Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goddess Fish Book Tours Guest Post: Starla Kaye

Their Lady Gloriana
The inspiration for the Their Lady Gloriana

I enjoy reading all sub-genres of romance, but I particularly love the time periods in romantic fiction where the heroes appeared to be so much larger than life. Sandra Hill’s two Viking series fascinate me and she does a beautiful job of making their world feel real. Alyssa Day’s Warriors of Poseidon is an excellent series about hardened warriors involving a fictional race from the past who live in modern times. And my long-time favorite stories with heroes in older time periods are the Malorys from Johanna Lindsey’s series, the ones in Catherine Coulter’s Medieval Song trilogy, and Jude Deveraux’s early stories. These wonderful authors and their strong heroes inspired me to write a medieval romance.

The heroes in Their Lady Gloriana came to me in the middle of one night…when I usually get all of my “brilliant” story ideas. I review ebooks for an online reviewer and had been reviewing a lot of gay romance. The stories intrigued me and the closeness between these men fascinated me. I wanted to try writing that kind of story, creating two intense, powerful men in a very harsh, masculine world. Medieval knights immediately came to my mind. I wanted these men to find themselves involved in a complicated relationship in a time when there were gay men, but that kind of relationship was certainly looked down upon. They were tough enough to want to keep their special bond no matter what.

Then I wanted to take that unique relationship a step further. I had also read a number of ménage stories and have been writing about resilient women for a while now. So I decided to try my hand at creating a special relationship involving these three unique characters. It would take an exceptional woman to fall in love with these two strongly bonded men…Gloriana fit perfectly. I loved writing this challenging, sensual story involving three of my all time favorite characters. I fell in love with both heroes, Thomas and Rowan.

Currently I am writing an equally moving romance for Rowan, For the Love of Rowan, which should come out before Christmas 2011 from Black Velvet Seductions.

Book Blurb: Think medieval times when honorable men must do what is required of them. Thomas Lancaster, a widower with bad memories of marriage and a young son he barely knows, is a hardened knight loyal to his king. In reward for his efforts fighting in the Crusades, King Edward gives him Middlemound Castle to hold for the crown. But he must marry the beautiful young widow of the castle’s previous lord.

Lady Gloriana Stewart suffered brutally in her first marriage and has no desire to marry again. She has no choice and must protect her people and obey her king. All she wants is for her new husband to give her a baby. Thomas refuses to even consider it.

Complicating the situation is Sir Rowan Montgomery, Thomas’s first knight, friend, and lover. Complicating the problem even more, Gloriana has feelings for both her new husband and for Rowan.

Book Excerpt: The small contingent of soldiers in chainmail and bearing the king’s banner rode between the rows of silent men straight to Gloriana. Without saying a word, a man extended a rolled parchment to her first knight.

He pulled in a breath and said with grimness, “Lord Middlemound will not be returning, my lady. He died over a month ago in the battles.”

Gloriana’s knees gave out in her shock and one of the nearest soldiers hurried to steady her. “Not returning? Dead?” The words left her mouth in a whisper. Relief filled her instead of sadness.

“King Edward has decreed that you will marry Lord Montrose upon his arrival at Middlemound.”

Gerald watched her. “Lord Montrose is a fierce warrior, I’ve heard. They say he’s the very devil in battle, but a good leader.”

A devil in battle…fierce warrior. Nerves twisted and twined in her stomach. Geoffrey had been fierce, too. A devil as well.


Thomas’s glance shifted to Castle Middlemound in the distance. It still surprised him that Edward had commanded he marry Geoffrey Stewart’s widow. He and Lady Middlemound need only be agreeable in bed together to please him. He would not seek out relief from maids or find a mistress. He’d been faithful to his first wife during the short time they’d been together before her death in childbirth. He would be faithful again, though he had no desire to marry again.

