Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Tea


The Book: The Goblin King by Shona Husk

  I am halfway through the book at this point and I have to say that it’s not what I thought it would be. It’s not bad--the whole concept of a Celtic King cursed with a heart of gold (no not the sweet, I’ll-do-anything- you-ask-me-to-do heart of gold, but an actual piece of gold where his heart once was heart of gold) sounded rather appealing to me. Although I thought that book would have more of a Celtic-vibe to it than it actually does. It’s not bad, I actually want to see what happens between Roan (aka Goblin King) and Eliza, so I have this urge to finish the book; it’s just not, what I was expecting.  I also found the worlds within the book to be intriguing. The goblins live in Shadowlands, the names explanatory and then there is Summerlands, the land in-which your dreams lives (think bright sunny Summer days complete with bunnies and wildflowers).

The concept of the book rather reminds me of the Irish legend of Shifty Jack.



The Tea: Asian Moonlight.

           Description: I have no idea what is in this tea, but I absolutely love it. (Each time I visit my local tearoom, I buy 6 ounces of it and it never lasts more than a month or two.) It’s a black tea, with a hint of anise. It’s very smooth and relaxing and the lovely licorice aroma fills the room. Since it has been raining here for the last few days with no sign of stopping anytime in the near future, I thought that this would be a nice take-me-away-tea.

Do they go together? Possibly.
Both the book and the tea have qualities that set them apart from what is considered the norm.  The tea has qualities of the “Summerlands” and “Shadowlands”, so it works in it’s own weird and wonderful way.

Until We Meet Again,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thursday Tea



 The Book: Kiss Of Night by Bennie Viguie (out October 2011)
             I have been waiting to read this book for what seems like forever. There is something appealing about a vampire doing a bit of soul searching--not to consume but to make amends. This is the first Christian-based vampire novel that I have read and I have to say the concept for this novel is rather intriguing. In addition, it offers a mystery as well as history, which always is enjoyable. I am on page 101 at the moment, and while the book stumbled a bit around page 90, it has picked up and I am eager to finish the novel.

The Tea:  Twinings Fresh & Fruity Raspberry, Strawberry, and Loganberry.

        A rich red berry infusion with a sweet juicy flavor. The sweetness of the strawberry contrasts with the sharper taste of raspberry and loganberry to create a delicious and refreshing blend.

Technically this is not a tea; it is an infusion and contains no tea at all. Although its nice and fruity and offers a taste of summer on a chilly, gloomy, British-like day. The taste could be likened to summer berries in a cup. Seeing how I never use sugar, this tea was naturally sweet yet had a bit of a bite to it.


Do they go together?

I am not exactly sure what type of tea goes with a vampire novel. I was about to make a pot of Voodoo tea, when I spotted the Fresh & Fruity tea. The Fresh & Fruity tea won for the simple reason it was already in a teabag where the Voodoo tea was loose and I didn’t want to go to the trouble of finding a tea strainer then filling it.

Surprisingly this tea actually did go with the book. Not only did the tea have a bite to it, when it was steeped, it turned a medium red colour.


The book does actually mention chamomile tea, but I wasn’t in the mood for a mellow tea.

*When reading, I always make a pot of tea, now I finally have a place to share my tea and tome selection! 


Angela bird

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mailbox Monday!!!!



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks and audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

This month Mailbox Monday is Hosted by Amused By Books

I wasn’t expecting a lot of books to arrive this week, so I was extremely surprised when I received the following in my mailbox.

For Review:

51BtO5FKYuL__SL500_ 1. Heather Song by Michael Phillips
The Sequel to Angel Harp.
Provided by Hachette Book Group.

Newly married, Marie and Alaster Reidhaven's life seems idyllic. But things start to fall apart when the Duke's sister's curses and spells start to plague them. Alaster dies and again Marie is widowed. Marie returns to Canada to visit her dying father. The reunion is tender and healing for them both.

Unexpectedly months later, Marie is astonished to learn that back in Scotland, her deceased husband Alaster never signed their pre-nup and had instead undertaken the legalities necessary to insure his estate would indeed go to Marie. Olivia is furious and full of threats and attempts to kill Marie and then disappears. Marie inherits and again assumes the title and role of duchess.

