Friday, February 27, 2015

0 Check out the cover for Tessa Bailey's new novel!



From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey, comes the next fun and sexy novel in her Broke and Beautiful trilogy!



“How did this tweed-wearing English professor turn out to be my dirtiest hero ever? Cause he really is.”--Tessa Bailey

When Honey Perribow traded in her cowboy boots for stilettos and left her small Kentucky town to attend Columbia University, she never expected to find a dirt-cheap apartment or two new best friends. No stranger to hard work, Honey’s sole focus is a medical degree...until she sees newly-minted Professor, Ben Dawson, and her concentration is hijacked. Honey is fascinated by her gorgeous, young English professor and vows to find a crack his tweed-wearing, glasses-clad exterior.

While at an off campus party, an accident lands Ben in a dark, locked closet with a sexy-sounding southern belle...and their chemistry is explosive. But when he discovers that the girl in his arms is the same beautiful student he can’t stop thinking about, he is stunned. Student-teacher relationships are strictly forbidden…yet no matter how hard he tries, Ben can’t stay away from Honey.

And when his attempts to fight their attraction nearly ruin the best thing that ever happened to him, Ben will do anything to prove how much he needs her.



About Tessa Bailey

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.











Thursday, February 26, 2015

0 Feature: The Vagabond Vicar by Charlotte Brentwood


THE VAGABOND VICAR
By Charlotte Brentwood

Blurb

William Brook is an idealistic young cleric, desperate to escape dreary England for a mission adventure in exotic lands. It's his worst nightmare come true when he is posted to a parish in a small backwater village, populated with small-minded people and husband-hunting mamas. He’s determined not to form any ties and to escape the country as an independent single man.

A free spirit, Cecilia Grant is perfectly content to remain in her family home in Amberley village - when she's not wandering the countryside at all hours painting. Marriage options are few, but that won't stop her mother from engineering a match with one of the ruling family's sons. Cecilia attempts to win the man, but what is it about the new vicar and his brooding ways that is so appealing? Could he be the only one who has ever really understood her, and can she discover what he is running away from?

As William struggles not to fall in love with the lady's intoxicating beauty and mysterious eccentricity, he finds himself drawn into the lives of the villagers, despite their best efforts to alienate the newcomer. When he makes it clear he's not sticking around, Cecilia strives to restrain her blossoming feelings for him. Just when it seems love may triumph, dark secrets are revealed in Amberley and a scandal from William’s past may see the end of not only his career, but his chance at finding an everlasting love.

Author Bio

Charlotte developed serious crushes on a series of men from age fifteen: Darcy, Knightley, Wentworth and Brandon. A bookworm and scribbler for as long as she can remember, Charlotte always dreamed of sharing her stories with the world. The Vagabond Vicar is her debut novel.

She lives in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. When she's not toiling at her day job, writing or procrastinating on the Internet, Charlotte can be found snuggling with her cat Sophie, warbling at the piano, sipping a hot chocolate or enjoying the great outdoors.

Links






Book link on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OIJNP8S
(note it is also available on Nook, Kobo and other retailers – see my website for all links)



Excerpt 1


This excerpt takes place at a ball given by the local landowners, the Barringtons.


Once his dance with Miss Anne was over, he deposited her with her family and made a hasty retreat to the table of refreshments. His respite was however short-lived, as Mrs Lindsay approached with a visiting female cousin. There was an unmistakable eagerness in her eyes, and William began to panic, unsure he could maintain his composure through two more dances. This was why he’d avoided society in London.

With the Lindsay women only a few feet away, William swiftly turned back to the table, only to come face to face with Miss Grant. He breathed a sigh of relief. Surely she was the lesser of two evils. “Miss Grant, would you do me the honour?” he asked quickly, extending his hand.

Cecilia hesitated, but then her face relaxed into a smile. “I would be delighted, Mr Brook.”