Author Info:
Starla Kaye has worn many hats professionally and as a writer. She works part-time with her husband (who believes he is the model example for each of her heroes, “yes, honey, of course you are”) in an accounting firm. A gerontologist by degree, she volunteers in the community with a very active group of senior adults, who provide her with story ideas for senior adult romances she occasionally likes to write for fun. She is a multi-published author on-line in e-book and Print-On-Demand book form, writing as both Starla Kaye and S. K. Fero for Black Velvet Seductions, Blushing Books, Decadent Publishing, and Red Rose Publishing.

Starla Kaye’s website: http://starlakaye.com/

Black Velvet Seductions: http://www.blackvelvetseductions.com/

Book Excerpt: Tess Hardwick - Riversong


Author Tess Hardwick assembles a colorful cast of endearing small-town characters and takes you on a journey that will make you believe in the possibilities of life – even in the face of overwhelming adversity and unimaginable grief. Lee Tucker is the kind of woman you find yourself rooting for long after the last page is read.

When Lee’s husband commits suicide, he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother’s dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh start. Lee's resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband's debt as her business blooms.

A surprising mix of romance, humor, friendship, intrigue and gourmet food – Riversong entertains while reminding you of life’s greatest gifts.

Book Excerpt: Ellen answered on the third ring, sounding groggy and thick with sleep. “Lee, you alright?”

“There’s a bear in my backyard.”

“Is it Clive?”


“That’s what your mother and I called him, Clive.”

“Was he big and black and scary?”

“Sounds like him. I’ll be right there.” The line clicked off before she could say, no don’t come, he’s right outside the house, there’s no way to get in.

Lee stood, pressing her forehead on the window next to the front door, searching the darkness for Ellen. Clive was still in the fenced back yard. She could hear him pacing and pawing at the garbage cans. Ellen emerged from the night, lantern in hand, in a walk-run down the dirt driveway, her long gray hair in a braid and dressed in a flannel nightgown and work boots. She was carrying a long gun - a shotgun Lee supposed. Lee opened the door a crack and yelled to her. “Hurry, he’s in the back yard.”

Ellen began to run towards the door. Lee opened it wider, pulled her by the arm into the house, slammed the door shut and bolted the lock. “You must be insane running around outside with a bear on the loose.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of his acquaintance five years in a row now.” She held the shotgun with ease, like an umbrella. “He always appears this time of year.” Ellen started up the stairs to the bedrooms. “He’s hungry after the long winter.”

Lee followed her. “What are you going to do?”

“Get rid of him.” They reached the second floor and Ellen marched to the window. “This is the best place to get a shot at him if he’s in the yard.”

“I don’t think we should hurt him,” Lee said. “Isn’t that illegal or something?”

Ellen opened the window and put the barrel of her shotgun through the opening. “Don’t worry, I won’t kill him.” She lifted the gun to her shoulder. “Too messy. We’ll just scare him off.”

Ellen pulled the trigger. The sound was deafening. The air filled with the smell Lee remembered from firecrackers at Fourth of July. Lee moved closer to the window and Clive gazed up at her, his head tilted like he was confused. She had the distinct, crazy feeling once again that she could almost hear his thoughts but they were a jumble of confusion, disappointment, anger, instead of information. He snapped his jaws and lunged toward the house, disappearing from view under the awning of the kitchen’s door. They heard him pushing the door, the wood creaking with his weight. Ellen fired another shot out the window. Lee collapsed to the floor, hugging her knees, afraid to look. Ellen fired again and then they heard a scrambling noise at the side of the house.

Ellen backed a few feet from the wall. “He’s climbing up the side of the house.”

Lee hugged her knees tighter and squeezed her eyes shut. “What?”

Ellen’s voice was raised an octave, yelling like an excited child. “He’s using the awning for leverage!” Lee opened one eye to see Ellen creeping towards the window and peering up. She heard claws on the side of the house, and it sounded as if he were making deep holes into the wood siding.

“What’s happening now?”

“He’s reached the top. Good Lord, he’s on the roof.” There was the sound above their heads of wood splintering and falling in the attic space between the roof and the ceiling. Outside the window several shingles floated to the ground. Lee expected to see him break through and land on the floor in front of them. She jumped up and grabbed Ellen’s arm. They looked in each other’s eyes and fear passed between them. “What does he want?” said Ellen.

