Sunday Post

Book arrivals:

My mailbox was empty so it’s a catch-up week ūüôā ¬†Author Glen Craney is giving away FIVE ebooks of his Historical Fiction novel The Spider and the Stone. Click the title link and check out the Spotlight and Giveaway (mobi or epub)

Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review: ¬†Butternut Summer by Mary McNear
  • Review: ¬†A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • Review: ¬†The Homecoming by Robyn Carr
  • Spotlight/Giveaway: ¬†The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney

butternut summer (Aug12)  a man called ove  the homecoming (August26)  the S&S cover

Currently reading:

the fortune hunter  LuckyCatch_Final(5)

Happy reading!

Spotlight/Giveaway: The Spider and the Stone by Glen Craney

the S&S cover


As the 14th century dawns, Scotland’s survival hangs by a spider’s thread. While the Scot clans scrap over their empty throne, the brutal¬†Edward Longshanks¬†of England invades the weakened northern kingdom, scheming to annex it to his realm.

But one frail, dark-skinned lad stands in the Plantagenet monarch’s path.

The beleaguered Scots cherish and lionize¬†James Douglas¬†as their “Good Sir James.” Yet in England, his slashing and elusive raids deep into Yorkshire and Northumbria wreak such havoc and terror that he is branded the¬†Black Douglas¬†with a reward placed on his head for his capture.

As a boy, James falls in love with the ravishing Isabelle MacDuff, whose clan for centuries has inaugurated Scottish monarchs on the hallowed Stone of Destiny. His world is upturned when he befriends Robert Bruce, a bitter enemy of the MacDuffs. Forced to choose between love and clan loyalty, James and Isabelle make fateful decisions that will draw the opposing armies to the bloody field of Bannockburn.

Isabelle will crown a king. James will carry a king’s heart. At last, both now take their rightful places with Robert Bruce, Rob Roy, and William Wallace in the pantheon of Scot heroes.

Here is the story of¬†Scotland’s War of Independence¬†and the remarkable events that followed the execution of Wallace, whose legend was portrayed in the movie¬†Braveheart. This thrilling epic leads us to the miraculous¬†Stone of Destiny, to the famous¬†Spider in the Cave, to the excommunicated¬†Knights Templar, to the suppressedCuldee Church, and to the unprecedented¬†Declaration of Arbroath, the stirring oath document that inspired the American Declaration of Independence four hundred years later.

The Spider and the Stone is the unforgettable saga of the star-crossed love, religious intrigue, and heroic sacrifice that saved Scotland during its time of greatest peril.

the spider & the stone

Praise for the book:

“[Craney] has woven a well-crafted, interesting tale.”¬†— Historical Novel Society

“The best book I’ve read this year.”¬†— John Graham, seneschal of the Society of Creative Anachronism

“It was a marvelous book and I was moved to tears.”¬†— Kathleen Ingram,¬†Reading¬†the Ages

“I feel like a groupie, I’m so excited about this book!”¬†— Amazon reviewer

“Amazingly crafted novel…. Lovers of Scottish history will love the accuracy and presentation of events, and lovers of a good story will be enthralled by its drama and intensity. I finished it today and feel as though I’m in mourning that it’s over.”¬†— Amazon reviewer

“Loved it! So much fun to read. This is a heartbreaking, heartwarming, exciting, interesting, well written book.”¬†— Goodreads reviewer

Paperback and ebook editions

432 pages
Brigid’s Fire Press (2014)
Ingram/Baker & Taylor


Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble

Glen CraneyAbout the author:

Glen Craney is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and lawyer. A three-time finalist for Foreward Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award, his historical fiction has taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.

Author Website
Facebook Author Page

Giveaway of FIVE ebooks

the S&S cover

Please click here and fill out the form



The Homecoming by Robyn Carr

  • the homecoming (August26)Title: ¬†The Homecoming
  • Series: ¬†Thunder Point #6
  • Author: ¬†Robyn Carr
  • Genre: ¬†Contemporary Romance; series
  • Published: ¬†August 2014 – Harlequin MIRA
  • Source: ¬†Publisher

Synopsis: ¬†In a small town, reputation is everything. In her latest novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr explores the burden placed on a young man returning home to face his mistakes‚ÄĒthe first step in claiming the life he was meant to live.¬†¬†

At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been. 

Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he’s been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father‚ÄĒand the people of Thunder Point‚ÄĒhe’s become a better, humbler version of his former self.¬†

Winning over his father isn’t the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town, his family and especially Iris that he’s finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud? ¬†(publisher)

My take: ¬†The Homecoming is another good addition to the Thunder Point series. It was quite different from the other books, I thought. Yes, there’s romance for Seth and Iris and they have issues to work through, but, at the forefront, is the issue of possible physical and verbal abuse – at Thunder Point High School. I thought Carr did a good job with this storyline.¬†The novel culminated with a dramatic scene.¬†As everything played out – the pages almost turned themselves.¬†

I can’t wait to read Carr’s next book in the Thunder Point series and hope I don’t have to wait too long. Recommended to fans of Contemporary/Small Town Romance and Robyn Carr.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

  • a man called oveTitle: ¬†A Man Called Ove: A Novel
  • Author: ¬†Fredrik Backman
  • Genre: ¬†Fiction
  • Published: ¬†July 2014 – Atria Books
  • Source: ¬†Publisher

Synopsis:  In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He‚Äôs a curmudgeon‚ÄĒthe kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him ‚Äúthe bitter neighbor from hell.‚ÄĚ But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn‚Äôt walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of¬†The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry¬†and¬†Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.¬†¬†(publisher)

My take: ¬†Although I don’t consider myself a cranky old woman, I share the quality of not going around “with a smile plastered to my face all the time” – and I’ve been asked “what’s wrong?” when absolutely nothing is wrong. So I kind of “got” Ove. ūüôā

Fredrik Backman peeled back the layers of Ove’s story (no spoilers here) and pulled me into an understanding of what made Ove – Ove. I was unexpectedly charmed by Ove and the rag-tag group of neighbors and a stray cat that became family to him – although he’d never call them family. I think my favorite (after Ove) was Parvaneh, the pregnant neighbor. She didn’t take him seriously yet demanded answers from him. I felt she was a daughter figure to him (but he’d never admit that). It was lovely to see their relationship, such that it was, develop. It struck me that a few of the characters mirrored Ove in some ways ¬†but I’m not sure he would agree.

A Man Called Ove will be on my 2014 Favorites list. It’s a story about a man who had a plan but despite everything he tried to put that plan in motion, life had a plan of its own. It’s a charming, touching and emotional novel that I definitely recommend!

Butternut Summer by Mary McNear

  • butternut summer (Aug12)Title: ¬†Butternut Summer
  • Series: ¬†The Butternut Lake trilogy #2
  • Author: ¬†Mary McNear
  • Genre: ¬†Contemporary Romance
  • Published: ¬†August 2014 – William Morrow
  • Source: ¬†Publisher

Synopsis:¬†¬†Every summer on Butternut Lake the tourists arrive, the shops open, and the waves lap its tree-lined shores, just as they have for years. But this season everything changes for one mother and daughter who’ve always called the lake home. . . .


Caroline’s life is turned upside down the moment her ex-husband, Jack, strides through the door of her coffee shop. He seems changed‚ÄĒstronger, steadier, and determined to make amends with Caroline and their daughter, Daisy. Is he really different, or is he the same irresistibly charming but irresponsible man he was when he left Butternut Lake eighteen years ago? Caroline, whose life is stuck on pause as her finances are going down the tubes, is tempted to let him back into her life . . . but would it be wise?

For Caroline’s daughter, Daisy, the summer is filled with surprises. Home from college, she’s reunited with the father she adores‚ÄĒbut hardly knows‚ÄĒand swept away by her first true love. But Will isn’t what her mother wants for her‚ÄĒall Caroline can see is that he’s the kind of sexy “bad boy” Daisy should stay away from.

As the long, lazy days of summer pass, Daisy and Caroline come to realize that even if Butternut Lake doesn’t change, life does. . . . ¬†¬†¬†(publisher)

My take:  The synopsis tells you all you need to know so be sure to read it. This second book in the trilogy picks up three years after the end of the first book, Up at Butternut Lake.

I can tell you that I liked Butternut Summer¬†very much. I liked the characters and the plot and I found McNear’s writing quite enjoyable. The flow of the novel was good. So good that if I had to stop reading, I did so reluctantly.

This is a story of second chances, hope, and first love. And it ends with a cliff-hanger. I can’t wait to read the third book in the Butternut Lake trilogy. I hope I don’t have to wait too long!


McNear Mary ap1Mary McNear is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author living in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, miniscule white dog named Macaroon. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the Northern Midwest.

The publisher sent a finished copy

so I’ll share it with one of my US readers ūüôā

Please click here and fill out the form

Good luck!

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

When the Snow Falls (Oct7) Kensington  The Summer Girls  The Summer Wind

Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review: ¬†LOVE LETTERS by Debbie Macomber
  • Review: ¬†AN UNWILLING ACCOMPLICE by Charles Todd
  • Review/Blog tour: ¬†YOUR PERFECT LIFE by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

love letters - rose harbor#3 (Aug12)  An Unwilling Accomplice  your perfect life (Aug21)

Currently reading:

return to glory (Aug26)

Happy reading!