Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Beguiled by Jody Hedlund

 


Beguiled is Jody Hedlund's brand new Snow White retelling of Snowwhite! I loved the theme that a beautiful heart is much more important than our outward appearance. Pearl and Mikkel, an outcast Princess and a Royal Prince undergoing testing are strong characters who learn to look upon the heart. Full of action, I think people of all ages will enjoy this story. Very engaging and delightful I highly recommend book 2 in The Fairest Maiden series!
So grab a hot chocolate and a comfy spot, you're sure to love Beguiled!
I was given a copy of Beguiled by the publisher with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.


From Amazon:

In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . .

A princess rejected and hunted by her mother, and a prince who lives as a shunned outcast.

Princess Pearl flees for her life after her mother, Queen Margery, tries to have her killed during a hunting expedition. Pearl finds refuge on the Isle of Outcasts among criminals and misfits, disguising her face with a veil so no one recognizes her. She lives for the day when she can return to Warwick and rescue her sister, Ruby, from the queen’s clutches.

Amidst his royal testing on the Isle of Outcasts, Prince Mikkel of Scania has kept his identity a secret. Captured by a warring band of outcasts and condemned to die, he finds himself making friends with an intriguing but feisty young veiled woman. Intending to win her trust and gain her help to escape, he soon finds himself coerced to wed her.

Mikkel reluctantly agrees to the union to save his life, and Pearl hopes the marriage will provide protection for her and Ruby. But the queen is more determined to kill her daughter than either Pearl or Mikkel realizes and has a sinister reason neither expects—one that could rip their new love apart forever.

The real Snow White story.

The Fairest Maidens
Book 1: Beholden
Book 2: Beguiled (Oct 2020)
Book 3: Besotted (Nov 2020)


Other YA books by Jody Hedlund:

The Lost Princesses
Prequel Novella: Always
Book 1: Evermore
Book 2: Foremost
Book 3: Hereafter

The Noble Knights
Prequel Novella: The Vow
Book 1: An Uncertain Choice
Book 2: A Daring Sacrifice
Book 3: For Love and Honor
Book 4: A Loyal Heart
Book 5: A Worthy Rebel

For a complete list of Jody's novels, visit her Amazon page or website - jodyhedlund.com

About the author:

Jody Hedlund

Biography

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

 




I made it to the grand old age of 54 without reading Hemingway...well I should have kept my streak LOL. This year the 10th-grade class was reading The Old Man And The Sea so I read it in order to know what the students were talking about. I have heard raves for Hemingway all my life, well I was disappointed. I thought the plot was simplistic and the story was boring. I did not like the Old Man either. So my advice is if you don't have to read it, don't bother. There are so many books out there that you needn't waste time on the boring ones!
So if you have to read it for class grab a mug of hot chocolate and some cookies so you have something enjoyable while you read this book.

I was given a copy of this book by the English teacher. All thoughts are my own.

From Amazon:  

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal -- a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph, won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.


About the author: 

Ernest Hemingway

Biography

Ernest Hemingway ranks as the most famous of twentieth-century American writers; like Mark Twain, Hemingway is one of those rare authors most people know about, whether they have read him or not. The difference is that Twain, with his white suit, ubiquitous cigar, and easy wit, survives in the public imagination as a basically, lovable figure, while the deeply imprinted image of Hemingway as rugged and macho has been much less universally admired, for all his fame. Hemingway has been regarded less as a writer dedicated to his craft than as a man of action who happened to be afflicted with genius. When he won the Nobel Prize in 1954, Time magazine reported the news under Heroes rather than Books and went on to describe the author as "a globe-trotting expert on bullfights, booze, women, wars, big game hunting, deep-sea fishing, and courage." Hemingway did in fact address all those subjects in his books, and he acquired his expertise through well-reported acts of participation as well as of observation; by going to all the wars of his time, hunting and fishing for great beasts, marrying four times, occasionally getting into fistfights, drinking too much, and becoming, in the end, a worldwide celebrity recognizable for his signature beard and challenging physical pursuits.







Friday, September 18, 2020

Beholden (The Fairest Maidens book 1) by Jody Hedlund


Jody Hedlund never fails to delight with her stories. Beholden is no exception. I love the imagery and language she uses. She paints beautiful word pictures. I also enjoy the plot. She takes her characters on fantastic adventures with plenty of action. The theme of this book is revenge, but at what cost? Also, the idea of do you truly know your motives? Both Gabi and Vilmar are strong people but they are also willing to change and grow. I love this book and am anxiously awaiting the next two! So grab your hot chocolate and a comfy blanket, then settle in for a delightful read!

I was given a copy of this book by the author with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.
 


From Amazon:

In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . .

A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery.

Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While laboring, Gabriella plots how to avenge her father’s death and stop Queen Margery’s cruelty.