For a moment there was silence and then more back-and-forth movements as he walked the roof-line. “Clive, what do you want?” Ellen raised the shotgun and the barrel followed the sounds, her blue eyes intense. “I’m ready if he falls through.”

Lee backed towards the window, and for several minutes they heard him pace until finally his footsteps descended the slope of the roof and then there were several loud thumps. They ran to the window just as Clive reached the ground. Ellen raised her gun and aimed it at his head. “The mess be damned, I’m gonna shoot the son of a bitch.”

Lee, standing behind Ellen now, saw beyond the fence a dark shadow, and grabbed the flashlight from the window sill. She aimed the light towards the movement. “Oh my God,” Lee said. She saw two bear cubs. “Don’t shoot.” She gripped Ellen’s shoulder. “Clive has cubs.”

Ellen lowered the gun. “Clive’s a girl?” She leaned closer to the window. “Clive’s a girl. Well, I’ll be.”

Clive scurried over the fence and growled direction to her babies. They ran to her and she nuzzled them for a moment before looking back at the house. Lee touched the window with the palm of her hand and felt something enter her, not words exactly but a feeling. It came from Clive through the air, a small zap like electricity inside her mid-section where she imagined her uterus dwelt and then the thought: I want this baby. Clive shifted her gaze away from the house to her cubs and led them towards the thick trees at the edge of the woods. Lee watched from the window until they disappeared into the night. She sat on the edge of the bed. Had Clive come to tell her to keep the child? Ellen had asked what Clive wanted. Could it be that Clive wanted her to have the baby?

Ellen sat next to her on the bed. “We’re safe now.” She patted Lee’s leg. “I thought Clive was going to fall right through that old roof.” She chortled and shook her head back and forth.

Lee giggled and her shoulders began to shake, tears sliding down her face.

Ellen began to laugh too and the more they tried to stop, the harder they laughed. Ellen hobbled to the window and rested her hand on the sill, doubled over, breathless. “Stop. My stomach hurts.”

Lee sobered. She folded her hands in her lap. “I’m pregnant.”

Ellen’s face shifted like someone slapped her. A split second later she went still. “I see.”

Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Review: In The Woods

In the Woods
Author: Tana French
Title: In The Woods
Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: May 27, 2008
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: A 12-year-old girl is found murdered at an archaeological site at the center of a controversial highway construction project. Katy Devlin was a popular girl who had recently been accepted to the Royal Ballet School; her father is an outspoken opponent of the new roadway. But what haunts Detective Rob Ryan about this case is its location: the quiet town of Knocknaree, Ireland -- in the very woods where he used to play as a child.
Twenty years ago, a young Rob and his two best friends went into the woods, chasing each other, playing in a castle of ruins. But they didn't return to their homes at sunset. A search party was dispatched to canvas the woods, finding only a catatonic Rob clawing at a tree, his clothing ripped, his shoes filled with blood.

Detective Ryan has always guarded this secret of his past, but the recent murder forces him to reveal it to his new partner, drawing them closer together in the search for the perpetrator. Is there a connection between Rob's childhood trauma and Katy Devlin's murder? And is Detective Ryan prepared to confront the secrets that lie deep in those woods? Suspects abound in this fast-paced mystery -- a stunning debut that examines the complexities of the human mind and the cost of discovering the truth.

Review: This book was really good, for awhile. I liked getting the backstory of Detective Ryan and Cassie. I also like how bits and pieces of his past crept into this story. However for me that's as far as it went.

When the actual murderer...ok not actual..but ....AGH...I don't want to give away anything...but as soon as this particular character was introduced.....I knew they had something to do with Katy's murder, so much so I had to jump to the end to see if I was right. And I was.


After that, getting those last 200 pages read was a chore. On top of it all, the author leads us to believe we might get some resolution on Detective Ryan's past, don't get your hopes up for that, either.

