Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Series on HBO "Boardwalk"

 I am a bit behind and I know I should have posted this before the season premier but I still look forward to catching this one this upcoming Sunday on HBO. It starts at 9pm on HBO. My husband watched it and told me a it was fabulous and believe it or not I also had a friend mention it to me the other day that it really is a cool show.

"From Terence Winter, Emmy Award-winning writer of “The Sopranos” and Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, BOARDWALK EMPIRE is set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, when the sale of alcohol became illegal throughout the United States. One of the most anticipated fall releases, BOARDWALK EMPIRE will begin its 12-episode season on HBO this Sunday, Sept. 19, at 9pm"

Check it out on Facebook for more!

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Mailbox Mondays and Giveaway Winner

The Virgin's Lover (Boleyn)The Virgin's Lover (Boleyn) by Philippa Gregory Hardback for my collection

"Bestseller Gregory captivates again with this expertly crafted historical about the beautiful young Virgin Queen, portrayed as a narcissistic, neurotic home-wrecker. As in her previous novels about Tudor England (The Queen's Fool, etc.), Gregory amasses a wealth of colorful period detail to depict the shaky first days of Elizabeth I's reign. The year is 1558, an especially dangerous time for the nation: no bishop will coronate Henry VIII's Protestant daughter, the treasury is bankrupt, the army is unpaid and demoralized. Meanwhile, the French are occupying Scotland and threatening to install "that woman"—Mary, Queen of Scots—on the throne. Ignoring the matrimonial advice of pragmatic Secretary of State William Cecil, the 25-year-old Elizabeth persists in stringing along Europe's most eligible bachelors, including King Philip of Spain and the Hapsburg archduke Ferdinand. It's no secret why: she's fallen for her "dark, saturnine" master of horse, Sir Robert Dudley, whose traitorous family history and marriage to the privately Catholic Amy make him an unsuitable consort. Gregory deftly depicts this love triangle as both larger than life and all too familiar; all three characters are sympathetic without being likable, particularly the arch-mistress Elizabeth, who pouts, throws tantrums, connives and betrays with queenly impunity. After a while the plot stagnates, as the lovers flaunt their emotions in the face of repetitious arguments from Amy, Cecil and various other scandalized members of the court. But readers addicted to Gregory's intelligent, well-researched tales of intrigue and romance will be enthralled, right down to the teasingly tragic ending".

The Concubine: A NovelThe Concubine: A Novel by Norah Lofts

"Acclaimed and beloved historical novelist Norah Lofts brings to life the danger, romance, and intrigue of the Tudor court that forever altered the course of English history. The king first noticed Anne Boleyn as a heartbroken sixteen-year-old, sullen and beautiful after a thwarted romance with the son of the Earl of Northumberland. "All eyes and hair," a courtier had said disparagingly of her, but when King Henry VIII fell for young Anne, nothing could keep him from what he desired. Against common sense and the urgings of his most trusted advisors, Henry defied all, blindly following his passion for Anne, using the power he held over the bodies and souls of all who reside in his realm and beyond. Anne's ascent to the throne elevates her from lady-in-waiting to the highest position a woman could attain, but her life spirals out of control when Henry is driven to desperate acts of betrayal and violence. The consequences of Anne's rise to power and eventual demise are felt well beyond the inner circle of the court. Loyalties, to church, to queen, to country, are tested, and -- in the wake of the king's volatile passions -- can be an unpredictable matter of life and death.
First published in 1963 and adored by readers for generations, Lofts' lush and moving portrayal of the ambitious and doomed Anne Boleyn will continue to reign as a classic retelling of this epic chapter of history vividly brought to life".

