Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Am Ozzy Audio review and Giveaway

From the Publishers

"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night.

It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour.

People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time.

A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."

My Thoughts
I loved this audio version of I Am Ozzy, although I was a bit disappointed that it was the abridged version. I will definitely go and buy the book. The narrator Fred Skinner, was the perfect choice with his Birminghamshire accent and the humorous way he told this story. This is the perfect book for fans of Ozzy as well as those who enjoy the history of Rock n Roll. You could defiantly tell that Ozzy wrote the book himself. Truly one of my favorites

Listen to an excerpt

Visit Ozzy's website


Leave a comment letting me know your favorite song and musician along with a VALID email address. If you are a follower please mention it and receive an extra credit.

Sense & Sensibility Insight Edition By Jane Austen review

Title Sense and Sensibility Insight Edition
Author Jane Austen
Publisher Bethany House
ISBN 978-0-7642-0740-2

In Sense and Sensibility we meet the Dashwood family, three charming girls and their widowed mother, who are forced to move from their beloved home after the death of their father. Promising his father that he would provided for the needs of his stepmother and sisters, John Dashwood’s wife Fanny, eager to get her hands on the family fortune, convinces her husband that the sum was too great and it should be extremely lowered. With little money the family is forced to move to a cottage offered by relatives. We then gain a glimpse into the lives of the two eldest sisters, Elinor, who happens to be practical and the very charming Marianne, who lives for the moment. Different as day and night each sister experiences their own version of love. Elinor with the somewhat stuffy Edward Ferrars, brother to the intolerable Mrs. Fanny Dashwood, and Marianne with the enchanting Willoughby who has the ability to charm a snake. All the while the reasonable but slightly older, Colonel Brandon comes calling for the unwilling Marianne. Although the suitors of the Dashwood girls are both hiding enormous secrets, once discovered these secrets could break both of the girls hearts. In the end which will win Sense or Sensibility?

Sense and Sensibility was the first novel of Jane Austen’s to be published, now Bethany House has published the insight edition. The perfect edition to add or start your Austen collection. Complete with notes pertaining to everything from historical/cultural events, definitions during Jane’s era, to facts and tidbits about Jane’s life. Also included is comments featuring facts pertaining to the movies and pop culture surround the novel. Readers will be pleased to know that the story of Sense and Sensibility has not been altered from the one the Jane Austen wrote. The Insight edition is exactly what it claims, an insight in the world of Sense and Sensibility and the world in which Jane Austen lived. Once again I will say that this is the perfect edition to either start or add to your Jane Austen collection.

This book was provided for review thanks to Bethany House

Friday, January 29, 2010

When Will There Be Good News Winners





Best Wishes and Happy Reading
Angela Renee

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blog Award

I received my first blog award from Ann Elle Altman.

Thanks Anne

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County winners





Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Highlander's Destiny by Melissa Mayhue review

JESSE CORYELL, a descendant of the Fae, is a man in search of his destiny. He’s tried to lose himself in his work, taking on the worst mankind has to offer, but what he really needs to find his true love. When he sets out a mysterious woman find her sister, what he gets is much more than he bargained for: battling an undeniable attraction for his sexy new client while fighting an ancient evil to keep her safe.

DESTINY NOBLE, abandoned by everyone she’s ever love, will stop at nothing in her desperate quest to find her sister. Authorities has declared Leah a runaway, but Destiny knows better. Her dream visions have shown her the frightening truth. They’ve also shown Jesse. But finding her Soulmate could result in the most painful loss of all, when she’s forced to choose between loving Jesse and saving Leah.

Jesse and Destiny race against time to save an innocent girl from a powerful ancient evil. Is true love their best weapon….. Or will they be required to sacrifice their own destiny?

My thoughts.

Through the book my thoughts continually returned to the beginning of the book where Jessie’s young niece, Rosie told him that he needed to find his destiny, to believe in it and fight for it. “A Highlander’s Destiny” was full of that theme fighting for your destiny. I thoroughly enjoy this novel, and the character’s within it. Although I felt that at points I would have liked to have known more of the back-story, this book could and does stand on it’s own. Full of magic, myth, suspense, and love, “A Highlander’s Destiny” is truly an adult Faerie Tale. I was so enthralled with this novel I finished it in one reading. “A Highlander’s Destiny” is the fifth novel in Melissa Mayhue’s Daughter’s of the Glen series if like me you enjoyed this book be sure and check out the complete series, and don’t forget the story continues with the release of “A Highlander’s Homecoming”.

The Complete list of The Daughter’s of the Glen series,

1- Thirty Night With A Highland Husband
2- Highland Guardian
3- Soul Of A Highlander
4- A Highlander of Her Own
5- A Highlander’s Destiny
6- A Highlander’s Homecoming

About the author

Faced with telling you all about me, I realized...I'm not very interesting! So, rather than bore you with useless trivia about my life, [ I was an only child, born and raised in Texas ], I'll share the story of how I came to be a writer.
First and foremost, I am a reader. Some of my best memories are of my mother taking me to the local library every week during the summer to check out armloads of books. I could hardly wait to get home, dive into the stories, and get lost in a whole new, wonderful world. My prized possession as a girl was an entire shelf of Nancy Drew Mysteries. I adored Nancy Drew.
My first experience with writing a book came at age 13. I developed a fascination with genealogy and, after spending time visiting older relatives to gather information, I found I had all sorts of wonderful family stories. What on earth could I do with all those [ mostly false ] tales? Why, I'd write a sweeping, 600+ page novel of course! A tale of life through several generations, spanning two centuries. It would be fantastic.
Armed with purpose and enthusiasm, I sat down at my big typewriter, [ yes, I'm dating myself...typewriter, not keyboard ], and began Page One. Hours later I had almost completed two whole pages. [ double spaced, of course ]. Hmmmmm... An entire day and I had barely two pages to show for it? [ Rather boring pages, at that ].
Maybe I wasn't cut out to be an author after all.
In spite of my writing setback, I retained my passion for books. I simply concentrated on reading other people's books. Lots of books. All kinds of books. Until I discovered Romance. Finally, a world I could escape to where I knew I'd always find a happy ending! I devoured them, literally reading hundreds.
Years passed before the writing bug seriously bit again. I was working in downtown Denver and, as so many writers advised, every lunch hour I took my pad and pen [ actually, I preferred a pencil ] and headed for my favorite coffee shop to spend my 50 minutes writing.
Unfortunately, my favorite coffee shop was in a book store. Invariably, I'd end up writing nothing. There were too many fascinating people to watch, too many interesting conversations to hear and then, of course, there were all the books to distract me.
Still, I had these two characters living in my head, wanting their story told...
Then came the summer we took our second family vacation to Scotland. On the Black Isle [ which isn't black or even an isle ], near the pretty little town of Rosemarkie, we parked our rented car and hiked back into a magically beautiful placed called Fairy Glen. Resting on a large rock at the edge of a waterfall and pool, lulled by the lush nature of the setting, I suddenly realized THIS was the place for Cate and Connor. For the remainder of that trip, I'd catch glimpses of them, in a castle, standing at the foot of a crumbling staircase, or riding through a highland meadow.
Once I finally sat down at my keyboard and decided the time had come to give those two life, I found, amazingly enough, they weren't the only characters running around in my head. There were a bunch of them... all clamoring for their own turn!
My GOAL, as a writer, is to give each of those noisy characters a life in their own story.
My HOPE, as a writer, is that you'll enjoy reading their stories as much as I enjoy writing them!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Voice review

