Showing posts from March, 2012

Review: Clockwise by Elle Strauss

Title: Clockwise
Author: Elle Strauss
Publisher: ESB Publishing
Publication Date: November 21, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-98780783-0
Genre: Paranormal, time travel, young adult
Source: from Author

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this --she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?

My thoughts:
Clockwise by Elle Strauss is a wonderful story about an extraordinary girl named Casey Donovan who can time travel. However as cool as that sounds she can't go anywhere she wants to. She travels back to a specific place around the same time, the 1800's. The only other person who knows of her ability is her best friend, Lucinda. In fact when Ca…

Free Friday and Saturday from Knox Robinson Publishing

In the midst of the Great Depression, one man must do battle against corruption with nothing but his wits and a host of great literary figures…

Amos Jansen is merely a clerk. He is not a crime fighter, the next great writer, or a man of privilege. He is the humble employee of a Chicago literary society. That is, until he is arrested for murder.

The scapegoat of a perfidious lieutenant, Jansen stands wrongly accused while his idols rally around him. Literary personalities the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nelson Algren, and H.L. Mencken, as well as civil liberties war-horse Clarence Darrow, join Amos in his search for the real murderer of both the society's vice-chairman and his own father.

Will the pen prove mightier than the sword? Will mercenary police, politicians and money-barons meet with justice? Or will Jansen fail to solve the mystery and wind up literally dead?

Here are the links to the novel in the Kindle Store:

The King's Agent Virtual Book Tour: Donno Russo Morin Guest Post and Give@way

THE CONTROVERSY OF THE KING’S AGENT Battista della Palla, the lead character in The King’s Agent, was a real man, born in Florence in 1489. During his full and prodigious life, he spent many years at the French court, forming an unbreakable bond with King Francois I and his sister Marguerite, one predicated, in part, on their mutual love of art. What became of that friendship is a role Battista would accept as his own for the rest of his life, that of Francois’ art agent, instructed to procure work by the Italian masters that Francois craved at any cost. In exchange, Francois promised Battista his sword—his military might—should Battista’s homeland of Florence ever require it. Battista fulfilled Francois’ requests, most every one of them, most often by nimble pilfering when legal acquisition failed him. In consequence, Francois I and his art agent Battista della Palla could easily be touted as the men directly responsible for what we now call one of the greatest museums in the world,…

Rebecca Weinstein Guest Post and Give@way

The YA Genre Boom
On one of my last visits to the local bookstore, I realized with pleasure that the Young Adult genre had experienced so much growth that it required not only its own section in the store, but within that section, rows and rows of books in their own individual subsections. Gone are the days of children's, history, cooking, language, and travel sections. Here are the days of Young Adult Horror, Young Adult Non-Fiction, and Young Adult Paranormal Romance—subgenres wholly separate from the children's section.

In the 1800's and early 1900's, there was no Young Adult genre. There were some children's books, and there were some books that were written with a young protagonist but were aimed at an adult audience. Novels such as Oliver Twist, Huckleberry Finn, and Kidnapped appealed to younger readers, but were intended for adults. Indeed, most novels read by young readers in that time period were those written for, about, and by adults. There were very f…

A Girl Named Willow Krimble Give@way

A while ago I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco. You can read my review here.  You can read Willow's story for FREE at Giuseppe Bianco sent me a few signed postcards of his book and I want to share them with my readers. I'm also going to giveaway my gently read signed copy of A Girl Named Willow Krimble.

There will be two winners for this giveaway. The grand prize will be a paperback copy of A Girl Named Willow Krimble and a signed postcard. The second winner will receive a signed postcard.

This giveaway is open to US/Canadian addresses only.
You must be at least 13 years old to enter
You must fill out the form below.

Review: A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

Title: A Breath or Eyre
Author: Eve Marie Mont
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Paperback, 342 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Publisher 

Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre… 

My thoughts:
A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont is a coming of age story about a girl named Emma. Emma is a bit of a loner. She lives with her dad and step-mom, with whom she feels she has little in common. She also attends a prestigious prep school on scholarship. This doesn't make her very popular with the qu…

Review: The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin

Title: The King's Agent
Author: Donna Russo Morin
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
paperback arc, 411 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7582-4682-0
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Tours

As the cloistered ward of the Marquess of Mantua, Lady Aurelia is a woman with a profound duty, and a longing for adventure. In search of a relic intended for the King of France, Battista and Aurelia cross the breathtaking landscape of Renaissance Italy. Clues hide in great works of art, political forces collide, secret societies and enemies abound, and danger lurks in every challenge, those that mirror the passages of Dante's Divine Comedy. It is an adventurous quest with undercurrents of the supernatural, powers that could change the balance of supremacy throughout Europe.

My thoughts:
The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin is a historical fiction novel set during the 16th century in Italy. It is based on the real life art thief, Battista della Palla. …

Check out these two great excerpts

Check out these excerpts from, The Winter Palace, A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak and Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon.

