Wednesday, March 21, 2018


"There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."

When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn't left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they'd planned before the tragedy.

"The pages found you," Patrick whispered.

"Now you need to figure out what they're trying to say."

During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before--her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.

"I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival."

Determined to learn the Baillard family's fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn't understand.

Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica's survival?

  Opening line:
"My name is Adeline Baillard, and my life may end today."

Jessica, Vonda and Patrick have one last night in Paris and decide to have some "fun." Fun to Patrick was going to an art gallery opening and fun to the girls was going to a concert at the Bataclan where the 2015 terrorist attacks happens. The girls escape but Jessica is sent to the hospital. Patrick is with her every day and talks her into one last flea market trip before heading to back to the states.
While doing their "treasure" hunts, Jessica comes across an old sew basket and is immediately drawn to it. She buys it and finds a secret drawer with old papers inside. This draws her into another adventure and tries to find the owners of the pages and make sure the daughter is "found" and the family is together again.
I enjoyed learning about the Bataclan shootings and the Huguenots annihilation, PTSD, loyalty, compassion and true friendship.
This book wasn't what I expected but I really enjoyed reading the mysteries in the story.

Thank you to netgalley for the early read.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Lost Crow Conspiracy by Rosalyn Eves HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!

Sixteen-year old Anna Arden was once just the magically barren girl from an elite Luminate family. Now she has broken the Binding—and Praetheria, the creatures held captive by the spell, wreak havoc across Europe. Lower-class citizens have access to magic for the first time, while other Luminates lose theirs forever. Austria and Hungary are at odds once more.

Anna Arden did not know breaking the Binding would break the world.

Anna thought the Praetheria were on her side, content and grateful to be free from the Binding. She thought her cousin Matyas's blood sacrifice to the disarm the spell would bring peace, equality, justice. She thought her future looked like a society that would let her love a Romani boy, Gabor.

But with the Monarchy breathing down her neck and the Praetheria intimidating her at every turn, it seems the conspiracies have only just begun.

As threat of war sweeps the region, Anna quickly discovers she can't solve everything on her own. Now there's only one other person who might be able to save the country before war breaks out. The one person Anna was sure she'd never see again. A bandit. A fellow outlaw. A man known as the King of Crows. Matyas.

  Opening line:
"There is a feeling a hunted creature gets: a prickling of fine hairs at the back of the neck, a sense of unseen eyes crawling across one's spine, a shift in the air."

Ms. Eves brings Russian history and folklore alive once again with her second book, Lost Crow Conspiracy (it's an excellent second book!).
The book goes between Anna's point-of-view and the Crow King's (loved it). So many characters--both new and familiar to the reader--to distinguish and learn from and come to hate/love. I was a bit lost because of the foreign names and history but it all rolled along into a very enjoyable story of trying to do what's right and the consequences (can't everyone just get along??).

I can't wait for the next book!

I loved this quote:
"There was no conduct manual for how to live with oneself after changing the world."

Thanks to netgalley for the early read!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A NIGHT IN GROSVENOR SQUARE by Sarah M. Eden, Annette Lyon, Heather B Moore

Three brand new Regency Romance novellas by Sarah M. Eden, Annette Lyon, and Heather B. Moore
Another great Regency antholgy from three fantastic authors!

A Match for Princess Pompous by Sarah Eden
"If Adelaide Northrop had to listen to one more ode praising Charity Goddard's eyes, she was absolutely going to strangle the offending amateur poet with his own overlarge cravat."

Love this one about the matchmaker!

Confections and Pretense by Annette Lyon
"In the back of Gunter's Tea Shop, Anne eased the back of mold into a basin of tepid water, then slowly counted to ten before pulling it out again, just long enough to release the ice cream from the metal."

Loved the American hero!

Little London by Heather B. Moore
"Harpshire Village was a far cry from London in both architecture and entertainments, and the type of people who lived in the village were simple fold."

I LOVED how the two love birds meet in this story.

Thanks for the early read! 

Matchmaker Adelaide Northrop may be embarking on her greatest challenge yet. Miss Odette Armistead has been dubbed “Princess Pompous” by Society’s elite, and Odette’s parents are desperate to see her married off to a respectable gentleman. When Adelaide first meets Odette, she is expecting a young lady who fits the pompous description. Instead, Adelaide discovers that Odette is far from conceited, but has chosen to wear a mask in a desperate attempt to hide her love for a gentleman who has been chosen for someone else. It seems that Adelaide has far more than matchmaking to accomplish.

Anne Preston dreams of opening her own dessert shop some day and saves every spare penny she earns working at Gunter’s Tea Shop. She makes ice cream molds to perfection, bakes and decorates cakes, and hopes to one day be an independent shop owner. When an American man orders an ice, Anne is immediately taken with Davis Whitledge, but he is far above her station in life, so she tries to forget about his cordiality. Soon, she finds herself in a dangerous situation when confronted by two troublemakers, and Davis happens to be nearby. He sends the scoundrels on their way, but this only makes Anne more of a target. He doesn’t understand London ways, and his generosity has the potential to steal Anne’s dreams, or to make them soar.

