Friday, August 28, 2015

Beat the Heat Read-a-Thon - Reading Plans and Progress

I planned on signing up...and then almost forgot! And the deadline is today! I wanted to do this one, as it goes for three weeks (well, a bit under for me since I'm just now signing up) so I think I can get a lot of reading done. Always optimistic!

What I'll be working on...

In the Woods, Tana French (I need to finish this by the end of the weekend)
The Brother's Grimm: Two Lives, One Legacy, Donald R. Hettinga (for TuesBookTalk)
The Wold Gift, Anne Rice (for September read-a-long I'm hosting for my Anne Rice challenge)
Ligeia, Edgar Allan Poe (first of the short stories for read-a-long I'm hosting at Castle Macabre in conjunction with Gothic September)
A review book...or two.
May add to, or take away later



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cat Thursday - Did I do that?

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! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

The questions is...did I do that?...or would I do that? I believe the answer to both is emphatically yes. Evidence....

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Spotlight on Eliza Redgold's Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva {Giveaway}

Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction

Add to GR Button

We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.


“Redgold’s variation on this enticing legend is often lyrical and offers a satisfying blend of history, lore, and romance.” (Booklist)

“Breathes new life into the story of the woman who would stop at nothing to protect her land and people.” (Romantic Times)

“NAKED delivers far more than the famous ride of Lady Godiva. It’s a beautifully woven story of love, loyalty, and the determination of a young woman trying to protect her people and their way of life, no matter the price. Godiva is a wonderfully strong woman in an age of dangerous men, and in NAKED, she certainly meets her match!” (Amalia Carosella, author of HELEN OF SPARTA)

“A wonderful, romantic retelling of the Lady Godiva legend. There is the colorful Anglo-Saxon backdrop, warriors, battles, peacemaking, desire, revenge and love – everything a fan of medieval romance could desire – plus a strong-willed heroin. Written with a lyrical lilt to her prose, Redgold adds realism to the myth and love to the lusty tale, allowing readers a glimpse into what might have been.” (RT Book Reviews)

ELIZA REDGOLD is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.

For more information visit Eliza Redgold’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, andGoogle+.

Tour Schedule
Hashtags: #NakedBlogTour #LadyGodiva #HistoricalFiction
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @ElizaRedgold @StMartinsPress


To enter to win a copy of Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva or a $50 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below. Three winners will be chosen.

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Blog Tour


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Austen in August Giveaway! #AustenInAugustRBR


Hello there, Austenites! I hope you're enjoying Austen in August. Many thanks to Adam for hosting such a marvelous event.

I'm going to go straightaway to the giveaway details, as that's what you're here for. :)

Better World Books is a bookseller that you may or may not have heard of. Here's a bit about them from their website:

It's simple: Every time you purchase a book from, we donate a book to someone in need. The books we donate go through hundreds of non-profit organizations - you can see them on our Impact Map. In particular, Books for Africa and Feed the Children partner with us to take large numbers of donated books and get them to people who need them.

Books donated as of July 2015: over 17 Million

I order from them all the time. Not only do they have great bargains, but purchasing from them puts books into the hands of people who might not otherwise have them. Plus, they offer free shipping worldwide! It certainly seems like an all win situation to me. 

Their bargain bin is my go-to shopping place. Three bargain books are always $10 (unless they're having an even better sale, in which case they're even cheaper)! So, that's the giveaway. The chosen winner will visit this page of Jane Austen titles, retellings and continuations and choose three (3) books for their reading pleasure. 

Two things to keep in mind when you visit that link:
  1. There is more than one page so be sure to look through all the pages. Just be sure the search remains populated with 'Jane Austen.'
  2. To be eligible for the sale, the book must be sold by Better World Books (not 'Other Sellers'). To verify, click on the book cover and if you see a little 'sale' tag under the price, you're golden.
1. You must be an Austen in August participant.
2. You do not have to be a follower of my blog to enter.
3. Open internationally.
4. Winner will be selected using

To enter:
  • Leave a comment telling me your top three favorite Jane Austen characters and a brief description of why for each.
  • Include your email address so I can contact you if you win.
This giveaway will end on Monday, August 31 at 11:59pm CST. I will choose a winner on Sept. 1. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If I receive no response, I will choose a new winner.

