Thursday, 31 October 2013

Review: Hammer of God - Karen Miller

In Ethrea, Rhian sits upon a precarious throne. Defiant dukes who won't accept her rule threaten the stability of her kingdom. Dexterity has been banished from her court in disgrace. The blue-haired slave Zandakar, the man she thought was her friend, has been revealed as the son of a woman sworn to destroy her world. And Rhian's husband, King Alasdair, is unsure of her love.

The trading nations refuse to believe Mijak is a threat, and promise reprisals if she dares protect her realm. Only Emperor Han of mysterious Tzhung-tzhungchai knows that the danger from Mijak is real.

But is he an ally, or an enemy in disguise? As she struggles to learn the truth, and keep her embattled crown, the murderous warhost of Mijak advances ...

My thoughts:
Yay the end...in a good way ;) Yay that it was good to the end, but of course I am sad it did end. But trilogies are the best, not too long and not to short. The perfect fantasy formula.

We finally learn what it is that Mijak is hearing. The thing that tells Hekat to go forth and slaughter. Can't really be God when after having met Dex I get that his God is a good one. While the people of Mijak talk about demons and then go and kill everyone. Now who is listening to demons? It's a battle of god and bad.

OK so while all that religious stuff is going down Queen Rhian is trying to convince the Dukes that she will be a good queen. And meanwhile across the seas a bloodthirsty people is waiting to conquer the rest of the world. Most of the book is Rhian trying to convince idiots that she is good, or that darkness is coming. But idiots are idiots and do not listen. I did feel at one point that the book could have been 100 pages shorter but it was still a good end to the story.

Conclusion:
There is death, darkness, war, politic and characters to love and hate. I enjoyed this series and I must read more by her.

Would I read more?
Yes, definitely. 

Cover
Eh, ok

Paperback, 816 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Orbit (first published 2008)
Godspeaker Trilogy #3
Fantasy
Own


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Review: A killer Plot - Ellery Adams

In the small coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina, you'll find plenty of characters, ne'er-do-wells, and even a few celebs trying to duck the paparazzi. But when murder joins this curious community, the Bayside Book Writers are there to get the story... 

Olivia Limoges is the subject of constant gossip. Ever since she came back to town-a return as mysterious as her departure-Olivia has kept to herself, her dog, and her unfinished novel. With a little cajoling from the eminently charming writer Camden Ford, she agrees to join the Bayside Book Writers, break her writer's block, and even make a few friends...

But when townspeople start turning up dead with haiku poems left by the bodies, anyone with a flair for language is suddenly suspect. And it's up to Olivia to catch the killer before she meets her own surprise ending.

My thoughts:
My second cozy mystery. Look at me, I have read 2 :D This one I liked a bit more, but that was cos in this one the main character was not accused of murder. That just makes me sad...

We had a more mature main character...ok 40 but I am used to reading about much younger ones. She was sure of her self, she loved her dog and she wanted to find out who the killer was. Still this did not make her TSTL. She was careful after all and talked to the cops a lot.

I hoped for a bit of romance and yes there is something there in the shadows but I do wonder....

The mystery was good cos even in the end I was all "...what? Aha...ok I get it."

Conclusion:
A nice cozy mystery

Would I read more?
Yes

Cover
Cute

Paperback, 313 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Berkley
A Books By The Bay Mystery #1
Cozy mystery
From a book angel who got tired of me saying I would read a cozy one day but never did ;)


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Carole Rae Reviews: Ghost of Lost Eagle - Dean Sault

Author: Dean Sault
Title: Ghost of Lost Eagle (#1 Sweetwater Canyon Series)
Genre: Adventure, Western, and Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: July 8th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the publisher/author for an honest and unbiased review


"Mason "Tuck" Tucker meets Sass Thornton when she saves him from death in a flash flood. She dubs him "dumb-ass" for entering a box canyon during a rain storm. It is a label he will hear many times as she fights against her own unwanted attraction to him.



Sass's father, Phil, owns the cattle ranch and has been keeping two secrets from his daughter. Despite her contempt for Tuck, the father hires him to run the bunkhouse and control growing racial tension between white cowhands and Mexican vaqueros who work for him. Tuck surprises Phil with his easy, yet tough, management skill. The old man takes Tuck into his confidence and reveals a deadly truth about a killer who is terrorizing the bunkhouse residents.

Throughout the book, Tuck is haunted by howls of a lone wolf and life-like dreams of an old Indian ghost named Lost Eagle. The spirit medicine man wakes Tuck when he is in danger and repeatedly warns the young man about a coming destiny he must face. Ironically, that destiny will force Tuck to choose life or death for the Indian ghost as well as another.

Read what happens when the ghost of Lost Eagle, the lone wolf spirit guide and Tuck's new found love, Sass, come together in a life and death struggle. How does the murderer in the bunkhouse seek revenge against Sass and her father? Will Tuck leave the woman he loves to save the aunt who raised him, the only mother he’s ever known?"


Like earlier stated I was given this to read and review for the author/publisher for my unbiased and honest opinion.

