Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts (6)

Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts is hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.  Check it out here!
1.) I am so behind on all things blog related.  It is completely ridiculous.  I need to come up with a better way of staying on top of things.  What I really need to do is write reviews as soon after finishing a book as I can instead of putting them off.
2.) Julia is 11 months old today and we are sending out the invitations for her first birthday party this week.  I can't believe it!
3.) Speaking of her birthday party, I am seriously obsessing about it right now.  It's going to be a lot of work and I'm a perfectionist so there may be a meltdown in my future.
4.) I just finished reading All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner and I absolutely loved it.  As a working mom who is constantly stressed out, it hit a little closer to home than I would have liked....except for the whole drug use aspect of it.
5.) I have accepted a lot of review books for the summer and I think I need to slow down now.  I'm going to try not to accept anymore because I would like to read some non-review books too.
6.) OMG, Written in My Own Heart's Blood comes out in two weeks.  I am so excited.  I will be dropping everything and reading it.  I think I'm going to order an ebook version and a physical copy.  That way I have instant access to it and don't have to lug around a hefty hardback but I will still have a copy to add to my actual books shelf.
7.) Work has been crazy town lately.  This summer is going to be super busy but I'm working on a lot of cool things so I am looking forward to it.
I hope you all have a great week!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: "The Runaway Highlander" by R.L. Syme

Synopsis:  Anne de Cheyne has a choice. She can play the dutiful daughter and allow her mother to sell her to a greasy English sheriff, or she can take control of her own life and find her own match. After a frightening run-in with her promised husband reveals a dark secret, she makes a desperate choice. Flight.

Aedan Donne needs easy money and no-questions-asked. When Milene de Cheyne offers him enough to pay all debts, requests complete silence, and pays half up front, just for a simple recovery, he can't believe his luck… until he meets his mark. Anne’s beauty and passion ignite something Aedan can’t ignore, even as she leaves him in the dust. Suddenly, he finds himself wanting to capture the runaway Highland lady for himself.

My Thoughts:  

Likes:  This was a no nonense, suck you in immediately kind of read.  There was action and adventure that began in the first few pages and followed through to the very end; I definitely could not stop reading.  The characters were great and I like that the story wasn't predictable.  There were a lot of twists and turns that made for an exciting read.  I also liked how the romantic aspect of the story didn't overpower everything else that was going on.  It had the best of both worlds (good romance and good action).

Characters:  Aedan was a cool hero.  He was a good guy who had to engage in questionable activities in order to help his sister.  I didn't always agree with his actions but he was incredibly likable.  I do think I have been watching too much Game of Thrones though, Aedan has a scarred face and I had a hard time not picturing the Hound as Aedan in my mind.  Whoops.  Anne is a tough little cookie though at times she made rash decisions that got her into trouble.  I think that added to her appeal in my mind.

Milene and the sheriff were excellent villains.  The sheriff was so freaking awful and Milene was such a heartless word I won't put in my review.  They were so bad that they were 'good'.  I love when a writer can make you feel a strong sense of hatred toward the villains in the story!

Overall: This was a really fun read that would be a perfect addition to your summer reading list.  3 stars.

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

About the Author:

R.L. Syme works at a youth theatre, teaching kids performing arts and musical performance classes/camps when she’s not writing. Otherwise, she’s putting her Seminary degree to good use writing romance novels. Let not all those systematic theology classes go to waste…

For more information please visit R.L. Syme’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 Check out other stops on the tour here!
Follow the tour on twitter: #RunawayHighlanderBlogTour

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mailbox Monday (16)

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme started by Marcia at To Be Continued.  You can learn more about it here!

I am so thankful for the long weekend.  Last week was ridiculously busy and next week won't be much better so it's nice to recuperate a bit.  I want to get some reading done this weekend but have been spending a lot of time watching CNN because of the UCSB shootings.  The events that took place on Friday night were horrific and because that's my hometown and my college, it hits close to home.

For Review:  

What books did you get this week?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book Blast: "Puritan Witch" by Peni Jo Renner

Please join Peni Jo Renner as she tours the blogosphere for Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames from April 28-May 30.

