother tried to continue to scheme and plan behind the sisters’ back; all showed how their lives were not as you’d have hoped and their trials were wide and deep.

You can understand how Michal and David fell in love with each other – they were both facing circumstances outside their control with parents who cared little about their individual needs and more about what they could leverage out of them. This sparked a connection between them where they each forged a bond with someone who was walking the same life and felt equally as miserable for the experience. It was here where Broyles knits the story closer to your heart because you can feel the emotional tidalwaves within each of them – they are torn between duty, honour and loyalty against what in their world is considered the weaker option of voicing their own mind. They were taught to obey and never to question their orders and yet, here they were given the chance to break through those structured barriers most of their age were living behind and had the opportunity to see each other on equal ground. Fittingly because Michal drew a connection with David, you saw for the first time she was starting to understand her sister Merab and the choices she was making in her own life.

Sadly for David – there were people conspiring against him and with the King’s own suspicious mind already in play, he barely had a chance to carve out his own life to live before everything fell at his feet in regards to the trust and loyalty he had previously secured. David in this installment of the trilogy is learning the harder lessons about supposition and rumour; how someone can turn against a person as quickly as they can be ordered to be killed. David’s truer strength is his faith in God and how he felt he was being led into the battles of his life. He drew strength out of prayer and song; giving himself to the hope of what his faith would yield in moments of intensive adversity where mercy was warranted. And, yet – there are those other moments where your heart nearly breaks for how futile his actions were to prove his worth and he was against a King who had already gone insane.

Throughout this first novel, we get to sneak into David, Merab and Michal’s lives – we get to get a more intimate portrait of what was going on at the time of the events History has been recorded to peer closer to the choices they were each facing given out by people who had control over them. It wasn’t a life of free choice and personal freedoms but it was a life they each fought to live – on their own terms but within a system which was organised against their will. Where the drama bridges the gap between what you previously knew about these people and what can become better inferred through this novel is where Broyles excelled at giving us a living portrait of life during the century where fate, love and enduring hope collided with destined prophecy.

-quoted from my review of The Secret Heir

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Blog Book Tour | the sequel to “The Secret Heir’ takes us further into the back-story of King David in the pages of “The Runaway Heir” (Book Two: of the Saga of David and Secret Heir series) by Janice BroylesThe Runaway Heir
Subtitle: Sequel to The Secret Heir
by Janice Broyles
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In Ancient Palestine, Michal, a young Israeli princess, marries the man she loves, but it comes with a high price. She must spy on him and report back to her father, the notorious King Saul. Michal hopes her father will forget his animosity toward the giant-killing David, and that she and David can finally live a life of peace together.

Unfortunately, her father comes to collect on Michal’s promise, and she is forced to choose between betraying her father or her husband. Her decision launches her life on a path she never expected. Michal and David are ripped apart for eight years. One is forced into a loveless second marriage, the other is forced to run for his life. If they can survive the vengeful King Saul, they may have a chance at restoring their love. But a lot can change in eight years, and Michal and David are not the same as they once were.

Genres: Biblical Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1734100808

Also by this author: Guest Post | Janice Broyles, The Secret Heir

Also in this series: The Secret Heir


Published by Late November Literary

on 1st October, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 333

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The Saga of David and Secret Heir series series:

The Secret Heir by Janice BroylesThe Runaway Heir by Janice Broyles

The Secret Heir (book one) | see also Review

The Runaway Heir (book two)

→ The Anointed Heir (book three) *forthcoming release!

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Published by: Late November Literary

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov; #KingDavid
+ #Biblical #HistoricalFictionand  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Janice Broyles

Janice Broyles

Janice Broyles is an award-winning author. She resides in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where she teaches at a local college. She spends the majority of her free time researching history and retelling fantastical stories. Luckily her husband and two sons understand her passion for history and making stories come alive.

When not researching or writing, Janice Broyles enjoys spending time with her family and hanging out with her close circle of friends. The Runaway Heir is the second book to her David saga. The Secret Heir, released in 2018, is the first novel of the series.The Anointed Heir, the third book in the series, is set to be released by the end of 2020. Janice enjoys spending time with her husband of 23 years and their two sons and one dog.

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Posted Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 by jorielov in 1020s BC, 11th Century BC, 2nd Millennium BC, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Israel, Biblical Fiction, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, King Saul, Military Fiction