#StayPeculiar

I confess that I am rather late to the wonder that is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar tumblr_oe9z2c850j1vbhfv5o3_400Children, which is something Miss Peregrine herself would likely not appreciate given her talent as an Ymbryne. I owe my curiosity about the series to Tim Burton as I saw the previews for the movie version and thought, “Well, that looks fascinating!” It so happened that on my birthday trip to Books-A-Million I saw the series as a boxed set. I was unable to resist and so, I bought it along with the book, ‘Tales of The Peculiar’, which was signed by the author, Ransom Riggs! (Pretty awesome, methinks!) I’m really looking forward to his next novels, whatever they may be. He has a distinctive style and it really kept me intrigued and wanting more. I’ve also discovered that he’s married to Tahereh Mafi, whom I have heard a lot of good things about too! (Is it too much to hope that they write a book  together? Omg, that would be amazing! Also…their wedding is basically all I could ever want. I saw pictures on Tumblr and I’m terribly jealous. Bookshoppe wedding, bouquet made of book pages…you get it. #EnviousAsHell) I’ve posted two pictures here just so you can see. These two are bookworm goals. ❤

 

Okay, enough about my wedding envy. (I don’t even have a boyfriend, so there is that, lol.) Have you guys read this series of interesting books? I found the premise of living in a  ‘loop’ fascinating and depressing all at once, seeing as they already knew

what would happen every single day. Of course, it was better than the alternative of the house being bombed and everyone killed. It was during the Second World War, that they were in the loop. Jacob is a young man from our day and age who whilst on a journey to learn about his grandfather, who died in a strange way. I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t read them, but I promise you that if you like history and fantasy, you’ll very much enjoy this series. It’s opened me up to the YA genre of books, a verse that I was trying to keep away from simply because I was worried they’d be poorly written or would deal with issues that I am too old to really be able to relate to. I absolutely loved the 10613999_10204663854820156_1393610062_nold ‘peculiar’ photos that were in the books too. It certainly gave a face to the vast array of characters. It’s an original way to give visual to characters. I very much enjoyed the different take. In the boxed set, it comes with 12 little pictures in an envelope that show
some of the people you’ll encounter in the books. This is one of the images included, this being Miss Peregrine. If you enjoy old photographs…you’ll enjoy these. if I remember correctly, Mr. Riggs found them in travels and wanted to publish a book just of these but instead used them in the Miss Peregrine series.

 

Eva Green as Miss Peregrine

While I loved the image of who Miss Peregrine is, I confess that Eva Green’s face is rather ingrained into my mind. Asa Butterfield is a perfect choice for Jacob. I am dying to see the film, though I’ve been told that it is drastically different from the books. I noticed that they switched Emma’s powers from fire to air for starters. They also made Bronwen into a small child of perhaps six years of age. (She was older in the books.) I can’t judge the film entirely as I’ve not seen it but I do wonder why the change. Hollywood is forever trying to make a movie better than a book, which is seldom (if ever!), achieved. I think the only films that were just as good as the book were the Harry Potter series, The Help and Gone With the Wind. Oh and the Wizard of Oz too! That was a good one as well. Hollywood ought to learn that sometimes changing what is already a good thing isn’t always wise. A prime example of that would be the Divergent series. What a fiasco. I do want to read the books; I read the first one and enjoyed it. However, I saw the second movie before I read the book and it turned me off, which was bloody stupid, don’t you think? Allowing a movie to sway me.

 

What are some book to movies that you’ve enjoyed? What are some that you guys have absolutely loathed? Sound off in comments below or e-mail me and I’ll post some responses in my next posting! ❤

If you go to see Miss Peregrine, do be sure to tell me how you’ve enjoyed it. I’m hoping to see it soon. I am also hoping to pick up the Miss Peregrine funko pop to set on my bookshelf. (I have too many of the blasted things but I just love them. Books and Funkos…I should have incorporated them into my blog somehow too. Ah well.)

I think I’ve rambled quite enough; I bet you’re rather tired of me. I think I’ll leave you with this gif. It’s really a rather perfect ending to this post, don’t you think? (Again, they are goals.)

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Zero Latte Friday: The Manner of Amy's Death.

Introducing Zero Latte Friday! I thought it would be fun to start a day where I post reviews for things I really straight out hated. Mean? Yes. Honest? Absolutely. There are books we all love and some we just hate, am I right? Well, I’m going to try and dedicate one day a week where I post just that. It’s nothing personal to the author. It’s just my opinion. Please feel free to message me and we can chat but don’t stalk/harass/kill me–i don’t want to be the subject of those Murder shows. Thanks! But seriously, haven’t you ever read a book–and you want to stop reading it–but you can’t pull away despite your misgivings? When you’re going….

Well, that, my friends, is what this day is about.

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Synopsis: In September 1560 the body of a young woman was found in a remote and virtually deserted manor house near Oxford. Who was she? And was her death murder, accident or suicide? The ensuing scandal shocked the Elizabethan court and the gossip reverberated around Europe. This novel sets the life of the enigmatic Amy Robsart, whose sensational death changed Queen Elizabeth I’s life irreversibly, in its historical context. Who was the woman who stood in the way of Elizabeth’s happiness with Robert Dudley, her favourite courtier? Come and meet Amy….

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I really wanted to enjoy this book. I went in optimistic but not even halfway through, I began to falter and I had to force myself to finish.

The writing to me was juvenile and lacked the finesse a Tudor/Elizabethan era novel should have. The characters were one dimensional and quite frankly, if the real Amy Dudley was as annoying as she is in the book, then I completely understand why Robert didn’t spend much time with her. She was given to tantrums and acting like a spoilt child rather than a wife of a courtier. She was spiteful and I spent most of the time wanting to slap her. I understand that she wanted more time with her husband, but that really wasn’t the way to accomplish that. The emphasis put on that it was a love match–Amy married rather high above her station–seemed ironic, since he couldn’t seem to tolerate being near her.

I confess, when reading she was dead, I breathed a sigh of relief. She was one of the most irritating characters I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading about. In other novels, she has been written in a more complimentary fashion and more true to the historical accounts of her. Why the author chose to turn her into such an intolerable git in this book, I’m still pondering. I would also like to know why the title of the book is “The Manner of Amy’s Death” when it focused mostly on her life and marriage. She fell (or was pushed) down a flight of stairs. There are many ways to make a story about Amy’s death.

This isn’t to say I’m Team Robert. I didn’t find his characteristics to be endearing either. The Tudor period of history is one of the most fascinating, I am really not sure how or why the author made it so blasé. It’s bad when I can say Edward and Bella Cullen have more dimension to them. By the end of this book, I felt like I did when I read “The Yellow Wallpaper”–I wondered why I wasted my time and like banging my head against the wall. Repeatedly.

I really wanted to enjoy this one as I said. Alas, I did not and I find it unlikely that I will ever find anything positive in it.

My rating: Zero Lattes.
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Liebster Award!

I have been nominated by: My Personal Thing and A Scholarly Skater. Thank you both so much for the nomination! ❤

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Here are the official rules for the Liebster Award nomination:

  • Each nominee must have under 200 followers
  • Thank and link to the nominating blog
  • Answer their 10 questions and propose 10 new ones for your nominees
  • Nominate 10 blogs and tell them that they’ve been nominated
  • Write a post containing the questions
  • Include these rules in the postth_SNOOPYreading_bookMy Questions for my nominees: 

    1. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose and why?
    2. If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would you choose? (You can pick more than one–have  a dinner party!)
    3. What’s your favorite color?
    4. Books or movies?
    5. If you could go on an adventure to anywhere, with anyone, what would you pick?
    6. Favorite tv show?
    7. What do you love about blogging?
    8. What do you hate about blogging?
    9.Where is your favorite place to be?
    10. Tell a random fact about yourself!

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    My nominees are:
    {I’m sorry there’s not 10!}
    https://moriahkaye.wordpress.com/
    https://missbookaholic.wordpress.com/
    https://rewapednekar.wordpress.com/
    https://reviewsofaselfproclaimedbibliophile.wordpress.com/
    https://whywelikereading.wordpress.com/

    swirl-divider-purple-smallI’ve answered both series of questions from those who nominated me:
    1. Favourite game?
    Well, if you mean like a board game, I’m going to go with Monopoly. I was terrible at it as a kid, but I’ve gotten better at it. Computer games, I’m going with the Assassin’s Creed series.