Prince Vilmar of Scania enslaves himself in Warwick’s gem mine as part of a royal test to prove himself the most worthy of three brothers to become the king’s successor. Amidst the hardships, he doesn’t anticipate his growing compassion for the other slaves, especially tenderhearted Gabriella.

As the annual summer ball looms nearer, Gabriella sets into motion her plan to end Queen Margery’s evil. When Vilmar learns of Gabriella’s intentions, he resolves to come to her aid and fight against Warwick’s queen. But doing so may require him to give up his chance of becoming Scania’s next king, perhaps even cost him his life.

The real Cinderella story.

The Fairest Maidens
Book 1: Beholden (Sept 2020)
Book 2: Beguiled (Oct 2020)
Book 3: Besotted (Nov 2020)


Other YA books by Jody Hedlund:

The Lost Princesses
Prequel Novella: Always
Book 1: Evermore
Book 2: Foremost
Book 3: Hereafter

The Noble Knights
Prequel Novella: The Vow
Book 1: An Uncertain Choice
Book 2: A Daring Sacrifice
Book 3: For Love and Honor
Book 4: A Loyal Heart
Book 5: A Worthy Rebel


About the author:

Jody Hedlund

Biography

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.



 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Miss Fanshawe's Fortune by Linore Burkard

 


Miss Fanshawe's Fortune is the newest Regency book by Linore Burkard. I loved Miss Fanshawe! Sebastian and Frannie are strong, faith-filled Christians. The story is fantastic, with interesting details of life in Regency period London. I am so glad that Ms. Burkardhas returned to writing Historical fiction. So grab a pot of tea and settle into a cozy chair. You will not regret reading Miss Fanshawe's Fortune!
I was given a copy of this book by the author with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.

From Amazon:

A Stand-Alone Romantic Novel of Regency England.
" Whoa. This is a Dickensian Regency that will have you learning as you laugh, wonder, and swoon with the story."
Becky Lewis, VINE VOICE

Respectability was all she needed to win his heart…and precisely what she lacked.

Miss Frances Fanshawe’s past is shrouded in mystery. Raised genteelly as an heiress to a fortune, she is forced to question everything after her mother dies and leaves her with only a single clue to the money. Unless she can locate her father or otherwise prove her heritage, not only the fortune but her very respectability is at stake.

In line for a baronetcy, Sebastian Arundell has no time for sorting out questionable tangles for young women with dubious histories. No matter if they are young, appealing, and have ridiculously large chocolate eyes to melt a man’s heart. But when it becomes apparent that other people are after Frannie’s supposed fortune, he is drawn to investigate. As the search deepens, Frannie falls in love with handsome, proper Sebastian. But if it only proves what he suspects—that she's an illegitimate pauper—will all hope to win his heart be lost?

"Burkard's tale is off and running with Frannie's future hanging in the balance. Readers of Burkard know she immerses you in the Regency. She writes with relaxed panache, and the comic moments, of which there are plenty, will make you laugh out loud."
L.K. Simonds, Author, All In


"The sweet romance! Call it exquisite torture. I waited breathlessly, chapter after chapter (stolen glance after stolen glance), for the "wake up" moment, until I reached the end and... *sigh* ...you'll just have to read it for yourself."
Nicole Sager, Author, Arcrea

"This plot reminded me very much of a Georgette Heyer novel, and I couldn't put it down until the conflict was resolved...Words fail me as to how much I loved Sebastian's character. If only he was real...!"
Brittany A. Searfoss, Reviewer

"A refreshingly clean Regency romance, complete with an antagonist you LOVE to hate.
A delight from beginning to end. The only drawback was that in ended too soon!"
R. Kaye, Reviewer

"I found myself coming to the defense of young Miss Fanshawe several times. Talk about placing yourself in a story. I was there! "
Judith Blevins, Reviewer

"Quite the tangle! If you are looking for a good, clean, intriguing, regency romance, look no further."
Deb Mitchell, Reviewer

"Loved it!! ...Hooks you on the first page. It has just enough twist and turns to keep you turning the pages. This book was an absolutely joy to read."
Ann Ferri, Reviewer

"The story captures from the beginning and holds the reader throughout...Watching the gradual defrosting of (the hero's) heart through to the final scenes was very well scripted. I think this was the first time I have ever uttered "Awh..." while reading! "
AM Daniele, Reviewer

About the author:

Linore Rose Burkard

Biography

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first novel (Before the Season Ends) opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense (The Pulse Effex Series, as L.R. Burkard), contemporary romance (Falling In), and romantic short stories (ie., Three French Hens). Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.

