Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Countess Captive and Giveaway

Publication Date: February 14, 2015
Scarlet Primrose Press
Formats: eBook; Paperback
Pages: 232
Series: Book Two, Fairytale Keeper Series
Genre: Young Adult/Historical/Fairytale Retelling
Add to GR Button

During March of 1248, Adelaide Schumacher-affectionately called Snow White-has lost so much: her mother, her possessions, and now her home.

Adelaide hates abandoning her home city, her family’s legacy, and her first love‒Ivo. More than anything, she hates her father growing closer to her mother’s cousin‒Galadriel. Adelaide plots to end their tryst before her fate is sealed, and she never sets foot in Cologne again.

But good and pious can only get Galadriel so far. Never again will she be destitute. Never again will she be known by the cruel moniker‒Cinderella. Never again will someone take what is rightfully hers. No matter what it takes.

The Countess’ Captive is the much anticipated follow-up to The Fairytale Keeper and is book two in The Fairytale Keeper series. The novel combines Grimm’s fairytale characters with real historical settings and events to create a tale that leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins.

My Review

I thought this was a nice follow up book from the first, The Fairytale Keeper. I like this series. The way the author has approached this series is creative. In this book, Adelaide has really grown up and matured. She is a strong woman. I thought the way she handled Galadriel was great. I myself was not that fond of Galadriel. Although she was also another strong, intelligent woman. Galadriel and Adelaide were eventually matched in wits. Which they were the only ones that I found held the story together. This time Adelaide's father turned me off with his attitude. For me this time, I read the book and liked it but I was not in love with it like I was the first one. Yet, as I said before this series is different and I do want to read the next book.


Galadriel invites Adelaide to go visit the market in Oppenheim with her and Addie’s father, Ansel. It’s clear by Galadriel’s attire that she intends to play the role of Ansel’s wife. Addie sees this as yet another way Galadriel is trying to usurp her mother’s place.

"Adelaide…" Galadriel calls. I rise and throw open the door. "Oh, there you are."

"Where else would I be?" The dig in my question fades as I look her up and down. She’s traded her velvet for home–spun cloth, her golden hair for an opaque shroud. "Why are you dressed like a peasant’s widow?"

The welcoming warmth on her face quickly cools. "I was wondering if you’d like to see Oppenheim with us."

Us. Now they are an us? My flickering annoyance ignites, kindling rage. No, I should like to shout. No, I don’t care to see Oppenheim with you, you usurping traitor. I’ll never play daughter to you.

She knows this. She knows I haven’t the patience to bite my tongue. Surely she’d quite like me to go along with them and say something unpleasant, to put myself one step closer to a convent.

If only I could bite my tongue. I swallow hard.

Truly, I should go. Who else shall keep them from enjoying the day too much, from forming warm, bonding memories? Only I can do this, even in silence. I serve as a reminder of the life Father thinks he’s lost, though it isn’t utterly lost. He has abandoned it.

I resign with a sigh. I haven’t the will to stay silent.

Excerpt 8

Intro: Galadriel gives Adelaide advice so she can return to her father’s good graces, but Addie questions Galadriel’s motives. The two argue and Galadriel, realizing that Addie will never waver, threatens her.

"Tonight you shall join us for supper and be a cheerful, obedient daughter," Galadriel says. "Do that, and perhaps he’ll forget about the convent."

Her advice takes me aback. "Why are you helping me?"

She laughs. "It’s not out of any fondness for you." Her face saddens for a moment but quickly hardens. "I know you hate me…"

"You bedded my father a week after my mother’s death. You were her cousin!"

"It was not planned, you know." She looks away. "We had so much drink. I doubt we even knew…"

"Doubt you even knew what? What you were doing, or who you were with?" I give a short, wry laugh. "Well, I do not doubt that he hadn’t any idea of that either."

Her slap falls hard on my cheek. She draws back, and for a heartbeat, she eyes the hand that slapped me with shock. One of my hands darts to my smarted cheek, the other curls into a fist as we stand in heated silence. Her countess mask returns as quickly as it had faltered.

"What’s done is done, Adelaide, and I cannot undo it." Her voice is distant, almost sad. "I have tried to be kind to you. I came all the way back to Cologne to save you. I saved Gregor from you. I gave you a home when you had none, and I give you one still." A shadow darkens her fair face. "But if you want me to be a villain like the ones from your Mama’s tales, I will gladly rise to your expectations."

