Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mailbox Monday (51)

 I'm back with a very full Mailbox Monday!  

It's been a weird and busy week.  I work at a university and school starts in about a week so things are starting to get crazy.  I went on another ebook buying binge (retail therapy for the win!) and should be set on ebooks forever at this point. : )

Here is what I received this week:

For Review (from NetGalley):
 

For Review (from the author):




Purchased (for Kindle):
 



Purchased (for nook):



Library (ebook):

 

What books did you get this week?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Blast and Giveaway: "Enchantress of Paris" by Marci Jefferson

02_Enchantress of ParisEnchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun King's Court
by Marci Jefferson


Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press
Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

READ AN EXCERPT.

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Fraught with conspiracy and passion, the Sun King's opulent court is brought to vivid life in this captivating tale about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic.

The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Ignoring the dark warnings of his sister and astrologers, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie learns her uncle has become the power behind the throne by using her sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall.

Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. But as her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's charm. Sensing a chance to grasp even greater glory, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will.

Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin's deepest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis's love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her forbidden powers of divination to shield her family, protect France, and help the Sun King fulfill his destiny.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN


ADVANCE PRAISE


“Told with vivid historical detail and packed with court intrigue, this is sure to please fans of royal fiction.” — Library Journal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Marci Jefferson


Years after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, immersing herself in a Quality Assurance nursing career, and then having children, Marci realized she’d neglected her passion for history and writing. She began traveling, writing along the way, delving into various bits of history that caught her fancy. The plot for GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN evolved slowly after a trip to London, where she first learned about the Stuart royals. Marci is a member of the Historical Novel Society. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, making hair-bows for their daughter, trying not to step on their son’s Legos, and teaching a tiny Pacific Parrotlet to talk.

For more information visit Marci Jefferson’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE


Tuesday, August 4
Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, August 5
Unshelfish
Beth's Book Nook Blog
Curling up by the Fire

Thursday, August 6
Book Lovers Paradise
History From a Woman's Perspective

Friday, August 7
100 Pages a Day
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Saturday, August 8
Historical Readings & Reviews

Sunday, August 9
Book Nerd

Monday, August 10
Genre Queen

Tuesday, August 11
A Chick Who Reads
To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, August 12
A Literary Vacation
So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, August 13
Broken Teepee
CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, August 14
A Book Geek
The Lit Bitch

Saturday, August 15
The Maiden's Court

Sunday, August 16
Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, August 17
Luxury Reading
Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, August 18
A Bookish Affair

GIVEAWAY


To enter to win a signed copy of Enchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun King's Court, please enter via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Enchantress of Paris


04_Enchantress of Paris_Book Blast Banner_FINAL

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review and Giveaway: "An Immortal Descent" by Kari Edgren






Synopsis:  As a goddess-born healer, Selah Kilbrid wants nothing to do with the goddess of death and disease, nor any of her human progeny. But when the two people she loves most disappear—her dearest friend Nora Goodwin and her betrothed Lord Henry Fitzalan—Selah has no choice but to leave London in pursuit of Death’s most powerful daughter.


Accompanied by a ragtag group of travelers, Selah follows a treacherous path across the Irish Sea to the long-forgotten prison of a witch who once nearly destroyed Ireland. Selah would face any danger to protect those she loves, but what if it means unleashing a greater evil on the human world? Could she risk the lives of many to save a few, or are some sacrifices too great?

My Thoughts:  I love this trilogy and I'm so sad it's over!  An Immortal Descent is a fantastic end to the Goddess Born trilogy and I loved every minute of it.  It's a fast paced ride from London to the heart of Ireland with so many twists and turns that I just could not put it down!  (Sorry for gushing!).

Selah is back and trying to save her best friend Nora from a great evil.  Selah is just as tough as ever and I really enjoyed watching her grow into her powers and learn more about herself.  She also makes a new friend in Ailish: a young girl with a unique background who becomes close to Selah despite their differences.  Ailish is probably one of my favorite characters in this book.  She was so smart and sassy and it was fun watching her and Selah go from being enemies to good friends.

There are so many surprises in this book!  New things are revealed about some of the characters from the previous books and there are also a lot of new faces.  It seemed like every chapter held something new and exciting.  The romance between Henry and Selah has always been a major part of the series but it was kind of pushed to the wayside for some of this book which I didn't think was a bad thing.  The romance was brought back to the forefront when it mattered and it was still as sweet as ever.

I honestly don't really have anything too negative to say about the book.  I do wish this wasn't the last book because the ending was a little rushed and I really want to see how all the characters are getting along.  Overall, this was an excellent addition to the Goddess Born trilogy! 4 stars.