The Voice ,a New Testament, is unique Bible that offers an in-depth look into the New Testament. Compiled by 21 note Bible scholars The Voice offers a comprehensive study guide. This would be a good bible to use as a study guide. Although I found it a bit odd that it reads like movie script that it reads as tough you are reading a movie script. Those looking for a Bible that reads the same as the King James Version this is not the Bible for you. The Voice reads in a modern day tone that some may enjoy. Although I found that it was a bit too modern for my taste.

I received The Voice from Thomas Nelson

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Survivor's Club winners



Please look for my email that will be arriving shortly.

For those who didn't manager to snag a copy of this book please continue to watch this blog for more exciting giveaways.

Best Wishes and Happy Reading,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Queen's Governess by Karen Harper

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be among the court of the English King Henry VIII? He was the only King to ever have absolute power during his reign. He had the power to build you up and also the power to destroy you. We often hear the tales of those who reign, their stories told from their perspectives. Now emerges the story of Katherine Ashley, the only woman to have been in the midst of it all. This is Kat’s story which begins during the end of Queen Katherine’s reign and ends during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be among the court of the English King Henry VIII? He was the only King to ever have absolute power during his reign. He had the power to raise you up and also the power to destroy you. We often hear the tales of those who reign, their stories told from their perspectives. Now emerges the story of Katherine Ashley, the only woman to have been in the midst of it all. She was the one woman who knew all the secrets and scandals of the court. This is Kat’s story which begins during the end of Queen Katherine’s reign and ends during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

Katherine’s story begins with an unforeseen accident that lands Kat as Thomas Cromwell’s nurse. Proving herself to be trustworthy, and highly educated for a girl of her means Cromwell decides to send Kat to be further educated so he could use her as a spy to help elevate his status at court. Placing Kat as the go between for himself and the Lady Anne, Cromwell soon discovers many secrets that can be used to his advantage. Quickly gaining the trust and friendship of the new crowned Queen Anne, Kat is now privy to more knowledge than she could have ever imagined. With the Queen’s failed attempts to produce an heir to the throne, Henry’s sight soon turns to young Jane Seymour. Wanting to please the King as well as increase his own coffers Cromwell is quick to draw up a list of treasonous charges regarding Anne to place before an eager King. With Anne’s fate sealed, she placed her one true friend, Kat in charge of her small daughter. Caring for Elizabeth as she would care for her own child Kat forms the beginning of the Princess who will later become one of the greatest Queens England has ever seen. Together they survived through claims of illegitimacy, scathing scandals, and imprisonments in the Tower of London. They also survived the turbulent reigns of 3 monarchs.

The poet Thomas Wyatt once wrote;

“These bloody days have broke my heart,
My lust, my youth did them depart,
And blind desire of estate.
Who hastes to climb to seek revert.
Of truth, circa Regna tonat.”

Circa Regna tonat, meaning ‘around the throne thunder rolls. What better way to sum up the era in which Kat Ashley was living. Knowing at any minute her world and that of Elizabeth’s could come crashing down around them. It was a world in which you kept your enemies close and trusted few. I think Karen Harper went to great lengths to research and accurately portray the events featured in The Queen’s Governess. She chose to shed a new light the turbulent Tudor reign by using the perspective of Kat Ashley, a woman who was privy to an enormous amount of court secrets and as well as scandals during the reigns of 4 monarchs, to narrate this story. Karen Harper has a way of writing that places the reader in the midst of the story. I believe that fans of the Tudor and Elizabethan era will find a The Queen’s Governess to be one of their favorite books of 2010.

I received my ARC from the publisher

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Knit, Purl, Die by Anne Canadeo blog tour Review

Here’s what the back of the book has to say,

Gloria Sterling had it all-money, looks, and a new sexy young husband. So when she’s found floating face down in her own swimming pool, shock waves ripple through the tiny town Plum Harbor. At the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, Maggie Messina and her circle are devastated to lose their dear friend-a woman as colorful as her fabulous yarn creations.
The police are quick to call it an accident, but sorting out Gloria’s final hours leaving too many loose ends to satisfy her friends. The vivacious, fifty-something cougar had her French manicured tips in a more than a few pots, and the threads of some inside deals stashed in her chic knitting tote.
Who was the last person to see Gloria alive that quite summer night? Two empty wine glasses suggests that she wasn’t home alone knotting the entire evening………….The Black Sheep need to know the truth and set out to unravel-stitch by stitch-the weighty secrets that pulled poor Gloria under.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed Knit, Purl, Die, normally I do not go for mystery books, although I found that I could not put this one down. Anne Canadeo has created a brilliant cast of characters that complete this tale. She also has created a small town everybody knows everybody, friends for life setting that I enjoyed. Truly a crafty mystery that will have you guessing the whole way through. With a “meet the Black Sheep Knitters” guide and a bonus section in the back with knitting ideas and recipes, it is as though you yourself are welcomed into their flock of knitters.

Knit, Purl, Die is the second book in The Black Sheep Knitting Mystery Series I do have to say while it does reference the first book the references are well explained and the second book does read as a stand alone book. Although once you read Knit, Purl, Die I guarantee that you will want to read the first novel.

Knit, Purl, Die was provided by Pocket Books. Thanks Sarah Reidy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Gospel According To Lost by Chris Seay review

The Gospel According To Lost by Chris Seay, delves deep into the many mysteries of the hit show Lost. Mauling over the many occurrences that has happened on the show this book provides an in-depth guide to unlocking the mysteries of faith. Using the show as a steeping stone, Chris Seay chronicles the characters many layers from their guilt, deceptions, theories, and fate, and shows how they go hand in hand with faith. A truly unique guide that will spark thoughts and discussions. Not only does this book help readers to connect with the show it also helps readers to connect with their faith. We are suppose to grow as we learn from the mistakes of the characters.

The Gospel According To Lost is a thought provoking book that inspires readers to grow. I will admit I did have a bit of trouble getting into this book although it did get better as the book progressed. I think the context of the book is best suited for those who watch the show.

