*UPDATE*

I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!


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Monday, November 30, 2009

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2010

I am going to dive right into this challenge with everything I have. Almost all of the books that I read are historical fiction, and I didn't start blogging until after the 2009 challenge ended, so I'm very excited about this one.

This challenge is hosted by the wonderful ladies at Royal Reviews. The challenge runs from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2010. I am going to choose the highest level - Obsessed, read 20 HF books.

Here are the rules:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are four levels:

-- Curious – Read 3 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Addicted – Read 12 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Obsessed – Read 20 Historical Fiction novels.

3. Any book format counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.

I will update my post below as I read!

1. The Queen's Dollmaker by Christine Trent
2. The Secret of the Glass by Donna Russo Morin
3. The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
4. The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick
5. Roeing Oaks by Kristina Emmons
6. Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell
7. Within the Hollow Crown by Margaret Campbell Barnes
8. Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner
9. Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
10. Royal Harlot by Susan Holloway Scott
11. The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
12. By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan
13. For The King by Catherine Delors
14. Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner
15. Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell
16. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
17. The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen
18. Industrial Pioneers by Patrick Brown
19. Heart of Lies by M. L. Malcolm
20. The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots by Carolly Erickson




Copyright © 2009-2011 by The Maiden’s Court

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review: 4th of July by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro


4th of July by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Book 4 in the Women's Murder Club Series
 
Unabridged, 8 hr.
Hachette Audio
Carolyn McCormick (Narrator)
February 5, 2005
★★★★☆
goodreads button
 
Genre: Mystery/Thriiller

Source: Borrowed from Library

"In a deadly late-night showdown, San Francisco police lieutenant Lindsay Boxer fires her weapon and sets off a dramatic chain of events that leaves a police force disgraced, a family destroyed, and Lindsay herself at the mercy of twelve jurors. During a break in the trial, she retreats to a picturesque town that is reeling from a string of grisly murders-crimes that bear a link to a haunting, unsolved case from her rookie years.Now, with her friends in the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay must battle for her life on two fronts: in a trial rushing to a climax, and against an unknown adversary willing to do anything to hide the truth about the homicides-including kill again?"

Detective Lindsay Boxer is in for the fight of her life. A seemingly routine police chase ends up with her and her partner shot and two kids critically injured. She now must face the trial and hope that her actions don’t come back to haunt her. While waiting for her trial, Lindsay goes to visit her sister and gets caught up in a local case that sounds very similar to one she had worked on in the past.

I quickly got sucked into the court trial, looking at how different aspects could be perceived for the benefit of both the prosecution and defense. While I was sure I knew what the outcome of the trial would be, there was such suspense that I wasn’t totally sure. I also NEVER saw the resolution of the local case that she worked while awaiting her trial.

One thing that bothered me was that these two stories seemed to run parallel to each other but not integrate together well. Only one story was focused on at a time and by the time we got back to the local case I had forgotten what had happened when it was last discussed. I enjoyed both of the stories, but I think they would have been better off on their own.

I also am not sure how I feel about the newest addition to the Women’s Murder Club. I guess I will have to see how well she is integrated in the next book.


★★★★★
 
The only comment that I am going to make on the audio - thank God for Carolyn McCormick. I did not enjoy the narration of the first two quite as much. So glad she is on this one.
 
Reviews of this book by other bloggers:
 
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia
 
Also by James Patterson:
James Patterson has penned many mystery/thriller novels, the other books in the Women's Murder Club series include:
 
1st to die
1st to Die
[My Review]
 
2nd chance
2nd Chance
[My Review]
 
3rd Degree
3rd Degree
[My Review]
 
5th horseman
5th Horseman
 
6th target
6th Target
 
7th heaven
7th Heaven
 
8th confession
8th Confession
 
9th judgment
9th Judgment
 
10th anniversary
10th Anniversary
 
11th hour
11th Hour
 
12th of never
12th of Never
 
unlucky 13
Unlucky 13
 
14th deadly sin
14th Deadly Sin
 
15th affair
15th Affair
(Releasing Feb 2016)
 