What Tana French does deliver is a mystery with a really quirky bunch of charcters. Through 90 % of the novel, you like most of them. The big problem, however is the ending. It just doesn't satisfy. At least not me. I like resolution when it comes to mysteries, and this one doesn't really have that completely, which made this a frustrating read for me.

Rating: 3 flowers


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Lovin Bitches Book Tour & Review: Riversong

Author:  Tess Hardwick
Title: Riversong
Publisher: Booktrope
Publish Date: March 30, 2011
Review Copy Provided By: Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and the author
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Author Tess Hardwick assembles a colorful cast of endearing small-town characters and takes you on a journey that will make you believe in the possibilities of life - even in the face of overwhelming adversity and unimaginable grief.
Lee Tucker is the kind of woman you find yourself rooting for long after the last page is read. When her husband commits suicide,he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother's dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh start. Lee's resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband's debt as her business blooms.

A surprising mix of romance, humor, friendship, intrigue and gourmet food, Riversong entertains while reminding you of life's greatest gifts.

Review: Riversong is chicklit at its finest. It is a book that once you start, you connect so easily with the characters that you really don't want to put the book down until you are finished. Lee is pretty much a graduate of the school of hard knocks. Her mom was an anti-mom, drowning herself in vodka most of Lee's life and when she finally escapes, the man she marries isn't what he seems, and he kills himself.

That's what really gets the story moving. Lee takes off for her hometown in hopes of selling her mom's home to pay off the loan shark her late husband was involved in. What she finds when she gets there is really a new life. I love the cast of characters in the small Oregon town. Most people wouldn't think that secondary characters are that important, but in this story they are.

I loved the twists and turns that Lee had in her life, with her relationship with Tommy, but more so with Ellen, the schoolteacher who helped her get out of the small town years before.

This book really has it all. It has family drama, suspense, a great romance and a happily ever after. I absolutely loved this book and will check out anything Ms Hardwick writes in the future.

Rating: 5 flowers

The Bookish Snob Promotions Book Excerpt: 44

Jools Sinclair


I know I’m lucky.
Lucky to be alive, lucky to be able to walk again, to inhale the juniper-laced air and watch the soft leaves change into crispy ones scattering in the wind. I can spend afternoons with Jesse as he plummets down the steep hills around town on his skateboard. I can watch Barcelona soccer games on satellite, eat pizza, and even see those dumb reality TV shows late at night.
I’ve been on the other side and I’m grateful that I’m here. My life is good, most days.
But this morning wasn’t like most days.
The wind had a bite and as I stood at the edge of the river, ice pellets drilled into my face. The sky was slab gray, with low clouds pushing down around me.
She was there. Floating under the footbridge, snagged and hidden in bony branches and moving in a subtle, unnatural rhythm that the dead dance to when submerged in water. The river rushed around her, forming small riffles at her feet, as if she had always been there, belonging like a large boulder or a rooted tree.
In my vision the night before, I watched her die. It started soon after I drifted off to sleep. The night was pitchfork-sharp and her fear radiated in waves through me as she ran, trying to get away from him. She slipped, falling hard onto the icy pavement, her screams lost in the hollow, empty night as he wrapped his arm around her neck until she fell quiet into his arms.
These visions that started months ago have me following in the footsteps of a serial killer I’ve yet to see, as he roams the city looking for his next victim, never satisfied and always needing.
I stood in the shadows and watched like it was a scene from a movie. I knew I could do nothing. He picked her up and brought her to the water, held her head down. Then he sat next to her, stroking her hair.
But this time, I was ready. I only needed a glimpse. If I could see his face in my vision, I could find him in reality. I summoned my courage, forced myself to swallow the bile that shot up in the back of my throat and followed him as he strolled arrogantly away.
The moon was bright, beams threading through the trees, leaving thick shadows. Instinctually, I backed into the darkness as he suddenly stopped, even though I knew he wouldn’t be able to see me. His breath leaked out in ghostly wisps as he stood silent.
Finally, he turned around, his eyes hooking into mine. He saw me. Somehow he cut through my murky vision and saw me.
But I saw him too. And now I knew who he was.
He stared a while, still and contemplative, as I fought my urge to run. But he didn’t come after me. The bastard just stood there, and then smiled, before stepping away and disappearing into the lonely night.

