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Rasputin’s Shadow by Raymond Khoury

Blog Tour: Rasputin’s Shadow by Raymond Khoury (Dutton Books; 384 pages; $27.95).

About The Book:

On a cold, bleak day in 1916, all hell breaks loose in a mining pit in the Ural Mountains.  Overcome by a strange paranoia, the rasputinminers attack one another, savagely and ferociously.  Minutes later, two men–a horrified scientist and Grigory Rasputin, trusted confidant of the czar, hit a detonator, blowing up the mine to conceal all evidence of the carnage.

In the present day, FBI agent Sean Reilly’s search for Reed Corrigan, the CIA mind-control spook who brainwashed Reilly’s son, takes a back seat to a new, disturbing case.  A Russian embassy attache seems to have committed suicide by jumping out of a fourth-story window in Queens.  The apartment’s owner, a retired physics teacher from Russia, has also gone missing.

Joined by Russian FSB agent Larisa Sokolova, Reilly’s investigation into the old man’s identity will uncover a desperate search for a small, mysterious device, with consequences that reach back in history, and if placed in the wrong hands could have a devastating impact on the modern world.


About The Author:


Raymond Khoury is the bestselling author of The Devil’s Elixir, The Last Templar, The Sanctuary, The Sign, and The Templar Salvation.  An acclaimed screenwriter and producer for both television and film, Khoury now lives in London with his wife and two children.


Bookmagnet Says:

I have been a fan of Raymond Khoury ever since I stumbled upon The Last Templar back in 2006.  Unlike a lot of other writers of mysteries and thrillers, Khoury has managed not only to sustain my interest in his stories and his recurring characters but he also stimulates my mind by delving into history.  His newest novel Rasputin’s Shadow is no exception.  From its explosive (literally) beginning to a stunning climax to a satisfying conclusion, Rasputin’s Shadow is the thriller of the year. Khoury effectively blends mystery, action, and intrigue with history, producing a compelling, pleasing story.   If the late, great Tom Clancy was the master of the Twentieth-Century thriller, Raymond Khoury is his Twenty-First Century successor.


Mini Q&A with Author Raymond Khoury

Rasputin is known as one of the most elusive figures in Russian history, but what specifically drew you to him as a character for your upcoming novel, RASPUTIN’S SHADOW?

Grigory Rasputin

Grigory Rasputin

As with previous novels, it was an unplanned convergence of influences. Very early into my research on the central theme of this book, mind control and how much we know about the way our brains work, I read about a Russian scientist who had been carrying out some pretty shocking “Manchurian candidate”-style experiments during the Cold War. He was described as having “Rasputin-like powers.” And that just lit up inside me. It was the perfect historical parallel for what I was working on, the big daddy of mind control, and the fact that Rasputin’s story had also taken place in Russia was too irresistible to ignore. The story fell into place within seconds. Like Hannibal Smith used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Your novels contain a lot of historical truths, so how do you go about researching your subject before you dive into the story?  Did anything surprise you during your research for this book?

I probably do a lot more research than I need to for my novels, for several reasons: part of it is simple curiosity: I just find it interesting to educate myself about the topics and themes I’m curious about, and it’s so easy to get swept up in surfing from one link to the next. Also, I have this obsession with wanting every detail in my books, historical or otherwise, to be accurate. I remember being on a panel with Harlan Coben once, and he said, “we’re fiction writers, we can just make things up.” And he’s right, of course, we do—a lot. But I feel a need to know exactly what a Turkish horse-trader in the 13th century would have been wearing, what he would have eaten, what his sword (scimitar!) would have looked like, before writing him into a book. And that takes a lot of research that can only end up as a sentence here or a word there. The big scene at the end of The Templar Salvation, for instance, the plane and the sea, or the one where the Italian gets chucked out of it earlier on: I went through every detail of those sequences with a pilot who owns that exact plane, and we made sure everything I wrote was not only correct, but doable.

In past reviews your writing has been called “cinematic.” Do you consciously try to write this way? Or do you think that thrillers naturally lend themselves to this style of writing?

I see my stories visually, it’s hugely important for me. I see the scenes unfurling in my mind as I’m writing them, and I often sketch out storyboards for the big set pieces to “direct” them as I write them out. Thrillers naturally lend themselves to this style, and to be frank with you, I’m often disappointed by thrillers that turn out to have limited scale in their visuals. What I mean is that as a writer, you can almost take any scene and ratchet up the suspense and the scale without necessarily turning it into ridiculous, comic-book-like, over-the-top mindless action. Think of a director like Michael Mann, for instance, and the bank robbery scene from “Heat.” Or any scene from “Collateral.” Or read “Marathon Man,” which is exactly similar, beat for beat, to the great movie it spawned. In my mind, a real thriller should have a ‘cinematic’ aspect, but it’s crucial to keep it within the confines of reality.

What impact, if any, do you think your experience as a screenwriter and producer has on your ability to paint a vivid description in your novel writing?

Huge impact, no doubt. I’m always told by readers that they could “see” the book like a movie while reading it. I don’t believe in taking shortcuts. If the FBI is shadowing a hostage trade-off between a group of Russian mafiya thugs and some Korean gangsters in some remote Brooklyn shipyard in the dead of the night, that’s an opportunity for a major set-piece with a lot of suspense, it deserves to be cinematic. I believe good writing should conjure up vivid visuals in the mind of the reader and should kick up as much adrenaline in him or her as a great movie would.

What types of characters do you most enjoy writing?

I enjoy spending time with all my characters. RASPUTIN’S SHADOW probably has the largest cast of characters I’ve used in a novel, and I really enjoyed creating them and exploring their own foibles. That said, I usually enjoy writing the main antagonists most: characters like Vance in THE LAST TEMPLAR, the Hakeem in THE SANCTUARY, Zahed in THE TEMPLAR SALVATION, and El Brujo in THE DEVIL’S ELIXIR (no spoilers about the new book here!). They’re never clear-cut bad guys, nothing’s black or white. They have histories, they have reasons for doing what they’re doing, we need to wonder what we’d have done if we had been in their situation. The grey area of human nature is very interesting to me. I also hugely enjoy writing the historical characters: Rasputin and Misha, or course, in the new book; but also, Sebastian and Theresia’s love story in THE SANCTUARY and Conrad and Maysoon’s one in THE TEMPLAR SALVATION are particular favourites.



Filed under author interviews, book review, Bookmagnet's Best Books of the Month, books, contemporary fiction, fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, mystery, thriller

The King’s Deception by Steve Berry Blog Tour

The King’s Deception by Steve Berry (Ballantine Books; 432 pages; $27).

Steve Berry

Steve Berry

Cotton Malone returns in Steve Berry’s newest novel The King’s Deception and the stakes have never been higher.  I am a huge Malone fan, and I must say that Berry’s eighth installment in the Malone series is his best and his most controversial yet.  The King’s Deception made my heart pound, my pulse race, and my eyes go wide.  I predict all Malone fans will have similar reactions.

The King’s Deception is actually a flashback.  Malone relives an experience he had two years previously in a conversation with his ex-wife, Pam.

Not only does Berry focus on Malone, his main character, but he also provides us perspectives from a wide-range of narrators, adeptly and easily juggling a large cast.  The insight we gain from these multiple viewpoints enhances the tale and makes us aware of many things that Malone himself is heedless of.

It all begins when Malone and his son Gary travel to Europe.  Recent revelations have stunned the father-son duo and they need quality time together to talk.  In other words, their luggage is not the only baggage they carry with them on their trip.

Malone has also agreed to do a favor for his former boss at the Justice Department, Stephanie Nelle.  Accompanying Malone and Gary is Ian, a fugitive teen from England.

If you expect a smooth ride, then you’ve never read one of Berry’s Cotton Malone novels.  Nothing is ever as Malone expects it to be.  A simple favor leads to a showdown that evolves into an international incident.  At the heart of which is the terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who the Scottish government has agreed to release for humanitarian purposes: the bomber is dying of cancer.  Malone finds himself in the middle of a politically-charged environment, an area in which he usually shines and this is no exception.

It’s a formula that continues to work for Berry, who modeled his protagonist partly on himself when he first created his personality for The Templar Legacy.  Berry says he and Malone share a lot of attributes: “The love of rare books.  He doesn’t like enclosed spaces, I don’t either.  He doesn’t drink alcohol.  He has finicky eating habits, so do I.   I, of course, don’t jump out of planes and shoot guns at bad guys, so I live that through him.”  Berry is just as talented at creating his antagonists, such as CIA operative Blake Antrim, who shares a rather unexpected connection with Gary.

If the above were not enough, Berry goes one step further, introducing a mind-boggling but intriguing historical mystery involving Queen Elizabeth I.  The King’s Deception claims that Elizabeth was really a man in disguise.  And not just any man, but the son of King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son.  The real Elizabeth, according to Berry’s fascinating tale, died as a child and an imposter was put in her place.  The truth was kept a secret, especially from the king.

