Friday, June 29, 2012

TLC Book Tours Book Review: With My Body

Author:Nikki Gemmell
Title: With My Body
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publish Date: June 19, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the publisher
Book Blurb: A wife, a mother of three, she has everything a woman should want—and yet she has gone numb inside. Locked in a never-ending cycle of chores, errands, and mealtimes, she cannot find a way to live her life with the honesty and passion that once drove her. Even her husband, whom she loves, has never truly touched the core of her being. Only one person has ever come close. In desperation, she returns to the memory of an old love affair—a transformative relationship with consequences she has never fully resolved. Revisiting her past, she will begin an exhilarating journey into her sexuality while finally confronting the hidden truths of her heart.

Review: This book was a bit...erm...creepy? Odd? And not at all erotic in the way that I felt it was supposed to be. The lead character who I think remains nameless throughout the book is a mother of three who is feeling unfulfilled in her sexual life.

At the beginning, I absolutely hated her. In fact, a few times I put the book down, because this woman aggravated me about how she let another woman knock her down because of play dates and my child is better than your child.


I would be a terrible mother...children do not have play dates..unless the mom/dad etc is buying the friendship. Children go and play with their friends. This woman should have told Susan to go do some rather rude things to herself, because it was obvious she wasn't a friend.

But I'm not really sure how that part of her life played in with the rest of the story, which is told in flash backs. Our main nameless? character has a horrible homelife. A father that loves her but has a hard time showing it, and a wicked-ish stepmother that can't be bothered with her. Somehow all of this turns her into a raging little slut by 14.


Her true awakening comes with Tol. Her experiences with him reminded me a lot of The Story of O, which is kind of an instruction manual for her.

I couldn't stop thinking, OMG she's not even 18 and she's doing stuff most prostitutes do!

What I don't understand is how someone that ends up so sexually aware ends up in a passionless marriage.

On top of all of this she takes off for Australia to find Tol again, but he doesn't want to see her. That whole thing along with some revelations about her father made the ending very anti-climatic for me.

The book, however, was beautifully written, though I have to admit, it was hard dealing with the main character being written in the 2nd person. It was a little hard to deal with.

Over all, this was only a so so read for me, but I can definitely appreciate the author's ability to tell a unique erotic tale.

Rating: 3 flowers

 Author info: 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book Review: Temptation

Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Title Temptation
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: June 26, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: Your heart misleads you.
That's what my friends and family say.

But I love Noah.

And he loves me.

We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms. It should be


forever, easy.

But it won't be.

Because he's Amish.

And I'm not.

Review: I love Amish fiction. I'm a sucker for it, so when I saw this new YA Amish book, at NetGalley, I had to dive in. Not many stories deal with the youth in the community, so this was definitely something different.

However, I found myself wondering how much research the author did when writing this book. The community Noah belongs to, is obviously Old Order Amish, but they didn't allow rumspringa? That doesn't fit with much of what I know about the Amish. I could be wrong though, but that part of the story bugged me. The other thing is, the sects of Amish that they could possibly have been wouldn't have had neat tidy farms either.

The story reads much like a twist on Romeo and Juliet, but since it is a Harlequin the ending is not a downer, even though there are times when you think otherwise. Or so you think, because this is the first book in a series.

~big sigh~

Would it be so hard to write a book about the Amish that wasn't part of a series? Tell the story and finish it all in one volume?

I didn't think so.

The ending of the book is the most unsatisfactory part. Not because of anything that happens but because the last 100 pages are total drama and the last 10...Meh...the book ends very abruptly, a'la Beverly Lewis.

OH and I know this isn't a Christian novel, but the religious aspect of the Amish was swept under the rug in this book and that is really taking a huge part of the culture away.

There still is quite a bit to like about the book. The characters are strong. I liked Noah better than Rose. Noah's behavior was pretty much what you'd expect for a young Amish man. Rose however seemed to be a smart girl that was pretty stupid sometimes. She had to ask her father about the Amish. Uh, what about the internet? I don't think a 16 year old, falling desperately in love wouldn't Google Amish to learn more about their ways.

I'm definitely going to check out the rest of the series, because I have to know how things turn out for the young couple.

