I spy another Time Travel Romance

Okay I saw also saw the first book of this series….

On the day she and her mother escaped her cruel father, Emma Washington vowed to never fall in love. 

Now, Emma is a back-to-school PhD student with bigger and better things to worry about. That is, until one night–exhausted, slightly tipsy, and on her way home from a party–the glaring white light of a car comes crashing toward her, changing her life forever. Instead of waking up in a 21st-century hospital, she finds herself waking up in the backwaters of London, Victorian England, 1881… 

Trapped in a time where everything she once knew is considered witchcraft, Emma discovers that Victorian London is a harsh world for a woman without wealth or status. She faces yet another life-changing twist when she learns that her only chance of survival depends on the very thing she has tried to avoid her whole life—marriage. As if that isn’t bad enough, she must betroth herself to none other than the most powerful duke in all of England, the notorious and feared Lord William Blackwell. 

But…what begins as a fight for her life might just become a chance to find true love.

Review: A Lady’s Formula for Love

Summary:

What is a Victorian lady’s formula for love? Mix one brilliant noblewoman and her enigmatic protection officer. Add in a measure of danger and attraction. Heat over the warmth of humor and friendship, and the result is more than simple chemistry–it’s elemental.

Lady Violet is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England’s most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.

Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.

When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet’s laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test–and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the heart.

My Review:

This book was cute! It was almost like “The Bodyguard” meets back in time era of Jane Austen with scientists. It was really fun to read. I really like Violet’s thoughts regarding to work and then when Arthur joined in as a bodyguard. Such thoughts! There was some sweet and swoony moments! This book should be made into a movie. I would totally watch it.

All the characters in this book are working their way to survive and to overcome obstacles. (Considering the fact the type of era is like 19th century.) It’s filled with danger, every day moments , friendships, relationships and just down to earth vibe as well. Plus romance! I did like Arthur’s broodiness. Just something about that! I also liked the fact Arthur was aware of Violet.

I do admit the beginning of the book was a little tough for me to get into but once I kept going I managed to enjoy the book more. I did like Arthur’s broodiness. Just something about that!

Give the book a shot to see if you like it. It was just a nice book to escape away into a new world.

I spy Fiction

Today I spy some fiction!
For me the covers catch my eye first and then I read the summary of what the book is about which leads me to either yes I am going to put you in my to rile list or no perhaps another time. Anyone else think this way?
Will any of these books grab your attention?
(There is not one genre here, it’s all over the map.)
Let me know which ones look interesting to you.

Sophie Jones is a physics prodigy on track to unlock the secrets of the universe. But when she meets Jake Kristopher during their first week at Yale they instantly feel a deep connection, as if they’ve known each other before. Quickly, they become a couple. Slowly, their love lures Sophie away from school.

When a shocking development forces Sophie into a new reality, she returns to physics to make sense of her world. She grapples with life’s big questions, including how to cope with unexpected change and loss. Inspired by her connection with Jake, Sophie throws herself into her studies, determined to prove that true loves belong together in all realities.

Lady Violet is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England’s most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.

Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.

When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet’s laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test–and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the heart.

Chloe Wynchester is completely forgettable — a curse that gives her the ability to blend into any crowd. When the only father she’s ever known makes a dying wish for his adopted family of orphans to recover a missing painting, she’s the first one her siblings turn to for stealing it back. No one expects that in doing so, she’ll also abduct a handsome duke.

Lawrence Gosling, the Duke of Faircliffe, is tortured by his father’s mistakes. To repair his estate’s ruined reputation, he must wed a highborn heiress. Yet when he finds himself in a carriage being driven hell-for-leather down the cobblestone streets of London by a beautiful woman who refuses to heed his commands, he fears his heart is hers. But how can he sacrifice his family’s legacy to follow true love?

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

Rennie Wallace has it all: a boyfriend, a good job, a best friend who lives a stone’s throw away…but something’s missing. She isn’t sure what until she returns to Cape Harbor, her favorite home away from home. There, she crosses paths with an old love, Graham. Rennie’s drawn to him but senses their paths in life have wandered too far apart.

Graham Chamberlain has returned to Cape Harbor to care for his brother, the town alcoholic. Managing and serving drinks at his family’s bar, Graham can’t believe how mundane his life has become. He’s resigned himself to living for others, his own desires for adventure and romance taking a back seat to running the family business—until Rennie walks through his door.