Mr. Darcy, VampyreMr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

"Grange (Mr. Darcy's Diary) continues Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, beginning on Darcy and Elizabeth's wedding day and follows the two on their honeymoon trip to Paris, the Alps and Venice during a lull in the Napoleonic Wars. Told from Elizabeth's point of view, the story is about her expanding horizons as she leaves the sheltered life she led at Netherfield for her new world as a wife and a traveler outside England. Darcy's continued lack of physical attention to Elizabeth makes her realize that something isn't quite right, but the clues provided in the text are too subtle for her to figure out his secret. By the time Darcy reveals his true nature, more than two thirds of the way through the book, Elizabeth is able to accept his announcement (which she sees as less disturbing than her more mundane fears), but its impact on the reader is greatly diluted by the revealing title. Grange manages to capture the period in a manner that will appeal to Austen fans, but vampire fans are likely to be disappointed".

Wolf Hall: A NovelCongratulations to Cortney for winning the giveaway for a copy of Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantle.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Giveaway Emma and the Vampires by Wayne Josephson

Emma and the Vampires (Jane Austen Undead Novels)
"In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen's Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she's the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart-his (literal) undying love for her... A brilliant mash-up of Jane Austen and the undead".
 "From Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of the Count in the 1931 film Dracula, to the hit 90s TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer, to the modern-day HBO series True Blood and the blockbuster book and film franchise Twilight, the vampire has evolved from a being that wreaks horror on humans to one that wreaks havoc on the affairs of the heart.

The Regency-era comedy of manners finds Jane Austen’s beloved title character, Emma Woodhouse, attempting to arrange the affairs of the young ladies and gentleman vampires, including Mr. Knightley, in her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. 

Emma and the Vampires reflects the author’s passion for retelling the great classics of literature for a modern-day audience. Josephson originally rewrote Emma for his teenage daughter, who then suggested he add vampires given their popularity in books, TV, and film.

Emma is the most popular Jane Austen novel with young adult readers, and continues to delight audiences today, including the loose adaptation of the story in 1995’s Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone, and the 1996 film adaptation with Gwyneth Paltrow portraying Emma.

Is the mashup dead? No, it’s undead".

About The Author
Wayne Josephson received his BA from Emory University and his MBA from Wharton. After twenty years on Wall Street, he decided to pursue his long-delayed desire to write, becoming a successful screenwriter. Josephson is also the author behind four Readable Classics books, available on Amazon and bn.com. For more information, visit www.waynejosephson.com/

 Open to US  and it is a beautiful paperback copy!
For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.

For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do, thanks, and please let me know in the comments. You're eligible for the extra entry as well.

For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word.

Giveaway will end on October 3rd at midnight.

Good luck to everyone I know one lucky reader is going to be very happy with this one. 

Emma and the Vampires (Jane Austen Undead Novels)
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Giveaway Wicked Delights of a Bridal Bed by Tracy Anne Warren

Wicked Delights of a Bridal BedWICKED DELIGHTS OF A BRIDAL BED  by Tracy Anne Warren
ISBN # 9780061673443 

This charming, sexy historical is classic Tracy Anne Warren, full of warmth and infectious spontaneity. An early review from Romantic Times names WICKED DELIGHTS a Top Pick: “Warren’s incomparable talents lie not just in plotting and pace, but in creating characters like the Byrons of Braebourne, who leap off the pages.”
"To her surprise, Lady Mallory Byron finds herself walking down the aisle with the last man she ever expected to ask for her hand . . . .
Everyone knows the Byron brothers are "mad, bad and dangerous." Now their sister shockingly discovers she's the newest talk of the Ton when she marries the scandalous Earl of Gresham. Faced with a tragic loss, she'd sought comfort from him as a family friend. But soon consolation turned to passion, scandal—and a wedding! In the bridal bed, she finds pleasure beyond her wildest dreams. But can nights of wicked delight change friendship into true love?
Charming rakehell Adam, Earl of Gresham, has secretly loved Mallory for years. He lost her once to another man, but now he has a second chance to win her love—and plans to do so by any means necessary. Will Mallory's heart give him what he so dearly desires? Or is the past too much to overcome"?

Up for grabs is one paperback copy.

