Friday, October 31, 2014

Tasty Book Tours Book Review: Christmas At Twilight

Christmas at Twilight
Twilight, Texas # 5
By: Lori Wilde
Releasing October 28th, 2014
Avon Romance

It's Christmas in Twilight, Texas. The Cookie Club is baking, the town is decorated, and Delta Force Operator "Hutch" Hutchinson has finally, reluctantly, returned home . . .

. . . only to get pepper sprayed by the delicious- looking stranger who's taken over his house. She says her name is Jane, and she immediately sets down ground rules. Top priority: no touching. For Hutch that isn't easy—he was wounded in action, but one part is still working very well.

Then Hutch learns the truth. Jane harbors a frightening secret—she's really Meredith Sommers, on the run from a dangerous ex-husband and desperately in need of the safety Hutch can provide. In that moment, he vows he'd do anything in his power to protect her. And as Christmas approaches, they discover that their love can conquer the past and overcome any obstacle—but what price will they pay?

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Review: I've read several of the "Twilight, Texas" books by Lori Wilde. This book is part romance and part suspense. I love Ms. Wilde's books, but this particular story was a bit of a downer for me. 

Both of our characters are wounded. Hutch, is wounded soldier, and his wounds are physical and mental. Meredith "Jane"'s are mental too, as she's got some secrets she's trying to keep hidden.

It won't take long for you to fall in love with both of these characters and you will be rooting for them to begin a real relationship.

You will also love the two children in the book, Ben, who is Meredith's son, and Kimmie who is Ashley's daughter. Ashley is Hutch's sister, and its his house that the two women were staying in. From the start, Ashley is someone you want to clobber, for her poor treatment of her daughter.

But that turns to pity when you learn about her personality disorder. You want things to happen so that everything will be made nice and happy, but things don't always work out that way. In that way, Ms. Wilde injects a bit of real life into this story.

Not everything in life will work out perfectly. Sure there is a happily ever after for the hero and heroine, but there is loss and sadness along the way.

But even though things aren't all happy, there is recovery for Hutch, and a second chance at finding love for Meredith.

This isn't your typical light holiday read, but it is definitely an unforgettable one, and one that might bring a tear or two to your eyes in a few spots.

Rating: 4 flowers

Author Info
Lori Wilde is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 70 works of romantic fiction. She is a two-time RITA award nominee, a four time Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice nominee and has won numerous other awards. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and holds a certificate in nursing forensics. An animal lover, Lori is owned by several pets, and lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.

Author Links

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Book Review: Maybe This Christmas

Author: Sarah Morgan
Title: Maybe This Christmas
Publisher: HQN
Publish Date: Oct 28, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O'Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he's simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he's never ruined, and he's not about to start now.

Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she's been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture… How can she concentrate on being his friend when he's sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she's always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?

Review: This is the third installment in the O'Neill brothers series, and I have to say, I wish there were more brothers. I love going back to Snow Crystal.

I'm not a winter person, or an outdoorsy person, but when I open one of the O'Neill books, I want to be at Snow Crystal eating at the restaurants and watching the snow fly.

Tyler is the last brother to get hooked up. Throughout the series we know that there's something between him and Brenna and this book is their story.

They are bffs, but both really want more and neither is able to tell the other, until there's some meddling.

I love meddling.

Oh and I love Kayla, from the first book. She's still such a city girl and her fear of moose, erm mooses is hysterical and don't forget Elise, the sassy French chef. I'm so glad her sass is back in this book.

I really love Tyler, because he's such a bad boy, trying to be good.  I love his humor and the way he really loves his daughter. He's definitely the kind of hero that gives off the warm fuzzies. I also like how he tries to make Brenna more assertive. Lord knows, that girl needs it. She was bullied in school and has never gotten over it.

This was a really sweet romance and very low on the spice scale. There's not much going on between the sheets until the book is nearly over, and that's perfect, because this is a story where getting to the relationship is more important than the sex.

Oh and while I'm gushing...I adore Tyler's daughter, Jess and her dogs. They are perfect!

I absolutely loved this book and the rest of the series. You must read these if you are a contemporary romance fan!