Find James Patterson: Website | Facebook |Twitter|Pinterest | Instagram
 
 



Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Read Your Own Books Challenge 2010

I'm back at this challenge again for 2010. This challenge is again hosted by MizB. I chose 10 books for 2009, which I thought was going to be a struggle because at that time I hadn't been reading a lot. I have done a lot more reading lately, but sadly I haven't read many of my own books. One of my resolutions is to read more of my own books, so this challenge is perfect. I think this year I will set my goal at 12.

Here are the rules:
•Pick a number of books you’d like to read in one year
•Choose those books from your OWN collection
•Read them between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010
•Re-Reads are NOT allowed (the challenge is to get more of your own books read that have been sitting there waiting!)
•Audiobooks & e-books ARE allowed
•You do NOT need a blog to participate — you can leave comments on their post with your progress

I will update this list as I read:

1. Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
2. The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
3. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
4. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
5. Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner
6. Gossip Girl: Nothing Can Keep Us Together by Cecily von Ziegesar
7. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
8. Suite Scarlet by Maureen Johnson
9. Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
10. Doomed Queens by Kris Waldherr
11.
12.




Copyright © 2009-2011 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

HerStoria Spotlight - Women Pirates

Thanks to Amy’s suggestion I picked up HerStoria Magazine. There are some amazing articles in these magazines. I have decided that every so often I will do a post based on something that intrigued me in these articles.

This session is about women pirates.

I have always been interested in pirates, as I think many people are. The thought of a woman pirate had never really crossed my mind. Apparently there are not too many recorded women pirates but there were a few that I was clued in to in the article.

Mary Read (English): Mary Read began dressing as a man after her husband died and became a sailor in Holland. After doing that for awhile, Mary joined the ranks of Calico Jack’s ship where Anne Bonny was already a pirate. Anne fell in love with Mary, who was still dressed as a man. It is believed that they became lovers. While attacking ships, Mary dressed as a man, but during the other times aboard ship, she dressed as a woman. Their ship was overrun by a pirate hunter in Jamaica and both Mary and Anne were imprisoned. Mary was not executed because she was pregnant (supposedly by an artist), but she died in prison from childbirth fever.

Anne Bonny (American): As a young teen, Anne Bonny ran off and married a low ranking pirate. While they were in the Bahamas she met the pirate Calico Jack and had an affair with him. Her husband was upset and had her tried for adultery – she eventually ran away with Jack and joined his crew. Anne was a successful pirate with Jack. As stated above she had a relationship with Mary Read. When their ship was captured she plead pregnancy as Mary had done (the child is believed to have been Jack’s). It is believed that her father was able to secure her release and brought her back to South Carolina where she lived to an old age.


Grace O’Malley (Irish): Grace’s father was involved in international shipping, so the ways of the sea were in her blood. Grace took the reins of her own ship and traveled around Ireland. One of the things that she was known for was stopping trade ships and exacting a tax in order for safe passage – refusal to pay could lead to dire consequences. Grace is most known for her famous meeting with Queen Elizabeth. She met with Elizabeth in order to have her sons and brother released from custody as well as another list of demands in exchange for ceasing her pirating activity. Some were met, some were not. Apparently the women hit it off. She later resumed her piracy.

For further reading try:
Wild Irish by Robin Maxwell (about Grace O’Malley and Elizabeth)
The Only Life the Mattered by Jack Rackam (about Mary Read, Anne Bonny, and Calico Jack)




Copyright © 2009-2011 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday #21

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marica at The Printed Page.

I got a few good things in my mailbox this week and each one was from a different type of source.

Arleigh let me borrow her copy of The Shadow of the Pomegranate by Jean Plaidy on audio book. Thanks Arleigh, I am just shy of 1/2 way through.

• I finally recieved one of the books I order through Amazon (from Marie's store) The Sister’s Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle. I'm very excited about this. Has anything shown up on your end yet Marie?