Rating: 3 flowers

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book Review: Dirty Laundry

Author: Tori Carrington
Title: Dirty Laundry
Publisher: Forge Books
Publish Date: May 2, 20006
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: When Sofie Metropolis decided to stop being a waitress and start being a private detective, she had no idea what she was getting into. With only a few cases under her belt, Sofie has inherited a dead woman's mean-spirited Jack Russell; fallen hard for a mysterious, charming Australian bounty hunter; and gained a rep for an itchy trigger finger. She even shot one of her clients!

Sofie's mom suspects Sofie's dad is having an affair, and Sofie's seen enough cheating spouses to know that her father is keeping secrets. And though Jake Porter is more available than ever, Sofie finds herself torn between the Australian she barely knows and a handsome, available Greek who knows that the fastest way to Sofie's heart is through a bakery.

Searching for a missing dry cleaner who left behind a brand-new Mercedes and a not-so-brand-new wife, Sofie is attacked by . . . a plastic-swathed suit? Or was it one of Tony DiPiazza's goons? Tony being the junior-league Mobster who has his own reasons to want to get his finely-manicured hands on the dry cleaner's account books.

If Sofie's not careful, her favorite kicks are going to be replaced by a pair of cement overshoes . . . .
Review: I was sat on the fence with the first Sofie Metropolis book, but with Dirty Laundry I find myself really liking the series.

Sure it is like Evanovich's Plum series. There are a lot of parallel's including Sofie's use of the word "Probably." But for all those similarities, Sofie is different from Stephanie. She lacks a side kick and her family is way more quirky than the Plum household. She's also a girly girl, something which really can't be said for Stephanie.

In this book there's more cheating spouses, or so they think, a missing ferret and a missing dry cleaner.

Oh and then there's the mob! Tony DiPiazza, who wants to have "pasta" with Sofie, if you know what I'm saying. (wink wink, nudge nudge) I have to say one of the funniest moments of the book is when Sofie's apartment is broken into and Muffy is taped to the toilet. Poor little Muffy!

There's a lot of funny stuff with Sofie, and her crush on Jake Porter, which almost made it to the bedroom is worth turning pages for. Hunky Aussie guys are always worth turning pages for.

The first book had trouble finding its footing, but with Dirty Laundry, Tori Carrington definitely has a winner. I look forward to reading more from this series. Hopefully they can keep things fresh and funny for awhile!

Rating: 4 flowers

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review: The Telling

Author: Beverly Lewis
Title: The Telling (Seasons of Grace Book 3)
Publisher: Bethany House
Publish Date: April 6, 2010
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Grace Byler leaves Bird-in-Hand in a fancy car to search for her mother in Ohio. But what if Lettie Byler doesn't wish to be found? Meanwhile, Lettie continues her private quest to find the missing piece of her life. As clues take her from state to state, she is increasingly torn between the family she has left behind and the yearning for her long-lost child.

Struggling to come to terms with a grave medical diagnosis, Heather Nelson is determined to forgo traditional medicine--to her father's chagrin--in hopes of finding answers and healing in Amish country. But first, she offers to drive her Amish friend, Grace Byler, to Ohio.

Will mother and daughter, and one seriously ill graduate student, find the answers they long for? Or will "the telling" cause them all further pain?

Review: This book is truly groan worthy. The only reason I suffered through it, is because I read the first two in this trilogy.

I love Amish fiction, and I think that's why I'm drawn to Lewis' books. She's the Danielle Steel of that genre. And like Steel, too many books has taken away the "goodness" in her stories.

Everything is too formulated now. Perhaps that's the fault of a publisher that wants to make money off trilogies, when Lewis' stories would better be told in one longer volume.

That's the problem with the Seasons Of Grace trilogy. Book one sets up the story with a cliff hanger, book 2 meanders along, and book 3 wraps everything up in a nice bow. By the end of book 1 you knew exactly what was going to happen in book three and you knew who Lettie's first born was. Anyone reading could make that guess. It made the trilogy rather disappointing.

Then there was the story surrounding Heather, who is diagnosed with advance Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a disease she shared with her adoptive mother. I couldn't quite believe that naturopathic treatment alone would bring her to a cancer free state.

This whole trilogy didn't work well for me, plus it put Grace's relationship with Yonnie on the back burner. I would have liked a little more romance in this book. It needed something, anything to make it worth finishing. After 4 days I managed to eek through 331 very painful pages. It will be a long while before I pick up another Beverly Lewis book.