That's it! Good luck to you all!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Bout of Books Wrap-Up and Classics Spin 10 #ccspin

Bout of Books

Well, I didn't do so great, but I did manage to finish a book and read a bit from another. I would have read more if 1) I wouldn't have went off on a tangent and updated this blog and my Castle Macabre blog (check out the sidebars) and 2) I was out all day Saturday...took my son to a new friend's house so had to go meet his mom (and chatted with her for a bit, including books, of course. lol), then lunch with mom and we saw Sinister 2 (deliciously scary) and then the fun weekly trip to the grocery store. So yeah, my weekend of planned reading didn't go as well as I planned.

What I read:

The Snow Child - Finished (391 pages)
In The Woods - 50 pages

There's the Beat the Heat, a three week read-a-thon starting today. Should I sign up? *wink*

The Classics Club Spin!!!

I wasn't going to do this, but when I saw we have all of September and October (well, October 23) to read the book, I figured, why not? I chose my list using and here you go...

1. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
2. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver 
3. The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
4. All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
5. The Lambs of London, Peter Ackroyd The wheel has spoken!
6. The Bell, Iris Murdoch 
7. The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot
8. What Maisie Knew, Henry James
9. Perfume, Patrick Suskind
10. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
11. The Red Queen, Margaret Drabble 
12. Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
13. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
14. Cousin Bette, Honore de Balzac
15. Blonde, Joyce Carol Oates
16. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
17. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
18. 1984, George Orwell
19. The World According to Garp, John Irving
20. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

There you have it!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bout of Books Update and Oh, Yeah...I Forgot My 6 Year Blogoversary


Bout of Books update and mini-challenge below this post

Bout of Books

Yes, that's right. My blogoversary was on August 5th. I've been at this for 6 years. Wow! The time has flown by. My very first blog post was 32 Questions Asked and Answered and my first book review the next day was The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater (how appropriate to share this during Austen in August!). Since I started this blog, I've had 2,753,986 visits and posted 1486 posts! My Cat Thursday feature is in its 5th year. Most of those posts have over 100 views daily and a couple of them had 700+ and 800+ views! There was even one from 2011 with 39,284 views since it posted. Holy cow...I mean, cat!!! And, of course, I must mention my wonderful followers/readers who have stayed loyal, even through my recent bout of a blogging stagnation. I appreciate you all more than you will ever know.

And speaking of sister blog, the horror blog Castle Macabre had its 4 year blog anniversary on August 15th. Yup, missed that one too!

In honor of both blogoversaries, I'm hosting a giveaway! This will be a dual giveaway between both blogs. Here's how it will work. If you comment here on this post and on this post at Castle Macabre (either telling me you'll be joining in for Gothic September and/or the read-a-longs, or just to tell me how much you love Poe), you will get two entries into the giveaway.

What's the prize? You will have the chance to win a $10 digital Amazon gift card OR $10 worth of books from the Bargain Bin at Better World Books (these are gently used books and let me tell you...I love the site. You can get 3 books for $10 from the bargain bin! I order from them all the time and purchases benefit literary causes around the world. Check them out!).

To enter, as I mentioned above, comment on this post AND on this post at Castle Macabre and then fill out the form below with the name you used to comment. You only have to fill out the form once so if you fill it out here, don't fill it out again at Castle Macabre. This giveaway will end on September 10, 2015 at 11:59pm CST. Open internationally.

Bout of Books Update and Mini-Challenge

My progress through Wednesday (I technically started on Tuesday).

The Snow Child - 50 pages
In The Woods - 50 pages

Sad...but I'm not giving up yet!

Kimberly Faye Reads hosted the Four Seasons in Book Covers Challenge. 

Here's my contribution...


Cat Thursday - GIF Madness!

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! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

Nothing like some good ole kitty GIFs to keep us entertained.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bout of Books - I'll try!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Like I said in the title...I'll try. Read-a-thons have not been going well for me of late. However, I do have a TON of reading to get done this month so...

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (catch up or finish for TuesBookTalk)
The Covenant by James A. Michener (catch up to read-a-long spot - this book is a monster and I'm not really enjoying it)
In The Woods by Tana French (hope to finish this one)

Are you doing Bout of Books?


Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cat Thursday - Authors and Cats (46)

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! (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).

Charles Bukowski was the perfect pick for this month's author and cats because he was such a big lover of cats...and his birthday is this month. 

Born August 16, 1920, Bukowski was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books.

Charles Bukowski was the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. At the age of three, he came with his family to the United States and grew up in Los Angeles. He attended Los Angeles City College from 1939 to 1941, then left school and moved to New York City to become a writer. His lack of publishing success at this time caused him to give up writing in 1946 and spurred a ten-year stint of heavy drinking. After he developed a bleeding ulcer, he decided to take up writing again. He worked a wide range of jobs to support his writing, including dishwasher, truck driver and loader, mail carrier, guard, gas station attendant, stock boy, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, post office clerk, parking lot attendant, Red Cross orderly, and elevator operator. He also worked in a dog biscuit factory, a slaughterhouse, a cake and cookie factory, and he hung posters in New York City subways.

Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including Pulp (1994), Screams from the Balcony (1993), and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992).

He died of leukemia in San Pedro on March 9, 1994. (bio from Goodreads)

P.S. To all of you lovely people who have stayed loyal to Cat Thursday, even though I've been terribly neglectful of visiting your blogs the past few weeks, I want to thank you and to apologize again. My summer went off like a firecracker and flew by non-stop in a flurry of dental/doctor visits, family visitors and an increased work load. I'm hoping now that the boys are back in school that things will get back to a normal and less hectic schedule. As I said...hoping. I will try to make the rounds to your older posts, but for sure I will be by this week. Hugs from me and the girls. =O)

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, August 7, 2015

HFVBT: Kari Edgren's An Immortal Descent - Review

My thoughts
Book Three in the Goddess Born series - what an adventure! A lot has happened since Book Two. Selah is now on a desperate quest to find her best friend, Nora, and Henry, the love of her life. The travails of Selah's journey kept me on the edge of my seat. Early signs of the peril ahead - Selah is attacked by various animals, and even people - evidence of the dark power holding Nora, Selah's dear friend, in her clutches.

This is the book where everything is brought to an end and we get some answers to earlier questions. While some third books in a trilogy tend to end in a pat way, An Immortal Descent does not fall flat. In fact, it leaves us wanting more. Might there be a chance for Selah's story to continue? I don't know, but I would certainly enjoy reading more of her adventures.

I've said this about this author and I'll say it again. There is true talent in her writing. Not only do we get first class historical fiction and adventure, we are also treated to those paranormal moments that many of us crave. Throw in a romance that is not too heavy - just steamy enough to get a sense of what love and relationships were like during that era, and you have a trilogy that is the complete package of reading bliss. I can't wait to see what Kari Edgren has in store for us next!

About the book
Publication Date: July 6, 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Goddess Born, Book Three
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Romance

Add to GR Button

As a goddess-born healer, Selah Kilbrid wants nothing to do with the goddess of death and disease, nor any of her human progeny. But when the two people she loves most disappear—her dearest friend Nora Goodwin and her betrothed Lord Henry Fitzalan—Selah has no choice but to leave London in pursuit of Death’s most powerful daughter.

Accompanied by a ragtag group of travelers, Selah follows a treacherous path across the Irish Sea to the long-forgotten prison of a witch who once nearly destroyed Ireland. Selah would face any danger to protect those she loves, but what if it means unleashing a greater evil on the human world? Could she risk the lives of many to save a few, or are some sacrifices too great?

An Immortal Descent Available at
Barnes & Noble

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 paranormal twist. 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.

Tour Schedule
Hashtags: #AnImmortalDescentBlogTour #Historical #Romance #Fantasy
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @KariEdgren

To enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below.

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

An Immortal Descent

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


Follow on Bloglovin

Book Blast - Hilary Rhodes' The Lion and the Rose & The Outlander King

03_Book One_William Rising

The Lion and the Rose (Book One: William Rising)

Publication Date: June 18, 2014
eBook; 338 Pages | ASIN: B00L4K5GKE
 Genre: Historical Fiction

  Add to GR Button  

The Lion and the Rose, Part One: William Rising is the first book in an epic historical saga from debut author Hilary Rhodes. Extensively researched and compellingly told, it introduces us to the passionate drama and violent upheaval of eleventh-century Europe. The world as we know it, and the English language, would have been vastly different were it not for the driving ambition of one man: William the Conqueror. But conquerors are made, not born, and William was made in fire and blood. How does a boy become a man, surviving a tumultuous and terrifying childhood? And how does that man become a legend? William Rising plunges us into this world of danger and betrayal, of choosing sides and dying for absolutes. It follows the creation of a conqueror, as he grows up abandoned, learns to fight at an early age for anything he hopes to keep, and is sculpted into a remorseless, far-sighted, ruthlessly efficient soldier and statesman. From his origins as an orphaned, penniless bastard boy, to his personal and political trials by fire, to the climactic battle with his rebellious barons where he finally comes of age, the young duke increasingly establishes himself as a force to be reckoned with. But as the shadowy intrigues of English politics, and the all-consuming question of an heir for a childless king, begin to draw him into their web, it may just be that William of Normandy has a destiny far greater than even he has ever dreamed.


03_Book Two_The Gathering Storm

The Lion and the Rose (Book Two: The Gathering Storm)

Publication Date: September 29, 2014
eBook; 294 Pages | ASIN: B00O2E30GG
Genre: Historical Fiction

  Add to GR Button  

The Lion and the Rose: William Rising introduced us to the young William, Duke of Normandy, and his treacherous and terrible childhood, beset by battles, betrayals, and heartbreak, as he fought his own barons to survive and claim his birthright. The Gathering Storm plunges us even deeper into the violent upheaval and passionate drama of his unfolding story. Now twenty-two, William has won his most pivotal battle and taken control of his inheritance, but impossible struggles loom as he fights to put Normandy back together -- and very few of his enemies are actually defeated. Furthermore, across the Channel, the question of an heir for a childless king begins to loom large, and the ruthless and scheming Godwin, Earl of Wessex, will stop at nothing to claim it for his family. Written with the same meticulous historical research and flair by debut author Hilary Rhodes, The Gathering Storm raises the stakes to the utmost level, and a crown and a kingdom hang in the balance. In these pages, lords rise and fall, England and Normandy are drawn into a perilous collision course, bishops, barons, dukes, queens, and earls play a dangerous game of power and glory, and those who are not strong enough are trampled underfoot. The crows circle and the banners are raised, and the last Saxon king and the greatest Norman duke are destined to face each other in a battle that will change the course of history.


04_The Outlander King

The Outlander King (The Aetheling's Bride, Book One)

Publication Date: June 1, 2015
eBook; 476 Pages | ASIN: B00XM9QJ1K
 Genre: Historical Fiction

  Add to GR Button  

The story of The Lion and the Rose and the Norman Conquest continues in this spellbinding new historical fiction series from author Hilary Rhodes, pulling back the curtain on the lives of two remarkable women connected across centuries: Aislinn, a seventeen-year-old English girl caught up in the advancing army of the “outlander king,” the man who will become known to history as William the Conqueror. Thrust into the center of the new Norman court and a dizzying web of political intrigue and plotting princes, she must choose her alliances carefully in a game of thrones where the stakes are unimaginably high. Embroiled in rebellions and betrayals, Aislinn learns the price of loyalty, struggles to find her home, and save those she loves – and, perhaps, her own soul as well. Almost nine hundred years later in 1987, Selma Murray, an American graduate student at Oxford University, is researching the mysterious “Aethelinga” manuscript, as Aislinn’s chronicle has come to be known. Trying to work out the riddles of someone else’s past is a way for Selma to dodge her own troubling ghosts – yet the two are becoming inextricably intertwined. She must face her own demons, answer Aislinn’s questions, and find forgiveness – for herself and others – in this epically scaled but intimately examined, extensively researched look at the creation of history, the universality of humanity, and the many faces it has worn no matter the century: loss, grief, guilt, redemption, and love.


02_Author Hilary Rhodes


Hilary Rhodes is a scholar, author, blogger, and all-around geek who fell in love with medieval England while spending a year abroad at Oxford University. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in history, and is currently preparing for doctoral studies at the University of Leeds, fulfilling a years-long dream to return to the UK. In what little spare time she has, she enjoys reading, blogging about her favorite TV shows, movies, and books, music, and traveling. For more information please visit Hilary Rhodes' blog.


Monday, July 27
Kinx's Book Nook
Tuesday, July 28
Book Nerd
What Is That Book About
Wednesday, July 29
The Never-Ending Book
To Read, Or Not to Read
Thursday, July 30
Books and Benches
Historical Fiction Connection
Friday, July 31
The Lit Bitch
Queen of All She Reads
Sunday, August 2
Genre Queen
Monday, August 3
The Maiden's Court
Tuesday, August 4
Room With Books
Passages to the Past
Wednesday, August 5
100 Pages a Day
The True Book Addict
Thursday, August 6
A Book Geek
Boom Baby Reviews
Friday, August 7
CelticLady's Reviews
Let Them Read Books

05_HR_Book Blast Banner_FINAL


Follow on Bloglovin
- See more at: