Tuesday, September 18, 2018

6 Giveaway: Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness

Happy Birthday to me and Happy Book Birthday to Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness! 

Today, TIME’S CONVERT by Deborah Harkness, the bestselling author of the All Souls Trilogy will hit the shelves! It's is set in the same universe but focuses on characters and time periods that never took center stage in the trilogy.

In TIME’S CONVERT fans can expect to see some of their favorite characters returning as Harkness shares the backstories of the de Clermont family, Marcus MacNeil, and a young Phoebe Taylor to explore the question: what does it take to become a vampire? TIME’S CONVERT opens on the battlefields of the American Revolution, where young surgeon Marcus MacNeil is introduced to Matthew de Clermont and offered a chance at immortality by becoming a vampire. But his transformation isn’t an easy one, and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply-held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood. Fast forward to contemporary London, where Marcus has fallen in love with Phoebe Taylor, a young employee at Sotheby’s. She decides to become a vampire, too, and though the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to become a vampire are no less formidable in the modern world than they were in the 18th century.

The timing couldn’t be better, as it was recently announced that the  TV adaptation of Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy called “A Discovery of Witches” (starring Theresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, and Alex Kingston), will air in the US on Sundance Now (AMC’s streaming service, air date TBA).

And to celebrate the release of this novel, Viking Books is giving away a copy of Time's Convert here on To Read, or Not To Read. I'm a huge fan of this series, and I can't wait to read this book! 

This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please read our giveaway policy before entering. Please fill out the form below, or go to the direct link here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5f8733aa257/?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

0 Enter For A Chance To Win A 3 Book Prize Pack, Including-Away-We-Go-Land!

Away We Go Land Launches Kid’s Imaginations!

Looking for a rhyming picture book perfect for kids ages 2-8? Away We Go Land will stretch kids imaginations, make them laugh, and send them to bed dreaming of a carnival that is out of this world.

Join Us, Along With Our Book-Loving Friends, As We Celebrate This New Release From Ryan Maloney! You Could Win A 3 Book Prize Pack …

Away We Go Land

Written and Illustrated by Ryan Maloney
Publisher’s Synopsis: Away We Go Land is a picture book that launches kid’s imaginations to a carnival on the moon, where there are no tickets needed, and it’s fun for all.
Ages 2-8 | Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform | July 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1723211942

Away We Go Land - Children's Picture Book Trailer from MediaLuv on Vimeo.

Enter For A Chance To Win A 3 Book Prize Pack, Including-Away-We-Go-Land!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:
  • An autographed copy of Away We Go Land
  • An autographed copy of The Day Gravity Goes Loco
  • An autographed copy of Pancake, Pennsylvania
Four (4) winners receive:
  • An autographed copy of Away We Go Land
Age Range: 2-8
Giveaway begins August 30, 2018, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends September 30, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

How To Enter

  • Fill out the required fields in the form below. It may take a moment to load.
  • You can also gain bonus daily entries.
  • US addresses only.

Giveaway Rules

  • Enter between 12:00 AM Mounatin Time on August 30, 2018 and 11:59 PM on September 30, 2018.
  • Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
  • Winners will be selected at random on or about October 2, 2018.
  • Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Prizes Courtesy Of Medialuv Creative LLC.

Away We Go Land Giveaway Tour Dates

Thursday August 30 2018
The Children’s Book Review

Thursday August 30 2018

Friday August 31 2018

Sunday September 2 2018

Monday September 3 2018

Tuesday September 4 2018

Wednesday September 5 2018

Thursday September 6 2018

Friday September 7 2018

Monday September 10 2018

Thursday September 13 2018

Friday September 14 2018

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

1 Feature and Giveaway: The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews

The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Perfectly Proper Press
Paperback & eBook; 317 Pages
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon, Book 1
Genre: Historical/Romance

She Wanted Sanctuary…

Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill—though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome—is anything but a romantic hero.

He Needed Redemption…

Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household—and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.

Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Praise for The Matrimonial Advertisement

"Matthews' (The Pug Who Bit Napoleon, 2018, etc.) series opener is a guilty pleasure, brimming with beautiful people, damsels in distress, and an abundance of testosterone...It's a well-written and engaging story that's more than just a romance. The author chooses to draw on dark moments in British history to create Justin's and Helena's complicated pasts...It's an unexpected narrative addition that works well, as Matthews seamlessly blends some grim history with light and frothy fiction. An enjoyable love story that dares to dip a toe into bleak social and political history." -Kirkus Reviews

"I don't have enough words to say how unbelievably incredible this book is...I am a huge fan of Ms Matthews, her writing is always flawless and articulate, but this simply is in a league of its own... 'The Matrimonial Advertisement' is a lot darker that what we have come to expect from Ms Matthews, but for me this is Gothic Victorian story-telling at its best. This is how this genre is supposed to be written!...Ms Matthews has out done herself with this, by far one of the best books I have read--ever!...This is a hauntingly beautiful, gripping and heart-wrenching story. It is simply spellbinding!" -Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

"This is an irresistible romance with the added frisson of gothic fear. At a time in Victorian Britain when a woman belonged entirely to her father, guardian or husband, can Helena ever be free to love and live as she wishes? Mimi's writing style is engaging, and we are plunged immediately into Helena's predicament. Secrets are gradually revealed, adding depth to our understanding of the main characters. This is Miss Matthews' best book so far and it is only the first in a new series!" -Lizanne Lloyd, Lost in a Good Book

"This delightful Victorian love story took me away to another time and another place for a few blissful hours. Mimi Matthews is a wonderful storyteller. She creates very likeable, memorable, layered characters that quickly feel like friends. Her style is naturally elegant and warmly flowing, full of historical detail and charm...this is the second of her fictional works that I've devoured and I'm looking forward to more." -Jayne Fresina, bestselling author of Once Upon a Kiss

"Since I first read the sample chapters, I've been eager to read this book. Mimi Matthews does not disappoint. She lures the reader in for an emotional journey. Full of romance and heart, The Matrimonial Advertisement takes a marriage of convenience, a pinch of Beauty and the Beast, and some truly engrossing social history and brings to life a satisfying romantic tale. I look forward to more from this talented author!" -Lena Goldfinch, bestselling author of The Unexpected Bride

"The Matrimonial Advertisement is a Victorian romance in all its glory...Mimi Matthews definitely knows how to present historical facts effectively and without sounding bookish...a delightful treat for Jane Austen and historical fiction fans." -Readers' Favorite, 5-Stars

"If I could only have one book for the rest of my life, it would be this one. This is my first time reading anything by Mimi Matthews, but rest assured, I now need anything that this incredible author has ever written. The characters were outstanding, developed with complexity and a humanity all their own. The setting and scenery were described with such perfection that I was able to see the circumstances through the characters' eyes with ease. Both Helena and Justin are forever etched onto this reader's heart, and I greatly look forward to expanding my Mimi Matthews library." -Stacie, NetGalley

About the Author

Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady's Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Lost Letter) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews' website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 4

Wednesday, September 5
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Thursday, September 6

Friday, September 7

Saturday, September 8

Monday, September 10
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, September 11

Wednesday, September 12

Friday, September 14

Saturday, September 15

Sunday, September 16
Interview at T's Stuff

Monday, September 17
Character Interview at Love Books Group

Tuesday, September 18
Feature at A Holland Reads


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed copy of The Matrimonial Advertisement! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Matrimonial Advertisement

Friday, September 7, 2018

0 Review: Nevertheless, We Persisted

Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage
Foreward by Amy Klobuchar, 
Hardcover, 320 pages,  9781524771966
Published September 4th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers


A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, actress Alia Shawkat, actor Maulik Pancholy, poet Azure Antoinette, teen activist Gavin Grimm, and many, many more, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race, gender, or sexual identity--but persisted.

"Aren't you a terrorist?" "There are no roles for people who look like you." "That's a sin." "No girls allowed." They've heard it all. Actress Alia Shawkat reflects on all the parts she was told she was too "ethnic" to play. Former NFL player Wade Davis recalls his bullying of gay classmates in an attempt to hide his own sexuality. Teen Gavin Grimm shares the story that led to the infamous "bathroom bill," and how he's fighting it. Holocaust survivor Fanny Starr tells of her harrowing time in Auschwitz, where she watched her family disappear, one by one.

What made them rise up through the hate? What made them overcome the obstacles of their childhood to achieve extraordinary success? How did they break out of society's limited view of who they are and find their way to the beautiful and hard-won lives they live today? With a foreword by Minnesota senator and up-and-coming Democratic party leader Amy Klobuchar, these essays share deeply personal stories of resilience, faith, love, and, yes, persistence.

My Thoughts

Nevertheless, We Persisted is a collection of powerful essays about overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of your dreams. The essays are written by athletes, actors, activists, politicians, writers, teenagers, musicians, and more. Even though this book is geared toward young adults, people of all ages will be inspired by these essays.

From the foreword to the very last page, this book is full of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration.
In this world where we are defined by our limitations and our inability to break through stereotypes, it's a breath of fresh air to read something so motivating. Every single essay deals with a different obstacle that each author had to overcome: prejudice, handicaps, sexism, and so much more.

