Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tommie Lyn "High on a Mountain" Review & Giveaway

Suspense novelist, Tommie Lyn enters the historical fiction genre with her latest release, High on a Mountain. She delves into her ancestral roots setting the story in 18th century Scotland. The protagonist, Ailean MacLachlan, is a young man desperate to make a name for himself as a warrior before he locks eyes with the red-haired shepherdess, Muirne. While love conquers ambition, Ailean, as a new husband, remains restless.

His refuge is being high on a mountain where he "surveyed the land below like a king on a throne." Yet Ailean's father warns him about the danger of clinging to fantasies telling his son, "It looks beautiful from up here on the mountain, but you must remember that your life is lived down there in the glen. And sometimes, life isn't so lovely when you're in the midst of it."


Scottish battle scenes are reminiscent of Braveheart.

Death and sacrifice are inseparably linked with glory in the life of a warrior - a heartbreaking lesson Ailean comes to learn firsthand. A runner carrying a fiery cross summons the members of Clan MacLachlan to fight for the deposed Scottish heir, Prince Charles Edward Stuart. The clan suffers heavy losses at home and on the battlefield thanks in part to traitors such as Ailean's arch rival, Latharn Cambeul. As boys they battled playing the Scottish game, camanachd; as young men they fought for the heart of Muirne and as warriors they each seek the death of the other. Yet it is Ailean's words to Muirne that ultimately shatter his soul, "If I hadn't married you, I'd be free to do my duty without worries. I wouldn't have become this ... this half way warrior."


Ailean's trip to America is similar to the Amistad.


There is a climatic Native American waterfall scene like The Last of the Mohicans.

Part II takes place in the New World when Ailean is sold into slavery. After a harrowing journey, he arrives at a South Carolina rice plantation. He escapes into the northern mountains residing with a tribe of Native Americans (also a nod to the author's heritage). After employing his camanachd skills during a similar native game, he wins the respect of the people. A tribeswoman named Kutahyah guides Ailean to the summit of a nearby waterfall where he is once again able to find a lofty place where he can think clearly. It is on this precipice that he is forced to confront his pent-up guilt over Muirne and the blood lust of Latharn's revenge.

Overall, historical fiction readers will welcome Tommie Lyn's entry into the genre with the traditional Scottish greeting "Hello, the house!"

High on a Mountain by Tommie Lyn is available for $15.99 at Amazon.com and at TommieLyn.com.

A complimentary review copy was provided by Tommie Lyn.
Also by Tommie Lyn: And Night Falls, On Berryhill Road, Scribbles and Tugger's Down.

Enter to win a FREE copy of High on a Mountain.

(1) Go to Tribute Books online shop and take a look at our titles.
(2) Leave a comment with your email address and the Tribute Books title that most interests you.

A winner will be chosen on July 10, 2010.

Congratulations to our winner: Melissa G.!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

William Voedisch "Citizen Mitten" Review & Giveaway

Pets make an indelible impression on the lives of their owners. Their antics and quirks become part of family lore. In Citizen Mitten, William Voedisch regales the reader with tales of his "cat of a lifetime." In describing how Mitten wrapped his furry paws around his heart, Voedisch's narrative voice is extremely engaging. It is tender yet jocular; sentimental but down-to-earth. While getting to know Mitten, the reader simultaneously comes to admire the man who describes his utter devotion to this particular feline.

Mitten stalks through the pages purring along the way. Adopted as a stray, he came to view Voedisch as his mother by nursing on his ear lobes. From investigating a dusty air duct to hunting a fish right into a freezer, Mitten had a talent for getting into mischief. He was a loud talker with his half-purr/half-meow and was the "grumpy" star of the family Christmas card. His very name became a family anthem.

The "MITT" part was high-up, almost a gravel-voiced yell, which would tail off to the more subdued "-en." It became a sort of house cheer or whatever. Finally, and this is where you will think we've slid off the summit a bit, it's nearly eight years after his passing and we still walk around the house and yell "MITT-en" for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Mitten at eight pounds had a scrawny coat. A feature not suited for Minnesota winters. Although he loved the outdoors, he just couldn't take the cold weather.

Winter was a real challenge for him. He wanted to go out, but couldn't, at least not for more than a minute or two. Thus, you would often hear me ... say something like the following to "Mittie," who was half out the door but was stopped in his tracks by the cold: "In or out, young man?"