    2. Anything you would like to learn that you haven’t learned already?/
    I’d like to learn French and Spanish.

    3. What is your dream job?
    To work at Colonial Williamsburg.

    4. Films or books?
    I love both! Do I have to choose?

    5. Furthest place you have traveled to?
    Roatan, Honduras. I was on a cruise. We also stopped in Cozumel, Mexico, Belize and Grand Cayman Island.

    6. Favourite part about blogging?

    All the wonderful people I’ve met. :]

    7. Most memorable part about blogging?

    Getting to talk to authors I might not have ever gotten to meet and to talk about their work.

    8. Favourtie song?

    All time? Ugh, you’re killing me! Haha. “Let It Be” by the Beatles.

    9. Favourite musical artist/band?
    Artist: Right now, I’m really into Sam Smith.
    Band: Backstreet Boys. (LoL, I know.)

    10. Favourite artistic/creative artist?
    Vincent van Gogh and Frida Kahlo. I also like Renaissance art.

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Pick any work of art or artifact from any time or place to display in your home. Feel free to ignore all practical concerns when answering this question.

This is such an awesome question. I would take La Scapigliata by Leonardo da Vinci. I’d want to have a Da Vinci Code-esque adventure to get it first though, lol.

What was your major in college and why did you pick it?
I didn’t actually finish college, but I had hoped to major in history with a minor in British Literature. I love history and I really enjoy BritLit.

Imagine that you wake up one morning and have a rare day off, with no responsibilities whatsoever. How do you spend the day?
Sleeping, haha.

Describe your personal sense of style by referring to the characters or pop culture icons it most resembles.
<—Basically my style, lol.

Who is your role model and why?

I don’t think I really have one. I’m just kind of me and  I don’t want to look up to someone who will disappoint. But if I had to pick, perhaps I’d pick Alice Roosevelt, Theodore’s daughter. He once commented, “I can either run the country or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both.” So, that tells you something about her. 🙂

What is your favorite non-fiction book (because everyone always asks about fiction)?

Do you think a movie can ever be better than the book it’s based upon? (I know I’m being scandalous here!)
It can! Forrest Gump is a perfect example because Book!Forrest is actually a bit of an ass and he’s mean! Movie!Forrest is just perfect. He’s emotional in a way that I don’t think book version is. I just love the movie version so much more. (And Tom Hanks is just amazing to me.)

What is your dream job (real or invented)?
I answered this, but I’d really love to work at Colonial Williamsburg. 🙂 I just love it there.

What would the title of your memoir be?
“God bless you, blow your nose.’
I have terrible allergies and I’m always sneezing…so my mom always says that to me. I joked I’d name my memoirs said title.

Would you rather have an unlimited, forever-replenishing supply of good books, cute clothing, or yummy snacks?

I have so many books and snacks are easy to come by. But I’m a big girl, so cute clothing in my size would be fantastic!

Pick a foreign language that you want to learn.
Well, I said French and Spanish already, but I’d also like to learn how to speak Italian or Greek.

01_Mist of MidnightPublication Date: March 10, 2015

Howard Books

Formats: eBook, Paperback

Pages: 384

Series: Daughters of Hampshire

Genre: Historical/Christian/Romance

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In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her…and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca’s name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father’s investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

Praise for Mist of Midnight

“Intriguing secondary characters and lush scenery contribute to the often sinister, even creepy, moments readers will come to anticipate. Infusing her story with mystery, tension, and emotion, Byrd (To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn) strikes a fine balance between the darkness of a Gothic mystery and the sweetness of a captivating love story. Byrd—and Brontë—fans will enjoy this first of the new Daughters of Hampshire series.” – Publishers Weekly

“A marvelous mingling of mystery and deeply moving family and romantic love, Mist of Midnight kept me guessing until the very end. A house on a cliff, a Victorian-Gothic atmosphere, a cast of suspicious characters including a dark, brooding hero and a strong heroine: shades (or mists) of Jane Eyre and Rebecca! I look forward to the next novel in this compelling new series.” (Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of Mistress of Mourning)

