2018 WHEN Are You Reading? @SamAnnElizabeth ‘s Challenge – Completed

Way back in January I decided to try this challenge run by Sam Ann Elizabeth 

The complete challenge was to include at least 12 books, one from each of the following eras:

  • Pre 1500
  • 1500-1599
  • 1600-1699
  • 1700-1799
  • 1800-1899
  • 1900-1919
  • 1920-1939
  • 1940-1959
  • 1960-1979
  • 1980-1999
  • 2000-Present
  • The Future

I wasn’t sure if I read widely enough across the timeline, but today my results surprised me. In sections where I’ve read a high volume of books, I’ve chosen a selection of books. Book titles have links to my reviews.

Pre 1500s

Athena’s Champion by David Hair and Cath Mayo – Greek mythology

Brethren by Robyn Young – Knights Templar

Smile Of The Wolf by Tim Leach – Set in Iceland

The Greenest Branch by J.K. Adams – Set in Germany and features Benedictine abbess Hildegard

The Heart Of The Conqueror by G. Lawrence – About William the Conqueror

Daughter Of War by S .J .A. Turney – Knights Templar

1500-1599

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The Golden Lynx by C.P. Lesley – Set in Russia

1600-1699

Flood by Ann Swinfen – Set in England’s Fenlands

The Green Phoenix by Alice Poon – Set in China

1700-1799

The Earl And The Enchantress by Paulette Golden – Historical romance

Whales And Strange Stars by Kathy Sharp – Set in Kent

1800-1899

The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett – YA tale of emigration

The Mysterious Lord Millcroft by Virginia Heath – Historical romance

From Governess To Countess by Marguerite Kaye – Historical romance

The Dressmaker’s Secret by Charlotte Betts – Features Princess Caroline Of Brunswick

Winds Of Time by Lilly Gayle – Historical romance set in Texas

My Antonia by Willa Cather – Classic American historical fiction set in Nebraska

1900-1999

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull – Featuring early women aviators

Call Of The Canyon by Zane Grey – Set in Arizona

The Captain And The Calvalry Trooper by Catherine Curzon – M/M romance set during WW1

1920-1939

Trusting The Currents by Lynnda Pollio – Set in small town America, with a spiritual theme.

The Madonna Of The Mountains by Elise Valmorbida (begins in 1923) Set in Italy

1940-1959

A Ration Book Christmas by Jean Fullerton – Family saga set in London during WW2

Never Say Goodbye by Hilary Green – A resistance-themed WW2 drama

1960-1979

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (begins in 1962) Set in southern Georgia

Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton – Set in Memphis

1980-1999

Nightfall Berlin by Jack Grimwood – A cold war thriller

Dear Comrade Novak by Silvia Hildebrant – Set in Romania during the revolution

Lucky Star by Holly Curtis – Coming of age story

2000- present

Connectedness by Sandra Danby (begins in 2009) – Story featuring adoption

Lush by Gabrielle Fernie – A true story soaked in gin

The Woman At Number 24 by Juliet Ashton – Set in Notting Hill

Future

Amendments by Hannah Lynn – Set in futuristic Britain

The Afterlife Of Alice Watkins by Matilda Scotney – Mild scifi

If you’d like to join in with the challenge for 2019 check out Sam’s blog post here.

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Sunday Connection Books We’ve Reviewed This Week Plus Links To The Blogosphere #SundayBlogShare

This week we’ve been reviewing the following:

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Monday – classic American historical fiction My Antonia by Willa Cather

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And Knights Templar historical fiction Daughter Of War by SJA Turney

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Tuesday – women’s fiction The Girl I Used To Know by Faith Hogan

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And family saga Madonna Of The Mountains by Elise Valmorbida

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Wednesday – Terry reviewed Tudor historical fiction Mary: Tudor Princess by Tony Riches

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Thursday – Noelle reviewed crime fiction The Maori Detective by DA Crossman

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Friday – Teri reviewed modern fairy tale The Royal Deal by DG Driver

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And I reviewed thriller Girl Without A Voice by Chris Bridge

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Saturday Judith reviewed thriller Hiding by Jenny M Potts

Plus links to interesting posts from the blogosphere.

Hashtags for new book bloggers

https://catonthebookshelf.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/the-guide-to-twitter-hashtags-for-new-book-bloggers/

A look behind the scenes of a small press publisher

http://www.scifiandscary.com/small-press-interview-crystal-lake-publishing/

How to write better fight scenes

http://www.springhole.net/writing/write-better-action-and-fight-scenes.htm

Being Published – Part 1 The Contract

http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2018/04/being-published-part-1-contracts.html

What is it really like to be an author?

https://ronelthemythmaker.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/what-is-it-really-like-to-be-a-writer-atozchallenge/

My review of The Madonna Of The Mountains by Elise Valmorbida #TuesdayBookBlog @FaberBooks

The Madonna of The MountainsThe Madonna of The Mountains by Elise Valmorbida

4 stars

The Madonna Of The Mountains is cultural fiction set during twenty-five years of Maria Vittoria’s life. The book opens in 1923, in a mountainous Italian village. Maria is twenty-five years old, almost too old to marry, but few eligible men are left after war and Spanish flu. Maria’s father searches for a husband for his daughter; he returns with Achille, and the pair begin their married life. Both are hard-working and they move to a small town where they buy a grocery shop.

The Second World War years are very hard, and they now have five children. Owning a grocery shop helps with food shortages, but they are still vulnerable to political battles. Maria’s driving force is to keep her family safe and fed. When the war ends, Maria and her family face new trials as Italy rebuilds itself and finds new leaders.

Throughout her story Maria’s Catholic faith guides her. She keeps a statue of the Madonna with her and there are sections of prayer or dreams where the Madonna talks to Maria.

This is a book about families, hardships, war and retribution. The beginning was rather slow, perhaps reflecting the pace of life. I never quite got all of Maria’s relatives straight in my head. However, the war years were well written, I could easily picture it all, especially the hunger, cold and hardships. My favourite part of the book was the section on Mulberry trees and silk worms, which I found fascinating.

This book might suit those who enjoy family saga style books, or those who are interested in something a little different with their war years dramas.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

1923
Maria Vittoria is embroidering a sheet for her dowry trunk.
Her father has gone to find her a husband. He’s taken his mule, a photograph and a pack of food: home-made sopressa sausage, cold polenta, a little flask of wine-no need to take water-the world is full of water.
It’s Springtime, when a betrothal might happen, as sudden as a wild cyclamen from a wet rock, as sweet as a tiny violet fed by melting mountain snow. There are no eligible men in this valley or the next one, but her Father will not let her marry just anyone, and now, despite Maria’s years, she is still healthy. Her betrothed will see all that. He’ll be looking for a woman who can do the work.
Maria can do the work. Everyone in the contra says that.
And the lord knows Maria will need to be able to work. Fascism blooms as crops ripen, the state craves babies just as the babies cry for food. Maria faces a stoney path, but one she will surely climb to the summit.
In this sumptuous and elegant novel you will taste the bigoli co l’arna, feel the mulberry leaves cut finer than organdy, hear the silence that enfolds Maria when Achille – that ox of a man – lifts his hand to her, and feel the strain of one woman attempting to keep her family together in the most testing of times.

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