She comes close. Her voice lowers to a whisper. "You think me a fool, but you have no idea what you are up against with me. I know why you ran from the carriage. You had to warn your little peasant boy. Is there someone else besides us who knows he burned Cologne’s cathedral to the ground?"

Her words knock the air from my chest. "Ivo would never do such a thing," I lie.

She laughs. "Oh, if Konrad ever got his hands on you again! Your face paints quite the picture, you know. Are you always so easily read or only when it has to do with the peasant boy?"

"You don’t know what you’re talking about."

"Oh, but I do." Her voice is ice. "That night, I sat staring out the window as your Father slept off his drunken stupor. I had nothing else to do. And then I saw him. Your Ivo, he ran right below my window, panicked and covered in soot.

"So back to why I am helping you. I love your father, and he loves you. I know the pain of losing a child, and I wish to keep him from that. If you summon him this morning, it shall upset him. Seeing the welt on your head shall remind him of yesterday. Besides that, it is obvious you are well enough to join us. He will suspect you’re causing trouble again, and that may seal his decision to send you away. It would break his heart to do that, and his heart hasn’t yet mended from its last wound.

"I have offered you kindness, and you won’t take it." The soft, feminine angles of her features sharpen. "Now I offer you a warning. Keep up with your defiance against your father, and he will send you away, but if you defy me in the walls of my home, I swear I will write a letter to Konrad, telling him you confessed to me a horrific secret about how your Ivo burned the great cathedral of Cologne."

"You’re wrong," I say, withholding welling tears.

"And so what if I am? I am a countess, and he is a nobody. Who would Konrad believe?" She whirls around, heading down the hall, and adds without turning: "I think I shall have the letter written and kept in a safe place with a trusted person, just in case anything should happen to me."

About the Author

Andrea Cefalo is an award-winning author and blogger on Medieval Europe. The next three novels in The Fairytale Keeper series will debut in 2015 and 2016. She resides in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and their two border collies. For more information please visit Andrea Cefalo’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Countess’ Captive Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 23
Review at Library Educated
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, March 24
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Wednesday, March 25
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, March 26
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Friday, March 27
Review at Bibliotica
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Saturday, March 28
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers
Tuesday, March 31
Review at Bookish
Wednesday, April 1
Review at Shelf Full of Books
Thursday, April 2
Guest Post at The Lit Bitch
Friday, April 3
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes
Monday, April 6
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Tuesday, April 7
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Friday, April 10
Review at Boom Baby Reviews
Monday, April 13
Review at Brooke Blogs
Tuesday, April 14
Review at A Leisure Moment
Wednesday, April 15
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Thursday, April 16
Spotlight at Books and Benches
Friday, April 17
Review at A Book Drunkard

The Countess' Captive

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Silence is bone-chilling creepy and scary!

A terror-filled story of one family and their friends, as they struggle to survive in a world overrun by ravenous creatures that hunt purely by sound...

My Review

Ok, so if you are a fan of horror books then you have to check this book out. The Silence is bone-chilling creepy and scary! In a great way. Right from the moment I opened this book I was glued to it. At first I thought this book was going to have the feel of The Descent. The movie about six female friends who go caving and encounter evil creatures. Which this book did have a little bit of this aspect with the creatures but I also pictured this book as being a silent movie. What with Ally being deaf. This twist with making Ally deaf fit in with the story nicely. Actually the idea of taking this book and turning it into a silent movie on the big screen would be cool. This book also had elements of Resident Evil. So if these references don't get you hyped to read this book than I don't know what would, except maybe for the fact that if you can't handle gore then you may not want to read this book. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Worthy Brown's Daughter. Instantly, I was spellbound by this book

Known for his critically acclaimed contemporary thrillers, New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin explores intriguing new territory in Worthy Brown's Daughter, a compelling historical drama, set in nineteenth-century Oregon, that combines a heartbreaking story of slavery and murder with classic Margolin plot twists.

One of a handful of lawyers in the new state of Oregon, recently widowed Matthew Penny agrees to help Worthy Brown, a newly freed slave, rescue his fifteen year old daughter, Roxanne, from their former master, a powerful Portland lawyer. Worthy's lawsuit sets in motion events that lead to Worthy's arrest for murder and create an agonizing moral dilemma that could send either Worthy or Matthew to the hangman.

