Monday, August 31, 2015

0 Cover Reveal: Once Upon a Time University



The enchanting sequel to “Happily Ever After High School”

After graduating Happily Ever High, eighteen year old Albany French was living the perfect fairy tale. She had her very own fairy godmother, a delightfully eccentric grandmother, and her boyfriend was her dream knight in shining armor.

At first, it seemed like a flawless freshman year for her at Once Upon A Time University. The campus was magical and enchanted, her classes were extraordinary, and she made surprising new friends.

A chain of unsettling events followed by a twist of fate sends Albany spinning. She is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life- one that could potentially break her heart. The perfect happily ever after was still within Albany’s grasp… or so she thought.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Savannah Ostler was born in Alpine, Utah. Since childhood, she has enjoyed many forms of the arts. It was from her love of performing that she decided to attend East Hollywood High, a school in Salt Lake City dedicated to film, television, and writing.
In addition to acting for both stage and film, Savannah is also a singer, having released several original pop singles, and performing at well known venues in Hollywood such as The House Of Blues, and the Roxy theater.

Although Savannah is incredibly diverse with her talents, her first love is, and has always been writing. She has been writing ever since she learned how to read and write. She enjoys many different forms of writing: poetry, lyrics, fiction, and screenplays. To date, Miss Ostler has written hundreds of original poems, six original songs produced and performed by Savannah herself, hundreds of lyrics not yet produced, over a dozen produced short films, five feature film screenplays, two television pilots, and of course, her first novel Happily Ever After High School.

Savannah has always been a day dreamer and a true kid at heart. When she is not buried in her writing projects, she can be found at Disneyland, living out all of her fairy tale dreams.


She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband Steve and their two mixed Chihuahua pups.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

0 Excerpt from The Outlander King by Hilary Rhodes

04_The Outlander King

The Outlander King (The Aetheling's Bride, Book 1)
by Hilary Rhodes

Publication Date: June 1, 2015
Amazon/Smashwords
eBook; 476 Pages
ASIN: B00XM9QJ1K
Genre: Historical Fiction

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The story of The Lion and the Rose and the Norman Conquest continues in this spellbinding new historical fiction series from author Hilary Rhodes, pulling back the curtain on the lives of two remarkable women connected across centuries: Aislinn, a seventeen-year-old English girl caught up in the advancing army of the “outlander king,” the man who will become known to history as William the Conqueror. Thrust into the center of the new Norman court and a dizzying web of political intrigue and plotting princes, she must choose her alliances carefully in a game of thrones where the stakes are unimaginably high. Embroiled in rebellions and betrayals, Aislinn learns the price of loyalty, struggles to find her home, and save those she loves – and, perhaps, her own soul as well.

Almost nine hundred years later in 1987, Selma Murray, an American graduate student at Oxford University, is researching the mysterious “Aethelinga” manuscript, as Aislinn’s chronicle has come to be known. Trying to work out the riddles of someone else’s past is a way for Selma to dodge her own troubling ghosts – yet the two are becoming inextricably intertwined. She must face her own demons, answer Aislinn’s questions, and find forgiveness – for herself and others – in this epically scaled but intimately examined, extensively researched look at the creation of history, the universality of humanity, and the many faces it has worn no matter the century: loss, grief, guilt, redemption, and love.


EXCERPT FROM THE OUTLANDER KING BY HILARY RHODES

PROLOGUE

THIS RECORD BEING A TRUE AND HONEST ACCOUNT OF MY DAYS, SET DOWN IN MINE own hand in God’s Year 1112. My name is Aislinn. I have been daughter, sister, mother, servant, and lady, and many other roles that must be unfolded in their turn, yet I do not know to whose hands I commend these words. I am alone these days, after all.
 
Perhaps you are surprised, my unknown reader, that this is the record of a woman. I know it is uncommon, but then, I have had an uncommon life. If I am blessed, I shall be allowed seven more years to my biblical promise of threescore and ten, but nothing is ever certain and winter is coming. That is why I must have this down at last. 

This chronicle is written under Alexander, King of Scots, whose parents and uncle have been known to me dear. In England, the head that wears the crown is that of Henry Beauclerc, and the ties bind me here as well, for I have also been subject under his brother, William the second, and his father, William the first. There is much to say of them all, for this has been a long journey. But I shall start my tale at its beginning, in anno Dominus, 1066.


