April 28, 2014

The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

I received this book from Litefuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Queen's Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley
ISBN: 9781401686840
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.
Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC
Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life.
But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to a family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme.
Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.
My review: I could not wait to read this book as this is a time period that I have been wanting to read more and more about. One thing I really liked was how history was told along with Christian history. Normally you get one or the other but not both so being a history lover this was  bonus for me. There is a little for everyone in this book - history, adventure and romance all things to keep me turning the pages well into the night. The author did a good job The author does a very good job with the details of the story from describing the characters to describing the scenes. A definite must read for history lovers. 

Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

I received this book from Litefuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin
Quilts of Love Series
ISBN: 9781426752803
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.
Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.
My review: This is another good addition to the Quilts of Love Series. I like that this book had a bit of history in it. I enjoy reading books where people are able to trace their family roots. I can not imagine what Maybelle went through as her new husband went off to war. She had to be a strong woman to get through that and then to also work as a welder to help out, what a great woman. The author did a good job of drawing me into this book as I do not normally read books from this era but I really enjoyed this one. You go through a lot of different emotions right along Maybelle as you are reading this. You do not have to have read any of the other books in this series to read this, as it is a stand alone book. This was my first book by this author and I was impressed with her writing. 

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

I received this book from Litefuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson
Lone Star Brides #1
ISBN: 9780764210587
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways… and dreams and secrets collide?
My review: I am a fan of Tracie's books so of course I was looking forward to starting a new series by her. This book is full of drama, mystery and a little bit of fun and faith. I think Marty was a strong woman for picking up and answering an advertisement and moving to a place she has never been to marry a man she did not know.There was a great cast of characters in this book and of course I really like Marty and Jake.  I enjoyed going on their journey with them starting as strangers and becoming true mates and having a strong relationship. The setting was perfectly described in this book so I felt as if I was right there. The ending left me wanting more so of course I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. 

April 25, 2014

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge
ISBN: 9780307731753
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?
After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story. 
Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?

My review: This is one book that I am glad that I did not just by the cover. I tend to lean towards books that look more historical or mysteries. I know I should not judge a book by the cover and please do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong or bad with this cover at all just not one I would pick up on first look. Anyway back to my review. This is the first book that I have read by this author and now I want to look for more books by her. One thing I liked about the book was the recipes that were included, I would like to try some of them in the near future. I found myself drawn to Juliette from page one. Hearing is story and the way the author wrote this book, is like you are sitting down with a friend and listening to her life story. Another thing I liked about the book was that there was a little mystery, history (of her grandma) and romance and it all blended together in such a way that the author kept you up late at night to finish the book. The author did a good job of leaving you hanging at the end so you can't wait to read the next book in this series. 

About the author: Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring new walking trails. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon. - See more at: Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing You can also visit her at her website click here

To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis by Andra Watkins

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis by Andra Watkins
ISBN: 9780615937472