Rating: 5 flowers

Book Review: Barnabas Collins In A Funny Vein

Author: Marilyn & Dan Ross
Title: Barnabas Collins In A Funny Vein
Publisher: Paperback Library
Publish Date: June 1969
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Joke book for fans of the Dark Shadows tv show. "Hundreds of hilarious vampire jokes about Barnabas Collins -- the ghoul who has captured America's heart."

Review: I've been a fan of Dark Shadows for a very long time. The soap opera was cheesy and enjoyable in the same way that Passions was about a decade ago. Barnabas Collins In A Funny Vein, may not actually be very funny, its more punny than anything, but it is a snapshot of a simpler time.

The book will have you groaning and also giggling (probably in shame), but this isn't meant as literature. It isn't really meant as adult reading either if the puns are any indication.

For example

Is Barnabas a creative thinker?
Yes. If you listen to him, you will notice that he has a lot of new-fangled ideas. 

 It was a cute read for fans of the tv show.

Rating: 4 flowers

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: The Nightingale Girls

Author: Donna Douglas
Title: The Nightingale Girls
Publisher: Random House UK
Publish Date: Aug 16, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
Three very different girls sign up as student nurses in 1936, while England is still mourning the death of George V. Dora is a tough East Ender, driven by ambition, but also desperate to escape her squalid, overcrowded home and her abusive stepfather. Helen is the quiet one, a mystery to her fellow nurses, avoiding fun, gossip and the limelight. In fact she is in the formidable shadow of her overbearing mother, who dominates every aspect of her life. Can a nursing career free Helen at last? The third of our heroines is naughty, rebellious Millie an aristocrat on the run from her conventional upper class life. She is doomed to clash over and over again with terrifying Sister Hyde and to get into scrape after scrape especially where men are concerned.

This utterly delightful novel brings a London pre-war hospital vividly to life.

Review: If you are a fan of Call The Midwife, then you will love The Nightingale Girls series. This is book one. In this book, you meet, Dora, Millie and Helen and a few others.

Each girl is very different but over the course of the novel, they all become friends. In this book, you will find yourself really liking all the girls.

Dora is the east end girl, who wouldn't usually have made it to The Nightingale, but Matron saw something special in her.

Millie is an aristocrat that wants to be more than just someone's wife, but she has a bad habit of screwing up or getting mixed up with the wrong men

Helen is a goody two shoes, who is living in fear of her mother, who is on the board of trustees for the hospital.

Their different personalities are what make the story so entertaining, and each girl has a lot of things going on besides the day to day duties and classes at the hospital.

Helen is the only one that doesn't have anything horrible happen to her. Her mother may  be controlling but that doesn't come near having a sexually abusive step father, like Dora, or the near fatal accident that Millie's dad suffers during this book.

Donna Douglas knows how to tug at your heartstrings too. When Blanche passes away during surgery, I admit, I crying like a baby. And when Helen found love with one of her former patients, I couldn't help but cheer for her.

This was a fantastic book and a great beginning to the series.

Rating: 5 flowers

Monday, October 27, 2014

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Memory Card Full

Author: Liz Weber
Title: Memory Card Full
Publisher: Greenpoint Press
Publish Date: Sept 15, 2014
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours & the author
Book Blurb: 
A book for anyone who has loved and lost and found the space in that loss to become the person they were meant to be.

When Rufus, Liz Weber’s oddly proportioned but adorable dog dies of old age, her life begins to unravel. She is forced to let go of the one constant in her life and move forward. Memory Card Full is a memoir of her life as a bartender, model and aspiring writer in Manhattan before and after Rufus. Without him, she is alone and broken-hearted and her life spirals downward while her friends and family struggle to understand what she is going through.

Prior to Rufus’s death, Liz Weber’s life was far from dull. Whether serving drinks to a gaggle of quirky regulars at a bar or walking around in her skivvies for extra cash as a lingerie model, she fought hard to remain a self-proclaimed “professional free spirit” and aspiring writer, even it meant enduring a lush for a manager or a cranky, Israeli-folk-music-loving boss. None of it really mattered as long as she had Rufus, who taught her about unconditional love in an untraditional way.