This book provided by Thomas Nelson

My review
In Notorious Royal Marriages author Leslie Carroll takes you into the lives as well as into the bedrooms of 32 royal couples. Highly educational and thoroughly entertaining, this nonfiction book provided readers with a in-depth look into the marriages, affaires, and minds of these remarkable rulers. Leaving no stone unturned in her search to dig up the dirt, Leslie Carroll has thoroughly researched every aspect of these monarchs lives. With so much juicy information, Notorious Royal Marriages reads like the script of a soap opera. Leslie Carroll had left nothing out, the good, the bad, and the really ugly are included. With monarchs ranging from Eleanor of Aquitaine, Ferdinand and Isabella, Henry VIII and his many wives, Mary Queen of Scotts and her three husbands to more modern day rules including Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and many more.

Have you heard that old saying ‘one thing leads to another’? In this book you see how true it is. Notorious Royal Marriages contains information regarding those who married for wealth, power, prestige, and rarely did they marry for love. Although when that event finally happened they would stop at nothing to protect it, even going so far as to abdicate the throne of England like Edward VIII when he married Wallis Simpson.

This has to been of my favorite book regarding the subject of royal marriages. Well researched, and well written. Leslie Carroll’s conversational style makes for a very captivating read. Although I am surprised at how mush information that was able to fit in one book. I would recommend this book to everyone from history buffs to those who enjoy a good romance novel.

This book was provided for review by the publisher

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks Giveaway and Review

Here's what the Publishers have to say,

Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

Have a book group? Feel Free to use this guide.
1. Ronnie is a difficult teenager who is prone to acting out and is alienated from both her parents at the start of the novel. Were you rebellious as a teenager? How was this manifested? On the other side, have you ever had to deal with a rebellious teenager? Did Ronnie’s behavior touch a nerve?

2. What do you think about the very different approaches to parenting taken by Ronnie’s mother and father? Do you think Ronnie’s mother is too intrusive or can you understand her relationship with Ronnie? Do you think Ronnie’s father is too absent, or can you understand why the relationship is the way it is?

3. Early in the novel we learn that Ronnie was a piano prodigy who performed at Carnegie Hall when she was thirteen. However, when we meet Ronnie she hasn’t played in many years and she’s sworn to never play the piano again. Why does Ronnie feel this way? Who do you think Ronnie hurts more by not playing the piano, herself or her father?

4. Reflecting back on his life, Steve wonders: “Was it still possible for someone like him to experience the presence of God?” Why does Steve ask himself this? What role do religion and belief play in this novel? How would you characterize Steve’s religious faith?

5. Why does Will fall for Ronnie? Can you understand the attraction from both Ronnie’s and Will’s point of view?

6. What do you make of Blaze? How would you characterize her relationship with Marcus? Have you ever been in a relationship that was not particularly healthy? Did you stay in the relationship? If so, why?

7. Ronnie and Will fall in love very quickly over the course of the summer. Have you ever had a summer romance that became something more than a fling?

8. This novel is, in large part, about loyalty and trust. Which characters exhibit the most trustworthiness and which exhibit the least? How does a betrayal of trust affect various relationships within the novel?

9. In the middle of the novel, Will asks Ronnie how far she would go to protect a friend. Why does Will ask Ronnie this? How far would you go to protect a friend?

10. How are Jonah and Ronnie affected by their parents’ divorce? What effect does divorce have on children, in your experience?

11. Both Will and Ronnie come from families that have certain expectations of them. How do these familial expectations shape them and in what ways do they reject these expectations?

12. Why does Ronnie get angry at Will toward the end of the novel? Do you think her anger is justified?

13. What do you think of the choices Steve and Kim make as parents? Do you think they were right in keeping certain things secret from their children?

14. Ronnie makes an important choice at the end of the novel. Would you have made the same choice if you were in her position?

15. In what ways does Ronnie change over the course of the novel? In what ways does she stay the same?

Author Bio

Nicholas Charles Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska on December 31, 1965. As a child, he lived in Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Grand Island, Nebraska, finally settling in Fair Oaks, California at the age of eight. He lived in Fair Oaks through high school, graduated valedictorian in 1984, and received a full track scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.

After breaking the Notre Dame school record as part of a relay team in 1985 as a freshman (a record which still stands), he was injured and spent the summer recovering. During that summer, he wrote his first novel, though it was never published. He majored in Business Finance and graduated with high honors in 1988.

He and his wife Catherine, who met on spring break in 1988, were married in July, 1989. While living in Sacramento, he wrote his second novel that same year, though again, it wasn't published. In 1990, he collaborated on a book with Billy Mills, the Olympic Gold Medalist and it was published by Feather Publishing before later being picked up by Random House. (It was recently re-issued by Hay House Books.) Though it received scant publicity, sales topped 50,000 copies in the first year of release.

He began selling pharmaceuticals and moved from Sacramento, California to North Carolina in 1992. In 1994, at the age of 28, he wrote The Notebook over a period of six months. In October, 1995, rights to The Notebook were sold to Warner Books. It was published in October, 1996, and he followed that with Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), and Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), Three Weeks with my Brother (2004), True Believer (2005), At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), and The Lucky One (2008). All were domestic and international best sellers and were translated into more than 40 languages. His newest book, The Last Song will be made into a movie starring Miley Cyrus, in theaters in 2010.

The movie version of Message in a Bottle was released in 1999, A Walk to Remember was released in 2002, and The Notebook was released in 2004. The average domestic box office gross per film was $56 million -- with another $100 million in DVD sales—making the novels by Nicholas Sparks one of the most successful franchises in Hollywood. The film version of Nights in Rodanthe was released in the fall of 2008 and starred Diane Lane and Richard Gere. Forthcoming movie adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' books include Dear John, The Lucky One and The Last Song.

Nichols Sparks is an avid athlete who runs daily, lifts weights regularly, and competes in Tae Kwon Do. He attends church regularly and reads approximately 125 books a year. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually.

He lives in North Carolina with his wife and children.

Visit the Authors website HERE

I will be giving away 3 copies on February 16
Contest Starts January 14
To enter leave a comment with your name, a valid email address and the name of your favorite Nicholas Sparks book.

Giveaway thanks to Hachette Book Group, Thanks Valerie

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When Will There Be Good New by Kate Atkinson review and giveaway

Here's What the publishers have to say,

On a hot summer day, Joanna Mason's family slowly wanders home along a country lane. A moment later, Joanna's life is changed forever...

On a dark night thirty years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Lost in his thoughts, he suddenly hears a shocking sound...

At the end of a long day, 16-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little TV. Then a terrifying noise shatters her peaceful evening. Luckily, Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for an emergency...

These three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel from Kate Atkinson, the critically acclaimed author who Harlan Coben calls "an absolute must-read."