LITTLE LONDON by Heather B. Moore
Ellen Humphreys has never had a Season, has never danced the waltz, and will likely never do so while confined to watching over her ill mother at their country estate. Therefore, Ellen creates her own Little London, and imagines all the gentleman she’d dance with and all of the friendships she’d have with other young ladies, if only she were allowed to have a Season. When Quinn Edwards, the Marquess of Kenworth, comes upon her quite by happenstance while Ellen is imagining herself in a London ballroom, she is mortified about her playacting. But a chain of events is set off from this one meeting that has Ellen questioning if her reputation would ever survive a Season or another encounter with the marquess.

Books in the Timeless Regency Collections:

Books in the Timeless Victorian Collections:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY

Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman's courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.

 Opening line:
"Through a thick fog of grief, Evangeline Blake suffered the blow of each clang of the distant funeral bells."

Another lovely romance from Sarah M. Eden.
Evangeline Blake lost almost everyone in her family, except her younger sister, whom she promised would always be with her. Her mean, bullying aunt has different ideas, however.
Dermot McCormick is an Irish man in England and feels very excluded in the little village where he and his son are now living. He keeps to himself and works hard to prove himself. And he's just fine staying away from everyone--until he meets Evangeline.
This is an interesting story about change; not only in circumstances and of the heart, but change that makes us a better human. Evangeline came from wealth and privilege and is thrust into poverty and hard work. She's stubborn enough and determined enough to make her way that she changes and her heart is opened to the village and their children. The same can be said of Dermot and of the village. They all find they can be strong and change (except maybe on person who I wanted to kick really hard).
I really enjoyed learning the history of the era and the dialect and hardships these people faced. And I REALLY loved what Evangeline did to help the children.

Thank you for the early read netgalley and Shadow Mountain!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Rogue Queen by Emily R. King HAPPY BOOK RELEASE!

Despite the odds, Kalinda has survived it all: Marriage to a tyrant. Tournaments to the death. The forbidden power to rule fire. The icy touch of a demon.

That same demon now disguises itself as Rajah Tarek, Kalinda’s late husband and a man who has never stopped haunting her. Upon taking control of the palace and the army, the demon brands Kalinda and her companions as traitors to the empire. They flee across the sea, seeking haven in the Southern Isles.

In Lestari, Kalinda’s powers are not condemned, as they are in her land. Now free to use them to protect those she loves, Kalinda soon realizes that the demon has tainted her with a cold poison, rendering her fire uncontrollable. But the lack of control may be just what she needs to send the demon back to the darkest depths of the Void.

To take back the empire, Kalinda will ally with those she distrusts—and risk losing those most loyal to her—to defeat the demon and bring peace to a divided nation.


Review coming soon!

EDITED for review:
Opening line:
"The burial starts at daybreak, before the heat of the jungle evaporates the dew and suffocates the morning breeze."

Another well-written, fantastical ride from debut author Emily King! Every scene, I could picture the world; every character, I came to know better; every turn of phrase drew me in further and further into Kalinda and Deven's world.
New characters promise more depth and story lines in this book and the next. Loss, betrayal and love will be the undoing of some, the strengthening of others.
This story does not disappoint nor does it slow down. There are very few moments of rest and recovery, which is just fine with me. I can't wait for the next book!

Thank you netgalley for the early read!!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Tarnished City by Vic James HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

  A corrupted city. A dark dream of power.

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?

Opening line:
"Jenner reined his horse to a halt, and it stamped and snorted in the long blue-black shadow of the trees."

YES! You know how sometimes the second book reads a little weak in a trilogy? This one does NOT. If anything, this book is stronger than the first and maybe a little jam packed with characters, crazy twists and magic system details. WHOA and WOW.
What the heck Gavar, Jenner, Sylyen? So. Many. Secrets.
All is not as it seems with the story, the landscape, the characters, and magic. The chapters change point of view, which I really enjoyed. I liked getting insight into different aspects of the story and the lives of the people affected by Skill and Unskilled, and how they treat each other.
This story is definitely dark than the first book. We get to see deeper into certain dark behaviors and actions and it's positive and negative effect on others. I really, really wanted to see certain characters killed off, but then, does that thought make me a monster??
You will need to read GILDED CAGE before reading this book. I can't wait for the next book and I might need to read the first two again before I read the 3rd.

Thanks for the early read netgalley!

Some language
Lots of violence
Dark story
Some suggestions of rape

Friday, January 26, 2018

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

 Opening line:
"My parlor smelled of linseed and spike lavender, and a dab of lead tin yellow glistened on my canvas."

A painter, a fae prince and romance; what could be better?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

Apparently, I don't have a review for this one except WOW!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris & Shelly Brown

Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old girl. Well, except for the fake mustaches she carries in her pocket. She likes to make people laugh and slapping on a mustache, especially a fuzzy pink or neon green one, always gets a smile. Maddie hopes that the class queen, Cassie, will find her mustaches as funny as she does and want to play with her at recess. She's been self-conscious lately because her right arm only feels normal when it's curled against her chest and she's constantly tripping over her feet. But that's probably just part of growing up and not something weird, right?