Graham feels the weight of his small-town life; Rennie has a boyfriend and a busy life in the city. But neither can deny the rekindled spark between them. Will they find their way back to one another?

Sophia Moon had always been reticent about her life in Russia and when she dies, suspiciously, on a wintry New York evening, Isobelle despairs that her mother’s secrets have died with her. But while renovating the apartment they shared, Isobelle discovers something among her mother’s effects—a stunning silver tiara, stripped of its jewels.

Isobelle’s research into the tiara’s provenance draws her closer to her mother’s past—including the story of what became of her father back in Russia, a man she has never known. The facts elude her until she meets a young jeweler, who wants to help her but is conflicted by his loyalty to the Midas Society, a covert international organization whose mission is to return lost and stolen antiques, jewels, and artwork to their original owners.

Told in alternating points of view, the stories of the two young women unfurl as each struggles to find their way during two separate wars. In 1915, young Sofiya Petrovitch, favorite of the royal household and best friend of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, tends to wounded soldiers in a makeshift hospital within the grounds of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and finds the love of her life. In 1948 New York, Isobelle Moon works to break through the rampant sexism of the age as one of very few women working in a male-dominated profession and discovers far more about love and family than she ever hoped for.

No surprise is a good surprise. At least according to thirty-four-year-old Daisy Richardson. So when it’s revealed in dramatic fashion that her esteemed father had been involved in a public scandal before his untimely death, Daisy’s life becomes complicated—and fast.

For one, the Richardsons must now sell the family home in Georgetown they can no longer afford, and Daisy’s mother is holding on with an iron grip. Her younger sister, Wallis, is ready to move on to bigger and better things but falls fast and hard for the most inconvenient person possible. And then there’s Atlas, Daisy’s best friend. She’s always wished they could be more, but now he’s writing an exposé on the one subject she’s been desperate to avoid: her father.

Daisy’s plan is to maintain a low profile as she works to keep her family intact amid social exile, public shaming, and quickly dwindling savings. But the spotlight always seems to find the Richardsons, and when another twist in the scandal comes to light, Daisy must confront the consequences of her continued silence and summon the courage to stand up and accept the power of her own voice.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. A brutal war of succession has plunged the court of Kingfountain into a power struggle between a charitable king who took the crown unlawfully and his ambitious rival, Devon Argentine. The balance of power between the two men hinges on the fate of a young boy ensnared in this courtly intrigue. A boy befittingly nicknamed Ransom.

When the Argentine family finally rules, Ransom must make his own way in the world. Opportunities open and shut before him as he journeys along the path to knighthood, blind to a shadowy conspiracy of jealousy and revenge. Securing his place will not be easy, nor will winning the affection of Lady Claire de Murrow, a fiery young heiress from an unpredictably mad kingdom.

Ransom interrupts an abduction plot targeting the Queen of Ceredigion and earns a position in service to her son, the firstborn of the new Argentine dynasty. But conflict and treachery threaten the family, and Ransom must also come to understand and hone his burgeoning powers—abilities that involve more than his mastery with a blade and that make him as much a target as his lord.

BOOK 1
Devin Eveson is a Soulkeeper, traveling through remote villages as a preacher and healer. But when a mysterious black water washes over the world, the veil is torn, flooding the land with ancient magic and forgotten races: fire that dances as if alive, corpses that walk, and creatures that can manipulate time itself. And not all the creatures that have re-awakened remember humanity fondly.

As the land grows more dangerous and more chaotic, Soulkeepers are turning up dead, their bodies transformed into macabre works of art. Devin must set aside his words of peace and accept his new role: slayer of monsters and protector of the human race.

BOOK 2
Magical creatures are attacking the capital city, seeking to retake what was once theirs, and no one is safe. Ancient cultists have cursed the highest members of the Church, turning them into twisted abominations. The only hope for a cure lies with Adria Eveson. To learn the cure, she must befriend an imprisoned cultist, and guard her heart against his seductive promises and twisted logic.
The fate of all races, human and magical, rests in her hands, and in the choices she makes. Should she choose wrong, only one person stands in her way: her brother, the Soulkeeper Devin Eveson.

BOOK 3
Monsters have retaken the capital city of Londheim and claimed it for themselves. Humanity, fearful of being pushed out for good, has reacted with violence and destruction, and peace between the two races seems all but impossible. Devin will need to bring all his skills to bear in order to find a solution. But the greatest threat to humanity’s safety may well be closer than he expects. Because his sister is the most powerful priestess the world has ever seen . . . and she’s fighting for the monsters.