There are many quotes that I've written down to look at when I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, but my favorite is "May you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, the are the path."
Everybody struggles with something and the obstacles that we face not only challenge us, but make us stronger.

I wish there were more inspiring stories like this out there, especially for younger kids, to see that it can get better. They can achieve their goals through persistence, and that others have come before them, already paving the way. It's not easy, but so worth it.

*My thanks to Knopf for providing this review copy. This is no way influenced my opinions.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

0 Audiobook Review: The Widows of Malabar Hill

The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry #1)
by Sujata Massey, Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Kindle Edition, 401 pages. 
Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
Published January 9th 2018 by Soho Crime


1920s India: Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s first female lawyer, is investigating a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in full purdah when the case takes a turn toward the murderous. The author of the Agatha and Macavity Award-winning Rei Shimura novels brings us an atmospheric new historical mystery with a captivating heroine.
Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India’s first female attorney, The Widows of Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp and promising new sleuth.

Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes women’s legal rights especially important to her.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on? Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X—meaning she probably couldn’t even read the document. The Farid widows live in full purdah—in strict seclusion, never leaving the women’s quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate, and realizes her instincts were correct when tensions escalate to murder. Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are
in further danger.

My Thoughts

I love historical mysteries, and The Widows of Malabar Hill brought me to a location I haven't really been before. The story takes place in Bombay during the 1920s, with flashbacks in 1912. The main character is Perveen Mistry, Bombay's first female lawyer. Perveen has had to overcome many obstacles to even get her foot in the door, but when she has questions about the paperwork involving  the will of a client, she decides she must investigate further. 

The client, Omar Farid, was a very wealthy mill owner. He's left three widows behind and Perveen feels they may have been taken advantage of. "The Farid widows live in full purdah—in strict seclusion, never leaving the women’s quarters or speaking to any men." It's because of the purdah that makes it impossible for anyone other than Perveen to investigate. 

This book fascinated me for so many reasons. I enjoyed learning about the cultural aspects of The Widows of Malabar Hill, but was frustrated by the lack of women's rights, as was Perveen. The story was well-paced and well-written. It kept me guessing to the end. I love Perveen, who was inspired a bit by the first female lawyer in India. All the characters are interesting and complex. I can't think of one thing I didn't like about this book. I really hope that Sujata Massey writes another book starring Perveen and the Mistry family. 

I listened to this book on CD as well as read as an ebook. The story was narrated by Soneela Nankani, who did a fantastic job. Her voice transported me to the time and place of the story. She has numerous audiobook credits under her belt, including a few already in my tbr, which makes me all the more excited to get to them. The CD's, however, were a bit of a disappointment. About halfway through the book, there were a few parts that skipped repeatedly. I couldn't finish one particular disc and was glad I had the ebook, otherwise I might have missed something important to the story. I checked the discs to make sure there weren't any scratches and there wasn't. So I don't know why that happened. 

Whether you read The Widows of Malabar Hill or listen to it on audio, you're in for a treat. Sujata Massey has written a heroine that you'll fall in love with. 

*I received the audio CDs from the publisher for review purposes only. This in no way influenced my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I purchased the ebook.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

2 Feature and Giveaway: Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen

About the Author:

SARAH BIRD’s previous novel, Above the East China Sea, was long-listed for the Dublin International Literary Award. Sarah has been selected for the Meryl Streep Screenwriting Lab, the B&N Discover Great Writers program, NPR's Moth Radio series, the Texas Literary Hall of Fame, and New York Libraries Books to Remember list. She first heard Cathy Williams' story in the late seventies while researching African-American rodeos.

About the Book:

The compelling, hidden story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

“Here’s the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of queen and my mama never let me forget it.”

Though born into bondage on a “miserable tobacco farm” in Little Dixie, Missouri, Cathy Williams was never allowed to consider herself a slave. According to her mother, she was a captive, destined by her noble warrior blood to escape the enemy. Her means of deliverance is Union general Phillip Henry “Smash ‘em Up” Sheridan, the outcast of West Point who takes the rawboned, prideful young woman into service. At war’s end, having tasted freedom, Cathy refuses to return to servitude and makes the monumental decision to disguise herself as a man and join the Army’s legendary Buffalo Soldiers. 

Alone now in the ultimate man’s world, Cathy must fight not only for her survival and freedom, but she also vows to never give up on finding her mother, her little sister, and the love of the only man strong enough to win her heart. Inspired by the stunning, true story of Private Williams, this American heroine comes to vivid life in a sweeping and magnificent tale about one woman’s fight for freedom, respect and independence.     

