At this time I will no longer be taking any new review requests or participating in any memes. There will still be author interviews, blasts, guest posts and occasionally reviews posted (as I climb through by TBR pile!!). Life is kind of hectic and I have to focus on a few other commitments before coming back full-time to my blog. Thank you to everyone that has supported me and I won't be gone forever. I will still be around on my social media sites!

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS


My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

Purchase my book Images of America: Detroit Lakes HERE

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ARC Review + Giveaway: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep


Publication Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Format: e-ARC
Source: author

FIRST LINE
“If you guys don’t stop making out, I’m going to be sick.”

Estep begins her third installment to the Mythos Academy series right after the end of winter break. Gwen and her usual gang are doing some research on ancient artifacts when a group of Reapers led by Loki’s champion attack. Gwen discovers that they are looking for the Helheim Dagger, which her mother had hid. Now Gwen must unravel the clues that her mother has left for her and discover the dagger before the Reapers get a hold of it and let loose Loki upon the world. She must also discover who Loki’s champion is, and it is starting to look like it is someone that is close to Gwen.

Gwen and Logan’s relationship is as complicated as ever. Logan is scared that Gwen will discover his secret with her gypsy gift. Gwen’s gift does seem to get in the way a lot even after they get past the “secret”; Gwen discovers something new about her powers that scares her to death and causes her to shy away from Logan.

This series is definitely addicting. I love the non-stop action that Estep is known for in her books. She throws in some intense scenes and some heart-breaking moments. Another aspect I love about Estep’s writing is that her characters are always growing. In this book Gwen and Logan’s relationship and personal lives grow and Gwen's best friend, Daphne, starts to come into her own also. Even though some parts of the book were predictable, Dark Frost will captivate any YA reader that loves Greek mythology.


PURCHASE DARK FROST
Amazon  /  Book Depository  /  Barnes and Noble  /  Kensington

SERIES SO FAR

Kensington has so graciously offered to give one copy of the first book, Touch of Frost, to a lucky reader of my blog! This is the perfect opportunity to start this great series!! Open to US and Canada. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway: The Queen's Pleasure by Brandy Purdy


Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Format: ARC

FIRST LINE
(may differ from final copy)
I told Kat to fetch a chair and be my dragon, to sit outside my bedroom chamber door and guard my lair after I was gone.

Told from the POV of Amy Dudley and also Elizabeth I, the reader is taken on a touching journey. The beginning has you wondering if the entire story is going to be told from obviously the mind of a very sick and mad woman who has been scorned by her husband. Amy Dudley's cancer has spread and seems to be the cause of her paranoia. The reader doesn't know if this feeling is real or if it is just a dying woman's wild imagination.

As the story progresses we flash back to happier days when Robert Dudley and Amy first met and instantly fall in love. Even though everyone tells Robert that he is marrying beneath him, the lusty 17-year old wants no one but Amy. Amy is a country girl at heart and not one of the lofty court women. Amy loves to work on the farm and make her jellies. As time goes on and Elizabeth I, Robert's child playmate, takes the throne, Robert sees that his youthful decision was not a wise one and has hurt his ambitions to be great.

Robert becomes a disgusting character. He is greedy, abusive and narcissistic. He is constantly belittling Amy and embarrassing her in front of others so that everyone's perception of Amy is that she is a country bumpkin. He starts to slowly take everything away from Amy until she has nothing left but her every trusty handmaiden, Pirto. Amy, still thinking, that she has to hold onto Robert, tries to win back his love only to have it thrown in her face. Her attempts at times are hard to read because they are so pathetic and you just want Amy to grow a backbone.

The reader starts to think of Elizabeth as a home wrecker until her POV comes into play. Robert’s duplicity is shown and how he is playing both women against each other. Elizabeth feels devotion to Robert because of their past but as we all know; Elizabeth swore she would never marry. England was her husband. But once Elizabeth finds out about Roberts lies and betrayals after Amy's mysterious death, the fiery red head gets her revenge for both the deceased Amy and for herself.

The Queen's Pleasure started out shaky for me but ended with me feeling fulfilled. All that I hoped for came from this lengthy novel of the Elizabeth/Robert Dudley/Amy Dudley triangle. I enjoyed reading the unique writing of Purdy. If you are a lover of Tudor fiction you will be enamored with this version of the story of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley's rumored affair.


PURCHASE THE QUEEN'S PLEASURE

The Queen's Pleasure is also being released in the UK under A Court Affair by Emily Purdy. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), and THE QUEEN'S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her, and her cat Tabby, via her blog at http://brandypurdy.blogspot.com or on Facebook as Brandy Purdy - Emily Purdy. 


To see the other stops on this blog tour, click HERE

Enter to WIN one copy of The Queen's Pleasure by Brandy Purdy. Giveaway is open to US only and ends June 27, 2012. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!!