My Thoughts
Kate Atkinson is a brilliant writer that has a very vivid way of writing. This book drew me in and had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I enjoyed her unique writing style and the wit that was included in this thriller. I would recommend this book for all those who enjoy a bit of mystery and suspense.

About the Author

Kate Atkinson lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named Whitbread Book of the Year in the U.K. in 1995, and was followed by Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Not the End of the World, Case Histories and One Good Turn.

If you have a book group, please feel free to use these discussion questions.

1. Many of the characters in When Will There Be Good News? have lost family members: Joanna loses her mother, sister, and baby brother in the novel’s opening pages; Reggie’s mother has recently drowned; and Jackson lost his mother, brother, and sister in the course of a year when he was twelve. In view of these tragedies, compare Joanna’s, Reggie’s, and Jackson’s respective outlooks on life with those of the other characters in the novel.

2. The question of Nathan’s paternity haunts Jackson Brodie. Why? How might Jackson’s life change if he discovered he was Nathan’s father? Is Jackson a good father to Marlee?

3. With When Will There Be Good News? — and previously also in Case Histories and One Good Turn — Kate Atkinson introduced elements of the traditional crime novel into her fiction. Other than the “crime,” what elements make up a crime novel? What crime- fiction conventions can you discern in this book?

4. When Will There Be Good News? has three central female characters: Joanna, Louise, and Reggie. Discuss the ways in which these three central characters are similar. Which of the three would you most like to encounter again in a subsequent novel by Kate Atkinson?

5. Of Jackson Brodie, Atkinson writes, “How ironic that both Julia and Louise, the two women he’d felt closest to in his recent past, had both unexpectedly got married, and neither of them to him” (page 90). What are the chances that Jackson will ever have a successful romantic relationship? Why do you think he has been unlucky so far, even though he is such an appealing character?

6. Discuss the idea of “good” characters and “evil” characters in When Will There Be Good News? Do you think the novel’s central characters are either essentially “good” or essentially “evil,” or are they a combination of both? How do Louise, Reggie, and Jackson — each of whom breaks the law to achieve the “right” result — fi gure into your viewpoint? What is the moral code at work in the novel?

7. Death, violence, and hardship seem to stalk Reggie, yet she remains remarkably resilient. What do you think sustains her?

8. Discuss the institution of marriage as it is portrayed in the novel. Consider Louise’s marriage, Joanna’s marriage, Jackson’s marriage, and Julia’s marriage. Are there any characters in the novel who are happily married?

9. Jackson Brodie believes that “a coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen” (page 319). Discuss some of the coincidences in When Will There Be Good News? Do they make the story seem more real? Or less real?

10. Despite the novel’s title and the early statement that “everything was bad. There was no question about it” (page 10), there are many instances of humor in the story. Do you think When Will There Be Good News? is essentially a humorous novel with tragic events or a tragic novel with moments of levity?

I am giving away 2 copy of WHEN WILL THERE BE GOOD NEWS

To enter leave a comment along with a valid email address.
Contest open to US and Canada residents
Contest begins January 12
One Winner will be selected January 29

Book and giveaway provided by Valerie Russo for Hachette Book Group
Thanks Valerie


Monday, January 11, 2010

The King's Rose by Alisa M. Libby review and Q&A with Alisa M. Libby

My Review

In “The King’s Rose”, author Alisa M. Libby brings to life the fifth wife of King Henry VIII.

Born into a family that was notorious for using the women of their family as stepping stones to enhance their status at court, young Catherine Howard becomes their pawn in the devious game of court elevation. Allowed to behave in an unscrupulous manner while living in the house of her grandmother the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, Catherine must now burn her past and pretend it never existed. Knowing that the King’s marriage to Anne of Cleves is drawing close to an end, the Howard’s are once again determined to place one of their own back upon the English throne. Placing Catherine in front of the King, they have built her up as a woman of amazing virtue, much like Henry’s much beloved Queen Jane. Catherine soon finds that she has won the heart of the aging King. Concluding that combination of the King’s love, and the power of the Howard’s Catherine allows herself to believe that she would hold more power than any of Henry’s previous Queens, including her cousin Anne Boleyn. The new Queen soon finds herself surrounded by her old life. The girls that Catherine shared her lodgings and her secrets with during her stay with the Dowager Duchess come calling for a position in her Royal household. Allowing them to join her retinue, Catherine knows she must keep them close to avoid her past from coming to light. Unable to rid herself of the past she was told to destroy and unable to provide King Henry with an heir to throne, she is told that she must restart her affaire with her previous lover, Thomas Culpepper. Enlisting the aid of Lady Rochford, Anne Boleyn’s sister-in-law, who was the downfall of Ann, Catherine slips back into her old life. Suddenly Catherine’s fears become reality when a pair of familiar eyes greet her from behind the mask of a devil, she now realizes that her past is alive and raging like an inferno. The Howard’s now have come to the conclusion that Catherine is of no use to them and brings her transgressions to light. No longer is she the King’s rose without a thorn, she has hurt, betrayed, and humiliated the man who has loved her, the man who has the power to destroy those whom he has raised. Catherine finds herself condemned by her lover, Thomas, the man who has sworn to protect her, and betrayed by her family as well as Lady Rochford. Continuously haunted by her cousin Anne Boleyn, she now learns that she will share her fate as well as her final resting place. Anne and Catherine’s fate are now intertwined forever to be known as traitors to the Kings heart.

“The King’s Rose”, is a remarkable story showcasing the short life of Catherine Howard. Told from Catherine’s perspective, “The King’s Rose”, offers a fresh perspective on the life of this young, doomed queen. Alisa M. Libby has provided us with an up-close and personal narrative that truly brings Catherine to life. No detail has been overlooked, every aspect has been thoroughly researched. Alisa M. Libby has a way of writing that captivates the reader. You can feel the inner war that Catherine is constantly wagging within herself.

As a reader of both nonfiction and fiction works pertaining to the Tudors, I found this book to be a very interesting read. I enjoyed the fact that Alisa chose to write about one of Henry’s lesser known queens. I feel that she has given a voice to Catherine, so that her story though it may be fictional is told. One of the parts that will stay embedded in my memory from the book is at the end where Catherine is pleading to the King to show mercy and Henry just passes by without even a nod in her direction. Reading “The King’s Rose” is sure to provoke an endless steam of thoughts and discussions.

“The King’s Rose” was provided by the author Alisa M. Libby.

If you enjoyed this book you should check out these nonfiction books.

1-The Six Wives of Henry VIII
By Alison Weir
2-Henry VIII also Published as The King and His Court
By Alison Weir
3-Great Harry
By Carolly Erickson

Author Q&A

In your book, The King’s Rose you chose Catherine Howard as your main character. What drew you to Catherine Howard?

