April 30, 2013

Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith

Title: Royal Mistress
Author: Anne Easter Smith
Type: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781451648621
Synopsis: From the author of A Rose for the Crown and Daughter of York comes another engrossing historical novel of the York family in the Wars of the Roses, telling the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the final and favorite mistress of Edward IV.

Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore—but her heart belongs to another. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane Shore from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain and friend, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows his King will find her irresistible.

Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings, hang in the balance.

This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for 500 years, and told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well.

My Review: I am a fan of historical fiction so I was glad I got picked to do a review of this book. This book is about the rise and fall of Jane Shore who is someone I have not read or heard about before so I was intrigued fro the beginning. Jane was called the"merriest mistress" of Edward IV. Jane's parents are upset that she is not going to find a match so they find one for her in a dull merchant by the name of William Shore but Jane is in love with someone else. She is then noticed by Will Hastings and then by the King where she becomes his mistress for seven years. Jane seems to be the mistress to many men in her life. I enjoyed reading this book and getting to know more about Jane. After finishing this book I now want to read more about her. The author did a very good job of keeping the store historically accurate and describing both the characters and the setting. I will be reading more books by this author. I will admit there may have been a few spots where I wanted the book to move a little faster but that seems to be the case with this time period in general but then there are parts of the book that I can't put it down. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I give it 4 stars. * This book is not going to be published until May , 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - April 30th

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's subject is Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book  I have included an example of a book that I have bought that fit my words. What words make you pick up a book?

1. History - I love historical fiction books and I tend to go towards those books first. In Need of a Good Wife by Kelly O'Conner McNees
2.  Cozy - I seem to be collecting cozy mysteries and am always looking for a new one to buy. The Cupcake Mysteries by Jenn McKinley
3. Tudor - Another type of book I love to read is about the Tudors, I can't learn enough about them.  Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith
4.  Europe - If a book takes place in Europe then I seem to want to read it.  The Emma Harte Series by Barbara Taylor Bradford
5. Romance - I am a sucker for a little romance with a happy ending in a book.  The Innsboro Series by Nora Roberts
6. Chicklit - I think chicklit are fun light reads and enjoy picking them up While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax
7. Holiday - Especially Christmas as I like to read books that have to do with Christmas to help put me in the mood at that time of year. Merry X-mas by Sheila Roberts
8. Beauty - If there is a lady dressed in a beautiful historic gown on it I will be checking it out for possible purchase. If the Slipper Fits by Olivia Drake
9. Titanic - I love anything and everything to do with the Titanic and have quite the collection of books about it and a always looking for new ones.  By the Light of the Silver Moon by Tricia Goyer
10. Time-travel - I have found that I like books in which the character is taken back in time and look or books that fall in that category. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

Lead Your Family Like Jesus by Tricia Goyer

Title: Lead Your Family Like Jesus
Author: Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer
Type: Hardback
ISBN: 9781589977204
Synopsis: Does your family need a five-star general at the helm? A psychologist? A referee? Ken Blanchard, best-selling co-author of "The One Minute Manager" and "Lead Like Jesus," points to a better role model: the Son of God. Joined by veteran parents and authors Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer, renowned business mentor Blanchard shows how every family member benefits when parents take the reins as servant-leaders. Moms and dads will see themselves in a whole new light--as life-changers who get their example, strength, and joy from following Jesus at home. This user-friendly book's practical principles and personal stories mark the path to a truly Christ-centered family, where integrity, love, grace, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness make all the difference

My review: I am not one to typically read parenting books but I was asked to read this and do a review of it so I thought why not. After reading this I have to say I did enjoy it and all it had to offer. I think this is a good book to read when you are starting out your family of if you already have children. One thing I liked about the book is the pause and reflect portions as they really make you stop and think. I loved how in the praying for our kids they took the song Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes and used it help teach everyone how to pray. Another thing that is enjoyed was the personal stories that were offered to help guide us along. You can use this book in a group setting or just on your own. I would recommend this book to any parent wanting a little guidance that is easy to understand and follow. I received this book in exchange for a fari and honest review. I give it four stars. 

April 29, 2013

The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson (Land of the Shining Water #1)

Title: The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson (Land of the Shining Water #1)
Author: Tracie Peterson
Type: Trade paperback
Genre: Christian Fiction
ISBN: 9780764206191
Synopsis: As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl--she'd rather work with her father's horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she's been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors. 

When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiance shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik. 

Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God--and each other--when scandal threatens their newfound love?

