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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Personal Review of The Murderer's Maid by Erika Mailman

***Personal Review of The Murderer's 
Maid by Erika Mailman***

I am a huge fan of historical fiction - and if you aren't sure what that is, basically it is a genre where the author weaves a fictional tale around historical events.  Such as this novel "The Murderer's Maid" by Erika Mailman.  She has done her homework on the Lizzie Borden case and the historical accuracy of the background and people are great.  I am kind of obsessed with the Lizzie Borden case myself, so when my friend asked if I wanted to read this and review it I didn't hesitate!  If you are not familiar with the Lizzie Borden case, then I would highly recommend you do a little research before reading this, because there are a lot of actual pieces from the case that pop up in the book.  Of course we all know Lizzie was not convicted of the crime but she was never considered innocent.  And Bridget, the maid in the Borden house at the time, most likely could have convicted Lizzie but she didn't.  This novel tells the story from Bridget's point of view - as in how she sees Lizzie and her sister Emma, and the "stories" she hears from other maids who have worked for the Borden's or lived near them.  It's fascinating just as it is, but then Mailman weaves a story about a modern day coffeehouse worker named Brooke who is trying to get along in the world as well as get away from people who are looking for her.  Turns out she is connected to Lizzie Borden, but how?  And why are these men chasing her? Is she perhaps related in some way to the Bordens?  It's very interesting when we find out the truth, and it puts a fire in Brooke's belly.  The one theme that runs very strongly through this novel is that even though Lizzie was acquitted of the murders, she is called "the murderer" and it is assumed that she really did it. 

As we see it from Bridget's point of view, Lizzie is a very strange individual - which is in keeping with the stories we have heard about Lizzie's behavior at that time as many people found her very odd.  And even before Bridget hears from the other maids, she sees some strange things and wonders about Lizzie herself.  The difference in the novel that I found is that in the real story, Emma Borden was pretty normal and no one ever really suspected her and she got along well with her step-mother Abigail Borden.  This novel gives us a different perspective to think about - that maybe Emma was not as squeaky clean as everyone thought and maybe she did not have a good relationship with her step-mother either, the only difference being is that she was "normal" to the outside world and Lizzie was not. 

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the way Mailman made the characters come to life. In the legend, Mrs. Borden was kind of a side character - we never really knew what she was like and never saw her and the girls interacting. But the Mrs. Borden in the book is far more complex, and rather than being painted as the horrible step-mother, she is portrayed in a softer light and truly caring about her step-daughters and husband.  Whether this is true or not - well it is called historical "fiction" for a reason.  We don't know for sure, but I love when they add complexity and life to characters that are historically flat. 

Perhaps the most exciting part of this novel is that it starts less than a year before the murders take place, so we see everything leading up to them, and then we are taken on an amazing close-up journey when the murders happen. That was perhaps my favorite part of the book, possibly because it was from Bridget's point of view. Then of course we also see the same evidence as was in the real trial, but we also see that from different points of view, such as what Bridget said to the police after the murders. And then in and out of this murder scene in the future, Brooke is scrambling to read everything she can on the Borden case to find out more. This is about as far as I can go with my review without giving anything away - you have to read the book to find out what happens with both Brooke and Bridget! I can promise you will not be disappointed, this book is a great read and I am thrilled with it :)  Definitely giving this one 5 stars! If you love historical fiction or even just love Lizzie Borden, then you must read this!  Check it out :)

***I was sent a advance complimentary copy of this book to read.  I was not forced nor required to leave a review, this is of my own accord.***

Editorial Reviews


“A complex and riveting parallax view of domestic crimes, decades apart.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Erika Mailman writes a page turner of a thriller that will fascinate as well as terrify.”
―Margaret Lane, New York Journal of Books

Fascinating, mesmerizing, and so darkly atmospheric that you keep looking over your shoulder as you read.
―Diana Gabaldon, internationally-bestselling author of the Outlander series

The Murderer’s Maid is a fascinating and deeply chilling tale. Erika Mailman weaves a story that is by turns poignant, compelling, and murderously suspenseful.
―Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic’s Daughter

About the Author

Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch's Trinity, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and Bram Stoker Award finalist, and Woman of Ill Fame, a Pushcart Press Editor's Book Award nominee. She's a Yaddo fellow and lives in Northern California with her family. |
Thank you to Once Upon A Book for allowing me to read this and join the crew!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for Fearless (Nameless #3) by Jennifer Jenkins!

Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
Fearless (Nameless #3) by Jennifer Jenkins
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Happy Book Birthday, Jennifer!
In exactly twenty-three days, Gryphon will offer his life to Chief Barnabas in exchange for the lives of his best friend and mess brothers. Until then, he must keep his plans from Zo while avoiding the Wolves of the Allied Camp. But Gryphon is not the only one harboring secrets. To spare her own life, Zo has made a blood oath promising to help the Kodiak Clan free their families living as Nameless slaves. When Gryphon learns the truth — that the peaceful life he’d planned for Zo is not secure — he divulges a secret that will give the Allies the upper hand against the Ram.
Now, The Great Move is underway and a final battle between the Wolf, Ram, Kodiak and Raven cannot be stopped. Strength will be tested. Loyalties will be questioned. Alliances will form. In a world of uncertainty and danger, Zo and Gryphon may finally have what they’ve each always wanted.

Fearless (Nameless #3) by Jennifer Jenkins 
Publication Date: October 17, 2017 
Publisher: Month9Books
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.
Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for books 1 and 2 in the Weirdo Academy Series by Charles Curtis!

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for books 1 and 2 in the 
Weirdo Academy Series by Charles Curtis!
Be on the lookout for these titles from Tantrum Books!
Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, dreams of playing football. But his dreams are thwarted by his lack of athleticism and overall lanky build. Like any kid with a dream, Alex tries out anyway, just in case. If nothing else, maybe he can win the role of water boy. So when Alex suddenly manifests superhuman powers during football tryouts, Alex can't believe his good luck. He's got game! But his new abilities can get him kicked off the team; unless Alex can keep it a secret long enough to find out how the heck he got this way. Enter Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Now, Alex isn't the only one at school with a secret. Except, the boys have caught the attention of some pretty nefarious adults, intent on making sure neither Alex nor Dex make it through the season.The only thing stranger than Alexander Graham Ptuiac, accidental quarterback, is the shocking truth about himself and his parents. When truth is stranger than fiction and adults are out to get you, there's only one thing to do. Play ball!

Accidental Quarterback (Weirdo Academy #1) by Charles Curtis Publication Date:  November 7, 2017 
Publisher:  Tantrum Books
Pre-order: Amazon
Alex and Dex are local heroes. Suddenly, everyone wants to be friends with Alex, Dex and Sophi.
But someone more powerful than any of them lurks in the background, keeping a close watch until it's time to swoop in and capture them. Still, Alex tries to maintain some semblance of normalcy -- in the offseason, he wants to play baseball. As Alex becomes a formidable pitcher, his powers grow and so does his obsession with controlling them. With Alex finding less and less time for Dex and Sophi, Dex discovers his cat-like abilities start to disappear soon after he starts spending time with a girl. As the friends struggle to maintain their friendships, that mysterious someone gets closer and closer. Can the three friends find their way back to one another before it's too late? Or will middle school tear them apart for good?

The Impossible Pitcher (Weirdo Academy #2) by Charles Curtis Publication Date:  November 7, 2017 
Publisher:  Tantrum Books
Pre-order: Amazon
Charles Curtis is a writer and journalist based in New York City. He has reported and written for publications including (where he is currently the site’s sports buzz reporter), The Daily,, ESPN the Magazine, Bleacher Report, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Charles has covered the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, golf, tennis and NASCAR. He has also written about television, film and pop culture. In addition, Curtis has also written, produced and was featured in videos for and The Daily. He has made radio appearances on stations including 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, Maine, WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and on morning shows across Canada via the CBC. He can be reached on Twitter: @charlescurtis82.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for Poppy Mayberry: Return to Power Academy (Nova Kids #2) by Jennie K. Brown

Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
Poppy Mayberry: Return to Power Academy (Nova Kids #2) by Jennie K. Brown
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9Books!
Grab your copy today!
Happy Book Birthday, Jennie!
Finding out you were wrong about something important can be a let down. But Poppy is pleased to learn she's not just a Monday. She's a Cusper, a weekday lucky enough to have TWO powers. Poppy's elation is short-lived when she, Ellie, Logan, and Sam return to Power Academy as camp counselors, only to find themselves out of their element and struggling with the new drama teacher and his disaster of a school musical. When some campers go missing, Poppy and her team of weekdays are on the case. Soon, Poppy begins to realize that much like her powers, the seemingly-perfect town of Nova has some flaws, and the origin of her powers is as questionable as Headmistress Clothes-too-tight Larriby's choice in outfits.If only there were more days in the week!
Poppy Mayberry: Return To Power Academy (Nova Kids #2) by Jennie K. Brown Publication Date: October 10, 2017 Publisher: Tantrum Books

