I’ve got (2020) vision.

It’s 1.09 am and I’m wide awake.

My brain won’t shut off and as I look at my kindle, I’m struck by how many ARCs I have and how many I never actually got to. It is very disappointing but it also made me realize that this could be a factor in why I get “blogger burnout”, of which I am in the midst of now, thus explaining my lack of posts. I think the pressure of deadlines gets to me, as well as realizing that I have plenty of books that I haven’t even touched yet. There are many ‘old’ (but still very loved) books that I just never found time for because I was reading ARCs or I just didn’t feel like reading. I hate that I get to that point, where reading feels like a chore. It should never feel that way. I had made a promise to myself that the minute this wasn’t fun anymore, I’d walk away. I’m at that point and I have stepped away. (Not walked. Simply…stepped.)

The problem (it’s not a problem, per se) is that I love blogging. I do love reading and I love talking to you guys about things I’m excited about. It’s quite addicting, to say the least. Thus, I stepped away. I tried to post. But I didn’t post what I wrote because it is blatantly obvious that I was phoning it in, as they say. (Who is ‘they’? Anyone out there know?)  I’m a firm believer in giving all or nothing.

So, what is the point here?

The point is….I’m going to focus on whatever books I want. Some will be new. Some will be old. But they’ll be my choices. No deadlines, no bullshitting, no any of that. This is the year I take back my pleasure.

Will I still promote new books?

Absolutely! Spotlights, guest posts, by all means! But I may forego reading them right away because there’s a lot I want to catch up on.

At the moment, I’m reading the third book in The Dresden Files series. Pretty sure it came out in the early 2000’s but who cares? A good book is good whenever you get to it. I’m looking forward to sharing my review. As bloggers, we get so caught up in things that are new that I feel well do a disservice to ourselves and authors. I won’t do that anymore. It’s also why I chose to only pick 15 books on my Goodreads Challenge. Not aiming too high. That way if I reach my goal, anything else is an added bonus.


I’m going to say that I have joined some book tours and I admit, I’ve been very choosey about them. Still, very excited about them and I hope you will be too. Also aiming to get more into audiobooks! As you can see, I’ve got plenty to choose from. Even though I’ve read Ribbons of Scarlet, I think I’ll probably start with that one because if you’re like me, you’ll pronounce something one way, and you’re about a thousand miles off. I love French words, but my pronunciation leaves much to be desired. After that, I think The Stuart Vampire (as read by Andrea Zuvich herself alongside her husband!) and then The Picture of Dorian Gray, as read by Ben Barnes. (Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some Ben. So yes, that was a lot of fun to grab up. He’s an excellent reader too. I listened to a sample and found myself being drawn off to another world, which was exactly what I hoped for. Also, speaking of Ben–can’t wait to see him in Shadow and Bone later this year. That’s another series I need to finish.) 

Another series I’d like to read this year is The Witcher. (Toss a coin to your witcher…) I had no idea there was a series of books! I knew there were games, of which I am playing on Xbox actually. Very fun thus far. (SpockSocks86, if anyone plays. <3) Big fan of Henry Cavill; I have been since he was in The Tudors. I am quite looking forward to reading the books. There’s something about fantasy that I love. Perhaps I’m looking for something to take the place of Game of Thrones…or even Harry Potter. Just something…gritty and full of action and fantastic beasts. Have any of you read the books? Or just watched the series and would like to talk about it? I enjoyed the series, hate waiting until 2021…but c’est la vie. Let’s hope the wait doesn’t disappoint. (Looking at you, season 8 of GOT.)

Speaking of someone who should read audiobooks…

And on this note, I leave you. Enjoy!



Top Ten Tuesday!

This week’s theme is Authors I’d Love To Meet. I was going to pick just living authors but this time, I went with both alive and dead. Why limit myself? Picking ten was actually quite a challenge because there are so many that I’d simply love to sit and chat with. I am actually very shy in person, so it would take me a little bit to get warmed up. I am including honorable mentions at the bottom too because I really found it hard to limit myself. I may revisit this subject so that I can expand upon it.

Here we go!


1. Louisa May Alcott. It’s a given that I would like to meet her, considering she is the brainchild of one of my heroines, Josephine March. I have always found her fascinating and there are so many different things that I’d like to ask her. I would also like to thank her for making such a wonderful story that has lasted through all of these years and been such an inspiration to my life.