Memory Card Full is the story of Liz’s journey through grief, which leads to an unexpected encounter with the long unheard voice of the woman inside of her. On water skis at an adult sleepaway camp, Liz realizes that there are important things in life that Rufus’ love had caused her to avoid. Embracing her power and strength, she is finally able to accept that letting go of him is the best way to go on and find love for herself and others.

Frank, funny, and deeply moving, Memory Card Full is a memoir for anyone who has loved and lost and found the space in that loss to become the person they were meant to be.

Review:  This review was very very hard for me to write. I lost my little J.J. a little over a week prior to reading this. To say that I cried during some parts of this book would be an understatement. Losing a pet is heartbreaking, and that part of the story will do just that, break your heart into a million tiny little pieces.

I really enjoyed reading about Liz's life in part one, when Rufus was still alive. She has one of those crazy lives that I think we all secretly want for a day or so, not necessarily glamorous or anything that brings about wads of cash, but crazy in a way that makes you feel alive.

Liz seems like a really fun person, but as I read about her recovery from the loss of her dog I did learn one thing about her. She loved Rufus, but I'm not sure she is an animal lover. There were times when I felt that she blamed Rufus for holding her back from finding love. And she was definitely the kind of pet owner that doesn't jump on the band wagon to get a new animal afterwards. But I guess some people aren't meant to open their hearts to more than one animal in their lifetime. The loss is too hard. So I can forgive her that.

This was a really fun memoir to read. It is full of crazy and of course, sad, but overall it was nice to see Liz finding herself and doing what she wanted to do.

However, no vacation would cause me to delete any photos of a beloved pet..but I am a crazy animal lady.

Rating: 4 flowers

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Chick Ponders Bookish Things: Book Boyfriends

There's a cute little feature over at Romance At Random to find your next book here to give it a try.

Sadly, I'll never have a book boyfriend, because my ideal type of guy just isn't written about in romance novels, or really in any kind of novels.

See, I don't like big, buff military men, or cowboys, or the next billionaire or sheikh of some made up country. I like the geeky guys, or someone dashing. Heck, I think Peter Capaldi is a pretty hot guy. That's not your typical romantic hero, if you know what I mean. And really, most women seem to love Benedict Cumberbatch, but I wouldn't call him your typical romantic hero...same goes for Tom Hiddleston and Ioan Gruffudd. I personally think all of them are hotties.

But the feature is really cute and it will point you to some fabulous reads. (And really, who doesn't need more books!)

So what do you look for in a book boyfriend?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Book Review: A Voice In The Dark

Author: Isla Grey
Title: A Voice In The Dark
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Publish Date: Aug 19, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Goddess Fish Promotions & the author
Abigail Farmer knows one thing, the funeral home business...

By day, she works at her family's funeral home. By night, she lives alone on its upper floor. With her stepfather, Sam, about to retire, Abigail is convinced there is only one person who can run the business effectively, her.

However, her life at the funeral home changes when Hasten Holmes arrives.

Ready for his first day on the job Hasten is met by a reluctant Abigail who hopes Sam sends him packing after they exchange unpleasantries.

Reluctant to get too close to anyone, especially someone who's associated with Stu--Sam's lowlife friend and wannabe business partner--Abigail deliberately keeps things strictly professional between them.

Then something unexpected happens...

Abigail's plans to take charge of the family business take a drastic turn when she finds the mutilated body of one of their clients, and it becomes apparent that there's more going on in the funeral home as a sinister plot begins to reveal itself.


A Voice In The Dark is a wonderful novella that will appeal to lovers of thrillers and romantic suspense.

The story revolves around the goings on at Abigail Farmer's family funeral home. Her stepfather is getting ready to turn the business over to her, but there are some strange things going on, and some pretty shady people working at the funeral home.

Stu is a real "creeper" and you have to wonder how he keeps his job with the way he acts. He's downright "icky."

Then things start happening around some of the bodies coming in. (Not so nice things) 

I liked Abigail. She's a tough cookie. especially as there were things that happened in her past that might make her otherwise. Hasten makes an interesting friend/boyfriend for her.