Rating 2 flowers

Sunday, June 24, 2012

RABT Host Blog Hop - Favorites

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

My Favorite Tour So Far

This is a hard question for me. I've been on 3 tours so far and two of them by an author who I really have come to love, Bernadette Walsh. So I'm going to cheat and use both of her tours as my answers. These books are so good, you have to check them out!

Bernadette Walsh - The House On Prospect

Synopsis: Ellen Murphy spent her childhood in an idyllic house by the sea. A house surrounded by flower-filled gardens and a white picket fence. A house she fled at eighteen. A house full of secrets.

When her mother Rose, an ex-nun, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Ellen reluctantly returns home to care for her and uncovers a clue to the one secret that has haunted Ellen all her life: the identity of her father. But that is just one of the many secrets hidden behind the beautiful facade of the house on Prospect Road. Ellen discovers the high price both her mother and her Irish grandmother paid for the house on Prospect and she realizes that her meek mother is more of stranger to her than her absent father.

Bernadette Walsh - Gold Coast Wives

Synopsis:  Three skinny socialites should be a pushover after the rough and tumble world of Wall Street. Right?

Kate Ryan may be au fait with making high-powered legal decisions but she's about to submit to the rules of reality TV, where nothing is what it seems. Who'd have thought a few days with the cameras rolling for a low-rent cable show would be so challenging, or that the claws of a former homecoming queen, a washed-up soap star and a whiny cat-lover would be so sharp

Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: New Girl

Author: Paige Harbison
Title: New Girl
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: January 31, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: Welcome to Manderley Academy

I hadn't wanted to go, but my parents were so excited…. So here I am, the new girl at Manderley, a true fish out of water. But mine's not the name on everyone's lips. Oh, no.

It's Becca Normandy they can't stop talking about. Perfect, beautiful Becca. She went missing at the end of last year, leaving a spot open at Manderley—the spot that I got. And everyone acts like it's my fault that infallible, beloved Becca is gone and has been replaced by not perfect, completely fallible, unknown Me.

Then, there's the name on my lips—Max Holloway. Becca's ex. The one boy I should avoid, but can't. Thing is, it seems like he wants me, too. But the memory of Becca is always between us. And as much as I'm starting to like it at Manderley, I can't help but think she's out there, somewhere, watching me take her place.

Waiting to take it back.

Review: This was an interested plot for a YA novel. It reads like an old gothic novel, yet it is set in the present day.

I liked the book but in the same time I was disturbed by it.


1. The plot moves along quickly and it kept me interested.

2. I really liked "The New Girl" though I have to say it made no sense that Paige didn't give her an actual name until the end. WTF is up with that?

3. There can never be too many gothic novels. They are always so fun, cheesy and over dramatic, and let's face facts here, just about everything in this book is dramatic.

4. The  Max/Johnny/Becca/New Girl/Max/Johnny thing is really interesting. Actually the whole way Paige writes the "New Girl" stepping into Becca's life is really interesting.

5. Dana is super creepy as a roommate!

6. The ending was not at all what I expected.

There's a lot about this book that left me clueless. I realized that it is a retelling of Rebecca in a modern setting, but not being up on the classics I can't make any complaints there. However....


1. OMG Becca was a huge slut and I can't figure out for the life of me how she managed to wrap everyone around her little finger. She was a Bitch, with a capital B.

2. The love triangle thing, in her instance just didn't work because neither guy really liked her. They both liked having sex with her!

3. OMG lots of sex, or rather implied sex in a YA novel as well as a whole bunch of drunken rich kids at a boarding school.

4. I'm not sure I bought into everyone thinking Becca was so awesome and other than the fact she was a slut with a mental disorder, it was really hard to figure out why anyone would want her!

All in all, this was a middle of the road read for me. It was fun, but Becca was a problem for me, because she was so intensely unlikable.

Rating: 3 flowers

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Posting has been sporadic at best here, and not because I'm lazy.  I wish that were my excuse. My dad has been in the hospital for the last week, and things are absolutely crazy in my household.

I haven't been able to get much reading done, no matter how hard I try.

I'm hoping my dad will be home in the next few days, and that some things will slowly return to normal. (Not that anything about my life is normal)

I hope to have a review for you tomorrow. Fingers crossed on that one, and there will be some fun tour stops in the coming weeks, so I won't be totally awol!