• After Amy told me about HerStoria Magazine, I went to their website and order the 3 back issues – Spring, Summer, Fall. I have read Spring so far, really a great magazine! Thanks Amy!

• From author Donna Russo Morin I received The Secret of the Glass for a future Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table Event.

• And what I think is the coolest thing I got this week was a book chapter of A Tale of Two Demon Slayers by Angie Fox. She was nice enough to sign it for me too. The book will be coming out this January, so it is cool to get to read the first chapter. Watch for a giveaway of the book on this blog sometime in January.

Anything awesome in your mailbox this week?




Copyright © 2009-2011 by The Maiden’s Court

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Guest Post - Nick, on George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones

First let me say what an honor it is to be able to post on my girlfriend's blog, and to be a part of something she loves so much! My name is Nick, and it's nice to meet you all. I've heard only good things! A few months ago, I began to read an epic novel called A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin. This tale, while often classified as "fantasy", seemed to be so much more about the lives and times of the characters in their fictional world, and less about magic and over-the-top plots. This led me to make the following offer to Heather:

"Let me read the story to you." After all, she had nothing to lose, and the book always seemed to be more of a historical fiction than a fantasy (historical fantasy?) anyway. Of course, A Game of Thrones is no short bed-time story that one reads in a single sitting. Quite the opposite, in fact. It is an 807 page novel, and only the first of a seven book series called A Song of Ice and Fire.


I will save most of the summary for the inevitable review, but I will say now that A Game of Thrones is full of intrigue, twisting plots, love, lust, and many characters that are portayed in such a way that they make you wish that they actually were real.

In lieu of a book trailer, feel free to watch the following video composed of art inspired by the series. I hope it piques your interest!




What is more, A Game of Thrones will be adapted to the small screen in the coming months. The pilot has been filmed, and will be airing on HBO soon. The cast includes Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings) and Peter Dinklage (The Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian). For more information, feel free to check out the blog "Winter is Coming" , who has been following the adaptation from the beginning.


I am excited that I was able to turn Heather on to such a great book, and I hope that you consider picking up a copy as well!




Copyright © 2009-2011 by The Maiden’s Court

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Requesting Help with a Review

Hi Everyone!

I am writing tonight to ask for some help. I have been trying to read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel for about 2 weeks. I just can’t seem to get into it – and it’s not because I don’t like the book. I have only read a couple of sections, and liked them, but it is just not holding my attention enough for me to want to keep reading. I feel really badly, but I have other books that are catching my attention. So here is what I am going to do – I’m going to give it to someone who really wants to read it. If anyone is interested in receiving my review copy and writing a review of it please leave a comment below. I will leave it open until Wednesday, November 25th and then mail it on Friday. After you write the review, if you want to leave me the link to your blog, I will post the link here.
I really want this book to go to someone who wants to read and review it. That is what this prize winning book deserves. Thanks everyone.

Update: The person who will be receiving my copy of this book to review is virginiebarbeau. Thanks to those who offered to help me out! It is much appreciated.




Copyright © 2009-2011 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review: Going Bovine by Libba Bray


Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Hardcover, 480 pages
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
September 22, 2009
★★★★ ½☆
goodreads button

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Source: Personal Collection

"Can Cameron find what he’s looking for? 
All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most."

Cameron is your normal 16 year old boy – that is until he finds out that he has Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease or the human version of mad-cow. While lying in his hospital bed he is visited by a punk fairy who tells him he must go on a journey to follow clues that will eventually lead to finding a cure for his disease. Cameron takes this trip with a talking lawn-gnome and a dwarf and has many crazy adventures. But will all of these adventures lead to his cure?

I couldn’t stop laughing throughout this entire book. The almost 500 pages just flew by; I was having such a good time. Bray creates her own words to describe things (which is something I do ALL the time) and is really in-tune to how teenagers talk and act. I was disappointed by the ending, but not because it wasn’t good, but because I wanted more of it. I wanted more adventures; Cameron was a totally lovable character.

