Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cat Thursday: Cats do the funniest things

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)

It's true! There's no end to the antics they get up to.

This one reminds of Arya. Every time I leave my room, when I come back, Arya is in my chair...knowing full well that I will be wanting to sit there. She always looks so innocent too.

Images source: lolcats    

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Middlesex Read-a-Long at Unputdownables

I love Wallace's read-a-longs and for her next one, she has chosen a book I've been wanting to read for years....Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides! And I put it on my TBR Challenge list earlier this month too. What a happy coincidence!

The read-a-long lasts through February and March so low pressure. Yay! If you would like to join in, check out the sign up post at Unputdownables here.


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

HFVBT: Heather Webb's Becoming Josephine - Review and {Giveaway} #BecomingJosephineTour

My thoughts
What a fabulous debut novel! I found myself thinking...when I was not even 50 pages well-written it is. Coming in at only 300 pages, this novel packs a lot of punch. It easily rivals any of its more chunky counterparts.

Reading a book centering on Josephine was so refreshing. I have not, as of yet, read any historical novels about her. I was surprised by what an illustrious life she led. Not having read much non-fiction-wise about her, I have no way of determining how accurate Ms. Webb's story is, but I think it's safe to say that it is accurate and impeccably researched at that. I will now be in search of an excellent non-fiction book about Josephine. Any recommendations?

What Ms. Webb did best, in my opinion, was completely capture Napoleon's character as I imagined he would be. Such a passionate and intense person. Despite his faults, I found reading the parts involving him utterly fascinating.

Again, a strong debut novel here. An engaging and exciting story that will clearly delight even non-regular readers of historical fiction. I look forward to future offerings by Heather Webb. I hope I won't have to wait too long.

About Becoming Josephine
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Plume Books/Penguin
Paperback; 320p
ISBN-10: 0142180653

Rose Tascher sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris to trade her Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. She arrives exultant to follow her dreams of attending Court with Alexandre, her elegant aristocrat and soldier husband. But Alexandre dashes her hopes and abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution.

Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll.

After narrowly escaping death in the blood-drenched cells of Les Carmes prison, she reinvents herself as Josephine, a socialite of status and power. Yet her youth is fading, and Josephine must choose between a precarious independence and the love of an awkward suitor. Little does she know, he would become the most powerful man of his century- Napoleon Bonaparte.

BECOMING JOSEPHINE is a novel of one woman’s journey to find eternal love and stability, and ultimately to find herself.

Praise for Becoming Josephine

“Heather Webb’s epic novel captivates from its opening in a turbulent plantation society in the Caribbean, to the dramatic rise of one of France’s most fascinating women: Josephine Bonaparte. Perfectly balancing history and story, character and setting, detail and pathos, Becoming Josephine marks a debut as bewitching as its protagonist.” –Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl

“With vivid characters and rich historical detail, Heather Webb has portrayed in Josephine a true heroine of great heart, admirable strength, and inspiring courage whose quest is that of women everywhere: to find, and claim, oneself.” –Sherry Jones, bestselling author of The Jewel of the Medina

“A fast-paced, riveting journey, Becoming Josephine captures the volatile mood of one of the most intense periods of history—libertine France, Caribbean slave revolts, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars—from the point of a view of one of its key witnesses, Josephine Bonaparte.” –Dana Gynther, author of Crossing on the Paris

“Vivid and passionate, Becoming Josephine captures the fiery spirit of the woman who stole Napoleon’s heart and enchanted an empire. –Susan Spann, author of The Shinobi Mysteries

“Spellbinding . . . Heather Webb’s novel takes us behind the mask of the Josephine we thought we knew.” –Christy English, author of How to Tame a Willful Wife and To Be Queen

“Enchanting prose takes the reader on an unforgettable journey . . . Captivating young Rose springs from the lush beauty of her family’s sugar plantation in Martinique to shine in the eighteenth century elegance of Parisian salon society. When France is torn by revolution, not even the blood-bathed terror of imprisonment can break her spirit.” –Marci Jefferson, author of Girl on the Gold Coin (Thomas Dunne Books, 2014)
Buy Links

Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Heather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time novel writing and freelance editing.