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

All Things Kensington (3)

Since I have become a remote reviewer for Kensington Books I have been loving all the book promotions they do. To make you aware of all the fantastic things that Kensington are promoting, I will be doing a post every now and then with all the information! Remember that some of these are available for a very limited time!

To promote the upcoming release of FALLING INTO GRACE by Michelle Stimpson, Kensington is offering LAST TEMPTATION Kindle edition for FREE from 5/29-5/30 at all major eBook retailers!
DOWNLOAD LAST TEMPTATION

PURCHASE FALLING INTO GRACE

To promote the upcoming release of BEDDING LORD NED by Sally McKenzie, THE DUCHESS OF LOVE will be available FREE from 5/29-5/30 at all major eBook retailers!
 DOWNLOAD THE DUCHESS OF LOVE

PRE-ORDER BEDDING LORD NED

To promote the upcoming release of DAMAGE CONTROL by John Gilstrap, NATHAN'S RUN will be available for only $2.99 from 5/29-6/4 at all major eBook retailers!
PURCHASE NATHAN'S RUN

PRE-ORDER DAMAGE CONTROL

GIVEAWAYS from Kensington that are going on now are listed below!

Enter for your chance to win copies of the Jonathan Grave books along with a subscription to Time Magazine! Contest running until 6/30

 

TIES THAT BIND by Marie Bostwick contest. Share a photo of a Marie Bostwick book in your favorite quilting place. Fans of the Kensington Publishing Corp. Facebook page will vote for the photograph they like best. The photo with the most votes will win a handmade quilted piece from Marie Bostwick along with a $50 Michaels ® Gift Card.
 
BANNON BROTHERS: HONOR by Janet Dailey. Enter for your chance to win a $100 OMAHA Steaks gift card and a copy of BANNON BROTHERS: TRUST! Contest running until 6/30.
 
HIS DARK EMBRACE by Amanda Ashley. Enter for your chance to win a Splish Splash Gift Set from Bath & Body Works! Contest running until 6/30.


KTeen Giveaway. Enter for your chance to win a $100 PacSun® gift card and copies of Mythos Academy, Cambion Chronicles, and the Elemental Series." Contest running until 6/30.
 
YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW by Lisa Jackson. Enter for your chance to win an ARC of YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW. Contest running until 6/15.
 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Have a Great Memorial Day Weekend!

We Remember And Salute You image

Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored. 
 ~Daniel Webster

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. I will be away from the blog until Tuesday but just a heads up, there are some great giveaways coming next week so stop back!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

ARC Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore


Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Publisher: Viking
Format: ARC

FIRST LINE
"You're not going to steal anything."

I have to say I was pretty excited to start reading a book about Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. I've read a lot about many of the others but I haven't found a good historical fiction about Catherine yet. After reading Gilt, I am still looking for a good one. I am not saying that Longshore's juvenile historical fiction was bad, just wasn't over the top wonderful.

Gilt is told from the POV of Catherine Howard’s closest confidant, Katherine "Kitty" Tylney. Kitty and Cat grew up together and their characters really offset each other. Cat is selfish and very manipulative and Kitty is basically a doormat. She is very passive and her unwavering devotion to Cat becomes almost unbearable to read at times. After Cat marries Henry we see even more of that manipulative behavior from Cat as she tries to stay in the good graces of Henry (and we all know how hard that is). Kitty strives to be more but whenever it seems that Kitty is about to strike out on her own, Cat pulls her back into the games of the Court.

Kitty also has a couple of prospective love interests. William, who she holds near and dear, and Edmund, who is everything that she has always desired. I wouldn't call it a love triangle in the true sense that we have come to know them but both men enter and leave her life at different times fulfilling that specific need that Kitty has at the moment. The two really couldn't be more different. William wants nothing to do with Court and since Kitty will always be devoted to Cat; her place is at Court at Cat's side. Edmund lives and breathes the games and fun that Court has to offer him.

Gilt, I felt, was thoughtfully researched but had a very modern dialect that will resonate with the juvenile reader (of which the book is marketed) and hopefully will encourage them to continue reading historical fiction in the future. The characters could have been fleshed out a bit more but all in all, a satisfactory read for me.



PURCHASE GILT


Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest Post + Giveaway: The Cruise-All That Glitters by Jaye Frances


Thank you, Kels, for having me back on Kelsey’s Book Corner. I really appreciate the opportunity to give your readers a sneak peek at my new romance novella, The Cruise – All That Glitters.

Remember the old adage, “getting there is half the fun?” Not so for Dean, a mid-thirties bachelor on his way to Florida to take his first cruise. Sitting aboard an airplane with a “talker” on one side and a screaming child on the other, he’s beginning to re-think his choice of a dream vacation. In this excerpt, his flight is about to encounter some turbulence in the form of a youngster named Sheila.

Here’s an excerpt:

 At the front of the plane, people were dragging their bulky carry-ons down the narrow aisle, trying to find an empty overhead compartment. One of them, a pleasant looking woman in her mid-thirties, didn’t appear to have any baggage, but was definitely pulling something behind her. As she moved closer, I saw she had a child in tow—a little girl who was grabbing everything she could get her hands on, leaving a tornado trail of coats, bags, and pillows in her wake.

There were plenty of seats left, so I wasn’t concerned.

But they kept coming.

Finally, with only a single row remaining between us, I held my breath, praying for fate to intervene. But in one motion, the woman turned, picked up her kid and sat down next to me, dropping a squirming load of hyper-daughter into her lap.

“Hi,” she said. “I’m Rhonda. And this is my daughter, Sheila. We’re going to meet my sister and her husband in Miami, and then we’re all going on a cruise. Are you going on a cruise too?”

I glanced down the aisle, desperate for another seat, away from surely-divorced Rhonda and her offspring. “Ah, no,” I said, lying. I glanced over at crater-head. “Me and my partner here are registered male nurses. We’re on our way to Miami to buy used medical equipment. Rectal probes.”

“I see.” She smiled and looked at me thoughtfully.

As the plane pushed back from the gate, the flight attendant dispensed the standard safety rhetoric and I began paging through the in-flight magazine. Occasionally, I glanced over at little Sheila, who appeared settled in for the ride and was busy making faces at the passengers across the aisle. The plane began to taxi onto the runway. The child started to squirm.

“No, Sheila, no! Sit back!”

I looked up from my magazine to see Sheila’s pudgy little arms and legs quickly building speed. In seconds, she was up and over the armrest, her body now a whirling blur of kicks and punches. Torn pages from my magazine flew into the air as her fists and feet acquainted themselves with my most vulnerable body parts.

“Sheila!” her mother yelled. “Stop that! Get back here now!”

“NO!” Sheila screamed. Locking onto one of my ears, the devil child attached her other hand to the left side of my face. Digging both feet into my gut, she began to climb.

In a frantic attempt to regain control of her daughter, Rhonda yanked at her seatbelt and shot to her feet. “Sheila! You leave that nice man alone.”

Grabbing her daughter’s flailing legs, Ronda stretched her child into a perfect horizontal, but the little bitch seemed to instinctively know that a second fistful of hair would make a better handhold than my ear.

“Let go of him! You need to listen to me, young lady.”

“Noooooo!” she wailed.

Staring face-to-face with the now rabid Sheila, I could see she was determined to ride it out in her semi-flying position.

Hoping for better leverage, Rhonda managed to wedge herself between my knees and the seat in front. “I think I’ve got her. I’m really sorry. Sheila, you tell the nice man you’re sorry.”

“Arrraahhhhaaaa!” The snarl on Sheila’s face convinced me that indeed, she was not sorry, and she confirmed it with another ear-splitting shriek as she successfully extracted several dozen of my best hair follicles.

More screaming. I realized some of it was coming from me.

Brief Synopsis:
It’s love on the high seas for Dean, a thirty-something bachelor taking his first cruise, hoping for a shipboard romance. On the prowl for the elusive hard-body, he quickly becomes disillusioned, wondering if his expectation of a boatload of beautiful sea nymphs is something found only in travel brochures.

Until he meets Angel.

She is the girl of his dreams, brought to life as a bewitching goddess, ready to engage in every sensual delight. Quickly lured into submission by Angel’s seductive charms, Dean is ready to surrender his heart and soul to this provocative beauty.

Until he meets Marcie . . .

The Cruise – All That Glitters is available now
as a Kindle eBook on Amazon for only $.99
  
Author Bio:
Jaye Frances is the author of the new romance novella, The Cruise – All That Glitters, a humorous take on a shipboard romance, and the paranormal-occult romance book The Kure, the first novel in The Kure series. She is also a featured columnist for the NUSA SUN magazine. Born in the Midwest, Jaye readily admits that her life’s destination has been the result of an open mind and a curiosity about all things irreverent. When she’s not consumed by her writing, Jaye enjoys cooking, traveling to all places tropical and “beachy” and taking pictures—lots of pictures—many of which find their way to her website. Her other works include The Possibilities of Amy, a coming-of-age story about a high school romance, and an upcoming book titled Journeys From Above and Below the Belt, a collection of adult fiction novellas and short stories, scheduled for a Summer 2012 release. Jaye lives on the central gulf coast of Florida, sharing her home with one husband, six computers, four cameras, and several hundred pairs of shoes. For more information, visit Jaye’s website at www.jayefrances.com, or Jaye’s Blog at http://blog.jayefrances.com

AUTHOR LINKS


Jaye has graciously offered one (1) Kindle version of The Cruise – All That Glitters to a lucky reader of my blog! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance...:D
 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

In My Mailbox (51)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. If interested please click the link above and sign up!

FOR REVIEW
Thanks to Kensington for another great batch of books!

 

BLOG CREATED JUNE 20, 2010