“Mist of Midnight is wonderfully atmospheric, with all the right elements for a true Gothic novel, from sounds that go bump in the night to characters who are not at all what they seem. The spiritual underpinning is solid, comforting, even as we’re trapped in the author’s finely spun web of mystery, romance, and a sense of foreboding that doesn’t lift until the final page. Charlotte Brontë? Victoria Holt? Meet Sandra Byrd, the modern mistress of Gothic romance!” (Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author of Mine Is the Night)

“Among the many things I love about reading a Sandra Byrd novel is knowing that her words will transport me to another place and time, that she will win me over with intriguing and complex characters, and that I’ll savor every word. Mist of Midnight is no exception. I loved this book! Sandra Byrd could belong to the writing group of the Bronte sisters if they’d had one. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre along with crumbling mansions, mysterious distant cousins, and one woman’s journey to prove who she really is are just few layers that ripple through the mists. Bravo, Sandra! Another winner.” (Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of A Light in the Wilderness)

“Richly written and multi-layered, Mist of Midnight blends traditional England and exotic India in a historical feat worthy of Victoria Holt. Breathless danger, romance, and intrigue made this series opener by the ultra-talented Sandra Byrd a compelling must-read!” (Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning)

“Once again, Sandra Byrd delivers a richly layered story that will leave you eagerly awaiting the next book in this brand-new series. Mist of Midnight has it all: intriguing and memorable characters—including a central female protagonist who is both complex and inspiring—a plot chock-full of mystery and suspense, and a Victorian gothic setting, impeccably researched and artfully and evocatively relayed. Prepare to be transported!” (Karen Halvorsen Schreck, author of Sing For Me)

“Mist of Midnight is a beautiful, haunting tale. Sandra Byrd masterfully weaves together both romance and suspense among a cast of mysterious characters. I was immediately swept into the wonder of this story, and I loved unraveling all the secrets and discovering exactly what happened at the old Headbourne House.” (Melanie Dobson, author of Chateau of Secrets and The Courier of Caswell Hall)

“Sandra Byrd’s trademark attention to historical accuracy combines with an eerily building intrigue to envelope readers in a sense of dark foreboding that hinges precariously between hope and desperation. Mist of Midnight is a subtly haunting, beautifully atmospheric, and decadently romantic Victorian tale that will find a comfortable home among the best Gothic romances of days gone by.” (Serena Chase, author of The Ryn and contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog)

“Not since Jane Eyre have I read a Gothic romance that has captured my heart so completely. From the exotic India to an English estate shrouded in mystery, Byrd’s eye for detail shines through on every page. Romance lovers are sure to devour the tale of Rebecca Ravenshaw and her search for the truth behind the mysteries of Headbourne House and the handsome young captain who lives on the estate.” (Renee Chaw, reviewer at Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot)

“From the first word to the last, Mist of Midnight is a completely absorbing romantic, and mysterious, novel. Ms. Byrd’s writing is splendid, and her characters are so complex and endearing that they leap off the pages. I couldn’t put it down. An absolutely irresistible read!” (Anne Girard, author of Madame Picasso)

Pre-Order/Buy the Book

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

About the Author03_Sandra Byrd Author

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published in April, 2013.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens including the Secret Sisters Series, London Confidential Series and a devotional for tweens.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra has published many nonfiction articles and books. She is passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more, or to invite Sandra to your bookclub via Skype. You can also connect with Sandra on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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My Review:

Sandra Byrd’s books are always a wonderful indulgence for me. I first came upon her with her book, “To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn”. I was delighted to try a Gothic novel and while I’m glad I did, I’m not sure if I would again. The story itself was strong and despite her being a missionary’s daughter, it thankfully, was not too preachy. I was afraid it would be, but no.

Rebecca is a wonderful character, down to earth and likable. Considering her circumstances, her outlook is markedly more positive than mine would be; I would have a fit and expect someone else to do the hard sleuthing. Rebecca, however, she doesn’t do that. She takes on the beast of a mystery and traverses down the road of intrigue and mystery…and maybe even romance…to find out the truth and to reclaim her birthright.