Monday, June 18, 2012

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn
Title: Gone Girl
Publisher: Crown
Publish Date: June 5, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours & the publisher
Book Blurb:  Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Review:  There are some books that really give you a Wow! when you are reading them. Gone Girl is definitely one of those books. It doesn't read like your typical thriller. It feels more like a book about a marriage gone terribly wrong. And it doesn't take long to see that there's something terribly wrong with this marriage.

I like how you get the picture of the marriage through both Nick in the present and Amy in diary form and then later through Amy's mind.  These two aren't the easiest characters to like. There's something not right with either of them, and then there's Nick's twin Go (Margot). She's really odd.

This is a book you simply have to read. To describe it too much, would spoil the plot and that shouldn't be done here.

This is more then a crime thriller. This is the story of a marriage and the secrets inside it that sometimes even a spouse doesn't know about.

Thrillers aren't something I always read. It takes a good plot to pull me in, but this book had that. If you like thrillers or are looking for something to take you out of your comfort zone, this is definitely your book. Pick it up and head to the beach or your favorite chair, RIGHT NOW!

Rating: 5 flowers

Gillian Flynn’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, June 5th:  “That’s Swell!”
Wednesday, June 6th:  Girls Just Reading
Thursday, June 7th:  Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, June 8th:  Raging Bibliomania
Monday, June 11th:  A Bookworm’s World
Wednesday, June 13th:  Stephanie’s Written Word
Thursday, June 14th:  Life in Review
Friday, June 15th:  House of Crime and Mystery
Monday, June 18th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, June 19th:  Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, June 20th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts
Thursday, June 21st:  Life in the Thumb
Friday, June 22nd:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Tuesday, June 26th:  You’ve GOTTA Read This!
Wednesday, June 27th:  The Broke and the Bookish
Thursday, June 28th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Tuesday, July 3rd:  Twisting the Lens 
Thursday, July 5th:  Colloquium

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Chick Is @ Wenches

I'll be posting a few reviews over at my group blog The Certifiable Wenches. (BTW I'm looking for a few good Wenches who would like to share some reviews etc on the blog. (Movies, Music, Books, Recipes, Restaurants etc) If you have an interest and know how to use blogger, let me know.

Today I'm reviewing V.S. Morgan's short story The Gift, it is a erotic short story. The review can be found here. Make sure you enter the giveaway too!

I'll have reviews posted there on the 19th and 24th as well as part of a CBLS tour!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Goddess Fish Promotion Book Review: Dancing Naked In Dixi

Author: Lauren Clark
Title: Dancing Naked In Dixie
Publisher: Monterey Press
Publish Date: May 15, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Goddess Fish Promotions and the author
Book Blurb: Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired. With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage. Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?

Review: When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it much. I really wasn't sure how I felt about Julia. She didn't really click with me much at the beginning. However that changed when she arrived in Georgia and she turned into a sort of Calamity Jane!

Broken car windshield, fire ants, bee stings and turned ankles!

Nothing good seems to happen to her in Eufaula, except maybe Shug, who comes with a quirky family and a very possessive girlfriend, Mary Katherine, who you will love to hate. I really love how quickly the city girl Yankee takes to the small southern town.

There's a lot of charm in Eufaula. I wish a little more time could have been spent on that, rather than the dilemma of Phase III which involved ridding the town of some historic houses. It left me wondering what she would be writing about sometimes.

What I did love was how she jumped in to try to help Shug and his family trying to preserve the buildings. I also loved how she was a walking disaster. It took awhile, but midway through the book, Julia felt real and I liked her and wanted good things for her.

The nice thing was, there was only one villain in the story and it wasn't her boyfriend. I like how Lauren handled every aspect of that relationship.

If you like books with a southern setting that have a little bit of romance and humor, this is a good choice.  I look forward to reading more of Lauren's in the future.

Rating:  4 flowers

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Chick Ponders Books Things: Save The John K Tener Library!

This Chick is from the little hamlet of Charleroi, PA. I love my library. It isn't too big, but it has a nice selection of books.

I hate to bring politics into my book blog, but in this case I must. When the conservatives took office in PA there were a lot of budget cuts. Most of them went to education.


So needless to say, our libraries took a huge hit, and because Charleroi is a small and very poor town, our library has really been hit. And from the looks of things we may not have it much longer. It is a shame that there isn't a wealthy person that could donate funds to the library to at least cover operational costs. $12,000.00 would due it. Other donations would be great too.

I understand getting the budget in order, but why do the social programs that help people better themselves always suffer?

We need libraries!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Toni Aleo Giveaway!