The story moved along at a fast pace, but it didn't feel rushed. Isla unveils things in the funeral home just fast enough, and it keeps the reader on the edge of their seat waiting for more.

My only gripe is that this is a novella, and I really would have loved at least another 100 pages so I could get to know a few of the characters a bit better.

This book is part of the Dark Plots series, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that means there will be more of Abigal and Hasten in the future.

Rating: 4 flowers

x-posted from The Certifiable Wenches

Friday, October 17, 2014

Historical Fiction Virtual Tours Book Review: The Secrets Of Casanova

Please join author Greg Michaels as he tours with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Secrets of Casanova, from October 13-24.

02_The Secrets of Casanova
Publication Date: October 21, 2013 | Booktrope Editions | Formats: eBook Paperback; 334p
Genre: Historical Fiction


2014 Nancy Pearl Award Winner for Fiction.

Loosely based on the life of Jacques Casanova, The Secrets of Casanova is a rich, lush novel of love, sex, family, ambition, intrigue, and adventure. Set in Paris of 1755, Casanova's luck is fading and his past is shoving up against his present with potentially disastrous consequences. What price must he pay to uncover a treasure of inestimable value? What hearts must he break along the way? Casanova's will and destiny collide again and again in this riveting historical fiction that brings to light a man of great passion and not a few secrets.

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Praise for The Secrets of Casanova

“A Shakespearean actor with a flair for the dramatic and a superb ear for dialogue, Michaels's debut novel puts a brilliantly original spin on an historical figure whose very name is a cliché. This Casanova must wrestle not only with falling hopelessly and passionately in love, but embarking on a mysterious quest that is as much a spiritual awakening as a swashbuckling adventure. The Secrets of Casanova is so erotic and so sensitively written, I found it difficult to believe its author was a man.” -Robin Maxwell, national best-selling author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn

Buy the Book
Barnes & Noble

Review:  First, I have to say when I think about Casanova, I think of this guy

But all thoughts of David Tennant aside, Greg Michaels gives you Casanova better than most movies can. Plus reading this novel kinda took away some of that feeling that Casanova was just a great ladies man.

This book was an adventure. It definitely takes away a lot of the preconceived notions that you might have about Casanova. Some of them are there, but Michael's brings a bit more depths to this man's character. That is something that makes him stand out as more than just a ladies man.

Before reading this Casanova was someone I equated with Valmont from Dangerous Liaisons, now I know that this is not the case.

Rating: 4 flowers

About the Author
03_Greg MichaelsAfter receiving his B.A. in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, a chance experience thrust Greg into a career as a professional actor and fight director. To date he's acted in over fifty theater productions, more than forty television shows, and choreographed dozens of swordfights for stage and screen. In THE SECRETS OF CASANOVA, Greg again proves his skill at telling a theatrical story. He lives with his wife, two sons, and Andy the hamster.

For more information please visit Greg Michaels's website.   Like The Secrets of Casanova Facebook Page. Follow Greg Michaels on Twitter.

The Secrets of Casanova Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 13
Review at Bookish

Tuesday, October 14
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Review at With Her Nose Stick in a Book
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, October 15
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Obsession

Thursday, October 16
Review & Interview at Carpe Librum
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry

Friday, October 17
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Monday, October 20
Review at A Book Geek
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 21
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Spotlight & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, October 22
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at Good Friends, Good Books and a Sleepy Conscience
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf

Thursday, October 23
Review at Beth's Book Reviews
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Friday, October 24
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Review: Bitter Greens

02_Bitter Greens 
Publication Date: September 23, 2014 | Thomas Dunne Books | Hardcover; 496p | ISBN-10: 1250047536
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Fairy-Tale Retellings
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The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens... After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition. Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does. Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.