I  honestly read this in a 24 hour period! I think I needed a good douse of western mixed with romance or something, because I just gobbled this down and nearly in one sitting at that. Kuddos to me. Also major kuddos to Dean Sault with his writing style. There is something about his writing that is so addictive. It might be because its so flowly and....not simple...but not over the top. It was an easy read and you can't help but keep reading even though your feet are falling asleep, because you haven't moved in a couple of hours. The only thing that annoyed me was there was a couple modern references that slipped in. It happens to everyone. Plus I only noticed a couple terms and etc.

More kuddos to Dean Sault for adding a little supernatural stuff to this story. I was worried at first that it wouldn't work well...but it did and I'm glad he added it. It was like...hot sauce. It added a special zang to the storyline. Made it really stand out. Buuut 

WHICH brings me to Tucker who was"cursed" by the supernatural stuff going around. GAH! I can see why Sass called him a "dumbass" throughout the whole novel. He truly was a dumbass. Sometimes I wanted to slap him himself.  I liked him...I did...but he truly was an idiot. WHICH in a way made me like him more, because he wasn't at all the A-typical hero in a romance novel. Sass was the same too...not the A-typical herione either. She was bitchy and didn't take mens shit. Sometimes she was overly mean to people who didn't deserve it, but hell, she had a LOT of baggage.... 

Man, Teresa I wanted to punch her.....

Need to cut myself off, before I give away some big spoilers. 

In the end, this was a good book. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to see what else Dean Sault has in store for us. His writing is really good, even though a couple oopsies slipped in.  This wasn't your A-typical western/romance. It had some hot sauce - aka supernatural stuff - mixed in. I would recommend this to those who like westerns, hot cowboys, romance, and lots of adventure. Out of five stars I shall stamp this with....4 stars.

Favorite Character(s): Tucker (even though he was a big ol' dumbass), Sass (a bitch, but funny), Phil, Mando, and Manny (super cute).
Not-so-Favorite Character(s): Richard (ass) &Teresa (stupid chit)



Carole owner of caroleraesramblings.com


Monday, 28 October 2013

Review: Heartwood - Freya Robertson

A dying tree, a desperate quest, a love story, a last stand.

Chonrad, Lord of Barle, comes to the fortified temple of Heartwood for the Congressus peace talks, which Heartwood’s holy knights have called in an attempt to stave off war in Anguis. But the Arbor, Heartwood’s holy tree, is failing, and because the land and its people are one, it is imperative the nations try to make peace.

After the Veriditas, or annual Greening Ceremony, the Congressus takes place. The talks do not go well and tempers are rising when an army of warriors emerges from the river. After a fierce battle, the Heartwood knights discover that the water warriors have stolen the Arbor’s heart. For the first time in history, its leaves begin to fall...

The knights divide into seven groups and begin an epic quest to retrieve the Arbor, and save the land.

My thoughts:
It was a complex world that gave me a few surprises. Which I of course can't mention, spoilers darling, spoilers.

Where to start? Delegates from countries have come to Heartwood to talk peace. Heartwood is the religious center with quite the military force. Think Sparta meets...holy tree that needs to be protected. The tree is tied to the land and nature is what religion is about here.

And then there are the...oh I so wanna tell you. It was a great revelation. Very intriguing. Well done, and you will know when you have read it.

There are a couple of POVS in this book, I will not tell you all but they have their different roads to take. It's not really about one person, but about them all. I guess we could say Chonrad is a lead, but I say they all are so that was a bit different.

The ending is just what it is, an ending. Which I am grateful for cos I am not a fan of cliffies. But at the same time I know there is a book 2 and I am so curious what that book will be about. I need to know.

The book had its focus on adventure and fighting. I guess I might have missed really getting to know one person and not all. But all in all it was a good book that I finished fast.

Conclusion:
I do still wonder what book 2 is about. The title gives me ideas, blurb please soon. 

Cover
Cool

Would I read more? 
Yes cos I want to know what happens next

Paperback, 528 pages
Expected publication: October 29th 2013 by Angry Robot
Elemental Wars #1
Fantasy
For review


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Giveaway: Springtime Pleasures by Sandra Schwab


 Giveaway time and this time the giveaway is open to everyone on the planet.

Sandra Schwab started writing her first novel when she was seven years old. Twenty-odd years later, telling stories is still her greatest passion, even though by now she has exchanged her pink heart-dotted fountain pen for a computer keyboard (black, no hearts). She lives in a suburb of Frankfurt on the Main, Germany, with a cat, a duck, a sewing maching, and altogether too many books.

For this giveaway the lovely Sandra Schwab will be giving away not only her new novel, 'Springtime Pleasures', but also some German Tea and German chocolate. 



"Caught between duty ...

George Augustus Griffin, Viscount Chanderley has to marry - fast: His father has ordered him to find a suitable wife this very season. Alas, the only woman Griff has eyes for is the very unsuitable Miss Carlotta Stanton, who is not only unbecomingly tall but also wears the ugliest spectacles in all of England. Still, Griff is utterly bewitched by her intense green eyes. Yet however much he feels drawn to her joie de vivre, duty and honor demand that he stay far away from Miss Stanton.

