Showing posts from July, 2015


Oops, super late with this -- have had a bonkers weekend with a baby that is just flat out refusing to sleep. It's made my wife and I all kinds of sleepy and slow! Without further ado...

The winner of The Visitors is ... Jane S.!

The winner of The Wild Girl is ... Lindsey S.!

Congrats to the winners! Folks have until the end of day Wednesday to respond to my email; after that, I'll draw new winners. Be sure to check out my open giveaway -- more coming!

Weekend reads and enjoying free time...

Somehow, I'm at the end of my second week of sabbatical, and I don't have much to show for it, writing-wise. However, I've enjoyed spending days with Unabridged Baby, doing the things I can't when I'm working and I'm grateful for this time.

I have gotten in scads of reading, though, which is just lovely. Still behind on reviews, but this, as with so much else, is my new normal.

I'm reading Marci Jefferson's Enchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun King’s Court, which is just gripping. French court drama, lesser known historical figures, witchcraft, and a not-typically-gorgeous heroine. I'm super in love.

What are you reading this weekend?

Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor

Title:Miss Emily
Author: Nuala O’Connor / Nuala Ní Chonchúir

First line: July and there is crisis.

Review: This lovely, slender novel imagines a friendship between poet Emily Dickinson and their Irish maid Ada Concannon.

I was immediately taken with this book, as both Ada and Emily are charming and captivating. The chapters alternate between their viewpoints, as the story of their friendship and the dramas around them unfold. 

O'Connor's Emily grabbed me immediately, an intellectually curious woman happy to be in her home, moved by the wilds of nature and the passions of the heart. She hovers in the kitchen for sweets and bakes as a way to shower love on those around her; she composes in secret and doles out her poems carefully.

Ada is a willing audience, a teenager fresh from Ireland, bemused by Emily. The Dickinsons are a kind family to work for, and she thrives in their home, yet heartache still hits her. It is Emily who rallies to defend her and who helps her gain some meas…

Book blast release: Naked by Eliza Redgold

I can't wait to read this one -- I just love Godiva and am fascinated by the various ways she's seen in popular culture. Read on to learn more by Eliza Redgold -- and enter the giveaway!


Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 320

Genre: Historical Fiction

We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don't know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva's ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for 'peeping Tom') and that her husba…

Dark Horse by Michelle Diener

Title:Dark Horse
Author: Michelle Diener

First line: Rose slipped her ticket out of hell over her head and tucked it beneath her shirt, where it lay against her skin, throbbing like a heartbeat.

Review: I'm a ginormous Diener fangirl, having read something like six of her novels, all of which are historical fiction -- so this is an unusual foray for her. Straight up scifi, this novel is a delicious mix of romance, adventure, and friendship that I inhaled in a few days.

Our heroine, Rose, was kidnapped three months back by an alien race known as the Tecran. At the novel's open, she has escaped thanks to the help of Sazo, an artificial intelligence, and launched into Grih territory, another species of alien who resemble humans.

Part of a collective of alien races who have committed to protecting (rather than experimenting on/torturing sentient species), her rescuers are horrified at what Rose has lived through and adamant at giving her life -- once they figure out just who was resp…

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

Title:The Wild Girl
Author: Kate Forsyth

First line: 'Wild by name and wild by nature,' Dortchen's father used to say of her.

Review: I begged for a review copy of this novel knowing nothing about but that it was Kate Forsyth's newest. Forsyth wrote one of my 2013 top ten reads, Bitter Greens, and I will basically read anything she writes. My blind devotion was well rewarded with this one!

Set in the early 19th century, this novel follows Dortchen Wild, neighbor of the Grimm brothers -- yes, those Grimm brothers. One of a handful of daughters of a cruel apothecary, Dortchen has had feelings for Wilhelm Grimm, but a relationship between them seems impossible: Wilhelm is poor and seems more interested in her older sister, and her father is ruthlessly controlling of her and her time. Still, Dortchen maintains contact with the Grimm family, eventually becoming a crucial source for Wilhelm and Jakob as they assemble their volumes of German folk tales.

Although I expected thi…

Giveaway: The Visitors

Sally Beauman's The Visitors made my top ten of 2014, although I still haven't reviewed it yet. (Sorry! I will someday!)

I was so taken with this novel, a kind of coming-of-age story set in the 1920s among Egyptologists, English peers, and the monied set. In some ways, this novel reads as two or three different kinds of books -- for good and for bad -- as our 11 year old narrator goes from glamorous Egypt back to the UK where she squares off with a new tutor-turned-stepmother before looking back on her life as an adult during World War II. But the voice is so compelling I couldn't stop reading.

The paperback has just been released by Harper Paperbacks, and I'm thrilled to be able to offer a giveaway copy. This is a beefy read at 544 pages, but just gripping.

*** *** ***


I'm thrilled to offer a copy of The Visitors to one lucky reader. To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US readers only, ends 7/24. See my Giveaway Policy for complete rules.


Eeek, it's been quite a while since I've done a winner's post!

The winner of The Lover's Path is ... Christina R.!

The winner has been emailed and has until end of day Wednesday to respond. I have more giveaways coming up this week, so be sure to pop by and see!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Weekend reads and sabbatical soon...

A grey and steamy Friday here in Boston. And another few weeks without reviews -- shame on me! (Especially as I've sped through a number of great reads.) I'm going to try to catch up this weekend, but I find reviewing -- or at least, nailing down my thoughts on my reads -- a bit elusive these days. Exhausted is my new normal, and work is wildly crazy, and I just want to read if I have a few free moments.
But...the second half of my sabbatical begins next Tuesday (!) and I can't wait. My goal is to write a second draft of my historical novel, and having finished my fabulous writing class with the equally fabulous Tim Weed, I feel better equipped to do so successfully.

So, for the next seven weeks, I plan to bang out about 10K words a week, and see if I don't end up with a slightly less embarrassing draft.

I'd really been putting off this second draft because, and I'm embarrassed to admit it, I wasn't sure exactly how one created another draft of something. …