I was seventeen years old.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ITUNES | KOBO


02_Author Hilary RhodesABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hilary Rhodes is a scholar, author, blogger, and all-around geek who fell in love with medieval England while spending a year abroad at Oxford University. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in history, and is currently preparing for doctoral studies at the University of Leeds, fulfilling a years-long dream to return to the UK. In what little spare time she has, she enjoys reading, blogging about her favorite TV shows, movies, and books, music, and traveling.

For more information please visit Hilary Rhodes' blog.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 24
Spotlight & Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, August 25

Wednesday, August 26
Spotlight & Excerpt at To Read, or Not to Read
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Thursday, August 27
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, August 28
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, August 31
Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, September 1
Spotlight at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, September 2
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, September 3
Guest Post at Books and Benches

Friday, September 4
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Saturday, September 5

Monday, September 7
Review & Excerpt at Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, September 8
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, September 9
Spotlight & Excerpt at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, September 10

Friday, September 11
Spotlight & Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

04_The Outlander King_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Monday, August 24, 2015

0 Review: Demelza by Winston Graham

Title: Demelza (Poldark #2)
Author: Winston Graham
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Published: June 9, 2015
Paperback, 432 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4926-2210-9
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher





Summary:


In the enchanting second novel in Winston Graham’s beloved Poldark series, Demelza Carne, an impoverished miner’s daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground brawl, now happily finds herself his wife. But the events of these turbulent years test their marriage and their love. As Ross launches into a bitter struggle for the right of the mining communities, Demelza’s efforts to adapt to the ways of the gentry (and her husband) place her in increasingly odd and embarrassing situations. When tragedy strikes and sows the seeds of an enduring rivalry between Ross and the powerful George Warleggan, will Demelza manage to bridge their differences before they destroy her and her husband’s chance at happiness?

Against the stunning backdrop of eighteenth century Cornwall, Demelza sweeps readers into one of the greatest love stories of all time.



My Thoughts:

If you read my previous review of Ross Poldark, you'll know that I dubbed this series my new favorite, and it still holds true. Even though these books are about the entire Poldark clan, I love that this book is called Demelza. Because it shows Demelza coming into her own as Ross' wife. It's not an easy road for her either. The 'class' that she now belongs to looks down on her because of her humble origins. She worries over if Ross thinks he made a mistake by marring her. 

However, one of my favorite subplots in this book is Verity's story. I love that Verity and Demelza became friends. And Demelza's determination to help Verity find happiness. Verity is such a pure and good character, you can't help but want the best for her.

Alas though, it's not all sunshine and roses. This book starts with a birth and ends with a death. And everything in-between is an emotional roller coaster. The more I read about the lives of the Poldark family, the more I get attached to the story line. If you've watched the PBS series, I strongly urge you to read the books as well. There is so much more in-depth detail.Winston Graham is a true wordsmith. Now I can't wait to read the third book, Jeremy Poldark!


My Rating:


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

1 House of Thieves Excerpt and Sweepstakes



To pay off his son’s gambling debts, a society architect in 1886 New York is forced to join a criminal gang and plan robberies of the buildings he’s designed.

I’m thrilled to announce Belfoure’s sophomore novel, HOUSE OF THIEVES (ON-SALE: September 15; 978192617891; $25.99; Hardcover), a major release coming from Sourcebooks Landmark in September 2015.


John Cross needs money, and he needs it fast—and New York City’s most dangerous kingpin insists that robbing John’s rich circle of friends is the only way John can pay off his substantial debt. John’s talent as an architect provides him with access and opportunity—if he can just keep his secret life from his family, he can end this very quickly. But John didn’t count on the thrill that came from engineering the perfect steal… or that his wife and children would possess the same talents.

The inspiration for House of Thieves came from a historical figure in the 1870s named George Leslie who came from a wealthy Midwest family to practice architecture in NYC but gave it up because he preferred to be a criminal planning bank robberies. Additionally, as a young architect Charles unwittingly took on a job designing an addition to a house owned by a Mafia boss; he was murdered by his crew a couple weeks after the project was finished.

House of Thieves is a fascinating look at the two poles of New York society in the late 19th century, from the extreme opulence of the Knickerbocker society to the opium dens and whorehouses of the criminal underworld. It also presents an exciting new twist on the intriguing architecture angle that drew readers to The Paris Architect.


Excerpt from House of Thieves by Charles Belfoure (on-sale September 15)


“Let me explain how our business arrangement will work,” Kent said, setting down his teacup. “You will choose buildings you’ve designed that contain articles of great value—-cash, stock certificates, gold, merchandise such as expensive clothing, fine linen, silverware, and jewelry. You will help me plan each robbery by giving me drawings of these places and telling me where items worth stealing can be found. And after each robbery, the value of the goods will be deducted from George’s debt.”
“Promise me that, once it’s paid back, I’m free of this.”