Synopsis: Is remembrance immortality? Nobody wants to be forgotten, least of all the famous.
Meriwether Lewis lived a memorable life. He and William Clark were the first white men to reach the Pacific in their failed attempt to discover a Northwest Passage. Much celebrated upon their return, Lewis was appointed governor of the vast Upper Louisiana Territory and began preparing his eagerly-anticipated journals for publication. But his re-entry into society proved as challenging as his journey. Battling financial and psychological demons and faced with mounting pressure from Washington, Lewis set out on a pivotal trip to the nation’s capital in September 1809. His mission: to publish his journals and salvage his political career. He never made it. He died in a roadside inn on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee from one gunshot to the head and another to the abdomen.
Was it suicide or murder? His mysterious death tainted his legacy and his fame quickly faded. Merry’s own memory of his death is fuzzy at best. All he knows is he’s fallen into Nowhere, where his only shot at redemption lies in the fate of rescuing another. An ill-suited “guardian angel,” Merry comes to in the same New Orleans bar after twelve straight failures. Now, with one drink and a two-dollar bill he is sent on his last assignment, his final shot at escape from the purgatory in which he’s been dwelling for almost 200 years. Merry still believes he can reverse his forgotten fortunes.
Nine-year-old Emmaline Cagney is the daughter of French Quarter madam and a Dixieland bass player. When her mother wins custody in a bitter divorce, Emmaline carves out her childhood among the ladies of Bourbon Street. Bounced between innocence and immorality, she struggles to find her safe haven, even while her mother makes her open her dress and serve tea to grown men.
It isn’t until Emmaline finds the strange cards hidden in her mother’s desk that she realizes why these men are visiting: her mother has offered to sell her to the highest bidder. To escape a life of prostitution, she slips away during a police raid on her mother’s bordello, desperate to find her father in Nashville.
Merry’s fateful two-dollar bill leads him to Emmaline as she is being chased by the winner of her mother’s sick card game: The Judge. A dangerous Nowhere Man convinced that Emmaline is the reincarnation of his long dead wife, Judge Wilkinson is determined to possess her, to tease out his wife’s spirit and marry her when she is ready. That Emmaline is now guarded by Meriwether Lewis, his bitter rival in life, further stokes his obsessive rage.
To elude the Judge, Em and Merry navigate the Mississippi River to Natchez. They set off on an adventure along the storied Natchez Trace, where they meet Cajun bird watchers, Elvis-crooning Siamese twins, War of 1812 re-enactors, Spanish wild boar hunters and ancient mound dwellers. Are these people their allies? Or pawns of the perverted, powerful Judge?
After a bloody confrontation with the Judge at Lewis’s grave, Merry and Em limp into Nashville and discover her father at the Parthenon. Just as Merry wrestles with the specter of success in his mission to deliver Em, The Judge intercedes with renewed determination to win Emmaline, waging a final battle for her soul. Merry vanquishes the Judge and earns his redemption. As his spirit fuses with the body of Em’s living father, Merry discovers that immortality lives within the salvation of another, not the remembrance of the multitude.
Read an Excerpt HERE.

My review: I was not sure about reading this book at first because I am a big fan of Lewis and Clark and what they did. Also I do not normally read like this but I thought I would give it a chance. This book was a good one to read. It has some twists that make the story move right along. The authors way of writing also helped the story to flow. To Live Forever is a book that you will find yourself not wanting to put down. "Merry" of course was my favorite character due to the fact that I have been a fan of his for many years. Em was a strong person even though she needed Merry's help along the way. And you must not forget the crazy judge, he would have spooked me. I was surprised at the outcome at the end of the story it was not what I was expecting. I recommend this book for someone looking for a good read, but if you think you do not want to read this sort of book, just give it a try and you will be pleasantly surprised. I look forward to seeing what this author has in store for us in the future. 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Hey. I’m Andra Watkins. I’m a native of Tennessee, but I’m lucky to call Charleston, South Carolina, home for 23 years. I’m the author of ‘To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis’, coming March 1, 2014. It’s a mishmash of historical fiction, paranormal fiction and suspense that follows Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) after his mysterious death on the Natchez Trace in 1809.
I like:
eating (A lot; Italian food is my favorite.)
traveling (I never met a destination I didn’t like.)
reading (My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.)
coffee (the caffeinated version) and COFFEE (sex)
performing (theater, singing, public speaking, playing piano)
time with my friends
Sirius XM Chill
yoga (No, I can’t stand on my head.)
writing in bed
I don’t like:
getting up in the morning
cilantro (It is the devil weed.)
surprises (For me or for anyone else.)
house cleaning

Author Links

Natchez Trace Walk

The Natchez Trace is a 10,000-year-old road that runs from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. Thousands of years ago, animals used its natural ridge line as a migratory route from points in the Ohio River Valley to the salt licks in Mississippi. It was logical for the first Native Americans to settle along the Trace to follow part of their migrating food supply. When the Kaintucks settled west of the Appalachians, they had to sell their goods at ports in New Orleans or Natchez, but before steam power, they had to walk home. The Trace became one of the busiest roads in North America.
To launch To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, I will be the first person of either sex to walk the 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did since the rise of steam power in the 1820′s. March 1, 2014 to April 3, 2014. Fifteen miles a day. Six days a week. One rest day per week. I will spend each night in the modern-day equivalent of stands, places much like Grinder’s Stand, where Meriwether Lewis died from two gunshot wounds on October 11, 1809.
I will take readers into the world of the book. You’ll see the places that inspired scenes and hear the backstories of different characters, with running commentary by my father, who’s tagging along with me.
I’ll also have a daily YouTube segment where I answer reader questions about the book, my walk, my arguments—I mean—interactions with my dad, and whatever readers want to know. Ask me anything at
You might see yourself on this site during my tour.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 1