He was also a living alarm clock. When Voedisch failed to wake at Mitten's self-appointed breakfast time, Mitten would race across the bed at top speed or cause a racket with a nearby newspaper. One time, he jumped from the headboard onto the stomach of an unsuspecting Voedisch. He was the master of rude awakenings.

The book excels when Voedisch addresses the painful subject of the death of a pet. As the owner of several cats, dogs and horses, he stresses the importance of letting a pet die with dignity. When Mitten could no longer eat due to old age, he was euthanized at the vet's office.

In the end he was telling us it was time, getting weaker and weaker ... [he] could not walk or even stand ... [there was] no particular diagnosis, except old age. It was really amazing how peaceful the whole thing was. There were tears, of course, but no hard sobbing. It's as though it all happened just as it should. A good death, death with dignity, is what a pet deserves as its days become numbered. Mitten died with dignity.

The book concludes with a beautiful unattributed passage entitled The Rainbow Bridge. It describes a utopian place between heaven and earth where deceased pets await the passing of their owners. They are joyously reunited, never again to be separated.

A highlight is a centerfold of over 20 full-color pages of Voedisch family photos. Mitten is shown inspecting a catch of fish, on the patio wanting to come in from the cold, curled up on a bed with his signature grumpy face, and digging through a garbage can. The book's interior is clearly laid out with a cat silhouette adorning each chapter heading along with a quote summing up each installment. There are over 30 brief chapters in just over 150 pages. Appropriately, the collection begins with a note from Mitten to the reader along with a foreward by his vet who provided Mitten with the nickname "The Relic."

Overall, anyone who loves animals will form an instant bond with Voedisch as he talks about his cat of a lifetime.

Citizen Mitten by William Voedisch is available for $14.95 at Amazon.com and at CitizenMitten.com.

A complimentary review copy was provided by William Voedisch.


Enter to win a FREE copy of Citizen Mitten.

(1) Go to Tribute Books online shop and take a look at our titles.
(2) Leave a comment with your email address and the Tribute Books title that most interests you.

A winner will be chosen on July 10, 2010.

Congratulations to our winner: GMR!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

C.W. Gortner - The Confessions of Catherine de Medici - Review & Giveaway

Reading the work of a truly talented author is a well-savored delight for a book lover. When it comes to the art of writing, C.W. Gortner's name can be added to the list of master craftsmen. He duly creates a riveting drama that is seamlessly blended into a litany of historical facts - that in the hands of someone less capable - could have become a tangled web. Instead The Confessions of Catherine de Medici draws the reader into the French court of the sixteenth century as if the protagonist herself was beckoning with her bejeweled hand.

The story unfolds as Catherine takes a look back at her life offering her confessions in the form of a tell-all memoir. Her now infamous surname - de Medici - is both a blessing and a curse. Having risen from the merchant class, the superfluous excess of Italy's wealthiest family makes her the target of the disapproving clergy and a capricious citizenry. Yet the name still bespeaks an implied wealth, and the second son of France, Henri, is offered in betrothal for her supposed riches. Only the joke is on the royal family when Catherine's alleged dowry fails to materialize.

Catherine arrives at court in much the same way that Sofia Coppola envisions the introduction of Marie Antoinette - she is stripped of everything pertaining to her native Italy and is instructed that she is now a daughter of France. As a teenager alone in a foreign land, her naiveté is apparent. Her debut into the world of power and intrigue is as soft as a whisper. Luckily, Henri's father feels protective of the young girl, even if his son prefers the amorous company of his former governess. It is through the undue influence of this older rival that Catherine and Henri come together to produce an heir in the most unnatural of circumstances.

When Henri assumes the throne after the death of his father and elder brother, he comes to realize the inherent strength in Catherine's character. From her very core, she emanates the elemental qualities essential in a leader. The two may have been brought together in a marriage of wealth and power, but as their relationship matures they are able to view each other as partners, friends and even passionate lovers.