“Why of course. I don’t think you’re cut out for a life of crime, Mr. Cross.” Kent gave him a wink. “But you are a talented architect. That Chandler Building—-and those tall arches! I envy your talent. I wish I could do something like that.”

Cross was silent. Coming from this merciless bastard, it hardly felt like a compliment.
“The next step will be for you to take some time—-one week, say—-to choose a building. Then we will meet to discuss whether your plan is feasible. It takes a criminal eye to evaluate these things,” Kent said. “You’ll want to pay off the debt immediately, of course. But for our first effort, let’s choose something modest. And bring copies of the drawings. I understand that with the new blueprinting process, it will be easy for you.”

Kent was sharp. Only a few years ago, copies of architectural drawings had to be traced over by hand, a long and tedious process. But with the introduction of blueprinting, all that had changed. Now, a photosensitive coating could be applied to a sheet of paper, which would be placed behind the original linen drawing. The contraption was put in a wood frame that sat out in the sun, developing a perfect image on the paper like a photograph.

“Yes,” Cross said, nodding. “I can bring you your own copies of
the drawings.”

“From now on, it’s better to meet elsewhere. You’ll be told where to go and when.” Kent rose from his chair. The meeting was over. “Please don’t think me rude, but I have a Presbyterian Hospital board meeting in an hour over on East Seventy--Second,” Kent said apologetically as he escorted Cross to the foyer. “But before you go, you must see my latest treasure.”

He led Cross to a large oak table with carved legs and removed a heavy sheet of paper, revealing what looked like a very old, yellowed parchment.

“An early eighth--century illuminated manuscript from France. Isn’t it magnificent?”
Though Cross didn’t give a damn, he pretended to be impressed out of courtesy. After taking a respectful amount of time to examine the gold--leaf--flecked pages, he nodded and walked toward the library doors.

“Henceforth, Mr. Cross, you must learn to think like a criminal. Coming from your background, that may be difficult,” Kent said as he slid open the paneled doors.

“It didn’t seem to be an obstacle for you.”

Kent gave a roar of laughter. “I suppose Griffith told you all about me. True, Princeton didn’t give me much training for my line of work. You’re a Harvard man?”


Cross nodded.
“A satisfactory school, but they have no eating clubs, unlike Princeton. So uncivilized,” he said. “Do take a look around the building before you go. You’ll find it most interesting.”

“I walked through right before it opened. The architect, Henry Hardenbergh, is a friend of mine. It’s a remarkable building,” Cross said softly, looking up at the ceiling. “The best apartment building in the city. I wish I had done it.”


Belfoure’s sly, roguish writing opens a window to those living both gilded and tarnished lives…

Best of all, Belfoure holds together each and every thread of the novel, resulting in a most memorable, evocative read.”—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

“Belfoure displays a brisk prose style, well-developed plot, and interesting architectural details… a roisterous, supremely entertaining adventure.”—Booklist, STARRED review

“Charles Belfoure sees New York's Gilded Age with an architect's eye and evokes the atmosphere wonderfully… Belfoure leads us on a splendid page-turner as a respectable family discovers its criminal side in old New York.”—Edward Rutherfurd, New York Times bestselling author of Paris: The Novel and New York: The Novel

“Charles Belfoure stocks House of Thieves with authentic architectural and historical grace notes. Of course he does! But he never loses sight of the story, which rockets along at full-speed from one breathtaking scene to the next. I couldn’t put House of Thieves down.”—Alex Grecian, national bestselling author of The Yard and Harvest Man

Charles Belfoure’s debut novel, The Paris Architect (Sourcebooks Landmark, 2013), was a national bestseller, an indie next pick, a national reading group month select, and received stellar praise from booksellers, librarians, authors and critics.



Sourcebooks is running a sweepstakes (ends September 30)! All of the details can be found here: http://books.sourcebooks.com/house-of-thieves-sweepstakes/.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

3 Giveaway: The Dressmaker


A darkly satirical novel of love, revenge, and 1950s haute couture—soon to be a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth

After twenty years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child. She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave. But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar. Through her fashion business, her friendship with Sergeant Farrat—the town’s only policeman, who harbors an unusual passion for fabrics—and a budding romance with Teddy, the local football star whose family is almost as reviled as hers, she finds a measure of grudging acceptance. But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, causing old resentments to surface, it becomes clear that Tilly’s mind is set on a darker design: exacting revenge on those who wronged her, in the most spectacular fashion.