For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.
For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do, thanks, and please let me know in the comments. You're eligible for the extra entry as well.
For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word.
Giveaway will end October 1st at 12 pm
Good luck to all!
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: BEAUTY'S RELEASE by A.N. Roquelaure

This one I have a few things first of all to admit. Of all three books this one was my favorite, more than likely because it is the conclusion of the series. Second I am happy I stepped out of my little normal reads box and just went for something new. Variety is good and I believe reading this trilogy has really made me appreciate my regular book choices.

In book three “Beauty’s Release” Beauty is kidnapped by the sultan's henchmen and stolen away in the night to a far off foreign land that is nothing like anything she has ever known. Not knowing what to expect, Beauty found the new land enticing because everything was so different including how they managed their slaves. Beauty was kidnapped because she was the cream of the slave crop and the sultan had worked out a deal with the Queen that he was allowed to steal only the best. Since Beauty was one of the best you had better believe they would use her like the best slave that ever hit the block.

As I have stated before this series is too graphic to go into much detail here. What I can say is I am glad I read it and I was satisfied with the conclusion. It was worth it in the end just to find out what happen to Beauty.

3.5/5 Best one of the series. Wildly imaginative on Rice’s part, honestly before reading this series I never would have guessed how dark Ann Rice could be. It does all make sense now that I look back on the Vampire Chronicles. I see the dark underlining that was fully exposed in this series. If you are interested in giving this wildly erotic series a try please keep in mind it is very S and M style and very graphic with sex and violence.

X-Rated for straight sex, gay sex, and violence.
FTC-This book was borrowed from the library.

Beauty's Release: The Conclusion of the Classic Erotic Trilogy of Sleeping Beauty 
The Sleeping Beauty Novels: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty / Beauty's Release / Beauty's Punishment
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mailbox Mondays and Giveaway Winner

From Publishers
Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy)Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde by Anna Elliott

This pallid, predictable retelling of the Trystan and Isolde myth, taking up the queen's perspective, adds nothing new to the Arthurian canon. Queen Isolde, recently widowed granddaughter of Morgan Le Fay, has inherited Le Fay's second sight but is powerless to control it; horrified and helpless, she watches warriors fight to take her husband's place as head of the Britons' army. The most powerful of them, Marche, takes a shine to Isolde; despite her wishes, even Isolde's closest advisers urge her to marry quickly before she's turned out of her own kingdom. When Isolde makes a connection with a well-informed prisoner, the mercenary Trystan, she discovers that even the castle is no longer safe. After being forced to marry Marche, Isolde flees with Trystan, and they form a cautious bond as mutual enemies of the state. Supernatural elements distract from the political intrigue, and Isolde's clueless naïveté—even while her informants are dying mysteriously around her—makes her largely intolerable (as well as an ill-suited candidate for queen). Trystan, meanwhile, never manages to crawl out from beneath his own mysterious shadow.

Dark Moon of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy) Dark Moon of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (Twilight of Avalon Trilogy) by Anna Elliott

The second installment of Elliot's Twilight of Avalon trilogy returns to the tale of former Queen Isolde and her devoted champion, Trystan. Now that Britain is in danger of falling to treacherous Lord Marche and his ruthless Saxon allies, Isolde knows that her only chance to save the kingdom is a desperate alliance with Saxon king Cerdic, whose willingness is uncertain. Trystan escorts Isolde on her quest to find Cerdic and, in the process, she learns more than she'd like about their time apart, during which he endured everything from slavery to torture; their greatest challenge, however, will be to trust their love. Elliot brings the Arthurian world to rich life, creating a Britain both familiar and distinctly alien to fans of medieval romances. Though Tristan and Isolde's romantic hedging, an obvious play to prolong the sexual tension, can frustrate, fans of the first book should be satisfied with this intermediary episode.

Jane and the Damned: A NovelJane and the Damned: A Novel  by Janet Mullany

"Mullany (Improper Relations) pens an impressively compelling Jane Austen mashup full of humor ("You damned Damned!") and poignant irony. At a Basingstoke dance, the Austen sisters encounter some fashionable Londoners with a taste for blood. Jane is drawn to meet one of the Damned, enigmatic William, who turns her into a vampire against her will. Reverend Austen takes the family to Bath to seek a cure, but when the French invade England, Jane joins the other vampires in putting their superhuman strength and speed to the service of their country. Purists might regret Cassandra's relegation to soppy sister, but the bond between Jane and her father, the small scenes that reflect Austen's novels, the sly humor of a vampire Prince Regent, and an abundance of moral dilemmas and vivid action make this a very satisfying page-turner for vamp-lovers and Austen fans alike".

Désirée: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First LoveDésirée: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First Love by Annemarie Selinko

"The passions and intrigues of Napoleon Bonaparte's court are brought vividly to life through an unusual point of view: that of a merchant's young daughter from Marseilles who became Napoleon's fiancée and rose to become queen of Sweden. A massive international bestseller, the film version starred Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons.

To be young, in France, and in love: fourteen year old Desiree can't believe her good fortune. Her fiance, a dashing and ambitious Napoleon Bonaparte, is poised for battlefield success, and no longer will she be just a French merchant's daughter. She could not have known the twisting path her role in history would take, nearly breaking her vibrant heart but sweeping her to a life rich in passion and desire.
A love story, but so much more, Désirée explores the landscape of a young heart torn in two, giving readers a compelling true story of an ordinary girl whose unlikely brush with history leads to a throne no one would have expected.

An epic bestseller that has earned both critical acclaim and mass adoration, Désirée is at once a novel of the rise and fall of empires, the blush and fade of love, and the heart and soul of a woman".

The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James III am proud to announce the winner of the giveaway for The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II by Susan Holloway Scott is...

Kelly .A from Fresh off the Shelf

A big congratulations Kelly I hope you enjoy the as much as I did it is a wonderful book.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Review: PRISONERS IN THE PALACE by Michaela MacColl

Due to hit bookstores October 13th. A exhilarating read that was a real page-turner. Pretty cover check, unique story check, author I have not read before check, famous historical person I have not read yet check, and this list is complete with all the factors that amount to good reads.

“Prisoners in the Palace” sets the stage with miss Elizabeth Hastings. More well known as Liza, brokenhearted Liza found herself in a predicament not of her choosing. Liza’s somewhat well to do parents suddenly perished in a terrible freak accident leaving Liza alone in the world at age 17. The situation was dire; her family had been living in a luxurious hotel when the accident happened. The hotel threw Liza out and with held the families’ belongings for non-payment of the rooms. Liza had no choice and answered a call to Kensington palace to become a maid. How low she had sunk with the loss of her parents. Good thing Kensington was calling her name or else she would have had nowhere to go.

Aside form being a royal residence Kensington Palace was anything but a normal residence, which Liza started to figure out before she even actually got inside. Kensington had two teams in the house one was for the Princess Victoria the other was for her mother the Duchess, the Duchess had long time employed the vile Sir John Conroy who invented the “Kensington System”. The system was a strict and sometimes god-awful way of raising the princess to be prepared for her duties as the future Queen of Great Britain. In my mind it was a system put in place by her mother and Sir John to control of Victoria and keep her away from the lax morals of the court.

In the midsts of the Kensington household politics Liza shows up needing work. Since few outsiders were allowed in Liza was only permitted entry in because she spoke fluent German and the Baroness who was not only leader on Victoria’s team she was also her governess who loved her very much and need someone to spy on the Duchess and Sir John. Liza was needed to spy on there conveniently only spoken in German conversations. The Duchess and Sir John spoke in German to make sure no one knew what they were saying or planning. It is like they say, “If these walls could talk” funny they would speak German in Kensington and not English.

Liza found out fast that what happened behind closed doors in Kensington stayed in Kensington. What most people viewed as a normal royal household was anything but that for Victoria. Caught in the middle of so many political schemes Liza had to follow her own good sense and remain loyal to the only person who really mattered, the Princess Victoria. Having so much ridding on her position at Kensington Liza came face to face with the fact that to love and protect a princess meant putting herself into even more dire straights than she had been in before with the hotel.