2. J. K Rowling. Well, this is rather obvious, methinks. I’ve been in love with the Harry Potter series for years. I think I would ask her a few questions about things she’s said. I know some people find her statements controversial and I would like to know what’s driven her to say them. But I”d still like to thank her for creating a magical world I still love escaping to. Her statement of Hogwarts always being there to welcome us home, be it by page or screen is so poignant.


3. Margaret Mitchell. How could I not include Ms. Mitchell?! Without her, I’d have no Scarlett! I wouldn’t have my “spirit character!” That’d be heartbreaking. I love Gone With The Wind and I would have to ask what she thinks of the sequels written. I wonder if she’d tell me if Rhett and Scarlett ever got back together in the end…


4. Susan Elia MacNeal. We’re Facebook friends and I’d love to sit and talk to her about Maggie Hope and how she got inspired to write a whole series. I wonder if the Maggie Hope series is going to be the only books she ever writes or if she has other plans for different things. She’s really fun to follow and listen to her thoughts on things, so I imagine sitting and talking to her in person is no different.


5. C.W Gortner. I’m Facebook friends with him too and I would seriously love to meet him in person and just sit back and talk. I think we’d start with me fangirling…and then move into current events and eventually talk about pets. He’s very passionate about animal welfare and I just genuinely think we’d have a fun afternoon. I never tire of reading his work.


6. Stephen King. His books scare the ever loving hell out of me. Okay, I’ve only read IT, but it scared me. I’m afraid of clowns and Pennywise is scary. I’d love to sit and ask him how he comes up with this stuff. I’ve seen more movies based upon his books and I just have to know, “how?!” I wonder if he sleeps well at night…🤔


7. Anne Rice. Speaking of writers who write Horror….Anne Rice is a given. She inspired my fascination with vampires. I started reading her books when i was 13? 14? How could I not want to meet the woman who came up with the brat prince himself, Lestat de Lioncourt? Though the last two (three?) Lestat books were a big ‘no’ for me, I still love the originals.


8. Edgar Allen Poe: I’ve loved his work since I read it in English class. We had a ball reading it aloud. My first interaction with him was ‘The Cask of Amontillado.’ Damn, that story was something. I remember very fondly going to the bookstore and buying a collection of his work. I devoured it.

I’d just adore sitting with him. And don’t worry Edgar, dinner would be on me since you were usually kind of broke.

9 + 10. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald. I am pairing them together because they simply belong together. I  love their individual writings and yet, I love them both together. They weren’t good for one another; a bit toxic, yet they still passionately loved one another and I confess some jealousy that I will never have that sort of affair. Can you imagine partying with them? Yes, I’d love an evening with them.


Honorable Mentions:

Mark Twain, Alice Walker, Dr. Maya Angelou, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Victor Hugo, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson.


Mirror, Mirror. [A Review.]

I got this book for $1.97 at Books-a-Million and I am sorry I spent even that much. This was a DNF. I suppose I shouldn’t even put up a review, but I am in the mood to do so. Maybe you guys will have enjoyed this and you’ll tell me what I was missing.

It started out promising but then it just weird. And it wasn’t even weird in a good way. It was just hard to follow along and it wasn’t enjoyable. It’s supposed to be a retelling of Snow White, and whilst there were some mentions of it, it just wasn’t really what I was expecting at all.

Bringing in the Borgias didn’t even help, which says something given that I find Cesare and Lucrezia amongst some of the most fascinating historical figures. I will totally give the author credit for his research. It’s good if you know who the Borgias are and the political atmosphere was then, but if you don’t understand it, you’ll still manage to be kind of lost.

I just didn’t understand the hype about this; my friends were raving and I was just left going, “….what the hell did I just read?” I hate when books feature beautifully written atmospheres but the characters are flatter than a Florida landscape. (And I can tell you–it is flat here.) This was some 1-D level of flatness. The main character, Bianca de Nevada, is nothing like Snow White, except for her looks, but she’s naive and lacks in personality. Seriously, it was kind of like…why was she even there? There was no development there and I doubt it would have changed in what remained.

Also, that mention of the unicorn and the hunter sexual encounter with him ejaculating was just peculiar. I gave up around there.

My library can count on this one in my next donation. Is Wicked any good? I have it on my bookshelf, but if it’s as boring as this one, I’ll donate it too.

  • I’d give it ★ star.
  • I bought this copy for myself. What a waste. :/
  • I wouldn’t recommend this to a friend.