9781491705933_COVER.inddPublication Date: September 17, 2013
Formats: Ebook, Hardcover, Paperback

On a cold night in 1692, two young girls are caught up in the divining games of a slave woman-and then begin to act very strangely when the game goes wrong. Suddenly, Salem Village is turned upside down as everyone fears that witches may be involved. Six months later, as news of the girls' strange behavior becomes known, fear and suspicion overwhelm a nearby farming community, pitting neighbors against neighbors and turning friends into enemies. When Rebecca Eames makes one careless utterance during a verbal attack on her family, she is falsely accused of witchcraft. After her fate is decided by three magistrates, Rebecca must endure a prison sentence during which she and her fellow captives have no choice but to valiantly struggle to find humanity and camaraderie among dire conditions. In this novel based on a true story, a woman wrongly imprisoned during the seventeenth-century witchcraft trials comes full circle where she must determine if she can somehow resume her life, despite all she has endured.

Praise for Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames

"Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames is a story of the fear, suspicion, and accusations as they permeate the surrounding communities. The narration was exquisite, really painting a picture in my head and bringing to life the language of the Puritans much better than it usually is done. I loved that it was based on a true story and that the story really expands on a piece of the darkest of American history. Such a cool read!" - Katelyn Hensel, Readers' Favorite

“Elegantly written, meticulously researched, and historically accurate, the author’s work rings true. … Renner’s vast talent as a writer is enhanced by the fact that she’s telling the story of her own family, completely captivating from beginning to end.” - Kelly Z. Conrad, award-winning author of Shaman

“In the colonial-era tale Puritan Witch, the plight of Rebecca Eames and her family plays out against the backdrop of one of the most intriguing periods in American history.” - Julie Castillo, writer and editor

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Peni Renner is the author of "Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames", an award-winning historical novel based on the true-life account of Peni's 9th great 03_Peni Jo Rennergrandmother. The book is Renner's first published work, and follows Eames' life and struggles in 1692 Massachussetts during the Salem Witchcraft Trials.

Writing historical fiction has always been a lifelong dream of mine. I was discouraged for many years after receiving multiple rejection slips, and turned to other creative outlets like crocheting, quilting and cross-stitch for many years. Then I met a 3rd cousin of mine online who is also into geneology and history. She told me we shared a common ancestor who was involved in the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, and her story had never been told. My love of writing was rekindled and I began to research this ancestor, Rebecca Blake Eames. In August of 2012 I had the privilege of visiting her grave in Boxford, Massachusetts.

After months and months of research, writing, rewriting and revising, Puritan Witch came into being, featuring a lovely sketch done by my sister-in-law, Jane Sisk.

I have several other story ideas I am working on at the moment, all pertaining to interesting ancestors my 3rd cousin has introduced me to.

For more information please visit the Puritan Witch Facebook Page. You can also follow Peni Jo Renner on Twitter.

Virtual Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 28
Book Blast at Broken Teepee
Book Blast at Our Wolves Den
Book Blast at The Musings of ALMYBNENR

Tuesday, April 29
Book Blast at The Lit Bitch
Book Blast at A Book Geek
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse

Wednesday, April 30
Review & Giveaway at Closed the Cover

Thursday, May 1
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, May 2
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Saturday, May 3
Book Blast at Griperang's Bookmarks

Sunday, May 4
Book Blast at I'd Rather Be Reading

Monday, May 5
Book Blast at Kincavel Korner
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes

Tuesday, May 6
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, May 7
Review at Books in the Burbs
Book Blast at Kelsey's Book Corner

Thursday, May 8
Book Blast at Curling Up with a Good Book

Friday, May 9
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Book Blast at Carpe Diem

Monday, May 12
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Book Blast at West Metro Mommy

Tuesday, May 13
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, May 14
Book Blast at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, May 15
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Review at Impressions in Ink

Friday, May 16
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, May 19
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Tuesday, May 20
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Book Blast at The Maiden's Court

Wednesday, May 21
Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, May 22
Guest Post at Bibliophilic Book Blog

Friday, May 23
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer
Book Blast at Reviews by Molly

Saturday, May 24
Book Blast at Book Nerd

Monday, May 26
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, May 27
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Guest Post at Layered Pages

Wednesday, May 28
Book Blast at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, May 30
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Monday, June 2
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Blast and Giveaway: "Curses and Smoke" by Vicki Alvear

Curses and SmokePublication Date: May 27, 2014
Arthur A. Levine Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Genre: YA Historical

When your world blows apart, what will you hold onto?