Wednesday, April 2
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Thursday, April 3
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, April 4
Guest Post at Kincavel Korner

Monday, April 7
Review & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, April 8
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, April 9
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, April 11
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, April 14
Review at Book Addict Katie

Tuesday, April 15
Spotlight & Giveaway at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Spotlight & Giveaway at I’d So Rather be Reading

Wednesday, April 16
Interview at Kincavel Korner
Guest Post & Giveaway at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Friday, April 18
Review at Book Drunkard

Monday, April 21

Tuesday, April 22
Review at Bibliotica

Wednesday, April 23

Thursday, April 24
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, April 25

Monday, April 28
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, April 29
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Wednesday, April 30
Review at A Bookish Girl

Thursday, May 1
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, May 2
Review at Layered Pages
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

April 20, 2014

1066 What Fates Impose by G.K. Holloway - Book Blast

1066 What Fates Impose1066 What Fates Impose

Please join G.K. Holloway on he tours the blogosphere for 1066: What Fates Impose, from April 14 - May 2. Publication Date: March 4, 2013 Matador Publishing King William then utters the following words to the room: ‘I appoint no one as my heir to the Crown of England, but leave it to the disposal of the Eternal Creator, whose I am and who orders all things. For I did not attain that high honour by hereditary right, but wrested it from the perjured King Harold in a desperate bloody battle.’ England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own.?There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland. Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold. Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?

Buy the Book

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository
Troubador Publishing

About the AuthorGK Holloway

I have been interested in history since I was a boy, which I suppose explains why, when I came across a degree course in History and Politics at Coventry University that looked tailor made for me, I applied right away. In my first year at Coventry I lived in the halls of residence within a stone’s throw of the Leofric Hotel. In the opposite direction, just a short walk from my halls, is the bell tower that houses a clock, which when its bell chimes the hour, produces a half size model of naked Lady Godiva riding a horse for the titillation of tourists. Above her, Peeping Tom leans out of a window for a better view. In all of the three years I was there, it never once occurred to me that I would one day write a book featuring Earl Leofric and his famous wife, as key players. After graduating I spent a year in Canada before I returned to England to train as a Careers Officer in Bristol. Later, I lived and worked in Gloucestershire as a Careers Officer and then in Adult Education as an Education Guidance worker. After I met my wife, I moved back to Bristol to live and I worked at Bath Spa University as a Student Welfare Officer for a number of years. It was about this time I read a biography about King Harold II which fascinated me so much I read more and more about the man and the times. I found the whole pre-conquest period of England so interesting I couldn’t understand why no one had written a novel about it. So, I decided to write one myself. Now, after many years of study and time spent over a hot keyboard, I have finally produced that novel. 1066: What Fates Impose is the result of all that study and hard work and is the first book I’ve written. I am now working on a sequel.

Virtual Tour and Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 14
Book Blast at Kincavel Korner
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, April 15
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, April 16
Review at Svetlana's Reviews and Views
Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read

Thursday, April 17
Book Blast at Closed the Cover
Book Blast at Historical Tapestry

Friday, April 18
Book Blast at Time 2 Read
Book Blast at The Bookworm

Monday, April 21
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Book Blast at Griperang's Bookmarks

Tuesday, April 22
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, April 23
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Interview at The Maiden's Court

Thursday, April 24
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Book Blast at Reading the Ages

Friday, April 25
Review at Impressions in Ink
Book Blast at Ink Sugar Blog
Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer

Monday, April 28
Review at Kinx's Book Nook
Book Blast at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, April 29
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Book Blast at Historical Readings and Reviews

Wednesday, April 30
Review at Historical Tapestry
Book Blast at Book Nerd

Thursday, May 1
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, May 2
Review at Curling Up By the Fire
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Book Blast at A Book Geek
Book Blast at Layered Pages

 photo 14564486-c3f3-4ae9-a8d4-fec84ea8cc6e.png

April 19, 2014

The Ransom by Marylu Tyndall

The Ransom by MaryLue Tyndall
Legacy of the King's Pirates Series - Book 4
ISBN: 978099109212

