Friday, 12 September 2014

BLOG TOUR: The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar by Kim Rendfeld


Published August 2014 by Fireship Press


Can love triumph over war?
772 AD: Charlemagne’s battles in Saxony have left Leova with nothing but her two children, Deorlaf and Sunwynn. Her beloved husband died in combat. Her faith lies shattered in the ashes of Irminsul, the Pillar of Heaven. The relatives obligated to defend her and her family sell them into slavery instead.
In Francia, Leova is resolved to protect her son and daughter, even if it means sacrificing her own honor. Her determination only grows stronger as Sunwynn blossoms into a beautiful young woman attracting the lust of a cruel master, and Deorlaf becomes a headstrong man willing to brave starvation and demons to free his family. Yet Leova’s most difficult dilemma comes in the form of a Frankish friend, Hugh. He saves Deorlaf from a fanatical Saxon and is Sunwynn’s champion — but he is the warrior who slew Leova’s husband.
Set against a backdrop of historic events, including the destruction of the Irminsul, The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar explores faith, friendship, and justice. This companion to Kim Rendfeld’s acclaimed The Cross and the Dragon tells the story of an ordinary family in extraordinary circumstances.





Advance Praise for The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar
“Carolingian Europe comes alive in Kim Rendfeld’s sweeping story of family and hope, set against the Saxon Wars. Her transportive and triumphant novel immerses us in an eighth century world that feels both mystical and starkly real.”  - Jessica Brockmole, author of Letters from Skye
“A captivating historical filled with rich detail, compelling characters, and a well-paced plot that keeps the pages turning to its very satisfying end. A true delight for fans of historical fiction. I couldn’t put it down.” — Susan Spann, author of the Shinobi Mysteries
The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar is refreshingly set in a less familiar medieval period – soon after Charlemagne has conquered a portion of today’s Germany and its people. The characters are refreshing also, common folk instead of the lords and ladies who are the usual inhabitants of historical novels, and how they adjust to their new condition is fascinating. Altogether, this book was absorbing from start to finish.” – Roberta Gellis, author of The Roselynde Chronicles


It was with some trepidation that I agreed to review this book, mainly because the genre doesn't appeal to me at all. Then why would I choose to read it? I wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone, simply I love all books and the craftmanship and skill that goes into writing them.

The amount of research that has gone into writing this book is not even in question, it must have been a painstaking task. That being said I personally struggled with this one. It is most certainly a case of it being me and not the book. I so badly wanted to be converted to loving historical fiction, so many of my friends and fellow bloggers do. Sadly that hasn't happened, the story was easy to follow and not as difficult to read as I had anticipated.

Please  I urge you, don't be put off by me. I am sure that this book will deservedly hold great appeal to lovers of historical fiction everywhere, it tackles some interesting issues.

I would like you to have a look at a review by my friends Josie and Jaffa here, who have kindly allowed me to link their review: Jaffareadstoo - Review

Check out the other stops on the tour: 

http://www.fireshippress.com/virtual_book_tours/the-ashes-of-heavens-pillar-by-kim-rendfeld-on-tour-august-28-september-30.html




Kim Rendfeld has a lifelong fascination with fairy tales and legends, which set her on her quest to write The Cross and the Dragon.

She grew up in New Jersey and attended Indiana University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English, with a minor in French. If it weren't for feminism, she would be one of those junior high English teachers scaring the bejesus out of her students, correcting grammar to the point of obnoxiousness. Instead, her career has been in journalism, public relations, and now fiction.

Kim was a journalist for almost twenty years at Indiana newspapers, including the
 Journal and Courier in Lafayette, The Muncie Star, and The News and Sun in Dunkirk, and she won several awards from the Hoosier State Press Association. Her career changed in 2007, when she joined the marketing and communications team at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She gets paid to agonize over commas and hyphens, along with suggesting ways to improve writing, and thoroughly enjoys it. She is proud to have been part of projects that have received national recognition.

Kim lives in Indiana with her husband, Randy, and their spoiled cats. They have a daughter and three granddaughters.

To read the first chapters of either novel or learn more about Kim, visit kimrendfeld.com. You’re also welcome to visit her blog Outtakes of a Historical Novelist atkimrendfeld.wordpress.com, like her on Facebook at facebook.com/authorkimrendfeld, or follow her on Twitter at @kimrendfeld, or contact her at kim [at] kimrendfeld [dot] com.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

AWAY FROM YOU ~ Kay Langdale






Publication date: 
11th September 2014, Hodder & Stoughton
My thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for my review copy. 

When Monica is offered a three-month placement in L.A, she knows that for the sake of her career she must accept it - even though it means leaving behind nine-year-old Ruby, toddler Luca and her husband Daniel.

She hires Ursula as a housekeeper and nanny during her absence, although the older woman is oddly reluctant to agree to a childcare position. What is the dark secret in Ursula's past, which has left her so closed-off and reserved? Will her growing attachment to Ruby bring it to the surface? And will Monica regret leaving the children in her care?

This story explores, grief, parenthood and our emotional relationships with others.  The writing is beautiful, the characters are vividly drawn and likeable. The author manages to create some beautiful imagery of happier times, particularly for Ursula.

The book really centres around Ursula and the secret of her past, that makes her so sad and unable to allow herself emotional involvement with anyone. I found it interesting that Ruby has a connection with Ursula and can somehow see the pain behind her eyes. Maybe it takes a childlike innocence to know that something isn't right.

Such a poignant and emotional read, I have to admit to shedding a tear or two. It is difficult to go any further into the plot as I feel to do so would spoil it for others. However I do urge people to read it.

This is the first novel I have read by this author and I have no idea why I haven't come across her before. This book has sailed straight into my best of the year and quite possibly a contender for the top spot. I cannot enthuse about it enough.

A truly beautiful piece of writing, with wonderful characters that captured my heart, and left me hoping for a happy ending.

About the Author:

Kay Langdale is the author of four previous novels. Her novels have explored subjects such as surrogacy, adoptions and the ties that bind us. She is married, with three sons and a daughter, and lives in Oxfordshire. Find out more: www.kaylangdale.com