4/5 A wonderful read that was fast paced enough for me and it helped it was a beautiful book. I really enjoyed the shot fast paced chapters, which the beginning of each one has a beautiful frame to decorate the text. Written from Liza’s perspective I found it pleasurable that Liza’s and Victoria’s journal entries were included. Besides being beautiful the story itself was fascinating and mysterious which really helped me devour the story. I have not previously read anything about Princess Victoria but this was a good starting point for me that I think others who are interested in Victoria could start at also. However I know this book has it’s far fetched moments and I would not recommend this book to the lover of reads that are historically on point with the facts because in reality Liza the maid never existed. I find that sometimes I like reads which are not exact and this one was a good climatic read about the princess who earned the peoples trust and is to date Great Britain’s longest ruling monarch.

PG-13 Rating for some violence
FTC: Book was sent to me by publisher

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Review: THE REBEL PRINCESS by Judith Koll Healey

Two power punched reads from Healey in one month, and to think initially both reads flew under my radar. Good thing I was given a heads up on them because both books were a real treat to read and review.

In the first book “The Canterbury Papers” readers follow French princess Alais on a covert mission to retrieve Eleanor of Aquitaine’s secretly stashed papers that were hidden in the Becket's alter in Canterbury cathedral. Of course it was not that easy and after a wildly covert mission Alais found the true love she did not even know she was looking for. After reading both books I realize my favorite aspect of the first book was that it was Alais rediscovering herself and finding what her true purpose in life was to be.

The sequel “The Rebel Princess” kept to the same beat as the first book, which I was hoping it would. I had a prior feeling that if the same elements I so much enjoyed were not there then it could be devastating to me. As far as books go Judith states it best “Romance has to have a hero, a quest, death, and love interest”, which is more than true for me. In my reads I must have those components to hold my interest or I can not finish it. I can say it was everything I ever hoped it could be.

That princess Alais is a favorite of mine. She was such a rebel in every sense of way possible. Book two picks up immediately after the first book left off. Alais is back at her brother the king of France’s court when the light of her life the hunky Templar knight William of Caen. Upon hot William's arrival back at court a fire storm of intrigue blew up in Alais’ face. The issue was to the south of France; the pope wanted the so called “heretics” rising in the south to be handled and if that was going to happen it meant that France would have to step in. Alais’ brother king Philippe would have to take arms up against his own blood cousin the count of Toulouse but wait a second it all did not make since Philippe was the counts overlord. The pope sent his religious henchmen to convince the king of the necessity of going south. Little did they know that Alais had received a heads up about the men of the church from her cousin the counts wife (Eleanor of Aquitaine's daughter) and Alais was more than willing to step in and swing with the big boys in the unscrupulously game of waging a holy war. With a bloody religious war on the event horizon a mystical chalice is stolen and many people go missing. The one person Alais never harm to come to gets snatched up in the night and swept into a sea of intrigue that is filled with dirty politics. Alais is left with no choice but to rebel and get down to the matter of finding her loved ones before harm can come to them.

5/5 loved it; this is the book I am so pissed about. My mom’s dog chewed up the spine of my copy. I loved them both so much that I MUST buy a new one for my collection. This was one of the fastest paced duo’s I have ever read, it is more than enjoyable that both books go deep into detail in the what if factors of Alais’ life. Since we know next to nothing about her I think this fills the nothing void in a bit. I would recommend this highly for medieval fans.

PG-13 Rating- Violence
FTC- Sent to me from publisher

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Giveaway, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantle

Giveaway for a newly released paperback copy of "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel, This one is open to  US only guys sorry. Giveaway will end 9.20.2010 at midnight.
For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.

For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do, thanks, and please let me know in the comments. You're eligible for the extra entry as well.

For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word.

Good luck to everyone I know one lucky reader is going to be very happy with this one.

"England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph"?

Check out "Wolf Hall" on Facebook

Wolf Hall: A Novel
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