TAG is a medical slave, doomed to spend his life healing his master's injured gladiators. But his warrior's heart yearns to fight in the gladiator ring himself and earn enough money to win his freedom.

LUCIA is the daughter of Tag's owner, doomed by her father's greed to marry a much older Roman man. But she loves studying the natural world around her home in Pompeii, and lately she's been noticing some odd occurrences in the landscape: small lakes disappearing; a sulfurous smell in the air...

When the two childhood friends reconnect, each with their own longings, they fall passionately in love. But as they plot their escape from the city, a patrician fighter reveals his own plans for them -- to Lucia's father, who imprisons Tag as punishment. Then an earthquake shakes Pompeii, in the first sign of the chaos to come. Will they be able to find each other again before the volcano destroys their whole world?

Buy the Book

About the AuthorVicky Alvear Shecter

Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of the young adult novel, CLEOPATRA'S MOON (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter. She is also the author of two award-winning biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.

Author Links

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, May 12
Bibliophilia, Please
bookworm2bookworm's Blog

Tuesday, May 13
Broken Teepee
Passages to the Past
In the Hammock Blog

Wednesday, May 14
CelticLady's Reviews
The Most Happy Reader
I'd So Rather Be Reading
History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, May 15
Kinx's Book Nook
A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, May 16
Booktalk & More
The Mad Reviewer
Book Lovers Paradise

Saturday, May 17
SOS Aloha
Reading the Ages
Kelsey's Book Corner

Sunday, May 18
Giant Squid Books
WTF Are You Reading?

Monday, May 19
Caroline Wilson Writes
So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 20
West Metro Mommy
The True Book Addict
The Musings of ALMYBNENR

Wednesday, May 21
Book Nerd
Tower of Babel
Hardcover Feedback

Thursday, May 22
Paperback Princess
Bittersweet Enchantment

Friday, May 23
History Undressed
Historical Fiction Connection

Saturday, May 24
Literary Chanteuse
Just One More Chapter

Sunday, May 25
A Dream within a Dream
The Little Reader Library

Monday, May 26
Pages of Comfort
Griperang's Bookmarks
Raizza's Book Blogging Adventure

Tuesday, May 27
Princess of Eboli
Ageless Pages Reviews
The Musings of a Book Junkie


To win a copy of Curses & Smoke or a $25 Amazon Gift Card please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on May 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 28th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mailbox Monday (15)

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme started by Marcia at To Be Continued.  Check it out here!

I just realized that I haven't posted anything in weeks!  Life has been pretty crazy lately and while I don't see it slowing down much, I am hoping that I will be able to post more often.  I really miss the blog!

For Review (From NetGalley):

For Review (from the author):

 Hand of Fire by Judith Starkston

In the Iliad, Homer gives only a few lines to Briseis, the captive woman Achilles and Agamemnon fought over. Hand of Fire brings Briseis to life. As healing priestess and strong-willed princess, guarding her city, an ally of Troy, from the Greeks, she draws strength from visions of a handsome warrior god she believes protects her. But when he appears, she realizes her tragic mistake. Achilles, the mighty, half-immortal Greek, destroys her city and kills her brothers. Briseis, fueled by unspeakable grief, raises a sword against the invincible warrior. With this act, she ignites a passion that seals his fate and changes her destiny.

Purchased (ebook):

(This was only $1.99 for nook!)

What books did you get this week?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Wrap Up

Summer is almost here!!! April was such a great reading month for me! I managed to read 9 books for a grand total of 28 books this year.  I am more than half way to my goal of 50 books for the year.  I'm not ready to up my goal yet but maybe in the next few months.

Here is what I read this month:

1.) The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Andersen
2.) The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster
3.) Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
4.) Roan Rose by Juliet Waldron
5.) The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
6.) Intensity by Dean Koontz
7.) Catching Air by Sarah Pekkanen
8.) Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer
9.) The Runaway Highlander by R.L. Syme

What books did you read this month?
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