Tuesday, September 30, 2014

0 Audio Book Review: The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

  • Written by: Bernie SuKate Rorick
  • Narrated by: Ashley Clements
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins 
  • ISBN13: 9781442375055
  • Release Date:06-24-14
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Genre: Contemporary 
  • Source: Publisher





  • Goodreads Summary:
  • There is a great deal that goes into making a video blog. Lizzie Bennet should know, having become a YouTube sensation over the course of her year-long video diary project. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries may have started as her grad student thesis, but it grew into so much more, as the videos came to inform and reflect her life and that of her sisters, beautiful Jane and reckless Lydia. When rich, handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck-up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets and for Lizzie's viewers. People watched, debated, tweeted, tumblred, and suddenly Lizzie who always considered herself a fairly normal young woman was a public figure. But not everything happened on-screen. Luckily for us, Lizzie kept a secret diary. 

My Thoughts:
About two years ago, I fell in love with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on youtube. It's a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I was addicted from the first episode. If you haven't seen them, then you really need to. Also I would recommend watching them all before you read this book or watch them along with reading the book. 




The audio book is narrated by Ashley Clements who plays Lizzie Bennet. I must say she did a fantastic job. And more importantly, her impressions of the other characters in this web series was pretty good, too. Listening to this book was great. I loved the series and I love this book.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is what happened when the camera wasn't rolling. And there is quite a bit. You'll get all the juicy details. And there are quite a few! This is something I'd recommend to anyone, even if they're not Austen fans, because it's awesomely entertaining,  


My Rating:


Monday, September 29, 2014

0 Giving Briseis Her Voice by Judith Starkson

Giving Briseis Her Voice

Hand of Fire: A Novel of Briseis and the Trojan War by Judith Starkston

The Trojan War threatens Troy’s allies and the Greek supply raids spread. A young healing priestess, designated as future queen, must defend her city against both divine anger and invading Greeks. She finds strength in visions of a handsome warrior god. Will that be enough when the half-immortal Achilles attacks? Hand of Fire, a tale of resilience and hope, blends history and legend in the untold story of Achilles’s famous captive, Briseis.

That’s a quick introduction to my novel, Hand of Fire. But how did I ever think of writing about this semi-mythological woman, Briseis, whom we know about only from a few lines in the Iliad, an epic poem composed by Homer more than 3,000 years ago?

It may sound strange but I started Hand of Fire to answer a question, and in the process I found such an engaging young woman that I had to give her the voice Homer denied her—to let Briseis tell her story.

For years I’d taught the Iliad, Homer’s poem of the Trojan War, and kept wondering with my students how Briseis could possibly have loved Achilles—which is what Homer shows us. The half-immortal Greek had killed her husband and brothers, destroyed her city and turned her from princess to slave—hardly a heartwarming courtship. She is central to the plot of the Iliad and yet she gets only a handful of lines. In those few words, the one clear notion expressed is her sorrow at being parted from Achilles.

I should say I always liked Achilles, the existential hero who calls the whole war into question—which shows he’s no brainwasher—so the answer wasn’t some ancient version of Stockholm Syndrome. I wrote Hand of Fire to solve this psychological puzzle.

I also had to find a vivid, historical source to fill in the many gaps in Briseis’s life story. Homer’s fragmentary bits weren’t enough. He tells us simply that she was a princess of Lyrnessos, a city allied to Troy, and Achilles destroyed that life. Who was she before Achilles came crashing in? What kind of woman can stand up to this semi-divine, but immensely conflicted man and hold onto her own sense of self, as she must have, to form a genuine bond with him?

Fortunately modern archaeology in the area where ancient Troy was located, that is modern Turkey, and the excavation and translation of extensive libraries of clay tablets have provided a richly detailed portrait of life in this exotic time and place. I mined this treasure trove and created a heroine who is both very much of her era, but who also represents the hope-inspiring resilience of women through the ages. Briseis faces the personal violence against her and her family that is the fate of women in war, but she finds strength to guide herself and others back to an affirmation of life. 