When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

For more information please visit Heather’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #BecomingJosephineTour

Be sure to stop by Historical Fiction Connection on Thursday for my interview with Heather Webb.

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb! (Open to U.S./Canada)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 24, 2014

Winter 2014 Mini-Bloggiesta -- My To Do List

It's that time again! Mini-Bloggiesta time! I have a few things I want to get to...hopefully. Here's my list:
Eleventh hour additions...I knew I was forgetting something!
  • update header and Facebook cover image for Historical Fiction Connection
  • write interview for Heather Webb tour stop at HFC on Thursday
  • respond to blog tour emails and requests for Historical Fiction Connection
Sign up for Mini-Bloggiesta HERE. Check out their mini-challenge list HERE.



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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cat Thursday --'s cold!

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)

January is almost gone. I can't believe it! We are having some of the coldest temperatures ever here in Tennessee and let me tell you...we're not used to it. I lived in Michigan until I was in my early twenties but that was over twenty years ago so I've almost forgotten the cold of the North. It's all coming back to me now!

I also wanted to apologize for not getting by to comment last week. Work has given me two new clients in the past week and saying I'm busy is an understatement. I'll visit both posts when I stop by to comment for this week.

Video: Parole de chat
Images source: lolcats   

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yearly Remembrance -- Heath Ledger

April 4, 1979 - January 22, 2008

He was taken from us much too soon...eight years ago today. A talented actor who I'm sure would have done much greater things if he could have continued his career. You are greatly missed. I hope you are happy, wherever you are.


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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bette Lee Crosby's Jubilee's Journey -- Guest Post and {Giveaway}

Writing Jubilee’s Journey was somewhat of a trip down memory lane, not because of my own memories, but the memories of my mother, who so generously passed them down to me.

My mom was born in Coal Fork, West Virginia; as was her sister Ruth. They were two in a family of eleven siblings. Times were hard and the family didn’t always have the luxury of living under the same roof. Once the girls were old enough, they were sent to live with relatives who needed house help; the boys went to work in the mines or became farm hands for neighbors.

When my mom was not yet twenty, she married a city boy from Charleston and moved away. Her sister Ruth married one of the men who worked in the mines. The part of Jubilee’s Journey that tells of life in the mining community is based on the truth of how it was.

After Ruth was married, she and her new husband moved into a tiny four room house wedged into the side of the coal-mining mountain. Did they own the house? No. Did they rent the house? No. In the little community of Coal Fork, there was no owning or renting; if a house stood empty and you had need of it…you simply moved in. Of course the house was little more than walls and a floor, there was no plumbing, no electricity, just a cast iron coal stove used for both cooking and heat. But it was a house and it was free. It had a stretch of land suitable for some farming and a well that had a plentiful supply of cold clear water – water far better than anything you’ve ever tasted.

In Jubilee’s Journey, Ruth’s husband is named Bartholomew but in real life his name was Clifford. He was a miner who lived a life very similar to Bartholomew’s. He and Ruth had four children, the eldest of which was my cousin Paul. And the Paul I knew was my model for the one I created. He was wise, strong, loyal beyond belief, and filled with love and Faith.

I spent many summer vacations visiting my cousins and the memories I have are truly treasured ones. Despite the fact that Ruth’s family had very few material possessions, they were wealthy beyond compare. They were rich in the things that no amount of money can buy—love, faith, trust and hope. Like Bartholomew, Clifford hoped his boys would never see the inside of a mine…and they didn’t. All four of my cousins earned scholarships and went on to become professionals in the fields of education and ministry.

I have always been inspired by the goodness in the life they led, and that inspiration is what led me to write Jubilee’s Journey. I hope the book inspires others as the truth behind this story has inspired me.

Bette Lee Crosby

 About Jubilee's Journey

#1 Amazon Hot New Release it’s first week out. Sequel to USA Today Bestseller Spare Change. Jubilee’s Journey is Book Two in the Wyattsville Series.

