31 December, 2015

The Angel of Innisfree by Patrick F. Rooney Review!

It’s 1848, a time when the Irish Potato Famine has claimed more lives than anyone cares to count while English landlords continue to evict their tenants with a ruthless lack of compassion. Young Brian O’Rourke, an educated and savvy son in an impoverished family of Ribbonmen, meets Elizabeth Reilly, a talented pianist from London when she’s visiting her father in Ireland. After secretly promising themselves to each other at the age of sixteen, their twisted fates encounter unforeseen difficulties when Elizabeth returns to London and then follows Chopin to Paris to study piano, while Brian immigrates to America on a famine ship. Brian uses his telegraph expertise to help slaves escape on the Underground Railroad. He then travels to California to work on the Transcontinental Telegraph and to Washington to help President Lincoln during the Civil War, while Elizabeth launches a successful career as a concert pianist in Europe and America. 

This epic historical drama weaves a story of love overcoming every obstacle during one of the most tumultuous periods in history, when revolutions in Europe and the Civil War in the United States shook the basic foundations of society while inventions such as the telegraph changed the way the world worked. Their enduring romance captures the passionate spirits of two people determined to find each other regardless of the forces conspiring to keep them apart.

Patrick Francis Rooney was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He lived in Texas and Virginia for several years before he settled down in Colorado. A former software engineer in the computer industry, he now devotes himself full-time to writing fiction novels as well as performing and composing music. He plays electric bass and acoustic guitar in the Denver/Boulder area when he isn't writing.

So what and where is Innisfree? Innisfree is a small uninhabited island in Lough Gill, Ireland, featured in the poem Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats, at least, it was uninhabited in this novel. The Angel of Innisfree starts out in Ireland at Creevelea Abbey, Dromahair, Ireland in the year 1848. Dromahair is a small village in County LeitrimIreland.

Ireland in 1848 is known at this time for the potato famine, the Young Irelander Rebellion. The rebellion mainly had to do with the British and how they treated the Irish, lower than dirt, they took the lands from the people that had resided there for centuries, turned them out of their homes, burned what they could and left the people to die. The food that the Irish people grew was taken from them and sold to other countries or it went back to Britain. 

Brian O'Rourke is one of the sons of Big Paddy O'Rourke, one of these Irish that are told to get off the land or else. Well in Brian's family it was the or else, Brian's father and brothers are killed by the soldiers, the mother left to die and his sister kidnapped. Brian rescues his sister, which he does but his mother dies in the meantime. Brian vows revenge, kills a man and he becomes a wanted man and hides out on Innisfree. He and his sister Mary escape to America, hoping that life will be better there.

Elizabeth Reilly is a privileged woman who lives with her aunt in London but is visiting with her father who is tasked with the duty of having the Irish evicted from their lands, he does not condone the killing of course but he does what he is told. While Elizabeth is visiting she happens to hear beautiful music floating through her window. Elizabeth is a pianist and wants to be a concert performer but her father has other ideas. Well, Brian plays the fiddle and he is playing for the men, women and children who have died as a result of starvation. 

After Brian kills a man he is badly wounded and Elizabeth takes care of him on the island of Innisfree and they fall in love. Well, there is no happy ending at this time as Brian and Mary escape Ireland the cruelty that they find there. Elizabeth and Brian pledge that they will find each other no matter what or how long it may take, it actually takes 14 years. 

Upon arrival their lives are hard but they make it work and Brian eventually gets involved in working for the Telegraph companies. The Telegraph is in its infancy at this time and Brian becomes very prosperous, but he still pines for Elizabeth. Elizabeth, on the other hand, does eventually go to Paris to study with Chopin until his death.

The Angel of Innisfree is one of those epic novels that takes place over a period of 50 years. It takes the reader through the development of the telegraph, the international underground telegraph lines to Europe, the gold rush, concert halls, the Underground Railway, the Lincoln administration and his assassination and the Civil War. Through all of this Brian and Elizabeth persevere. 

Is there a happy ending? Well, you have to decide that. This novel is easy to read, lots of history but not bogged down in it to make it dull. This is a bit different than the other novel I read by Mr.Rooney, The Acheron Perception, but just as good if not better. I am partial to anything Irish of course so this book was perfect for me. I loved it and highly recommend it. Like I said before, this is not a history book and if that is what you are looking for, this isn't it. This is an epic love story that enforces that even in the face of war and other atrocities, love can beat all.

I received a copy of this book for review and was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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Tree of Life Blog Tour By Dawn Davis Virtual Book Tour!

