Wednesday, January 28, 2015

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Grace Blakely has just moved to the US Embassy in Adria to live with her grandfather. Three years before Grace saw her mother killed and has always maintained that a man with a scar was the murderer. Everyone in Grace's life has told her that her mother's death was an accident. Grace is determined to find the man who killed her mother and prove to her family that she is not crazy.

If you have read Ally Carters other series The Gallagher Girls and The Heist Society you know her writing features strong girl characters. In All Fall Down Grace tries to come across to her new friends as being tough and not needing their friendship or help, but in reality Grace is broken.

I really enjoyed All Fall Down. I thought that Grace's character was pretty plucky at the beginning, but things started unraveling pretty quick for her once she spotted the man with the scar. I really liked several of the other young people that lived on Embassy Row and hopefully they will be in the next book as well. Noah's announcement that he was Grace's new best friend cracked me up as well as her interchange with Lila the self-proclaimed leader of the Embassy Row youth. One problem I have is that the book has a huge cliffhanger and I have no idea when the next book will come out!

Monday, January 19, 2015

WINNER of Prelude for a Lord

The winner for a copy of PRELUDE FOR A LORD is:





              TRIXI O.




Congratulations Trixi! You can email me at gravesok@gmail.com with your address and I will pass the information on to the author. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Holiday Defenders by Debby Giusti, Susan Sleeman, Jodie Bailey



Mission: Christmas Rescue by Debbie Giusti

When Elizabeth’s brother Zack calls and tells her to pack up his children and run she has no idea where she is going to go. Zack sends his old friend Nick to help her. Having broken her heart 10 years before, Elizabeth wants nothing to do with Nick. But Nick is not about to turn down his friend Zack’s call for help. He rushes in to help Elizabeth and Zack’s children get to safety just in time. Working quickly to discover what Zack, an investigative reporter, has been working on Elizabeth and Nick rekindle old feelings for each other. Their top priority though is keeping Zack’s children out of the hands of crooked men bent on using them to keep Zack quiet. Hopefully Nick and Elizabeth can get the information that Zack has gathered into the right hands before Christmas so that Zack and his children will be together. And will Elizabeth be able to forgive Nick for leaving her so long ago and trust him to care for her and the children?

Special Ops Christmas by Susan Sleeman

Someone has stolen a top secret project Claire and her team have been working on. Travis Chapman is sent to protect Claire who is the only one that knows the code that will open the project. Travis and Claire have a past though. Claire sent him away and now they will be in close proximity once again. Will they still have the old feelings for each other or will their past stay in the past?
Quite a bit of suspense wrapped up in this short story. Starts and ends with a bang and a few surprises in between. I always enjoy a Susan Sleeman suspense!

Homefront Holiday Hero by Jodie Bailey

When Kelly Walters is shot at outside of the Resource Center she works for, it is a good thing that Major Tyler Rainey is there to rescue her. Thinking this is a random act of mischief they are surprised when the shooter comes back to try again. Pretty soon it is obvious that for some reason Kelly is being targeted. Several attempts are made on her life and each time Tyler is there to rescue her…always in the right place at the right time.
Kelly doesn’t want to date a military man though. After all, her father was never home for her or her mother. Kelly doesn’t want that in a relationship of her own. But the heart wants what the heart wants and for Kelly that is Tyler.
Homefront Holiday Hero is a sweet romantic suspense short story that keeps the reader guessing who the would-be killer is until the very end. 

 Wrap Up:

I enjoyed all three stories in this Holiday Defenders Love Inspired book. If you like romantic suspense stories then these three short stories will be perfect for you. They are also perfect for your Christmas reading. Curl up with your favorite hot beverage, a warm fire in the fireplace and this romantic suspense book and settle in for a perfect night of reading, you won’t be disappointed!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Interview with author Camille Elliot

Welcome to Camille Elliot author of PRELUDE for a LORD!




MFP:  You have said you love the Regency time period, what book did you read to fan the flame of that love?

CE: My very first Regency was Regency Miss by Alix Melbourne when I was 13 years old, and I had borrowed it from a classroom library. I was absolutely enthralled and after I finished it, I immediately started reading it again! I started looking for more Regencies after that. A few years ago I went searching for it again online and found a copy. I read it again, wondering if it was as wonderful as I remember it, and it was!

MFP: There is a lot of information about music in Prelude for a Lord. Did that require a lot of research?

CE: I took piano lessons as a teenager and I also lead one of the worship teams for my church, so I’m familiar with music to an extent—American Idol I am definitely not! LOL—but I had to do a lot of research into music in the late 1800s and early 1800s. There’s more information on music in the late Victorian era, unfortunately, but I found a few articles and books that were very helpful. In doing my research I found that women violinists did not appear until the late 1800s because the act of playing a violin was considered scandalous and unladylike, so of course, I made my heroine a violinist who was uncaring of what polite society thought of her. I also was able to bring in some of the history of the Italian girls’ orphanages where the composer Vivaldi taught and composed in the 1700s.

