Friday, January 23, 2015

Introspective Reading (2) - No Guilt


That's right. You heard it here first. No more guilt.

I completely and utterly failed at Mini-Bloggiesta last week. Did not complete ONE single thing on my list. Know what? No guilt.

I still haven't come up with ANY resolutions/goals for this year, reading or otherwise. Know what? No guilt.

I'm not going to do a 2014 top ten favorite reads this year. That's right. No guilt.

But hey...here's my favorite read from 2014. Drumroll...

Grist by Linda Little (read my review of this magnificent little book here) My sister also loved it. It's just really, really, really good.


I'm hoping to decide on reading challenges and to get my TBR jar done this weekend, but it I don't...you got it. No guilt!

I guess you could say that is my number one goal this year, and moving forward in life. Letting go of the guilt, especially in reading and blogging...my passion in life. We'll see how it goes.

Are you letting go of guilt in your reading/blogging life?

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Yearly Remembrance - Heath Ledger

April 4, 1979 - January 22, 2008

Not much to say here. Just that he is missed. He will always be missed by me. 

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Cat Thursday: Cats in Art (8)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

More lovely paintings made more so because cats are in them! This time I have for you Emile Munier. There are a bunch so I'll share the rest next month. 




Emile Munier (1840 - 1895) Distracting the Baby


Emile Munier (1840 - 1895) Young Girl with Pot 1882


Emile Munier (French, 1840-1895) Girl with kitten and puppy


Emile Munier A Special Moment 1874


Emile Munier Best Friends 1892

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mini-Bloggiesta - January 2015


I'm in! But the question is...will I get anything accomplished? I hope so! This is the shorty version of Bloggiesta hosted by the lovely ladies at the Bloggiesta blog.

My plans (there's a reason these are not written in blood. lol)...

  • My main goals are to 1) go through all the challenges and decide once and for all which ones I'll be doing (this includes working on my TBR jar) 
  • and 2) writing my top favorites books read of 2014 list
  • I also have to go through a bunch of blog posts and add the images back in. I deleted them off my Google photos on my phone and that deleted them everywhere! URGH!
  • If I have time...I will try to work on my books read pages
These are my very modest goals. We shall see where the chips fall.

If you're joining in this weekend, have fun. Ole!!!




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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cat Thursday: Authors and Cats (39)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author and their cat(s).

First, I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments last week for Teddy's precious Amanda. I know it was a comfort for Teddy and I really appreciate you all. We have such an awesome cat loving community. :)

I have featured Colette before on authors and cats, but I found this really awesome image of her and her cats so I thought I'd feature her again. Plus, it's her birthday this month. She was born January 28, 1873 and lived until 1954. It is said that her funeral was attended by thousands of mourners. Colette is the author of such classics as Cheri, The Last of Cheri, Gigi, The Vagabond and several others. She had to be an awesome chick to have been such a lover of cats. <3



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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

HFVBT: William Peak's The Oblate's Confession - Review


My thoughts
I'm so conflicted about this book. On one hand, I have to admit to being fascinated by monastic life. Those who choose that way of life have always been deeply interesting to me. To have that much devotion to your faith is amazing to me. However, an oblate is donated to the church by his family so, in a sense, did not choose that life. It is from this knowledge that much of Winwaed's behavior is understood. And yet, he is still so devoted to his faith in the end that he feels the deep need to confess a sin that the less religiously devout would probably not bat an eyelash at. So this is what I liked about the book. These realizations about faith and the motivations of God's monastic servants.

Unfortunately, I did find the reading a bit slow. Winwaed tended to go on and on about a lot that didn't seem relevant and his internal monologue could be droning at times. I feel like the book could have benefited from having more prominently present characters. I realize that the story is largely about how Winwaed finds in The Hermit (Gwynedd) a father figure and mentor and that was an aspect of the book I found touching. But I just found myself wishing for a little more action, I guess.

This is the author's debut novel and by no means do I dissuade anyone from reading it. It is definitely worth a read. Just be warned that if you're looking for a lot of action, you won't find it. This book is meant to be a more sober, contemplative read which, in itself, is not always a bad thing.

About the book
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Secant Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Set in 7th century England, The Oblate’s Confession tells the story of Winwaed, a boy who – in a practice common at the time – is donated by his father to a local monastery. In a countryside wracked by plague and war, the child comes to serve as a regular messenger between the monastery and a hermit living on a nearby mountain. Missing his father, he finds a surrogate in the hermit, an old man who teaches him woodcraft, the practice of contemplative prayer, and, ultimately, the true meaning of fatherhood. When the boy’s natural father visits the monastery and asks him to pray for the death of his enemy – an enemy who turns out to be the child’s monastic superior – the boy’s life is thrown into turmoil. It is the struggle Winawed undergoes to answer the questions – Who is my father? Whom am I to obey? – that animates, and finally necessitates, The Oblate’s Confession.

While entirely a work of fiction, the novel’s background is historically accurate: all the kings and queens named really lived, all the political divisions and rivalries actually existed, and each of the plagues that visit the author’s imagined monastery did in fact ravage that long-ago world. In the midst of a tale that touches the human in all of us, readers will find themselves treated to a history of the “Dark Ages” unlike anything available today outside of textbooks and original source material.

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About the Author
William Peak spent ten years researching and writing The Oblate’s Confession, his debut novel. Based upon the work of one of the great (if less well known) figures of Western European history, the Venerable Bede, Peak’s book is meant to reawaken an interest in that lost and mysterious period of time sometimes called “The Dark Ages.”

Peak received his baccalaureate degree from Washington &amp; Lee University and his master’s from the creative writing program at Hollins University. He works for the Talbot County Free Library on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Thanks to the column he writes forThe Star Democrat about life at the library (archived at http://www.tcfl.org/peak/), Peak is regularly greeted on the streets of Easton: “Hey, library guy!” In his free time he likes to fish and bird and write long love letters to his wife Melissa.

For more information please visit William Peak’s website.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #TheOblatesConfessionBlogTour #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @SecantPub

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

HFVBT: William Peak's The Oblate's Confession - Spotlight


Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Secant Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Set in 7th century England, The Oblate’s Confession tells the story of Winwaed, a boy who – in a practice common at the time – is donated by his father to a local monastery. In a countryside wracked by plague and war, the child comes to serve as a regular messenger between the monastery and a hermit living on a nearby mountain. Missing his father, he finds a surrogate in the hermit, an old man who teaches him woodcraft, the practice of contemplative prayer, and, ultimately, the true meaning of fatherhood. When the boy’s natural father visits the monastery and asks him to pray for the death of his enemy – an enemy who turns out to be the child’s monastic superior – the boy’s life is thrown into turmoil. It is the struggle Winawed undergoes to answer the questions – Who is my father? Whom am I to obey? – that animates, and finally necessitates, The Oblate’s Confession.

While entirely a work of fiction, the novel’s background is historically accurate: all the kings and queens named really lived, all the political divisions and rivalries actually existed, and each of the plagues that visit the author’s imagined monastery did in fact ravage that long-ago world. In the midst of a tale that touches the human in all of us, readers will find themselves treated to a history of the “Dark Ages” unlike anything available today outside of textbooks and original source material.



Buy the Book
Amazon US
Barnes &amp; Noble
Book Depository


About the Author
William Peak spent ten years researching and writing The Oblate’s Confession, his debut novel. Based upon the work of one of the great (if less well known) figures of Western European history, the Venerable Bede, Peak’s book is meant to reawaken an interest in that lost and mysterious period of time sometimes called “The Dark Ages.”

Peak received his baccalaureate degree from Washington &amp; Lee University and his master’s from the creative writing program at Hollins University. He works for the Talbot County Free Library on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Thanks to the column he writes forThe Star Democrat about life at the library (archived at http://www.tcfl.org/peak/), Peak is regularly greeted on the streets of Easton: “Hey, library guy!” In his free time he likes to fish and bird and write long love letters to his wife Melissa.

For more information please visit William Peak’s website.


Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #TheOblatesConfessionBlogTour #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @SecantPub
Watch for my review...coming up in the next few days!