Author Info: 

Jools Sinclair lives in Bend, Oregon. She is an avid reader, movie watcher, orange cat lover, Frye boot wearer and Komodo Dragon coffee drinker. She admits to having an intense passion for opera and loves faraway lands where espresso bars and pastry shops line the streets. Finally, she is absolutely crazy about her family, who in turn thinks she is absolutely crazy.

Next Stop On The Tour: May 30 –Reader Girls  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Review: The Parting

The Parting (The Courtship of Nellie Fisher, Book 1)
Author: Beverly Lewis
Title: The Parting (The Courtship Of Nellie Fisher Book 1)
Publisher: Bethany House
Publish Date: Oct 2007
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Beloved bestselling inspirational author Lewis kicks off The Courtship of Nellie Fisher series, dishing up her usual sort of Amish meal. Amish teen Nellie Fisher’s grief over the death of her sister, Suzy, in a drowning accident is just beginning to heal. It helps that Caleb Yoder has asked her to be his girl, and wedding bells ring in her imagination. Her baked goods shop also provides solace. But change blows through her Pennsylvania Amish community, threatening to divide families and thwart her new found romance. Other story lines are set up: Rosanna King seems unable to have children, but is promised a forthcoming baby by a woman who has many; Nellie’s father reads forbidden scripture and becomes intrigued with salvation by grace. Amish dialect is used judiciously throughout, and although some items (like an old journal) seem like tired cliches, Lewis creates the tension necessary to get the series started. Some Christian readers will wonder about a theology that finds Suzy’s death and a crop failure part of God’s plan, and there may be confusion for readers unfamiliar with the Amish about the boundaries of Rumschpringe (rumspringa, or the running-around period for some Amish teens).

Review: Beverly Lewis usually writes trilogies and this book is part of The Courtship of Nellie Fisher.  Amish fiction is something that you either love or hate, because you can't write it without including the faith of the Amish, which is Anabaptist...similar to that of the Mennonites..but not quite the same. If you know little about the Amish...their beliefs will have you wondering.

This story was actually a little bit different for Lewis, as it took place in the 1960s, when many religions were experiencing change. It was no different for the Amish. This were happening in the world and even The Plain folk wanted to move forward, even if just in baby steps.

Of course there's romance, because that's what all of Lewis' trilogies are about. The struggles of the Amish to find love. In this book, there's a lot of conflict. Nellie and her family are dealing with the drowning death of her sister and her father's changing beliefs. Both are putting a strain on her new relationship with Caleb Yoder.

I love Lewis' style of writing. I think she portrays these people well, though I wish every book wasn't full of such drama. This one seemed full of more than usual and that was a bit of a distraction. There was just too much going on and it left me feeling the story didn't quite have enough focus. Nellie's relationship with Caleb really didn't seem to me to a huge part of the story, and I often wondered why the sisters didn't share any of their feelings with each other or their mother. So in that regards, I found this book to be a little lacking in comparison to Lewis' other material. I'll still be reading the next to books, though, The Forbidden and The Longing.

Rating: 4 flowers

Friday, May 27, 2011

Armchair BEA: Book Blogging

It is the last day of Armchair BEA!


Today's topic is Book Blogging!

I've discussed before how I really started book blogging. It was an easier way for me than goodreads to keep track of what books I've read.  I've only been book blogging for about a year. But I've changed my blog quite a bit from the start, because I've learned things.  Here are some of my tips.

~ When posting book reviews try to stick to a specific format. I try to include the book cover, author, title and publishing info, as well as a blurb and a book link before my review.

~ Rating a book is really up to the blogger. Some people choose not to. I know I find it hard to rate books between 1 - 5, which is a typical rating scale. I don't think this is absolutely necessary.

