Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Nov.26to28

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question comes from Sarah who blogs at Writer, Reader, Dreamer:

"What is your favorite book cover?"

Well, I must admit that the covers with hot men on the front usually catch my eye. What can I say, I am a hot-blooded Canadian girl who truly admires the male form! Having said that, it doesn't mean that I will actually read the book. I will pick it up and read the synopsis, which, I know, is exactly what the publisher wants me to do. If you scroll down, you will see that on the right panel of my blog, I even have some pictures flashing of some very hot covers. Enjoy!

By the way, I have a giveaway running for a historical romance called THE PORTRAIT. Click here to read my review and enter the giveaway.

Also, give me some feedback on my writing. Click here to tell me what you think of something I wrote all by myself!

Review & Giveaway for "The Portrait" by Hazel Statham

Two people, undeniably in love, yet denying their feelings. A good, solid man, the ravages of war wreaking havoc on his body. A young woman, betrothed, looking to familiarize herself with her soon to be husband. Thus begins a sweet historical romance by Hazel Statham.

Edward Sinclair has returned from battle, but not as the man he once was. Night terrors invade his slumber and the war has taken his arm. He has to adjust to his new title as Earl and to his new image of himself. He decides that he will free Lady Jennifer Lynton of their engagement, for the last thing he wants is a woman looking at him with pity in her eyes. Little does Edward know that Jennifer has come to the same decision, yet for entirely different reasons. The two agree to be friends, yet deep in their hearts, there is more than just friendship....if they would only admit to their feelings.

I found myself cheering for this couple, wanting them to see how well they suited each other. I wanted Jenny to see how much Edward adored her, how much he longed to wrap her in his embrace, how much he wanted her to be his. I wanted Edward to see how Jenny loved his smile, the twinkle in his eye and the good, strong man that he is, was and always will be.

Hazel Statham has created an endearing tale where the reader is drawn into the plot with memorable characters and dialogue that is true to the times. Although there is definite sexual tension between Edward and Jenny, theirs is a romance that blossoms as they come to know each other. I enjoyed this sweet story. It is a quick read that I'm sure will delight every fan of regency romance.
About the author:


Hazel Statham lives in England and has been writing on and off since she was fifteen. Initially she was influenced by Austen, the Brontës, and Sabatini but when she turned seventeen, Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She immediately knew she had found her eras and wanted nothing more than to re-create them in her work. Her latest book is the Regency romance novel, The Portrait, released by Avalon Books in August 2010. Hazel lives with her husband, Terry, and a beautiful Labrador named Mollie. Apart from writing, her other ruling passion is animals, and until recently she acted as treasurer for an organization that raised money for animal charities. You can visit her online at and her blog at

My thanks to Cheryl Malandrinos at Pump Up Your Book Promotions for inviting me to participate in this tour, and to Hazel Statham for the review copy. I was not compensated for my opinions.

Thanks to the author, Hazel Statham, I have a copy of The Portrait to give away! This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S. and the only requirement is that you are a follower of this blog. Please leave a comment at the end of this post, including your name and email address so that I can contact the winner as soon as possible. The winner will be randomly chosen. This giveaway is open until Friday, December 3rd. Good Luck!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Would You Read This Book?

Like many other book bloggers, I have a dream of one day writing my own book. Yes, it is a dream, a dream that may take many years to become fulfilled. But at present, I try to write whenever I get a chance. I have many pieces of paper everywhere, with many starts and not too many finishes. I thought I would get some feedback from the very people who do all of the reading and reviewing....all of you! Take a read and let me know what you think. Would this be something that would peak your interest? Would you want to read more? Leave a quick comment with your thoughts and opinions. Thanks!

She was running late as usual. In fourty-five minutes she had managed to take a shower, slap on some makeup, make four lunches and feed three groggy kids a semblance of something called breakfast. As she walked by the closed door she flung it open and cried “It’s eight o’çlock, would you get dressed! Wash your face! You’re fourteen, why do I have to do this every morning?”
Why did she have to do this every morning? Where the hell was he? Where else? Still in the shower. Same routine every day. Did she actually believe it would ever change? Every morning he spent half an hour in their ensuite bathroom, languishing in the steam while she managed to pull everyone and everything into some sense of order and routine.

She could still hear the sound of the water as she entered with the sole purpose of giving him a piece of her mind. As she strode in she took a quick glimpse at the mirror to ensure she looked presentable for another day at work. She gave a short sigh as she tried to flatten some of those unruly dark curls. No use. It would only get worse as the day wore on and the humidity increased.