William felt a ridiculous surge of pleasure when she placed her hand in his, and he tried to keep a straight face despite his satisfaction at having kept the more obvious ladies at bay. She curtsied elegantly, and he caught himself admiring her slim form as they began to move through the figures. The dearth of civilised company must be playing tricks on his mind. At least Miss Grant didn’t attempt to engage him in puerile conversation such as he’d had to endure thus far. He cringed a little when, as their second dance began, she took a breath to speak, but the topic she raised hit straight to his core.

“I collect you are missing London, Mr Brook?”

He lost his composure for a moment, but regained it in time to keep up with the dance. This was not the undemanding conversation starter he might have expected. He met her eyes and saw only concern, rather than coquetry. “Yes Miss Grant, I’m afraid I am,” he confessed. “What betrayed me?”

“Nothing, really. It only seems as though you are still adjusting to small village life.”

She was right, of course, but he did not want to admit that she’d been perceptive, or to the fact that he would struggle to adapt to their simple society. When she was within earshot again he said, “I do hope I am not putting too much of a damper on proceedings.”

She laughed, another surprise. “I would say to the contrary, Mr Brook, you seem to have inspired general appreciation and high spirits.”

Could she be alluding to the range of females targeting his attention? Was she bold enough to address such a topic? A glance at her twinkling eyes told him she was. He couldn’t help but feel lighter inside, and grinned at her.

When they were next in the range of conversation, she asked, “What do you miss most about London?”

He felt a pang. “Where do I start?” A tumble of images streamed through his mind... people, places, experiences. The hope for the future that he seemed to have left behind. After several moments he remembered his company, and looked back into her curious eyes. “The variety of society must be keenly felt,” he began, hoping not to offend her. “Apart from my general acquaintance, the members of the congregation, and other clergy, I had a particular friend whom I am missing dreadfully. Thomas.”

She nodded. “Perhaps Thomas could come and visit.”

He shook his head sadly. “I am afraid not. He is on a ship this moment, bound for India.”

Her eyes clouded. “Oh. Is that a dangerous journey?”

He gave a little shrug. “No more than most. The destination must make it worthwhile.” The dance ended, and after thanking each other they continued to talk off to the side. “Thomas will be ministering to peoples who have not yet heard God’s word,” William told Cecilia, unable to hide the earnestness in his features. “He will be building churches and schools, and feeding the desperately hungry.”

She nodded, warmth and understanding in her eyes. “One could be forgiven for thinking you would rather be in his place.”

His eyes flashed to her serene countenance. How was it possible that this girl, who he'd practically written off as an eccentric oddity, had pinpointed his deepest issues within a few minutes of conversation? “You are very perceptive, Miss Grant,” he said. “But I would not rather be in his place – I yearn to be beside him through the journey. We were a good team.”

She nodded. “And Amberley is somewhat removed from the life of a missionary.”

He looked away for a moment. “Yes.”

Supper was announced, and William offered his arm to take Cecilia through to the dining hall. As they approached the long tables, William spotted Mrs Grant. She had saved a seat next to her, with Mr Barrington on the other side.

Cecilia paused as she also noticed the arrangement. “Look, there are two seats available over there,” she said, pointing to a far table. “That is, if you can withstand my company.”

William laughed and started in that direction, noticing Mrs Grant gesturing wildly towards them out of the corner of his eye. “It would be my pleasure.”

Once they were seated and had filled their plates with salmon, vegetables and biscuits, Cecilia returned to their former topic. “I have been to London twice,” she told him. “Once when I was a girl, and again last year for my debutante season.”

He chewed and swallowed a mouthful. “I see. And how did you like it?”

She hesitated. “I did enjoy London itself, once I became used to the noise and bustle, but trying to hook a husband was a perplexing activity.”

William smiled. She certainly did not shy away from the heart of matters. How refreshing. He wasn’t sure if he should prompt her to go on. This was precisely the sort of conversation Dean Roberts would have preferred an unmarried vicar to steer well clear of. “Oh yes?” he said.

“I am a hopeless flirt,” she said with a self-effacing smile. “That is – I am hopeless at it. I always just say what I think, or if I am nervous I don’t say much at all. My mother despairs that I have not taken to the female arts.”