About the Book:

Title: The Tree of Life
Author: Dawn Davis
Publisher: Friesen Press
Pages: 304
Genre: Historical Fiction
Two accidental time travelers explore Canada in 1939 in THE TREE OF LIFE, the first installment in the Tower Room series by Dawn Davis.
As THE TREE OF LIFE opens, Charlotte Hansen and her friend, Henry Jacobs, are hanging out in the old mansion where Charlotte and Leo, her grandfather, live. Henry is there to practice the piano, and Charlotte is waiting for him to finish so that she can supervise his work on a massive school project researching the 1930s. When Leo leaves the house to pick up his friend Gwendolyn Fenton—whom Charlotte does not like—the two eleven-year-olds prepare tea and cookies for the grown-ups’ visit and then rush to the Tower Room. The room is located on the top floor of the mansion. Charlotte is not allowed in the room without permission; but she is headstrong and ignores the directive. After leaving the tray of tea and sweets on the tabletop, Charlotte pulls Henry underneath the table with her.
The children soon hear Gwendolyn telling Leo about a magical brooch from her childhood. Suddenly, a large hand grabs Charlotte, who clutches Henry tightly before the hand thrusts the pair into nothingness. After Charlotte regains consciousness, she and Henry meet the younger version of Gwendolyn, a spoiled force of nature determined to appropriate the brooch her late mother left her brother. The friends learn that they are still in Rose Park, the neighborhood they both call home, but the year is 1939.
As Charlotte and Henry realize that they have traveled backward to move forward, the purpose of their time travel is revealed: Charlotte is there to help Gwendolyn resolve the pain of her past. During the adventure, Henry advocates against the anti-Semitism and racism of that time, and Charlotte learns to look beyond her own desires to help a person in need.
The idea for THE TREE OF LIFE and the Tower Room series came to the author after she attended a centennial celebration at her daughters’ school. “What might happen,” Davis thought, “if two children lived their research instead of simply reading about it? This one step outside the restrictions of time became the foundation for the series.”
As in THE TREE OF LIFE, the next three books will highlight different time periods in Canadian history, with the one constant being the appearance of Charlotte and Henry. Although the children will appear in each book with different names and bodies, they will be easily recognizable as eternal soul mates, and the harbingers of love and connection for those who have stumbled and lost their way.

For More Information

About the Author
Dawn Davis is a writer living and working in Toronto, Canada. Before becoming a writer, Davis worked as a teacher after completing her education at York University and the University of Toronto.
The Tree of Life is Davis’s debut novel, and the first book in her Tower Room series.

For More Information
  • Visit Dawn Davis’ website.
  • Connect with Dawn on Facebook.
  • Visit Dawn’s blog.
  • Book Excerpt:
They needed to work on our outfits for school on Monday.
There was to be a parade in the playground, a decade fashion show parade. Since most of the parents refused to scour the bins at Good Will for appropriate clothing, Henry and Charlotte were the only ones so far who had volunteered. Technically Henry did not volunteer. Charlotte signed his name in invisible ink and was planning on informing him later this afternoon. She would tell Henry that he would get special marks for being in the parade (a lie) because Henry was motivated only by marks. Their grades were already as high as they could go, mostly for bringing in a lot of old junk from Charlotte’s great aunt Dilys’s decaying trunks; printed spun rayon dresses, white nubuck open-toed Cuban-heeled shoes, step-by-step instructions on how to pluck out all your eyebrow hair and draw on fake eyebrows that had a larger arch, one of the first ballpoint pens ever made (1938), a picture of a chesterfield suite in mohair that cost $1.95 at the Adams Trade-in Store Special, and a spring hat with a lilac ribbon purchased at Fairweathers for $2.00 and still in the bag. In reviewing her list, Charlotte found one item to be extremely interesting. In the 1930s, a hat cost more than a chesterfield.
It irked Charlotte that she needed to refer to her lists to remember how many items she had collected because Henry never needed this crutch. He could recite any list, any page of a book, any tiny print on a newspaper, even if he had only seen it once and for less than a second.
That’s because Henry had a condition called eidetic memory bog.
A bog is a swamp, a very damp place where unpleasant things grow and multiply. This was Charlotte’s way of describing the interior of Henry’s skull.
Eidetic memory: an article in a newspaper, a children’s story, musical notes from dingy old manuscripts, the script on a Chinese menu, junk mail forced through the mail slot, recipes, etc. etc. misc., all absorbed, imprinted, collated and filed away for future reference, word perfect. Although Henry denied it, Charlotte believed he had this disease because of his permanently crossed eyes. Therefore his brain was unable to process information the way the brain of a normal person (like Charlotte’s) did by sucking up facts through perfectly aligned eyeballs and expelling it all through the very same portals. Henry’s out-take portals were plugged by all the surgeries he had when he was a toddler, and Charlotte feared that someday Henry’s brain might explode from all the useless information he could not eliminate.
A handful of people knew he had this illness, and Henry utilized it sparingly.
“Because I appear to be blind, I overcompensate by having an unusual ability to retain data that may or may not be useful in the world at large,” Henry once told Charlotte. “Is that so unusual?”
Of course she immediately had to set him a test.
Henry was lounging around on Charlotte’s bed, breathing her air and staring at her ceiling and moving his lips in a really annoying way so she said: “Let me show you something.”
He ignored her for a while but finally cranked his head over to where Charlotte was stitching together a hole in the leg of one of her stuffed animals.
She dropped the dog and held the World Book up to his face.
“Look at this.” She pointed to the section on German wirehaired pointers. She let Henry look at the article for three seconds and then she whisked the book away and sat cross-legged on the end of her bed because Henry was taking up all the middle space.
“What about it?” he asked.
“What kind of dog is a German wirehaired pointer?” Charlotte asked.
“A hunting dog,” he replied immediately.
“How did it come to be?”
“It’s a cross-breed which means the dog was developed by breeding a German short haired pointer with a poodle pointer.”
“And how much does it weigh?”
“About twenty-five kilos.”
“Does it like having its ears scratched?”
“How many times a day do you have to take it out for a walk?”
“What do you do if the dog howls in the middle of the night?”
Angry silence.
“How long does it take the average German short haired pointer to devour a bowl of food, and what happens if one freshly cooked pea is buried in the midst of its food?”
Confused silence.
“What good does it do you to be able to memorize this anyway?”
Superior silence.
“Facts are meaningless,” she said. “Experience is everything.”
Shut up,” Henry said. “There is only one fact that is significant. I blend in. I get along just fine.”
In fact, Henry did not get along just fine, and if it weren’t for Charlotte, he never would have survived at Rose Park Public School.
For some reason the mere presence of Henry on the playground at school annoyed a few of the boys in the grade five class, the ones who weren’t very bright—Tyler MacKenzie in particular. Tyler invented a few colourful names which he felt best described Henry’s exterior; cross-eyed creep, frogman, slimebucket, and monster boy were a few of the favourites. These insults usually bounced off Henry, drifting into the air like soap bubbles, which then quietly burst, leaving Henry unharmed. He didn’t seem to hear the words directed at him. But once Henry made the mistake of getting in Tyler’s way. He was standing at the southern end of the playground reading a book he had projected onto the wall of the school, the same brick wall Tyler and his friends were using to see who could slam a baseball the hardest.
Henry didn’t know he was in the way because he was not present to the reality of the moment.
He returned abruptly when Tyler stood before him, blocking his view of the wall.
“Hey, slimebucket, we’re playing a game here. Move.”
Henry didn’t.
Or maybe we could use you as a target and just aim for your nose.” Tyler touched Henry’s nose lightly with his fingertips. “That would be easier to hit than the wall.”
Henry brushed aside the grubby fingertips and stared straight at Tyler.
“Smell,” he said, “is stored in the limbic area of the brain.” His voice was measured and precise. “That’s why whenever I smell dog shit, I think of you…”