I still have to say that my favorite part of the book was the first chapter. There is just something so hilarious about what goes on in 5 year old Cameron’s mind as he rides the It’s a Small World ride at Disney.

I think that this book was a great depiction of Bray’s personality. I really enjoyed listening to her read this book at the author event I went to and she is a wonderful person.

Here is the crazy book trailer for Going Bovine:


Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by Libba Bray:

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy:

a great and terrible beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Book 1)
[My Review]

rebel angels

Rebel Angels (Book 2)

The Sweet Far Thing

The Sweet Far Thing (Book 3)


The Diviners series:

the diviners

The Diviners (Book 1)

Lair of Dreams

Lair of Dreams (Book 2)

 

Stand Alone Novels:

beauty queens

Beauty Queens
[My Review]

 

Find Libba Bray: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 
 
Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review: 3rd Degree by James Patterson

 


3rd Degree by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
Book 3 in the Women's Murder Club Series
 
Unabridged, 6 hr. 30 min
Hachette Audio
Carolyn McCormick (Narrator)
May 8, 2007
★★★★☆
goodreads button

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Audiobook

Source: Personal Collection

"The Women's Murder Club returns in a shockingly suspenseful thriller. Plunging into a burning town house, Detective Lindsay Boxer discovers three dead bodies...and a mysterious message at the scene. When more corpses turn up, Lindsay asks her friends Claire Washburn of the medical examiner's office, Assistant D.A. Jill Bernhardt, and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas to help her find a murderer who vows to kill every three days. Even more terrifying, he has targeted one of the four friends. Which one will it be?"

Lt. Lindsay Boxer has faced the Bride and Groom Killer as well as Chimera so far on the job but when terrorists strike San Francisco it is a whole different ball game! The terrorists are demanding action for crimes against humanity by the political and economic head honchos of the global community. People start dropping like flies, about every 3 days – and one of these deaths hits close to home for the Women’s Murder Club! Lindsay and the girls take the case and chase after the man in the wind known as August Spies. Will they stop whoever is doing this before the whole city come tumbling down?

I feel that this book takes a little bit more of an in-depth look at the lives of the ladies in the Women’s Murder Club. You find out more of the back story for Claire and Jill especially. I also am pleased that small events and story lines from the first two books haven’t been forgotten like sometimes happens in series. The characters still continue to grow and develop. Even though this series is told from the view of Lindsay Boxer it is nice to get to learn more about the other ladies and find out what makes them who they are and how they can do their jobs.

I would rank this book in 2nd place overall for the first three books in the series (my ranking: 1st to Die, 3rd Degree, and then 2nd Chance). I really enjoyed how the mystery was resolved. I think it also shows how easily people can be manipulated for a cause.

I am already halfway through 4th of July and enjoying it even more than I did this one. This series is definitely growing on me!


★★★★ ½☆

 

I also really like the narrator, Carolyn McCormick – so far this is the third narrator for this audio book series, but it looks like she is the narrator for all of the ones that are out so far after this one. She has a voice that won’t put you to sleep and keeps you interested – great for when you are driving because I have found some that could easily induce a coma.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:


Buy the Book:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by James Patterson:

James Patterson has penned many mystery/thriller novels, the other books in the Women's Murder Club series include:

1st to die

1st to Die
[My Review]

2nd chance

2nd Chance
[My Review]

4th of july

4th of July
[My Review]

5th horseman

5th Horseman

6th target

6th Target

7th heaven

7th Heaven

8th confession

8th Confession

9th judgment

9th Judgment

10th anniversary

10th Anniversary

11th hour

11th Hour

12th of never

12th of Never

unlucky 13

Unlucky 13

14th deadly sin

14th Deadly Sin

15th affair

15th Affair
(Releasing Feb 2016)

 

Find James Patterson: Website | Facebook | Twitter|Pinterest | Instagram

 


 

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court