Blurb: The Trojan War threatens Troy’s allies and the Greek supply raids spread. A young healing priestess, designated as future queen, must defend her city against both divine anger and invading Greeks. She finds strength in visions of a handsome warrior god. Will that be enough when the half-immortal Achilles attacks? Hand of Fire, a tale of resilience and hope, blends history and legend in the untold story of Achilles’s famous captive, Briseis.







About the author: Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Ms. Starkston is a classicist (B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A. Cornell University) who taught high school English, Latin and humanities. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Arizona with their golden retriever Socrates. Hand of Fire is her debut novel.

Find an excerpt, Q&A, book reviews, ancient recipes, historical background as well as on-going information about the historical fiction community on Starkston’s website www.JudithStarkston.com
Follow Judith Starkston on FB and Twitter   

Buy Links:


Nook 


Itunes  

Link to the tour schedule: Hand of Fire Fireship Press Virtual Tour

Advance Praise:

But what is the difference between a good historical novel and a brilliant one?
I suggest you read Judith Starkston’s Hand of Fire and you’ll discover the answer." Helen Hollick, 
Historical Novels Review Editor and author of Forever Queen

"In Hand of Fire, Starkston's careful research brings ancient Greece and Troy to life with passion and grace. This haunting and insightful novel makes you ache for a mortal woman, Briseis, in love with a half-god, Achilles, as she fights to make her own destiny in a world of capricious gods and warriors. I devoured this page-turning escape from the modern world!" -- Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

“In her portrayal of Briseis, Judith Starkston has cast a bright light on one of the Iliad's most intriguing sub-plots. With her fast-paced story, three-dimensional characters, and fascinating cultural details, Starkston has given historical fiction fans a tale to remember.” –Priscilla Royal, author of Covenant with Hell


Judith Starkston
Author of Hand of Fire (Fireship Press, Sept 2014)
“Suspenseful, tragic, surprising and sexy” –Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown 
Follow on FB and Twitter

Friday, September 26, 2014

0 Review and Giveaway: Inglorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll

02_Inglorious Royal Marriages

Publication Date: September 2, 2014
NAL Trade
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 400p
Genre: History/Non-Fiction/Royalty



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Why does it seem that the marriages of so many monarchs are often made in hell? And yet we can’t stop reading about them! To satisfy your schadenfreude, INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES offers a panoply of the most spectacular mismatches in five hundred years of royal history….some of which are mentioned below.

When her monkish husband, England’s Lancastrian Henry VI, became completely catatonic, the unpopular French-born Margaret of Anjou led his army against the troops of their enemy, the Duke of York.

Margaret Tudor, her niece Mary I, and Catherine of Braganza were desperately in love with chronically unfaithful husbands—but at least they weren’t murdered by them, as were two of the Medici princesses.

King Charles II’s beautiful, high-spirited sister “Minette” wed Louis XIV’s younger brother, who wore more makeup and perfume than she did.

Compelled by her mother to wed her boring, jug-eared cousin Ferdinand, Marie of Roumania—a granddaughter of Queen Victoria—emerged as a heroine of World War I by using her prodigious personal charm to regain massive amounts of land during the peace talks at Versailles. Marie’s younger sister Victoria Melita wed two of her first-cousins: both marriages ultimately scandalized the courts of Europe.

Brimming with outrageous real-life stories of royal marriages gone wrong, this is an entertaining, unforgettable book of dubious matches doomed from the start.


My Thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of history. Mostly because some things are so bizarre that you think this cannot have actually happened. But it did! History can be more entertaining than fiction at times. That's the reason why I was interested in reading this book: Inglorious Royal Marriages: A Demi-Millennium of Unholy Mismatrimony by Leslie Carroll.

Leslie does a great job of covering some of history's matrimonial failures. The only time it would be great to be a princess is in a Disney movie, otherwise you were just a pawn in a political chess match. 


"It mattered little to royal parents whether their children and their prospective spouses possessed common interests, which is one reason so many of these marriages were doomed to failure and nearly perpetual unhappiness" 

I really like Carroll's style of writing. You can tell she really knows her subject and has done quite a bit of research. She doesn't bog you down with every little detail, but furnishes you with enough information so that you can get the whole picture. I enjoyed this book from cover to cover, so much so that I bought another of her books. 

