“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Utterly Delightful!--"Finding Lady Enderly" by Joanna Davidson Politano--Review



Ms. Politano once again exceeded my expectations in "Finding Lady Enderly!”  This book is a work of art.  At face value it’s a beautiful Christian historical romance.  But interwoven throughout is a beautiful allegory.

"Finding Lady Enderly" by Joanna Davidson Politano is like a unique fairy tale, with a “Cinderella” and “My Fair Lady” feel to it.  There are also a lot of allusions to classic literature and a permeating Gothic tone to the story.  The setting is in a mysterious Abbey that contains an old library.  Like I mentioned above, Ms. Politano weaves in an allegory about one’s relationship with God; specifically about knowing who we are in Him, letting Him tell us who we are and what our real name is.

I also really enjoyed the spunky heroine Raina and the faithful hero, Sully.  Raina loves adventures.  Throughout the story, she learns more about who she is and whose she is.  One of my favorite parts of the book is how Raina and Sully could only really communicate with one another through secret messages in books.  It is so romantic and I love how Ms. Politano picked some beautiful quotes from classic literature for the star crossed lovers to express themselves to one another.

"Finding Lady Enderly" is a gripping story that you won’t want to miss! 

Content: This is a clean read.  Some examples of the content are: it’s implied that a woman is afraid a man will take advantage of her (but he doesn’t); characters drink alcohol.

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars!

I want to thank Joanna Davidson Politano, Revell and LibraryThing Early Reviewers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.






About the Author:

I’m a work-from-home mom of two fun and adventurous littles and we’ll soon be homeschooling. I married my hero Vince, who is my love and my polar opposite. I write, he tears it up with the red pen. I break cars and other mechanical things, he puts them back together. He’s nailed the “speak the truth” thing, and I bring the “in love” part. But the real spark to our marriage is that he does not like chocolate and I…  like it a normal amount. We love and live from our little house in the woods near Lake Michigan.

To visit the author's website click here
To purchase the book click here

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Tiger Queen" by Annie Sullivan Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!





Tiger Queen

by Annie Sullivan
Publisher: BLINK
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fiction -- Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”


In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.



BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/42281646
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LjrAHC
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tiger-queen-annie-sullivan/1129853416?ean=9780310768777#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tiger-Queen-Annie-Sullivan/9780310768784?ref=grid-view&qid=1565246691681&sr=1-3


MY REVIEW

This story captivated me from the first page!  “Tiger Queen” by Annie Sullivan has an “Aladdin” feel to it, with a “Mulan-like” heroine; yet it manages to be its own unique, amazing story!

Ms. Sullivan’s book is a retelling of a short story by Frank Stockton called “The Lady or the Tiger?”  In “Tiger Queen,” Princess Kateri realizes that there’s a whole new world outside of her palace; one where it’s not all about her. And the things she thought she knew and believed are challenged.  She finds that sometimes being the strongest isn’t about physical strength or control.  Instead, being kind and forgiving, caring for the people and being their voice are where true strength lies.  She learns that she needs others in order to succeed herself.  There are so many wonderful lessons this story imparts as Kateri grows and matures throughout the book, often with the help of the infamous Desert Boys.  But will she have learned enough to fight her biggest battle and win?  Will she be able to become the Queen her kingdom needs?

“Tiger Queen” is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year so far and I cannot recommend it enough!

Content: This is a clean read with a PG rating for descriptions of battle and violence.

Rating: I give this book all the stars!  5 stars!

I want to thank Annie Sullivan, Blink, The Fantastic Flying Book Club and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.



Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).

Website: https://anniesullivanauthor.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/annsulliva



September 4


That Artsy Reader Girl - Welcome Interview

September 5


Library of a Book Witch - Book Review, Creative Post
Abellafairytale - Book Review
Careful of Books - Book Review
Faery Tales Are Real - Book Review

September 6


Starlight Reads - Book and Book Cover Review
Sometimes Leelynn Reads - Book Review, Creative Post (Playlist/Dream Cast)
The Caffeinated Reader - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Lost In Storyland - Book Review
Portals of Paper and Ink - Book Review, Book Aesthetic/Mood Board
Bookishly Nerdy - Book Review, Creative Post

September 7


Adventurous Bookworm - Book Review, Author Q&A
Confessions of a YA Reader - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Moonlight Rendezvous - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Clarissa Reads It All - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
A Book Addict's Bookshelf - Author Guest Post
A Court of Coffee and Books - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Belle's Archive - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Nay's Pink Bookshelf - Creative Post

September 8


Lisa Loves Literature - Book Review, Author Interview (re-share)
One In a Million - Author Guest Post
The Shelf Life Chronicles - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Fictitiouswonderland - Bookstagram Review
Becky's Book Blog - Book Review + Favorite Quotes

September 9


A Fictional Bookworm - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Devouring Books - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
The Book Dutchesses - Buddy Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Story-eyed Reviews - Book Review
Sereadipity - Book Review + Favorite Quotes

September 10



Star Is All Booked Up - Book Review, Bookstagram Post


Angela Walker's Reviews - Book Review

Cinnamon Summers - Book Review
Reading Under the Covers - Book Review
Mahkjchi's Not-So-Secret Books - Book Review, Creative Post
The Baroness of Books - Book Review, Creative Post (Quiz)

September 11


TBR and Beyond - Book Review + Favorite Quotes
Book Nerd Anonymous - Book Review, Creative Post
Paper Reader - Book Review
Wishful Endings - Book Review, Author Q&A
Popthebutterflyreads - Book Review, Creative Post





GIVEAWAY

Prize: Tiger Queen poster and signed bookplate (USA only)
Starts: 9/4/19
Ends:  9/13/19



Direct Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86398/?