~ If you are truly serious about book blogging, try to have a post a day, but hey, life interrupts us sometime and that can't happen. Don't sweat it.

~ It is not necessary to have a super sweet looking blog design to be a great book blogger, though let's face it, we all want one. I was lucky that a friend bought me my design for Christmas last year. Before that, I had a very plain design.

~ Don't make memes the focus of you book blog. There's an meme a day out there. I even have one..that's more a personal feature for me, but don't make memes what your blog is all about.

~ Be yourself. Don't blog or review for other people. Blog because you love doing it. Blog because you love books.

~ Don't be obsessed with followers.  If you start obsessing about things like that, I guarantee that your blog will become less fun for you and more like work, and don't we all do enough of that?

That's all I can think of now. Book Blogging should be fun and it should be a celebration of all the great books that are out there, old and new!

Book Review: 44

Author: Jools Sinclair
Title: 44
Publisher: You Come Too Publishing
Publish Date: March 10, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The Bookish Snob Promotions and the author
Book Blurb: Last year after falling through the ice, seventeen-year-old Abby Craig woke up from death.

But she woke into a world she barely recognizes. She can’t see colors, memories have been erased, and her friends all hate her. And then there’s Jesse, who she loves, but who refuses to forgive her the one mistake she made long ago.

Just when she thinks it can’t get any worse, the visions begin. In them, she sees a faceless serial killer roaming the streets. While the police believe that there have been a lot of accidents in town lately, Abby knows differently. And she soon realizes that it’s up to her to find him.

But to stop him, she’ll have to confront more than just the killer. She’ll have to face something else that was lost in those dark waters. The truth.

In the tradition of Amanda Hocking, 44 is a thrilling paranormal romance mystery novel that keeps readers at the edge of their seats and glued to the very end. The ending will haunt you forever.

Review: This was probably my quickest read of the year. 44 is a mere 69 pages, but these are 69 quality pages that you will never forget.

Once I started reading I could not stop. I didn't want to put my Nook down, not even for a second.

What really impressed me with this story is how well put together it is. I didn't find anything hurried or overlooked and in a story this short, that's quite an acheivement.  Abby was such a great character, and from the get go, you feel her struggles trying to get back to a normal life after drowning...and coming back to life.

Her life is different though. She can't do some of her favorite things anymore and her friends have abandoned her. Then there are the visions. All of these things tie together especially when you add Jesse, her bff, who she really loves.

Jools moves the story along at a great pace, revealing new things about Abby and the killer as she goes, but the ending. OMG the ending....it wasn't at all what I expected. If you are looking for a quick YA mystery, you absolutely must read this one. It is fantastic.

Rating: 5 flowers

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rex Robot Reviews Book Review: The Sins Of Viscount Sutherland

oThe Sins of Viscount Sutherland
Author: Samatha James
Title: The Sins Of Viscount Sutherland
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: May 31, 2011
Review Copy Provided By: Rex Robot Reviews and Haper Collins
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: He is reckless, bold, dangerous . . .

Men envy him, women desire him . . .
And one woman wants her revenge.
Claire Ashcroft has good reason to despise Viscount Grayson Sutherland. A wildly unpredictable man with a frightening reputation, Sutherland is responsible for a death that deeply pains her. She'd kill him if she could. Instead, she'll employ her feminine wiles to make him pay. And once he's deeply, irreversibly in love with her, she'll shatter his vulnerable heart.

Her scheme works perfectly . . . too perfectly.

Review: My review can be found at Rex Robot Reviews
Rating: 4 flowers

Armchair BEA: Nurturing Relationships

Today's focus of the Armchair BEA is Nurturing Relationships.  Oh this is interesting, because I have 3 blogs, one is a personal blog, one is a group blog that is a lot of celebrity stuff, music reviews and food reviews and then I have this book blog.

The only blog that I've really established relationships through was my personal blog and that's because it is what it is. Personal. Which is funny, because I share more interests with book blogging people than I might with some of the people I follow through my personal blog. If that makes any sense.