When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old, and who’s going to believe a kid?

This story of discovering lost family and finding love reconnects readers with Ethan Allen and the other heart-warming characters of the bestselling novel SPARE CHANGE

Visit Bette's website for more information:

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win 1 print copy (U.S./Canada) and 1 eBook copy (International) of Jubilee's Journey by Bette Lee Crosby!

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Monday, January 20, 2014

A Reading Life (26)

More than halfway through the first month of the year. Hard to believe! So glad to be feeling better. Ready to get this year started!

Listening To: Still A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin. I find myself anxiously waiting for my next excursion in the car so I can listen to this. SO good!

Books finished:
The Gods of Heavenly Punishment, Jennifer Cody Epstein (review)

Possession, A.S. Byatt
Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
The Ghost Orchid, Carol Goodman

Coming Up:  
Becoming Josephine, Heather Webb

Watching: True Detective with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Really liked it. Also, enjoying the new seasons of Lost Girl, Being Human and the new show,  Bitten. I was really impressed with Bitten. Some people are complaining that Downton Abbey is too boring so far this season, but I have to say that I'm enjoying it. Recording Klondike tonight on the Discovery channel. It also looks amazing. Of course, the best was Sherlock last night. I adore Benedict Cumberbatch! As for at the movie theater...I saw Devil's Due yesterday. It was pretty good, apart from the shaky camera because the husband in the film insisted on filming everything. I was quite nauseated...literally. I didn't really like the ending much either.

Making: Okay, everything I cooked last week was a winner! New recipes I tried that are definitely keepers were Slow Cooker Chicken and Gravy, Slow Cooker Crazy Nachos, and Cheesy Hamburger Pie (I added links so you can check out the recipes). My boys were so glad to have me back in the kitchen again. HaHa!

Grateful for: again...finally feeling better!

Looking forward to: mini-bloggiesta this weekend!

Books I received or purchased:


from the author

Book tour...

Dollar Tree...

library sale...

What's going on in your reading life?


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Announcing...Facebook Launch Party for Jeannie Ruesch's Cloaked in Danger

What: Jeannie Ruesch's Facebook Launch Party for Cloaked in Danger
When: Monday, January 27th 3:00 - 7:00pm PST

About Cloaked in Danger
Publication Date: January 27, 2014
Carina Press

Aria Whitney has little in common with the delicate ladies of London society. Her famous father made his fortune hunting archaeological treasures, and her rustic upbringing has left her ill prepared for a life of parties and frippery. But when Gideon Whitney goes missing in Egypt, Aria must embrace the unknown. Armed with only the short list of highborn men who’d backed her father’s venture, she poses as a woman looking for a husband. She doesn’t intend to find one.

Adam Willoughby, Earl of Merewood, finds London’s strangest new debutante fascinating, but when he catches her investigating his family’s secrets, he threatens to ruin her reputation. He doesn’t intend to enjoy it so much.

When their lustful indiscretion is discovered, Adam finds that he regrets nothing. But now, as Aria’s father’s enemy draws near, Adam must convince his betrothed that she can trust him with her own secrets…before it’s too late.

About Jeannie Ruesch
Jeannie Ruesch wrote her first story at the age of the six, prompting her to give up an illustrious, hours-long ambition of becoming a Dallas Cowboy
Cheerleader and declare that writing was her destiny. That journey to destiny took a few detours along the way, including a career in marketing and

Her first novel, a fairy-tale like historical romance, was published in 2009, but the darker side of life had always captivated her. So after a dinner
conversation with friends about the best way to hide a dead body, she knew she had to find a way to incorporate suspense into her writing. (The legal
outlet for her fascination.) Today, she continues writing what she loves to read – stories of history, romance and suspense. She lives in Northern
California with her husband, their son and an 80 pound lapdog lab named Cooper.

She is also the creator of the WIP Notebook, a writer’s tool to help stay organized while you write, which you can find at her website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.


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