William smiled again. “Does she now?”

“Indeed. She is determined to have me married well, but I fear I am not ladylike enough to impress the right gentlemen.”

William was thinking she was the closest he’d come to a lady in the whole time since he’d been in Amberley. Even the Barrington girls, though they had assumed airs and elegant postures, did not have the natural grace of this creature. “Miss Grant,” he said, “I am a gentleman, and yet you do not seem nervous.”


“Oh, but you are a vicar!” she exclaimed. “You are not an ordinary gentleman.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

1 Interview: Laura Chapman

1. Tell me about your novel The Marrying Type.
Elliot Lynch, the heroine of The Marrying Type, is a second-generation wedding planner living and working Charleston, South Carolina. When she learns her family’s business is broke, she agrees to be featured on a reality TV show about wedding planners to balance their finances. With a camera crew in tow, she ends up having to work closely with her ex--the one who got away--and rediscovering some of the feelings she’s kept hidden for so many years. While saving her business and her heart, Elliot also deals with a competing wedding planner, an over-the-top bridesmaid who makes multiple weddings a challenge, and lingering issues with her family and business. I was inspired to write this story after reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion and watching hours and hours of wedding shows on TV.

2. Would you ever appear on a reality t.v. show? If so, which one?
I’ve toyed with the idea of appearing on a show like The Bachelor (I’ve always figured a bachelorette who writes love stories, but still hasn’t found the man of her dreams would be a great angle) or The Amazing Race (because I’m competitive and love to see the world). I also pretend I’m on American Idol every time I’m in the car listening to music. But the reality TV show I’d most want to appear on would probably be Income Property or Property Brothers on HGTV. I have a pretty big crush on Scott McGillivray and Jonathan and Drew Scott. Not only would I get to meet them, but they could help me buy and fix up a house, which is something I’d like to do in the next couple of years.

3. Elliot has to work with her ex. What is your worst work experience?
I’ve been lucky in my professional careers not to have anything too horrible happen. I had to work with two exes back in high school, and unlike Elliot, I lacked the maturity to handle both situations. There was a lot of angry words, glares, and all-around not-so-good times. Even though it’s been more than a decade, I still look back on how little grace I had dealing with my exes at work, and I cringe. I also once told a source I was interviewing that I wanted to catch crabs, because like a true Nebraska city girl, I didn’t realize the correct term was crabbing. That’s another pretty embarrassing moment, but I was able to use it for inspiration in my first novel.

4. You have two cats--Jane and Bingley. (I love those names!)  Why not Darcy and Elizabeth?
When my sister and I were in the market to adopt a couple of kittens (we wanted two, because we worried one might get lonely) we actually were searching for a Darcy and Lizzy. We knew a Mr. Darcy would require a certain look, like a black cat with tuxedo markings. The first pair of kittens we met were gray, tortoise-shell brothers, and we contemplated a Darcy and Bingley combination. Then, we went to The Cat House (a wonderful, no-kill shelter here in Lincoln, Nebraska, that does so much good in our community) where we were introduced to a litter of kittens. The alpha male was an orange tabby, and the runt was a beautiful long-haired Persian. We instantly fell in love with both of them, but Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth didn’t seem to fit. We named them Jane and Bingley, because she was by far the prettiest kitten we’d ever seen, and he was the most agreeable and charming. Eight years later, they still live up to their names.

5. Name some qualities you look for in your ideal man (or woman).
I’m still in the market to find the future Mr. Laura Chapman, and while I’m not entirely sure what my idea of perfection would be, mostly I want someone who is honest, loyal, and who has a sense of humor. I also love to travel, so a sense of adventure (rooted in being semi-organized but open to new experiences) would be great. Given my work and writing schedule, I’d also like him to be fairly independent and supportive. I’ve always thought a person’s match should be his or her biggest fan, and that’s what I’d really like to find. If I can be really particular, it’d be nice if he looked like Prince Eric, cheers for the Green Bay Packers, and loves cats and dogs.