Praise for Bitter Greens

“Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens is an enthralling concoction of history and magic, an absorbing, richly detailed, and heart-wrenching reimagining of a timeless fairytale.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival “See how three vividly drawn women cope with injustice, loneliness, fear, longing. See how they survive—or perpetrate—treachery. Surrender yourself to a master storyteller, to delicious detail and spunky heroines. Bitter Greens is a complex, dazzling achievement.” —Susan Vreeland, New York Times bestselling author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany and Girl in Hyacinth Blue “A magical blend of myth and history, truth and legend, Bitter Greens is one of those rare books that keeps you reading long after the lights have gone out, that carries you effortlessly to another place and time, that makes you weep and laugh and wish you could flip forward to make sure it all ends happily ever after—but for the fact that if you did so, you might miss a line, and no line of this book should be missed.” —Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The Ashford Affair “Kate Forsyth wields her pen with all the grace and finesse of a master swordsman. In Bitter Greens she conjures a lyrical fairytale that is by turns breathtaking, inspiring, poetic, and heartbreakingly lovely. Set like a jewel within the events of history, it is pure, peerless enchantment.”—New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn “Bitter Greens is pure enchantment–gripping and lyrical. From the high convent walls where a 17th century noblewoman is exiled, to a hidden tower which imprisons an innocent girl with very long hair, to the bitter deeds of a beautiful witch who cannot grow old–Kate Forsyth weaves an engrossing, gorgeously written tale of three women in search of love and freedom. A truly original writer, Forsyth has crafted an often terrifying but ultimately redemptive dark fairy tale of the heart.”—Stephanie Cowell, American Book Award-winning author of Claude & Camille “Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens is not only a magnificent achievement that would make any novelist jealous, it’s one of the most beautiful paeans to the magic of storytelling that I’ve ever read.”—C.W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici "Threads of history and folklore are richly intertwined to form this spellbinding story. Kate Forsyth has excelled herself with Bitter Greens. Compulsively unputtdownable."—Juliet Marillier, national bestselling author of Flame of Sevenwaters and Heart’s Blood

Buy the Book

Amazon US Barnes & Noble IndieBound

Review: You might not want to start this book when you only have a short time to read, because once you start it, you'll be drawn in, and it is a long one, but oh is it so worth your time.

This is a wonderful retelling of Rapunzel mixed with the historical fiction of the Sun King court.


I've read a lot of fairytale reimaginings, but this one is definitely one of the best.

Rating: 5 flowers

Kate Forsyth 1 About the Author

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling & award-winning author of thirty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both adults and children. She was recently voted one of Australia's Favourite 20 Novelists, and has been called 'one of the finest writers of this generation. She is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers, and has told stories to both children and adults all over the world. Her most recent book for adults is a historical novel called 'The Wild Girl', which tells the true, untold love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world's most famous fairy tales. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, 'The Wild Girl' is a story of love, war, heartbreak, and the redemptive power of storytelling, and was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013. She is probably most famous for 'Bitter Greens', a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale interwoven with the dramatic life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. 'Bitter Greens' has been called 'the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter', and has been nominated for a Norma K. Hemming Award, the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Fiction, and a Ditmar Award. Her most recent book for children is 'Grumpy Grandpa', a charming picture book that shows people are not always what they seem. Since 'The Witches of Eileanan' was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She's also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with 'The Gypsy Crown' - which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, 'The Lightning Bolt', was also a CBCA Notable Book. Kate's books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing. Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, 'A Mother's Offering to her Children'. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books. For more information please visit Kate Forsyth's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Bitter Greens Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 15

Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 16

Review at Kinx's Book Nook

Review & Giveaway at Bookish

Wednesday, September 17

Review & Giveaway at Literary, etc

Review & Giveaway at Book Drunkard

Thursday, September 18

Review & Giveaway at Build a Bookshelf

Review & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader

Friday, September 19

Review at The Maiden's Court

Review & Giveaway at Icey Books

Monday, September 22

Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at A Dream Within a Dream

Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, September 23

Review at Book Dilettante

Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at SurLaLune

Wednesday, September 24

Review at Caroline Wilson Writes

Review, Interview, and Giveaway at Ink Gypsy

Review, Interview, and Giveaway at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, September 25

Review & Giveaway at No BS Book Reviews

Interview & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Friday, September 26

Review at The Gilmore Guide to Books

Review at Must Read Faster

Monday, September 29

Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Review & Giveaway at Bookworm Blues

Tuesday, September 30

Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict

Review & Excerpt at Books-n-Kisses

Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, October 1

Review at One Book at a Time

Review at Book-alicious Mama

Review & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, October 2

Interview at Layered Pages

Review & Giveaway at Oh Magic Hour

Friday, October 3

Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Review & Giveaway at Gone Pecan