Catherine Howard was a young woman caught in what, at first, reads like a fairy tale: she's chosen as a bride by the rich and immensely powerful King of England. However, she quickly learns how difficult it is to please this particular king, and the dangerous repercussions if she does not give him what he requires. Her story would be like Cinderella, if only Henry weren't so terrifying!

Also, I was fascinated by Catherine's bad decisions; many accounts state that she had a secret affair while married to the king, an act of treason which had already cost Henry's former queen, Anne Boleyn, her head. Was it lust, desperation, or heartache that drove Catherine to do this? I didn’t have any answers, but I wanted to write her story to figure out what she might have been thinking.

While in England researching Catherine, what did you feel like retracing her steps?
It was wonderful to walk the halls of Hampton Court knowing that this was where Catherine celebrated her days as queen, and also where she was first imprisoned. The most powerful experience of the trip was visiting the place of her execution and burial in the Tower of London. Catherine is buried beside her far more famous cousin, Anne Boleyn, and is often overlooked in favor of Anne. My husband and I visited on February 13, the anniversary of Catherine's execution. I like to think that she was pleased to receive visitors.

What are some of the things that you were surprised to learn about her?
I was surprised to learn how ill-equipped Catherine was for court life, which only made her story more interesting to me. She arrived at court in autumn, as a lady in waiting to the new queen, Anne of Cleves. By the following spring Catherine was receiving expensive gifts from King Henry. He divorced Anne of Cleves and married Catherine that summer. This had to be an overwhelming, heady experience. I don’t think she knew enough about court politics to know how to properly behave as queen.

Authors often find themselves identifying or sympathizing with their characters. When writing/researching this book did you find that was the case with Catherine?

Yes, I certainly sympathized with Catherine. However, I didn’t want to let her off the hook to easily. I didn’t want to make her sound too much like a victim, and I wanted to retain the idea that she did do something wrong. As it is fiction, I could have explained the affair away as a minor flirtation, or an unrequited love, but I didn’t find that as interesting as the story of a girl who does a bad thing and in so doing puts herself and the one she loves in grave danger.

In the book as well as in real life Catherine’s life is a dichotomy. Constantly living out two different roles. Do you feel that the choice was hers or was she forced by the Howards?

I don’t think she had any choice in marrying the king—nor did any of his other brides, for that matter. For a girl of Catherine’s non-royal status, there was no rejecting the king’s proposal. Further, the Howards would never have allowed her to reject it, even knowing the dangers involved.

In the book Catherine is constantly plagued by the memory of Anne Boleyn. Ultimately she shares the same fate as Anne, do you think that she felt a sense of foreboding throughout her life?

I thought it lent an interesting aspect to her character to have Catherine “haunted” by Henry's past wives, particularly the terrifying example of Anne Boleyn. I couldn’t glean from historical texts if Catherine did consider those who came before her, but I imagined that she wouldn’t be able to avoid doing so. Still, it didn't seem to stop her from behaving rashly! But that's what made her a challenging and fascinating character to write about.

With Henry being known as paranoid and distrusting, why do you think he chose to marry someone in the Howard family, a family that already failed him?

This is a wonderful question! I think that when Henry saw what he wanted—be it obtaining or disposing of any one of his wives—he would create any explanation necessary to attain the object of his desire, even if it meant making excuses, bending the rules, or fooling himself in the process. He was instantly charmed by Catherine and was eager to claim her as his youthful and vivacious new bride. He was completely—perhaps innocently, foolishly—convinced by her guise of innocence. He wanted to believe that it was true, that this girl was pure and lovely and that she loved him.

In the King’s Rose Catherine’s affaire with Thomas has ended and restarts after her failed attempts to produce an heir, do you think that the relationship ever truly ended between Catherine and Thomas?

Assuming, for fictional purposes at least, that they did have an affair (you can find historical texts that support or deny this claim) I thought it likely that she might have attempted to be on her best behavior when first married to Henry. He was lavishing her with attention and ordering banquets and masquerades in her honor; I think that this might have distracted and appeased her for a while. It’s later, when she’s feeling weak and desperate and overlooked by the king that her love for Thomas consumes her, again.
In your opinion who was Catherine Howard? Was she a willing participant or just another pawn in the Howard’s elevation to notoriety?

I see her as a pawn, and not a terribly well chosen pawn, at that. She was petite and young and pretty, and I think the Howards knew that Catherine would catch Henry's eye. Did they know that Henry would despise his German bride, divorce her as quickly as possible, and immediately marry little Catherine? I doubt they could have foreseen all of this. I'm sure that they were thrilled with this turn of events, but Catherine was ill-prepared for all the responsibilities of being queen, let alone managing Henry's mood swings. I think she did make Henry feel young again, for a brief time. But in the end, she may have been better off as the king's mistress, not his wife!
Lady Rochford knew the cost of deceiving the King, what do you think preempted her to engage in Catherine’s affaire?

Lady Rochford remains an inscrutably evil and reckless character, to my mind. She had already seen her husband, George Boleyn, and her sister-in-law Anne Boleyn, executed for the same charges of treasonous adultery that she was helping to arrange for Catherine. For the purpose of fiction, I decided that the affair was devised to get Catherine pregnant, seeing as perhaps Henry was incapable of doing so. As for the real Lady Rochford, I’ve yet to understand what she was thinking. She was adept at court politics (she must have been, or else she wouldn’t have lasted so long) and maybe she thought she could wiggle out of a dangerous situation, if need be. She had certainly walked away from Anne Boleyn's reign with her head still squarely on her shoulders. When accusations were made in Catherine's case, Lady Rochford placed all of the blame on Catherine, claiming that the young queen had demanded that she help her arrange these meetings with her lover, Thomas Culpeper. Perhaps she thought this would be enough to release her from any responsibility. She wasn’t so lucky.
Everybody has an opinion as to who King Henry really was. Who was he to you?

I see King Henry VIII as a monster created by the age and circumstances in which he lived. Yes, he was often a tyrant, and egotistical and moody and he disposed of his wives—and many of his colleagues, in general—in a repulsive manner. But how can we expect him to act of sane mind? He was a young man when he was crowned, and suddenly his very person was imbued with God-like power. It was believed that the king of England, chosen by God, was to be treated like a God, himself. How, then, can we be surprised at how this twisted his perception of his own power? The convolutions he created to obtain and then discard each of his wives is circuitous and illogical—but it worked, again and again. Regardless of his madness, he was still king, and his servants did their best to give the king what he wanted, no matter whose heads had to roll. The king’s will be done!
The Tudors on Showtime has awoken a new interest in the life of King Henry. Have you always been fascinated with this period of time and would you like others to learn from it?

