31 January, 2014

Review: The Bedeviled Heart (The Highland Heather and Hearts Scottish Romance Series #2) by Carmen Caine

Goodreads.com summary: 

Scotland, 1479

Cameron Malcolm Stewart, Earl of Lennox, had made his peace with destiny. It was not his fate to love as other men.

Each of his politically arranged marriages had ended in disaster. And though he had never touched a one of his wives, he had come to believe that sharing his name would consign a woman to an early grave. 

So, on the sunny spring day Cameron encounters a delightfully devious, bright-eyed lass selling charmed stones in one of Stirling's alehouses, he tosses her a shilling, thinking only to steal a kiss. But it is a kiss that will change his life forever. 

To care for her ailing father, the precocious Kate Ferguson has resorted to swindling the drunkards of Stirling. But a chance meeting with a handsome and seductively mysterious outlaw named Cameron ends with a kiss that changes the course of her destiny. 

But as dark times descend upon Scotland, Kate is inadvertently caught in a deadly web of court intrigue spun by the royal favorite, Thomas Cochrane. And as King James III falls prey to his fear of the Black Arts, accusations of witchcraft and treachery abound. 

The fate of Scotland hangs in the balance, and while Cameron vows to defy destiny itself to hold Kate forever in his arms, he must unravel the plots of nobles and commoners alike to protect the country that he loves.


ISBN: 0983524068
Cost: $3.49 
Edition: Digital

30 January, 2014

Block # 2

I never anticipated death smelling like fast food.

It was almost funny, never once had that thought ever cross my mind, but here I was on the verge of an immediate demise and all I could smell was the cheap, greasy food of a fast food joint. Perhaps it had something to do with where we were, settled in a booth a local burger joint, hardly a proper setting for death, but death does seem to pick her own place to strike. 

The day had started much like others that week, wet and miserable in a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow that proved to make more than potent slush. A slush that threatened my already pathetic social life, the one outing that had even been considered an ill-agreed to lunch date that had quickly proven to be destined to deteriorate at an alarming rate. My acquaintance had proven unreliable in her timing for our rigidly agreed upon time had come and gone without a single sign of her presence, and it was nearly an hour later when she appeared with two males in tow. One, it was quickly made clear, was her boyfriend, a nice man though more than a bit vulgar and assertively loud with opinions that were hardly any more correct than an ill-proven assessment of the constitution.

The other was a friend of his, and it seemed as if their purpose for being there was to be a distraction for myself while my acquaintance proceeded to eat nothing but the interior of her presumable lover’s mouth. Conversations lulled as they sucked face in a booth next to ours, and it was by the time that I had eaten a third of the large order of fries this poor soul was trying to convince me that eating anymore would be largely unattractive. And so, it was that my immediate demise was quickly coming surrounded by the scent of sickening food as I squared my shoulders and told him exactly what I thought of his sentiments.
By the time I had finished speak, the entire restaurant had gone silent, even the sound of the cheaply imported patties failed to be heard on the griddle top in the back. My acquaintance had even seen fit to stop attempting to remove the soul of her significant other to stare at me in horrified silence as if I had committed a social slight by voicing my opinion. For all I knew, I had. 

Do you know what it feels like to reduce a grown man to tears? It is possibly one of the most glorifying feelings you will ever have that lasts approximately six seconds before horrendous guilt sets in. Even I, the self-proclaimed social outcast of my age group, understood that reducing a grown man to tears in a restaurant was a crossing of barriers that should have been left intact. It took all of twenty seconds after the guilt had set in, approximately half a minute after I’d finished speaking, for half a dozen others to make their opinions known.

The nail in the proverbial coffin however was my acquaintance, perhaps I should explain that we were only acquaintances from the distant brushing past each other in the development meetings of the commonly shared library where we worked and nothing more could be said about us in the ways of any relationship, standing up and screaming at me about how could I embarrass her anymore in front of her boyfriend. I suppose it didn’t help my situation to remain above the level of a social pariah when I responded to this by reminding her I had not invited the men along in the first place. As I left, my head held high as if I were taking a walk of shame through the remains of my social life, I could hear her comforting the man, trying to convince him that I only needed time to come around.