Toni Aleo is putting on a huge giveaway when she gets to 100 Amazon Reviews for Trying to Score. Right now she is up to 62 Reviews.

Once she makes it to 100 she will be revealing her cover, release date, and posting the first chapter of Empty Net. Book #3 in the Assassins Series!

Prizes Include:

An Assassins Jersey - Brooks or Adler
A signed copy of BOTH Taking Shots and Trying to Score
A swag pack!
and the best one:

Thats right, you have the chance to read Empty Net before anyone else!! She will be picking four different winners for this!

To Enter You simply have to Post Your Review to Amazon! If you have already read the book, easy enough! If not, go pick it up! You don’t want to miss out on this GREAT prize pack!

Visit Toni’s Blog HERE for all the details!

Share the button and help promote the giveaway!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Historical Fiction Book Tours Guest Post: Sandra Byrd

Today we welcome Sandra Byrd to A Chick Who Reads! She's the author of The Secret Keeper, a wonderful book about Kateryn Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII.
Our Tudor Sisters
by Sandra Byrd

Historical novelists are sometimes suspected of importing twenty-first century values into sixteenth century novels.  While it's true that most authors seek to connect their readers with their novel's women of the past, it isn't necessary to ascribe new values to past women. 
They valued education.  Although medieval women's education was often limited to gentler feminine arts such as dance, needlework, and playing of the lute or virginals, by the beginning of the Tudor era women were much more interested and involved in intellectual education.   Queen Catherine of Aragon ensured that her daughter, Mary, had a strict regimen of demanding studies in accordance with her own upbringing.  Sir Thomas More is often credited with putting practice to the idea that non-royal women deserved as much education as noble or highborn men.  His daughters undertook an education complete in classical studies,  languages, geography, astronomy, and mathematics.   Queen Kateryn Parr's mother, Maude, educated her own daughters in accordance with More's program for his children, eventually running a kind of "school for highborn girls" after she was widowed. Eventually, educating  one's daughters was seen as a social necessity and men expected their wives to be able to play chess with them, discuss poetry and devotional works, and be conversant in the issues of the day.
They knew they couldn't marry for love - the first time - but desired it anyway.   Most historical readers understand that women in the Tudor era were chattel, legally controlled by their fathers and then their husbands.   They married for dynastic or financial reasons; marriage was an alliance of families and strategy and not of the hearts.  And yet, these women, too, had read Song of Songs wherein a husband and wife declare their passion for one another.  Classically educated as they were, Tudor women had surely come across the Greek myths, including Eros and Psyche, and perhaps had even read the medieval French love poem, Roman de la Rose.   If a woman was left widowed - and that happened quite often - she was free to remain widowed and under her own authority or to marry whom she wished.  Henry VIII's sister Mary, married first King Louis XII of France, for duty.  When he died, she married Charles Brandon, for love.  After Mary's death, Brandon  married his ward, Katherine Willoughby, her duty.  Later, she married Richard Bertie for love.
They were working women.    High born women were often ladies in waiting to the queen, a demanding, full time job with little pay and time off.  They ran the accounts for their husband's properties and juggled household management.   Some highborn women, such as Lady Bryan, became governesses.  Lower born women were lady maids, seamstresses, nurses, servants, or baby maids in addition to helping their husbands as fishmongers or in the fields.  
Although there are some notable differences, we have much more in common with our high born sisters of five hundred years ago than one may think!

To learn more about Sandra's Ladies in Waiting Series, set in Tudor England, please visit

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Review: Snivel: The Fifth Circle Of Heck

Author: Dale E. Bayse
Title: Snivel: The Fifth Circle Of Heck
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: May 22, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: Dale E. Basye sends Milton and Marlo to Snivel, the circle reserved for crybabies, for their latest hilarious escapade in Heck. Snivel is a camp—a bummer camp—a dismal place where it's always raining, and Unhappy Campers are besieged by swarms of strange mosquitoes that suck the color right out of them. Soon the Fausters discover that some Unhappy Campers have been disappearing. So after Marlo gets chosen for a special project and never comes back, Milton makes up his mind to find her and all the missing children.

Can Milton find his sister and get the heck out of Snivel? With the help of some new friends, his pet ferret, and Vincent Van Gogh's ear, he just might have a chance.