I really think the way of establishing relationships and keeping them going involves commenting and replying to comments. I'm not a fan of twitter and facebook is a place were I play games. If I start spending time posting links to reviews at all the social media sites, guess what? Book blogging isn't fun anymore.

It is like Giveaways w/the clause that you must be a follower to get extra entries. What good is having 700 followers if none of them ever say anything to you?

I think I'm starting to sound anti-social, which isn't the case. I think when it comes to establishing relationships...things like memes and book tours are a great way to discover bloggers with similar reading interests. However, if you are like me, I hate feeling compelled to do something. I started out always doing the What Are You Reading meme on Monday...but then it started to feel like work.

However I'm really a tiny blog in a huge sea of huge blogs, so I really don't know. This topic makes me feel like I should be writing the "How To Be Popular" column when I'm the class nerd.

So what do you do to develop and keep relationships with your fellow book bloggers, because apparently I am clueless!

TBR Thursday Week 5

The purpose of TBR Thursday is to share some of the books on our TBR piles. You can post book covers or pictures of your TBR pile if you choose, but mostly we want to know some of the books on your TBR piles! Or for those of you that love your Ereader, you TBR shelf! I'm going to focus on my Nook Books this week. I have a few waiting to be read there, as always

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen)
Book Blurb: My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.
It started with the discovery of a young woman's brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I've been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims—lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

The Devil's Temptress
Book Blurb: In the glittering, sumptuous court of Eleanor of Acquitaine, betrayal lurks around every corner. The queen is at odds with her king, and to obey one could mean treason against the other. Even Alienore, considered the most virtuous lady at court, holds secrets; He is called the Raven—his face scarred by a Saracen blade, his voice raspy with the effects of Greek fire. His parentage is unknown, his prowess legendary. And he'll sell his sword to the highest bidder. As his piercing eyes track her every move, Alienore wonders who he's working for now.

And lastly is one book I received from the author for review.

Matching Wits with Venus
Book Blurb: For centuries, Cupid has longed to be more than Venus’s arrow boy. When he’s sent to eliminate “Happily Ever After by Amelia”, the matchmaking business threatening Venus’s status as the goddess of love, Cupid decides to steal Amelia’s methods and make his own matches. While spying on Amelia, Cupid accidentally shoots himself with his magical arrow and falls in love with her. But bereaved Amelia doesn’t believe in the existence of Roman gods, and she’s certainly not looking for romance. She’s too busy perfecting the patented personality profile that’s made her Hollywood’s favorite matchmaker.

Disguising himself as a mortal financial advisor, Cupid manages to break through Amelia’s guarded exterior. As their passion deepens so does Cupid’s guilt about deceiving Amelia. Cupid’s interference with Amelia’s life causes her business to falter, leads to a sterile spring that threatens the animal kingdom and shatters the longstanding peace between the Roman and Greek gods. With the fate of the natural and under worlds at stake, Cupid must decide whether to reveal his true identity and risk losing the chance to live happily ever after with Amelia.

So what books are still on your TBR piles?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA: Networking

When I started my book blog a little over a year ago...I didn't have any focus. I was reviewing books and talking about books for myself. It took 6 months before I really jumped in and got the blog really going and that's when I started finding blogs and bloggers that I really love.

Since I didn't do the whole interview thing for Armchair BEA, I want to share some of my favorite book bloggers with you.

The first blog is Rex Robot Reviews. I'm actually a reviewer for that site now. But Julia is actually Rex, and the site reviews some awesome books across many genres as well as hosting some great giveaways.

Julia is also super lucky because, she's actually in NYC for BEA.  I'm pretty jealous too!

About Happy BooksThe next blog that I absolutely adore is About Happy Books. Sabrina is the blogger behind this site and I absolutely adore her reviews.

Her site is just so sweet and informative. I always find great new additions to my TBR pile when I stop by there.

Another favorite blog of mine is Addicted To Romance in a blogging world where YA seems to reign supreme, it was so refreshing to find someone like me that really loves a good romance novel.