It’s definitely a good read, it does have some flaws but it is a strong book. My biggest complaint would be that everything was tied up a little too neatly…if it’s supposed to be a series…I don’t like neat endings, haha.

 

3.5 out of 5!

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I, James [A Review]

I JamesTitle: I, James
Author: Mike Hartner
Publisher: Eternity4Popsicle Publishing
Pages: 293
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Synopsis: James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11.

Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land.

Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires?  

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Book Excerpt:

It required two days of marching to get to what I’d learned was a plantation, which was in the middle of nowhere.  When we finally arrived at our destination, I considered how memorable my last 16 months had been since I was removed from a prince’s life.  Yes, they were memorable.  And even though I had a pouch full of coin hidden inside my drawers, I was now a slave on a plantation in Africa.

tumblr_inline_my61lgaUiZ1rj4i42My Review:  I have to admit, I didn’t read the first book in this series, however, that didn’t seem to be too much of an issue. I read some reviews of ‘I, Walter’, and I would enjoy reading it, I’m pretty certain I will look for it. I enjoyed this book a lot! Whilst it did have some points where it went too fast or I found it a little unsteady. ‘I, James’ takes you on a grand adventure, it draws you in straight away and you can’t pull away.

I enjoyed that there was also a female narrative too, more than one narrative can sometimes feel overwhelming but the author did a good job with it and it was really good. However, I admit I would have liked a little more detail to things. It’s based in the 1600’s, so I would have enjoyed just a touch more in the detail department. I loved learning about currency into an economy based on coinage! That was brilliant and I really liked learning how that worked. So to Mr. Hartner, I give a solid three and a half stars. 🙂

My Rating= 3 1/2 out of 5!

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GIVEAWAY

Mike Hartner is giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.

This giveaway begins November 3 and ends January 30.

Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, February 2.

Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Blood Of The Fifth Knight: A Spotlight.

Powell_Knight_Cover_Template_UK.inddPublication Date: January 1, 2015
Thomas & Mercer
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 368p

Genre: Historical Thriller

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A triumphant sequel to Powell’s acclaimed historical thriller The Fifth Knight. A desperate king trusts a lone knight to unravel a web of murder.

England, 1176. King Henry II has imprisoned his rebellious Queen for her failed attempt to overthrow him. But with her conspirators still at large and a failed assassination attempt on his beautiful mistress, Rosamund Clifford, the King must take action to preserve his reign.

Desperate, Henry turns to the only man he trusts: a man whose skills have saved him once before. Sir Benedict Palmer answers the call, mistakenly believing that his family will remain safe while he attends to his King.

As Palmer races to secure his King’s throne, neither man senses the hand of a brilliant schemer, a mystery figure loyal to Henry’s traitorous Queen who will stop at nothing to see the King defeated.

The Blood of the Fifth Knight is an intricate medieval murder mystery and worthy sequel to E.M. Powell’s acclaimed historical thriller The Fifth Knight.

Review Praise for The Fifth Knight

“Powell does a masterful job. Highly recommended.” Historical Novels Review

About the Author

E.M. Powell is the author of medieval thriller THE FIFTH KNIGHT which was a #1 Amazon Bestseller. Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State) she now lives in the north west of England with her husband and daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. She is a reviewer of fiction and non-fiction for the HNS. Find out more by visiting www.empowell.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Blood of the Fifth Knight Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, January 1
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, January 2
Spotlight at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, January 5
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Thursday, January 8
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Monday, January 12
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, January 13
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, January 14
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, January 16
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Saturday, January 17
Interview at Dianne Ascroft
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Monday, January 19
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Tuesday, January 20
Review at Books and Benches
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Wednesday, January 21
Review at Just One More Chapter

Monday, January 26
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, January 28
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Friday, January 30
Review at Bookramblings

Saturday, January 31
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes

Sunday, February 1
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, February 2
Guest Post at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, February 3
Review at Layered Pages
Spotlight at Let them Read Books

Wednesday, February 4
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, February 6
Review at The Never-Ending Book

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