Escapement: A Review!

Escapement – An Exquisite Tale of Love and Passion
by Kristen Wolf

Publication Date: August 1, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 481 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Women’s



***WINNER of the 2018 IndieReader DISCOVERY AWARD***

From the bestselling Author of THE WAY, hailed by O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE as “A Title To Pick Up Now!”

Henri keeps many secrets. Some even from herself…

Prepare to be transported into a sensual world of possibility by this lush, heart-wrenching and gorgeously-written tale. Brimming with passion, intrigue, extraordinary characters and breathtaking surprises, ESCAPEMENT will arouse the senses and seduce readers of every persuasion.

“Wolf is a masterful storyteller who has created an enchanting novel… It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt passion.”

Cristofer’s star is poised to rise. Everyone expects the dashing and gifted composer to soar to the heights of musical genius—an expectation that terrifies the young artist as much as it drives him.

Walking into the fire with Cristofer is his housekeeper, Henri, a passionate and handsome young woman who takes pleasure in dressing as a man. Tending to her employer’s domestic needs, Henri has crafted a carefree life of routine behind which she hides the truth of a tragic past. Possessed herself of an extraordinary talent, she covertly guides her employer through the trials of his artistic and romantic pursuits while carefully guarding his most closely-held secret.

But Henri’s deceptively simple life is ripped apart when a wealthy and ruthless patron grants Cristofer a spectacular commission, then unwittingly hires Henri—whom he believes to be male—to give piano lessons to his alluring wife.

The resulting entanglements rise to a dangerous pitch as Cristofer struggles to create music of epic proportions while Henri is ignited by a love more powerful than any she has ever known. But when the monstrously ambitious patron catches wind of a duplicity, he and his henchmen mobilize quickly to target the threat and soon the only hope for either friend’s survival depends on one publicly exposing the other’s hidden truth—an act that would defy the bonds of love and loyalty and bring all their lives crashing down.

Can Henri stop the oncoming tragedy and still hold onto her greatest love? Or must she lose everything?

“ESCAPEMENT is a symphony of words marked by lyrical phrases and exquisite rhythm… a testament to the artistic spirit… breathtaking.”

“A passionate story.”
—Kirkus Reviews

I am going to tell you. I love music. I am relatively (okay, severely) untalented when it comes to it. I took piano lessons, but I wasn’t very good. The only song I could play, and maybe still can, is Beauty and the Beast. But that’s a story for another time. I do adore music though and that was a huge reason as to why I was so inclined to review this. I also loved that there was an LGBT angle, which I think isn’t done enough or if it is, it isn’t really done well and is basically done without substance. I won’t go over the synopsis, which is mentioned above. I will tell you though that Ms. Wolf certainly has a melodic sort of gift; that her words were musical in their own right. It was wonderful to see such talent was present. Certain turns of phrase were damn near lyrical. (Forgive me, I could not resist the lure of using musical terms.) Her own adoration of music is apparent with each page. It makes for an astounding composition.

Seldom did this hit a discordant note; though I admit, there were two faults for me. I would have loved more worldbuilding. I appreciate more description so I can better visualize where I’m seeing. I want to hear what they’re hearing, see what they’re seeing, imagine the things they’re smelling…I want to escape the world I’m living in and join with thiers. The second complaint I had was Ava. She liked music and she was pretty. That was it. Was that all that Henri saw in her? There had to be more and I’d have liked to have known it. She felt incomplete to me, whereas Cristofer and Henri both were vibrant and alive.

I will refrain from gushing further and simply recommend that you grab a copy. If books could win Grammy’s, this one would certainly pick one up, methinks.

  • I’d give it ★★★★ stars.
  • I was provided a copy in exchange for my honest review. 😀
  • I would recommend this to a friend. 🙂

Available in Paperback & eBook on Amazon

KRISTEN WOLF is an award-winning author, creative and wondernaut living in the Rocky Mountains. Her debut novel, THE WAY, was hailed by O, The OPRAH Magazine as “A Title to Pick Up Now!” Her second novel, ESCAPEMENT, is a *WINNER – 2018 IndieReader Discovery Award* and received this praise: “Wolf is a masterful storyteller who has created an enchanting novel… It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt passion.” —IndieReader

To learn more about Kristen’s books and other creative projects, subscribe to her Newsletter at www.kristenwolf.com/subscribe. You can also find Kristen on Twitter, Book Bub, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 6
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 7
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, August 10
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Monday, August 13
Review at Bri’s Book Nook

Tuesday, August 14
Guest Post at To Read, or Not to Read

Wednesday, August 15
Feature at Author Naomi Finley’a Blog

Friday, August 17
Guest Post at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 20
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, August 24
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, September 5
Review at The Slytherin Book Lady

Sunday, September 9
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

Monday, September 10
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, September 12
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, September 13
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two signed copies of Escapement and two $5 iTunes Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US, UK, and Canada residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is 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 new winner is chosen.



