HF Review: OUR OWN COUNTRY by Jodi Daynard


A while ago I read THE MIDWIFE’S REVOLT by Jodi Daynard and really enjoyed it: My Review. I was excited to find this new novel with some of the same characters in it on Net Galley.

Here’s the description:

Spotlight on THE SWORD AND SCABBARD by Allen Woods


I’m happy today to be taking part in the blog tour for THE SWORD AND SCABBARD – a story of Revolutionary Boston.

Here’s what the publicist has to say:

The Sword & Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston

by Allen Woods

The Real Sons of Liberty:


In every basic U.S. History class, children and teenagers learn about the American Revolution and how the colonists came together to fight unfair taxation by their British counterparts, creating a country founded on the values of freedom, liberty and justice. One of the most notorious events leading up to this revolution was the Boston Massacre, which helped light the spark that fueled a rebellion. But what do we know about the events the paved the way to this historic moment?

The Sword & Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston by Allen Woods is the first in a series of novels that answers this question, weaving a story of crime, intrigue and politics to look at an unexplored section of history in a compelling new way.

The streets and taverns of Boston prior to ‘The Bloody Massacre’ were filled with brawls and scrapes, hot words and cold calculations. Nicholas Gray and Maggie Magowan run The Sword and Scabbard, a tavern that is the center of both criminal and political scheming. Each is a fugitive from a dangerous past and their relationship grows fitfully in the midst of historic events. The pair remain suspicious of politicians on both sides of the Atlantic, but are eventually caught in a world where politics and crime meet.

“The road to the Revolution was not a smooth one,” Woods explains. “There were almost constant conflicts within the British and American sides, while many ‘ordinary’ people just wished they could live simple lives without all of the political speeches and protests. But inevitably, they were drawn into the conflict.”

In this thrilling, yet in-depth look at life in the colonies and the onset of the American Revolution, The Sword & Scabbard reveals that:

  • Samuel Adams and other leaders saw themselves at war long before bullets flew, and they were willing to use physical intimidation and threats by gangs of unemployed sailors and dockworkers to further their goals.
  • The Sons of Liberty had no belief in freedom of the press if someone published information harmful to their cause
  • Revolutionary Boston was a city in turmoil, not a mythical place of pure and uniform Revolutionary ideals, and was filled with both self-serving and heroic people, as well as many others who just wished they could be left alone.
  • Resistance to the taxes of the Stamp Act (which led to the Massacre and eventually the Revolution) through an import boycott helped John Hancock and other large merchants run smaller competitors out of business.

Allen Woods has been a full-time freelance writer and editor for almost 30 years, recently specializing in social studies and reading textbooks for all ages. The inspiration for The Sword & Scabbard came while doing research for an American history text. He resides in Massachusetts and has been married to his wife, Irene, for over 30 years.

For more information about Allen Woods and The Sword & Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston, please visit http://www.theswordandscabbard.com

or his Facebook, LinkedIn and Goodreads pages.

The Sword & Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston is available for purchase at lulu.com, as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Me again!

I am reading this book now and really enjoying it. It has the gritty, tough side of Boston in the 1700’s. Life was not easy for those folks and I always appreciate historical fiction that can adequately show both sides of a disagreement. The characters are memorable (and fun, I have to say!). I look forward to more in this series!

If you like historical fiction of this period (American Revolution), then pick this one up today!

Thank you for my review e-copy and having me be part of the blog tour!

HFVBTour for A MASTER PASSION by Juliet Waldron and Giveaway!

04_A Master Passion_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

A Master Passion: The Story of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton: Book One: Love and Liberty
by Juliet Waldron

Publication Date: March 25, 2015
Books We Love
eBook & Print; 428 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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THE MASTER PASSION is the story of the marriage of our brilliant first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his courageous wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. It begins with a whirlwind Revolutionary War courtship at Washington’s headquarters. Conflict, however, is built into this marriage.

Betsy’s passion is Alexander. While Hamilton adores his wife and children, there are times when he loves America more.

“…And hence one Master Passion in the breast
Like Aaron’s serpent, swallows up all the rest…” ~~Alexander Pope



03_Juliet Waldron

Juliet Waldron has lived in many US states, in the UK and the West Indies. She earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage. Thirty years ago, after her sons left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for her readers. Juliet’s a grandmother, a cat person, and fascinated by reading history and archeology. Juliet spends a lot of time visiting other centuries, but she’s also certain she doesn’t want to live there.

Juliet gardens, bicycles and is involved in local advocacy groups. She and her husband of fifty years enjoy the winding backroads of PA aboard their Hayabusa superbike.

For more information visit Juliet Waldron’s website. Juliet also blogs at Possum Tracks andCrone Henge, and you can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


02_A Master Passion

Oh my goodness — I have to say that I didn’t know much about Alexander Hamilton before reading this book. I knew he was one of our founding fathers and I thought I remembered that he had something to do with money or the Treasury and had a conflict with Aaron Burr. This book was a fascinating and intimate look at Hamilton and his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. When I first started reading about his childhood in the West Indies (orphaned, abused, destitute) I had to look him up to make sure this was all real. What a brilliant and fascinating man — and what an interesting and intelligent wife he had. I loved their love story. Of course, like reading about Titanic, I knew something bad was coming, so I was quite anxious during the last quarter of the book. What a story, though, and I was shocked to see how lengthy it is because it moved quite swiftly.

I loved this love story about this couple and Hamilton’s role in the shaping of the new United States.

Highly recommended for history lovers! Thank you so much for making me part of this tour and for my review e-copy. I feel like I learned so much and have a new respect for both Alexander Hamilton and his Betsy.


To enter to win a paperback copy of A Master Passion & $5 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Go to: A Master Passion

Quick Review: “The Midwife’s Revolt” by Jodi Daynard

“The Midwife’s Revolt” was a Net Galley find for me. It tells the story of Lizzie Boylston, a young woman left widowed at the start of the Revolutionary War, as she struggles to get by, to deal with the war and her farm, and to basically survive in 1770’s Massachusetts. Lizzie is friends with Abigail Adams and holds their relationship quite dear. In time she is pulled into intrigue and acts as a spy (dressed as a boy). Lizzie is a strong character, and this book follows her daily life (she is a midwife), her trials and tribulations, her relationships with her family and friends, and even has a little romance, intrigue and mystery added in. I felt while reading it that I was reading a fictionalized account of a person’s diary for that time period. Daynard has done her research here in accurately depicting a detailed picture of everyday life in the 1770’s in New England. At 440 pages it took a bit to get through, but I felt I was travelling along with Lizzie through the war, and read a bit each day.

A great historical novel for those who like this period and genre!

Thanks, Net Galley and Opossum Press for my copy.

Quick Review: City of Dreams by William Martin

If you read my blog, you know I love William Martin’s historical mysteries, following an item throughout the years from past to present, while in alternate chapters modern day antique expert, Peter Fallon, and his girlfriend, Evangeline, risk life and limb searching for said object as well. This novel came out in the spring, but I just recently purchased it for my Kindle (after a recommendation from my brother-in-law).

In this installment, Peter and Evangeline are seeking some “New Emission Bonds” from the Revolutionary War – issued by Alexander Hamilton and with compounded interest worth millions and millions of dollars. Of course, others are racing against time to find the bonds as well (this time, the Russian mob), and Peter and Evangeline need to separate fact from fiction and puzzle out the clues to figure out just where the bonds are. Then it becomes a race to see who can get to them first.

As always, I love these novels! I enjoy the jumping back and forth from past to present, but particularly enjoy the historical fiction piece.

Fans of Martin will undoubtedly enjoy his latest novel, and the added bonus of how it ties into the issues our current government is having with controlling debt.

YA Book Review: The Storyteller by Patricia Reilly Giff

Patricia Reilly Giff is one of those children’s authors who has written numerous titles and seems like an old friend. When we were purchasing books at the Scholastic Warehouse sale for our school library birthday book program, I came across “Storyteller”. I wasn’t aware of too many YA titles by Ms. Giff, so I took it home to read. This novel  tells the story of two Elizabeths – one who lives now and her ancestor “Zee” who lived during the Revolutionary War. When modern-day Elizabeth goes to stay with her aunt in New York state one summer, she is drawn to an old drawing of the first Elizabeth and becomes focused on learning her story. The two girls’ stories are juxtaposed, and readers move in time from present to past.

I enjoyed reading this novel and finished it in one evening. I did find the harsh realities of war at times disturbing – Zee is badly burned in a fire and her home destroyed and her mother murdered (there is a somewhat sinister passage where the mother is surrounded by a group of men who are destroying their home while she yells at her daughter to run away; later a family friend reports to Zee that her mother is dead). I wasn’t at all familiar with the Battle of Oriskany, which occurs  in this novel, too (where a group of Patriots are ambushed and slaughtered while travelling through a gorge). For these reasons, I think this novel is best suited for middle schoolers. Using this in a classroom where you could also study daily life during the Revolution and talk about the events in this book would be ideal.

Historical period aside, young readers will enjoy the two Elizabeths’ stories as both girls learn to deal with changes in their life and recognize their gifts as storytellers. I look forward to more YA titles from Ms. Giff!