At the same time, hanging judge Jed Tyler, a powerful politician with a barren personal life, becomes infatuated with a beautiful gold-digger who is scheming to murder Benjamin Gillette, Oregon's wealthiest businessman. When Gillette appears to die from natural causes, Sharon Hill produces a forged contract of marriage and Tyler must decide if he will sacrifice his reputation to defend that of the woman who inspired his irrational obsession.

At Worthy's trial, Matthew saves Worthy by producing a stunning courtroom surprise and his attempt to stop the deadly fortune hunter ends in a violent climax.

Read my review here

The Stranger is a must, sit on the edge of your seat read!

The #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense delivers a shocking thriller that proves that a well-placed lie can help build a comfortable life—and a secret has the same explosive power to destroy it.

Harlan Coben’s seven consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers feature unrivaled depths of emotion combined with cutting-edge suspense plots that keep millions of readers turning pages deep into the night. In The Stranger, married parents Adam and Hannah confront the shocking secret on which their marriage is built—leaving Adam wondering whether he ever truly knew Hannah at all.

My Review

It has been a long time since I have read a book by this author. For the most part I enjoyed all of the books that I have read by this author. So when I saw Mr. Coben's latest book, I thought now is a good time to revisit this author and his work. OMG. I read this book in a few short hours.

The idea of a stranger coming into someone's life and telling them something about their significant other's dark secret. That is scary. I felt for Adam and what he went through when he learned his wife's secret. This is why I was invested in the story. The whole time I kept read this book I was trying to piece it together. To figure out what the stranger's motives were. I could not solve it until the reveal. Which by the way the ending was a high note. I can not wait to read the next book. The Stranger is a must, sit on the edge of your seat read!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dawn of Destiny Blog Tour + Giveaway

Book Description:Some men go to war for the glory. Some men go to war to escape. For Scott Remington, war is entirely different. It is a belief. It is a calling. It is a destiny. Leaving everything behind—his fiancée, his future, his life—he embarks on a mission of faith into a battle he can barely understand. This is his story. This is his war. This is only the beginning.

Audiobook Description:

The Dawn of Destiny audiobook project is a full adaptation of the first book in the Epic series. It's not your typical “audiobook,” even though technically that's what it is. When people hear “audiobook,” there’s a certain type of thing that usually comes to mind. Most likely it’s the thought of someone reading a book to them, occasionally with music playing in the background. This isn't that.

What you’re going to hear in this project, is more of an audio “experience,” the audio equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie. Over thirty voice actors played a role in this. This is ear-splitting sound effects, bombastic music, and characters shouting back and forth in the middle of a war zone. This is unlike anything you've ever heard.

Where to buy the book:

My Review

Scott Remington aka Remy left school to enroll to Eden in the military. AS Scott felt a calling to go to Eden. Scott leaves everything including the love of his life, Nicole. Remy and the rest of his platoon will try their hardest to fight and protect Earth.


I opted for the audio version of this book. So glad I did as listening to this book is like being in a theater. It is very theatric with the music, action, and great sound effects. It was like I was transported into either a Broadway show or movie theater. I know it might sound odd to say Broadway but it was the music and sound effects. I could picture a chorus of musicians playing instruments specifically for this book. At times I would find myself closing my eyes to just listen to this book. This way I could just enjoy the audio version more and see this book playing out in my head.


Per Mr. Stephen's website it explained this book as follows:


"audio "experience," is the audio equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie. Over thirty voice actors played a role in this. This is ear-splitting sound effects, bombastic music, and characters shouting back and forth in the middle of a war zone. This is unlike anything you’ve ever heard."

Well Mr. Stephen is right. This was not just an "audiobook" but an experience. I have not enjoyed such an experience listening to an audiobook in a long time. I would love to see this book on the big screen in the movie theater but I also am fearfull that if this book was made into a movie it would not do it justice. I really hope that the next book can be produced in such the same way as this book. A not to be missed experience!

Author's Bio:

Born and raised in Cajun country, Lee Stephen spent his childhood paddling pirogues through the marshes of South Louisiana. When he wasn't catching bullfrogs or playing with alligators in the bathtub (both true), he was escaping to the world of the imagination, creating worlds in his mind filled with strange creatures and epic journeys. This hasn't stopped.

Now a resident of Luling, Louisiana, Lee spends time every day delving into the world of Epic, the science-fiction series that has come to define him as a writer and producer. Alongside his wife, Lindsey, their son, Levi, and their dog, Jake, Lee has made it a mission to create a series that is unique in its genre—one unafraid to address the human condition while staying grounded in elements of faith.