She turned and opened the shower stall, fully prepared to launch into him about needing some help in the mornings. “You’ve been in here for half an hour, do you think you have any skin left?” He opened his eyes and replied, “I’m done. I’m coming out.” Her eyes caught the sinew of his broad shoulders as the water cascaded over him. His muscular arms bulged at the biceps, naturally exuding a brawny strength that enraptured her. She could see the definite lines of his pecs as they flexed with his every movement. She loved this part of his body. She instinctively wanted to reach out and flick the nipples that had puckered in the shower. Her mind instantly jumped to the night before when he had held her so tight against that very same chest, nuzzling her neck with his lips. She started to feel that familiar ache within her. As she raised her eyes to his again, he tilted his head in an open invitation, a playful grin on his face. She quickly stammered “I have to get to work. Remember the kids have soccer tonight!” As she rushed out of the bathroom, she noted the flush to her cheeks in her reflection in the mirror. How did he do that? He managed to elude her lecture once again. Damn that man!

This piece of writing is the work of Mandy and in no way is to be duplicated without permission.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Blogger Hop for Nov.12 to 15

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question comes from Christina who blogs at The Paperback Princesses:

"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?"

I always have to start with the first title. If a book is recommended to me and it is number 2 or 3 in a series, I will not read it until I have read the previous books. I feel that the first book really sets the tone for the series and gives the reader a lot of background information that will shed more light upon the characters. Even if reviews say the book can stand alone, I still go out and find the series and read them in order. I know...pretty anal! That's me! How about you?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review for "The Duke And I" by Julia Quinn

Did you ever want to date your brother's best friend? Did he make you shiver with a look across the room.... or make you gasp for breath as he whispered a secret in your ear... or make you tingle all over as his fingers accidentally brushed your skin? If he is as hot and roguish as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, you definitely would want to make him yours!

Simon is a tortured hero, a man who overcame a great obstacle at a very early age. But not without its costs. Although he lives a carefree life as a Duke, his life is really just an empty shell filled with hate. Simon doesn't even realize how much the hatred inside of him is eating away at his soul, his future, his happiness. That is, until he meets Daphne Bridgerton, his best friend's sister.

Daphne is a member of the Bridgertons, a boisterous, funny, drama-filled family full of love for each other. Simon and Daphne devise a plan. They PRETEND to be courting. This will keep all of the ton's conniving mothers away from Simon and it will give Daphne many suitors just clamouring for the girl that the Duke supposedly wants to make his own. But in true romantic style, this friendship becomes more, for Daphne becomes the one woman who can save Simon from his bitter, angry existence and give him a life filled with laughter, family and love, three things he didn't feel he even wanted or deserved.

I truly enjoyed this book. The Bridgerton family is one you cannot help but enjoy, from Anthony, the over-protective older brother, to Colin, the fun-spirited, young rogue, to Violet, the matriarch of the family. There is great use of dialogue with descriptions of family interactions that were very amusing. The author has managed to reveal that true love can break down barriers, even walls of hatred around one's heart. Daphne was a ray of hope shining into Simon's dark-filled soul, revealing the truth....for all Simon truly wanted was to be loved for who he was. Isn't this what we all want?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review for "The Sixth Surrender" by Hana Samek Norton

Lady Juliana is forced to choose between marriage or life in the cloister, thus becoming the prefect pawn of the always scheming Eleanor of Aquitaine. She becomes betrothed to Guerin de Lasalle, a bad boy, a man with no soul, a very unlikeable man by modern standards. What ensues is a tale filled with intrigue, romance, mystery, political drama and scheming royals.

Hana Norton has certainly done her homework. A great deal of research and historical detail add to the richness of the story, with some wonderful descriptions of life in medieval England and France. However, there were so many plot threads and so many characters, some with several different names, that the reader becomes quite lost at times. Those of you who love the 13th century and all of the political intrigue that goes with it, The Sixth Surrender is the book for you.
About the Author:


Hana’s passion for the Middle Ages dates to a childhood exploring the ruins of castles and cloisters in the (now) Czech Republic. She also developed that “lurid taste in fiction,” by reading dog-eared novels full of the drama and melodrama of history. She graduated with an MA from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, and a Ph. D. (both in history, of course), from the University of New Mexico where she currently resides. She is married to an Englishman, teaches part-time, and works as a historical consultant. Her latest book is The Sixth Surrender. You can visit her website at

My thanks to Dorothy Thompson at Pump Up Your Book Promotions for inviting me to participate in this tour. I was not compensated for my opinions.

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