... and desire

Dubbed "the Giantess" because of her unfortunate height, Charlie Stanton finds the London season far less glamorous than she had thought it would be - not the least because she is consigned a place among the wallflowers. But then she becomes acquainted with the very dashing Lord Chanderley, whose life is overshadowed by a terrible tragedy in his past. Ever ready to help others, Charlie is determined to rid him of his Sad Melancholia - even if it means taking on wild boars and highwaymen. However, the biggest challenge might be the elusive viscount himself and his belief that he is beyond all redemption."

Giveaway:

A copy of Springtime Pleasures, tea and chocolate .D

How To Enter:
1. Just enter :D
2. Open to everyone
3.  Enter before November 10th

If you want feel free to head over to Carole Rae for a second chance at winning!




Saturday, 26 October 2013

Carole Rae Reviews: Springtime Pleasures - Sandra Schwab

Author: Sandra Schwab
Title: Springtime Pleasures (#1 in A Love for Every Season)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: October 14th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the publisher/author for an honest and unbiased review


"Caught between duty ...



George Augustus Griffin, Viscount Chanderley has to marry - fast: His father has ordered him to find a suitable wife this very season. Alas, the only woman Griff has eyes for is the very unsuitable Miss Carlotta Stanton, who is not only unbecomingly tall but also wears the ugliest spectacles in all of England. Still, Griff is utterly bewitched by her intense green eyes. Yet however much he feels drawn to her joie de vivre, duty and honor demand that he stay far away from Miss Stanton.

... and desire

Dubbed "the Giantess" because of her unfortunate height, Charlie Stanton finds the London season far less glamorous than she had thought it would be - not the least because she is consigned a place among the wallflowers. But then she becomes acquainted with the very dashing Lord Chanderley, whose life is overshadowed by a terrible tragedy in his past. Ever ready to help others, Charlie is determined to rid him of his Sad Melancholia - even if it means taking on wild boars and highwaymen. However, the biggest challenge might be the elusive viscount himself and his belief that he is beyond all redemption."


Like earlier stated I was given this book for my honest and unbiased opinion....

GAH! I couldn't help but hum 'Summertime Sadness' throughout my time with this book. I have no idea, but there was a connection. Maybe it had to that this love was not the most easiest of loves. It took a lot of work.

Anyways...this book was so....cute! I simply loved it! I really loved Charlie (aka Miss Stanton). She was adorable and completely out of her element in London. I also loved how the author made her very physically flawed (for that time period anyways). Glasses and being an Amazon - tall and tough. I felt bad though, because she did get teased by the ton. Asses the lot of them. Even a certain Lord Chanderley judged her at first....

Which brings us to the dumb, but honorable and charming Lord Chanderley. He was adorable as well, but many a times I wanted to punch him, because he was simply dumb.  He blames himself for an accident that was not his fault at all, which this guilt his daft parents use against him. Even though it was made clear to him by his sister, Charlie, and his cousin that it wasn't his fault at all. Simply I just wanted to yell, "GET OVER YOURSELF!" Even though it was annoying, I still liked him and it made they book better, because you KNOW he will get over it and move on. I really loved the way this came about - I will not say for that is the big spoiler in this book. 


Sandra Schwab is defiantly blooming and blossoming and I'm dying for more of her books. Especially the next one in this series. I really hope its about Miss Izzie, Chanderley's sister, who really deserves a HEA. Poor girl. 

Overall, this was a cute and fun and simply adorable. I simply loved the added letters. It really added a special-ness to it. I'm also so glad that Sandra Schwab made the HEA between Charlie and Griff a little harder to obtain. I shall recommend this to those that love HRs and for those looking for a book that will make them smile. Out of five stars I will give this 5 stars. 



Favorite Character(s): Charlie, Griff, Cousin Boo/Cole, Izzie, and Aunt Burnell (bahaha loved her).
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Griff's parents (>__>)


Friday, 25 October 2013

Review. The Rose and the Thorn - Michael J.Sullivan

TWO THIEVES WANT ANSWERS. RIYRIA IS BORN.
For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception --- Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of --- but she's about to find out.

My thoughts:
Now what to say....there were a bunch of things that made me go, look look!!! You would have to read the later books to get them. But for those who have not then this is just a normal book, while I found the little things fun.

Like Hilfred! I did not expect that. And the moment Hadrian has in a later book, well that was explained here and made me so sad. Again, I am talking in riddles but I just liked the little things so much :D It also made me want to re-read the trilogy and go all awww I read that stuff here.

Ok this is where I should say something that makes sense then ;)

Hadrian and Royce comes back to Medford. Gwen is hurt and Royce is mad. All while back at the castle young Hilfred finds his destiny and we meet the royals again. The book has a conspiracy going on..I will not say too much but there is danger, death and foul things going on.

Conclusion:
I really should re-read the series, small things have slipped my mind. Alas, so many books not enough time. Oh and crush on Royce! Even when he is insane.

Cover
Nice

Paperback, 347 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Orbit
The Riyria Chronicles #2, Riyria #2
Fantasy
own


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: Bec McMaster

Today I interview Bec McMaster and do not forget the giveaway at the end :)

Welcome!