The fate of all races, human and magical, rests in their hands, and the only person standing in their way is each other.

I spy Fiction

I spy some fiction…these books range all over the map!

Check them out to see what tickles your interest!
Let me know which ones you may read.

It is 1995, and Anvar Faris is a restless, rebellious, and sharp-tongued boy doing his best to grow up in Karachi, Pakistan. As fundamentalism takes root within the social order and the zealots next door attempt to make Islam great again, his family decides, not quite unanimously, to start life over in California. Ironically, Anvar’s deeply devout mother and his model-Muslim brother adjust easily to life in America, while his fun-loving father can’t find anyone he relates to. For his part, Anvar fully commits to being a bad Muslim.

At the same time, thousands of miles away, Safwa, a young girl living in war-torn Baghdad with her grief-stricken, conservative father will find a very different and far more dangerous path to America. When Anvar and Safwa’s worlds collide as two remarkable, strong-willed adults, their contradictory, intertwined fates will rock their community, and families, to their core.

(Book #2) Rubi Whiting has done the impossible. She has proved that humanity deserves a seat at the galactic table. Well, at least a shot at a seat. Having convinced the galactic governing body that mankind deserves a chance at fixing their own problems, Rubi has done her part to launch the planet into a new golden age of scientific discovery and technological revolution.

However, there are still those in the galactic community that think that humanity is too poisonous, too greedy, to be allowed in, and they will stop at nothing to sabotage a species determined to pull itself up.

Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio. 
 
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.  
 
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.

Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of her life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother’s wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. She just never expected to face a choice that might change the course of her life. . .
 
Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour, until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love.
 
Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything, and to remind them that they can always lean on one another, before it’s too late.

Two women, one living in present day Massachusetts and another in Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House soon after the Civil War, overcome their own personal demons and search for a place to belong.

2001
Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott’s historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it feels like Taylor is finally finding her place and some stability . . . until Victoria’s betrayal changes everything.

1865
While Louisa May Alcott is off traveling the world, Johanna Suhre accepts a job tending Louisa’s aging parents and their home in Concord. Soon after arriving at Orchard House, Johanna meets Nathan Bancroft and, ignoring Louisa’s words of caution, falls in love and accepts Nathan’s proposal. But before long, Johanna experiences her husband’s dark side, and she can’t hide the bruises that appear.

2019
After receiving news of Lorraine Bennett’s cancer diagnosis, Taylor knows she must return home to see her adoptive mother again. Now a successful author, Taylor is determined to spend little time in Concord. Yet she becomes drawn into the story of a woman who lived there centuries before. And through her story, Taylor may just find forgiveness and a place to belong.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

Love, romance, second chances, fairy-tale endings…these are the things Annika Dev believes in. Her app, Make Up, has been called the “Google Translate for failing relationships.”

High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.” It’s wildly successful—and anathema to Annika’s life philosophy.

Which wouldn’t be a problem if they’d gone their separate ways after that summer fling in Las Vegas, never to see each other again. Unfortunately for Annika, Hudson’s moving not just into her office building, but into the office right next to hers. And he’ll be competing at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest: A contest Annika needs to win if she wants to keep Make Up afloat. As if it’s not bad enough seeing his irritatingly perfect face on magazine covers when her own business is failing. As if knowing he stole her idea and twisted it into something vile—and monumentally more successful—didn’t already make her stomach churn.

As the two rival app developers clash again and again—and again—Annika finds herself drawn into Hudson Craft’s fast-paced, high velocity, utterly shallow world. Only, from up close, he doesn’t seem all that shallow. Could it be that everything she thought about Hudson is completely wrong? Could the creator of Break Up teach her what true love’s really about?

As caregiver for her autistic brother, Beckett Hayes knows how meaningful a little extra help can be when life happens. Which is why she runs Consider It Done, a personal concierge service in her small town. Her job also gives her the flexibility to follow her passion, being Rome, Rhode Island’s unofficial special needs advocate, training emotional support companions in her spare time. There’s not much of that, though, and certainly not enough for serious dating. It’s always been family first for Beck. But one unquestionably gorgeous, good-natured man is suddenly a temptation that’s getting tougher to resist . . .
 