Synopsis: Port Royal, Jamaica 1692
Living in a city deemed the wickedest in the world is no easy task for Miss Juliana Dutton. To make matters worse, with an ailing father and a drunken fool for a brother, she is forced to take over the running of the family business in order to survive. When a nosey suitor threatens everything, she spurns him and instead becomes engaged to the town idiot, Lord Munthrope. But is he an idiot? The more her problems push her closer to the man, the more she realizes he is not who he seems.
Alexander Hyde, the Pirate Earl, is the most feared pirate in the Caribbean--feared, successful, wealthy, handsome, and bored, so terribly bored. When an unexpected event allows him to get close to Juliana, a woman he has loved from afar for years, he takes it. But leading a double life causes more problems than it's worth.  A restless crew and a long-time enemy out to capture and hang Alex, put Juliana in grave danger.
As tremors rock the city of Port Royal, Juliana's faith in God is equally shaken. Not only have things gotten worse, but she is confused by her feelings for both Munthrope and the Pirate Earl. Deception, intrigue, mutiny, death, betrayal, all attempt to tear the lovers apart. But the final blow comes when a massive earthquake strikes the city and threatens to sink it into the sea.

My review: I am such a fan of MaryLu's so was happy that she wrote another book for us to enjoy. The way she writes about pirates makes me like the even more than I did before, there is something intriguing about a pirate and then when they do something good makes them even more appealing. This book was full of a lot of twists that keeps you turning the page to find out what is going to happen next. MaryLu did a great job of developing the characters in this book and I don't know if I could pick a favorite one. There is a little of everything in this book: romance, history, excitement, humor, grief and adventure. What more could you ask for? I unfortunately have not read the other books in this series yet but was able to enjoy this book just the same. You do not have to have read the others first, although I will be going back and getting the others. I recommend this book for historical fans and christian fiction fans alike. 

The Medici Boy by John L'Heureux

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Medici Boy by John L'Heureux
ISBN: 9781938231506

Synopsis: The worlds of art, politics and passion collide in John L’Heureux’s masterful new novel, The Medici Boy. With rich composition, L’Heureux ingeniously transports the reader to Donatello’s Renaissance Italy—directly into his bottega, (workshop), as witnessed through the eyes of Luca Mattei, a devoted assistant. While creating his famous bronze of David and Goliath, Donatello’s passion for his enormously beautiful model and part time rent boy, Agnolo, ignites a dangerous jealousy that ultimately leads to Agnolo’s brutal murder. Luca, the complex and conflicted assistant, will sacrifice all to save the life of Donatello, even if it means the life of the master sculptor’s friend and great patron of art, Cosimo de’ Medici. John L’Heureux’s long-awaited novel delivers both a monumental and intimate narrative of the creative genius, Donatello, at the height of his powers. With incisive detail, L’Heureux beautifully renders the master sculptor’s forbidden homosexual passions, and the artistry that enthralled the powerful and highly competitive Medici and Albizzi families. The finished work is a sumptuously detailed historical novel that entertains while it delves deeply into both the sacred and the profane within one of the Italian Renaissance’s most consequential cities, fifteenth century Florence

My review: This book appealed to me because it was set in historical Italy. The author did a great job on his historical research so much so that I felt as if I was in Renaissance Italy. I also found the way he wrote about the characters was very good to me. The descriptions of Donatello's works was just amazing and very detailed. The more I read this book the more I wanted to read and learn more about Dontallo and the Medici family. I recommend this book to fans of historical books, books about Italy and plain ole' fiction lovers. I look forward to more book by this author. 

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1kkIpLL
Astor+Blue:  http://bit.ly/1dIUz2I

Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer
ISBN: 9780307731296
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn't old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.

My review: I wanted to read this book because I have read a little about the Harvey Girls and wanted to hear the story of someone who wanted to become one. Dinah's story was an emotional one to read about.  Each of the characters were so well developed that I felt as if I knew them personally. This book was so well written and grabbed my interest so well that I read it quickly - in just a weekend. Kim did a very good job with her historical research for this book. I highly recommend this book to everyone. 