Review: I think it is hysterical that this book is listed for readers 9 and up. Sure, they can read it, but will they get some of the jokes and puns? Probably not? Do I care? Nope, I don't? Did I enjoy the book? Hell yeah!

The Heck series is so awesome!

Besides your usually players of Milton, Marlo and the Principal Bea "Elsa" Bubb we have some new celebrities on board in Heck, like Edgar Allen Poe and Vincent Van Gogh! Oh and Principal Bubb is trying to get elected to Satan's job as he's on trial and has been ousted from his job.

A hint of some of the puns...Vladamir Lenin and Joseph McCarthy worked on Bubb's campaign song...Anyone want to hold her claw? But the best pun was "All you need is Bubb!"

Yeah..don't see any 9 year old's getting that, but I sure laughed my butt off.

Oh and the author is a character in the book playing himself as his books are turned into a video game that does more than turn kids into balls of jello in front of the tv set!

If you haven't read any of the Heck series, you'll want to start at the beginning as they'll make more sense to you. These books will appeal to fans of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. They are a little dark, but so funny and the characters are very quirky...I mean how can you not be amused by a book with Frequent Friar Miles?

Yup...very punny indeed!

I'm glad there are still a few more circles of Heck to go! I really love this series!

Rating: 5 flowers

Friday, June 8, 2012

Historical Fiction Book Tours Book Review: The Queen's Pleasure

Author: Brandy Purdy
Title: The Queen's Pleasure in UK A Court Affair
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Review Copy Provided By: Historical Fiction Book Tours & the Publisher
Book Blurb: When young Robert Dudley, an earl's son, meets squire's daughter Amy Robsart, it is love at first sight. They marry despite parental misgivings, but their passion quickly fades, and the ambitious Dudley returns to court. Swept up in the turmoil of Tudor politics, Dudley is imprisoned in the Tower. Also a prisoner is Dudley's childhood playmate, the princess Elizabeth. In the shadow of the axe, their passion ignites. When Elizabeth becomes queen, rumours rage that Dudley means to free himself of Amy in order to wed her. And when Amy is found dead in unlikely circumstances, suspicion falls on Dudley - and the Queen...Still hotly debated amongst scholars - was Amy's death an accident, suicide, or murder? - the fascinating subject matter makes for an enthralling read for fans of historical fiction.

Review: I think Queen Elizabeth is one of the most fascinating royals. There's so much about her that makes you want to dive in and learn more. Brandy Purdy's books about the Tudors. Let's face it, that's one of the most intriguing periods in English history. Everyone wants to know about The Tudors!

There's a lot written about Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, but this book really brings the people and their relationships to life and Elizabeth definitely had some complex relationships. That's what Brandy Purdy explores here, and let's face it, we'll never really know what really transpired between the two.

If you are a fan of Phillipa Gregory or Jean Plaidy, you must read this book. If you are a fan of all things Tudor, you must read this book!

Rating:  5 flowers

About Brandy Purdy

Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), and THE QUEEN'S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at, you can also follow her, and her cat Tabby, via her blog at or on Facebook as Brandy Purdy - Emily Purdy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Age Of Miracles

Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Title: The Age Of Miracles
Publisher: Bond Street Books
Publish Date: June 26, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the publisher
Book Review: “It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

Review: I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book. Its a little bit sci-fi in some respects, in others its a normal YAish kind of story.

It also has a very dystopian undercurrent, not so much like Delirium or the Hunger Games, but that element is definitely there.

What you have with this book is a beautifully written story of a young girl in middle school years coming to terms with a new way of living as a result of a huge catastrophe. The earth's spinning is slowing. Days are getting longer.

The sci-fi aspect of the story is really interesting and different. The reactions of the people living through the catastrophe felt real. This was definitely what felt like end times. I couldn't imagine how I would react if something like this happened when I was in 6th grade.

I really enjoyed this story. It was different from what I usually read, but even though it was out of my comfort zone, it kept me turning the pages watching Julia grow. Again, this isn't my typical reading material, and probably not a book I would have picked up on my own, but I'm glad I did. It was an excellent read!