I have long been fascinated by the Tudor court, and by the time period in general. I like jumping into the mind of a historical character, slipping into their world—it’s world-building akin to high fantasy, but luckily I can research details to help populate that world. And there are so many fascinating details! The clothes they wore, the food they ate, the poetry they read, the games and music they played—it is a time period rich with detail and peopled with fascinating, often malevolent characters.

You mention in your biography that you like writing about characters who do bad things. Why is that? Do you feel that you are giving them a voice, a way to show their points of view?

My first two books are focused on characters who do bad things: the first, Countess Bathory, murdered her servant girls and bathed in their blood, believing that it would preserve her youth and beauty for eternity. Catherine Howard committed adultery. In each case I had a similar reaction to their stories: “What was she thinking?” I wrote to answer this question in a way that seemed satisfying. I like to give these characters a voice—not to make excuses for their bad behavior, but to figure out why they did it. I find “bad girls” very fascinating, and history is full of them!
Was there anything you were surprised to learn about Countess Bathory?

The information about Countess Bathory was far more limited than what I could find out about Catherine. However, I was surprised and fascinated by the magic and folklore that may have been a part of Erzebet’s world, twisted up with her religious beliefs. I read stories about how beating a bird with a white cane was said to protect you from enemies. Medical practices of the time also relied heavily on “bleeding” a patient in order to fix an imbalance of humors in the body. Blood was often involved in magic, as well as in her religious studies: “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” Knowing this, I could see how she would see blood as a magical substance, and how this may lead her to use it as part of her beauty regimen, such was her terror of growing old.
What books would you recommend for those who want to research Catherine Howard, King Henry, or the Countess Bathory?

There are some wonderful books out there about Catherine. My favorite was A Tudor Tragedy by Lacey Baldwin Smith. I also enjoyed Joanna Denny's book Katherine Howard (both of these are non-fiction.) If you’re in the mood to read some fiction about King Henry, I highly recommend Margaret George’s novel, The Autobiography of King Henry VIII; it’s massive and fascinating, like the big man, himself. Also, there are wonderful recordings of music of the time period, much of it supposedly written by King Henry. I enjoyed “All Goodly Sports: The Complete Music of Henry VIII” and listened to it a great deal while writing The King’s Rose.

There are fewer books out there about Bathory, but I found some useful information about her in Dracula was a Woman by Raymond McNally and Countess Dracula by Tony Thorne. Thorne's book was particularly interesting, as he gave two potential stories: one of a woman obsessed with bathing in blood, and the other of a woman framed for murder. For fiction, Andrei Codrescu’s The Blood Countess was dark and riveting.

Which was your favorite character to research?

I hate to choose one over another, but at the moment I have to say Catherine Howard. I read her story over so many times over the three or four years that I worked on the book, and I never tired of it. I was constantly revealing some new aspect of her in my research. It was fascinating to take all of those facts and try to craft a “real” fictional girl from what I learned. And in the end, she was a real girl, maybe not so different from myself. Though I didn't agree with her actions, I could empathize with her plight. Visiting England made her even more real to me.
Do you have a subject for your next book? If you do what can we expect?

I have a few projects in the works at the moment. I would love to write another historical novel, but I have to be completely committed to a topic to dive into all of that research; that commitment can't be forced. So I'm working on a few contemporary novels at the moment, each with a splash (or more) of fantasy. One book is about a girl who finds a lost diary while spending her summer vacation in Scotland. It’s been fun to write and the idea actually pulled me out of some post-Catherine Howard writer’s block, so I hope to see it published, someday.
What made you decide to become an author? Was there a particular book that provoked the idea?

I always had the urge to write stories, but there were certainly books and characters that spurred me on in my desire. As a pre-teen I was a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Alfred Noyes (“The Highwayman”), among others.

What was the first book that captured your attention as a child and then as an adult?

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. Emily was a writer, just like me, and I loved reading about how she would “spin stories” in her head. Also, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle has inspired me since I first read it at age twelve. As for the books that inspired me in my adult reading life, the list always changes: Nabokov's Lolita (I love an unreliable narrator, and Humbert Humbert is as unreliable and despicable as you can get), Toni Morrison's Beloved and Marsha Parker's Ghosts would be at the top of the list. Also, Fade by Robert Courmier and the Dangerous Angels novels by Francesca Lia Block.

As both a writer and reader what do you consider makes a good historical fiction book?

I love a book that is impeccably researched, but I know that the author needs to make decisions to create a fully-fleshed out character—there are some details you simply can’t find in historical texts, and those gaps need to be filled in with fiction. Also, I like for the details and the way of life to be true to the time period. The fact that the teenaged Catherine married a fifty-year-old man is repulsive to us now, but it was commonplace at the time. To view it through a too-contemporary gaze only interferes with the story.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Keep writing and keep reading! Writing a book—or whatever it is that you want to write—is absolutely possible as long as you keep at it. There is a saying that “talent is nothing other than a long patience” and I happen to believe this is true. Write, put your stuff aside, then read it again a month later—be critical. Read books critically, and take note of what works for you and what doesn’t. You'll find that you'll learn a lot from what you read. And all of writing is an experiment—don't let your worries about the end result stop you from trying new things, making messes, taking chances. That's the best way to learn.
What is one thing you wish that readers will take away from your books?

I hope that readers enjoy my books and connect emotionally with the characters. If they become interested in the time period and the history, that’s great too, most of all it's about allowing my readers a glimpse into the world and minds of the characters. That's what I enjoy most about writing, and reading as well.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Seduced By A Rogue by Amanda Scott review

Here's what the publisher's say,

A fair-haired beauty at 19, Lady Mairi is heiress apparent to her father Lord Dunwythie's rich barony. He has carefully taught her how to manage their estates, but a feud between his clan and the Maxwell clan is brewing as the two families edge toward a clan war - their dispute over money owed. Mairi's father believes he owes nothing, and of course Mairi sides with him.

When the impulsive and blue-eyed Rob Maxwell chances to meet Mairi in a barley field, they feel instant attraction, despite their families' antagonisms. Knowing he must put his clan first, Rob enacts a plan to force Dunwythie to pay his debt: Rob kidnaps Mairi, making the abduction appear the work of a stranger; then he and his sheriff-brother offer to help Dunwythis rescue his daughter IF, and only if, he will pay them the monies due. Yet after Rob captures Mairi's body, she captures his heart. When Dunwythie summons the aid of the most powerful clan in all Scotland (the Douglases), clan-tensions rise to a fever pitch. Love takes its own feverish course, as Mairi and Rob join forces to prevent a clash between hot-headed clans, and to protect their budding love.