Thanks to Penguin/Random House, I have a paperback copy to give away to a lucky reader. You must be at least 13 years old to enter the giveaway. Please read our giveaway policy before entering.




0 Review: The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

Title: The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster
Author: Scott Wilbanks
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Published: August 4, 2015
Paperback, ARC
ISBN: 978-1-4926-1246-9
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher







Summary:



Annabelle Aster doesn’t bow to convention—not even that of space and time—which makes the 1890s Kansas wheat field that has appeared in her modern-day San Francisco garden easy to accept. Even more peculiar is Elsbeth, the truculent schoolmarm who sends Annie letters through the mysterious brass mailbox perched on the picket fence that now divides their two worlds.

Annie and Elsbeth’s search for an explanation to the hiccup in the universe linking their homes leads to an unsettling discovery—and potential disaster for both of them. Together they must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen…and yet somehow already did.


My Thoughts:

This novel is described as "The physics-bending charm of The Time Traveler's Wife meets the curious mischief of The Eyre Affair and the unconventional and utterly enchanting debut novel . . ."

To be honest, I have never heard of the word Lemoncholy before I picked up this book by Scott Wilbanks. And I'm not exactly sure what it means, though I think I have an idea after reading The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Lester. There is so much I want to say about this book. However, I can't say too much without being spoilery. Part of the charm of this book is finding things out on your own.

Annie Lester is the main character of this book. She's a bit peculiar. Has a few secrets. But she's actually very charming and unique. Her best friend, Christian, is a bit of a mystery too. And then Edmund joins in with the two, and another mystery pops up, but that's not as big of a mystery as why in 1995 San Francisco Annie can walk through her back door into 1885 Kansas. There's a mailbox where she exchanges letters with her neighbor from the past, an antique door, and an illusionist. Separated by time and distance, together they uncover a mystery that could save a life. Plot-wise I really don't want to say more than that; you'll have to find out the rest on your own. And trust me you'll want to.

This is Scott Wilbanks debut novel and it's pretty good. Once I started reading I didn't want to put the book down. And if he wanted to write a sequel to this book, I would surely read it. The plot was so interesting and it kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I also liked the characters and the mysteries they brought to the story as well. However the ending still left me with a few questions. I read an advanced copy, so maybe the details are resolved in the finished product. But overall, this is a great read you should add to your to-read pile.

Don't forget to check out Scott's guest post about his writing process.

My Rating:



Monday, August 17, 2015

0 Scott Wilbanks doesn't have a writing process . . . or does he?

My Writing Process




When I found out that Sourcebooks had offered my “process for writing mystery, historical fiction, and romance” as a potential topic to blog sites, I emailed a panicked message to my critique partner.  Jennie, I wrote.  What process?  I don’t have a process!
After three years of working together, I can say that for certain that you do popped up in my inbox the next morning.
            Exasperated that she hadn’t spelled it out for me, I merely typed two question marks in response.
            All I got in return for my peevishness was one word.  Think.
            So I did.  And you know what?  I do have a process.
I write in ripples.
To understand what I mean, let’s start at the beginning.
When I wrote the very first sentence of my manuscript, I was completely lacking in the craft of writing.  It should come as no surprise, then, that my novel didn’t begin with a premise, or even a concept—those terms weren’t even part of my vocabulary at the time.  I’m a visual critter, so, instead, it began with an image in my head.  Picture two women—one a young, modern day San Francisco eccentric with a penchant for Victorian clothes, and the other a cantankerous, old schoolmarm living in turn-of-the-century Kansas wheat field —pen pals who get off to a rather rocky start, depositing their correspondences in a brass letterbox that stands in some common magical ground between them.
With that image lodged in my head, I plowed ahead full throttle, throwing together a stream-of-consciousness compilation of badly written words in a little over two months—four-hundred-fifty pages in all.
Looking back on it, this was not writing.  Not to me.  Not in the sense of craft.  But if you think visually, like I do, it provided a sketch over which I began the process of “adding color,” or as others call it, revising.
And that’s where the ripples came in.
I’m not a linear thinker, so I can’t write in a straight line, progressing from scene to scene.
Instead, I learned to ask myself questions, the first one being: what if Annie (my protagonist) reads about a murder that took place over a hundred years ago on her time line, yet will take place in three days on Elsbeth’s?
That question was like a pebble dropped in a pond.  It was the cause, and the answers I
generated were the effect, creating little ripples that radiated outward throughout my manuscript.
When I answered that question to my satisfaction, I simply asked another, dropping another pebble whose ripples expanded from the point of origin while also impacting the ripples created by the prior question.
I kept asking questions with one purpose in mind.  How could I raise the stakes for my protagonists?  More to the point, what obstacles could I put in their way to trip them up, both within the landscape of their inner journeys and their outer journeys?  If a question didn’t challenge them to the breaking point, I discarded it.
I came up with enough questions for my manuscript to look like the surface of a puddle during a spring rain in which the expanding ripples intersected, and crashed over one another.
And here’s the interesting thing.  I discovered that there wasn’t a question I asked that didn’t affect every other question, changing its answer, in some small way.  My manuscript was becoming layered.

But how does this technique related to genre writing, you might ask.  In the most basic way.  For me, at least, genre writing was less about the process, and more about the type of question.


Twitter: @scottbwilbanks

Friday, August 14, 2015

0 America's First Daughter Cover Reveal and Giveaway


Tasty Book Tours is Pleased to Present...



AMERICA'S FIRST DAUGHTER
Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
Releasing March 1st, 2016
William Morrow
Historical Fiction 


In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France. And it is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that she learns of her father’s liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age.

Patsy too has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé, William Short, a staunch abolitionist intent on a career in Europe. Heartbroken at having to decide between being William’s wife or a devoted
daughter, she returns to Virginia with her father and marries a man of his choosing, raising eleven children of her own.

Yet as family secrets come to light during her father’s presidency, Patsy must again decide how much she will sacrifice to protect his reputation, in the process defining not just Jefferson’s political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

Pre-Order Now
Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo








Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America's First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.


As LAURA KAYE, she is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen titles in contemporary and paranormal romance. Her books have won numerous industry awards, including the EPIC eBook Award, the Golden Leaf award, the PRISM award, and the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit. She is a frequent panelist at national writing conferences and a frequent instructor of craft and social media workshops. Laura lives just outside the nation’s capital with her husband and two young daughters.

Find Laura Here




STEPHANIE DRAY is a bestselling and award-nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. As STEPHANIE DRAVEN, she is a national bestselling author of paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

Find Stephanie Here


7 The Forgotten Flapper Spotlight and Giveaway

02_The Forgotten Flapper_Cover

The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas (Forgotten Actress Series, Volume 1)
by Laini Giles

Publication Date: August 1, 2015
Publisher: Sepia Stories Publishing
Formats: eBook & Trade Paperback
Pages: 411
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical

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A presence lurks in New York City’s New Amsterdam Theatre when the lights go down and the audience goes home. They say she’s the ghost of Olive Thomas, one of the loveliest girls who ever lit up the Ziegfeld Follies and the silent screen. From her longtime home at the theater, Ollie’s ghost tells her story from her early life in Pittsburgh to her tragic death at twenty-five.

After winning a contest for “The Most Beautiful Girl in New York,” shopgirl Ollie modeled for the most famous artists in New York, and then went on to become the toast of Broadway. When Hollywood beckoned, Ollie signed first with Triangle Pictures, and then with Myron Selznick’s new production company, becoming most well known for her work as a “baby vamp,” the precursor to the flappers of the 1920s.

After a stormy courtship, she married playboy Jack Pickford, Mary Pickford’s wastrel brother. Together they developed a reputation for drinking, club-going, wrecking cars, and fighting, along with giving each other expensive make-up gifts. Ollie's mysterious death in Paris’ Ritz Hotel in 1920 was one of Hollywood’s first scandals, ensuring that her legend lived on.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE


03_Laini Giles_AuthorABOUT THE AUTHOR

A native of Austin, Texas, Laini Giles grew up the daughter of bookworms, and became a Nancy Drew devotee early on. When she realized there might be no escape from hairy tarantulas and bad guys with guns, she put her detective dreams on hold and wrote about them instead, finishing her first mystery novel with custom illustrations when she was eight. It was this love of mystery combined with a love of old MGM musicals and The Marx Brothers that led her to check Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon out of the library during her formative years. Ideas began to simmer.

A graduate of the University of North Texas, she put the writing on hold for a while when real life got in the way (i.e.—she met and married her Canadian husband and headed north for maple-flavored goodies and real beer). She highly recommends moving to another country and not being able to work for a year for finishing any novels you may have laying around.

Laini and her husband live in Edmonton, Alberta with their three gray girl cats, nicknamed The Supremes.

