Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Bookish Quote: Books as weapons?

Today I thought I would share a quote from A Weapon of Choice which is Susanna Kearsley's contribution to the novella collection in The Deadly Hours. As I have mentioned before I am a Kearsley fangirl from way back.

When I read this section, I couldn't help but think of the saying "the pen is mightier than sword".

I reviewed this book here.

She showed a smile now to Vautour, and said, "You'll think me very ignorant, I fear, but I confess that I know little of the siege apart from stories I've been told, and stories, as I'm sure you know, are often wrong."

Vautour's face cleared. "Exactly."

When he looked at her this time, his eyes were openly admiring. "I would never think that you are ignorant, madame. You may be young, but already you know this truth: you cannot trust a book. It is an unforgiving weapon."

Hugh could tell that Mary, with her love of books, was keen to intervene in their defense, and he could see the effort that it cost her to keep still as Vautour continued on, not noticing, to Anna, "All these stories you have heard came from a book - you know this? A book written by the nobleman who led our raid, betrayed us, and then scurried home to France  to publish his relation of events and twist the truth to his own purposes. The great Baron de Pointis." He all but spat the name, and Mary could not hold her silence.

She lightly said, "I think you are unfair to blame the book, sir, for a book cannot be faulted for the writing that it holds. It is the baron, surely, who deserves the blame."

He seemed unswayed by her opinion. "But the baron has been dead longer than you have been alive, madam, and yet his book lives on, and wounds my reputation still. How does a man fight that?

Vautour then tells his story and then a bit later there is this

"This is the unkindness of history, madame. The exploits of the greatest general will not be remembered if none choose to write them down for him, yet all men's lives lie vulnerable to any who would hang them out and twist them on the page with the cruelty of a common executioner. Now I would rather face the Scottish blade that your unsmiling friend here carries at his belt" - he gestured to the dirk that Hugh wore openly - "than battle with a book, for as I say, it is an unforgiving weapon."

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I have 1-Clicked recently


Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by 
That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's theme is about quotes which is something that I am really absolutely no good at. So instead, I bring you something I am good at, which is the 1-click purchase, whether it be for books or audiobooks. I have a terrible tendency to read emails from Bookbub in the middle of the night I am not sure if that is why I 1-Click with abandon or if I would do that anyway! Probably the latter. 

Here are ten of my recent purchases:

Boys Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton - this has been one of the biggest books here in Australia so it is possibly a bit surprising that I haven't already read this, but I haven't. When it came up as a daily deal on Audible I snapped it up.

The Model Wife by Tricia Stringer - I have read a few books by Tricia Springer over the years and so when this came up as a Daily Deal I didn't have to think twice.

Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga by Todd Alexander - I have no idea why I bought this one! Maybe because of the title?

War Brides by Helen Bryan - I do like a WWII story, and this one looks like a good one.

Opium and Absinth by Lydia Kang - I have seen this book mentioned on a few Top Ten Tuesday posts so I htought I would take a chance on it.

Deadman's Track by Sarah Barrie - I have heard a lot of good things about Sarah Barrie so thought I would give her a try.

The Life She Chooses by Maggie Christenson - A few months ago I bought the first book in this series. I haven't read it yet but that doesn't stop me from buying book two.

The Sun Also Rose in Paris by Penny Fields-Schneider - Arty Paris in the 1930s! Yes please.

The Little Teashop in Tokyo by Julie Caplan - These destination style books are generally something that I enjoy. I haven't read this author before so we will see how it goes.

The Beekeepers Promise by Fiona Valpy - Dual timeline, France, WWII. This one ticks all my boxes!

Have you read any of these books? Do you have a tendency to 1-click at any time of the day?

Monday, September 28, 2020

This Week....

I'm reading....

I have done something this week which I don't normally do...ever. I DNF'd not one book, but two. The first was the audiobook that I have been trying to listen to for weeks. I just didn't have the mental space to be working and listening to that book. The other one is book that I have been trying to read on my phone through the library app. It just didn't work for me. Maybe if I had been reading a book I was loving it would have been different.

I did decide that I was going to start reading Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Normally I don't read the starting book for Six Degrees of Separation, which I will be posting this weekend, but it is also the perfect read for the RIP XV challenge (that might be a clue to what my Six Degrees theme is going to be!). It is a bonus that the intro was read by Richard Armitage (which equates to aural bliss) and the main story is being read by Emma Thompson, which is very comforting!