In addition to writing, Lee works full-time for the Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness. He has also spent time as a church deacon, guitar hobbyist, and New Orleans Saints season ticket holder. He is a graduate of Louisiana College in Pineville.
Connect with Lee:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

  1. Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
I grew up on science-fiction; my dad made sure I was well-versed in Star Trek while I was a kid. As far as the military aspect of things, I would attribute a lot of that to X-Com, a video game classic that came out in the mid-90s. Then there were other huge influences, such as the original Alien and Black Hawk Down.
  1. Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?
This might sound like an odd answer, but none of the characters were particularly challenging to write. With enough empathy, every character becomes real, and real is easy to capture because it’s what flows naturally. From a technical standpoint, characters with unique dialects require the most thought, such as Becan McCrae (Ireland) and Nathan Clarke (Britain). But I wouldn’t call them hard to write conceptually.
  1. What's your favorite channel on television?
I'm going to have to be honest and say the Food Network! My wife and I love shows like Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped. We live in Louisiana, so food is a big part of life!

What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
God, so many funny things have happened to me! I once met Scott Fujita, a former New Orleans Saints linebacker, at the Saints facility in Metairie. Being adopted by Japanese parents, I assumed he could speak Japanese, so I rattled off a sentence to him. He actually stopped in his tracks and gave me the blankest, most confused stare I've ever seen. He said, What?” I said it again, exceedingly timidly, only to have to tell him afterward that it was Japanese. Come to find out…yeah…he didn’t speak Japanese. AWKWARD.

  1. If there is one thing you want readers to remember about you, what would it be?
That what you see is what you get. People wear so many masks today. Just be you, and be kind. I’m walking proof that those two things alone can take you far.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Harvest Man will either keep you up with lack of sleep or give you nightmares!

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—and Jack the Ripper—return, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestseller The Yard.

In The Devil’s Workshop, London discovered that Jack the Ripper was back, sending the city—and Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad—into chaos. But now it is even worse. Not only is the Ripper still at large, but so is another killer just as bad.

For Inspector Walter Day, it has been a difficult time. His wife has given birth to twins, his hostile in-laws have come to stay, and a leg injury has kept him at his desk. But when the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, the Yard knows they need Day in the field.

Not so Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith. Rash actions have cost him his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard, so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back.

Of course, the Ripper’s been playing a game with him—with Walter Day, as well. He is pushing both of them to their limits, and what happens when they get there . . . no one can say.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: May 19th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

My Review
I have not read anything by this author. Now that I have read this book I will be adding this author to my list of authors to watch. Everything was right about this book... from the storyline, to the characters, tone of the story, and the beginning and ending of the book.

The Harvest Man is one creepy, sinister man. I would never want to meet him as his victims do not fare well. They end up with new facial makeovers. Inspector Day is a complex character. I like this about him. He was human and not perfect yet he is committed to his job and does a really good job of figuring out all of the pieces of the puzzle to get the whole picture. The Harvest Man will either keep you up with lack of sleep or give you nightmares!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Ghosts of Petroglyph Canyon

School is out for the summer and Pablo Perez, his sister, Pia, and their cousin, Kiki Flores, visit the Bar-7 ranch in New Mexico. The young Missourians have come to help their Uncle Antonio with the annual cattle roundup. 

 Uncle Antonio introduces his nephew and nieces to hundreds of primitive petroglyphs that have been chiseled into the walls of a nearby canyon—Petroglyph Canyon. The primitive rock drawings are part of Uncle Antonio’s sprawling cattle ranch. Sadly, looters are routinely excavating the ancient drawings with high-tech rock saws. Uncle Antonio believes the looters are selling the glyphs.
Pablo, Pia, and Kiki are determined to put a stop to the looting, and that’s when the adventure begins.

My Review

This is the second younger reader book from Mr. Cloud. His first book was The Boy Called Duct Tape. That is when I first got to know Pablo, Pia, and Kiki. Since then I wanted to read the next book from this author. Mr. Cloud is not a one trick pony. Pablo, Pia and Kiki make a great team. They have each others backs and are pretty tough for youngsters. 

For example when faced with some tough guys, these three stood their ground and even tried to stop them before the authorities did. What I also liked about this book is the petroglyphs and the landscape of New Mexico. It was like I was there and could feel the heat from the desert and see the petroglyphs. Young readers will be interested in the petroglyphs. This is good as they are an important part of history. I can not wait to read the next book from Mr. Cloud.