With Henri's unexpected death - foretold by the reputed seer Nostradamus - the kingdom is left in her hands. Her job is to safeguard it for her sons. The first is Francois, a child prince who is raised with the tremendous pressure of bearing the responsibility of being a leader in training. He marries Mary, Queen of Scots, his childhood playmate who he views more as a sister. The two never consummate their union and Francois, who always suffered from poor health, succumbs under the strain. He dies without siring an heir. The second is Charles who becomes so consumed with guilt for the blood spilled in the power struggle between French Protestants and French Catholics that he commits suicide. The third is Henri, the golden child who Catherine believes to be the king France so desperately needs. Alas, when it is revealed that Henri prefers the company of men to women, Catherine fears that he too will die without an heir. Will all of her planning come to naught?

Catherine was viewed by her contemporaries as the wicked queen mother. England's Queen Elizabeth is recorded as saying that Catherine was the only person she ever feared. Yet Gortner presents a softer picture of a mama bear protecting her cubs rather than a ruthless puppet master pulling the strings. Catherine ardently loved her adopted country of France and did everything in her power to maintain peace through freedom of religious expression. When deemed necessary, she arranged the marriages of her children to promote alliances that offered protection. She used diplomacy when dealing with the highly charged emotions of religious fanaticism.Yet if the only solution was the quick demise of her enemies, she did not hesitate to use lethal force.

As portrayed in the TV series, The Tudors, life at court is not for the faint of heart. In fact, Catherine's heart is the focus of Coligny, a leader in the French Protestant movement. It is a treacherous position to be in as the queen mother of a Catholic France. Does desire cloud reason? Are Coligny's feelings for Catherine heartfelt or simply a ploy? Are their passionate interludes appropriate as violence and terror ransack the land? Get ready as Catherine is ready to make her final confession.

Overall, the true heirs of wealth and nobility are often seduction, betrayal and a never-ending struggle for power.





The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner is available for $25.00 at Amazon.com and at CWGortner.com.

A complimentary review copy was provided by Pump Up Your Book Promotion.


Enter to win (1st prize) a FREE hardcover of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici or (2nd prize) a FREE advanced reading copy. There will be a total of 2 winners.

(1) Go to Tribute Books online shop and take a look at our titles.
(2) Leave a comment with your email address and the Tribute Books title that most interests you.

A winner will be chosen on June 30, 2010.

Congratulations to our winners: 1st place: ATypicalGirl & 2nd place: Gwen!

Rita Golden Gelman - Female Nomad and Friends - Review & Giveaway

Connection is the self-proclaimed theme of Rita Golden Gelman's life. She hearkens back to a time of yore by calling herself a modern-day nomad. In Female Nomad and Friends, she is in hunter-gather mode collecting recipes from around the globe via submissions to her website. They are meticulously blended with real-life stories of 41 women who take a leap of faith and reach out to another human being - whether across town or across the world. Every hint of zest is appreciated and recognized in this culinary community of over 25 ethnic dishes.

Golden Gelman upped the ante even further by donating all of the proceeds of the book to a scholarship fund. It will enable high school graduates in the slums of India to attend vocational schools. The funds are being administered through a Maryland chapter of the Rotary Club. With a soul full of wanderlust, she may not have a permanent address, but Golden Gelman certainly does not equate the absence of hearth and home with a lack of responsibility.

The book is divided into five sections: Connecting, Mixed Messages, Language, Passion and Food. The recipes range from the familiar - Grandma's fried chicken - to the exotic - sun-dried worms. However, the downright peculiar are thankfully omitted (Filipino head of the dog, anyone?).

Among the accompanying stories, there are several stand-outs. One woman experiences the ultimate in hospitality when an elderly woman offers to carry her on her back across a flooded Vietnamese street. Another answers a want ad for a housekeeper and discovers a lonely Alaskan looking for a wife. A Swedish exchange student experiences her first Thanksgiving, Texas-style. An American schoolteacher in France is invited to the sumptuous table of her student's family. An orphaned Iraqi girl makes a connection with an American woman before and after the 2003 invasion. A visiting couple who miss their ferry stop are rowed upstream against the current by a kind native in Paraguay.

However, many dangers exist for women traveling alone, and these perils are not ignored. One woman is raped by a hotel manager in India and later returns home to discover that she is pregnant. Another drinks the water on a South Pacific island and succumbs to dysentery.

Overall, women the world over are made up of the same ingredients, it's how they are blended that mark who they are.


Female Nomad and Friends by Rita Golden Gelman is available for $15.00 at Amazon.com and at RitaGoldenGelman.com.