WWW Wednesday!

I know I said something similar last week, but does it freak you guys out how fast this year is going by? It’s August already! And I’m a month and one day away from birthday number 32. I’m just in awe. I mean…where is time going? Granted, I’m looking forward to things happening–it’ll be primary day here and I can’t wait to vote. Make sure you’re registered! Your voice counts! And I’m, of course, looking forward to my birthday. Yearly trip to Books-A-Million!

I’m dying to get started on this one. It looks so good and I’m just over the moon to finally have it. I tried to get an ARC but that didn’t pan out. But it’s a-okay because Book of the Month had it. 😀

I finished MJ Rose’s Tiffany Blues! My review comes soon and I have an interview with her soon. Color me excited!

I am so in love with this story. I’ve had it on my shelf for a while but I had other books to read and I kind of forgot it. I would have finished it last night more than likely, but I was cross-eyed tired. But let’s just say, I am so grabbing up the rest of this series when I hit up Books-A-Million next month.


#WCW: Margaret George!

I don’t believe I’ve gotten to tell you guys about how much I love Margaret George’s novels. If you like historical fiction, you will absolutely love her next book. In a continuation of her last novel, The Confessions of Young Nero, she explores his reign after the infamous fire that burned Rome. Most of us know him as the emperor who played the fiddle as the city burned, but if you know your history, you’ll know that those didn’t exist yet! In the very capable hands of Ms. George, you’ll learn who Nero was. And I like to think that the Emperor himself would be pleased with her description.

I became familiar with her when I found her novel The Autobiography of Henry VIII. I blame The Tudors for getting me so intrigued and fascinated. Once I devoured that book, and it took me a bit because it is a massive read, I sought out her other books.


I’m including the summaries of the two Nero books below–I hope you love them and I hope that you give her other novels a read. Even though they’re fiction, you will forget that. You will feel that these are written by the figures themselves. I think that’s what I love about them.



New York Times bestselling author Margaret George has brought history to vivid life with her chronicles of queens and kings. Now, she turns her gaze to an Emperor…

Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar’s imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire, no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman—or child.

As a boy, Nero’s royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great-aunt attempts to secure her own son’s inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead.

While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina’s machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero’s determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become—an Emperor who became legendary.

With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy’s ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to the infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.

Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Books-A-Million||  IndieBound|| Penguin Random House



Ascending to the throne was only the beginning… Now Margaret George, the author of The Confessions of Young Nero, weaves a web of politics and passion, as ancient Rome’s most infamous emperor cements his place in history.

With the beautiful and cunning Poppaea at his side, Nero Augustus commands the Roman empire, ushering in an unprecedented era of artistic and cultural splendor. Although he has yet to produce an heir, his power is unquestioned.

But in the tenth year of his reign, a terrifying prophecy comes to pass and a fire engulfs Rome, reducing entire swaths of the city to rubble. Rumors of Nero’s complicity in the blaze start to sow unrest among the populace–and the politicians…

For better or worse, Nero knows that his fate is now tied to Rome’s–and he vows to rebuild it as a city that will stun the world. But there are those who find his rampant quest for glory dangerous. Throughout the empire, false friends and spies conspire against him, not understanding what drives him to undertake the impossible.

Nero will either survive and be the first in his family to escape the web of betrayals that is the Roman court or be ensnared and remembered as the last radiance of the greatest dynasty the world had ever known.

Amazon ||  Barnes & Noble || Books-A-Million || IndieBound  ||   Penguin Random House


Margaret George writes biographical novels about outsized historical characters: Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, Cleopatra, Mary Magdalene, Helen of Troy, and Elizabeth I. Her latest, The Confessions of Young Nero, will be published in March. All six of her novels have been New York Times bestsellers, and the Cleopatra novel was made into an Emmy-nominated ABC-TV miniseries.