Bunk, you say?  Well, the story is tantalizing but not wholly implausible.  Berry thinks the myth is “both possible and fascinating.”  “The most wonderful fiction,” he explains, “always has a ring of truth to it.  Here, everything centers around the Bisley Boy legend.  Three years ago, Elizabeth [his wife] and I were north of London doing some publicity work for my British publisher when our guide told me about a local legend.   In the village of Bisley, for many centuries on a [certain] day, the locals would dress a young boy in female Elizabethan costume and parade him through the streets.  How odd.  I then discovered that Bram Stoker [author of Dracula], in the early part of the 20thcentury, also heard the tale and wrote about it in a book called Famous Imposters, which I read.   I then kings deceptionbegan to read about Elizabeth I and learned of many odd things associated with her.”  A story idea was thus born.

If this conspiracy theory were true, the implications would be vast.  Berry plays devil’s advocate here: “What does it matter if this thing happened in history?   How is that still relevant today? So what if Queen Elizabeth I was an imposter?”  “Actually it would matter a great deal,” Berry elucidates.  “Great Britain itself would dramatically change, and not without violence.  This possible ‘so what’ was such a threat that my British publisher asked me to tone things down a bit so we don’t provide folks with any ideas.”  Conspiracy theory or not, Berry offers readers something to ponder and even investigate for themselves.

With fast-paced action, fully realized and complex characters, and a brilliant mystery at its heart, The King’s Deception is an explosive and pulsing historical thrill ride—one I wanted to get on all over again.








Filed under blog tour, book review, books, contemporary fiction, fiction, historical fiction, history, mystery, Summer Reading, thriller

Blog Tour: From the Kitchen of Half Truth Book Review

from the kitchen of half truth

From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin (Sourcebooks Landmark; 352 pages; $14.99).

When I was a little girl, my grandfather regaled me with stories while I listened, rapt, and ate up every word he said.  I truly believed he had single-handedly captured Hitler, been a cowboy who fought Indians, and buried a wicked witch in his backyard (there was even a cement marker to indicate her final resting place).  Imagine my surprise when I discovered Hitler committed suicide or that my grandfather, nicknamed “Cowboy,” was not a real cowboy or that the marker was simply ornamental.   I recovered but continue to take his beloved yarns with a grain of salt, as he loves nothing more than to invent stories.  The tall tales of my granddaddy cannot compare with the whoppers that Valerie May tells her daughter Meg, the main character of Maria Goodin’s delightful novel, From the Kitchen of Half Truth.

Born prematurely, a little “underdone,” Meg was smaller than other babies.  Her grandfather placed her “at the end of the garden next to the hedgerow” where she received “full sun in the morning and plenty of shade in the afternoon.”  To no avail.  It didn’t work.

So Meg’s mother and grandfather jointly agreed to move the baby “closer to the garden sprinkler.”  But Meg stayed the same.  The family doctor advised them to feed bicarbonate of soda to the infant, as it was “a good raising agent” and then “leave her in the warm water heater closet overnight.” That, too, failed.

Meg’s grandmother suggested that her daughter talk to the baby, just as she would a plant.  After an initial reluctance, Valerie decides to tell her baby a story.  “For the first time ever,” Meg reveals, “I gave my mother a gummy smile, and by the end of the story she swears I had grown an entire inch.”

These are all Valerie’s words, Meg quickly points out to us in the novel’s first pages; they are not Meg’s memories.  Meg, now 21, cannot recall anything from the first five years of her life.   All Meg has are her mother’s memories, “which in fact are not memories at all but ridiculous fantasies that reflect her obsession with food and cooking” and prevent Meg from understanding her own childhood.  Raised on fantasies, Meg’s entire childhood is a farce.

Why can’t Meg just ask her mother to tell her the truth, you ask.  Well, it’s not that easy.  Valerie has not been forthcoming when it comes to truth and fiction in the past, and she is unlikely to divulge any information to Meg now that is dying of cancer.  Meg cannot ask her father either, a French chef who died an ugly and tragic death involving a pastry mixer in a “quest in create the finest cherry tart and name it after” Meg’s mother.

All Meg wants is to know her own history and her own family history—with no outlandish fantasies whatsoever.  This desire leads her to study genetics.  Valerie does not understand what attracts her daughter to the study of DNA.  “But you know who you are, darling,” Valerie says.  To which Meg replies, rather unhappily, “But I don’t.  Thanks to you, I don’t have a clue who I am.”