I thought back to our homework from last night, but nothing came to me. Sometimes I wished that my Monday power could conjure up answers just as quickly as it allowed me to move things with my mind.
I glanced over at my former archenemy, Ellie Preston, and tried to read the answer from her head. She shook her head two times, meaning she had no idea what the answer was. Ellie had many strengths, but mathematics was definitely not one of them.
“That’s what I thought, Miss Mayberry,” Mr. Salmon said through a smile. The class giggled.
As he turned his back to me and walked down the aisle, I read his mind, that’s what you get for making fun of my stylish hair.
“I wouldn’t call it stylish,” I said quietly, not knowing what compelled me to say it aloud when I could have just thought it right back at him. I hoped he hadn’t heard me, but the look in Mr. Salmon’s eyes told me otherwise.
“Excuse me, Poppy?” Mr. Salmon said, walking back toward my seat. His hair bounced with each step and I chuckled to myself. At this point, all eyes were on me.

I responded confidently, “I just said I wouldn’t call your hair stylish.” Giggles came from every direction. Did I seriously just make fun of my teacher in front of the class? This would so not be good.


Jennie K. Brown is a high school English teacher by day, freelance magazine writer by night, and middlegrade/young adult author by late-night and weekend. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Jennie can be found reading a good book, traveling, or spending time with her awesome husband, amazing son and super-spoiled yorkie.In 2010, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) named Jennie the Pennsylvania English teacher of excellence, and she currently serves as President of the Pennsylvania Council for Teachers of English and Language Arts (PCTELA). She is also an active member of SCBWI, NCTE and ALAN.
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf (Hair in all the Wrong Places #2) by Andrew Buckley

Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf (Hair in all the Wrong Places #2) by Andrew Buckley
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9Books!
Grab your copy today!
Happy Book Birthday, Andrew!
Being a werewolf is no picnic. Colin’s constantly hungry, spends a ton of time shaving, and fights to keep his emotions in check to avoid turning into a giant, drooling, hairy, smelly, howling wolf. But Colin's not the only creature hanging around the town of Elkwood. Vampires, zombies, goblins, ogres, and other questionable visitors and their various shenanigans have got everyone on edge.
Colin just wants to live a normal life, date, and get his homework done on time. But the town of Elkwood needs him. So when a secret government organization asks for his help, will he be able to control the animal inside, or will he give in to the perils of growing up werewolf?

The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf (Hair in all the Wrong Places #2) by Andrew Buckley Publication Date: October 3, 2017 
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN. He works as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.
Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on his next novel, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with three kids, one cat, one needy dog, one beautiful wife, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind.
Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group.
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Monday, October 2, 2017

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for 27 Hours by Tristina Wright!

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for
27 Hours by Tristina Wright
presented by Entangled Teen!
Grab your copy today!
Congratulations Tristina!
Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.
But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them. Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother's shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon's darkest secret. They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth. During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left. 27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.
27 Hours by Tristina Wright Publication Date:  October 3, 2017 
Publisher:  Entangled Teen
Tristina Wright is a blue-haired bisexual with anxiety and opinions. She’s also possibly a mermaid, but no one can get confirmation. She fell in love with science fiction and fantasy at a young age and frequently got caught writing in class instead of paying attention. She enjoys worlds with monsters and kissing and monsters kissing. She married a nerd who can build computers and make the sun shine with his smile. Most days, she can be found drinking coffee from her favorite chipped mug and making up more stories for her wombfruit, who keep life exciting and unpredictable.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for Seize Today (Forget Tomorrow #3) by Pintip Dunn

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for
Seize Today (Forget Tomorrow #3) by Pintip Dunn
presented by Entangled Teen!
Grab your copy today!
Congratulations Pintip!
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Dresden is a precognitive. Since different versions of people’s futures flicker before her eyes, she doesn’t have to believe in human decency. She can see the way for everyone to be their best self-if only they would make the right decisions. No one is more conflicted than her mother, and Olivia can only watch as Chairwoman Dresden chooses the dark, destructive course every time. Yet Olivia remains fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.

But when the chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, the striking and strong-willed boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia sees a vision of her own imminent death…at Ryder’s hand. Despite her bleak fate, she rescues Ryder and flees with him, drawing her mother’s fury and sparking a romance as doomed as Olivia herself. As the full extent of Chairwoman Dresden’s gruesome plan is revealed, Olivia must find the courage to live in the present-and stop her mother before she destroys the world.

Seize Today (Forget Tomorrow #3) by Pintip Dunn 
Publication Date: October 3, 2017 
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. Pintip's debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. In addition, it is a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, and the MASL Truman Award. THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, the novella BEFORE TOMORROW, and GIRL ON THE VERGE. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at
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