She especially enjoys the research she has done for the novels, such as racing in an ancient Greek stadium, attending a gladiator training school in Rome, and studying the pharmacology of snake poison.


Cover Reveal: When We Left Cuba.

I am absolutely over the moon in getting to share this cover with you guys! As you’ll remember, in February, I was part of the tour for Chanel Cleeton’s novel, Next Year In Havana. I have been eagerly awaiting this cover and I am just as excited about this book. I think it’ll be a wonderful follow-up. Next Year In Havana was a stunning read. If you click the link, you can read my thoughts. For now though, here it is–the cover and synopsis for When We Left Cuba.



In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life–and heart–to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez–her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future–but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything–not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…

Amazon || Barnes & Noble || iBooks || || Indie Bound || Penguin


rpamxrhi_400x400Sign up for Chanel’s monthly newsletter to receive exclusive news and updates about her next book- http://bit.ly/1tglPgi.

Chanel Cleeton is the USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana. Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.


Top Ten Tuesday.






This was originally the theme for March 5th, but I don’t know enough books to have a red, white and blue theme on the cover to do this weeks theme. So, instead, I picked an old theme, that being ‘My Favorite Quotes.’ 

I hope you enjoy what I picked. Let me know some of yours! 


+ “When in doubt, go to the library.”–Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

+ “Every good story needs a villain. But the best villains are the ones you secretly like.” —Stephanie Garber, Legendary

+ “I would always rather be happy than dignified.” Charlotte Brontê, Jane Eyre

+ “But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.” —Madeline Miller, Circe

+ So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea.  These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.–  Roald Dahl, Matilda

+ Stars flickered around us, sweet darkness sweeping in. As if we were the only souls in a galaxy.– Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Frost and Starlight 

+ “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”–A Dance with Dragons 

+ “I have hated words, I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” —The Book Thief

+ She had become adept at putting unpleasant thoughts out of her mind these days. She had learned to say, “I won’t think of this or that bothersome thought now. I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Generally when tomorrow came, the thought either did not occur at all or it was so attenuated by the delay it was not very troublesome.–Gone With The Wind 

+ You don’t know, you can’t guess how bad it is! It seems as if I could do anything when I’m in a passion; I get so savage, I could hurt anyone and enjoy it. I’m afraid I shall do something dreadful someday, and spoil my life, and make everybody hate me.–Jo, Little Women



Arc Review: The Locksmith’s Daughter.


  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Publish Date: July 31, 2018

From acclaimed author Karen Brooks comes this intriguing novel rich in historical detail and drama as it tells the unforgettable story of Queen Elizabeth’s daring, ruthless spymaster and his female protégée.

In Queen Elizabeth’s England, where no one can be trusted and secrets are currency, one woman stands without fear.

Mallory Bright is the only daughter of London’s most ingenious locksmith. She has apprenticed with her father since childhood, and there is no lock too elaborate for her to crack. After scandal destroys her reputation, Mallory has returned to her father’s home and lives almost as a recluse, ignoring the whispers and gossip of their neighbors. But Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster and a frequent client of Mallory’s father, draws her into his world of danger and deception. For the locksmith’s daughter is not only good at cracking locks, she also has a talent for codes, spycraft, and intrigue. With Mallory by Sir Francis’s side, no scheme in England or abroad is safe from discovery.

But Mallory’s loyalty wavers when she witnesses the brutal and bloody public execution of three Jesuit priests and realizes the human cost of her espionage. And later, when she discovers the identity of a Catholic spy and a conspiracy that threatens the kingdom, she is forced to choose between her country and her heart.

Once Sir Francis’s greatest asset, Mallory is fast becoming his worst threat—and there is only one way the Queen’s master spy deals with his enemies…

I was so excited to read this book when I first heard about it and even more delighted when I was approved for an ARC. Apparently, this was published under a different publisher, but William Morrow picked it up. However it happened, here we are! Karen Brooks is a new author to me but one who will always be on my radar now. She’s an excellent writer, weaving a truly fascinating and heavy read. But don’t fret–the heaviness I speak of is a good one–this book is almost 600 pages! Yet, it’s a story that will stay with you and draws you in right away.

Mallory Bright is a brilliant narrator. She’s a young woman who has sullied her reputation–and thus by extension, her family’s, as well–but fortune seemingly shines upon the Locksmith’s Daughter. Where other women would bear the brunt of their shame, Mallory is given the chance of a lifetime.