Valerie’s time is quickly running out, and Meg leaves school to spend time with her mother.  This should be the perfect time for mother to tell her daughter the truth, but Valerie still clings to her myths.  Meg slowly, and with the help of her mother’s gardener, begins to understand that fantasies, like ancient creation stories and myths, sometimes serve a higher purpose and wonders about her mother’s rationale.

Sometimes people escape into fantasy to get away from reality.  Slowly, Goodin reveals to us that is the case here.  And we understand why Valerie cannot tell Meg the truth.  Meg, guided by disturbing dreams and clues to the past, must uncover the facts on her own.

I devoured this wonderfully quirky romp of a novel in one sitting, partly because Meg’s enchanting voice narrates Goodin’s tale and partly because of Goodin’s clever and witty turns of phrase guaranteed to elicit a laugh or three.  Goodin also makes good use of her minor characters.  When I think of the myriad ways in which Goodin could have written this novel, alternating the narrative among the points of view of Meg, Valerie, the family doctor, Meg’s boyfriend, the gardener, the gardener’s dog, and Valerie’s best friend, I think she made the best choice.  Meg is an ideal narrator—likeable, relatable, charismatic, strong, and charming—and this reader ate her up.

One of the many strengths of In the Kitchen of Half Truth is the brilliant way in which Goodin weaves together memory and identity and shows how the two are closely intertwined.  When Meg doesn’t remember part of her past, then she cannot know who she truly is.  If she does not know where she has been, then she cannot know where she is going.  At the end of the book you are sure Meg is going to have a whole different life.  She’s stronger, happier, and ready to accept whatever life has in store for her.

Part mystery, part contemporary fiction, part daughter’s quest, From the Kitchen of Half Truth is for readers of The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard and Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer, two recent fiction releases that explore mothers and daughters and the bonds they share.

Throughout In the Kitchen of Half Truth, Goodin highlights the power of stories and of storytelling.  Fiction, no matter how outlandish, holds enormous power over all of us.  And that’s a good thing, nay, that’s a wonderful thing.  Stories will never die as long as we keep them alive.


April 1 – Luxury Reading

April 2 – Laura’s Reviews

April 4 – A Bookish Affair

April 5 – Mrs. Condit Reads Books

April 6 – Adventures of an Intrepid Reader

April 8 – Cocktails and Books

April 9 – Library of Clean Reads

April 10  – Broken Teepee

April 11 – Dew on the Kudzu

April 12 – Raging Bibliomania

April 15 – Daystarz

April 16 – Chick Lit Plus

April 17 – Peeking Between the Pages

April 22 – Books and Needlepoint

April 23 – Write Meg

April 26 – Bookmagnet


Filed under blog tour, book review, books, contemporary fiction, fiction, literary fiction

Blog Tour and Discussion: From the Kitchen of Half Truth

I thought it might be fun today, as part of the blog tour for From the Kitchen of Half Truth, to have a discussion.  You need not have read  the novel to participate.  It is my hope that the discussion prompts you to buy the book and read it.
from the kitchen of half truth

In From the Kitchen of Half Truth, “Meg discovers that the stories we tell give us the power to live the life we choose.”

As readers, we all know the power of stories.  But we seldom talk about how those stories have shaped us.

So I pose these questions to you:

How have stories and storytelling shaped you and your life?

How can stories guide us in our own lives?  How can they help us succeed?

I would love to hear from you!


Filed under blog tour, books, contemporary fiction, fiction, literary fiction

Blog Tour: Mini-Interview with Maria Goodin, Author of From the Kitchen of Half Truth

Jaime Boler: Did you always want to be a writer?

Maria Goodin: Yes, among other things. I am quite changeable and restless, so I don’t think I was ever destined to just think of a

Maria Goodin

Maria Goodin

career I wanted and head straight down that route.

I have worked as a teacher, a massage therapist, a counselor, an administrator…I think I will always have a varied career. But yes, writing a novel was always an ambition of mine. I think there is a lot of negative talk out there about becoming a writer, though, and how hard it is to get published.   To be honest, I probably saw being an author as the least obtainable career option, and so for a long time it was left on the shelf while I focused on finding other ways to pay the bills.  The desire to write a book was always there though, nagging at the back of my mind.

JB: How did you come up with the idea for FROM THE KITCHEN OF HALF TRUTH?