I also started reading Letters from Berlin by Tania Blanchard. I have not read this author before although I always intended to! So far, I am enjoying it, and I do find the idea that all of her books are based on her family history fascinating!

I'm watching...

We finished watching the first season of Warrior Nun this weekend which is another option for RIV XV.

Now we are thinking about what to start next. There are so many options, it's almost too hard to choose.


You know that we have been in lockdown too long when you suddenly have to become the husband's hairdresser.  I was very, very nervous! I am not sure it's even but he's happy! AS for's at least another month before I will get to the hairdresser.

I mentioned last week that we are starting doing some study. One hour in to a two year course and I was already saying I couldn't do this. It wasn't helped by technological difficulties. Hopefully they are sorted now and I can get on with it, although the first subject is quite introspective which I am not sure I was expecting, or ready for.

As I have mentioned we have been under strict lockdown for the last 6 weeks in the hopes that our COVID numbers would reduce, and they have. Our restrictions are being reduced a bit, but we are still supposed to stay within 5kms of our home, so we still aren't really free to do what we want to do, but hopefully we will get some more freedoms soon. In the mean time,  I am creating a mental list of the places that I want to go when we can go for a drive.

I've linked this post to It's Monday, what are you reading? as hosted by Book Date

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Bestsellers Around the World: South Africa and Australia

I am excited to welcome South African book blogger Mareli from Elza Reads this month as I look at bestsellers around the world. This month, I am comparing the bestsellers lists from Australia and South Africa to see what is similar and what is different. My husband is originally from South Africa and my parents in law, my sister in law and her family still live there, so this is a particularly interesting month for me.

My thoughts are in purple and Mareli's are in black

Here are the two lists

 Australian Top 10  (

  1. Ottolenghi Flavour - Yotam Ottolenghi
  2. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer
  3. The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
  4. Dog Man #9 Grime and Punishment - Dav Pilkey (children’s book)
  5. The Space Between by Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews
  6. The Golden Maze:A Biography of Prague by Richard Fidler
  7. Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty
  8. The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
  9. Bluey : Grannies (children’s book)
  10. Sam Bloom: Heartache and Birdsong

South African Top Ten

  1. Think like a monk - Jay Shetty
  2. All Rise - Dikgang Mosaneke (Former Deputy Chief Justice)
  3. What’s your move - Nicolette Mashile (Personal Finance Manager)
  4. The 5 AM Club - Robin Sharma
  5. The Gift: 12 Lessons to save your life - Edith Eger
  6. Midnight Sun - Stephanie Meyer
  7. Hans gee Herklaas Horings - Rudie van Rensburg (Afrikaans titlle)
  8. 7 Ways - Jamie Olivier
  9. Man’s search for meaning - Victor Frankl
  10. 12 Rules for Life - Jordan Peterson

So lets start by looking at the similarities. The books that are on both lists include Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty and Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer. I guess it is no surprise to see a book about lessening anxiety and living a more meaningful life rising high in the book charts. Jay Shetty is British, Stephanie Meyer is American and there are also a couple of Canadian books as well, my question is how are the South African best sellers list influenced by other countries. Is there a robust publishing industry in South Africa?

Books are very expensive in South Africa, especially if it’s from a South African publishing house. We do have a few indie publishers. Afrikaans books are the most expensive. It’s a small market for a small percentage of the country’s inhabitants. But they always make the top ten list. Afrikaans people love to read!

When you sent the list through you mentioned that the author of All Rise was a former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Mosaneke. Given South Africa’s turbulent political history, do political books still dominate the book market there?

I won’t say it dominates, but it does always draw attention. Politics are a bit of a circus in our country and you need to be very, very careful what you say. The wrong statement on a social platform, can get you in some serious trouble.

We have had our own political dramas over the years, although not really comparable to the South African experience and yes, the inevitable books by the main players do tend to hit the heights on the bestsellers list. Recently our former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had a book out and he was definitely out publicising it a lot. My reading habits have me stuck in fiction world so they are not something that I would normally read!

You mentioned that there was one Afrikaans book in this list. I am also curious as to what impact does the fact that there are 11 official languages in South Africa have on the publishing landscape, especially seeing as it is highly unlikely that we would ever see a non English book on our bestsellers list?