Sunday, October 5

Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, October 6 Review at Book Babe

Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Interview, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Harlequin Junkie

Tuesday, October 7 Review at A Chick Who Reads

Review & Giveaway at The Pretty Good Gatsby

Wednesday, October 8 Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Review & Giveaway at My Friends Are Fiction

Thursday, October 9

Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, October 10 Review at Mel's Shelves

Review & Giveaway at No More Grumpy Bookseller

Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, October 13

Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews

Review & Giveaway at Layers of Thought

Tuesday, October 14

Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Review & Giveaway at Beth's Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 15

Review at Crossroad Review

Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews

Thursday, October 16

Review at Cheryl's Book Nook

Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, October 17

Review at Mary Gramlich

Review at She Reads Novels

Monday, October 20

Interview & Giveaway at The Reading Frenzy

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Monday, October 13, 2014

TLC Book Tour: How To Bake A Man

Author: Jessica Barksdale Inclan
Title: How To Bake A Man
Publisher: Ghostwoods Books
Publish Date: Oct 24, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours
Book Blurb: 
When Becca Muchmore drops out of grad school, all she has left to fall back on is her baking. Ignoring her mother's usual barrage of disapproval and disappointment, she decides to start a small business hand-delivering her wares. A friend introduces her to an office of hungry lawyers, who agree to give her a try. Her lizard-booted neighbor Sal is happy to help out when he can, and almost before she knows it, Becca's Best is up and running.

Before she can settle into a routine, things get complicated. The office ogress could easily be Becca's sister and has absolutely no patience with cookies or other frivolities. Even worse, her boyfriend is the man of Becca's dreams--kind, funny, successful, and brain-meltingly gorgeous. As the dark undercurrents threaten to pull her down, Becca swiftly finds herself neck-deep in office politics, clandestine romance, and flour. Saving her business (and finding true love) is going to take everything she's got, and more.

Review: This is chicklit, pure and simple. That's not a put down, that's a good thing. Becca's story could very well be described as Bridget Jones meets the Cupcake Cafe. Becca is more neurotic over things that Bridget Jones ever was, but she's lovable.

There are several reasons to read this book.

1. It is a super cute romance. It makes you feel good.

2. It's a foodie romance too, which is awesome.

3. One word, recipes! You can't go wrong with a cute story and good recipes.

4. The descriptions of the baked goods that start each new chapter. Its impossible not to want sweets while reading this book.

5. The hero isn't quite who you think he is. (I'll say no more, as it might be a spoiler)

I think those are enough reasons. If not, you need to take some happy pills and then give the book a try. Life needs some light fluffy fun things to make the days go by faster, and this is one of those things.

I rate this book Y for Yummy!

Rating: 5 flowers

Historical Fiction Virtual Tours Book Review: Night Of A Thousand Stars

02_Night of a Thousand Stars

Author: Deanna Raybourn
Title:  Night Of A Thousand Stars
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Blurb: New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn returns with a Jazz Age tale of grand adventure...

On the verge of a stilted life as an aristocrat's wife, Poppy Hammond does the only sensible thing—she flees the chapel in her wedding gown. Assisted by the handsome curate who calls himself Sebastian Cantrip, she spirits away to her estranged father's quiet country village, pursued by the family she left in uproar. But when the dust of her broken engagement settles and Sebastian disappears under mysterious circumstances, Poppy discovers there is more to her hero than it seems.

With only her feisty lady's maid for company, Poppy secures employment and travels incognita—east across the seas, chasing a hunch and the whisper of clues. Danger abounds beneath the canopies of the silken city, and Poppy finds herself in the perilous sights of those who will stop at nothing to recover a fabled ancient treasure. Torn between allegiance to her kindly employer and a dashing, shadowy figure, Poppy will risk it all as she attempts to unravel a much larger plan—one that stretches to the very heart of the British government, and one that could endanger everything, and everyone, that she holds dear.

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Review:  Deanna Raybourn is one of my favorite authors and this book doesn't disappoint. Most know her for her Lady Julia mystery series, but she's written several other stand alone novels as well, Night Of A Thousand Stars is one of those.

This book instantly grabbed me and pulled me in. Like the Lady Julia series, this is also a mystery, but one on a more political level. It is set in the 20s and though your first thought may be that it is Downton Abbey-ish, that wouldn't be right.

Sure it starts out with a runaway bride which might start you thinking that there's an element of soap opera to the book, that would far off from what Ms Raybourn has created. This is one of those books that you really become part of while your reading. Everything is so visual.

Poppy is such a great character. She's strong, but not like Lady Julia, she's more feminine. She has a lot of moxie! Oh and you can keep up with the comparisons with Lady Julia though, because she's her niece. Let me tell you, when I learned that, I let out a very loud squee. She's Plum's daughter.

I'm hoping this means that this is going to be the start or perhaps a continuation of the Lady Julia books in this new part of the March clan.

But more about the book. She's on the quest to find Sebastain Cantrip, who helped her run from her wedding, and with a little help from her maid, they make their way to Damascus. There's a lot of intrigue and a few mishaps before she finds him, and then she learns that things aren't quite what they seem, and her adventure gets more and more exciting and dangerous.

If you've read anything by Deanna Raybourn, you'll know you won't be able to unearth what the intrigue is all about, until the very end. She's truly a master of historical mystery.

Another winner by Deanna Raybourn!

Rating: 5 flowers

03_Deanna RaybournAbout the Author

A sixth-generation native Texan, Deanna Raybourn grew up in San Antonio, where she met her college sweetheart. She married him on her graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation at the age of twenty-three, she wrote her first novel. After three years as a teacher, Deanna left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time.

Deanna Raybourn is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Lady Julia series, as well as, The Dead Travel Fast, A Spear of Summer Grass, and City of Jasmine.

For more information please visit Deanna Raybourn's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Night of a Thousand Stars Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 29
Review & Giveaway at Bookish

Tuesday, September 30
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 1
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Thursday, October 2
Review at Ramblings From This Chick

Friday, October 3
Review at Book Babe

Monday, October 6
Review at Unabridged Chick
Spotlight & Giveaway at Reading Lark

Tuesday, October 7
Review at Candace's Book Blog
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, October 8
Review at Good Books and Good Wine

Thursday, October 9
Excerpt at A Book Geek
Guest Post & Giveaway at Good Books and Good Wine

Friday, October 10
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Monday, October 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, October 14
Review at Reading the Past
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, October 15
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Thursday, October 16
Review at A Bookish Affair

Friday, October 17
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Monday, October 20
Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Excerpt at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, October 21
Review & Giveaway at Bookshelf Fantasies
Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, October 22
Review, Excerpt & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, October 23
Review at Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Friday, October 24
Review at Curling Up By the Fire

Monday, October 27
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, October 28
Review at To Read or Not to Read

Wednesday, October 29
Review & Giveaway at Bibliophilia, Please

Thursday, October 30
Review & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

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Historical Fiction Virtual Tours Book Review: The Stuart Vampire

Please join Andrea Zuvich as she tours with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Stuart Vampire, from October 13-24.

02_The Stuart Vampire
Author: Andrea Zuvich
Title: The Stuart Vampire
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
eBook; 215p
Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror/Paranormal
Book Blurb: Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest brother of King Charles II is a handsome man with sound principles. When the twenty-year-old prince contracts smallpox in 1660, however, his life takes a decidedly sinister turn. Obsessed with Henry from afar, Contessa Griselda di Cuorenero - one of the Devil's concubines - turns him into a vampire and plunges him into the world of night. But Henry soon discovers that not all horrors are of the paranormal kind...

In the unnaturally close village of Coffin's Bishop, Henry encounters a severely abused young woman - a woman who has suffered under humans who are more monstrous than vampires. Could love save them from the evil they have known? And at what cost?

Henry must choose between his humanity and his monstrous, insatiable desire for human blood.

From the author of "His Last Mistress," The Stuart Vampire is a dark gothic tale in the vein of The Monk.

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Praise for The Stuart Vampire

"An intriguing historical with a darkly gothic twist, I enjoyed The Stuart Vampire and would recommend it to anyone with a taste for period horror." - Erin Davies, Flashlight Commentary

Review: If anyone could bring a member of the royal Stuarts into the world of the undead, it would be Andrea Zuvich. She wrote the wonderful His Last Mistress and is a 17th century historian.

This story works really well, and is a quick read. I did feel that Ms Zuvich might have been a bit out of her element here. I wanted to really get into the heads of the main characters, Henry, Griselda and Susanna, but that didn't happen, though their stories were completely fleshed out.

Andrea pays great attention to detail when it comes to the lives of the Stuarts. She keeps their timelines as they ought to be, which makes this a very interesting story, a bit of history as well as the paranormal.

I also liked her take on the vampire myth. (Henry and Co. don't sparkle! Thank gods!) I particularly liked that all vampires aren't evil some serve Satan while some serve The Other.

It was a quick read and I'm hoping that with the way the story ended, that there might be another installment in the works.

Rating: 4 flowers

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK

03_Andrea ZuvichAbout the Author

Andrea (aka The Seventeenth Century Lady) is a 17th-century historian, historical consultant, and historical fiction authoress. His Last Mistress - a biographical fiction novella about the Duke of Monmouth and Lady Henrietta Wentworth was published by Endeavour Press, London in 2013. She received double BA degrees in History and Anthropology from the University of Central Florida, and continued her History studies with the University of Oxford and Princeton University. Zuvich has been filmed for NTR television in The Netherlands, talking about William III, and was recently on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour discussing Queen Anne. She was one of the original developers and leaders on The Garden History Tours at Kensington Palace, London. Zuvich lives in Windsor, England.

For more information please visit Andrea's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Stuart Vampire Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, October 14
The Stuart Vampire Launch Party @ 12:00pm-2:00pm EST

Wednesday, October 15
Review at Kinx's Book Nook
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, October 16
Review & Guest Post at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Friday, October 17
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, October 20
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Tuesday, October 21
Review at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, October 22
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, October 24
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

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TLC Book Tours Book Review: A Breast Cancer Alphabet

Author: Madhulika Sikka
Title: A Breast Cancer Alphabet
Publisher: Crown
Publish Date: Feb 25, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours
Book Blurb: 
A definitive and approachable guide to life during, and after, breast cancer

The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. Madhulika Sikka's A Breast Cancer Alphabet offers a new way to live with and plan past the hardest diagnosis that most women will ever receive: a personal, practical, and deeply informative look at the road from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

What Madhulika Sikka didn't foresee when initially diagnosed, and what this book brings to life so vividly, are the unexpected and minute challenges that make navigating the world of breast cancer all the trickier. A Breast Cancer Alphabet is an inspired reaction to what started as a personal predicament.

This A-Z guide to living with breast cancer goes where so many fear to tread: sex (S is for Sex - really?), sentimentality (J is for Journey - it's a cliché we need to dispense with), hair (H is for Hair - yes, you can make a federal case of it) and work (Q is for Quitting - there'll be days when you feel like it). She draws an easy-to-follow, and quite memorable, map of her travels from breast cancer neophyte to seasoned veteran.

As a prominent news executive, Madhulika had access to the most cutting edge data on the disease's reach and impact. At the same time, she craved the community of frank talk and personal insight that we rely on in life's toughest moments. This wonderfully inventive book navigates the world of science and story, bringing readers into Madhulika's mind and experience in a way that demystifies breast cancer and offers new hope for those living with it.

Review:  This book should be every woman's companion, whether or not you have this disease.


Because I guarantee that most women know someone who is dealing with a trip to Cancerland, a place no one wants to go. Madhulika, tells it like it is, but in a way that offers a little bit of levity to a not very pleasant situation.

The alphabet is very upbeat and I agree with her take on things. I definitely can't see having this illness as a journey. Just as I'm with her on the whole "women warriors" in their see of pink ribbons. I understand that you "battle" a disease, but its a concept I've struggled with too.

Madhulika shares her experiences as she goes from A to Z and I found her insights really helpful. I wish this book could be given out to every woman diagnosed because anything that can help someone cope with this illness is a good thing indeed!

Rating: 5 flowers

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