Sign up for Linore's newsletter to be automatically entered in monthly book drawings. You'll also receive a free novella, Coach and Four: Allisandra's Tale, set in the days of King Charles II!
Enter your email to join here: http://www.LinoreBurkard.com


Monday, September 7, 2020

A Portrait of Loyalty (Codebreakers book 3) by Roseanna White

 


A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna White is the third book in her Codebreakers series, but I feel it would more accurately be called book nine in her loosely related group of English Historicals. Ladies Of The Manor contains three books as does Shadows Over England. While all Three series contain standalone titles it makes for a richer experience to read all nine books in order of publication as characters wander into each other's lives throughout. I adore all nine books but think that A Portrait Of Loyalty is my favorite.  I love Zivon and Lily. They are a fascinating couple whose strengths complement each other. They are strong and full of faith. I would love to have them over for tea. Their story, while not always happy, was entirely satisfying. I can only hope that Ms. White continues writing about these families she has created because I want to know more about them!
So grab a pot of tea and settle in for a fabulous tale.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley.com with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.

From Amazon: 

Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon's loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple's future dreams--it becomes a matter of ending the war.


About the author:

Roseanna M. White

Biography

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Royal by Danielle Steel

 


It has been a long time since I read anything by Danielle Steel. This sounded like a really good book so I borrowed a copy from my library and settled in for what I expected to be a great read. T was somewhat disappointed. The story was based in England and involved the royal family. However, this must take place in an alternate universe because although the family was of the House Of Windsor, they were not the members we know. Also, there was much repetition throughout the book. I wanted to say I got that point the first 10 times you said it. The characters were somewhat stereotyped. The plot had promise but never really delivered. So grab your cup of tea and suspend your knowledge of the royal family while you read Royal.

I read a copy of this book from the public library. All thoughts are my own.


From Amazon:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this spellbinding tale from Danielle Steel, a princess is sent away to safety during World War II, where she falls in love, and is lost forever.

As the war rages on in the summer of 1943, causing massive destruction and widespread fear, the King and Queen choose to quietly send their youngest daughter, Princess Charlotte, to live with a trusted noble family in the country. Despite her fiery, headstrong nature, the princess’s fragile health poses far too great a risk for her to remain in war-torn London.

Third in line for the throne, seventeen year-old Charlotte reluctantly uses an alias upon her arrival in Yorkshire, her two guardians the only keepers of her true identity. In time, she settles comfortably into a life out of the spotlight, befriending a young evacuee and training with her cherished horse. But no one predicts that in the coming months she will fall deeply in love with her protectors’ son.

She longs for a normal life. Far from her parents, a tragic turn of events leaves an infant orphaned. Alone in the world, that child will be raised in the most humble circumstances by a modest stable manager and his wife. No one, not even she, knows of her lineage. But when a stack of hidden letters comes to light, a secret kept for nearly two decades finally surfaces, and a long lost princess emerges.

A fascinating story of family and royalty, and an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary young woman and the man who brings her home, Royal is an exhilarating work from America’s most beloved storyteller


About the author:

Danielle Steel

Biography

Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with over 650 million copies of her novels sold. Her many international bestsellers include Dangerous Games, The Mistress, The Award, Rushing Waters, Magic, The Apartment, Property of a Noblewoman, and other highly acclaimed novels. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; Pure Joy, about the dogs she and her family have loved; and the children's books Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Backlash by Rachel Dylan

 


Wow! Ms. Dylan has done it again. She weaves murder and intrigue with romance and faith to create engaging edge of your seat intrigues. I look forward to reading her books and don't even need to read the blurb on the back cover to know I will love the story. Backlash is full of strong women and the men who are attracted to them. Multiple storylines keep you guessing as to who is the bad guy. So grab a pitcher of sweet tea and settle down somewhere comfy for a fabulous read!


I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley.com with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.

From Amazon:

CIA analyst Layla Karam is thrust into a dangerous DEA field operation against a cartel that puts a target on her back. Though Layla never wanted to be a field agent, Langley had other ideas. After one of her team members is murdered because of fallout from the op, Layla is left scrambling to find safety.

At the same time, the CIA opens up an internal investigation against her. Out of options, Layla turns to ex-boyfriend and private investigator Hunter McCoy for help finding out who might want to ruin her career.

Layla and Hunter soon discover a mole inside the DEA has sold out the team's identity to the cartel. She must clear her name with the Agency and protect herself and her teammates from cartel retaliation. With threats on all sides, Layla must put her trust in Hunter--the man who broke her heart--and hope they both come out of it alive. 

For those who are content sensitive: this book contains non-graphic scenes and descriptions of physical and sexual assault.


About the author:

Rachel Dylan

Biography

Rachel Dylan is an award-winning and bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation's top law firms. The Atlanta Justice Series features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the ATLANTA JUSTICE series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader's Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Lone Witness is the winner of a Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and is a Selah Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at www.racheldylan.com.