1. Tell me 3 strange things about yourself...
Bec: Hi! So... three strange things about myself? One: I'm obsessed with tea! English Breakfast, to be precise, so I really struggled on my travels through the US lately, as the tea there is different. Two: I was raised on a steady diet of movies like The Princess Bride, Willow, Ice Pirates and Ladyhawke, so I have a bit of a weird notion of humor, romance and interests in general. I often quote The Princess Bride, but my boyfriend has no idea what I'm talking about. Heathen! Three: I'm terrified of horror movies. I had this incident once, where I went and watched The Ring by myself at the late-night movies. When I returned home, I was alone and there was a storm up in the hills. To get it out of my head, I decided to sit up and read until my friends came home but the power died about ten minutes in, so I was left sitting in the dark, holding the book, barely breathing... Since then, I just can't watch them, but I have this sick obsession with reading the backs of horror movies because I'm really curious about them.

2. Your new book is called My Lady Quicksilver could you tell us a little about it?
Bec: My Lady Quicksilver features Sir Jasper Lynch, the dutiful Master of the Nighthawks - and a rogue blue blood - and Mercury, the masked revolutionary seeking to bring down the ruling blue blood elite in London. When Lynch is tasked with finding and delivering Mercury to the authorities, he doesn't realize she might just be a little closer than he realized - under his nose, in fact. It's a lot of fun - my cat-and-mouse romance, so to speak, and I really enjoyed forcing Lynch to choose between duty and passion. 

3. Is steampunk hard to write?
Bec: I think it's the same as any sub-genre - you just have to think, what are you aiming for here? Steampunk is a little more than simply writing about the steam-powered technology - it's also about challenging the status quo of the world too, so I'm really interested in pushing the boundaries of what my heroines can do in a male-dominated society, challenging the whole state of that society, in fact. I'll be honest, the series is lighter on the steampunk aspects than most, which was quite deliberate. I wanted a world where readers who'd never encountered steampunk before could step right in and enjoy it without being overwhelmed, and considering I have a background in reading fantasy and paranormal, there were always going to be those aspects included. 

4. Will there be more books in this series?
Bec: So far I'm contracted for five books in the London Steampunk series - extending it will depend on editorial and reader demand. Forged by Desire is due out next September (2014) and will feature some secondary characters from My Lady Quicksilver, and Of Silk and Steam is scheduled for March 2015, where it will complete the five book series plot arc. I prefer to finish an overarching plot within a certain amount of books, so technically this will close the ongoing storyline, but it leaves the world open for me to explore other plot arcs if there's demand for it. I hear a lot of call for the verwulfen clans, I'll admit - it's made me realize werewolf fans are way more rabid than vampire fans. :)

5. Would you rather live in a steampunk world or the Victorian era?
Bec: Interesting question. I guess I'd have to say which steampunk world? Some of them sound quite wonderful, some... a little dangerous. I'm always fascinated with different worlds however, so I'd have to say a steampunk world, as the Victorian one was a little restrictive for women for my liking. I'd love to live in my own London Steampunk world for a day, but I think I'd rather be a blue blood (in a position of power) or someone connected to Blade's Whitechapel gang (featured in Kiss of Steel) as he tends to look after his own. Otherwise, it would be a little dangerous. 

6. Is there a genre you would also love to explore?
Bec: I love Urban Fantasy. Love it. In fact I probably read more UF than PNR or Steampunk, but so far finding the time to write it is a little difficult. 

Thanks for having me!

Giveaway
1 copy of My Lady Quicksilver

1. US and Canada only
2. Nov 2nd
3. Just enter :D
But be free to ask questions or tell me..vamp or were? ;)

MY LADY QUICKSILVER BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES OCTOBER 2013
“I WILL COME FOR YOU…”
He will find her no matter what. As a blue-blooded captain of the Nighthawk Guard, his senses are keener than most. Some think he’s indestructible. But  once he finds the elusive Mercury, what will he do with her?  

It’s his duty to turn her in—she’s a notorious spy and traitor. But after one stolen moment, he can’t forget the feel of her in his arms, the taste of her, or the sharp sting of betrayal as she slipped off into the night. Little does Mercury know, no one hunts better than the Nighthawk. And his greatest revenge will be to leave her begging for his touch…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds.

Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.
To purchase My Lady Quicksilver


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Review: Pie and Prejudice - Ellery Adams

When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.

Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.

My thoughts:
Not the best time to write a review when I am all grrr goodreads drama, I should not even post a review there! (edit in October, as you can see my reviews are old.)

Right, so this is my first cozy mystery. I have meant to read one for AGES, trust me, ages. And now I finally did. It was cute, charming and with a sprinkle of magic that I really enjoyed.

What I did not like is that Ella is falsely accused, I hate that premise, it makes me sad :/ But I loved that she did not let it stop her. She opened her pie shop, she went on a hunt for the real killer. Go Ella!

The magic, loved the is there really magic?

Her aunts were fun too. Her nemesis, grrr, yes her I certainly did not like. Her love interest, oh I am really on the fence about him...

Conclusion:
So all in all a charming book.

Cover
I neeeeeeeed pie!

Mass Market Paperback, 291 pages
Published July 2012 by Berkley Publishing Group
A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery #1
Cozy mystery
From a book angel


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Review: Banquet of Lies - Michelle Diener

LONDON, 1812: Giselle Barrington is living a double life, juggling the duties of chef with those of spy catcher. She must identify her father’s savage killer before the shadowy man finds her and uncovers the explosive political document her father entrusted to her safekeeping.

Posing as a French cook in the home of Lord Aldridge, Giselle is surrounded by unlikely allies and vicious enemies. In the streets where she once walked freely among polite society, she now hides in plain sight, learning the hard lessons of class distinction and negotiating the delicate balance between servant and master.

Lord Aldridge’s insatiable curiosity about his mysterious new chef blurs the line between civic duty and outright desire. Carefully watching Giselle’s every move, he undertakes a mission to figure out who she really is—and, in the process, plunges her straight into the heart of danger when her only hope for survival is to remain invisible.

My thoughts:
I finished the book in a day, I just read and read, and then I read some more. I almost did it in one sitting too if I had not had to go grocery shopping ;)

There is a lightness over the writing that makes the pages fly by. And then there is the suspense/mystery/drama that just makes it impossible to put it down. Here it's cos the heroine, Giselle is hiding from the man who killed her father and she has important information too. It's a cat and mouse game, and it's thrilling.

If I compare it to the other regency book she has written then yes I did love The Emperor's Secret a bit more. But that was cos of the heroine's past and the heartache it left me in. Still this book was awesome and it was not as dark when it came to certain things. It also made me want so much more, and I already know someone she totally should write about. But then that is how ES left me too. Wanting so much more, so please, write more :D

Honestly I had the best sentence in my head, it would have made the review. Alas now it's gone but that is how a good book usually leaves me unable to write a coherent review.

Giselle was great, brave and even if she said she was a mouse, then she certainly was a courageous mouse. Jonathan was in a way a sort of beta hero, dunno why I say that really. But in the best possible way. She was the heroine in the book after all.

Conclusion;
A cat and mouse game in a rich setting. Danger and romance is promised. And it makes Michelle Diener the go to woman for these sort of books. A good book makes you want more, but a great book makes you crave more. And this one was great.

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Gallery Books
Historical fiction / romantic fiction /suspense /spy games
For review


Monday, 21 October 2013

Author Interview and giveaway: Michelle Diener

Today I have Michelle Diener over for an interview and there will also be a giveaway of her new book.

Welcome to my blog again Michelle. What is new in your life?
Thank you for having me! My life is not that exciting, :) so at the moment it's the same old same old. But that's good for my writing!

Your new book is called Banquet of Lies,  how did you think of using the backdrop of a certain treaty in this book?
I've always been extremely interested in the secret diplomacy between the nations of Europe. It was a topic I studied in history at university, and while I focused more on Bismark and a slightly later period than the Regency in my degree, I knew there had been a lot of secret deals and back stabbing going on during the Napoleonic Wars as well. For someone like me, who loves intrigue, I didn't have far to look to find the deal that would work for this book, and the deal was negotiated only a few months after the events that take place in The Emperor's Conspiracy, which worked perfectly time-wise for me, as well.

And before I die, pleeeease tell me there will be more regency "spy" books.
LOL, of course there will! How could I possibly stop? 

On to the next question then, are you working on something right now?
I'm working on another connected book. Lord Durnham and Lord Dervish appear in this new book, along with Lord Aldridge and Giselle, but the main characters are the Duke of Wittaker and a brand new heroine. Because the Duke of Wittaker is the hero of this book, of course his chef, Georges Bisset, is in this one, too.

I liked how you put in some folklore in this book. Is that something that has always been of interest?
Folklore and fairy tales are a passion of mine. I have been under their spell since I could first read. I have a great many collections of fairy tales and folk tales on my shelves and I've read everything I can about them, from their origins to what they are trying to say. I love reading books by experts on fairy tales like Marie Louise Von Franz and others. I actually have a fantasy novel based on a fairy tale that I'm putting the final touches on right now. I absolutely loved weaving folklore into this book. It made it even more fun to write.

Have you tried the dishes that Giselle cooks in this book? I certainly want to taste them :)
I've made them all, as I love baking and cooking! And my readers can, to, as I have created a page on my website with all the recipes:  I can promise they are all delicious.

Until next time, thank you!

Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed Banquet of Lies. Thank you for your always thoughtful and well-written reviews.

Giveaway.
1 copy of Banquet of Lies

1. Open to ALL
2. Ends Oct 31st
3. Just enter :)


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Review: In Sea-salt tears - Seanan McGuire

Free to download in Mobi, ePub and PDF.

It was 1972, and a teenage girl named Elizabeth Ryan thought that her world was coming to an end. Elizabeth was the daughter of two Selkies, you see, and she had just been passed up for a skin. But then a mysterious cousin who calls herself Annie appears, and Elizabeth finds other things to think about...