It will take all of Maddie's vibrant imagination, a lot of kindness-both given and received-and of course, the perfect mustache to overcome the tough stuff ahead of her.


Opening line:
"Fact: mustaches are hilarious."

A perfect start to a story about a twelve-year old happy, thoughtful girl who finds a way simple way to be brave and funny: wear a mustache.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. A story from the parents point of view about their daughter's brain tumor or a sad story about how they coped with a medical scare or...I don't know what. What I did read was a fun, inspiring story told from a twelve-year old's perspective and how she, Maddie, handled her daily challenges and triumphs.
This a great book to hand to any young reader who is facing any challenge, be it bullies or sickness or loss. I love the aspect of being accepting and kind to others woven throughout the story! I also love that the authors/parents were able to turn their perspective into such a inspirational and rich lesson.

Thank you netgalley for the early, wonderful read!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill

Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she'd like to, and now he's insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

  Opening line:
"A minute spent in a Shaerdanian tavern is a minute too long."

I couldn't stop reading! I love Erin's writing and characters and plots and twists. And twists.
This book was faster paced than the first one and full of new characters and intrigues.
It is written between three points of view: Britta, Cohen and the king. I enjoyed reading from each of their perspectives and REALLY loved watching them grow and change. It seemed they could neveer catch a break! There wasn't much down time in the fight for good. That being said, each of the three main characters learned some hard lessons, fought for what was right and came to accept who they were and their responsibilities.
The biggest take away for me was that we can choose who we are and what we want to become. No one should do that for us, not parents, not friends, not anyone. We know ourselves best. We should know our best selves.

Language: Some
Sex: kissing, skin-to-skin for survival heat
Violence: fighting, killing

Thank you to netgalley for the early read!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.

I didn't add a review of this book. I do remember being taken in by the writing and the characters. The story is sweet, profound and strong. I would have loved to read this one to my kids.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Bear and the Nightingale AND The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

 At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

 Opening line:
"It was late winter in northern Rus', the air sullen with wet that was neither rain nor snow."

I really loved being immersed in the folklore of Russia in this book. Vasya is a fantastic protagonist! She's witty, stubborn, adventurous, and finds herself getting into a lot of trouble. But she's okay with that because moves to her own beat. She sees "creatures" around the house and woods and becomes a friend and protector to them. She was raised to leave food and other treats for them to pay them for protecting the town.
But two things happen that cause problems and heartache for the town: Vasya's father remarries and a priest moves in. The stepmother sees the creatures too but she has a negative view of them which is ironically opposite of her stepdaughter. She comes across as mentally unstable and the villagers stay clear of her.
The priest takes it upon himself to cleanse the village of the heretics and their beliefs. In the process, he turns the villagers against their own beliefs, which leads to the village being vulnerable to more evil and death.
There are a lot of Russian names that I found hard to keep track of until about half way through the book when I understood who was related to who, etc. I enjoyed learning about Russia in this time period through the story.

Thanks to netgalley for the early review!

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

 Opening line:
"A girl rode a bay horse through a forest late at night."

The Girl in the Tower is every bit as good as the The Bear and the Nightingale. I love the main character, Vasya, and her strength, determination and love for her family. When Vasya is left with no choice to live her own life, she escapes by dressing up as a boy and riding a magical horse across Russia in the depth of winter. She is united to a brother, sister and cousin who are all unwitting players in a play of lies, deception and evil rulers.
Each character is painted in rich colors as well as the landscape and homes of Russia. And against the austere and bleak backdrop of Russia, Vasya shines even more as a strong, intelligent woman who will do what she knows is right.

Thank you netgalley for this early read! I loved it!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Delilah's Desserts by Melanie Jacobson, Heather b. Moore, Julie Wright

Welcome to Tangerine Street

Tangerine Street is a must-see tourist stop with a colorful mix of one-of-a-kind boutiques, unique restaurants, eclectic museums, quaint bookstores, and exclusive bed-and-breakfasts. Delilah's Desserts, situated in the middle of this charming collection of shops and caf├ęs on Tangerine Street, is a bakery that offers a different variety of desserts each day. The emotions that Delilah bakes into these desserts have a strange effect on customers, sometimes altering the course of their lives . . .

A Taste of Magic by Melanie Jacobson
"Delilah stepped back from the giant mixes and brushed a stray lock of her hair out of her face."

The Art of Love by Heather Moore
"Roxy Randall hated her name all through elementary school."

Much Ado about Cupcakes by Julie Wright
"KC glanced at her watch before taking a sip of her lemon-infused water."

I LOVE the stories from Tangerine Street!

2017 Readying Update

I read 137 books.
Which equals over 45,000 pages.
My longest read (I actually listened to it) was:

Here are a few of my favorite reads (in particular order) from last year: