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Showing posts from June, 2012

Review: The Queen's Vow by C.W. Gortner

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Title: The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile
Author: C.W. Gortner
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: June 12, 2012
Hardcover, 382 pages
ISBN: 978-0-345-52396-9
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Book Tour

Summary:

No one believed I was destined for greatness.
So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

My thoughts:
Isabella of Castille is a historical figure that I would think most people are familiar with. If, of course, you paid attention in history class. She is an intriguing person because she did what other women of her time weren't allowed…

Lloyd Lofthouse Guest Post and Giveaway

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What I enjoyed most about writing "The Concubine Saga" was breathing life back into the bittersweet love story that Sir Robert Hart (1835 - 1911), the only foreigner the Emperor of China ever trusted, wanted to hide from the world.
Although Hart burned his own journals covering the early years of his romance with Ayaou—a gap of two years and almost nine months—enough evidence survived that Harvard scholars surmised, "Hart's years of liaison with Ayaou gave him his fill of romance, including both its satisfaction and its limitations."
In addition, shortly before his death, Hart started to go through his journals that he did not burn and strike out what he didn't want the world to read. However, he never had a chance to finish the job.
When I think of Robert Hart's bittersweet love story with his concubine Ayaou, two novels come to mind. One is "Gone With the Wind", the love story between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, which is the epic ta…

Review: The Concubine Saga

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Title: The Concubine Saga
Author: Lloyd Lofthouse
Publisher: Three Clover Press
Published: May 9, 2012
paperback, 547 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9819553-8-4
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Premier Virtual Author Book Tours

Summary (From Goodreads):
 The Concubine Saga is the deeply intimate story of Hart's loyalty and love for his adopted land and the woman who captured his heart. Historical fiction potboiler, yes. But where The Concubine Saga truly shines is its thought-provoking passages on relationships, attitudes and cultural differences. The heated dialogue between Hart and Ayaou will especially touch a nerve for any westerner who has ever lived and loved in China…" Thomas Carter, photojournalist and author of "China: Portrait of a People

My thoughts:
The Concubine Saga by Lloyd Lofthouse is the perfect blend of when fact meets fiction. When this novel first came to my attention, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it. I am glad that I did decide to give it a try or I wo…

Q&A with Jennie Fields + Give@way

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Q&A with Jennie Fields, author of  THE AGE OF DESIRE

The relationship between Edith and Anna is very complex. Did you always plan on making their troubled friendship central to the book, or did it grow out of your research?
It wasn’t until three months into the writing of the book that I decided to add a secondary protagonist, someone who could view Edith objectively.  Anna Bahlmann seemed the perfect character as she was with Edith on and off since her days as Edith’s governess until the year Anna died in 1916.  To have kept Anna with her so long, I assumed they must be very close, but biographers had hardly mentioned her.

Then after I’d already written many chapters of the book, a miracle occurred.  Over 100 letters from Edith to Anna which had been moldering in an attic came up for auction at Christies! Everything I supposed about their relationship was true.  They were loving and close since Edith’s childhood, and she trusted Anna with a great deal.  I grew more and more intrigu…

Review: Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica

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Title: Indigo Springs (Astrid Lethewood #1)
Author: A.M. Dellamonica
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Published: October 27, 2009
paperback, 317 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7653-1947-0
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Bought

Summary (from Goodreads):

Indigo Springs is a sleepy town where things seem pretty normal . . . until Astrid's father dies and she moves into his house. She discovers that for many years her father had been accessing the magic that flowed, literally, in a blue stream beneath the earth, leaking into his house. When she starts to use the liquid "vitagua" to enchant everyday items, the results seem innocent enough: a "'chanted" watch becomes a charm that means you're always in the right place at the right time; a "'chanted" pendant enables the wearer to convince anyone of anything . . .
But as events in Indigo Springs unfold and the true potential of vitagua is revealed, Astrid and her friends unwittingly embark on a journey fraught with p…

Big Sky Country Book Tour and Give@way

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Excerpt:
“Still a smart-ass after all these years,” she remarked, sounding almost wistful.
“It’s a coping mechanism,” Joslyn said, only half kidding. She pushed her hair back again and regarded her friend with affection. “Thanks for doing this, Kendra—giving me a job and letting me rent the guest-house, I mean.”
Kendra straightened her elegant spine. She’d pinned her pale, silky hair up in a loose knot at her nape, and her simple jewelry—gold posts in her earlobes and one bangle bracelet gracing her right wrist—looked quietly classy. Her eyes were a pale, luminous green.
“I’ve missed you, Joss,” Kendra said, as Joslyn pulled back the other chair and sank into it. “It’s great to have you back in town…” She paused then, lowered her eyes.
“But?” Joslyn prompted gently.
“I can’t quite figure out why you’d want to be here, after what happened.” Color rose in Kendra’s cheeks, but she met Joslyn’s gaze again. “Not that any of it was your fault, of course, but-“
The coffeepot began to make si…

Guest Post: Janiera Eldridge and Her Soul Sister Dream Cast

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If Soul Sisters was a movie this is my Dream Cast!
So, just about every author has a dream cast for who they would choose to represent their characters if their book turned into a movie. I can never write a new character without having someone to base it off of (usually more on looks than personality). Below are the people who influenced the looks of Soul Sisters main characters!
Ani and Dana---------------Tia and Tamera Mowry

I’ve grown up with these twin childhood stars all my life. I think I’ve seen just about ever Sister, Sister episode there is. The moment I knew I was writing about twins, Tia &Tamera where the first set of twins that popped into my mind. They’re both just so beautiful!
Diego----- Laz Alonso

I wrote the character of Diego just for actor Laz Alonso. I knew from the very beginning my male character was based on him. I’m a huge fan of his; I even got to meet him in person. He was so nice to everyone who took pictures with him. When I started writing my book afte…

The Best Books You're Not Reading

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Sourcebooks has a fantastic sale going on right now until June 24th. The books listed are $1.99 or less. Check it out and add these books to your reading pile! Click on the links below to purchase the books. Find more deals at Amazon by clicking here. T

Water Wars by Cameron Stracher.
WATER WARS is set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia, where two teenagers, Vera and her brother Will, race against time to rescue their friend from the corporations that run the world by controlling the limited water supply. In a world that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe and war, water is hoarded by governments with access to it, rivers are dammed, polar caps are melted, and clouds sucked from the sky.  One morning Vera meets and befriends a mysterious boy named Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water and claims to know about an untapped river but is sworn to secrecy.
Vera and Kai become friends, and soon something blossoms between the two teens.  But one afternoon Kai doesn’t sho…

David Broughton Interview and Give@way

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1. What made you choose to write the genre that you write in? 
Surprisingly enough it started late one night while laid in bed watching t.v. I think there was a show about St. George (The Patron Saint Of England), when my wife Laura asked about him, to be honest I didn't truly know at the time and told her I would work at finding out, well safe to stay I'm still researching, and still writing six years further on.

2. Please tell us about the protagonist, Jacob Hamilton.
The obvious thing about him he's an assassin, but not through choice. His family has lineage that traces back to the early days of the creed, a lineage that weighs heavy on his shoulders. At the start of the book House Of The Hidden Blade, he's taking on a final last mission, after which he's leaving the world of hired killer behind, he's tired of hiding in the shadows, and yearns for a normal, family life, little does he know there's no easy way out.

3. What does you protagonist think of y…

Review Untouched: Jus Accardo

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Title: Untouched (A Denazen Novella)
Author: Jus Accardo
Publisher: Entangled  Publishing
Publication Date: March 28, 2012
E-Book
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: From Publisher

Summary (From Goodreads):

Until he met Dez, Kale’s days were filled with violence and death. He was used as a weapon of destruction by the power hungry men of Denazen. He’s a Six. A person with an abnormal ability. Some people call them gifts, but not Kale. Kale’s touch means instant death.
But now there’s Dez, the girl he can touch, and they’re hunting down Sixes and warning them about Denazen. Kale is learning about the world outside captivity and trying to put his dark past behind him. But they underestimated how badly Denazen wanted him back.

My thoughts:
Untouched  by Jus Accardo is a novella that takes place between the first and second book of the series. If you haven't read Touch, I recommend that you do so before you read this book. There are some definite spoilers if you haven't read th…

Guest Post: Five Weird, Funny Novels You Should Read by Jeff Strand

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Five Weird, Funny Novels You Should Read
Note that this is not a list of the five funniest novels of all time--just five funny, weird novels you should read, assuming that you like funny, weird novels.

1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Yeah, I'm starting off with an obvious choice, but the books in this series (well, okay, the first three) are some of the most hilariously insane novels of all time. This isn't the place to go for laser-focused storytelling; Adams continually and cheerfully goes off on wild tangents, and that's a lot of the fun.

2. The Unnatural by David Prill. So here's the premise: it's a world just like our own, except that instead of watching baseball, sports fans watch...competitive corpse embalming! Yes, this is the tale of a young farmboy with talent and a dream. If you're always saying that you'd read more sports-themed novels if they were about trying to set the record for number of corpses embalmed in a s…

Review: Scotsmen Prefer Blondes by Sara Ramsey

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Title: Scotsmen Prefer Blondes (Muses of Mayfair #2)
Author: Sara Ramsey
Publisher: Spencerhill Associates Ltd.
Publication Date: March 29, 2012
ebook
ISBN: 978-1-938312-01-4
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: NetGalley

Summary:
When a friend is forced to consider a marriage of convenience, Lady Amelia Staunton is determined to rescue her. But her plans trap her in an illicit seduction, and Amelia must marry him herself. Malcolm’s all-consuming kisses and devilish humor might make up for her lost freedom, but she believes he will force her to abandon the Gothic romances she yearns to write. Since she can’t escape him, she must distract him from her secret…

My thoughts:
Scotsmen Prefer Blondes is the second book in the Muses of Mayfair series. The series is about a group of women who live in the Regency Era. They all posses talents in the arts that would be considered scandalous and ruin their reputations if word ever got out about it. Lady Amelia Staunton is an author. She writes under…

All the Broken Pieces Cover Reveal and Excerpt

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Imprint: Entangled Teen Audience: Young Adult  Novel length: 304 pages  Format: Trade paperback and eBook  Publication Date: December, 2012 available for pre-order on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads
What if your life wasn’t your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.
Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv r…