Five Fun Facts About Seduced By A Rogue

1. A friend asked me if I might be interested in a story about a woman who nearly began a clan war. As a result, I based the plot for Seduced by a Rogue on events described in an unpublished sixteenth-century manuscript he had found, by a Lady Maxwell who described fourteenth-century events involving her husband’s Maxwell ancestors. According to her ladyship’s rather biased description, the lady Mairi Dunwythie’s father was the fractious one in the conflict. Since I wanted to tell the tale from both sides, it took some digging to discover Lord Dunwythie’s most likely reason for refusing to comply with Alexander Maxwell’s demands.

2. The biggest challenge of this book was to make the hero, Robert Maxwell’s, behavior plausible. The manuscript provides specific details, but to reconcile them with the romantic ending of Mairi and Robert’s story presented a real puzzle until I decided that only one plausible explanation existed.

3. The title of Seduced by a Rogue can be read two ways, because the rogue can be either the hero or the heroine. The reader must decide which one it is.

4. The Solway Firth has one of the strangest tide patterns on the planet. Instead of the usual six hours and twenty minutes between tides, a tide in the Solway Firth can take as little as three and a half hours to flood and can come in on a roaring wall of water, the spray from which can be seen for miles. It can take nine hours to ebb. Other, similarly-formed waterways have such tides, but the Solway is particularly noted for them. The difference in high and low water can be as great as twenty-six feet.

5. While I was writing Seduced by a Rogue, a new kitten adopted us. Although I love cats, I rarely put them in my books. However, when our new kitten, a particularly fierce and funny little beast, stubbornly kept climbing all over me and my keyboard as I tried to write, somehow he also strolled into Seduced by a Rogue as Tiggie Whiskers. His favorite trick is to drape himself over my left shoulder and peer at the screen as if he is checking out everything I write. The wee editor’s real name is Willie Magee.

My Thoughts

This was my first experience reading Amanda Scott, and I must say that I will defiantly be reading more. I was immediately drawn into the Scottish Lowlands with the use of the author's vivid descriptions of this amazing land. Not only was the time period, area, and clans of Scotland well researched, the author also paid careful attention to the dialect of the Scottish Lowlands. An amazing book is one that not only conveys an interesting storyline but also possesses the ability to take you along on the journey, and Seduced By A Rogue is that book indeed. Amanda Scott has also captured the strife of Clan war that was a constant plague in Scotland. Although I as a reader of both Scottish fiction and nonfiction would have loved to seen a bit of Gaelic thrown into the story, I do have to say that Amanda Scott has captured the essence of the Scottish Lowlands.

About the author Amanda Scott

Amanda Scott is the author of over 50 romance novels and the recipient of the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award. She lives in Folsom, California, outside of Sacramento. She is a fourth-generation Californian. Her website is:

This book was provided by Hachette Book Group, Thanks Anna

If you enjoyed reading Seduced by a Rogue please you may also enjoy these other books;

1-Scotland: The Autobiography 2,000 Years of Scottish History By Those Who Saw It Happen By Rosemary Goring
2-Clans and Families of Scotland: The History of the Scottish Tartan (Hardcover)
by Alexander Fulton
3-Scots-English/English-Scots Dictionary
~ David Ross (Compiler), Gavin D. Smith (Compiler)

1-Why We Don't Kill Spiders, A Tale Of Bannockburn
By Bo Macreery
2-Thorn in My Heart (First in the Lowland Fiction Series)
By Liz Curtis Higgs
3-Fair is the Rose (Second in the Lowland Fiction Series)
By Liz Curtis Higgs
4-Whence Came a Prince (Third and final book in the Lowland Fiction Series)
By Liz Curtis Higgs

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Crown and Country a Personal Guide to Royal London by HRH Edward Earl of Wessex

Crown and Country, a Personal Guide to Royal London
By His Royal Highness Edward, Earl of Wessex
Publishing Company- Universe Publishing © 1999
ISBN 0-7893-0478-3 $35.00

The Earl of Wessex Edward, takes readers on a personal tour of Royal London in this interesting book. Complete with a map of London, chronology of the King’s and Queen’s of England relating to their contributions to the city, and interesting facts and stories. HRH Edward gives readers and in-depth guide to each historic place in London.

HRH Edward has included the mystery, history, facts, and fables of London landmarks such as the Tower, London Bridge, the Docks, Greenwich Palace, Eltham Palace, Richmond Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and many more sites. I was fascinated not only by the information in the book but also the never before seen pictures that was included. For one who is interested in Tudor history particularly the reign of Henry VIII this is a treasure chest of information. Included in this book is a painting of the much discussed destroyed palace that Henry VIII created Nonsuch Palace, named so because non-such existed before Henry VIII built it. There is also a never before seen painting of King Henry VIII with Cardinal Wolsey, also included is a painting of King Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves that is hanging in Blackheath Castle, (the place where Henry met Anne of Cleves for the first time) which is included. Although the book is full of information pertaining to Henry VIII, there is wealth of knowledge on the other rules as well as information on the commoners.

My favorite parts included
-The Fact, Fable, Fiction categories included along with each landmark, that focuses on the rumors associated with each place.
-The never before seen paintings.
-The brief timelines included.

Crown and Country is from my own personal collection.

The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes by Elizabeth Longford

The Oxford Book Of Royal Anecdotes edited by Elizabeth Longford
Oxford University Press ©1989
ISBN 0-19-214153-8 Hardback edition

The Oxford Book Of Royal Anecdotes edited by Elizabeth Longford is a unique collection of letters, stories, and quotes pertaining to and by the Kings and Queens of England. The Celts and Britons start the book out with a collection of notes pertaining to Boudicca as well as the legendary King Arthur. From there the book includes each dynasty of the English Monarchy from the Saxons (560-1016), the Danes (1016-1066), the Normans (1066-1154) to The Plantagenets (1154 -1399), the Lancastrians (1399-1461), the Yorkists (1461-1485), the Tudors (1485-1603), the Stuarts (1603-1714), the Hanoverians (1714-1837) and finally the modern day dynasty of Victoria and her descendants. Also included is genealogical tables for each dynasty.

I pick this book up a little used bookstore not to add to my collection of Tudor/Stuart history books I did not expect it to contain so much information. Not only did I find fascinating facts pertaining to Henry VII and Henry VIII, I found a wealth of knowledge concerning all the Monarchs of England. Some of the information included in this collection I have never seen in other resource books or biographies. Elizabeth Longford spent numerous years researching every aspect of the lives of these monarchs from notes from courtiers to letters from foreign Ambassadors. I really enjoyed the little stories that was compiled from those who surrounded the court. You see the Monarchs in a whole new light with this book. A great addition for both collectors and historians.

The Oxford Book Of Royal Anecdotes edited by Elizabeth Longford is from my own personal collection.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The King's Daughter; A Novel Of the First Tudor Queen by Sandra Worth

Elizabeth of York is brought to life in Sandra Worth’s novel THE KING’S DAUGHTER, A NOVEL OF THE FIRST TUDOR QUEEN.