Check out Kim's website by clicking here

Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling, award-winning author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print. She lives in central Kansas where she and her retired military husband, Don, enjoy spoiling their ten granddarlings. - See more at: Waterbrookmultnomah (click here)

Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear
Butternut Lake Trilogy - Book 1
ISBN: 9780062283146
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: It’s summer, and after ten years away, Allie Beckett has returned to her family’s cabin besides tranquil Butternut Lake. Now, newly widowed after her husband is killed in Afghanistan, she’s brought her five-year-old son, Wyatt, in search for a new start in a peaceful place. In town, Allie reconnects with familiar faces—Jax, now a young mother of three with one more on the way, and Caroline, the owner of the local coffee shop. But what she doesn’t expect is a newcomer to Butternut Lake, the handsome Walker Ford. Moving forward is never easy, but Allie must learn to unlock the hidden longings of her heart, and to accept that in order to face the future we must also confront—and understand—what has come before.

My Review: I was drawn to this book because it seemed like it would be a touching story and I was not disappointed. The author did a good job with the character development and the emotions of them showed through with her writing. Also the story line itself was so believable and could happen to anyone which was another plus in my book. Since the writing in this story flowed so well I did not want to put it down. I will absolutely be reading the rest of the trilogy. For lovers of a great fiction book this is for you. 

MARY MCNEAR is a writer living in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a miniscule white dog named Macaroon. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the Northern Midwest. BUTTERNUT SUMMERthe second in the series, is scheduled for release in August 2014.

Daughter of Sherwood by Laura Strickland

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Daughter of Sherwood by Laura Strickland
The Guardians of Sherwood - Book 1
ISBN: 9781612179179

Synopsis: Raised as a scullery maid in Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood. When she is forced to defend herself against the unwanted advances of an influential man, she flees the castle and finds refuge in Sherwood Forest. It is then she learns a powerful secret: she has a destiny as a guardian of Sherwood, charged with the responsibility of defending its ancient magic.
Since Robin's death many years before, his supporters have kept his legend alive.  Now one of the three guardians holding the spell has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new bond strong enough to protect Sherwood and continue her father’s fight.  Drawn equally to Martin’s warrior spirit and Sparrow’s gentle strength, she finds it nearly impossible to choose between duty and love.
Laura takes us on a journey into the world of Robin Hood's daughter, where we experience her struggle to accept her identity and the demands of her father's legacy.  Along with Wren, we learn that what is loved in life can never be lost, and that great love is worth the price paid.  For at last, when Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, the path becomes clear for Wren and she finds the strength to become the woman she was born to be, the Daughter of Sherwood.

My review: I have not read any books about Robin Hood but do like his story so this book caught my attention. This book has a little historical romance and little fantasy as well as a little adventure. The author did such a good job with the character development that it draws you even further into the story. I could not decide who was my favorite Sparrow or Martin. They are both strong characters. The scenes were written so well that I felt as if I was there. The story of Robin Hood was brought more to life for my by reading this book. This was a hit in my book and I am glad I took the chance on it. I look forward to the rest of the series. 

April 11, 2014

Serpents in the Garden by Anna Belfrage

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Serpents in the Garden by Anna Belfrage
The Graham Saga - Book 5
ISBN: 9781781321737

Synopsis: After years of hard work, Matthew and Alex Graham have created a thriving home in the Colony of Maryland. About time, in Alex’s opinion, after far too many adventures she is really looking forward to some well-deserved peace and quiet.  

A futile hope, as it turns out. Things start to heat up when Jacob, the third Graham son, absconds from his apprenticeship to see the world – especially as Jacob leaves behind a girl whom he has wed in a most irregular fashion. 

Then there’s the infected matter of the fellow time traveller Alex feels obliged to help – no matter the risk. Worst of all, one day Philip Burley and his brothers resurface after years of absence. As determined as ever to make Matthew pay for every perceived wrong – starting with the death of their youngest brother – the Burleys play out a complicated cat and mouse game, and Alex is thrown back into an existence where her heart is constantly in her mouth, convinced as she is that one day the Burleys will achieve their purpose. 

Will the Burleys succeed? And if they do, will the Graham family survive the exacted price?