The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak (Excerpt)WIFE 22 by Melanie Gideon (Excerpt)

Free this weekend.......

This weekend (March 23-24), 'Vengeance Thwarted', the first novel in Prue Phillipson's Restoration trilogy 'The Hordens of Horden Hall', will be available as a free download in the Amazon Kindle store.

What if the one you love is also the one you are sworn to kill?

Northumberland, 1640. Arabella 'Bel' Horden is a mischievous, pugnacious thirteen-year-old. The youngest daughter of a Northumbrian squire and magistrate, she is wracked by guilt after a careless haystack fire leads to the wrongful hanging of an English army deserter. Sent to boarding school in Yorkshire after another unbecoming act of disobedience, Bel blossoms into a beautiful and quick-witted young woman. Nathaniel 'Nat' Wilson is ill with fever when his twin brother, Daniel, is falsely accused and hung for the fire started by Bel. Accursed by his mother for the tragedy, he is reluctantly sworn to vengeance against the Horden family. A peace-loving boy, Nat temporarily escapes his mot…

Review: Baby Lit Books by Jennifer Adams

Title: Alice In Wonderland: A Colors Primer Book
Author: Jennifer Adams
Artist: Alison Oliver
Publisher: Gibbs Smith Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Board Book, 22 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4236-2477-6
Genre: Childrens
Source: From Publisher

Title: Little Miss Bronte, Jane Eyre: A Counting Primer Author: Jennifer Adams Artist: Alison Oliver Publisher: Gibbs Smith Books Publication Date: March 1, 2012 Board Book, 22 pages ISBN: 978-1-4236-2474-5 Genre: Childrens Source: From Publisher

How cute are these books? Seriously! Baby Lit Books take these well known classics and turn them into something that every baby would love. The pictures are bursting with character and color. They teach counting and colors. Reading this book  to your child will give them their first introduction to classic literature but in a very fun way. The Baby Lit series includes: Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet, and Pride and Prejudice. I only wish that this series was available when my kids were bab…

Now Available: Chrysanthe

Chrysanthe by Yves Meynard Available at Amazon
Christine, the princess and heir to the real world of Chrysanthe, is kidnapped as a small child by a powerful magician and exiled in a Made World that is a version of our present reality. In exile, supervised by her strict "uncle"(actually a wizard in disguise), she undergoes bogus memory recovery therapy, through which she is forced to remember childhood rape and abuse by her parents and others. She is terribly stunted emotionally by this terrifying plot, but at seventeen discovers it is all a lie. Christine escapes with a rescuer, Sir Quentin, a knight from Chrysanthe, in a thrilling chase across realities.

Once home, the magical standoff caused by her exile is broken, and a war begins, in spite of the best efforts of her father, the king, and his wizard, Melogian. And that war, which takes up nearly the last third of the work, is a marvel of magical invention and terror, a battle between good and evil forces that resounds with…

Eve Marie Mont Interview and Give@way

I am so thrilled today to have Eve Marie Mont on today. I'm really excited about the release of her novel, A Breath of Eyre.

What inspired you to write A Breath of Eyre?

Ever since I first read Jane Eyre in eleventh grade, it has remained my favorite book, one I return to again and again and that never loses its fascination for me. I’ve never found another story with such a restrained yet passionate romance. And Jane is the ultimate heroine: strong, intelligent, moral, and unafraid to speak her mind. I knew I wanted my protagonist, Emma, to step into her shoes as she awakens to first love and discovers her own strength of character. Thornfield and the rugged moors beyond provide the perfect backdrop, and then, of course, there’s Rochester—need I say more? Besides, who wouldn’t want to get lost, literally, in her favorite book?

Why do you write young adult literature?

In some ways, I still feel like a teenager—insecure and hopeful and edgy and excited—sometimes all within the same …

Review: The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes

Title: The World of Downton Abbey
Author: Text: Jessica Fellowes: Photography by: Nick Briggs
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Hardcover, 304 pages
ISBN: 978-1-250-00634-9
Genre: Non-fiction
Source: Publisher

A lavish look at the real world--both the secret history and the behind-the-scenes drama--of the spellbinding Emmy Award-winning Masterpiece TV series Downton Abbey

My thoughts:
Like thousands of others, I fell in love with the series, Downton Abbey. I'm glued to my seat with each season in anticipation to find out what will happen to these beloved characters. I love the upstairs characters as well as the downstairs characters. For those reasons and many others, I absolutely love The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes.
This book is a behind the scenes look at the mesmerizing world that I can't get enough. The World of Downton Abbey is broken up into several chapters that dives deeper into the series such as: Family Life, Society, L…

Review: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

Title: The Maid of Fairborne Hall
Author: Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
paperback, 416 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0709-9
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher

Fleeing a dishonorable man, Margaret abandons her pampered upper-class world for an anonymous life "below stairs." But will danger or love find her first?