MG: I was out and about one day when I heard one lady say to another “and the baby was caught in a frying pan”, or at least that’s what I thought she said. I was on a busy, noisy street at the time and I’m sure I must have misheard. But the image was such a funny one it really stuck in my mind. I nutmegwrote a short story, “Nutmeg”, based around this idea, and when that won a writing competition I was inspired to turn that story into a novel.

JB:  What do you hope readers take with them after reading your story?

MG: One reader said it made them think about what’s important in life, and I think it would be a great achievement if my readers took that message away with them. Life passes so quickly and it’s so easy to forget what really matters and take it for granted.

I’m also very interested in this question about reality –the idea of an absolute reality versus individual self-created realities – and if readers wanted to consider that issue after reading the book then I think that would be a positive thing. It’s easy to go through life assuming that we are all living the same ‘reality’, and perhaps getting frustrated when other people don’t appear to be on the same page as us, but I think we all create our own worlds as a result of individual life experiences. I think an appreciation of this can help us develop empathy and be less judgmental.

JB:  Your book is about storytelling.  How have stories enriched your life and made you the person you are today?from the kitchen of half truth

MG: I have fond memories of being read to as a child, and later I read quite a lot by myself. I also watched a fair bit of television and quite a lot of films. As a consequence, I developed a very vivid imagination. I was always disappearing into my own little world, and I became quite skilled at envisaging characters and scenarios. I was always daydreaming, and even as an adult I have a bit of a tendency to get lost in my own head at times. Expressed positively it makes me creative, but expressed negatively it doesn’t always help in addressing practical matters!

Fiction has always provided an escape from the stresses and strains of daily life for me, whether it comes from a book, the television or from my own imagination.

JB: Thank you very much, Maria, for answering my questions!

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Blog Tour: From the Kitchen of Half Truth Giveaway

Today I am the very last stop in the blog tour for From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin.  I’ve got lots of things planned today-a giveaway, a mini-interview with Goodin, a topic we can all discuss (even if you have not read the book), and a review.
from the kitchen of half truth

About the Book:

Infused with the delicious warmth of Chocolat and captivating feeling of School of Essential Ingredients, FROM THE KITCHEN OF HALF TRUTH is the warm, tender story of Meg, who can’t convince her cooking-obsessed, fairy-tale loving mother to reveal a thing about their past, even as sickness threatens to hide those secrets forever. Driven to spend one last summer with her mother, Meg must face a choice between what’s real and what we make real, exploring the power of the stories we tell ourselves in order to create the lives we want.

About the Author: 

Maria Goodin

Maria Goodin

Maria Goodin was born in the South-East of England. Her first novel, ‘Nutmeg’, was published in the UK in 2012, and was based on an award-winning short story of the same title. The novel was published later that year in Australia under the title of ‘The Storyteller’s Daughter’, and was released in the US under the title ‘From the Kitchen of Half Truth’. Book deals have also been secured in Italy, Germany, Spain and Sweden. Following a varied career which included administration, teaching and massage therapy, Maria trained to be a counselor, and her novel was inspired by her interest in psychological defenses. She lives and writes in Hertfordshire.


April 1 – Luxury Reading

April 2 – Laura’s Reviews

April 4 – A Bookish Affair

April 5 – Mrs. Condit Reads Books

April 6 – Adventures of an Intrepid Reader

April 8 – Cocktails and Books

April 9 – Library of Clean Reads

April 10  – Broken Teepee

April 11 – Dew on the Kudzu

April 12 – Raging Bibliomania

April 15 – Daystarz

April 16 – Chick Lit Plus

April 17 – Peeking Between the Pages

April 22 – Books and Needlepoint

April 23 – Write Meg

April 26 – Bookmagnet

I’m giving away a copy of From the Kitchen of Half Truth today to US and Canada residents only so enter now.  Please fill out the brief form below by 5 pm ET today.  I will choose a winner at random using random.org.  Good luck! 

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Filed under blog tour, book giveaway, books, contemporary fiction, fiction

Blog Tour: The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

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The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley (Ecco Books; 432 pages; $15.99).


Rhonda Riley

Rhonda Riley

“My husband was not one of us,” Evelyn Hope reluctantly reveals.  “He remains, after decades, a mystery to me.  Inexplicable.  Yet, in many ways, and on most days, he was an ordinary man.”  So begins Rhonda Riley’s unusual, unique, and nuanced debut, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope.  Riley immediately arouses the curiosity of readers and also hooks them.  For a few hours, nothing else matters.