Buy Links:


Thanks to St. Martin's Press, I have a hardcover copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. This giveaway is open internationally as well as in the US. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please read our giveaway rules before entering.

Monday, September 3, 2018

0 Check out Phoenix Unbound and Enter for a chance to win your own romantic fantasy starter kit!

Ace Trade Paperback | September 25, 2018

A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different. 

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. Unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will abandon everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.

Grace Draven is a Louisiana native living in Texas with her husband, kids and a big, doofus dog. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and a USA Today Bestselling author. Find out more about Grace Draven online at gracedraven.com.

As this is the first book in Grace Draven’s Fallen Empire series, Penguin Random House is celebrating with a giveaway that also features other first-in-series romantic fantasy books (including books by Nalini Singh, Chloe Neill, Ilona Andrews, Anne Bishop, and Patricia Briggs).  They will be running this giveaway September 3 — September 19. Click on this link to enter the giveaway

Monday, August 27, 2018


The Wedding from Hell
Part 3: Exclusive Excerpt of Consumed
by J. R. Ward
Available: August 28, 2018
Gallery Books | E-book Original
ISBN: 9781982105389 | Free

The Wedding from Hell, Part 3: Exclusive Excerpt of Consumed is the final part of J.R. Ward’s The Wedding From Hell ebook serialization. Don’t miss this exclusive teaser to her upcoming standalone romantic suspense, CONSUMED (available in October 2, 2018). See why “Consumed takes it to a whole new level” (Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author).


About the Book:

From the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.           

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed... 

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.     

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse blaze changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again—until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the commonwealth, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

About the Author:
J.R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

Video from J.R. Ward:


Harbor Street and Eighteenth Avenue
Old Downtown, New Brunswick, Massachusetts

Box alarm. One-niner-four-seven. Two engines and a ladder from the 499, responding.
Or, put another way, Anne Ashburn’s Friday night date had showed up on time and was taking her to a show. Granted, “on time” was the precise moment she had sat down for a meal at the stationhouse with her crew, and the “show” was a warehouse fire they were going to have to chorus-line for. But if you judged the health of a relationship on its constancy and whether it brought purpose and meaning to your life?
Then this firefighting gig was the best damn partner a woman could ask for.
As Engine Co. 17 turned the corner onto Harbor with siren and lights going, Anne glanced around the shallow seating area of the apparatus. There were four jump seats behind the cab, two forward- facing, two rear-, the pairs separated by an aisle of gear. Emilio “Amy” Chavez and Patrick “Duff” Duffy were on one side. She and Daniel “Dannyboy” Maguire were on the other. Up in front, Deshaun “Doc” Lewis, the engineer, was behind the wheel, and Captain Christopher “Chip” Baker, the incident commander, was shotgun.
Her nickname was “Sister.” Which was what happened when you were the sibling of the great Fire Chief Thomas Ashburn Jr., and the daughter of the revered—falsely as it turned out— Thomas Ashburn, Sr.
Not everybody called her that, though.
                She focused on Danny. He was staring out the open window, the cold November wind blowing his black hair back, his exhausted blue eyes focused on nothing. In their bulky turnouts, their knees brushed every time the engine bumped over sewer access panels, potholes, manholes, intersections.
                Okay, okay, she wanted to say to fate. I know he’s there. You don’t have to keep reminding me.
                The hardheaded bastard was a lot of things, most of which carried terms you couldn’t use around your grandmother, but he knew she hated the “Sister” thing, so to him, she was Ashburn.
                He’d also called her Anne—once. Late at night about three weeks ago.
                Yes, they had been naked at the time. Oh, God . . . had they finally done that?
                “I’m gonna beat you at pong,” he said without looking at her. “Soon as we get back.”
                “No chance.” She hated that he knew she’d been staring at him. “All talk, Dannyboy.”
                “Fine.” He turned to face her. “I’ll let you win, how about that?”
                His smile was slow, knowing, evil. And her temper answered the phone on the first ring.
                “The hell you will.” Anne leaned forward. “I won’t play with you if you cheat.”
“Even if it benefits you?”
“That’s not winning.”
“Huh. Well, you’ll have to explain to me the ins and outs of it when we’re back at the house. While I’m beating you.”
Anne shook her head and glared out the open window.
The first tap on her leg she ascribed to a bump in the road.
The second, third, and fourth were obviously—
She looked back at Danny. “Stop it.”
“Are you twelve?” As he started to smile, she knew exactly where his mind had gone. “Not inches. Age.”
“I’m pretty sure I peak more like at sixteen.” He lowered his voice. “What do you think?”
Between the sirens and the open windows, no one else could hear them—and Danny never pulled the double entendre if there was a risk of that. But yes, Anne now knew intimately all of his heavily muscled and tattooed anatomy. Granted, it had been only that once.
Then again, unforgettable only had to happen one time.
“I think you’re out of your mind,” she muttered.
And then they were at the scene. The old 1900s-era warehouse was a shell of its former useful self, sixty-five thousand square feet of broken glass panes, rotting beams, and blown-off roof panels. The outer walls were brick, but based on the age, the floors and any room dividers inside were going to be wood. The blaze was in the northeast corner on the second floor, billowing smoke wafting up into the forty-degree night air before being carried away by a southerly wind.
                As Anne’s boots hit the ground, she pulled the top half of her turnouts closed. Her ponytail was up high on the back of her head, and she stripped out the band, reorganized the shoulder length, and cranked things tight at her nape. The brown was still streaked with blond from the summer, but she needed to get it trimmed—so all that lightness was on the chopping block.
                Of course, if she were a woman “who took care of herself,” she’d get it highlighted through the winter months. Or so her mother liked to tell her. But who the hell had time for that?
                “Sister, you sweep the place with Amy for addicts,” Captain Baker commanded. “Stay away from that corner. Danny and Duff, run those lines!”
                As Captain Baker continued to bark orders out, she turned away. She had her assignment. Until she completed it, or there was an insurmountable obstacle or change of order, she was required to execute that directive and no other.
                “Be safe in there, Ashburn.”
                The words were soft and low, meant for her ears alone. And as she glanced over her shoulder, Danny’s Irish eyes were not smiling.
                A ripple of premonition made her rub the back of her neck. “Yeah, you, too, Maguire.”
                “Piece’a cake. We’ll be back at pong before ten.” They walked away from each other at the same time, Danny going around to the stacks of hoses in the back, her linking up with Chavez…