The last blog I'm going to share with you is Heaven Is A Bookstore . Heidi shares bits of her life as well as book reviews.

These are some of my favorites and most often read sites, but there are lots more. Feel free to stop by any of them, and say A Chick Who Reads sent you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA: Best of 2011

 Today's topic at Armchair BEA is “Best of 2011!”

I have to admit, my reading isn't always the newest books out there. I love to bargain shop and go through backlist books and find stuff I might have missed.

Even on the many book tours I've participated in...the books weren't necessarily published this  year.

DeliriumHowever....there is one book that stands out already as a favorite for 2011 and I'm sure it will make many lists.

I think Lauren Oliver's Delerium is probably the most reviewed and anticipated book this year, and for me it really didn't disappoint. I loved it and I reviewed it for Rex Robot Reviews right around the time it was released.

I'm not totally into YA or dystopia, but this book was really a gripping read and I look forward to the continuation of the story.

Now here is one of the books I'm sure will make my list when it gets released.

The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc
Kimberly Cutter's The Maid looks like a fabulous read. I love historical fiction so this one is right up my alley!

Blurb: The girl who led an army, the peasant who crowned a king, the maid who became a legend

It is the fifteenth century, and the tumultuous Hundred Years’ War rages on. France is under siege, English soldiers tear through the countryside destroying all who cross their path, and Charles VII, the uncrowned king, has neither the strength nor the will to rally his army. And in the quiet of her parents’ garden in Domrémy, a peasant girl sees a spangle of light and hears a powerful voice speak her name. Jehanne .

The story of Jehanne d’Arc, the visionary and saint who believed she had been chosen by God, who led an army and saved her country, has captivated our imagination for centuries. But the story of Jehanne—the girl—whose sister was murdered by the English, who sought an escape from a violent father and a forced marriage, who taught herself to ride and fight, and who somehow found the courage and tenacity to persuade first one, then two, then thousands to follow her, is at once thrilling, unexpected, and heartbreaking. Rich with unspoken love and battlefield valor, The Maid is a novel about the power and uncertainty of faith, and the exhilarating and devastating consequences of fame

Book Review: Hedgeland

Author: Ann Nyland
Title: Hedgeland
Publisher: Createspace
Publish Date: March 18, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The Bookish Snob Promotions & the author
Book Blurb: Hedgeland, an urban fantasy of time travel. Dr April Neuland, a Professor of Ancient Languages turned non-fiction writer, has been plagued by dreams all her life, dreams of her past life in the Celtic Otherworld. Meanwhile, in a parallel dimension of April's past and Caridwen's future, Worthing, a Future History Professor, has allied with the Military to access Future Internet communications and use new technology to influence April to write an ebook novel revealing where she, in her past life as Caridwen, hid the Kiste, a device to travel through time and space. Hedgeland weaves all three time/space frames: Caridwen, Worthing and April. Hedgeland is the first in the Hedgecraft Sequence, but is a fully self contained novel with no cliff hangers.

Review: It took me a little while to get into this book. The book shifts dimensions with every chaper...from present day to her past life and then to a parrellel dimension. It is hard to keep track of where things are going on, but the book was an extremely entertaining read.

I loved a lot of the Doctor Who references in the parts with the parellel dimension...As a Who fangirl, it was fun to see David Tennant, Matt Smith and the Daleks mentioned as well as many of the companions from over the years. And if you are a fan of Who, this book will make a little more sense. the Kiste is basically the same thing as a TARDIS or at least it does much of the same thing, including the wibbly-wobbly timey-whimey stuff.

Ann's characters were well developed and considering this story had 3 sets of main characters, that's quite an acheivement, though Caridiwen and April are linked through Worthling.  Once I got the jist of how the story was being told, everything flowed really nicely for me. I loved how she tied everything together with April's novel, and how it kind of thwarted the plans of the the Military in the parellel dimension.

This is the first book in a new series, and I'm looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

Rating: 4 flowers

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