My Review: This is the first book in a new series by Tracie. In this book we learn about Merrill who has been taking care of her father and brothers since her mother's passing. Next comes Rurick, he has moved to town to learn to be a carpenter like his uncle. Can Merrill learn to love Rurick or will his past get in the way? As with other books I have read by Tracie in the past this book did not disappoint. I love the historical aspect of this book and that we get a little of the history of ice cutting along with the story of two people that thanks to the author are easy to fall in love with. I think the author die a good job of showing how relationships between the characters progressed. I feel a sense of my own history being told here even thought I can't say we had icecutters in our family but my family settled in the Midwest. Tracie also does a nice joy of adding the faith each of the characters have into the story. I look forward to the next book in this series. I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for a fair and honest review. I give this book 5 stars.

Fruit of My Spirit by Deanna Nowadnick

Title: Fruit of My Spirit
Author: Deanna Nowadnick
Type: Paperback
ISBN: 9780983589723
Synopsis: Is there really a place in God's heart for a defiant child?
In His divine plans for a self-centered teenager?
In His family for an adult who gets tired and impatient?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 
Galatians 5:22-23 
The Apostle Paul in His Letter to the People of Galatia
In a memoir of missteps and misdeeds, Deanna Nowadnick writes of the hugeness of God's love and faithfulness.  Reframing life in God's grace, she discovers an indescribable, indefinable, inexplicable love that has encircled her without fail through joyous, sad, cringe-worthy, heartwarming, forgettable, memorable moments in life.

Fruit of My Spirit is for anyone who's ever questioned God's ability to love and forgive, who's ever wondered about their place in God's family or God's place in theirs.  Nowadnick offers hope for those who dare to question, who secretly wonder, and who fear to ask.  Through stories of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, you will experience the enormity of God, too.

This is Deanna Nowadnick's first book.  What started as short story for her sons quickly became a larger story.  When not writing, she serves as the Client Service Coordinator for a financial advisor.  She's active in her church, playing the violin and editing the monthly newsletter.  She loves to knit, adores chocolate, and most important, enjoys a blessed marriage to Kurt.  Deanna lives in Monroe, WA.   

My Review: The author of this book used her first hand life experiences to tell how to deal with real life using the Bible. Although I don't read a lot of books like this I think it was a nice book and a quick read. I would read one chapter a night as they are short and take no time to read. I like the fact that this was told by someone who could be anyone you know or even yourself, she is not perfect and admits she made mistakes in life. Then she tells you how she used the Fruits of the Spirit to change her life. DeAnna reminds us that God is there for you no matter what life is throwing at you. If you are looking for a book to help you see how to use the Fruits to handle everyday life this is the book for you. I received the book from the author for a fair and honest review. I give it three stars. 

April 26, 2013

Duchess by Susan May Warren (Daughter's of Fortune Book 3)

Title: Duchess (Daughter's of Fortune #3)
Author: Susan May Warren
ISBN: 9781609367718
Type: Trade Paperback
Synopsis: When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?

The golden age of Hollywood is in the business of creating stars. Rosie Worth, now starlet Roxy Price, has found everything she's wanted in the glamour of the silver screen. With adoring fans and a studio-mogul husband, she's finally silenced the voices-and grief-of the past. Her future shines bright...until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down. When Roxy loses everything, she finds herself disgraced and penniless. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a longtime film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and he has other plans for Roxy and her movies-plans to support a growing unrest in Europe, plans that could break her heart and endanger her life. Find out more about the series by clicking on these links. HeiressBaroness.

My Review: This is the third book in the Daughters of Fortune series. In this book we hear the story of Rosie now known as Roxie Price on the silver screen. Rosie had it all until Black Friday then she is penniless and turns to Rolfe for help, but he is not all that he seems to be. This is the first book I have read by Susan. I have the other two in this series but time ran out on me so I had to read the last one first. I really enjoyed Susan's writing style. She makes me feel as if I am right there and becoming friends with Rosie. Susan has a way of writing that makes the story flow. I am not usually a fan of this time period but the way this was written I found myself enjoying the book and wanting to hurry back and read the other two in this series. Rosie's character is written as if she is a real person which makes the book that much better. If you are looking for a nice read with some strong characters then I recommend this book to you. I would suggest you start with book one although you don't have to, I just personally like to read books in order. I also liked how everything had a nice ending and did not leave the story dangling. I received this book from Litfuse for a fair and honest review. I give it four stars. 

Meet Susan: Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors. Visit MyBookTherapy.com to learn more. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com

April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - April 23rd

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's subject is Top Ten Books I thought I'd like MORE/LESS than I did. 

