Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Free E-books or $1.99 and under


Hello Lovelies!  I hope you are all well!
 
I get so many request to share e-book promotions ($1.99 or below) from authors and publishers, I thought I would share them in a one spot, so here is the e-book promos for this week. Now go forth and feed your readers!
 






Monday, February 23, 2015

Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford by Julia Fox




In a life of extraordinary drama, Jane Boleyn was catapulted from relative obscurity to the inner circle of King Henry VIII. As powerful men and women around her became victims of Henry’s ruthless and absolute power–including her own husband and her sister-in-law, Queen Anne Boleyn–Jane’s allegiance to the volatile monarch was sustained and rewarded. But the cost of her loyalty would eventually be her undoing and the ruination of her name. For centuries, little beyond rumor and scandal has been associated with “the infamous Lady Rochford,” but now historian Julia Fox sets the record straight. Drawing upon her own deep knowledge and years of original research, she brings us into the inner sanctum of court life, teeming with intrigue and redolent with the threat of disgrace. In the eyes and ears of Jane Boleyn, we witness the myriad players of the stormy Tudor period, and Jane herself emerges as a courageous spirit, a modern woman forced by circumstances to make her own way in a privileged but vicious world.



I’m a huge Tudor fanatic and I majored in Renaissance studies so I thought this would be an interesting book to sink my teeth into. I’ve always wondered about Jane Boleyn. She was the key figure in her husband’s demise and execution as well as that of Anne Boleyn. Then she was beheaded for aiding in Catherine Howard’s affair. I was always intrigued by the fact she knew what would happen if a queen was accused having an affair and those associated with it yet she was willing help Catherine.
 
I thought this book would hold my attention. Sadly, I couldn’t get into it. I found it annoying. Often times Fox would say ‘Jane might have been there’ or ‘was most likely in attendance’ I don’t want to read a nonfiction book where the author guesses. Also, what little I did manage to read was more or less a rehashing of what was already know. Finally I just gave up.
 
Overall, what I read come off as speculative rather than fact-based.


 


Book Details
Title: Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford
Nonfiction
Author: Julia Fox
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 978-0345510785
Format: Trade Paperback
$16.00
Source: Author
Rating: DNF


Thursday, February 19, 2015

30 Day Tea/Teapot Challenge: Day 6



A few days ago, a friend challenged me to do a 30 days of Teas and Teapots challenge.  So, for the next 30 days, I will be posting the tea that I am drinking as well as the teapot I am using.
 
Feel free to play along and post the tea you are drinking and/or the teapot you are using. Just add your link in the comments or join in on the blog’s Facebook page Simply Angela. On Twitter, use the hashtag #SimplyAngelaTeaChallenge

Day 5 Tea: Strawberry Cupcake from Simpson and Vail and Teapot and Cup from Harbor East.

 


As today is my birthday, I decided to have a dessert tea from Simpson and Vail. I love dessert teas. They have all the rich flavor of desserts with little or no calories.

 

The Strawberry Cupcake has a nice strawberry vanilla taste. Not too strong or too weak, although the loose leaf works best in a strainer that will be removed from the teapot of cup as it has a tendency to grow bitter if steeped too long.

 

Teapot: Brown tea-for-one teapot and cup. I love the design of this teapot and the fact it came with two cups. It does keep the water hot although the spout has a tendency to dribble.

 

Seeing as it’s my birthday—and there is a mini mountain of snow outside my front door—I’m staying in and catching up on the jewelry orders that need to be shipped out. Besides, there is nothing wrong with nibbling on a few crisp biscuits covered in dark chocolate whilst wearing my favorite flannel jammies. It is my birthday, after all!  ;)

 



Filthy Rich by Dawn Ryder




SHE'S FIGHTING FOR CONTROL...
Celeste Connor swore that she'd never be a victim again. After the hell of her abusive ex, the last thing she needs is to be under another man's thumb. But when she catches the eye of fiercely dominant Nartan Lupan at her best friend's wedding, Celeste finds herself drawn into a glittering world of wealth and power that has her body aching and her mind reeling.
 
HE'S FIGHTING TO MAKE HER HIS...
Nartan is a filthy rich businessman who works hard, plays harder, and doesn't take no for an answer-and he wants Celeste with a hunger he's never before felt. He'll do whatever it takes to have her. But Nartan didn't expect that he'd want still more...




Celeste is recovering emotionally from an abusive ex-husband and has traveled to Alaska for her best friend’s wedding. Nartan—the groom’s best friend—has decided that he wants Celeste, all that’s left to do is to convince her she wants him too.
 
I gave this my best go and, unfortunately, it went nowhere expect for in the characters heads. Way, way, way too much bloody internal dialogue. In fact, I could probably fill a thimble with how little the characters communicated with each other. Not only did the internal dialogue get repetitive in places, it made the characters feel disconnected and caused my eyes to glaze over.
 