“In fact, all our memories and emotions are stored in the limbic area,” Henry told Charlotte five minutes later as they were both hurried off to the nurse’s office. Charlotte got an elbow in her eye trying to defend Henry whose upper lip had been cut right open.
He continued to talk as blood pooled in his mouth.
The emotional content we all have stockpiled is extremely personal,” he said matter-of-factly, shifting the ice pack from the staffroom freezer to spit in the yogurt jar from the daycare centre. “And everything we possess inside here,” he said, tapping his forehead with three fingers, “is warehoused instantly with no conscious intervention on our part at all.”
So much for blending in.

The Edge of Madness - A Thriller & Horror Anthology Release Date: March 1, 2016 Includes Giveaway!

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The Edge of Madness -
A Thriller & Horror Anthology
Release Date: March 1, 2016

MARCH MADNESS as you’ve NEVER seen it…

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Kick off Spring 2016 with a collection of macabre, suspenseful and disturbing thriller/horror stories from around the globe — some of which you might be able to read with the lights off. The rest are going to scare the bejeezus out of you! One thing is guaranteed: once you've read them, you won’t ever be the same! 

A mix of previously-released stories and never-before seen tales, this set holds fifteen new worlds to explore — fifteen incredible experiences to bombard your senses, fifteen sets of characters to love, hate and run from — and who could ask for more? 

The perfect companion for a leisurely weekend of mayhem is at your fingertips — one-click your copy today! 


13 — Julie Elizabeth Powell 
SLOTS — R.E. Hargrave 
SPLIT — Michele E. Gwynn 
NO CALLER ID — Ruby West 
SECRETS ROOM — Kim Faulks 
BLOOD CROW — Cleve Sylcox 
BLOOD IS POWER — Ella Medler 
DUPLICITOUS — Stephanie Nett 
LOST SHADOWS — Julie Elizabeth Powell 
DIRTY BUSINESS — Julie Elizabeth Powell 
NORTH BY NORTHEAST — Cherime MacFarlane 
CAPTIVE (Book 1 of A New Life Series) — Samantha Jacobey 

RATED MA 18+ for mature content, V — violence, S — graphic sexual situations, L — vulgar language. Not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. Reader discretion is advised. 

RELEASED by PERMISSION — All works in this box set have been professionally proofed by Paper Gold Publishing, unless this service was expressly refused by the author. Some stories are written in American, some in Australian, and some in British English. The authors have chosen to stay true to their heritage. 
All rights reserved.

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Pre-order links:

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Miss Demeanor Suspense Series Release Tour! Includes Giveaway!


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