Elizabeth of York, daughter of King Edward IV, lived the life of a true princess of England. A beloved princess to her father, she finds that upon his death she is to be used as a political pawn by her ruthless mother. After her father’s death the world she was accustomed to no longer exists. Fleeing into the safety of the sanctuary with her mother and siblings after her fathers brother Richard claims the crown as his own. To soon are they forced to hand over the true heirs of the throne. King Richard soon comes to reveal the secret plans he made to save the lives of his young nephews. Welcoming Elizabeth to back to court, she soon finds that she is falling deeply in love with her uncle the King. With King Richard’s wife, Queen Anne dying, Elizabeth with the aid of the Queen is pushed upon the King. Although a happy ending was not theirs to have. Rumors soon start circulating about Richard poising his wife to wed his niece, forcing Richard to deny them. Soon he must defend his kingdom against Henry Tudor. Struck by grief he rides into battle only to be slaughtered. Elizabeth has lost it all her father, and now the man she loves, she now knows that is her responsibility to protect those she loves. Marrying the new King Henry Tudor she has ended the bloody wars know as The War of the Roses. Although the new Queen now finds that she has no power with the King. She is more like a captive than a queen, constantly guarded by the King’s mother and spied on by the King’s spies. Unable to help those she loves, and holding little sway over the King’s decision Elizabeth focuses on raising her son Arthur to be a goodly and just king. Little by little Elizabeth finds that she has come to care for Henry. Soon their world is threatened by the uprising a man who claims to be one of the princes in the tower. Could this be Elizabeth’s brother coming to claim the crown that is rightfully his? Henry is quick to dispel any claims that this pretender may hold and executes all those associated with the previous Kings. Elizabeth will never know if he was indeed her brother. Upon her death Elizabeth is finally reunited with the King she loves Richard.

A once forgotten queen takes center stage in this gripping historical novel. Methodically researched and extremely well written, THE KING’S DAUGHTER, A NOVEL OF THE FIRST TUDOR QUEEN will pull on your heart-strings. Sandra Worth has a magical way of combing fiction and history so the reader is drawn into the heart of the book. Rich in detail, nothing has been overlooked in this breathtaking novel of love and loss. In THE KINGS DAUGHTER, A NOVEL OF THE FIRST TUDOR QUEEN Sandra Worth has included all the trappings and intrigues associated with court. On occasion you will read a book in which the story and characters have been so well defined that it will linger in your memory for all time, THE KING’S DAUGHTER, A NOVEL OF THE FIRST TUDOR QUEEN is indeed that book.

I do have to say that this has to be one of my favorite books that I have read for a long time. I enjoyed they way that Sandra Worth has humanized King Richard III instead of choosing to make him out as the villain. She has also shed a new light on the only woman to have been daughter, mother, wife, and niece to the Kings of England. I would highly recommend this book to those who like both history and a love story.

Thanks to the author, Sandra Worth, I received this free copy of The King's Daughter, A Novel of the First Tudor Queen.

Visit Sandra Worth’s website

Books that I would recommend reading if you would like to know more about the story.

1-The Oxford Book Of Royal Anecdotes edited by Elizabeth Longford

It contains a collection of letters from King Edward IV, King Richard III, King Henry VII, and King Henry VIII

2- The Perfect Prince by Ann Wroe

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hearing from God Each Morning by Joyce Meyer

Here's what the Publishers have to say,
In the hustle and bustle of today's busy world, sometimes it's hard enough to hear yourself think, much less take a minute to stop and listen for the voice of God. But learning to recognize God's voice and the many ways in which He speaks is vital for following His plan. This devotional; drawing from How to Hear From God, Knowing God Intimately, and The Power Of Simple Prayer shows the reader through a daily reminder, how God speaks through their own thoughts and feelings, their dreams, and the words of other people.

About the Author

Joyce Meyer is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has written more than eighty inspirational books, including Never Give Up!, The Secret to True Happiness, 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life, the entire Battlefield of the Mind family of books, her first venture into fiction with The Penny, and many others. She has also released thousands of audio teachings, as well as a complete video library. Joyce's Enjoying Everyday Life radio and television programs are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Joyce Meyer website

Buy The Book

Available to buy January 8, 2010

My thoughts on the book

“Hearing From GOD Each Morning, 365 Daily Devotions” by Joyce Meyer is a charming little devotional guide that will help you grow closer to the Lord. Joyce Meyer has provided us with daily dose of Gods love with each of the brilliantly chosen scripture. Also included is a mini discussion that coincides with each scripture. She has also provided us with Gods word for the day that will help us further reflect on our walk with the Lord. I think that Joyce Meyer’s has created an amazing way for us to study the Bible. With small snippets of verses, discussions, and God’s words of the day, this is the perfect way for those of us who have a busy schedule to study the Bible. I would defiantly recommend this book to everyone. The perfect gift for those in your Church groups.

Thanks to Valerie Russo from Hachette Book Group for this free copy.

The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood Giveaway

Here's what the Publishers have to say

Which is the safest seat on an airplane? Where is the best place to have a heart attack? Why does religious observance add years to your life? How can birthdays be hazardous to your health?


Each second of the day, someone in America faces a crisis, whether it's a car accident, violent crime, serious illness, or financial trouble. Given the inevitability of adversity, we all wonder: Who beats the odds and who surrenders? Why do some people bound back and others give up? How can I become the kind of person who survives and thrives?

The fascinating, hopeful answers to these questions are found in THE SURVIVORS CLUB. In the tradition of Freakonomics and The Tipping Point, this book reveals the hidden side of survival by combining astonishing true stories, gripping scientific research, and the author's adventures inside the U.S. military's elite survival schools and the government's airplane crash evacuation course.

With THE SURVIVORS CLUB, you can also discover your own Survivor IQ through a powerful Internet-based test called the Survivor Profiler. Developed exclusively for this book, the test analyzes your personality and generates a customized report on your top survivor strengths.

There is no escaping life's inevitable struggles. But THE SURVIVORS CLUB can give you an edge when adversity strikes.

My Thoughts
I have to say that out of all the book that are on my table this has been the book that has garnered the most attention. A very interesting read that I couldn’t put down. Full of an array of useful facts on a verity of subjects. This book makes for a very educational read. A must read for all.

Giveaway provided by Hachette Book Group. Thanks Anna Balasi

I have two copies of THE SURVIVORS CLUB by Ben Sherwood to giveaway.

To enter please leave your name and a valid email address.

Contest begins on January 4.
Winners will be selected on January 22,2010


Good Luck

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We're excited to announce that Carol from Carol's Notebook won the necklace!

Carol left a comment on Freda Man's blog!


We'll be giving away 5 copies of the Pearl Girls book this week on the Pearl Girls' blog.