Showing posts from January, 2013

Silver Threads by Jade Kennedy

Title:Silver Threads
Author: Jade Kennedy

Genre: Fiction (Poetry / Mythic / Virginia Woolf / Mothers / Holidays)
Publisher/Publication Date: Valley Press (5/31/2012)
Source: The author.

Rating: Liked a great deal.
Did I finish?: I did, in one evening, sucked in.
One-sentence summary: Twenty-one poems touching on childhood, Halloween, fairy tale landscapes, history, and favored books.
Reading Challenges:Dive Into Poetry, E-book

Do I like the cover?: I do -- I wish it was a print I could frame on my walls! It reminds me of the opening of her poem 'Silver Threads': When those silver threads weave/as soft and tender as white starlight/curling in tendrils through and within...

First line: Once upon a barren night/when the starless sky was as black as black had always been/and the sea was restless, forever listless/the trees breathed within the dark/their branches stretching and twisting/growing and snapping/searching for the amber moon, always elusive. -- from 'Darkness'

Buy, Borro…

Interview with D.L. Bogdan

While I'm not a Tudor fan, I took a risk and picked up D.L. Bogdan's The Forgotten Queen, a novel of Henry VII's sister Margaret. To my surprise and delight, I enjoyed this novel and Bogdan's sympathetic take on this queen. I'm thrilled to share my interview with Bogdan, so read on to learn more about her, her book, and what she does when she's not writing. Be sure to enter the giveaway!

What was the plot of your very first piece of fiction?

The plot was based on a wall hanging at my grandma’s house of animals in winter. I wrote that they were conferring on the impending hunting season and were figuring out places to hide!

Do you have any writing rituals or routines?

I love to listen to classical music and scores from films as I write. I have an extensive playlist that is designated as my “Writing Mix.” It features Bach and Mozart, along with songs from the soundtracks of Dances with Wolves, Marie Antoinette, and Memoirs of a Geisha, among many more. Mu…

A Tainted Dawn by B.N. Peacock

Title:A Tainted Dawn
Author: B.N. Peacock

Genre: Fiction (Historical / 18th Century / Nautical / British Navy / Merchant Ships / French Revolution / Caribbean)
Publisher/Publication Date: Fireship Press (3/1/2012)
Source:Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: The lives of three men are touched by revolution, war, the sea, and their own desire to go out in the world on their own.
Reading Challenges:Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I have no strong feelings one way or the other.

First line: Even in August, London streets could be clogged.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow if you like gritty novels that don't gloss over the harder/darker parts of history -- especially life in the British navy.

Why did I get this book?: I like nautical fic now and then -- I don't know much about ships, but I fancy sailors!

Review: This first novel is a promising start to a nautical-based series set in the tumultuous late 18th century.

While th…

Mailbox Monday, Jan 28

Ohemgee, what is up with this winter weather?!  Despite my best efforts, I spent a good chunk of last night in the cold and it was miserable.  Thankfully, I had books to make it better.  Another wonderfully full Mailbox Monday this week.  Hosted in January at Lori's Reading Corner, my arrivals look pretty amazing.

To learn more, click on the cover. A new tab/window will open.

Most excitingly: I'm the host of Mailbox Monday in February!! I'm a great hostess, I promise! I hope to see you all next week!

So, what did you get this week?

For Review


Sweetly gifted to my wife (!) by the author, after I commented that my wife is an enormous Katherine Parr fangirl. How sweet is that?! Thank you, Ms. Byrd!!


First winners post of 2013!  Two giveaways ended this week!

The winner of Wanderers is ... Meghan S.!

The winner of The Midwife's Tale is ... Charity U!

Congrats to the winners!  Everyone has been emailed and has about 48-hours to reply. 

If you didn't win, be sure to check out my open giveaways -- there are two for international folks! -- and more to come, including another opportunity to win the Passing Bells trilogy!

Interview with Sam Thomas

My 2013 opened with a bang, thanks to Sam Thomas' The Midwife's Tale, a wonderful historical novel with a great plot, characters, and setting. I'm excited to share my interview with Sam Thomas -- read on to learn about his writing process, more about this book, and what he does when he's not reading. Be sure to enter the giveaway -- it ends today!

What was the plot of your very first piece of fiction?

Actually, you’ve just read it! I wrote a lot of history before trying a novel, but this was my first time with fiction.

Do you have any writing rituals or routines?

Nothing too weird. I get up at 5:00, grab a cup of coffee, and get started. Now that Cuties are in season, I start with one of those…I’m not sure what I’ll when they’re no longer around!

Was The Midwife's Tale the original title of your book?

Gosh no. Initially it was Statute of Treasons, because the crime at the center of the book is the murder of a husband by his wife. Under English law (the Statute of T…

Weekend Reads and it is still freezing...