Here is my list of ten books that I thought I'd I like more than I did. 

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I liked parts of this book but I struggled through at lot of it and was hoping it would have moved along faster. 
2, The King of Torts by John Grisham - I have loved everything but two books that John has written and this is one of them. I liked it but not loved it, kind of slow moving for me.
3. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot - This book sounded so good and I like to read about animals but I struggled through this book and don't think I finished it even. 
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison - This book gave me nightmares the whole time I read it and even when it was in my house.
5. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson - Everyone loved this book so I read it with some friends but to me it was very boring. 
6. A Man Named Dave by Dave Pelzer - I enjoyed reading the other two books that Dave wrote about his life but this one kind of let me down. 
7. Coming Out by Danielle Steel - I have read a few of Danielle's books and they just moved right along but this one was nothing what I was expecting at all. 
8. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - This is another book that everyone I know who has read it has loved it but me. I thought it quite boring. 
9. A Painted House by John Grisham - This was not a typical John Grisham book and I felt it a little depressing.
10. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells - Another book that I wanted to like because everyone else does but just not my cup of tea. 

I have learned that if everyone says a book is the next best thing since sliced bread I may not like it. I guess I build it up so much in my mind that I feel let down when I go to read it. 

Here is my list of ten books I thought I would like less than I did:

1. The Shack by William Young - I was not sure about this book when I was asked to read it with friends, but I am glad I read it. I loved it from page one. 
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - This is one book that I can say everyone I know that has read it loved it and so did I in fact this is one book I think I could read a second time. 
3. The Year of the Fog by Michelle Richmond - I was not sure about this book when I picked it up to read it with some friends, but it sucked me in from page one and I could not put it down. 
4. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - My mom gave me this book to read and I really did not think I would like it but it was a very moving book and I am glad I read it. 
5. Sunday at Tiffany's by James Patterson - This was the first book I read by James Patterson and I knew he did mysteries so I thought he might not do good with another non-mystery book but I loved this book, I read it in one day I think. Proof he is good not matter what he writes. 
6. Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly - My mom bought this book for me and I thought it would not be good at all just because of who wrote it but I was wrong to judge it. I learned a lot from reading this  and enjoyed and now want to read his other book. 
7. The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner - I got this book to review but was not too sure of it, but I am so glad I read it, it made me fall in love with a part of Italy I did not know much about and I found a new author. 
8. The Rose Garden by Susan Kearsley - This was a new author to me and I was unsure of the book but thought I would give it a try and am glad I did, now I want to read more of her books. 
9. Wildflower Hill by Kimberly Freeman - Again this is a book I was asked to read with a friend and ended up loving it even though when I got it I did not think I would like it. 
10. It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake - I don't normally read books that have a witch and magic in them but since I am a cozy fan I wanted to try it and I love this series and am getting ready to read the newest one in the series. 

What are some books that you loved or hated? I would love to hear about them. 

April 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - April 20th

If you want to find out more about Stacking the Shelves or the guidelines, please visit the official launch page.

You can link your blog here and see other's stacks.

Here is my stack that I have received since my last post on April 1st.

What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris
The Good, the Bad and the Witchy by Heather Blake
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax
Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown
Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner
Life Below Stairs by Alison Maloney

Nickled and Dimed by Denise Swanson
Union Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor
The Emperor's Conspiracy by Michelle Diener

To Review:
One Glorious Ambition by Jane Kirkatrick
The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer
Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren
The Ice Cutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson

What books have you received lately that you would like to share? I am always looking for good books. 

April 19, 2013

The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau - Author Interview

Publication Date:  March 5, 2013
Touchstone Publishing
Hardcover; 512p
ISBN-10: 1476708657

This is my first author interview and I am excited to have it have been Nancy. I enjoyed her books, The Crown and The Chalice and hope you will too. 

I know this is an often asked question but I would like to know where do you get your ideas for what to write about and how long does it take you to do your research?
The ideas come out of the air. I seriously don't know where the inspiration for The Crown came from, beyond speculation: "I wonder if I could write a thriller set in the 16th century..." I set myself a challenge in a fiction workshop. For The Chalice,  I had the characters and thought, "OK, now what would happen?" Research takes me a long time because I want to get it right. For The Crown, it took five years to research and write the book. For The Chalice, I took a year off from magazine work to concentrate on it.

What drew you to write historical fiction? What do you like most/least about it?
It was my favorite genre when I was young—I inhaled the books of Norah Lofts, Jean Plaidy and Mary Stewart. I’ve read it ever since, I think I love to escape into past worlds. Also, I am a huge history nerd. I’m interesting in many different periods and countries. I guess what I like least about it is that some historical fiction is a little corny or flowery. Although Ken Follett and Bernard Cornwell are proving that historical fiction can be quite action-filled, if not brutal.