About the Book
Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).
With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.
Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

Book Links




About the Author
Laura Chapman is the author of The Marrying TypeHard Hats and Doormats and the Autumn and Tuck series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

0 Audio Book: Classic Love Poems

For anyone who's in love - or hopes to be - what greater celebration could there be than to hear the world's greatest love poetry read lovingly by Richard Armitage? With 15 poems by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more, Classic Love Poems is a listening treat for Valentine's Day - or any day.

Included in this collection are:
• "How do I love thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
• "Sonnet 116" by William Shakespeare
• "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe
• "To Be One with Each Other" by George Eliot
• "Maud" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
• "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell
• "Bright Star" by John Keats
• "Love's Philosophy" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
• 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
• "Meeting at Night" by Robert Browning
• "The Dream" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
• "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe
• "I carry your heart" by e. e. cummings
• "She Walks in Beauty" by Lord Byron
• "Give All to Love" by Ralph Waldo Emerson



Classic Love Poems is a free download from Audible right now. All the poems listed above are read by Richard Armitage. And they couldn't have gotten anyone better to do it. Mr. Armitage has an amazing voice. It's perfect for audio books. Not to mention he's reading some pretty romantic poetry. Very swoon worthy! So whether your into poetry, or Richard Armitage, or both, this is a great audio book to add to your collection. 

*I'm not sure if you have to be a member of audible to get the free book. If you're not a member, you can sign up for a free trial. Classic Love Poems is FREE until 3/9/15.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

0 Aoleon The Martian Girl - The Luminess of Mars

Title: Aoleon The Martian Girl - The Luminess of Mars
Author: Brent LeVasseur
Publisher: Aolean Press
Published: February 23, 2015
Ebook
ASIN B00S70U8NE
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher





Goodreads Summary:
Aoléon and Gilbert receive a special mission from PAX, a wanted criminal and leader of the Martian resistance movement to investigate the Luminon of Mars, who he suspects is planning an invasion of Earth to steal its milk cows. Gilbert has an encounter with the Luminess (the mate of the Luminon) and discovers something strange about her during a procession, and the duo are chased by the Royal Paladin Guard.

At Aoléon’s home, Gilbert meets Aoléon’s family, her sister Una, mother Phobos and father Deimos as well as her overzealous pet Zoot. He is also introduced to Bizwat, a covert operator and Procyon Commando, who uses his Saturn Pizza delivery job as a cover.

Gilbert then gets to visit the Martian Space Academy (Aoléon’s school) where he encounters Aoléon’s nemesis, Charm Lepton and her friend Quarkina, as well as receiving a history lesson on the Martian people by Plutarch Xenocrates. After class, Gilbert and Aoléon get to train in zero-G and Gilbert is treated to a Psi-ball match between Martian Space Academy and Martian Science Academy


My Thoughts:
The fun and adventure continues in part two of Aoleon the Martian Girl. Part two picks up where we left Aoleon and Gilbert in part one. They have been visited by Knox-Om-Pax, a dissident, a rebel, a spiritual prophet, and tasked with investigating the Lumion, the Martian leaders. But Aoleon has her regular life to attend to so this book is devoted mostly to learning about her life as a student, daughter, and friend. We see that she suffers from typical teen angst with pressure in school, sports, and teen rivalries.

LeVasseur continues the excellent world building that he started in part one by giving the reader a wider glimpse into the Martian Magalopolis. The descriptions that he gives are aided by the illustrations. The illustrations are a lot of fun and and add whimsy and color to the flow of the book. The relationship between Aoleon and Gilbert is blooming and they have a good chemistry together.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two parts to Aoleon and am eagerly awaiting more form this author. For the middle-schooler sci-fi fan this is a must read.

My Rating:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

0 The mystery behind crop circles is solved!

Title: Aoleon: The Martian Girl Part One
Author: Brent LeVasseur
Publisher: Aoleon Press
Published: January 31, 2015
Ebook
ASIN: B00QVB9Q7K
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher






Goodreads Summary: 
Crop circles magically appear in Farmer Johnson’s field. A mysterious light sweeps over the night sky and awakens Farmer Johnson and Gilbert, the boy next door.

