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Showing posts from June, 2014

Review: "Sisters of Treason" by Elizabeth Fremantle

From Goodreads:  Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable. In Sisters of Treason, Elizabeth Freemantle brings these young women to life in a spellbinding Tudor tale of love and politics.

Neither sister is well suited to a dangerous life at court. Flirtatious Lady Catherine, thought to be the true heir, cannot control her compulsion to love and be loved. Her sister, clever Lady Mary, has a crooked spine and a tiny stature in an age when physical perfection equates to goodness—and both girls have inherited the Tudor blood that is more curse than blessing. For either girl to marry without royal permission would be a potentially fatal political act. It is the royal portrait painter, Levina Teerlinc, who helps the girls survive these troubled times. She becomes their mentor and confidante, but when the Queen’s…

Quick Review: "Growing Up Duggar" by Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger Duggar

From Goodreads:  In this delightful and very personal book, the four oldest Duggar girls share their hearts and their core beliefs, explaining that it's all about relationships!

Relationship with self: The girls share their own personal journeys to self-acceptance and navigating the difficult stage of adolescence.

Relationship with parents: You'll find revelations about how Jim Bob and Michelle keep the lines of communication open with their children.

Relationships with siblings: Here, you'll get a peek into the Buddy system, how the siblings handle conflict, and how the loss of little Jubilee (their sister) affected their relationships with each other.

Relationships with friends: You'll find principles on how the Duggar kids deal with peer pressure and how they interact with friends outside their family.

Relationships with boys: You'll learn the Duggar view of dating and courtship, and these four sisters will address the often-asked question of …

Review and Giveaway: "The Summer Queen" by Elizabeth Chadwick

From Goodreads:  Eleanor of Aquitaine is a 12th century icon who has fascinated readers for 800 years. But the real Eleanor remains elusive.

This stunning novel introduces an Eleanor that all other writers have missed. Based on the most up-to-date research, it is the first novel to show Eleanor beginning her married life at 13.

Overflowing with scandal, passion, triumph and tragedy, Eleanor's legendary story begins when her beloved father dies in the summer of 1137, and she is made to marry the young prince Louis of France. A week after the marriage she becomes a queen and her life will change beyond recognition . . .

My Thoughts:  

Likes:  I have read a lot of books about Eleanor of Aquitaine but what makes this book unique is that it focuses on her life before she became Queen of England.  Most books gloss over this period in her life so I really enjoyed the unique view Ms. Chadwick provides of Eleanor's early life.  Her early life as Queen of France is presented in grea…

Book Blast: "Murder by Misrule" by Anna Castle

HF Virtual Book Tours proudly presents Anna Castle's Blog Tour & Book Blast for Murder by Misrule, the first book in her Francis Bacon Mystery Series.  Please join her as she tours the blogosphere from June 2 - July 4.




Publication Date: June 8, 2014
Formats: Ebook, Paperback







A Kirkus Indie Books of the Month Selection for July.



Francis Bacon is charged with investigating the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray's Inn. He recruits his unwanted protégé Thomas Clarady to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a privateer, Clarady will do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder. Bacon's powerful uncle Lord Burghley suspects Catholic conspirators of the crime, but other motives quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the murdered man's legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall to the London streets. Bacon does the thinking; Clarady does the fencing. Everyone has something up his pinked and…

Mailbox Monday (20)

It's a new week and that means another Mailbox Monday post!  Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme started by Marcia at To Be Continued.  Check it out here.
This past week was a bit calmer and I actually got some reading in so it wasn't half bad!  
Here are the books I got this week:
From NetGalley:
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

For Review (from the author):


Picnic at the Iron Curtain by Susan Viets

What books did you get this week?

Book Blast and Giveaway: "Successio" by Alison Morton

Follow Alison Morton's Book Blast for SUCCESSIO, the third book in her Roma Nova Series, from June 16-27 for a chance to win your own autographed copy and bookmark!