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

HFVBT: Mercedes Rochelle's Heir to a Prophecy - Review


My thoughts
Some of my favorite historical novels are retellings of famous literary works, or stories surrounding supporting characters from those works. So Heir to a Prophecy was a book that intrigued me from my first reading of the synopsis. Centering around the (short) life of Banquo, his son, Fleance, and the three witches, and mainly their prophecy concerning Banquo and his descendants, from Shakespeare's MacBeth, the book is an exciting incite into what Shakespeare intended...that Banquo was the founder of the royal Stewart (Stuart) line.

This is an interesting and engaging story surrounding the history of Scotland, England and Wales in the 11th century. There is a lot of war and battles, but not overwhelmingly so. The character of Walter, his complexity, balances out the big action parts. As the grandson of Banquo, and son of Fleance, Walter has a lot of revenge on his plate. As the story progresses, we get to see what moves Walter and what makes him the man he becomes.

This being her first book of fiction, I am very impressed. It's obvious that Rochelle is passionate about history and knows her stuff to boot. The historical accuracy and detail in this book is amazing. Her next book is titled, Godwine Kingmaker, and I can't wait to read it!

About the book
Publication Date: December 12, 2014
Top Hat Books
Paperback; 418p
ISBN: 978-1-78279-754-8
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Shakespeare’s Witches tell Banquo, “Thou Shalt ‘Get Kings Though Thou Be None”. Though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? What Kings? As Shakespeare’s audience apparently knew, Banquo was the ancestor of the royal Stewart line. But the road to kingship had a most inauspicious beginning, and we follow Fleance into exile and death, bestowing the Witches’ prophecy on his illegitimate son Walter. Born in Wales and raised in disgrace, Walter’s efforts to understand Banquo’s murder and honor his lineage take him on a long and treacherous journey through England and France before facing his destiny in Scotland.

Buy the Book
Amazon US
AmazonUK
Barnes &amp; Noble
Book Depository
IndieBound

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About the Author
Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they built themselves.

For more information please visit Mercedes Rochelle’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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Cat Thursday: In Memoriam - Amanda


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I'm foregoing Authors and Cats this week (will postpone until next week) to pay tribute to a kitty that crossed the "Rainbow Bridge" during the holidays. Amanda, beloved fur baby of Teddy at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time, passed away just after Christmas. As always, our hearts go out to anyone who loses a precious pet, especially someone from our little community on the net. Teddy wrote a wonderful memorial post for Amanda on her blog. You can stop by and read it here.

We are so sorry for your loss, Teddy. May Amanda find peace across the Rainbow Bridge. She will surely be watching over her beloved family.




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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HFVBT: Kari Edgren's A Grave Inheritance - Review



My thoughts
It can be rare for me to like a second book more than the first, but that is exactly the case with A Grave Inheritance, book two in the Goddess Born series. The author has really outdone herself with this one. As we follow Selah to England so she can meet up with her love James and they can finally marry, the story starts off with an exciting occurrence (before the voyage to England) and just keeps getting more and more intriguing and interesting as the story progresses.

In this book, we really get to see the author's writing chops, as her historical detail is impeccable. With every page, I could picture the action as it was happening. I could see the clothes of the era and the scenery in my mind's eye, and it was a very pleasing reading experience indeed. Yet it's not just the historical elements that make this a great series. The characters are wonderful. Selah is an honorable and strong woman who stands up for what she believes. I so admire that in my female protagonist. James irritated me early on, but he is also honorable and so in love with Selah. They're love is a great love and it makes the story even better (and I'm not much for mushy love stories...not that this is). Add in the paranormal elements tied to legends from Ireland and the book, really the series, is the entire package. Historical fantasy at its finest!

If you have not picked up this series, I recommend that you do. I'm so looking forward to Book 3, as yet untitled. It's sure to be an exciting conclusion to what I believe is a planned trilogy. Of course, if the series extends past a trilogy, I won't complain.

About the book
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ASIN: B00OHV6MFA
Series: Goddess Born
Genre: Historical/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance

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Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London’s most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid’s fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.


About the Author
Kari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist. Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as there’s a spark of paranormal. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts.

For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgren’s Newsletter.


Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #AGraveInheritanceBlogTour #GoddessBornSeries #Historical #Paranormal #Romance #NewAdult
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @KariEdgren @CarinaPress

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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