Curious, Gilbert ventures out to discover the source of the light and stumbles into a beautiful Martian girl sitting in a crop circle. Farmer Johnson also investigates the strange light, and thinking that Gilbert and Aoléon are vandals, he chases them. But they sprint to Aoléon’s saucer and escape only to be pursued by the U.S. Air Force.

Gilbert has never been attacked by swarms of giant killer robots. Never met strange aliens from other worlds. Never skyboarded across a megalopolis hidden deep inside an extinct volcano. Never trekked across a vast Martian desert. And never been eaten alive by a gigantic slor (well, almost never, unless you count Billy the fat bully at school).

And luckily, he has never ever confronted an evil ruler of Mars bent on conquering the Earth to steal its cows.

Never...until now!

This may be the adventure Gilbert always wished for.

If only he can survive.

My Thoughts: 
Aoleon is a Martian girl out for a “practice” run for her pilot’s test by buzzing Earth. While here making crop circles, she picks up Gilbert (a farm boy from Nebraska,) outruns the Air Force, and escapes with Gilbert to Mars and this all happens in just the beginning of the book. Many more adventures await them once they arrive on Mars. 

This is a really fun book, filled with fun, colorful illustrations. The two main characters are lovable and you want to get to know them more. Gilbert is trapped in his Nebraska farm life in a family that fights a lot. He dreams of going to distant planets and fighting killer robots. He knows there is something or someone out there for him. Aoleon is a girl with a sense of adventure, just what Gilbert needs. This is a great opening to the series. I’m in the second part now and have a review coming on it tomorrow but as for part one, I’m really digging this series and can’t wait to continue on. If you like middle-school series or have a middle-school age child, this one needs to be in your TBR pile.

My Rating:


Saturday, February 14, 2015

0 I Think I Love You


Title: I Think I Love You
Author: Stephanie Bond
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: January 5, 2004
ISBN13: 9780312998813
Ebook
Genre: Romance
Source: Bought
 

Summary: 
Sisters share everything in their closets, including skeletons.


Twenty years ago, the Metcalf sisters witnessed a murder and formed a pact of silence. Now their estranged and scattered because they fell in love with the same man--fiery Justine was engaged to handsome Dean Haviland; at the same time Dean was trying to bed mousy Regina, then jilted Justine at the alter to elope with their younger sister Mica.


Middle sister Regina Metcalf is a self help editor in Boston, always in search of a book that will help her sort out her own unfulfilled life. Ever the referee, she still feels responsible for not being able to keep her family together. Then her mother calls and asks her to come home to North Carolina - her parents are splitting and need help liquidating their antiques store. Regina agrees, even though she knows the trip home will dredge up ghosts.


Oldest sister Justine Metcalf is a ball busting executive for a cosmetic company in Pennsylvania. She has money, power, and great redheaded looks. But her penchant for other women's husbands backfires when a scorned wife comes after her. Justine decides an impromptu visit to her parents in North Carolina is in order.


To the outside world, youngest sister Mica Metcalf seems to have an ideal life--she's a gorgeous, successful hair model living in L.A., with celebrity lifestyle and handsome Dean Haviland on her arm. Both sisters wanted him, but she got him-- and unfortunately, his temper. Mica can't bring herself to leave him, until she learns of his cheating. She decides to retreat to her parents home in North Carolina to recuperate and ponder her next move.


When the sister converge at their childhood home, old wounds are laid open against the backdrop of liquidating their parents antiques business. And when Dean show up, things go from bad to worse.


My Thoughts:
Move over Nancy Drew!!! There's a new sleuth in town, Regina Metcalf!! Once again, Stephanie Bond has crafted a fast paced, edge of your seat, I can't believe THAT just happened story with a cast of dysfunctional characters that will keep you in suspense one minute and laughing the next. All her characters are strong, complicated, and full of life.