Or that is how it was for me, at least.  I still cannot get Adam and Evelyn Hope out of my head, and that is a testament to Riley’s epic love story.  Riley fuses historical fiction with elements of mystery and the supernatural in The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope to create a story that crosses genres and beguiles until the very last page.

The tale is actually one big flashback.  After years and years of keeping the truth close to her chest, an elderly Evelyn finally opens up about her husband.  She can no longer keep silent after seeing a photo of her youngest daughter, Sarah, whose formerly Caucasian features have metamorphosed into Asian characteristics.  Evelyn knows the photo has not been altered; Sarah is Adam’s daughter, after all.

This is Adam’s story (the novel was originally titled Adam Hope: A Geography), but it is also Evelyn’s, for she is “the one left to do the telling.”  In her sage and sure voice, Evelyn attempts to explain the unexplained.

At 17, Evelyn is sent to work on her deceased aunt and uncle’s farm in North Carolina, where the soil consists of deep and hard red clay.  In the days just after World War II, Evelyn labors from sun-up to sundown but senses a change coming, though she has no idea how profound the change will be or in what guise the transformation will take.

One rainy day, Evelyn comes upon a puddle, which she thinks is full of nothing but water and mud.  She is beyond surprised to discover the body of a man there, a man who is very much alive, though strange and slightly misshapen.  Mud and scars cover the man’s body.  He must be a solider, she thinks, but far from the battlefield.  After she takes the man inside and cares for him, miraculously, he heals.  The kicker is that he also changes form.  To Evelyn’s disbelief, the man grows to strongly resemble her; the two could be twins, in fact.

Evelyn does not question.  To her, “Addie” is a gift.  “To have her come up literally from the land I loved seemed natural, a fit to my heart’s logic.  The land’s response to my love.  So when fate gave me Addie, I let her be given.”

We know Addie is special, and she continues to astound us, especially when Evelyn decides she is ready for marriage and children.  Addie changes form once again to become “Adam Hope.”  Riley creates a character, unlike all others, who literally takes on the image of others.  When Riley delves into the unknown, she takes us with her.

Riley also imagines a very tangible sense of fear.  Instinctively, Evelyn knows there are those who would not understand Adam adam-hope1.jpgin the way she does.  No one can know who or what Adam is or where he truly comes from.  The situation has the potential to become volatile, and both Evelyn and Adam know this.  Yet Adam counters:  “Do you know who you are, Evelyn?  Who all of you are?  Where do you come from?  You don’t know any more than I do.”

Clearly, Adam is from the land and of the land: he can be molded like clay.  Riley uses this unconventional character to give us a geography of a body and of love, land, and family.  Adam and Evelyn begin an idyllic life together; everything seems perfect and no one challenges who or what Adam is.  He communes with horses, people, and nature in a way that is reminiscent of how Edgar Sawtelle communicates with dogs.

Adam Hope pulls you in like a magnet and entices you to stay a while.  Before long, you are entranced by his beautiful music, his way with all creatures, and, above all, by Riley’s captivating and clear language.

Uncertainty, fear, and calamity soon mar the landscape of the couple’s happy home and force them to flee.  I could not help but draw comparisons to Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden.  Yet, Adam and Evelyn get lucky and find a new kind of Eden and a new home, at least until tragedy strikes their family again.

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope explores the notion of the self versus the other; the familiar versus the strange; intimacy versus distance; and the known versus the unknown.  Riley takes us to places we have never been before in her animated and charismatic debut perfect for fans of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

This novel was sold at auction, with several publishers placing bids to nab Riley’s story.  It’s easy to understand why.  The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is a beautifully and ingeniously told tale.  Adam Hope is an understated yet formidable character, a man who is otherworldly but never alien, astonishing and ethereal but never inconceivable. Riley gently reminds us that unconditional love and acceptance matter more than difference. enchanted

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Rhonda’s Tour Stops

Monday, April 22nd: Bookmagnet’s Blog

Tuesday, April 23rd: Kritters Ramblings

Wednesday, April 24th: A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, April 25th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Monday, April 29th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Monday, May 6th: A Night’s Dream of Books

Tuesday, May 7th: Giraffe Days

Thursday, May 9th: Book Snob

Thursday, May 9th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf

Tuesday, May 14th: Bibliophiliac


I am giving away a brand new copy of The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope.  Giveaway ends Friday, April 26, at 5 pm ET.  I will use random.org to choose a winner.  Good luck!   


Filed under blog tour, book giveaway, book review, books, fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, mystery, Southern fiction, Southern writers, supernatural, TLC Book Tours