Saturday, August 25, 2018

0 Review: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding
(Her Royal Spyness #12)
by Rhys Bowen 
304 pages | Published August 7th 2018 by Berkley


In this delightful new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service, Georgie is plotting a trip down the aisle but finds herself embroiled in a murder that hits a little too close to home...

Georgie is finally able to plan for her wedding in the summer. It is going to be a summer of weddings: her mother is marrying Max, her German beau; Georgie's grandfather is marrying his next door neighbor, Mrs. Huggins; and Darcy's father is getting up the courage to ask the princess to marry him. Georgie is staying at the princess's London house when she receives a letter from one of her mother's former husbands, Sir Hubert Anstruther. Georgie is now his sole heir, and he's offering her the use of his lovely country house. He suggests she move in right away to keep an eye on the place because all might not be well since his butler died.

Georgie talks this through with her husband-to-be, Darcy, who is off to Europe again, this time to Berlin. They decide that she will take Sir Hubert up on his offer. However, when Georgie arrives, it becomes clear that she is definitely not wanted in the house. Strange things are happening, including a lively ghost and a less than friendly reception from the new butler. When a body shows up, Georgie realizes that Sir Hubert's invitation may not have been entirely altruistic and begins to wonder if she'll even make it to her wedding day.

My Thoughts

Georgie is getting married!!! Or is she? The book that I've been waiting for has finally arrived, every other book in the series leading up to Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding. So the time has come when Georgie and Darcy will tie the knot. But her royal spyness will not get there without a few bumps in the road.

Darcy and Georgie's prayers get answered when Sir Hubert Anstruther offers to let them live at his house in the country. Darcy has to leave unexpectedly (again), so Georgie goes to the house to get everything ready before their nuptials take place. However, Georgie soon realizes that there is something strange happening--from a household staff that doesn't really know what to do, to a mysterious figure that may or may not be ghost. Once again, Georgie is thrust in the middle of a mystery that puts her life in danger. 

It's hard enough planning a wedding, but I can't imagine doing so while the groom is away, having multiple family problems, not to mention throwing a dead body in the mix of things. I won't give too much of the plot away, but I will tell you this book was everything I wanted it to be. Even after all these years, Bowman continues to lure me in with her well-written characters, plot, and humor, which is ever present in Her Royal Spyness series. I was so delighted to be back in the fold of these delightful characters. I find myself wishing people still used phrases like, "Oh, golly!" 

I hope Rhys Bowman continues to write more books in this series for many years to come. I absolutely recommend this book to mystery lovers. It's so charming. Don't worry if you're new to the series. You can jump in anywhere. Though, you'll want to read them all. In fact, clear your calendar. It's time to binge!

*I received this book for review via NetGalley. While I am grateful for the opportunity to read and review this book, it in no way influenced my opinion. 


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