I found it hard to put this book down once I started reading and was sad I reached the final page. "I think I Love You" by Stephanie Bond is a wonderful addition to anyone's library.

My Rating:


Thursday, February 12, 2015

0 Interview with Sharon Reamer and a giveaway

1. Tell me about your love for speculative fiction.

It's obsessive. I know, as a writer, I should read widely; I *should* be reading outside of the genre. But I don't want to. My desire to get lost in someone else's world and accompany their characters through their trials is what I live for when I'm not writing. I also learn a lot by reading speculative fiction - not only SF. Also fantasy. Swords and swordcraft, herbal magic. Horses! There are always a lot of horses it seems in fantasy. Castles! I live in a land (Germany) with a lot of castles but you can never have enough of them, really. But it's mainly being somewhere I can't possibly go. I'm currently rereading LotR for the...fifth time and there's a lot of stuff I never *saw* before. I'm up to the middle of The Two Towers and as anxious as I was the first time I read the trilogy.


2. You recently finished The Schattenreich series. How does it feel?

I have mixed feelings. I miss my characters. They are in my dreams a lot of late, and maybe that means they miss me, too. I picture them doing things that aren't in the books. I have to resist the urge to start writing about those things right now. We need a time out from each other so I can do other things. Like the laundry. Or cleaning out my sock drawer. I think there are strange creatures hiding in there. And I need to meet new characters and learn to love them, too. It's a really good feeling to have the series really finished. I'm not saying I tied up all the disparate threads. After five books, that would be near impossible. But I answered all the major questions. It was a relief. It's important to have closure. For the reader and especially the writer.

3. A lot of your readers really connect with Caitlin. Why do you think that is?

I can only try to explain from my perspective - why I like Caitie. She makes mistakes. She's honest with herself (most of the time) about her mistakes and about her...desires. She knows she's not beautiful and it doesn't really bug her except when she compares herself to the type of women that her boyfriend Hagen usually goes in for. She's smart but not in a look-down-your-nose kind of way. And she has regrets about her past, about what happened to her and her brother. Caitlin is also vulnerable and knows how to hide things - both from herself and everyone else - but sometimes she doesn't hide things very well. I think all those things make her seem a lot like us, like real women dealing with growing up (she's a thirty-something but still having to deal with how to be an adult - like most of us). She's also a scientist in a man's field - geophysics - and has never let that slow her down. She likes men (a lot) and is comfortable with them but doesn't get intimidated by men easily, even men who want to intimidate her. She fights backs - not with karate kicks or bigass swords - but with her intellect. And, on occasion, with blue suede pumps.

4. What is your next writing project?

I'm working on getting a few short stories into shape for publication. There are a few Schattenreich-related short stories, including The Raven's Curse, the (historical) source story for the series (originally published in the anthology, The Phantom Queen Awakes from Morrigan Books). I'm also working on a series of shorts that are offshoots of my main series, a couple of which feature Hauptkommissar Miriam Richter and her immortal guardian who lives in contemporary Cologne. A couple of those stories are also historical in nature. A novella about the Schattenreich villain Dagmar Abel is also in the works.

I also am finishing up a science fiction novel. It's an experiment and a totally new direction.

5. What do you do when you're not writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing, or taking notes or thinking about characters and plots and world-building. I'm also a semi-voracious reader. If I had my way, I'd read all the time during my free time - both fiction and non-fiction. But then I'd never get anything written, so I have to rein in my obsession. I also like to garden, and I like to cook. I have a day-job as a part-time scientist and lecturer at the University of Cologne. Working part-time is not the best way to make a career as a scientist, but I'm way past that so I can just relax and continue to enjoy what I do. The arrangement suits me because I also have enough time to write, and the perks include getting to travel to interesting places to go to meetings or traipse around in ancient ruins. If I gave up my day-job, I think I would miss it. Maybe not for long, but being a scientist is an essential part of who I am.




