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text 2018-02-20 07:27
Catching up on the blog.. and a few random thoughts

Happy February! Can you believe that we are blowing through this month like crazy? I am not ready for February to end and March to roar in. I have been reading as much as I can with the free time that I have managed to carve out this month.

I have spent most of my time this month adventuring with the Emerson family from the Amelia Peabody series. I have read through six of them so far, and just started my seventh. I absolutely ADORE these books. They bring laughter, edge of the seat adventure, crime, archaeology, EGYPT, and MORE!  I am slow in adding them to my "read" list on here. It has been one to do after another this month! 

 

I am working on blasting my reading out of the water this year. In one of my previous blogs, I posted about NetGalley. I am here to report that I have quite a bit of reading ahead of me, and a few from Edelweiss as well. I really MUST stay away from those sites! There are some fantastic books coming out, and I want to read them all! I have created a word document to manage the books that I have, with dates that they must be reviewed by, so as not to lose track of what is on my kindle, and what needs to be picked up off the shelf to read. I have to say that while I have found several that are sure to be best sellers, there have been a few stinkers. Which brings me to one of the questions I want to pose in this blog..

 

How do you tell a publisher that you just could not get into the book? There have four this year that I have not been able to finish. I enjoy reading several different types of books, and subjects - but there have been a few that really need a better editor! While spelling errors and - even sometimes the grammatical errors - can be major distractions, there are just some books that make you scratch your head and wonder why they are being published. 

I have been honest with the publishers. I thank them for the chance to read the ARC, and then tell them why I could not get through the book. But there are many ways to deal with this conundrum. How do you go about letting someone know that you did not enjoy their book?

 

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review 2018-02-05 18:13
A Light In the Darkness
The Light in the Labyrinth - Wendy J. Dunn

Kate Carey is the daughter of Mary (Carey) Stafford, and niece to the queen of England. While she chaffs under her mothers care, angry at the world, she longs more than anything to be at court with her aunt, where she is sure that she will be more loved than she is at home. 
Mary Stafford wants nothing more to protect her daughter from the intrigue at court, but she is holding secrets of her own, that Kate knows nothing about. 
When Kate finally gets to court, she is blown away by the secrets and the scandal that seem to run rampant through the court. Her aunt is unhappy, and seems preoccupied with everything but her niece. Kate begins to wonder if coming to court was a good idea.
As life in the palace begins to calm to a norm, there are more issues that arise, and her aunt, Queen Anne begins to fear for her life. Factions at court are working to bring her aunt down, and Kate finds that her loyalty is pushed to new heights, defending and comforting her aunt. 
As the road for leads to the Tower for Anne Boleyn, Kate is more determined than ever to stick next to her aunt - until whatever the end might bring. 

Great read, and very enjoyable! This is one that will keep you engaged from page one. Definitely worth the read. While I am not a fan of the Tudor's, I enjoyed this book told from the perspective of a fourteen year old girl, while learning an entirely new way of life.


**I received an ARC from NetGalley for a fair and impartial review**Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this book.

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review 2018-02-05 05:29
The Lost Castle - Book Review

This story is spread out between three women - three women who are strong willed and unwilling to conform to the world around them. They fought, loved, and lived through some of the most troubling times in history. Aveline who has her life arranged for her by her family, but wants something different. Vi, who refuses to sit back and watch the world change around her. Ellie - who wants to unlock the secrets of her grandmothers life, but unwilling to budge on what she sets her mind to.
Ellie wants to know about her grandmothers past, and the secrets that are locked within the confines of her mind. Alzheimer's has ravaged the once clear and brilliant mind, leaving her millions of miles away - not always knowing her granddaughter, or where she is. The secrets that haunt her grandmother send Ellie off on a search for the answers - all the way to France.
Once there, she encounters Quinn, who holds almost as many secrets as her grandmother. As the stories flip between Aveline, Vi and Ellie, the past comes to life once more.

Aveline's story really spoke to me. The French Revolution was a dangerous time. But her concern was not the money or the social standing. She bucked convention and tried to help those who needed it the most. Instead of marrying the man that was set before her, she found love in one of the most unlikely places, with someone who was willing to look past the scars and accept her for who she was.
Vi was someone who wanted to do her part in the war, no matter the cost to her, because she believed in what they were fighting for.

I really enjoyed reading through this book. It held my attention throughout, and the flipping back and forth was not really hard to follow at all.

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review 2018-01-28 22:44
The Queen's Mary

Four Mary's sent to be of service to Mary queen of Scots as she prepares to leave Scotland and start her new life in France. Married to the dauphin, she is expected to be the queen of France for many years to come. 
When the young King dies early, the young queen returns home to Scotland, she is hoping she can slip back into the land of her birth, but she soon finds that there are factions within the country that are not quite as happy with her return.
As their lives progress, they will all soon learn the value of friendship, and the secrets that can circulate around the court. None of them are quite as safe as they appear to be...

The story of the four Mary's was a fun read, although some of the facts seemed a little more skewed, Sarah Gristwood pulls together the story of the four ladies who stuck with their queen through thick and thin and did all that they could to keep their queen safe. The main character is Mary Seton, and her tales weaves from the leaving of Scotland, to the end of Seton's life. A fun and interesting read!

 

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review 2018-01-26 06:19
The Lion of the South - Book Review

If you loved the Scarlet Pimpernel, then you are going to love this book.

Julia Dandridge is back to visit friends in the state of Virginia. Around them, the Civil War is raging, and many families have been torn apart by the ravages of war. As she attempts to fit back into the mold of familiar surroundings, she is struck by the coldness of her once dear friend Landon Graham. Instead of welcoming her back to the home she lived in as a child, he seems angry that she is even there. Living with the weight of the death of his brother, Landon cannot seem to rejoin the world that he once so enjoyed. Instead he drinks heavily and hides himself away in his room.
With Julia there, small snippets of the past seem to slip through, only to be replaced with the cold contempt that has become his norm.
But the war is not one where women sit silent. Many women are involved in listening to the conversations around them and gain valuable information that can be used for military intelligence. Julia has been told that her brother is being held in prison, and that he will be hanged as a traitor if she does not help figure out who the Lion of the South is.
The Lion of the South has been raiding behind the enemy lines, making off with prisoners and officers alike. No one knows where he will strike, and he seems to come and go like a ghost. Julia is offered her brothers life in exchange for the Lion of the South. As she prepares to give the information, she finds that someone she is extremely close to may be involved, and may cause her to not only lose a brother, but the love of her life as well.

I enjoyed reading this book, but from the middle of the book on, it read just like the Scarlet Pimpernel in a different setting.

 

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