Finally, rather than chucking my Kindle in the bin, I just gave up.
 
One a side note, if you do pick this up, pick up the first book in the series. Out of Bounds, because what I read in this book was all about Tarak and Sabra’s wedding.
 
Overall, too much internal dialogue ruined the book before it even really began.  



 

Book Details
Title: Filthy Rich
Author: Dawn Ryder
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Erotic Romance
ISBN: 9781402287152
Release Date: 2/03/2015
Format I read: ARC
Source: Publisher
Rating: DNF


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

30 Day Tea Challenge Day 5


A few days ago, a friend challenged me to do a 30 days of Teas and Teapots challenge.  So, for the next 30 days, I will be posting the tea that I am drinking as well as the teapot I am using.
 
Feel free to play along and post the tea you are drinking and/or the teapot you are using. Just add your link in the comments or join in on the blog’s Facebook page Simply Angela. On Twitter, use the hashtag #SimplyAngelaTeaChallenge

Day 5: Raspberry Earl Grey Tea and Bella Electric Ceramic Kettle

 

So. I haven’t had a stove/oven since the 11th. The control panel finally just gave up the ghost and it will take 1-2 weeks for the repairman to get in the new one.

 


But…look what little lovely arrived in the post today! I love this Electric Ceramic Kettle from Bella. I had to search near and far for an electric kettle then finally ended up going on line and ordering one.  I have to say I am loving it! It can go directly from the heating base to the table with no problems and once the tea is heated, the kettle turns off on its own so you don’t have to worry about the kettle boiling dry.

 


This is the first time that I’ve tried this tea from Zhena’s. I liked it, but I found the bergamot, which is what Earl Grey is known for, a little overpower. It barely had a raspberry taste.




Snowed In With Her Ex by Andrea Laurence




Wedding photographer Briana Harper never expected to run into her ex at an engagement shoot and when a blizzard strands them alone in a remote mountain cabin, she knows she's in trouble. She's never forgotten Ian Lawson, but none of the reasons they broke up have changed. He's still a workaholic—and now he's an engaged workaholic. 
 
But Ian is also still a man who knows what he wants and what he wants is Briana. Untangling the lies of his current engagement leaves him free to indulge, but proving he's changed may be this music mogul's toughest negotiation yet.



I’m a huge fan of reunion/second chance romance novels, so this was a nice little treat.
 
Ian was likable. He was willing to take responsibility for his actions by marrying the woman he believed to be carrying his child. He knew what it was like growing up without a father and he wasn’t going to force that on his potential child. I also liked that while he was attracted to Briana, Ian waited until his engagement had ended to move forward with Briana.
 
While Briana loved Ian, she watched him turning into a workaholic. Having been raised by a father that put work before family, she knew she didn’t want to be in a relationship with a man that chose work over her. Although being trapped in a cabin with Ian has her revaluating the choice she made.
 
This was a quick little read that I finished in under an hour. The characters were engaging, but I felt that Ian was developed a bit better than Briana was. His struggles and problems were at the heart of the story while Briana’s was sort of glossed over.
 
Overall, I liked it—and it set up the second book in the series—but I wasn’t overly thrilled with it. If Briana had been fleshed-out a little more it would have improved the book by leaps and bounds.



Book Details
Title: Snowed in With Her Ex
Brides and Belles
Author: Andrea Laurence
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Category: Passion
ISBN: 978-0-373-73362-0
Release Date: January 2015
Format I read: Mass-Market Paperback 
$5.25
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5 Cups


Monday, February 16, 2015

The Child They Didn't Expect by Yvonne Lindsay




Surprise—it's a baby!
 
After their steamy vacation fling, Alison Carter knows Ronin Marshall is a skilled lover and a billionaire businessman. But a father…who hires her New Zealand baby-planning service? This divorcĂ©e has already been deceived once; Ronin's now the last man she wants to see.
 
But he must have Ali. Only she can rescue Ronin from the upheaval of caring for his orphaned nephew…and give Ronin more of what he shared with her during the best night of his life. But something is holding her back. And Ronin will stop at nothing to find out what secrets she's keeping!



This was a light romance that had a few heavy points.
 
After meeting in Hawaii, Alison and Ronin end up in bed together although a middle-of-the-night phone call has him on a plane back to New Zealand without out so much as a note.  Alison is more than a little surprised and ticked off when she learns that Ronin hired her company to fit out a nursery.
 
Although all is not what it seems. When she discovers that Ronin is the child’s legal guardian and not the baby’s father, she slowly starts to fall in love with both of them. Just as they start getting settled into a new life together, Ronin feels Alison pulling away and he’s determined to show her just how much she means to him.
 
I really liked this book and wished it would have been longer—186 pages just wasn’t enough when the characters were as engaging as Ronin and Alison.
 
Both Alison and Ronin were likable. Ronin was a steady and determined hero who was willingly to give up everything to care for his orphaned nephew and to show Alison how much he cared about her.  Alison had been hurt by her ex-husband so she was a little wary about getting involved with Ronin at first. She’s also carrying around a secret that affects her relationship.
 
The chemistry between Ronin and Alison sizzled off the pages and the romance was very well-built and sensual.
 
 
The plot flowed easily and before I knew it, my tea had grown cold and the book was finished.  While parts of the book were completely predictable, there was a plot twist that totally shocked me.
 
Overall, I liked this one; I just wished it had been a bit longer. It was a quick little read which I read it in under an hour. This would be the perfect book to slip in your bag for break time.

 


Book Details
Title: The Child They Didn't Expect
Billionaires and Babies
Author: Yvonne Lindsay
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Category: Passion
ISBN: 978-0-373-733343-9
Release Date: 10/2014
Format: Mass-Market Paperback
$5.25
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4 Cups


Friday, February 13, 2015

Fonseca's Fury by Abby Green






The last time Luca Fonseca saw Serena DePiero, he ended up in a jail cell. The Brazilian billionaire has since clawed back his reputation, but he's never forgotten her. So when Luca discovers Serena's working for his charity, his anger reignites.
 
Serena has changed. Finally in control of her life, she refuses to let Luca intimidate her. She'll deal with whatever her new boss throws at her—from a rain-forest trek to the social jungle of Rio. But she can't handle the passion that flares hotter than Luca's fury—especially when it threatens to consume them both.



Luca is wealthy and utterly pissed at Serena, which, given the circumstances, I completely understand, and he wants her to suffer for what she done but there’s also a part of him that still wants her. He’s finally been able to build back his reputation and when he discovers that Serena’s working from his company, his anger and hate returns. 
 
Luca was a hard to like. He was demanding, controlling, pretty much an arse from the start. There were a few moments when I felt that something likable was shining through but he ruined it. I think that the author was so wrapped up in showing his anger and rage that she didn’t take time to balance out the character.
 
Serena is a debauched ex-socialite who has struggled with addiction. She’s claimed she changed but Luca knows the type and isn’t willingly to trust—or forgive—Serena that easily.  There were certain parts of Serena that were strong and she was willingly to fight with Luca to prove she didn’t do what she was accused of, but once again the character felt a little flat.
 
There are things in both of their pasts that made them who they are. Serena’s is darker but both stem from their childhood and it was a struggle for them both to overcome their histories.
 
This novel ebbed and flowed—one minute I liked it, the next it annoyed me to the point of wanting to chuck the book in the bin.  The plot was propelled by the anger/hate that Luca felt for Serena and that took away from the chemistry of the characters.
 
Overall, Fonseca’s Fury was just an okay read.


 

Book Details
Title: Fonseca's Fury
Billionaire Brothers book 1, DePiero Siblings book 3
Author: Abby Green
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Category: Passion
ISBN: 978-0-373-13307-9
Release Date: 1/2015
Format I read: Mass-Market Paperback
$4.99
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

30 Day Tea/Teapot Challenge Day 4

 
A few days ago, a friend challenged me to do a 30 days of Teas and Teapots challenge.  So, for the next 30 days, I will be posting the tea that I am drinking as well as the teapot I am using.
 
Feel free to play along and post the tea you are drinking and/or the teapot you are using. Just add your link in the comments or join in on the blog’s Facebook page Simply Angela. On Twitter, use the hashtag #SimplyAngelaTeaChallenge
Day 4: Frog Tea Infuser and Paris Blend Tea
 
 
I had intended to post a new teapot each day, then I received this little lovely in the mail as an early birthday present and I couldn’t pass up the chance to try it out.
 
This is a Ribbit Tea Infuser made by Jo!e. It is the cutest—and quirkiest—tea infuser that I’ve ever seen. Who wouldn’t love a floating frog tea infuser? I was surprised at how large the tea basket was, it gives ample room for the tea leaves to expand and would hold also hold a teabag.
 
The tea that I’m drinking is Paris blend from Harney and Sons. It’s a black tea with hints of fruit, citrus, vanilla, and caramel. The black current flavor is at the forefront with a chaser of vanilla and caramel. Very bright and smooth.
 
The cup and saucer I’m using is what I’ve deemed my I’ve-had-a-bad-day-cup. It holds 2 and half cups of tea and it’s keep it nice and warm.



Never Trust A Cowboy by Kathleen Eagle




The last thing harried Lila Flynn needed was another cowboy to deal with, but new hire Del Fox was different than most sweet-talking wranglers. The hard worker had a gentle touch and eyes that spoke of a past he didn't share. Lila soon found her hardened heart softening, frightening her more than any other hurdles she was facing.

Del's assignment in Short Straw, South Dakota, was meant to be fast and simple. Falling for Lila Flynn, however, had complicated everything. If he did his job right it would mean destroying everything Lila had worked for. He'd given her every reason never to trust him with her heart, but when all was said and done, would she trust their love enough to give them a second chance?



‘Delano Fox enjoyed watching a smooth heist in progress the way any skilled player might be entertained by another’s performance.
 
Yeah, so, I was hooked from the first sentence and I’m thrilled to say that I was hooked to the very end.
 
Delano—such as sexy name, ‘tis a pity the author shortened it to ‘Del’—arrived at Double F Ranch with a mission he thought was going to be quick and simple. He wasn't expecting to fall for Lila, the owner’s daughter, and now that he has, Del fears that what he’s about to do will bring her down with everyone else.
 
Del is a mystery and I liked that. While I had an inkling of what he was doing, the author allowed his story to unravel with twists I wasn’t expecting. Lila is nursing emotional scars and it was interesting watching her allow Del into her life.
 
They had amazing chemistry and it was one of my favorite aspects of the book and there were a few steamy moments.
This was my first time reading a Kathleen Eagle romance and I enjoyed the way she developed the characters where I felt as though Del and Lila were old friends rather than just characters from a book. The pacing was nice and steady and—at just over 200 pages—it was a quick read that I finished in one sitting.
 
Overall, this was a cute, heartfelt romance with aspects of humor and romance suspense laced in.


 


Book Details
Title: Never Trust a Cowboy
Author: Kathleen Eagle
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Category: Home and Family
ISBN: 978-0-373-65895-6
Format I Read: Mass Market Paperback
$5.50 U.S./$6.25 CAN.
Source: Publisher
Rating:  4 Cups




Tuesday, February 10, 2015

30 Day Tea/Teapot Challenge Day 3


A few days ago, a friend challenged me to do a 30 days of Teas and Teapots challenge.  So, for the next 30 days, I will be posting the tea that I am drinking as well as the teapot I am using.
 
Feel free to play along and post the tea you are drinking and/or the teapot you are using. Just add your link in the comments or join in on the blog’s Facebook page Simply Angela. On Twitter, use the hashtag #SimplyAngelaTeaChallenge
 
I haven’t deserted you, my lovelies, or jumped ship on the Tea/Teapot Challenge. My stovetop decided it wasn’t going to play nice—actually, it decided it wasn’t going to play at all. Thankfully, it was only a small flaw in the panel and was fixed this morning. You have no idea how cranky I am when I don’t get my morning tea


Day 3: Whisky Flavored Tea from Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company and a Blue and Cream flowered teapot.

 

This tea is fantastic. It reminds me of old libraries, men in kilts, fox hunts, and midnight seductions. It’s the perfect companion to historical romance books where the hero—and sometimes the heroine—reaches for a crystal decanter.
 
Anywho, getting out of my romance book/time-travel daydream and back to the tea.
 
It’s a black long leaf China tea marinated in a fine Scottish malt whisky then dried.  While it’s nonalcoholic, there is 2.8% Scottish malt whisky in the tea, just thought I should make mention of that.
 
Like fine Scottish malt, the first thing you’re going to notice with this tea is the strong peaty, oaky aroma. If you’re brewing a pot—and I do recommend using a teapot to achieve the full bouquet of this tea—the aroma of the tea will fill the room instantly.
 
The flavor of this tea does indeed taste like fine Scottish malt whisky. While the aroma of the tea is peaty, the flavor isn’t. Instead, a subtle smokiness blends perfectly with the malty flavors of oak and barley.
 
The strength of this tea will vary depending on the style of tea you use. Loose-leaf will be stronger simply because it’s the nature of loose-leaf teas. Teabags will be a slightly weaker.
 
To get the full body, or bouquet, of this tea, I recommend steeping the tea in a teapot. If you’re not using a teapot, I recommend allowing the tea to steep for 5 minutes.
 
The first time I had this tea was at my local teashop, which sadly is now closed. I sat down with the proprietor—a lovely British man—who told me about his school mates John Lennon and Paul McCartney and watching them play their first gig as The Quarrymen. It was interesting hearing his stories and seeing his photo albums.
 
I love this little teapot. I found it two years ago sometime around Easter at either CVS or Walgreens. I think it’s a two cup teapot, so it’s the perfect size for a single spot of tea. It also keeps the tea warm without needing to sit it on a warmer or use a tea cozy.

 


The cup and saucer and the dessert bowl are from Royal Warwick’s Lochs of Scotland set.  The cup and saucer depicts a scene of Loch Duich while the dessert bowl depicts Loch Ness complete with kilted men and Nessie.