I received this book from HFBVT in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:




Kari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist. Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as there’s a paranormal twist. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts.

For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign up for Kari Edgren’s Newsletter.

Giveaway

To enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below.
Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

LINK TO GIVEAWAY






 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July Wrap Up


Hey y'all! July is over!  It felt like it went by fast while also feeling like a long month.  July was a great reading month for me!  I read 13 books this month; I don't remember the last time I read that many books in a month.  I have read a total of 57 books this month and according to goodreads, I'm 11 books ahead of schedule on my goal of 80 books which is awesome in my opinion.

Here are my July numbers:
-13 books read
--2 Non-Fiction
--8 Library Books
--5 Historical Fiction
--4 Review
--6 ebooks
--1 Book I own

Here is what I read in July:

1.) The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
2.) America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril and Liberation by Elaine Tyler May
3.) Things You Won't Say by Sarah Pekkanen
4.) The Lady Bornekova by Sara R. Turnquist
5.) Bone Box by Jay Amberg
6.) The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
7.) Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses by Richard Arum
8.) Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
9.) The Siege Winter by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman
10.)  The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
11.) An Immortal Descent by Kari Edgren
12.) The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau
13.) Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

What all did you read in July?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mailbox Monday (50)

It's time for Mailbox Monday again!

Whew!  I think I'm getting to the point where I'm slightly overwhelmed by how many books I have to read.  Between the library and buying books, I kind of have a lot right now. Hopefully I can find some time to get through them all!

Purchased (for nook):



For Review (from HFBVT):






From the Library:
 


What books did you pick up this week?

Friday, July 31, 2015

#FitReaders Weekly Check In (7)



Hey everyone!  Tonight I'm feeling pretty good about my fitness goals because I actually lost weight (only a pound but still).  I've been at the same weight for the month of July so it was nice to see the numbers go down.  Last week was so bad with regards to eating.  There were a ton of work luncheons and family obligations and I think I ate out at least once a day (if not twice) almost every day.  Needless to say, I was not surprised that my weight didn't go down.  I've lost approximately 8 lbs and am hoping to keep on losing; my goal is 4 more pounds by the middle of September.



I have stuck with working out five days a week which I'm super proud of.  Both last week and this  I ran for 40 minutes three times a week and did Level 3 of the 30 Day Shred twice per week.  I HATE Level 3!  It's hard but not in a good way; the moves are incredibly complex and sometimes I think I need a professional showing me proper form for the moves.  I'll do it for one more week and then I'm going to try out Jillian's Ripped in 30 DVD.  I don't love Jillian Michaels but she has good workouts that aren't super long (I don't have the time for an hour long video).

With regard to reading, this week I've finished An Immortal Descent by Kari Edgren, Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts and The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau.  I'm currently reading The End of Tsarist Russia by Dominic Lieven.

How are things going with your fitness goals?  Have a great weekend!

Review: "Who Do You Love" by Jennifer Weiner



From Goodreads: Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she's intrigued by the boy who shows up all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy's taken back to the emergency room and Rachel's sent back to her bed, they think they'll never see each other again.

Rachel, the beloved, popular, and protected daughter of two doting parents, grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation.

Over the course of three decades, through high school and college, marriages and divorces, from the pinnacles of victory and the heartbreak of defeat, Andy and Rachel will find each other again and again, until they are finally given a chance to decide whether love can surmount difference and distance and if they've been running toward each other all along.

My Thoughts: I thought this book was absolutely adorable!  I have always enjoyed Jennifer Weiner's books and this one is no exception. The characters were great and the romance was really sweet.  It was a perfect summer read!

Rachel and Andy randomly meet when they are 8 years old and don't see each other again for years.  They almost seem like magnets, they can be separated but they innately want to come back together.  Their relationship is complicated by race and upbringing and while they loved each other deeply, their relationship tended to be tumultuous..  I really enjoyed these two characters anad watching them grow and mature throughout the book. Rachel was kind of spoiled brat in the beginning and she became such a strong, caring woman.  Andy also became better over the years; less angry and more open.  Even though Andy made some royally bad decisions, I still liked him as a character and kind of felt bad for him.  There were also a lot of great side characters in this book too.  Mr. Sills was my favorite.  He was the voice of reason and the one constant in Andy's life.  Without his mentorship, Andy would never have been able to make it as far as he did.

I did find the ending of this book to be a little abrupt and almost too perfect but as a whole, I really loved this book.  I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for fun and romance.  4 stars.

I received a copy of this book from Engelman & Co and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
 
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