Publication Date: June 4, 2014

SilverWood Books

Formats: eBook, Paperback



Genre: Alternative Historical Thriller







Roma Nova – the last remnant of the Roman Empire that has survived into the 21st century – is at peace. Carina Mitela, the heir of a leading family, but choosing the life of an officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces, is not so sure.



She senses danger crawling towards her when she encounters a strangely self-possessed member of the unit hosting their exchange exercise in Britain. When a blackmailing letter arrives from a woman claiming to be her husband Conrad’s lost daughter and Conrad tries to shut Carina out, she knows the threat is real.



Trying to resolve a young man’s indiscretion twenty-five years before turns into a nightmare that not only threatens to destroy all the Mitelae but also attacks the cor…

Review and Giveaway: "Winter Fire" by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Synopsis:  When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the truth. He needed to find it within himself to trust her.

Banished by the Seneca Indians who adopted and raised her, ostracized by the whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted. “Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and in her heart she would always be Seneca.

My Thoughts: 

Likes:  I don't typically read a lot of historical fiction set in the United States but Winter Fire made me rethink that.  It was beautifully written and I think the author did a wonderful job of drawing the reader in.  I don't know very much about thi…

Review: "Love and Treasure" by Ayelet Waldman

Synopsis:  A spellbinding new novel of contraband masterpieces, tragic love, and the unexpected legacies of forgotten crimes, Ayelet Waldman’s Love and Treasure weaves a tale around the fascinating, true history of the Hungarian Gold Train in the Second World War.

In 1945 on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches: piles of fine gold watches; mountains of fur coats; crates filled with wedding rings, silver picture frames, family heirlooms, and Shabbat candlesticks passed down through generations. Jack Wiseman, a tough, smart New York Jew, is the lieutenant charged with guarding this treasure—a responsibility that grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, amid the shadowy world of art dealers who profit off the sins of previous generations, Jack gives a necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie Stein, and …

Mailbox Monday (19)

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme started by Marcia at To Be Continued.  Check it out here!
This past week was the week from hell but I did get some great books!
Purchased (for kindle):

Bellagrand by Paullina Simons (I've been wanting to read this for awhile and it was only $1.99 so I couldn't resist!)
Purchased (for nook):

Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon (Woohoo!! It's finally here!)
From the Library:

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
(I've never heard of this book before but it sounds really good.)
What books did you get this week?

Mailbox Monday (18)

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme started by Marcia at To Be Continued.  You can check it out here! I only picked up one book this week because I am gearing up for the release of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.  I have to finish my current book today so that I can jump right in!  Can't wait!! From the Library: Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen What books did you get in the past week? 

Review and Giveaway: "Roan Rose" by Juliet Waldron

Synopsis: 

Loyalty Binds Her.

More like a gangland war for turf and loot than chivalry, the War of Roses disrupted the life of the English commoners for hundreds of years. Roan Rose is the story of one of them, a girl born on the Yorkshire dales. When the Countess of Warwick decides to take sturdy, gentle Rose to Middleham Castle to be companion and bed-time poppet for her youngest daughter, Anne, her fate is changed forever. Rose bears intimate witness to the passions, betrayals, battles and all the reversals of fortune which will shape her lady’s life—and her own. Anne Neville will briefly become a Queen, and Richard, Rose’s secret love, will become a King, one whose name has become synonymous with evil. When her King is betrayed and slain at Bosworth Field, Rose returns to a peasant’s hard life. She has one final service to perform.




My Thoughts:  

Likes:I really like reading about the Wars of the Roses so I was very intrigued by this book.  I liked that it featured Anne N…

Review: "All Fall Down" by Jennifer Weiner

From Goodreads:  Allison Weiss has a great job...a handsome husband...an adorable daughter...and a secret.