My Rating:


Giveaway:

I have one paperback copy to giveaway, open to US residents only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. 



Praise for Leslie Carroll’s Royal Books



“An irresistible combination of People magazine and the History Channel.”—Chicago Tribune (5 Stars)

“Thoroughly enjoyable.”—Booklist

“For those who tackled Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, and can’t get enough of the scandal surrounding Henry VIII’s wives, [Notorious Royal Marriages is] the perfect companion book.”—NewYorker.com




Buy the Book



















03_Leslie CarrollAbout the Author


Leslie Carroll is the author of several works of historical nonfiction, women’s fiction, and, under the pen names Juliet Grey and Amanda Elyot, is a multipublished author of historical fiction. Her nonfiction titles include Royal Romances, Royal Pains, Royal Affairs, and Notorious Royal Marriages. She is also a classically trained professional actress with numerous portrayals of virgins, vixens, and villainesses to her credit, and is an award-winning audio book narrator.

A frequent commentator on royal romances and relationships, Leslie has been interviewed by numerous publications, including MSNBC.com, USA Today, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and NPR, and she was a featured royalty historian on CBS nightly news in London during the royal wedding coverage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. She also appears as an expert on the love lives of Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and Napoleon on the television series “The Secret Life of [fill in the name of famous figure]” for Canada’s History Channel. Leslie and her husband, Scott, divide their time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

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




Inglorious Royal Marriages Blog Tour Schedule



Monday, September 1

Review at Flashlight Commentary



Tuesday, September 2

Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Interview at Scandalous Women



Wednesday, September 3

Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry



Thursday, September 4

Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past



Friday, September 5

Review at So Many Books, So Little Time



Monday, September 8

Review & Giveaway at Bibliophilia, Please



Tuesday, September 9

Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Spotlight at Princess of Eboli



Wednesday, September 10

Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book



Thursday, September 11

Review at The Lit Bitch

Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection



Monday, September 15

Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books



Tuesday, September 16

Spotlight & Giveaway at Reading Lark



Wednesday, September 17

Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair



Saturday, September 20

Review at WTF Are You Reading?



Tuesday, September 23

Review & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court



Wednesday, September 24

Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Review & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read



Thursday, September 25

Review at Bookish

Review at Historical Fiction Obsession



Friday, September 26

Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR

Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict



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Thursday, September 25, 2014

0 Read Pink In October!


Read Pink® in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Support the Next Chapter in Innovative Research

Penguin Random House Marks Five-Year Partnership Milestone and $125,000
in Donations to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

What’s black and white and pink all over?  The initiative by Penguin Random House called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!

Today the scientific community has left behind the “one-size-fits-all” breast cancer treatment to emerge with targeted, more effective therapies. As a result, after remaining stagnant for more than 50 years, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 30 percent. The Read Pink® initiative by Penguin Random House is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter in the fight against breast cancer, supporting the bold research of The Breast Cancer Foundation® (BCRF), while leveraging its passionate readers to help increase awareness and education about the disease. This literary embrace of a life-saving cause has resulted in nearly 1.5 million best-selling novels shipped with Read Pink seals and information about BCRF across all five years of the promotion.

Penguin Random House is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Random House contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Random House’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…

Beatriz Williams (2014 Read Pink® Spokesperson), A Hundred Summers


“Every life lost to breast cancer leaves behind a hole that can never be filled again: a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother. I’m so grateful for organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease, and honored to support breast cancer awareness, detection, and research through Penguin’s READ PINK program in 2014. With your help, we can move closer to the day when breast cancer leaves behind only survivors.”

Karen White, The Time Between


“Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing due to earlier detection and improved treatment because of the efforts of organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Books have always been an important part of my life, and I am honored that my book will be part of Penguin’s Read Pink program that supports breast cancer awareness and research through reading. It is my greatest hope that through efforts like this we might find a cure within my lifetime.”

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness


“To all the moms and daughters, wives and sisters, lovers and friends, Read Pink is here for you and yours. Help support breast cancer awareness and the strong, brave women who fight or will fight this disease and Read Pink in October.”

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing


“I am so delighted to be included in the Read Pink campaign again this year with Perfect Timing being featured, along with so many other great books, to raise funds for breast cancer research. I can remember when a diagnosis of breast cancer was often equivalent to a death sentence. Nowadays, the survival rates have increased greatly, and I personally know women who have prevailed over this terrible disease. Sadly, I’ve also known a few women who lost the battle. So I call upon all of you to join ranks with me and countless other women in a war to defeat breast cancer. ‘Read Pink! Buy books bearing the Read Pink logo as gifts for the women you love.’ By standing together as sisters, we have it within our power to make a huge difference!”

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes


“This is the time of year when we celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against breast cancer and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. No, we aren't there yet. There's a long way to go. The greatest weapon we have to fight this disease is research and research costs money. That is why this breast cancer awareness campaign is so important and why I am proud to participate.”

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand


“I’m so thrilled to be part of the Read Pink effort to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. I hear frequently from romance readers who tell me my books and those of other romance authors have helped them get through breast cancer treatment. I want to hear from fewer of them in the future. I want to hear they took our books on fabulous vacations rather than treatments. Please Read Pink in October to support all the courageous women fighting this disease and to fund critical research. Thank you for Reading Pink!”


Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:
Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover
Karen White, The Time Between
Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers
Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero
Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman
Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes


Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October.  Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!

For more information about the Read Pink initiative and to view a complete list of the participating retail outlets, please visit penguin.com/readpink.

Read Pink® Blog Tour Schedule
Please support the blogs taking part in this special, Read Pink® Spotlight Tour!

October 1 – Exclusive guest post with spokesperson Beatriz Williams on LizandLisa.com
***
September 22                                   Cheryl's Book Nook; The Readers Den; Gone with the Words;
                                                                Pretty Sassy Cool
September 23                                   Reading Reality; You Gotta Read; Adria's Romance Reviews
September 24                                   Kimberly Faye Reads; Nicely Phrased; I Smell Sheep
September 25                                   Romance Junkies; To Read or Not To Read;
September 26                                   Cindy's Love of Books; Chick Lit Plus; The Book Reading Gals
*
September 29                                   LitChat; Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf; Chris Book Blog Emporium
September 30                                   Reality Bites! Let's Get Lost!; Grave Tells; Britt's Book and Life Blog;
                                                                Sincerely Stacie
October 1                                            Cocktails and Books; The Reading Nook Reviews; 2Bookaholics;
                                                                Wit & Sin; Raw Books
October 2                                            SOS Aloha; Bookish Things & More; Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads
October 3                                            Dew on the Kudzu; Peace Love Books;
*
October 6                                            My Book Addiction and More; Book-alicious Mama;
October 7                                            A Dream Within A Dream; Thoughts in Progress; Mundie Moms
October 8                                            Flirty and Dirty Book Blog; Readers Live A Thousand Lives;
                                                                That's What I'm Talking About
October 9                                            Book Lovin' Mamas; Lori's Reading Corner; The Book Reading Gals
October 10                                          Supernatural Snark; Once Upon a Twilight;
*
October 13                                          Fallen Angel Reviews; Parajunkee's View; As I Turn the Pages
October 14                                          Reading in Black & White; Keepin It Real Book Blog
October 15                                          ABCD Diaries; Fictional Candy; Paranormal Book Club
October 16                                          Sexy Bibliophiles; Book Sniffers Anonymous;
October 17                                          Wicked Lil Pixie; The Book Swarm; Addicted 2 Novels;
                                                                Stephanie’s Book Reports
*
October 20                                          News & Sentinel, “Book Nook”; The Reading Café
October 21                                          The Book Bellas; The Book Cellar
October 22                                          The Novel Life; My Book Muse;
October 23                                          Rock Stars of Romance; Silver's Reviews; Journey of a Bookseller
October 24                                          Sunshine & Mountains
*
October 27                                          Bewitched Bookworms; Ramblings From This Chick
October 28                                          Reading in Pajamas; Turn the Page
October 29                                          Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks; Stuck In YA Books;
October 30                                          Fang-tastic Books; No BS Book Reviews; Marie’s Cozy Corner
October 31                                          In Shadows; Love Romances & More

                                                                         
 

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