Sixteen years ago, Levi Rhodes was ready to sail off into the sunset—literally. But then his father’s death and his sister’s unexpected pregnancy postponed his sailing scholarship and the adventures he had planned. Running the family marina and bar was the least he could do for his grieving mother. Plus, his niece needed a father-figure. But now that she’s in high school and has her bio-dad in her life, Levi’s wondering if it’s time to get his sea legs under him again. Or he was wondering, until curvy, caring Beck showed up in his bar, and then in his dreams . . .

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.

The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?

Bennett Driscoll is a Turner Prize-nominated artist who was once a rising star. Now, at age fifty-five, his wife has left him, he hasn’t sold a painting in two years, and his gallery wants to stop selling his work, claiming they’ll have more value retrospectively…when he’s dead. So, left with a large West London home and no income, he’s forced to move into his artist’s studio in the back garden and list his house on the popular vacation rental site, AirBed.

A stranger now in his own home, with his daughter, Mia, off at art school, and any new relationships fizzling out at best, Bennett struggles to find purpose in his day-to-day. That all changes when three different guests–lonely American Alicia; tortured artist Emma; and cautiously optimistic divorcée Kirstie–unwittingly unlock the pieces of himself that have been lost to him for too long.

Midnight Bargain Review

 

Midnight

 

  • Author: C.L. Polk
  • Hardcover : 384 pages
  • Date:  October 13, 2020
  • Publisher : Erewhon


    Thanks to Netgalley, author: C.L. Polk and publisher: Erewhon Books for the free e-arc!
    Here is my honest review.

     

    SUMMARY:
    From the beloved World Fantasy Award-winning author of Witchmark comes a sweeping, romantic new fantasy set in a world reminiscent of Regency England, where women’s magic is taken from them when they marry. A sorceress must balance her desire to become the first great female magician against her duty to her family.

    Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

    In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

    The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?


    My Thoughts:
    I really, really liked this story.  The beginning of the story made me feel like I was going on adventure. I could picture the carriage, the shop and the atmosphere.     Beatrice, the main character was on the move to find a book.  Not just any kind of book,  a Grimoire!  She wanted to learn more about magic.  She desired to be a better sorceress.  Somehow fate has her meet up with another sorceress named Ysbeta Lavan.  It was a little intense how they met.

    At first I thought Ysbeta would be a rival character towards Beatrice.  I was not sure what to make of her in the beginning.  My spider sense told me Ysbeta was going to be evil.   Was it right?    I continued to read on, the interaction between Ysbeta and Beatric was pretty interesting.  Both characters are headstrong,  educated, yearning to learn more and  wanting their independence.   Will they become friends or rivals?

    Beatrice also meets Ysbeta’s brother, Ianthe who does fall for her.  The romance sparked between them.  It was a sweet romance in my opinion which I adored! Beatrice has mixed feelings about this.  She does love him but does not want to be bound.  The society in this story has the husbands control their wives magic. I thought this was awful.  To be bound was like being locked up in a pale world.  I think magic in this story is colorful and free.  To lose that magic would be like losing a part of yourself.

    Just another thought: the society times in this story is parallel to women back in the days of dowry.  Think of Jane Austen.  Women did not have much of a choice. Some felt the burden of helping their family by marrying for wealth and not love.  I cannot imagine life like that, can you?

    Does Beatrice get a choice or not?  Does she get to marry Ianthe?  Does she get to be free?  What will happen?

    Beatrice’s family is an interesting mix.  Her father is so into traditional values that she will butt heads with him.   Her mother, you can’t help feel sorry for her as you continue to read the story further along.  Then there is also Beatrice’s sister: Harriet who I thought was adorable, a youthful firecracker spirit but she was aware of gossip and traditional values.  She wanted the best for her sister and herself.  Eventually she sees the truth of how society is and realizes she does want a choice as well.  I am not sure what else to say on her.  Will Beatrice’s family support her decision?

    The one thing that was fun was the spirits that came to this story.  The spirit that Beatrice connected with was named Nadi.   Nadi made me feel like she was like a child but a powerful child.  I just totally loved the connection between Nadi and Beatrice.  They gave each other comfort, power and friendship.  It is totally awesome.  As Nadi and Beatrice continue to connect, Nadi eventually cares for Beatrice and the feeling is mutual.  They kick butt!

    Ysbeta did connect with two spirits and it was interesting how she dealt with it. Her spirits were a bit of a handful.    How do you think she dealt with them?  Do you think she gets a connection with a spirit to help her journey towards freedom?

    I think the story was written elegantly and stylish.  It kept me entertained.  It was a great story of regency magic and feminism.  Women’s rights are the main point in this story.  You should read it if you like Austen/Regency.

     

    The Midnight Bargain is released on October 13, 2020

     

Check out – Robin LaFevers

All three books by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy:  Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage to the respite of the convent of St. Mortain. Here she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts and a violent destiny. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. But how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who has stolen her heart?

Dark Triumph: Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Mortal Heart: Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

 

Has anyone read these?  The covers look amazing.  I think these may go in my to read pile too.  I think I am going to end up adding way too many books in my to read pile.   Anyone else out there do that too? 

Biographies

I saw these biographies and decided to share them with you.  Everyone has a story and even these two people have lead an interesting life.

Bio

Steve McQueen  The Salvation of an American Icon

Join Greg Laurie as he takes a cross-country drive in his 1968 Highland Green Ford Mustang 390 GT through the canyons of Malibu, the alleys of Hollywood, the wide and open roads of the Midwest, the streets of New York, as he traces the wooly geography of actor Steve McQueen’s life, relationships, career and spiritual journey. This iconic muscle car was the vehicle McQueen drove in his most raucous and enduring film, Bullitt.

In the 1960s, McQueen was, according to box office receipts, the biggest movie star of his generation and one of the coolest men to ever walk the planet. Greg Laurie was a teen at the time and an ardent fan of ”The King of Cool,” first mesmerized by McQueen in 1963’s The Great Escape. Like millions of cinema fans, Greg developed a lifelong fascination with the actor. Now he has a chance to tell McQueen’s story.

McQueen was a complex, contradictory man who lived the same way he drove his motorcycles and cars: fearlessly, ruthlessly and at top speed. After a lifetime of fast cars, women and drugs, McQueen took a surprising detour.

In this book, Laurie thoughtfully interviews members of Steve McQueen’s family, friends, co-stars, associates, widow and pastor to tell of the dramatic life-change for the actor in the spring of 1979 – six months before McQueen was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

What were the critical steps that led McQueen to make such a life-altering decision? Perhaps more importantly, why is that part of his story so rarely told? This book answers these questions.

Greg Laurie will follow the seeds of Christianity that were sown throughout McQueen’s improbable life where a Light finally shone into the darkness of his troubled life. These seeds miraculously germinated, allowing McQueen to see that redemption through Jesus Christ is a lasting truth more glittering and real than any magic of the entertainment industry.

 BIO2

Defiance  The extraordinary life of Lady Anne Barnard

The first major biography of eighteenth-century writer and socialite Lady Anne Barnard.

Born in Scotland in 1772, Lady Anne Barnard lived at the heart of Georgian society. She wrote one of the most popular ballads of her day, captivated Sir Walter Scott with her poetry, rubbed shoulders with the Prince of Wales, and dazzled Samuel Johnson with her repartee. Lady Anne’s charisma and talent were undeniable; she was well known as both a beauty and a wit. However, she was also seen as an eccentric―an artist defined by her defiance of convention.

Lady Anne had romantic affairs with several prominent men, but she married none of them. She preferred to live independently―even traveling alone to Paris during the upheaval of the French Revolution. When she did marry, it was to an impoverished army officer many years her junior. The pairing scandalized polite society. Hounded by gossip, the couple escaped to the Cape Colony―England’s first African possession―where Lady Anne painted the vibrant landscapes and penned her memoirs. An indefatigable diarist, she proved herself one of the extraordinary chroniclers of the era.

I spy today in books…

Today I saw these books…..

 

Public Relations by Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebolini

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What it is about:

Young PR star Rose Reed is thrown into the big leagues when her boss leaves town the day of the firm’s meeting with Archie Fox, a young, hot, internationally famous British singer-songwriter. The meeting is going badly until Rose suggests a staged romance with up-and-coming, young indie star Raya. He’ll do it, but only if Rose becomes his publicist.

As the faux-mance between Archie and Raya begins to rehabilitate Archie’s faltering career, Rose finds his herself having unexpected, inconvenient and definitely unprofessional feelings for the crooner. But do late night texts and impromptu burrito binges mean he feels the same? In the end, Rose will have to decide whether to let her fantasy crush go, or to risk her reputation to be with the charming, handsome, scoundrel-y but sweet pop star she’s grown to love.