If only death could be bribed to strike down acquaintances that seemed determined to play matchmakers unbidden.

24 January, 2014

Friday Finds #1


FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).
So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

My Finds:



I subscribe to Bookpub, a daily e-mail that gives me a number of deals on e-books. I tend to only collect ones that come up free.

23 January, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday #14

Increase Blog Followers 

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Week's Question:

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

I made a recent post about this, but I am looking forward to reading (and finishing):

Personal Reading List: 4 New Books

If it's not clear, I dearly love books and have a reading list that is probably as long a list as the video games, movies, and music that I enjoy. That being said, here are four new books I've added to my personal collection over the past month but haven't quite gotten around to reading yet.

Title: A Hobbit Devotional: Bilbo Baggins and the Bible
Author: Ed Strauss
Summary: This cute little devotional parallels passages in the Bible with various passages in Tolkien's famous novel The Hobbit. Ed Strauss does a good job at using Bilbo as an example of relatable experiences that many of us have experienced in our day to day lives. 

I have managed to start reading this, though I've not gotten very far, I'm finding it very enjoyable.

Title: A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Fire and Ice #5)
Author: George R. R. Martin
Summary: A Dance with Dragons picks up where A Feast of Crows leaves us in the epic saga of Westeros and the struggle for the position of King on the Iron Throne. 

I received this book for Christmas, however since I'm still working my way through A Feast of Crows, I'm afraid this one will have to wait a while. Perhaps it's a good thing the sixth book in the series hasn't had a release date announced yet.

Credit via Goodreads

Title:  Souless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel (The Parasol Protectorate #1)
Author: Gale Carriger
Summary: Alexia Tarabotti is laborig under a great many social tribulations. First she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Macon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia is responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

I started this novel last fall, however life got hectic and I had to return it to the library. Now I've gotten my own copy, so we'll just start over again and see where Alexia's adventures lead her.

Title: The Sable Quean
Author: Brian Jacques
Summary: In which Buckler the hare, Blademaster of the Long Patrol, must save the youngsters of Redwall Abbey -- kidnapped by vile Vilaya the Sable Quean and her vermin Ravagers -- and stop the villains' conquest of Mossflower Woods...

I've love the Redwall series for a very long time, and have only a few more of the books to add to my collection. I haven't read this particular one yet and was thrilled to be able to add it to my collection.

14 January, 2014

Teaser Tuesday #7

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The gravity of her statement merely seemed to amuse him. 'My dear Mrs. Avery, if he'd ever once thought that you were actually a spy,then you'd never have been allowed into this building. At this moment you'd be languishing in His Majesty's Prison Holloway awaiting execution.'
                                                 -Dance Down the Moon, pg 87. by Robert Bartram

Movie Review: The Book Thief

Released: 27 November, 2013
Producer: Lionsgate
Run Time: 131 minutes


13 January, 2014

Television Review: Reign

Series Logo for Reign.jpg

Run Dates: October 2013 - Present
Producer: The CW
Run Time: 60 minute episodes
Number of Seasons: 1
Number of Episodes: 8

Summary: Set in 1557 France, the series follows the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots at French court while she awaits her marriage to Francis, France's future king, to whom she has been engaged since they were six. At court, Mary has to contend with the changing politics and power plays, as well as her burgeoning feelings for Francis and the romantic attentions from Francis' bastard half-brother, Bash. Francis' mother, Queen Catherine de' Medici, is secretly trying to prevent the marriage due to a prediction from seer Nostradamus, that the marriage will lead to Francis' death. The series also follows the affairs of Mary's Scottish handmaidens Kenna, Aylee, Lola and Greer, who are searching for husbands of their own at court. (borrowed from the Wikipedia article.)


06 January, 2014

An Apology

I would like to offer an apology to everyone who follows my blog. I know it has been silent for nearly a month now, and that is unprofessional. To say the least that life has been overwhelming and busy, with a close relative dying close to Thanksgiving and the stress of the holidays sinking into my routine and life. While I have several movie reviews to write and a large number of books to review, life comes first. 

I do hope that everyone had a good holiday season no matter if you celebrated Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or some other holiday and that everyone has a wonderful new year in 2014.


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