English dominates the publishing landscape. International authors too. It’s not very often that a South African book and author will be number 1 on the top ten. The review that I posted last week for Grensgeval (on the border war), was on the number 1 list for a few weeks. Afrikaans books are randomly available, but like I say, to buy a new one is expensive! E-books as well! I normally wait for the book sales. You can buy 6 English books for the price of 1 Afrikaans book in some shops. I kid you not. I love reading Afrikaans and South African authors, but I mostly read international books as I can get them so much cheaper on Amazon Kindle or at second Bookshops. I read way too much for my budget!

You will get a few books here and there published in one of the other official languages, but most of those will be indie publishers. How many of your books are proudly Australian?

Having a look at the list for this week, we are at about 50/50 for Australian versus international authors. There are some big name Australian author who have books coming out very soon so I think that next time I look at the fiction list I expect to see different books but possibly around the same ratio

Was there any book on the South African top ten list that it surprised you was there, or perhaps that there is one that is not there that surprises you?

The fact that there are so many self-help books are surprising to me! Like I’ve said, I think it reflects where we are in South Africa at the moment….I’m not one for self-help books at all. My favorite was The art of not giving a f#ck. But I have read a few posts from Jay Shetty.

Was there any book on the Australian list that caught your interest?

You’ve got children’s books on your Top Ten!!! How awesome!! If I remember, Diary of a Wimpy Kid wrecking ball was on our list for a while, can’t remember if any other ones made it recently. Do children’s books regularly make it onto your top 10 lists.

To be honest I am not sure. If I look at the topsellers list it is generally just for this feature, and I generally only look at the fiction lists. Given that there are two in this week’’s list, I guess they must! If any of our readers have the answer then please let us know in the comments!

Thanks again Mareli for joining me this month! It's been fun! 

Be sure to visit Elza Reads to see her post.

Do any of the books on either list catch your attention? Do you know the answer to the question about children's books? Let us know in the comments.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Weekend Cooking: What I Baked in September

Isn't it amazing how quickly a month goes by. Or does it sound like a shorter period of time if I say 4 weeks? Either way, it's  time to share the goodies I baked this month. I started doing this monthly post earlier this year because otherwise every Weekend Cooking post would be about something sweet, which might be a bit much.

It does feel like I haven't cooked a lot this month to be honest. I have been crazy busy with work, and that looks set to continue for quite some time. Here's what I did make:

Almond Amaretti - These little biscuits were so delicious and really quick and easy to make. My husband loved them so I expect we can make these again at some point. Interestingly, he then bought a pack from the shops which he liked a lot more than I did. I wasn't a fan of the shop bought ones!

Two ingredients cake - Earlier in the month I did take a Friday off as we were meant to be going to Uluru for the weekend. As I was laying in bed, someone mentioned two ingredient cake and I was intrigued! How can you possibly make a cake with only two ingredients?

The two ingredients are a packet of cake mix, and a can of soft drink/pop/soda. It just so happened that we had a couple of packets of vanilla cake mix which my husband bought at the beginning of the pandemic just in case. We also had some passionfruit soft drink in the cupboard so a vanilla passionfruit cake was my first  attempt.

My first attempt was not successful because I mixed it for way too long in the mixer (maybe a case of have machine will use it) and so it came out flat and rubbery, and couldn't really be saved even with the addition of cream. It did taste okay but the texture was all kinds of wrong

The second attempt was more successful. It was a chocolate and Coke cake, which I literally mixed with a whisk until just combined. It looked like a cake, and tasted good but there was a kind of squidginess to the centre.

So the verdict on the two ingredient to experiment with but we would rather eat real cakes made from scratch.

Italian Peach cookies - I have lamented before about the fact that Bake It Box just disappeared from the face of the internet at the beginning of the year. I enjoyed the fact that the boxes were a way to challenge myself. I did have two boxes sitting there undone, so last weekend I decided that it was time to do on, so I chose the Italian Peach cookies. These don't taste of peach (although you can use peach juice as the base for the colouring if you choose but I didn't have any) but they are meant to look like peaches. They are soft cookies that are hollowed out and filled with pastry cream and then dipped in yellow and red colouring to make them look peachy. I was pretty happy with how they looked and tasted

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake - The last thing I made is more of a work in progress rather than a completed action. It was my son's birthday so I decided I would make him this cake. I just had to make the ganache and pour it over the top which would take 10 minutes and it was done. However, we had pizza for dinner last night (his choice) and both he and my husband announced that they had no room for cake, so I will have to do that today instead! So instead you get a short video of the mix because I love the way this batter looks when it is mixing - totally mesmerizing and so delicious! We will have a photo of the finished product next month.