Giveaway

Sharon Reamer is giving away an e-copy (available in mobi, epub and pdf ) of her first book in the Schattenreich series, Primary Fault. This giveaway is for US only. You must be at least thirteen years old to enter. Please read the giveaway/contest rules before entering. 



Geophysicist Caitlin Schwarzbach, out of work and weary of small-town Texas, leaves home. For good.

Separated from her beloved brother Gus at age seven when their parents divorced, she moves to Cologne, Germany to be with him.

Instead of meeting her brother upon her arrival, a Gus lookalike attempts to kidnap her by pulling her into a wall of glass. His accomplice: a curvy Nordic beauty dressed in black taffeta and lace and swarmed by ravens. Caitlin believes her experience to be a product of jet lag and disorientation.

Later that evening at a university reception, Caitlin learns her seismologist brother has included her in a research project with Hagen von der Lahn, amateur archeologist, stylish aristocrat, and dangerously attractive.

After Gus is called away by an earthquake, the deranged Gus doppelganger again tries to drag her away. Hagen rescues her and spirits her to his castle near the Rhine.

A novel of supernatural suspense, Primary Fault tells the tale of a woman's quest to save her brother. The mixture of science meets magic pits beings from a Celtic Otherworld against atheistic Druids and will delight fans of a tightly plotted fantasy with richly drawn characters.



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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2 I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either.

Title: The Escape (The Survivors' Club #3)
Author: Mary Balogh
Publisher: Dell
Published: July 1, 2014
Paperback, 394 pages
ISBN: 9780345536068
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Bought






Goodreads Summary:
After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws—until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited. Being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey.

Ben wants Samantha as much as she wants him, but he is cautious. What can a wounded soul offer any woman? Samantha is ready to go where fate takes her, to leave behind polite society and even propriety in her desire for this handsome, honorable soldier. But dare she offer her bruised heart as well as her body? The answers to both their questions may be found in an unlikely place: in each other’s arms.


My Thoughts:
Mary Balogh has been on my list of historical romance authors who I want to read for a while. In fact this book has been sitting on my shelf for the longest time, begging me to read it. But for reasons, I didn't get to read it until recently. And I wasn't overly impressed. I wanted to love it, but it did fall short for me. 

Ben and Samantha had good chemistry, but it was the story line that just didn't grab me. I don't really know exactly what didn't work for me. All I know is that I didn't have an overwhelming desire to pick this book up day after day. However, I did manage to get through it, but in the end I was 'meh' about it. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. 

The Escape is the third in The Survivors' Club series. One of the things I love about authors like Mary Balogh is you can pick up in the middle of a series and not feel like you're missing the whole picture. I won't give up on this author, though. She's got a huge following and many of her books have quite a bit of five-star ratings. I think maybe I should have started with another one of her books. So this question is for the Mary Balogh fans out there: Which book is your favorite? 

My Rating:


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

1 Feature: My Rebellion Checklist by Susan Soares

MY REBELLION CHECKLIST
BY SUSAN SOARES

Victoria Matherson's summer to-do list looked something like this:

1. Get organized for college
2. Complete summer job at Dad’s office
3. Spend a romantic summer with Adam
During the first week of her summer vacation, Victoria’s super planned life suddenly swerves completely off track. Her boyfriend breaks up with her unexpectedly, she gets in a near-fatal car wreck, and her parents announce the end of their twenty-year.
Victoria decides to live life messily, to take chances, and finally to rebel. Taking on the new name of “Tori,” she creates a checklist of rebellion:
#3 Get an extreme haircut
#6 Pierce something
which she’ll use to show everyone around her that all the changes to her perfectly organized life haven’t affected her in the least. Even though they have.
With the help of her quirky and cute co-worker Zack, Tori will check off the crazy items on her list and learn what it means to give up control and be free. But just how far will she go?

My Rebellion Checklist releases on March 10th, 2015.  Goodreadsadd to your shelf now!

About the Author: Susan Soares lives in a small town in Massachusetts where she balances writing fiction with raising her three daughters. When she’s not writing she can be found reading, experimenting with photography and planning her next Disney World trip. Susan recently received her master’s degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University, and will be pursuing teaching soon. She is available for guest posts and interviews. You can find her on her website or on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook and Wattpad.



Friday, February 6, 2015

0 Review: The Other Shakespeare

Title: The Other Shakespeare
Author: Lea Rachel
Publisher: The Writer's Design Press
Published: November 12, 2014
Paperback Arc, 197 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-9908616-0-7
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: The Cadence Group 






Goodreads Summary:
What if Shakespeare had been born a woman? What would have happened to her? And, what would she have accomplished?

Virginia Woolf first posed these questions in her acclaimed novel A Room of One’s Own…and now maverick author Lea Rachel steps up to tell the rest of the story.

The Other Shakespeare carries readers back to the sixteenth century to follow Judith Shakespeare, the older sister of William, as she tries to make a name for herself in a male-dominated society that consistently denies women their independence. Born with as much talent, creativity, and drive as her younger brother, she is stifled by the world around her and ultimately resorts to extreme measures to get accepted and have her talent recognized.

Judith’s story is rich with history, conflict, and drama and is sure to appeal to fans of Virginia Woolf, William Shakespeare, and character-driven fiction.


My Thoughts:
Try to imagine yourself a woman in the sixteenth century. Yeah . . . it sucks. Now try to imagine yourself a woman with the talent of William Shakespeare but bound by the conventions of the time. It sucks even worse. The Other Shakespeare by Lea Rachel is a tragedy about a fictionalized sister of The Bard--Judith Shakespeare. A woman that has talent oozing out of her fingertips, but unable to find a place in the world.

Judith longs for a life other than what she's been dealt. She's born with a natural curiosity to learn and for storytelling. However most women in the sixteenth century weren't educated. Women were treated as property and didn't have many rights. Quite a contrast from today. Judith can't quiet the creative fire burning within herself. And because of it, she has a difficult life.  A life full of heartbreak, disappointment, and sorrow.  

Although Judith Shakespeare is fictional, I'm sure many women of the sixteenth century have a similar tale. I would not trade lives with this character for the world, but I did enjoy getting to 'know' her. Lea Rachel has written a great book inspired by A Room of One's Own. She really brings home the difficulty of being a woman born ahead of her time.

"Mrs. Mountjoy listened as her young maidservant talked on and on. She loved Judith, in a way, and wanted to help her, if she could, but she knew enough of the world to know that Judith's plays would never make it onto the stage. It didn't matter if she had any talent, that wasn't' the point. She was a woman, and a woman would never be allowed to take over a man's work. You had to work within the role God gave you, not try to overcome it."


*This book contains some scenes that might be difficult for some readers. 
**Quote may be changed in final book. 

My Rating:
3.5 but I'll round it up to a 4


Thursday, February 5, 2015

1 Review: The Spider and the Stone

Title: The Spider and the Stone
Author:  Glen Craney
Publisher: Brigid's Fine Press
Publsihed: 2014
Ebook
ISBN13: 9780981648408
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Author





Book Summary: 
As the 14th century dawns,  the brutal Edward Longshanks of England schemes to steal Scotland.  But a frail dark-skinned boy named James Douglas defies three Plantagenet kings and champions the cause of his wavering friend, Robert the Bruce, to lead the armies to the bloody fields of Bannockburn.  A thrilling saga of star crossed love and heroic sacrifice during the Scottish War of Independence.

My Thoughts:
Best Historical fiction I have read in years.  Glen Craney has brought to life a time that was fraught with danger.  His characters are vibrant and well rounded.  I was transported from my comfy chair to a time when comfort was hard to find.  Where men and women fought for an independence from England's rule.  Where hero's were made from common folk's and  the love of their country.

From the beginning to the end there is not a dull moment.  The fact and the fiction meld together seamlessly.  If I could give this book 10 willies I would.  But alas I can only give 5 and I do.

I look forward to reading more books from Glen Craney.

My Rating


 

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