Rating:  4 flowers

More Book Info: The Age of Miracles website:
The Age of Miracles Facebook page (with info on how to read an excerpt):
Tour Stops:
Monday, June 4th:  Layers of Thought
Tuesday, June 5th:  Book Drunkard
Wednesday, June 6th:  Rhapsody in Books
Thursday, June 7th:  A Chick Who Reads
Friday, June 8th:  Chick Lit Reviews and News
Monday, June 11th:  Reviews by Lola
Tuesday, June 12th:  Book Chatter
Wednesday, June 13th:  Alison’s Bookmarks
Thursday, June 14th:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, June 18th:  Inklings Read
Tuesday, June 19th:  Life in the Thumb
Wednesday, June 20th:  Under My Apple Tree
Thursday, June 21st:  Twisting the Lens
Monday, June 25th:  Taming the Bookshelf
Tuesday, June 26th:  Stephanie’s Written Word
Wednesday, June 27th:  Jen’s Book Den & Literary Review
Thursday, June 28th:  Conceptual Reception
Monday, July 2nd:  Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Tuesday, July 3rd:  It’s a Crazy, Beautiful Life
Thursday, July 5th:  The Brain Lair
Monday, July 9th:  Great Imaginations
Tuesday, July 10th:  Sweet Southern Home
Wednesday, July 11th:  The Scarlet Letter
Thursday, July 12th:  In the Next Room
Monday, July 16th:  Regular Rumination
Tuesday, July 17th:  She Treads Softly
Wednesday, July 18th:  Book Addict Katie
Thursday, July 19th:  Fiction State of Mind
Monday, July 23rd:  Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, July 24th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, July 25th:  Ashley Loves Books
Thursday, July 26th:  Becky’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Historical Fiction Book Tours Review: The Secret Keeper

Author: Sandra Byrd
Title: The Secret Keeper: A Novel Of Kateryn Parr
Publisher: Howard Books
Publish Date: June 5, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Historical Fiction Book Tours & the author
Book Blurb:Juliana St. John is the daughter of a prosperous knight. Though her family wants her to marry the son of her father's business partner, circumstances set her on a course toward the court of Henry VIII and his last wife, Kateryn Parr.

Sir Thomas Seymour, uncle of the current heir, Prince Edward, returns to Wiltshire to tie up his concerns with Juliana's father's estate and sees instantly that Juliana would fit into the household of the woman he loves, Kateryn Parr. Her mother agrees to have her placed in Parr's household for "finishing" and Juliana goes, though perhaps reluctantly.

For she knows a secret. She has been given the gift of prophecy, and in one of her visions she has seen Sir Thomas shredding the dress of the king's daughter, the lady Elizabeth, to perilous consequence.
As Juliana learns the secrets of King Henry VIII's court, she faces threats and opposition, learning truths about her own life that will undo everything she holds dear.  
  The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr
Review: After reading last year's To Die For, I knew I had a favorite author in Sandra Byrd, and I wasn't wrong. When I dove into The Secret Keeper, I found it hard to put down. Sandra Byrd truly brings the Tudor period to life. But she does more than that too, she brings his last wife, Kateryn Parr to life.

Kate is not one of the Queens that gets a lot of time spent on her. She is simply the Queen that managed to outlive Henry. (And she was lucky to do that, considering her religious views). Kate was a highly intelligent woman, generous and kind, as well as being a loving step-mother to the children of her husbands, including the king.

The one thing about Kate that made me wonder about her, is her attachment to Thomas Seymour, who, let's face it, wasn't a nice guy. When in their care, he abused Lady Elizabeth. He also has a personal connection with Lady Julianna, who is our heroine. We see her as she starts working for Kate when she's Lady Latimer and that continues on as she becomes Henry's final Queen and even onto her brief marriage to Seymour.

Kate treats Julianna like her child and Julianna blossoms.

But there is more to the story than just Kate and Henry. Julianna suffers abuse at court and tries to flee from her shame, but the Queen calls her back.

The most interesting thing in the book is Lady Mary Seymour, Queen Kateryn's daughter by Thomas Seymour. Her life, however long or short is shrouded in mystery. Know one knows what happened to her, and there's no record of her death, so Sandra can use some creativity to explain her disappearance from the world stage.

I love Sandra's writing style. If you are a fan of Phillipa Gregory, you have to read one of Sandra's books. They aren't as lengthy as Gregory's and she writes with less bias, which allows you to understand the characters better.

I can't wait to read the third book!

Rating: 5 flowers

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About Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd has published more than three dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including the first book in her Tudor series, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. Her second book, The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, illuminates the mysteries in the life of Henry's last wife.

For more than a decade Sandra has shared her secrets with the many new writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington, area with her husband and two children. For more Tudor tidbits, please visit
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