But now the other half of her former "love triangle" bubbles up from out of her past. Marie and Grahm begin seeing each other "as friends" awaiting God's leading.

Olivia reappears and again tries to kill Marie. Olivia eventually dies of cancer, unrepentant. The Reidhaven family line is at an end, the legacy of their memory to be carried forward by Marie who loved, in the end, all of them.

Harris-RiverCross-150 2. A River to Cross by Yvonne Harris
Provided by Bethany House

Texas Ranger Jake Nelson patrols the U.S.-Mexico border, protecting the settlers from cattle rustlers, outlaws, and bandits. Sparks fly when Manuel Diego stirs up a revolt against the government, which leads to the murder of a newspaperman, who is the son of a U.S. senator, and the kidnapping of his sister, Elizabeth Madison, a journalist in the making.
With Elizabeth's photograph in hand--a dark-haired beauty with smiling eyes--Jake rides over the border to find her. After the Rangers defeat the marauders and rescue Elizabeth, Jake is surprised to learn she's not the spoiled daughter of a senator that he was expecting. In fact, he finds himself taken by her. And she by him.

10766069 3. The Little Bride by Anna Solomon
Provided by Penguin Books

When 16-year-old Minna Losk journeys from Odessa to America as a mail-order bride, she dreams of a young, wealthy husband, a handsome townhouse, and freedom from physical labor and pogroms. But her husband Max turns out to be twice her age, rigidly Orthodox, and living in a one-room sod hut in South Dakota with his two teenage sons. The country is desolate, the work treacherous. Most troubling, Minna finds herself increasingly attracted to her older stepson. As a brutal winter closes in, the family's limits are tested, and Minna, drawing on strengths she barely knows she has, is forced to confront her despair, as well as her desire.

th 4. Theodora, Actress, Empress, Whore by Stella Duffy
Provided by Penguin Books

Roman historian Procopius publicly praised Theodora of Constantinople for her piety-while secretly detailing her salacious stage act and maligning her as ruthless and power hungry. So who was this woman who rose from humble beginnings as a dancer to become the empress of Rome and a saint in the Orthodox Church? Award-winning novelist Stella Duffy vividly recreates the life and times of a woman who left her mark on one of the ancient world's most powerful empires. Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore is a sexy, captivating novel that resurrects an extraordinary, little-known figure from the dusty pages of history.

511bMm5MV2L 5. The Wounded Heart by Adina Senft
Provided by Hachette Book Group

When a business offer turns into something more personal, Amelia is torn between what logic tells her is right, and the desire of her heart.

A widow with two small children, Amelia Beiler is struggling to make ends meet. She is running her late husband's business, but it's not what she was raised to do, which is run a home. When she gets an offer for the business from Eli Fischer, she's only too relieved to consider it-especially when it looks like Eli's interest might include more than just the shop. But when she begins to experience strange physical symptoms and is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it's difficult not to question God's will. If she pursues the treatment she believes in, she risks going under the bann. But how can she allow Eli to court her when she can't promise him a future?

10843436 6. Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs
Provided by: the author
Release Date: 10-2011

The last thing scrapbooking maven Carmela Bertrand expected to bear witness to in St. Tristan’s Church was a crime. But now a beloved member of her scrapbooking circle is dead – and a mysterious hooded figure has absconded with an antique crucifix. With the church, a popular New Orleans tourist site, pretty much open to the public, it looks like the police don’t have a prayer of finding the killer. Good thing amateur sleuth Carmela and her voodoo shop-owning friend, Ava, are hot on the trail of suspects that range from the strange Brother Paul to the cult group The Seekers. Combing New Orleans for clues, they end up in a bayou at midnight--stalked by an enraged killer!

51 QNYHiv L 7. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
Provided by Touchstone
Release Date: 10-2011

Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her house-hold for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou's close friend and a Lancaster supporter - until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.

8. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
Provided by Random House
Release Date 11-2011

Biography of Catherine the Great

51G4jN-UgaL 9. Garden of Secrets by Barbara Freethy
Provided by Pocket Books

Mysterious dreams draw costume designer Isabella Silviera to Angel’s Bay, the California coastal town where angels occasionally dance above the waves. Bestselling author Barbara Freethy enchants again in this emotional and compelling tale of family secrets, abiding friendships, and heart-touching romance. Isabella’s drive to Angel’s Bay would have ended in tragedy when her car slid off a cliff if she hadn’t been rescued by Nick Hartley. As he helps her to safety, she realizes he is the man who has haunted her dreams. Nick, however, is committed to reconnecting with his estranged teenage daughter, refusing to respond to his powerful attraction to Isabella. And Isabella’s police chief brother has his hands full with a missing mother, an abandoned baby, and an unknown father. What is Isabella’s role in the mysteries—both past and present— that swirl around the town? When she starts helping at the Hartley family theater, all the pieces begin to link together. Loves found and lost, heartbreak and happiness, courage and betrayal are all part of the patchwork quilt of the community—and of life. Isabella’s gift is seeing the patterns. . .

TWaWLcoverMainPage 10. To Wed A Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries
Provided by Publicist
Release Date: 12-2011

To Wed a Wild Lord
To fulfill his grandmother’s ultimatum, Lord Gabriel Sharpe pursues a spitfire he believes desperately needs him. Then the tables are turned....

Like everything daredevil Gabriel Sharpe does, pursuing Virginia Waverly is a high-stakes game. Ever since her brother Roger died racing Lord Gabriel, Virginia has yearned to take her revenge on the reckless lord by beating him at his own sport. But when she challenges Lord Sharpe to a race, the hellion who has always embraced his dark reputation as the “Angel of Death” counters with a marriage proposal!

Gabe knows Virginia's family is in dire financial straits—why shouldn’t she marry him and solve both their problems? She claims to be appalled by his proposal, but her response to his kisses says otherwise. So when the two of them begin to unravel the truth behind Roger’s death, Gabe takes the greatest gamble of all, offering the cunning and courageous beauty something more precious than any inheritance: true love.


11. Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves 11.
Provided by Hachette Book Group
Release Date: 10-2011


In a world full of frogs, Alison Carter is determined to find her prince. Maybe her dating past is more Titanic than Love Boat, but she's seen enough happy marriages to know that true love is possible. No matter what, she won't give up on happily-ever-after. If she can't find Mr. Right, she'll simply hire someone who can.


When Brandon Scott inherits a successful matchmaking business, he thinks his prayers have been answered. Set up a few lonely ladies, collect the fee, how hard can it be? No one needs to know he's not really a professional matchmaker-especially not his first client, the beautiful, spirited Alison. Soon he's falling for her-and her dreams of kids and carpools. But Alison is getting close to figuring out his secret, and if she learns he's deceived her too, she'll walk right out the door, taking Brandon's heart with her.

  Scottish-Customs-from-the-Cradle-to-the-Grave-978184158293112. Scottish Customs From the Cradle to the Grave by Margaret Bennett
Purchased New from Amazon

I received a grand total of 12 books in my mailbox this week….What grand reads did you receive?

Best Wishes & Happy Reading,

Angela bird

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Into To a Good Book-Romance Edition

With fall falling upon us, I thought that this would be a good time to introduce you to some of my favorite books.

For many of us the cooler air has started to creep in. For me, that means breaking out the plaid wraps, putting on the teakettle, grabbing a good book (or two or three) and heading outside to the swing to enjoy the last days of nice weather before winter settles upon us.

I thought that I would share with you a few of my favorites and what better than a Regency Romance series to warm you up on a chilly night.

The Duke’s Obsession Series by Grace Burrowes 

1. The Heir (out now)
2. The Soldier (out now)
3. The Virtuoso (releases November 2011)


The Heir (book one)
Author:  Grace Burrowes
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4434-6
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca


Gayle Windham, earl of Westhaven, is the first legitimate son and heir to the duke of Moreland. To escape his father’s inexorable pressure to marry, he decides to spend the summer at his townhouse in London, where he finds himself intrigued by the secretive ways of his beautiful housekeeper...


Anna Seaton is a beautiful, talented, educated woman, which is why it is so puzzling to Gayle Windham that she works as his housekeeper.
As the two draw closer and begin to lose their hearts to each other, Anna’s secrets threaten to bring the earl’s orderly life crashing down—and he doesn’t know how he’s going to protect her from the fallout...