It can be easy to forget that worlds don't wait for heroes before they begin. It can be easy to forget that things happened before the lights came up and the story started. This is one of those things that happened: this is one of those tales that slipped through the cracks. It is the story of a girl named Elizabeth, and a girl named Annie, and what they were to one another, in the sight and sounding of the sea.

Maybe it isn't fair. But fairy tales never really are.

Thoughts:
This was a sad short story. No happy ending here, but that depends on how you see it and what you want.

I liked it and the selkie stories are always sad in this universe. They are not the happiest of fairies...at all.

Love and loss and making choices is what it was about

ebook, 24 pages
Published August 23rd 2012
Got at http://www.seananmcguire.com/tobyshorts.php
October Daye #5.1
Urban fantasy

I also realised that  I never said anything about the short story at the end of Chimes of Midnight. We get to see October make the Choice and I liked the way it was shown. I do like Luidaeg, but then  I love them all


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Mishel reviews: The Tulip Eaters - Antoinette van Heugten

Mishel Reviews

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Release Date: October 2013 
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Pages: 368
My Rating: 4.5/5 
Source: Received for review from author/publisher
Cover: Thumbs up. I like that it’s clean and simple.

In a riveting exploration of the power the past wields over the present, critically acclaimed author Antoinette van Heugten writes the story of a woman whose child's life hangs in the balance, forcing her to confront the roots of her family's troubled history in the dark days of World War II.
It's the stuff of nightmares: Nora de Jong returns home from work one ordinary day to find her mother has been murdered. Her infant daughter is missing. And the only clue is the body of an unknown man on the living-room floor, clutching a Luger in his cold, dead hand.

Frantic to find Rose, Nora puts aside her grief and frustration to start her own search. But the contents of a locked metal box she finds in her parents' attic leave her with as many questions as answers—and suggest the killer was not a stranger. Saving her daughter means delving deeper into her family's darkest history, leading Nora half a world away to Amsterdam, where her own unsettled past and memories of painful heartbreak rush back to haunt her.

As Nora feverishly pieces together the truth from an old family diary, she's drawn back to a city under Nazi occupation, where her mother's alliances may have long ago sealed her own–and Rose's—fate.

Review:
Before starting the review I want to give a small introduction to my history with Antoinette van Heugten and her books. Back when I was still running P.S. I Love Books I was given the chance to review her first title Saving Max. It quickly became one of my favorite reads because of her simplistic yet addicting story telling. It was hard to put the book down because the pacing and plot snatched up my attention. With life constantly getting in the way for me and reading I absolutely love when I find a book that refuses to let me go. So to make a long story short I was super excited when I received a Goodreads message from Antoinette simply thanking me for requesting to be her friend. Before I knew it she had offered me a chance to review her newest title The Tulip Eaters. I was beyond happy because as you all know I’ve only recently gotten back into reviewing. I’ve missed interacting with authors terribly and “meeting” Antoinette (via internet) has made me one happy clam! So enough blabbing… let me give you my thoughts on The Tulip Eaters.

The Tulip Eaters starts out very fast-paced with Nora de Jong coming home from work one day to discover her mother murdered, a dead man not far from her mother’s body, and her infant daughter missing.  Like the author’s first novel, I had some problems with the reality of certain situations. I found a number Nora’s actions somewhat implausible. Granted, Nora is an extremely distraught mother who is on the brink of losing her mind with grief. I admire her determination to find her daughter. I admire her courage to ignore the authorities and go off on her own search. But realistically, many things happen in the novel that just stretch a bit too far for me. But on the same token, without Nora’s rashness the mystery of her family’s history and Rose’s disappearance would probably never have been investigated fast enough or at all. The judicial system, be it international or not, is a slow moving giant that sometimes may never even come through for a victim. 

Despite Nora’s daring recklessness, the history of her family is something to journey through. I, like many others my age (or any age probably), forget how recent WWII was. Yes it’s 2013 but the 1940s was the time of my grandparents. It’s a shame I’m not close to my family because I would love to know their thoughts on living through the very things I learned in school. Nora’s Dutch lineage and history is woven so thrillingly into the plot that I had to keep reading at every spare moment I had. That’s what I love about Antoinette’s writing. I’ve read some reviewers think the writing in this novel is juvenile or that it lacks depth. But I have to disagree. I like that I don’t have to swim through so much depth to understand the most basic point of the plot. I like that I don’t have to over think anything and that I can just relax and enjoy a thrilling story. 

A plus side to The Tulip Eaters is that the historical part of the novel is more like an introduction to readers who may or may not be familiar with the Dutch history surrounding WWII. Antoinette doesn’t bog the reader down with tons of historical facts. She provides enough facts to leave the reader either satisfied or inspired to go find out more, like myself. I know I’ll be reading more books about this fairly recent time in history. 

While the characters may come across a little flat or predictable it doesn’t change the fact that The Tulip Eaters was a very addictive read. The story had its fault but it didn’t fail in reeling me in until the very last page. Antoinette is now on my automatic buy list with two novels that I really enjoyed already on my shelf. 


Friday, 18 October 2013

Review: A Wartime Christmas - Carol Rivers

Can love find a way this Christmas?  Christmas 1941, Isle of Dogs. The little community on Slater Street has fought valiantly to keep their spirits up through the long nights of the Blitz. Though her husband, Alan, has been called up to serve his country, Kay Lewis is determined to give her young son Alfie and friend Vi as merry a Christmas as any other. 