A complimentary review copy was provided by
Promo 101 - Virtual Blog Tours with Nikki Leigh.

Enter to win a FREE copy of Female Nomad and Friends.

(1) Go to Tribute Books online shop and take a look at our titles.
(2) Leave a comment with your email address and the Tribute Books title that most interests you.

A winner will be chosen on June 20, 2010.

Congratulations to our winner: Kay!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thumbing Through Thoreau: A Book of Quotations by Henry David Thoreau - Virtual Book Tour



Kenny will be on a virtual book tour during June 2010.

If you would like to host him on your blog, please contact Dorothy Thompson of Pump Up Your Book Promotion email her at thewriterslife [at] yahoo [dot] com

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 1
Interviewed at
Blogcritics

Wednesday, June 2
Guest blogging at
The Book Boost

Interviewed at
Pump Up Your Book


Thursday, June 3
Book spotlighted at
Examiner

Friday, June 4
Book reviewed by
The Cajun Book Lady

Monday, June 7
Book reviewed and book giveaway at
Chew & Digest Books

Book reviewed at
My Life in Not So Many Words


Tuesday, June 8
Book reviewed at
Truth Be Told

Interviewed at
The Hot Author Report


Wednesday, June 9
Book reviewed by
The Introverted Reader


Thursday, June 10
Book reviewed by
Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Book reviewed by
Jacobs Beloved


Friday, June 11
Book reviewed at
My Favorite Things

Interviewed at
Beyond the Books

Monday, June 14
Interviewed by
Literarily Speaking

Book reviewed at
Today's Adventure


Tuesday, June 15
Book reviewed by
Reading at the Beach
Book reviewed by
Knits, Reads & Reviews

Wednesday, June 16
Book reviewed by
Write for a Reader

Thursday, June 17
Book reviewed by
Rundpinne

Friday, June 18
Book reviewed by
Lucky Rosie’s
Book reviewed by
Freelancing Parents

Monday, June 21
Book reviewed by
When Kate Blogs

Interviewed at
As the Pages Turn

Tuesday, June 22
Guest blogging and
book giveaway at
Night Owl Reviews

Wednesday, June 23
Book reviewed by
Allison’s Attic

Thursday, June 24
Book reviewed by
I Heart Books

Guest blogging at
Literarily Speaking

Friday, June 25
Book reviewed at
The Life (and lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object

Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life - Virtual Book Tour



Karina and Deacon Steve will be on a virtual book tour during June 2010.

If you would like to host them on your blog, please contact Dorothy Thompson of Pump Up Your Book Promotion email her at thewriterslife [at] yahoo [dot] com

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 1
Interviewed at
Book Marketing Buzz

Book reviewed at
Spiritual Woman

Wednesday, June 2
Interviewed at
Blogcritics


Thursday, June 3
Book spotlighted at
Examiner

Friday, June 4
Book reviewed at
The NY Book Journal


Monday, June 7
Interviewed at
Personovelty

Guest blogging at
Fabianspace

Tuesday, June 8
Interviewed at
Pump Up Your Book

Interviewed at
Divine Caroline

Wednesday, June 9
Guest blogging &
book giveaway at
Catholic Chicks


Thursday, June 10
Book reviewed at
Margay Leah Justice

Interviewed at
Gloria's Corner

Friday, June 11
Book reviewed at
Putting Words on Paper

Guest blogging at
Writing Daze


Monday, June 14
Interviewed at
Putting Words on Paper

Guest blogging at
Cafe of Dreams

Interviewed at
Greta Writes
Guest blogging at
Fabianspace

Tuesday, June 15
Guest blogging at
Literarily Speaking


Wednesday, June 16
Interviewed at
Beyond the Books

Guest blogging at
As the Pages Turn

Guest blogging at
You Can Write a Novel

Thursday, June 17
Book reviewed at
Lynn’s Corner


Friday, June 18
Guest blogging at
Lynn’s Corner


Monday, June 21
Interviewed at
The Hot Author Report

Book reviewed at
Marta’s Meanderings

Guest blogging at
Fabianspace

Tuesday, June 22
Book reviewed at
Reading at the Beach


Wednesday, June 23
Guest blogging at
The Book Boost

Thursday, June 24
Book reviewed at
The Book Connection

Interviewed on
Introducing Writers
Radio Show


Friday, June 25
Interviewed at
The Writer’s Life