MFP: One of the things I loved about the heroine Alethea was that she didn't care what polite society thought about her as long as she was true to herself. 

MFP:  Speaking of research, did you do a lot of research on the Regency era, and if so can you share your process?

CE: I actually bought and read a lot of Regency history books throughout my adult life simply because I loved the Regency era, although I did not attempt to write a Regency novel until last year. I read a lot of Regency romances and was familiar with the time period, but books like Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, The Regency Companion by Laudermilk and Hamlin (unfortunately out of print and hideously expensive to get a used copy), and The Regency Reference Book by Emily Hendrickson (http://emilyhendrickson.net/regency/regency-reference-book/) were helpful as a place to start to really understand the societal and historical context of the novels I’d been reading. I also read a lot of articles online and like to troll them for lists of more Regency reference books.
Also, Google Books and Archive.org are my best friends! I have been able to download scanned .pdf copies of original books from the Regency era that have been incredibly helpful. It’s amazing what kinds of journals and memoirs were published in the early 1800s. There are also .pdf copies of fashion magazines like La Belle Assemblee and Ackermann’s Repository.

MFP:  You have written Suspense in the past, I enjoyed the Suspense/Regency of Prelude for a Lord, it reminded me a bit of a gothic romance. Was that your intention? If so who or what were your influences?

CE: It was hard for me not to have a suspense thread in my Regency romances! I guess I just like murder and mayhem. :) However, I do admit I am a huge fan of Mary Stewart and her gothic romances (I haven’t read all of them yet but am slowly making my way through her booklist) and I also have a bunch of old gothic romances that I got used online which I loved. So I suppose unintentionally there was a gothic influence to my stories. Most gothic historical romances were set in the Victorian era, and the only Regency gothic author I know of was Joan Smith (who also wrote straight Regency romances). So in that sense, I might be forging my own path!

MFP: Off topic and gushing for a moment, Mary Stewart?! One of my favorite authors when I was a teenager! My favorite book is Madam Will You Talk? Have you read that one yet? Have you ever read any Phyllis Whitney, I was hooked on her at the same time as Mary Stewart. 

Okay, back to the interview ;)

MFP:  In the past you have written as Camy Tang, can you tell us why the name change?

CE: When I decided to write a Regency romance, it was SO different from what I’ve written before, especially the completely different time period and place, that my editors and I felt that it would be better to use a pen name so that readers wouldn’t get confused or feel betrayed if they picked up a Camy Tang book only to find it was a historical novel. While there are some suspense readers who also read historicals, there are many who do not, and the same with historical readers.

MFP:  Can you share about the spiritual aspect of your Regencies?

CE: It’s hard for me not to write about a spiritual thread because a lot of our internal struggles have their roots in our spiritual worldview. Also I fully believe that God has called me to write for people who are alone and don’t realize how much He loves them. That is what I’m aiming for with my writing.

MFP: What are you working on now?

CE: I’m releasing A Spinster’s Christmas, the first book in a new Regency series, this month. It originally appeared in Mistletoe Kisses, an Inspy Kisses anthology of 7 other authors writing contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance stories, but now I’m releasing ASpinster’s Christmas as a separate ebook with a bonus knitting pattern—the scarf that my hero gives to the heroine in the story.

I’m also planning on releasing more Regency romances this year. If anyone wants to be informed when I have a new one out or a sale on an old one, they can sign up for my email newsletter: http://eepurl.com/3fKY1

Where readers can find you:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCamilleElliot
http://camys-loft.blogspot.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/49078

ABOUT CAMILLE ELLIOT: 



Camy writes Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance under her pen name, Camille Elliot. She grew up in Hawaii but now lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She’s a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of her church’s Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit, spin wool into yarn, and is training to (very slowly) run a marathon. Visit her websites at http://www.camytang.com/ and http://www.camilleelliot.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.



Check out my review of Prelude For A Lord HERE.





GIVEAWAY!!!

Leave a comment in the comment section and your name will go in a drawing for a copy of Camille Elliot's book Prelude for a Lord . Winner will be announced here on January 19, 2015. US residents only please. 


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Shakespeare and Star Wars boxed set by Ian Doescher

Look what came in the mail right before Christmas! The Shakespeare and Star Wars Trilogy boxed set! LOVE IT! I enjoyed the books so much, they made me laugh! Now you can get all three books,

Verily, A New Hope
The Empire Striketh Back
The Jedi Doth Return

in one beautifully boxed set. Click on each title for my reviews.

NOTE: My grandson saw my set sitting on my coffee table and instantly recognized the Star Wars characters. He was pretty sure he could read them...he's 8. I put him off for a while. We'll save them for him until he is familiar with who Shakespeare is, then maybe he will understand the humor and fun-ness of this set.

You can purchase your set from

AMAZON

and I'm sure other outlets will have them available. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!