Saturday: Kransky with bubble and squeak (made using leftover mash)
Sunday: Thai Pork Burgers with slaw
Monday: Steak, mushroom, broccolini and peas
Tuesday: Pork chop, cauliflower mash and beans
Wednesday: Hainanese Chicken and rice with chinese broccoli, ginger and spring onion sauce
Thursday: Grilled pork chop with black pepper sauce and singapore noodles
Friday: Takeaway Friday - pizza

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Blog tour: The Second Marriage by Gill Paul

Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous!

When I was offered this book to review, I was definitely interested, despite modern American history not being my normal jam, and despite knowing very little about the main characters in this book: Maria Callas, Jackie Kennedy and the man that linked them, Aristotle Onassis.

So let's check off what I did know firstly about Maria Callas. She was an opera singer. And....that's it.

I knew a fraction more about Aristotle Onassis. I knew he was one of the richest men in the world, that he was a Greek shipping tycoon, that he owned a big yacht and a Greek island, and that he married Jackie Kennedy.

While I know more about Jackie Kennedy, it really is at the more common knowledge level - married to JFK and mother of his children, present at his assassination, grieving widow, style icon. Oh and I have, of course, heard of the Kennedy curse.

This book has an interesting structure. Both Maria and Jackie tell us their story, both starting in the 1950's. We meet Maria as a hugely successful opera singer. She is married to her manager, Battista, and has a reputation for being a bit of a diva. In reality, she works very hard on her voice and on putting on the best performance she can every time she sets foot on the stage. We meet her just as she is introduced to Aristotle Onassis, who then pursues her despite the fact that they are both married. What follows is a passionate, volatile life long affair, full of ups and downs, of glamourous parties and a luxurious lifestyle.

In the other side of the story, we meet Jackie Kennedy in the summer of 1956. She is heavily pregnant and her husband John Kennedy is off vacationing on the other side of the world as she goes into an early labour. We follow her life with JFK as she struggles with being a political wife, feeling like an outsider in the large Kennedy clan,  and feeling disassociated from her own family, in particular her younger sister Lee. When tragedy strikes the Kennedy family twice, Onassis offers her and her young family protection and financial security which she takes, without necessarily understanding the man that she was marrying.

Onassis is the kind of man who would have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons during the #metoo movement. No matter how much he protests that he loves Maria he thinks nothing of having affairs with other women, bestowing them with gifts, and then marrying Jackie, breaking Maria's heart. He was also not afraid to manipulate anyone in order to get what he wants, from the media to paying off people for all sorts of reasons, and more.

What both of these women had in common is that they were cultured, high profile women who loved men who didn't treat them well.

So the question is, did I know more about these people by the end of the book, and the answer is yes.  I am not sure though that I necessarily felt connected with either woman. Of the two, the one who I ended up having more sympathy for was Maria Callas, who seemed to get the rough end of the stick over and over again.

Whilst I can see why the author wanted to tell the two stories together, bringing them together to the point where their lives overlapped, I don't think the structure of the book worked as well for me as it did for other people who have read it. I did like that there was a detailed authors note where she told us what was true and what she made up to fit the story.

Looking at Gill Paul's backlist, I think that she chooses very interesting stories from history, so I am curious about her Russian history books and will be keeping an eye out to see what comes next.

I thought in finishing I would share a video of Maria Callas in her prime!

Thank you to Random Things Blog Tours for the opportunity to read this book. 

About the book and author

The Second Marriage by Gill Paul

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (17 Sept. 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000836625X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008366254



When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?


Gill Paul's historical novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty languages.

They include THE SECOND MARRIAGE (titled JACKIE AND MARIA in the US), two bestselling novels about the Romanovs - THE SECRET WIFE and THE LOST DAUGHTER - as well as WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of the Year award, NO PLACE FOR A LADY, shortlisted for a Love Stories award, and ANOTHER WOMAN'S HUSBAND, about links you might not have suspected between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN 50 OBJECTS, and she speaks at libraries and literary festivals on subjects ranging from the Titanic to the Romanovs.
Gill lives in London, where she is working on her tenth novel, and she swims daily in an outdoor pond.

Twitter @GillPaulAUTHOR

Instagram @gill.paul1

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Blog Tour: Mitchell James Kaplan on Why I Love Dreaming

Today I am pleased to welcome Mitchell James Kaplan to my blog as part of the blog tour for his new book Into the Unbounded Night. Welcome Mitchell!


I am not going to tell you why I love dreaming. I don’t know why I love dreaming. I don’t even know what dreaming is. When I’m dreaming it is everything but when I’m awake it is nothing. It never happened. By the same token, when I’m dreaming, the world I inhabit while awake doesn’t exist and never existed. It’s as if I were given not one life, but many, all within the short span of years allotted to mortals. It feels like a rare privilege even though it may be a common and insubstantial one.

Fortunately, the “short span of years” is only a waking concept. Not a dreaming one. There is no such thing as time in dreams. That’s because there is no causality. Anything can happen, in any order. Dreams expand our lives beyond the finite.

I am not a person who enjoys flying in my dreams, or spying on friends, or exploring places I have never been. I do not aspire to have control over where I go or what I see. Sometimes I may think I am in charge of my dream-destiny but then something happens that robs me of that conviction. The same occurs in “real” life. The reasons for all the important events, including the circumstances of my birth, where I went to college, and how I met my wife, are beyond my understanding.

Lately my dreams have been dark. Everyone wears masks. A little boy, whom I had never seen in any world, walked up to me from out of a crowd and told me, “You will be dead by morning.” It felt so real. I woke with a start, roused my wife, and told her where I had stashed my life insurance policy. She muttered something and fell back asleep.

In the morning, I was not dead, as far as I know. But I remain convinced that little boy was telling me something important and I feel an urge to do something before it’s too late. Maybe I’ll go into an economically challenged neighborhood and find a kid to mentor. That would be something. Yes, I must do that.

Where did this desire come from? Is it a result of that dream? Do dreams even have a purpose? I have no idea.

What I do know is that who we are is a result of all our experiences, conscious and unconscious. We carry around this residue of our past—or rather, of our pasts. Every place we have visited, everyone we have met, in dreams as well as in “reality,” affects who we are today, how we got here and where we are going.

Some people live vertically, others horizontally. When you’re dreaming, you’re lying in bed. You’re living horizontally. When you’re climbing the corporate ladder, or any social ladder, you’reliving vertically. Maybe some people know how to do both but I don’t.

I am not going to claim that dreams are some kind of portal. I don’t know whether dreams suggest we have souls, or that there is life after death. For that matter, I don’t know whether emotions, including love, joy, and sadness, are real. The things that matter most are the things we cannot understand. Maybe they matter precisely because they defy comprehension.

About the book


Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Regal House Publishing
Paperback & eBook; 231 Pages
Genre: Literary/Historical

When her village in Albion is sacked by the Roman general Vespasian, young Aislin is left without home and family. Determined to exact revenge, she travels to Rome, a sprawling city of wealth, decadence, and power. A “barbarian” in a “civilized” world, Aislin struggles to comprehend Roman ways. From a precarious hand-to-mouth existence on the streets, she becomes the mistress of a wealthy senator, but their child Faolan is born with a disability that renders him unworthy of life in the eyes of his father and other Romans.
Imprisoned for her efforts to topple the Roman regime, Aislin learns of an alternate philosophy from her cellmate, the Judean known today as the Apostle St. Paul. As the capital burns in the Great Fire of 64 AD, he bequeaths to her a mission that will take her to Jerusalem. There, Yohanan, son of Zakkai, has been striving to preserve the tradition of Hillel against the Zealots who advocate for a war of independence. Responding to the Judeans’ revolt, the Romans—again under the leadership of Vespasian—besiege Jerusalem, destroying the Second Temple and with it, the brand of Judean monotheism it represents. Yohanan takes on the mission of preserving what can be preserved, and of re-inventing what must be reinvented.
Throughout Into the Unbounded Night, Aislin’s, Faolan’s, Vespasian’s, and Yohanan’s lives intertwine in unexpected ways that shed light on colonization and its discontents, the relative values of dominant and tyrannized cultures, and the holiness of life itself—even the weakest of lives.


Praise for Into the Unbounded Night

“In Into the Unbounded Night, Mitchell Kaplan offers a rich rendering of war and humanity in first century Rome — of tradition and loss, and the transformative power of healing and collective memory to find one’s way home.” – Nichole Bernier, Boston Globe Bestselling author of The Unfinished Work Of Elizabeth D
“Mitchell James Kaplan is the gloriously talented writer of this dramatic, intense story of conflicting emperors, slaves, priests and exiles in a first century world whose roots and traditions are increasingly torn apart by the brutal rule of Rome. Men and women search for belief and reason, out of which will emerge a new Judaism after the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple as well as the early beginnings of Christianity. A writer of enormous scope, compassion and poetry, Kaplan has written several of the most compelling characters you will meet in the pages of a book. Into the Unbounded Night sweeps over you like a succession of huge waves. It is truly a major novel.” – Stephanie Cowell, American Book Award recipient, author of Claude And Camille: A Novel Of Monet
“Kaplan’s prose is so rich and agile I felt I was breathing the air of these ancient places, and his evocation of character is no less palpable. Fully embodied and driven by ambition, grief, the clear-eyed desire for truth, and fierce maternal love, these characters plunge, march, and stumble toward their fascinating and entangled destinies.” – Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling novelist of I’ll Be Your Blue Sky and award-winning poet
“I’m a big fan of historical fiction when it’s as good as Mitchell Kaplan’s Into the Unbounded Night. Vividly imagined, Into the Unbounded Night pulls the reader along with beautiful prose, strong characters and a wonderfully realized story.” – Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize
“A beautiful, informative book. It was gripping throughout, the research never overwhelms the story, but is always part of it. [The] writing is lyrical and evocative of time and place. All the characters are real and interesting. Loved it!” – Martin Fletcher, National Jewish Book Award winner, author of Promised Land
“From the mystical lore of Albion to the Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem, Kaplan’s meticulous research and evocative writing meld seamlessly to create a vivid, textured, and richly imagined story.” —Beth Hoffman, New York Times and International bestselling author of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt and Looking for Me
“Set in Rome and Judea after the crucifixion of Jesus, Mitchell James Kaplan’s finely crafted and intense second novel delves into the minds and hearts of truly captivating characters. An excellent read.” – Eva Stachniak, winner of the Canadian First Novel Award, author of The Chosen Maiden
“Sensually provocative, verbally sharp and critically witted, Mitchell James Kaplan’s Into the Unbounded Night brings to life the tumultuous birth of Judeo-Christian monotheism in this intimately woven narrative brimming with righteous and riotous characters striving for survival and transcendence across the ravished landscapes of Judea, the Roman Empire, and Britannia.”
– Jessica Maria Tuccelli, an Okra Pick winner of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance for her debut novel, Glow
“Kaplan weaves an intricate literary tapestry to create a poetic exploration of early Judeo-Christian and Roman history. He builds a diverse yet connected cast of characters whose encounters inspire timeless self-examination and advance the course of history. An engrossing work not easily forgotten.” – Therese Walsh, critically acclaimed author of The Last Will Of Moira Leahy and The Moon Sisters, founder of the literary blog, Writer Unboxed

About the author

Mitchell James Kaplan graduated with honors from Yale University, where he won the Paine Memorial Prize for Best Long-Form Senior Essay submitted to the English Department. His first mentor was the author William Styron.
After college, Kaplan lived in Paris, France, where he worked as a translator, then in Southern California, where he worked as a screenwriter and in film production.
He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with his family and two cats.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 31

Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, September 2
Review at Books and Zebras
Friday, September 4
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Saturday, September 5
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, September 7
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Tuesday, September 8
Interview at Novels Alive
Feature at I’m Into Books
Wednesday, September 9
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Thursday, September 10
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile
Friday, September 11
Feature at Pursuing Stacie
Monday, September 14
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, September 16
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, September 17
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Friday, September 18
Guest Post at Book Bustle
Monday, September 21
Interview at Books & Benches
Tuesday, September 22
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Wednesday, September 23
Guest Post at The Intrepid Reader
Friday, September 25
Review at A Book Geek


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 copies of Into the Unbounded Night! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Unbounded Night


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