Title: The Soldier
Author: Grace Burrowes
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4567-1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca


Devlin St. Just has tried everything to escape his demons. But his responsibilities are multiplying and his despair deepening, until beautiful, enigmatic neighbor Emmaline Farnum steps in…


Devlin’s torn spirit calls to Emmaline, but even as she gives in to his irresistible caresses and her own growing desires, she’s keeping a devastating secret…

Protecting Emmaline becomes Devlin’s urgent mission, if only he can over come the forces that are driving them irretrievably apart…

Title: The Virtuoso
Author: Grace Burrowes
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4570-1
Release Date: November 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca


Lord Valentine Windham is devastated when an injury makes it impossible for him to play the piano. Val’s music was his greatest expression and also his salvation from the pressures of society--and his imperious father. Greif, loss, and loneliness threaten to overwhelm him, until he meets a beautiful young widow whose troubles are even deeper than his own…

Immerse yourself in the earthy, passionate Regency of Grace Burrowes where love and sensuality come vibrantly to life in a timeless graceful era….

My Thoughts:

The Heir

Before I became a reviewer, I would normally pass by romance books. Occasionally one would catch my eye, but often I wrote them off as fluff- light reading with no substance to  engage me- I have to say that it’s author’s like Grace Burrowes that have pulled me into this genre. I found that The Heir, not only peaked my interest, it held my attention, and now has me hooked on the characters. I simply cannot wait to read what will happen next.

Very well crafted, each of the characters offers the reader something fresh and unexpected, the same goes for the plot. Westhaven was so unlike any other romance character that I had read, it made me want to read more. To find out who he was and what he wanted (not what he was expected to do, but wanted) to do with his life. I found alluring to watch him claim his own destiny and not have his father force it onto him. I was hooked from the moment Westhaven received a  knock over the head, and thoroughly enjoyed his battle with the chicken pox. (Although I did feel his pain, seeing as how I was 21 when I fought my own battle with them. Not pleasant indeed!) I also enjoyed Anna’s character,  I was speaking about the book a few days ago to a friend of mine and compared her to an onion in the sense that she very well layered.

The supporting cast was also a welcome surprise. Even though he may come off a bit rough and gruff, I have to say I found myself falling in love with Dev and I simply could not wait for his story to be published. Val was very charming, I could not wait to see what he came up with next.

I read somewhere that Grace Burrowes had originally intended for Westhaven to be a secondary character in a completely different novel, I am so glad that she answered the call of the writer and created a story just for him.

The Soldier

When reading The HEIR, the first book in the series, I found that I was drawn to Devlin St. Just. I wanted to know more about this man who seemed so burdened by his past. I could not wait to read this book. And let me just tell you that once I got my hands on it, I devoured it.

My heart bled for Devlin as he struggled with the unseen wounds war left upon him. You see him making progress only to have an event as simple as a thunderstorm pull the rug out from underneath him. Yet he prevailed. He knew that those around him depended upon him, especially little Winnie. I also enjoyed the family connection portrayed in this book. Family is front and center in this book, and you feel the ties that bind them together as well as the love they share, and the fact that they would do anything for those they loved.

It was almost as if Devlin were a soul laid bare, his thoughts and feelings being very prevalent in this book. The hero’s in The Duke’s Obsession series are very emotional and I believe that is why I have enjoyed this series thus far.

Emmie was also likable, although I wished that she would have stopped trying to run a bit sooner, but with the secret she held (I figured out her hidden fact early on) I could see and appreciate the reasons behind her actions. In the story she was viewed as an outcast by the villagers, although I found it funny that they could buy her baked goods and have her to make their wedding cakes while ostracizing her. I found myself wanting her to scream make your own bloody bread/cakes, to standup for herself a bit more, but like I said before I knew the reason behind her actions.

This is my favorite book thus far in The Duke’s Obsession series. Well paced, well plotted, brilliant characters. I truly hated to see this book come to an end, although I am anxiously waiting for Val’s story

The Virtuoso

Since this book is not out until November, my review will have to wait until late October-Early November. Although, let me tell you it is definitely worth the wait!!!!

I have both The Heir and The Soldier to giveaway*.
To Enter please leave your name and a valid email address.
Contest is International.

Ends October 15.


Angela bird