What genre of books do you like to read in your spare time? Do you have a favorite author or book you would like to recommend to us?
When you become a professional novelist almost everything becomes fodder. I read historical novels or thrillers to keep up with the genre or to follow friends’ work. I read nonfiction to inform my writing. The best nonfiction books I’ve read in the last year were The Winter King, by Thomas Penn, and The Favourite, by Mathew Lyons. The level of the writing in both was outstanding.
I really don’t have much spare time, because I am a mother of two and a magazine editor. But I do have books that while I can learn from them, a lot of why I read them is for pleasure. I enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, for example. Paranormal stories are fun.

What books and/or authors have most influenced your life most?
Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca,Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, and Antonia Fraser’s Mary Queen of Scots.

What do you think is the best/worst thing about being a writer?
It’s wonderful to be like a magician and invite people into a story I’ve created and know that each person will see Joanna and the rest of the characters a slightly different way. I find that fascinating. What’s the worst thing? Probably the uncertainty of it all. Although it’s no more uncertain than the magazine business.

If you could be any person in history who would it be and why?
Elizabeth I, because I so admire her: “If I were turned out of my realm in my petticoat, I would prosper anywhere in Christendom.”

Tell us five random things about you.
I can draw a horse.
I saw Bob Seger three times in concert before I was 21 years old.
I love gathering seashells.
I always cry when I watch A Christmas Carol and Scrooge’s sister dies after giving birth.
My favorite part of the weekend is making pancakes on Saturday morning.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you for taking this journey with me, and I am very excited about writing Joanna’s story. She’s real to me, and I hope that while you’re reading, she’s real to you too.

How can fans get in touch with you and where can they find your books?
My author website is a place to get in touch. The email there that people can use to connect with me is tudorscribe@gmail.com. My books are on amazon and in bookstores. The website has all the links to online stores, for both e-books and print. I am on twitter: @tudorscribe. 

Here is the link to  Nancy's website

Here is the schedule for the rest of the blog tour: 


Tuesday, February 26
Review at She Reads Novels
Wednesday, February 27
Review at The Wormhole
Thursday, February 28
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Friday, March 1
Review at A Bookish Affair
Monday, March 4
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, March 5
Review at The Broke and the Bookish
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Thursday, March 7
Review at Turning the Pages
Monday, March 11
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, March 12
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, March 13
Review at The Eclectic Reader
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, March 14
Review at Let Them Read Books
Friday, March 15
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Monday, March 18
Review at Peppermint, Ph.D.
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, March 19
Review at Loyalty Binds Me
Review at Impressions in Ink
Wednesday, March 20
Review, Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Libraria
Thursday, March 21
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Friday, March 22
Guest Post at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Monday, March 25
Review at The Novel Life
Review at Devourer of Books
Tuesday, March 26
Review at Historical Tapestry & Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Wednesday, March 27
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, March 28
Review at Layered Pages
Friday, March 29
Interview at Layered Pages
Monday, April 1
Review at Words and Peace
Tuesday, April 2
Giveaway at Words and Peace
Wednesday, April 3
Review & Giveaway at Always with a Book
Thursday, April 4
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, April 5
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Tuesday, April 9
Review at One Book at a Time
Review at Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, April 10
Review at Jenny Loves to Read
Thursday, April 11
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Friday, April 12
Review, Guest Post & Giveaway at Drey’s Library
Monday, April 15
Review, Interview & Giveaway at The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, April 16
Review & Giveaway at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, April 17
Review & Giveaway at Library of Clean Reads
Guest Post & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Thursday, April 18
Review at The True Book Addict
Friday, April 19
Interview at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Monday, April 22
Review at Book Drunkard
Tuesday, April 23
Review at A Book Geek
Wednesday, April 24
Review & Giveaway at Review from Here
Thursday, April 25
Review at Historical Novel Review & Great Historicals
Friday, April 26
Review at Enchanted by Josephine
Guest Post & Giveaway at On the Tudor Trail
Monday, April 29
Review & Giveaway at Enchanted by Josephine
Review & Giveaway at Bippity Boppity Book
Tuesday, April 30
Review at Tea at Trianon
Review at Writing the Renaissance
Wednesday, May 1
Interview at Writing the Renaissance
Thursday, May 2
Review at Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books
Friday, May 3
Interview & Giveaway at Tanzanite’s Castle Full of Books