Serpents in the Garden is the fifth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

My review: I enjoyed this current book in the Graham Saga. One thing I like about this series is the time traveling as well the historical aspect. I think the characters are very strong and interesting. The author did a good job with describing the settings and has a way to make you feel like you are a part of the book. I look forward to the next book in this series. 

Be sure to stop by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (click here) to see the other stops on the tour. 

About the Author

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website.  You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

April 5, 2014

A Killing Notion by Melissa Bourbon - Review and Giveaway

A Killing Notion by Melissa Bourbon
Magical Dressmaking Series #5
ISBN: 9780451417206
Mass Mark Paperback

Synopsis: Harlow is doing everything she can to expand her dressmaking business, Buttons & Bows—without letting clients know about her secret charm. When she has a chance to create homecoming dresses with a local charity and handmade mums for several high school girls—including Gracie, whose father, Will, has mended Harlow’s heart—she is ready to use her magical talents for a great cause.
But when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder, Harlow knows things won’t be back on course until she helps Gracie clear the football player’s name. If Harlow can’t patch up this mess before the big game, her business and her love life might be permanently benched.

Review: I really enjoyed this book. The characters in this book are so nice and fun, they are just like your friends. I would love to live in this little down it is so cozy. I really like that Harlow was creating homecoming dresses for charity.  The mystery part of the book is fun for me, I never seem to figure out how did it until the end but that is the part that I like. I have enjoyed this series from the beginning and look forward to more. I hope you enjoy it as well. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 4, 2014

Queen Elizabeth's Daughter by Anne Clinard Barnhill

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Queen Elizabeth's Daughter by Anne Clinard Barnhill
A Novel of Elizabeth I
ISBN: 9780312662122
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Mistress Mary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite ward, enjoying every privilege the position affords. The queen loves Mary like a daughter, and, like any good mother, she wants her to make a powerful match. The most likely prospect: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. But while Oxford seems to be everything the queen admires: clever, polished and wealthy, Mary knows him to be lecherous, cruel, and full of treachery. No matter how hard the queen tries to push her into his arms, Mary refuses.

Instead, Mary falls in love with a man who is completely unsuitable. Sir John Skydemore is a minor knight with little money, a widower with five children. Worst of all, he’s a Catholic at a time when Catholic plots against Elizabeth are rampant. The queen forbids Mary to wed the man she loves. When the young woman, who is the queen’s own flesh and blood, defies her, the couple finds their very lives in danger as Elizabeth’s wrath knows no bounds.

My review: This is the first book I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. Elizabeth I has interested me so for me I was really looking forward to this book. I for some reason did not realize Mary was her ward so it was nice to learn something as I was reading this book. The author did a very good job developing the characters and the setting of this book so that I felt as if I was right there. I highly recommend this book to fans of the Elizabethan time period especially if you are looking for a book that you will not be able to put down. I look forward to finding more books by this author. 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Anne Clinard Barnhill has been writing or dreaming of writing for most of her life. For the past twenty years, she has published articles, book and theater reviews, poetry, and short stories. Her first book, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ, recalls what it was like growing up with an autistic sister. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Besides writing, Barnhill also enjoys teaching, conducting writing workshops, and facilitating seminars to enhance creativity. She loves spending time with her three grown sons and their families. For fun, she and her husband of thirty years, Frank, take long walks and play bridge. In rare moments, they dance.
For more information, please visit Anne Clinard Barnhill’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, March 10
Review at Words and Peace
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, March 12
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, March 13
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, March 14
Review at The Lit Bitch
Monday, March 17
Review at The True Book Addict
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, March 18
Spotlight & Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, March 19
Review at One Book at a Time
Thursday, March 20
Review at Book-alicious Mama
Friday, March 21
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, March 24
Review at Scandalous Women
Review at She is Too Fond of Books
Tuesday, March 25
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Wednesday, March 26
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Thursday, March 27
Review at Book of Secrets
Friday, March 28
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Monday, March 31
Review at HF Book Muse – News
Review & Giveaway at WTF Are You Reading?
Tuesday, April 1
Interview at HF Book Muse – News
Thursday, April 3
Review at Books in the Burbs
Friday, April 4
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Monday, April 7
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, April 8
Review at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, April 9
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, April 10
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Friday, April 11
Review at Silver’s Reviews