For more information visit Laini Giles' website and blog. You can also find her on Twitter and Goodreads.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 3
Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 4
Interview at The Maiden's Court

Wednesday, August 5
Book Blast/Spotlight at History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, August 6
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, August 7
Book Blast/Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Monday, August 10
Review at Book Babe

Tuesday, August 11
Book Blast/Spotlight at Room With Books

Wednesday, August 12
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Thursday, August 13

Friday, August 14
Spotlight & Giveaway at To Read, or Not to Read

Saturday, August 15
Book Blast/Spotlight at Please Pass the Books

Monday, August 17
Book Blast/Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, August 18
Book Blast/Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, August 19
Review at A Book Drunkard

Thursday, August 20
Spotlight & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse

Friday, August 21
Book Blast/Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, August 24

Wednesday, August 26
Review & Giveaway at Raven Haired Girl

Thursday, August 27
Book Blast/Spotlight at Svetlana's Reads and Views


Giveaway:

I have one eBook of The Forgotten Flapper to give away to a lucky reader. It's open to US only.

Rules

– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– 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.



04_The Forgotten Flapper_Tour & Blast Banner_FINAL

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

3 Enchantress of Paris Book Blast and Giveaway

02_Enchantress of Paris

Enchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun King's Court
by Marci Jefferson

Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press
Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction



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Fraught with conspiracy and passion, the Sun King's opulent court is brought to vivid life in this captivating tale about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic.

The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini's birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Ignoring the dark warnings of his sister and astrologers, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie learns her uncle has become the power behind the throne by using her sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall.

Desperate to avoid her mother's dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. But as her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie's charm. Sensing a chance to grasp even greater glory, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will.

Disgusted by Mazarin's ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin's deepest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis's love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her forbidden powers of divination to shield her family, protect France, and help the Sun King fulfill his destiny.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Told with vivid historical detail and packed with court intrigue, this is sure to please fans of royal fiction.” — Library Journal

03_Marci JeffersonABOUT THE AUTHOR

Years after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, immersing herself in a Quality Assurance nursing career, and then having children, Marci realized she’d neglected her passion for history and writing. She began traveling, writing along the way, delving into various bits of history that caught her fancy. The plot for GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN evolved slowly after a trip to London, where she first learned about the Stuart royals. Marci is a member of the Historical Novel Society. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, making hair-bows for their daughter, trying not to step on their son’s Legos, and teaching a tiny Pacific Parrotlet to talk.

For more information visit Marci Jefferson’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

0 Review: Stolen Magic

Title: Stolen Magic (A Tale of Two Castles #2)
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: April 1, 2015
Ebook, ARC
ISBN: 9780062378767
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss







Summary:


Elodie, the dragon detective Meenore, and the kindly ogre Count Jonty Um are all on their way to Elodie's home island of Lahnt. Elodie has barely set foot on land before she learns that the Replica, a statue that keeps her island's deadly volcano from erupting, has been stolen! If the Replica isn't found in three days, a mountain will be destroyed. And when Elodie ends up alone with a cast of characters each of whom may be guilty, she has to use her wits to try to unravel a tangled web of lies.

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carson Levine has written an imaginative, fast-paced mystery that will be enjoyed by fans of A Tale of Two Castles as well as those meeting Elodie, Meenore, and Count Jonty Um for the first time.
 



My Thoughts:

Stolen Magic is the sequel to A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine. It's the continuing story of Elodie, a small-town girl, living in a lonely world, who took a daytime boat going anywhere. Well, specifically she took a boat to the town of Two Castles. There she met a giant, became the assistant to a dragon, made friends with a princess, and solved a mystery. Not a bad beginning for a small-town girl. Now she's on another adventure with Count Jonty Um ( the giant) and Meenore (the dragon aka her boss). They're headed back to Elodie's homeland, but before they get there they learn that her island is in terrible danger. A statue that keeps the island's deadly volcano at bay has been stolen. And it's up to the trio to figure out who did it to save everyone including themselves.

I really enjoyed reading A Tale of Two Castles, but Stolen Magic didn't quite meet up to my expectations. I didn't really enjoy the story line as I did the first book. However, the characters seemed to blossom a little bit more. Elodie, Meenore, and Jaunty Um's friendship deepened, and Elodie started to come more into her own. 

I'm not sure if there's a third book in the works, but I wouldn't mind it if there was. I do like Elodie. She's embraces her future, and seems to know what she wants despite what is expected of her. Overall, I liked it, but didn't love it. If you've read the first book, you'll want to read this book as well. 

My rating:


 
 

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