But when a strange woman and her son arrive on her doorstep, Kay's world is shaken to the core. Could the terrible accusations that Dolly makes about Alan be true? Could he really have been leading a double life without her realising? Has he really stolen a large sum of money from Dolly and her son, Sean? Then disaster strikes as Alan is reported missing in action. With no way of discovering the truth, Kay will have some difficult decisions to make if she is to protect her family and keep her faith in the man she thought she knew. A moving tale of triumph in the face of adversity, A Wartime Christmas will transport you to a period when the Christmas season was a beacon of hope in the darkest of times.

My thoughts:
The book felt light even with the heavy background at hand. I liked that as the pages just turned themselves that way.

East End during the blitz. Horrors daily and fear, but Kay just lives her life even if it's tough. She misses her son who is evacuated. She is married to Alan who, yes who has secrets and I kept wondering through out the book what really was going on with him.

There is a good cast of side characters too, Viv who lives next door and then a bunch of other neighbors who lives on the street. And then there is a bitchy woman who shows up and she, arghh, so deserved a smack over the head. She brings something new into the story, good and bad things.

There is also more than one Christmas in the book. The book starts during the blitz and ends after the war is over.

Conclusion:
A good book with interesting characters and the same goes for the scenery. I enjoyed it.

Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Ltd (first published August 1st 2013)
Romantic Fiction
For review


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Review: Holidays at Pemberley - Alexa Adams

Both a Christmas celebration and conclusion to Tales of Less Pride & Prejudice, Holidays at Pemberley begins where First Impressions ends, with the marriage Fitzwilliam Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet, and spans the course of Second Glances to conclude their story. As the Darcys enjoy their first years of marriage, Charlotte Lucas is often invited to join them. Watching as the Bennet sisters, one by one, marry to both outrageous advantage and with great affection, her only ambition remains independence and respectability, stubbornly blind to the virtues of a love match. Miss Lucas thinks she has found an acceptable husband in David Westover, rector of Kympton and determined bachelor, but he remains oblivious to the implications of befriending a Miss Lucas. It may mean some heartbreak, but if Mrs. Darcy's pragmatic friend will only surrender to Cupid, she may find wild fantasies do come true, even for ladies dangerously close to thirty.

My thoughts:
I like these books cos they feel real, more austenuesque in the way they are written :)

And this book is Charlotte's book (even if we see all the rest and they get plenty of room too). In this re-telling Charlotte did not marry Collins, no Mary did that (and she was so the better fit). Charlotte is not spoken for and spends time at Pemberley and meets a gentleman. But of course we need a bit of drama and things take a long time to work out.

I liked what she did in the book. First impressions (book 1) is here were Charlotte meets David. Second Glances is their second chance (and was Kitty, Georgiana and Lydia's book) and the last part is the Third encounters and will Charlotte finally get a HEA?

There is also Lizzy and Darcy as they settle into their home, The Wickhams, Bingley's and the best Aunt Catherine there is, she is actually nice.

Conclusion:
A sweet sequel and re-telling of what could have happened if other choices had been made.

186 pages
published in 2013 by Outskirts Press
Pride and Prejudice sequel
For review


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: Julia London

Today I welcome Julia London to my blog :)

1. Tell me about yourself...
I always dread this question because I feel like I never have an exciting enough answer. I’m a writer, a runner, a bike enthusiast, a dog lover and a not-so-limber or graceful yoga student. Not necessarily in that order, but you get the gist. I write during the majority of the day, so staying active when I’m away from the computer is essential. Especially since I also have a passion for anything chocolate, rich, red wines and a definite weakness for cheeseburgers. Which leads me to another Facebook page I have called: Running for burgers. I find it helps to have a goal to motivate myself when I run and in talking to other women, I wasn’t surprised to find that many of them do as well. 

2. And tell me about your new novella, The Bridesmaid…
In my latest novella, THE BRIDESMAID, Joe and Kate are total strangers who meet under the worst traveling circumstances imaginable, an airline strike and a super storm which is wreaking havoc across the entire center of the country. Both must get from New York to Seattle, Kate for her high-strung best friend’s wedding and Joe to attend a meeting for the job of a lifetime. It’s my version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles set against a romance.

3. What was the inspiration behind the book?
I travel quite a bit and have been stranded on more than one occasion at the airport, but the worst was being trapped at Chicago O’Hare for eight hours. During these situations, no one is generally on their best behavior. They’re tired, crowded, irritable, and I got to thinking what if a couple met under these circumstances and were then forced to work together to get across the country? Would it make them or break them? What would it do to a budding romance? And as usual, it ended up a book!

4. This would be a cute movie, and now I wonder, who would play Kate and Joe?
Oooh, good question! Hmm, for Joe, it’s a no brainer! I think I’d have to pick Henry Cavil, well, because he’s Henry Freakin’ Cavil  And for Kate, I really like Kristen Bell. She’s cute and quirky and usually plays characters with a definite sense of who they are and still makes you laugh. 