I'm working from home today as my office has a terrible draft and iffy heat at the moment, and it is something like negative one million outside.

It's also my wife's birthday (Happy Birthday, sweetheart!), so I got up early to make croissants (Trader Joe's rise-overnight kind, they just baked for, like, 10 minutes) and tea.  Obviously, I had to show off for this post, and I am noshing on the croissants while reading this morning before I get to work.

I'm reading A Tainted Dawn: The Great War by B.N. Peacock and after that, the second book in the Passing Bells trilogy, Circles of Time

That's an ambitious reading plan, as it is The Birthday Weekend. I'm taking my wife to a funky cute little Vietnamese fusion-y place tonight, then we're going to see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (in 3-D which I know everyone else hates but I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve) sometime tomorrow.  It will be such fun!

Anyway....what are you reading this weekend??

The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan

Title:The Forgotten Queen
Author: D.L. Bogdan

Genre: Fiction (Historical / Tudor / 16th Century / Royals / Scotland / Intrigue / Motherhood / Marriage / Henry VIII)
Publisher/Publication Date: Kensington Publishing (1/29/2013)
Source:Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did!
One-sentence summary: The life of Margaret Tudor, princess and queen, who battles for love, her family, and her happiness in 16th century Scotland.
Reading Challenges:E-book, Historical Fiction, What's in a Name

Do I like the cover?: I have no strong feelings. I don't know if the dress is accurate, but the model has the reddish hair our heroine is noted for, so that's a perk!

First line: It began with smoke.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy, especially if you like Tudor-fic.

Why did I get this book?: I enjoyed Bogdan's other novel and was curious to see how she would handle this Tudor.

Review: I'm no fan of the Tudors but having enjoyed Bogdan's previous novel…

India Black and the Rajah's Ruby by Carol K. Carr

Title:India Black and the Rajah's Ruby
Author: Carol K. Carr

Genre: Fiction (Historical / early 20th Century / London / UK / Sex Worker / Victoriana / Mystery)
Publisher/Publication Date: Berkley (12/31/2012)
Source: NetGalley

Rating: Looved!
Did I finish?: In one night!
One-sentence summary: India Black, a foxy young courtesan, reflects on the circumstances that lead to her being able to afford her own brothel.
Reading Challenges:E-book, Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I like it but I'm rather fond of the covers for all the India Black novels -- even though they commit the cardinal sin of slicing off half her face in this one. (In the other two novels, our model keeps her face!) The gown is so pretty, however, I forgive them...

First line: Having acquired a reputation as one of London's most successful madams, I'm frequently asked by young tarts for advice on plunging into the cutthroat world of brothel ownership.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Buy, buy, buy -- it's inexp…

The Expats by Chris Pavone

Title:The Expats
Author: Chris Pavone

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Marriage / Domestic Thriller / Luxembourg / Europe / American Expat)
Publisher/Publication Date: Broadway (1/22/2013)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Meh.
Did I finish?: I didn't.
One-sentence summary: Kate Moore, American expat in Luxembourg, has to deal with a professional mistake while hoping to make sense of her husband's changing behavior.
Reading Challenges:Immigrant Stories, 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books

Do I like the cover?: I do -- it matches the genre and the focus of the story,

First line: "Kate?"

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow if you like thrillers featuring women and deceptive marriages.

Why did I get this book?: I'm envious of expats!

Review: I suppose it's inevitable that my streak of winning reads comes to an end. Sadly, this thriller just didn't catch my interest and I DNF'd at 103 pages after many fits and starts.

Essentially, American Kate moves to Luxembourg when her…

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

Title:The Death of Bees
Author: Lisa O’Donnell

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Glasgow / Sisters / Orphans / Multiple Narrators / Mystery / Teenage Heroine - Not YA )
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper (1/2/2013)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Loved! Adored!
Did I finish?: I inhaled this one!
One-sentence summary: Sisters Marnie and Nelly are alone after their parents die, and their everyday life is a struggle -- to survive, to not be found out, to keep away from those who want to harm them.

Do I like the cover?: It's gorgeous -- love the colors, the silhouette-y style, the font -- perfect.

I'm reminded of...: Jane Harris, Sadie Jones

First line: Today is Christmas Eve.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy -- read this stat!

Why did I get this book?: I couldn't say -- the cover probably. I am *so* glad I did!

Review: This is me gesticulating wildly as I try to express to you how great this book is. This also means this review is going to be kind of meaningless because I'm still g…

Mailbox Monday, Jan 21

Mailbox Monday is hosted in January at Lori's Reading Corner. Another eclectic week of arrivals, including more than one I've been sweating for.  Super excited to dig in!

To learn more about a title, click on the cover -- it'll open up in a new tab/window.

What did you get this week?

For Review