Allison Weiss is a typical working mother, trying to balance a business, aging parents, a demanding daughter, and a marriage. But when the website she develops takes off, she finds herself challenged to the point of being completely overwhelmed. Her husband’s becoming distant, her daughter’s acting spoiled, her father is dealing with early Alzheimer’s, and her mother’s barely dealing at all. As she struggles to hold her home and work life together, and meet all of the needs of the people around her, Allison finds that the painkillers she was prescribed for a back injury help her deal with more than just physical discomfort—they help her feel calm and get her through her increasingly hectic days. Sure, she worries a bit that the bottles seem to empty a bit faster each week, but it’s not like she’s some Hollywood starlet partying all night, or a homeless person who’s lo…

Book Blast and Giveaway: Love at Pemberley series by Reina M. Williams

Please join Reina M. Williams on her Love at Pemberley Series Book Blast from May 12-June 13.
About Most Truly
Publication Date: December 15, 2013
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
eBook; 88 pages

Heat level: Sweet

Colonel James Fitzwilliam is home. The war has left him weary, battle-scarred—and a free man of fortune ready to find a wife. He travels to Pemberley, his second home. There he meets Kitty Bennet. Her unexpected charms soon have him questioning his familial duty and his expectations. A fight looms on the horizon when his aunt—Lady Catherine de Bourgh—and his parents arrive with their own plans for his future.

Kitty Bennet has found happiness. At Pemberley, she has improved herself and formed true friendships with her sister Lizzy and Georgiana Darcy. Kitty is captivated by the gentlemanly Colonel Fitzwilliam. But she will not be silly over a redcoat again, and she will not risk her happiness—or his family’s displeasure—for his attentions. Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy, Lizzy, and Georgi…

May Wrap Up

Ugh, I am so glad May is over.  It was a ridiculously busy month both at work and at home and frankly, I'm exhausted.  I didn't read much this month and just wasn't feeling anything I did pick up (for the most part).  I read 5 books in May which puts me at 33/50 for the year.  I am 13 books ahead of schedule so I'm sure I'll meet my goal, I'm just glad I haven't upped it yet.
June is looking to be a busy month; Julia is turning 1 and we are having a big party for her.  I can't wait!  I will definitely be sharing pictures of the things I'm working on as it gets closer.  Hopefully I can get out of my reading slump this month though I'm not sure how much time I'll have to read.
Here is what I read in May:
1.) The King by J.R. Ward
2.) Growing Up Duggar by Jill, Jana, Jessa and Jinger Duggar
3.) Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown
4.) Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman
5.) All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

What did you read in May?  How are you…

Mailbox Monday (17)

Mailbox Monday is a great place to share all the great books you received in the past week.  Check it out here!

Last week was a really slow reading week for me but I did get a couple of good books!

Purchased (kindle ebook):


To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild

This was a kindle daily deal last week and I couldn't resist. I've read Hochschild's book on Stalin and really enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to this one.

From the Library:


The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I have been meaning to read this for the longest time and am finally going to make time for it.

What books did you get this week?

Book Blast: "The Lost Duchess" by Jenny Barden

Please join author Jenny Barden as she tours the blogopsphere for The Lost Duchess from May 26-June 20.



Paperback Publication Date: June 5, 2014

Ebury Press

Paperback; 448p













An epic Elizabethan adventure with a thriller pace and a high tension love story that moves from the palaces of England to the savage wilderness of the New World.



Emme Fifield has fallen about as far as a gentlewoman can.



Once a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, her only hope of surviving the scandal that threatens to engulf her is to escape England for a fresh start in the new America where nobody has ever heard of the Duchess of Somerset.



Emme joins Kit Doonan's rag-tag band of idealists, desperados and misfits bound for Virginia. But such a voyage will be far from easy and Emme finds her attraction to the mysterious Doonan inconvenient to say the least.



As for Kit, the handsome mariner has spent years imprisoned by the Spanish, and living as an outlaw with a band of escaped slaves; he has his own inner dem…