Monday, August 26, 2019

Readers Will Get All the Fairy Tale Feels in This New Young Adult Series!!--"Evermore" by Jody Hedlund--Review




My review:

"Evermore" by Jody Hedlund is the first book in the “Lost Princesses” series.  This series is one you won’t want to miss!  Ms. Hedlund has created a new Young Adult world (that adults also love) with a fairy tale-esque feel.  The series is not only “un-put-down-able,” but is also free from a lot of the edgy content one finds in Young Adult books today. 

"Evermore" is about the oldest princess, Adelaide.  Readers will quickly fall in love with this heroine who is beautiful, noble and kind; but can also hold her own in a sword fight (and often dresses as a man to win tournaments).  The hero, Christopher, is swoon-worthy; to say the least.  Combine these two characters with a stunning revelation, a mystery and a daring escape (with lots of action).  Throughout the story, one learns about honor, family, forgiveness, love, faith and sacrifice.  I’m already eagerly waiting for the next book in the series!

Content:  I give this book a PG rating.  There is some gore related to battle and people who are tortured.

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars.

I want to thank Jody Hedlund and Northern Lights Press for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.



About the Author:

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

To visit the author's website click here
To purchase the book click here

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Fascinating Biblical Fiction--"King's Shadow" by Angela Hunt--Review


My Review: 

"King's Shadow" by Angela Hunt is the fourth book in the “Silent Years” series, but can certainly be read as a standalone.  I was intrigued by the concept of this novel.  It deals with a time period in history that is not often written about and focuses primarily on lesser known characters (especially in the arena of Christian and Biblical fiction). 

This novel takes place during King Herod’s reign (the king who ordered the murder of all of the male babies in Bethlehem in the Christmas story).  It is told through the eyes of Herod’s sister Salome and her maidservant Zara. 

"King's Shadow" is not so much an inspirational novel, but more of a great story that takes place in the Biblical time period.  It has some inspirational content, but not as much as I expected.  Ms. Hunt is an amazing writer and I love this story about the political intrigue surrounding Herod and his family.  I learned so much about this period in history and the characters that are a part of the drama of the time (Cleopatra and Marc Antony, to name a few).  It is a tumultuous time.  It is fascinating to see what the political climate was like leading up to the birth of Christ and what happened in Herod’s life to make him the man he was (one who would order the mass murder of infants).  I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of history and Biblical fiction. 

Content:  I rate this book PG-13.  Being in Herod’s court means there is a lot of corruption.  Some examples of the content are:  a man attempts to rape a woman; sexual innuendos; references to bedding women and going to their chambers; mistresses; sexual references.

Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

I want to thank Angela Hunt and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.




About the Author:


Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who expect the unexpected in novels. With over five million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 140 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to non-fiction books, to novels.
Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Turner and Hooch and Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards–one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City.
Afterward, the dog gave out pawtographs at the airport.
Angela admits to being fascinated by animals, medicine, psychology, unexplained phenomena, chickens, and “just about everything” except sports. Books, she says, have always shaped her life— in the fifth grade she learned how to flirt from reading Gone with the Wind.
Her books have won the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards from Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. In 2007, her novel The Note was featured as a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers in 2019.
Also in 2006, Angela completed her Master of Biblical Studies in Theology degree. She completed her doctorate in biblical studies in 2008 and her Th.D. in 2015. When she’s not home reading or writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs and chickens, of course.  She is also an avid photographer, using her photos to help find homes for animals at local rescues.

To visit the author's website click here
To purchase the book click here

Monday, August 12, 2019

A Stunning Start to a Series Young Adults Will Love!--"Always" (The Lost Princesses 0.5) by Jody Hedlund--Review




My review:

O my!  This novella is the stuff my dreams are made of!  “Always” is the novella which is the prequel to Jody Hedlund’s new series entitled “The Lost Princesses.”  So why did I love it so much?  This fairy tale-esque story is set in a medieval-like time, has princesses and is full of adventure and budding romance!  There is a daring escape amidst danger on every side.  The story is fast-paced.  I love that it is clean and it is a great book to give to teens that are looking for an amazing read (but it seems adults love it too)!  Ms. Hedlund sets up a world that I can’t wait to return to in order to read more about these princesses and their respective stories!

Content: This is a clean read.

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars. 


I want to thank Jody Hedlund and Northern Lights Press for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.






About the Author:

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

To visit the author's website click here
To purchase the book click here

Thursday, August 8, 2019

"The Fire of Winter" by D.K. Marley Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!



THE FIRE OF WINTER BY D.K. MARLEY


Publication Date: June 1, 2019
eBook; 355 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction












She is known as Lady Macbeth.
What leads her down the path of murder?
What secrets fire her destiny?
Gruah, granddaughter of King Cìnéad III of the Royal Clan Alpin, marries two men in less than six months, one she loves and one she hates; one in secret, the other arranged by the High King of Scotland. At the age of eighteen, she lays her palm upon the ancient stone of Scone and sees her destiny as Queen of Scotland, and she vows to do whatever necessary to see her true love, Macbeth macFindlaech, beside her on the throne.
Amid the fiery times and heated onslaughts from Denmark and England, as the rule of Scotland hangs in the balance, Gruah seeks to win the throne and bring revenge upon the monsters of her childhood, no matter the cost or amount of blood tainting her own hands; yet, an unexpected meeting with the King called the Confessor causes her to question her bloody path and doubt her once blazing pagan faith. Will she find redemption or has the blood of her past fire-branded her soul?
The story weaves the play by William Shakespeare with the actual history of Macbeth and his Queen in 11th-century Scotland.
“…a woman’s story at a winter’s fire…”
(Macbeth, Act III, Scene IV)
“This beautifully written reworking of the Macbeth tale told from Lady Macbeth’s point-of-view flows from the page and you quickly become immersed in the politics and intrigues of feudal Scotland as she fights for her rightful place and her true love! A mesmerizing read that grips from start to finish and Gruah is now one of my all-time favorite literary crushes. “ – Iain Leonard, ARC Reviewer
“Brilliantly conceived and beautifully written, The Fire of Winter is a tale not to be missed by lovers of Shakespeare, lovers of history, or lovers of the written word.” – Riana Everly, Author of Teaching Eliza and Through a Different Lens

AMAZON | INDIEBOUND


My Review

“The Fire of Winter” by D.K. Marley is a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” told from Lady Macbeth’s perspective.  It is also told in a more modern way (without all of the flowery, Old English words and speeches), making it accessible to today’s readers.  I am only somewhat familiar with Shakespeare’s original “Macbeth” from reading it in high school.  From what I remember, it seems like Ms. Marley stays true to the basic plot, characters and storyline of Shakespeare’s work. 

Our main character in “The Fire of Winter” is Gruah (who becomes Lady Macbeth).  I love the idea of seeing the story from her perspective and finding out what leads her to commit the awful deeds that she does.  If you’re a Harry Potter fan, Gruah can be described as a Slytherin through-and-through.  She is power hungry and ambitious, to the point where it becomes an all-consuming obsession and seems to drive her to madness.  I find it fascinating that Shakespeare wrote a woman to machinate these elaborate schemes that killed kings and who worked the political system, in a time when women were meant to just provide heirs and stay at home embroidering.  Gruah is certainly ahead of her time.  She would definitely be a feminist if she were alive today. 

I grew anxious as the events unfurled, especially during the nail biting climax (“double, double toil and trouble”)!  I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of history and Shakespeare!

Content: This is a general market book.  I would rate it PG-13.  Some examples of the content are: mention of ale and a man’s loins; a lady says she will be naked in bed; a man talks about bedding a woman; a woman is called a “b****”; “d***” and “hell” are used; “bastard” is used of a child born out of wedlock; a girl was raped in her past: mention of a woman’s breasts; a fade to black sex scene; a woman is raped, not much detail and it’s fade to black.

Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

I want to thank D.K. Marley and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.



About the Author


D. K. Marley is a historical fiction writer specializing in Shakespearean themes. Her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, gave her a volume of Shakespeare’s plays when she was eleven, inspiring DK to delve further into the rich Elizabethan language. Eleven years ago she began the research leading to the publication of her first novel “Blood and Ink,” an epic tale of lost dreams, spurned love, jealousy and deception in Tudor England as the two men, William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, fight for one name and the famous works now known as the Shakespeare Folio. She is an avid Shakespearean / Marlowan, a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. She has traveled to England three times for intensive research and debate workshops and is a graduate of the intense training workshop “The Writer’s Retreat Workshop” founded by Gary Provost and hosted by Jason Sitzes. She lives in Georgia with her husband and a Scottish Terriers named Maggie and Buster.
For more information, please visit D.K. Marley’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, July 22
Review & Guest Post at Gwendalyn’s Books
Tuesday, July 23
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Wednesday, July 24
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Friday, July 26
Feature at Words and Peace
Monday, July 29
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, July 30
Excerpt at The Order of the White Boar
Thursday, August 1
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Friday, August 2
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Monday, August 5
Review at Jorie Loves A Story
Tuesday, August 6
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Thursday, August 8
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Saturday, August 10
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story
Monday, August 12
Review at A Book Geek
Tuesday, August 13
Guest Post at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Wednesday, August 14
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Friday, August 16
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at Book Reviews from Canada
Monday, August 19
Excerpt at Broken Teepee
Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away copies of The Fire of Winter + a surprise gift to three lucky winners! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Direct Link: https://gleam.io/competitions/2IeSS-the-fire-of-winter