With a razor-sharp voice full of wry humor, Public Relations is a fun-filled glimpse behind the curtain of the PR machines that create our favorite celebrities.

( I wanna read this!!)

 

Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

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What it is about:

Lorraine Kindred’s most cherished memories are of the Surf Ballroom, the place where youth lost themselves to the brassy sounds and magnetic energy of the big band swing, where boys spent their last nights before shipping off to war―and where Lorraine herself was swept away by a star-crossed romance.

Returning to the ballroom for the first time in decades, Lorraine enters a dazzling world she thought long vanished. But as the sparkling past comes to life, so does the fateful encounter that forced her to choose between her heart and her duty all those years ago―and Lorraine must face the secret she’s buried ever since. Along the way, she’ll rediscover herself, her passion, and her capacity for resilience.

Set during the 1940s and the present and inspired by a real-life ballroom, Loretta Ellsworth’s Stars Over Clear Lake is a moving story of forbidden love, lost love, everlasting love―and self love.

(This is on my list to read too!!)

 

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

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What it is about: 

From the multiple-award-winning, critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day.

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

In the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

(This is a maybe for me to read!)

 

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury

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What it is about:

From the day they met, John and Elizabeth were destined to fall in love. Their whirlwind romance started when they were young college students and lasted nearly thirty years—until Elizabeth died of cancer.

So when John Baxter is asked to relive his long-ago love story with Elizabeth for his grandson Cole’s heritage project, he’s not sure he can do it. The sadness might simply be too great. But he agrees and allows his heart and soul to go places they haven’t gone in decades. Back to the breathless first moments, but also to the secret heartbreak that brought John and Elizabeth together.

At the same time, Baxter family friend Cody Coleman is working through the breakup of his complicated relationship with Andi Ellison. He is determined to move on when a chance sighting changes his plans—and heart. Can Cody convince Andi to give their love another try, or is it time for them to say goodbye for good?

As school comes to an end, Cole presents his report on the love story between his grandparents John and Elizabeth Baxter. It is a tale that touches the hearts of the entire family, and one that causes Cole to better understand his own beginning.

Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time or finding them all over again, Love Story will stir your heart and remind you of the generational impact of love and the eternal bond of family.

(Yup!! I need to read this!!)

 

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor

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What it is about:

Austria, 1938. Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher’s fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself.

Los Angeles, 1989. Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad’s collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.

A romantic, poignant and addictive novel, The Lost Letter shows the lasting power of love.

(Yessssss need to read!!)

 

Hope you check these out.  I know I will…even though my to read pile keeps growing and growing!  Will I ever get through them all?

 

Three Movie Reviews

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Effie Gray

A look at the scandalous love triangle between Victorian art critic John Ruskin, his teenage bride Effie Gray, and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais.

My Take:   This was a long movie but interesting.  It takes place back in time as Effie marries John as the marriage is not the best.   It was a little slow but interesting to see how the times were set up.  I felt bad for Effie of what she was going through.  You could see how women could have been treated back then and fall into depression or worse.   I must say that  the ending was kick ass.  I loved how Effie took charge at the end.

 

EDUCATION

An Education

A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.

My Take :  Well the cover of the movie caught me and the story.  I thought this would be a cute love story.  Boy I was wrong.  It was geared more towards of a girl teenager and her choices in life during the 1960s.   The costumes were great and the storyline was interesting.   It was a little long in some parts but overall good.

 

EASY

Easy Virtue

A young Englishman marries a glamorous American. When he brings her home to meet the parents, she arrives like a blast from the future – blowing their entrenched British stuffiness out the window.

My Take:   Stunning cover and fun story!  Love the era.  Anyways the story was really good. Jessica Biel plays the American who heads home with her new Englishman husband as the family is in shock.   It’s a warm and cold relationship with the family.  There were some funny parts and the dresses! I love love love the dresses.  I wanted all of Jessica Biel’s outfits in this film.  Even the car and motorcycle was awesome.   Colin Firth is also in this film which I adore.  The man is cool as a cucumber.  There is something about how he plays his character in this film really well.   You’ll like it.   There was one scene where Colin actually dances and I loved it.   Yes I know..I have a thing for dancing.  

If I could rank all these movies…

#1 favorite:  Easy Virtue

#2 favorite:  So Education

#3 favorite:  Effie Gray

So go check  these historical movies out today and tell me what you think of them and see if my favorites match up yours!