My thoughts: In the Maid of Fairborne Hall by Julie Klassen, Margret Macy is used to being waited upon. She doesn't think twice about her lifestyle and all the perks that come with it. She lives with her mother and step-father in a lavish house. Her step-father is adamant in trying to get Margret to marry his nephew. Margret is uneasy about this union and after overhearing a distasteful plot to lure her into matrimony, her only course of action is to flee her home.  Margret Macy leaves without hardly any comforts or money. Her only solution is to find a job and wait until she is of age to collect her inheritance. Margret…

The Happiness Blog Tour

Bryan Cohen here, guest poster and author, promoting my new book The Post-College Guide to Happiness for The Happiness Blog Tour. I'm giving away free digital review copies of the book and doing a giveaway for paperback copies, audio copies and even a Kindle Fire! Read on and check out the info below the post. "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
- Albert Schweitzer
A Calling This is a famous quote and I considered not including it on the tour, but so many people get it wrong that I felt compelled to write about it. I realize that it seems nearly impossible to get a job in a field that you love, especially during the midst of a difficult economic time in which so many people are without jobs. In my life, I took the first job that made sense. I was a comedian and an actor, so I took an early-morning job as a barista so that I could spend time going to auditions. The problem …

Are you feeling lucky? Luck 'O The Irish Hop

a Rafflecopter giveaway<a href="">You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway</a>.
Don't forget to check out these other giveaways! *Romance at Random will pick the winners of this giveaway.

M. J. Rose Guest Post

M.J. Rose:  I've been fascinated with lost fragrances since long before I started writing The Book of Lost Fragrances... since I found a bottle of perfume on my great grandmother's dresser that had belonged to her mother in Russia. Here is one of those lost fragrances that stirs the senses and the imagination... (reasearched and described  with the help of the perfume writer  Dimitrios Dimitriadis)


Several decades before the modern revival of the Balenciaga brand, this Spanish design house (now owned by French multinational firm PPR) found its success chiefly in Paris from WWII through until the 1970s. Perhaps somewhat overshadowed by their flagship perfume Quadrille, the chypre green floral Cialenga, launched in 1973, was an often-overlooked gem which nowadays is chiefly forgotten. With topnotes of citrus, blackcurrant and green leaves, Cialenga evolves into a blooming bouquet of lily, rose, jasmine and ylang ylang… the foundation of which is underpinned b…

Perfection Cover Reveal

Title: Perfection Author: J.L. Spelbring Publisher: Spencer Hill Press ( ISBN: 978-1-937053-34-5 Release Date: May 7, 2013 Formats: paper & e-book
The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.

Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.

Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.

But he does.

His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, …

Review: Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King

Title: Abby Finds Her Calling (Home at Cedar Creek, Book One)
Author: Naomi King
Publisher: New American Library
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Paperback, 306 pages
ISBN: 978-0-451-23573-2
Genre: Inspirational Fiction

The Lambright family's eldest daughter, Abby, runs her own sewing shop. There, she mends the town's clothes and their torn relationships. But the town maiden has sworn off any suitors of her own because of her unrequited love for James Graber, who is about to marry her younger sister, Zanna.

My thoughts: Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King is delightfully heartwarming novel about the small Amish town of Cedar Creek. To call Cedar Creek a town doesn't really do it justice. The town is more like a family. The residents of Cedar Creek not only hold fast to each other but also to their values and faith. Much like a family this quiet town does not escape the drama that can be found in most families.  Abby is one of the main characters in this book. She is wise…

Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Title: Graveminder
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Paperback, 326 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-211516-4
Genre: Paranormal

Three sips to mind the dead . . .
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

My thoughts: "Sleep well, and stay where I put you." Are you intrigued yet? This sentence is what sold me on this book. Melissa Marr has a fantastic way of sucking you into her stories. She is a phenomenal wordsmith. If you've been reading my reviews for awhile you'd know that I'm not a huge fan of anything to do with zombies.  I loved Marr's Wicked Lovely series so I tho…

Naomi King Guest Post and Give@way

“You Passed the Amish Test!”
Naomi King, author of ABBY FINDS HER CALLING

Along with the pleasure of seeing my first Naomi King book, ABBY FINDS HER CALLING, on the shelves in bookstores this week, I received a fine, fun email from Jim, the fellow in Jamesport, Missouri, who assists me with the details of these Amish romances. He wrote, “Joe Burkholder’s wife read your two books, and they want to carry them in their store. You passed the Amish test!”
Now, while it’s nothing new to Beverly Lewis, Cindy Woodsmall, or other well-established authors of Amish novels to have their books stocked in Amish shops, this is a first for me. It’s important not just because Jamesport is the model for the Amish towns in my two series, or because it’s nice to have my books in the Burkholders’ store alongside those big-name authors I mentioned, but because I now have another layer of credibility. The Amish folks I’ve recently started writing about consider me authentic.
 And considering how the Amish don’t…