5. What's coming next from you?
Up next (Feb 2014) I’ve got THE TROUBLE WITH HONOR being released. It’s the first in a new historical series about four privileged sisters who try and direct the course of their fate in unconventional ways. Right now I’m finishing up the second book in my Pine River Trilogy, RETURN TO HOMECOMING RANCH, which follows HOMECOMING RANCH and is slated for publication next summer. This series about three sisters who didn’t know each other existed until they inherited a rundown ranch from their deadbeat father. All this while, I’m also writing another novella for Sourcebooks, tentatively titled ONE MAD NIGHT. Rival ad execs, Chelsea and Ian are stranded in their office overnight (I used the same storm that forced Joe and Kate together in THE BRIDESMAID).  

Thanks for having me and sharing a little bit about THE BRIDESMAID and my other books with your readers. I love hearing from readers also so if they’d like to keep in touch they can contact me on FacebookTwitter or over at my website.

Thanks!

Giveaway 
1 copy of The Bridesmaid

1. US and Canada
2. Oct 26
3. Just enter :)


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Review: Sins of the Lost - Linda Poitevin

Heaven and Hell are on the brink of war as Lucifer builds his Nephilim army and waits for his new agenda to become a reality — that of having a Nephilimchild of his own bloodline to lead his forces to cataclysmic victory.

With rumors of the pending war rampant on Earth, Alex fights to save humanity from its own panic –­ leaving little time for her fledgling
relationship with Seth, the man with heavenly origins who has captured her heart. But when Nephilim children begin to disappear, along with Alex’s own vulnerable niece, the inevitable war between Heaven and Hell becomes as personal as sin.

Heaven has its own plans to fight the coming apocalypse, but first it needs Seth back. Asked to betray the man she loves, Alex must turn for help to the soulmate she thought she’d given up — the Archangel Aramael, who may be her last chance to save her family and humanity from the ashes of Lucifer’s Armageddon.

My thoughts:
What a roller coaster ride! And at the end I was cursing her name (again!).

Alex is happy with Seth..or is she? She still deals with the trauma from book 2, and of course then there is the whole Son of Lucifer and God thing going on. Seth did after all give up everything to be with her. Also hiding in the shadows is her former soul mate (well he still is but he must stay away). Lots of possible romantic drama in play and Poitevin shakes the foundations of what I want yet again.

Then we have the THE END IS NEAR thing. Yes you can't really skip that part as lots of halfhuman/angel babies are popping up  and will lead the Fallen to Armageddon. The end is certainly near and cos of who she chose Alex is in the middle of it all. There was action, blood, and unexplained murders for her to solve and much heart ache.

Then we have the end, oh she is so good at those... not a cliffie, but yes still such a cliffie ending. Things are "normal" *coughs* for now, but we all know lots more are to come the next minute or so. The ending is also truly evil and I do not even know what to think any more. What do I want? How will she possible fix everything? I NEED to know!

Conclusion;
More please.

Cover
yeah...no

Published October 15th 2013 by InterMix
Grigori Legacy #3
Urban fantasy
for review


Monday, 14 October 2013

Review: Secret Unleashed - Sierra Dean

After her last mission tested the limits of her humanity and took her out of this world, Secret’s friends, determined to keep her safe from her old nemesis Alexandre Peyton, keep ushering her from one babysitter to the next. 

Couch surfing would be a lot more fun if Alexandre would let up on her long enough to allow her to get in some alone time with her lovers. Including Holden, her self-appointed shadow. 

As if living out of coffin isn’t bad enough, Secret literally brings down the house while hunting a rogue, causing the council to exile her from New York—for her own safety, of course. 

With her list of people to trust getting shorter and shorter, Secret ends up embroiled in a mystery to find a vampire warden gone AWOL and a missing artifact. Things go from bad to worse when she falls into the hands of a man who will prove that humans can be the worst monsters of them all. 

Warning: Contains a cross-country journey, an unexpected family reunion, heated lovers’ embraces and a hell of a lot of trouble.

My thoughts:
While reading this I had sat down in an uncomfortable position, but did I move? NO! That would mean precious lost reading time. And when it comes to Secret then that is not acceptable. Yes I did start reading this almost the minute I got it, and yes after having slept (evil sleep!) I did start reading again and did not stop.

Secret is as cool as ever. Her life is crap as always as Peyton is on the loose. Her love life is screwed up as always. But I am all Team Des. He is a puppy and I wanna hug him. Holden is, well hot, but nope. He does not do it for me. And now to my confession, it's a dirty secret, but in this book, I can't! Ok, I still have feelings for Lucas! I know, shoot me now. But there they are Lucas feelings popping up again.

The book takes Secret on a trip and shit hits the fan. This is one evil author I tell you. Poor Secret. I have more respect than ever for her. And while on her mission, ohhh the secrets we learn. We learn something about Sig and something about, spoilers darling. Spoilers.

I really can't say anything about this book. It feels like one huge spoilers. But it will give you action, romance and secrets ;)

Conclusion:
Read this series.

ebook, 343 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2013 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Secret McQueen #6
Urban fantasy
for review


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