However, it is one full of intrigue, danger and comes with consequences that Mallory had no way of foreseeing she would ever be part of. In an era where there are Catholic plots to set Mary Stuart of Scotland upon Elizabeth Tudor’s thrones, Mallory learns quickly that her actions have far-reaching and devastating consequences. But for Queen and country, is she willing to take that step? Redemption is something she longs for but is it worth the cost?

I was absolutely over the moon to see a book where ample time would be dedicated to Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster. As a historical figure, he is seldom appreciated for all of his efforts to keep Queen and Country safe. He is an interesting figure and I loved getting to read about him and the lengths he went to in order to achieve his means.

This was well researched and quite frankly, one of the best reads I’ve had in ages. Each character, be they fictional or a real figure, jumps off the pages and is amazingly vibrant. The scenery is also presented in an unflinching way, so you’ll be able to truly envision the sights and smells. I also appreciated the usage of Elizabethan era terms and actions. I truly stepped back in time!

A wonderful and amazing novel. I couldn’t put it down. Bravo!

  • I’d give it ★★★★ stars.
  • I was provided a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 😀 (Thank ya’ll!)
  • I would recommend this to a friend!


Amazon || Books-A-Million || Indie Bound || Barnes & Noble



Mailbox, chattering and thoughts.

collage Mailbox and a catch up.

Hey, I did a thing, check me out. So as you can see, my Book of the Month order came in. I skipped May and went to June. My friend Cody told me that I had to read The Seven Husbands of  Evelyn Hugo.

“Hey, have you read ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’? It’s AMAZING! Set in 50s/60s/70s Hollywood. I finished it hours ago, and my jaw is still on the floor. I can’t even describe what a literary marvel it is. It cracked my soul open. It challenged me as a reader, a thinker, a woman. I thought of you the whole time I was reading.”

When you get a PM like that, it gets you thinking, ‘maybe I need to check this out’.  I aim to do precisely that once I finish up C.W Gortner’s new triumph, ‘The Romanov Empress’. I can’t wait to write my review and to post my interview with him. Seriously, he is one of my favorite people. I have him as a friend on Facebook and I love how he speaks his mind, is quick with his wit and of course, his love of animals. His cats are precious. If ever he ever does a tour that brings him to Tampa, I will be there, lol. Anyway, here is the synopsis for Evelyn.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Speaking of triumphs. Holy hell balls. Guys, I know I have been vocal about ‘Dracul’. But I read it and my soul was snatched. I did not see the story going the way it did. It is an unbelievable, tour de force. If you are looking for true (un-sparkly) vampires? You’ve got them. They are evil, with the exception of three, but I suggest. They have powers and weaknesses, they are cruel and savage. This is a gothic horror, thriller, and masterpiece. I plan to do a reread right around release day and/or around Halloween along with other tales of horror. Frankenstein, Dracula, Grimm’s fairy tales. Maybe even IT, by Stephen King. Recommendations are welcome!

My main choice for my June BotM was The Book of Essie, which is a debut. This is the synopsis.

Esther Ann Hicks—Essie—is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage—and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media—through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell—Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?

This isn’t usually my type of book but I felt very intrigued by this. So, here we are. I think it’s because I genuinely despise shows like this, The Duggars, for example. Like..they’re just creepy. The parents are bigoted tools. They protected their pedophile son but kind of left his sisters on their own. They also just seem annoyed by all their kids, who seems to be pawned off on their older siblings.

I don’t love Bringing Up Bates but they at least seem warm and affectionate towards one another. The kids help out but the parents are very hands on.

Anyway, my last pick was Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.

As to the other books pictured, I owe my thanks to William Morrow Paperbacks (Harper Collins) for Midnight Blue (unpictured), The Daisy Children and When the Men Were Gone. To Thomas Dunne Books (MacMillan) for The Lost for Words Bookshop, St. Martin’s Press for The Little Shop of Found Things and Graydon House (Harlequin) for The Lost Letters of William Wolfe. The reason there are no synopsis’ provided is because spotlights are to follow this post.
I hope you guys have been doing well, I’m sorry I haven’t been posting that much as of late. I haven’t felt my best (yay cramps and all that) and I’ve just been kind of quiet. I’ve been reflecting on things and also have been reading a lot; so I do have posts to share.

What are you guys reading? 😀