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Saturday, March 24, 2018

New Book Alert: The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George & Giveaway


The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George
Book 1 in the Nero series
Paperback; 544 pages
Berkley Publishing
March 20, 2018 (Paperback)
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Book Blurb:

Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar's imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman or child.

As a boy, Nero's royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son's inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead.

While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina's machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero's determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become, an Emperor who became legendary.

With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy's ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.

The author will continue Nero’s story in a second book this fall, THE SPLENDOR BEFORE THE DARK, which picks up during the ill-fated, final four years of his young life, as he faces his biggest test and challenge: the Great Fire of Rome.

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

About Margaret George:

margaret george

Margaret George is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels of biographical historical fiction, including Elizabeth I, Helen of Troy, Mary, Called Magdalene, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, The Autobiography of Henry VIII, and Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles. She also has written a children’s book, Lucille Lost.

Find Margaret George: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest


In celebration of the paperback release of The Confessions of Young Nero, I have one copy in which to giveaway!  This is only open to the USA as it is being sent out by the publisher.  All entries will be made via the Rafflecopter app below.  The giveaway is open until March 30th 2018.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cover Crush: The Headmistress of Rosemere

Cover Crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.


Another beautiful cover with snow all around (I like it better in pictures than in the real thing!).  The dark colors of her dress and the bushes really set it off from the snow.  The only thing that threw me off every time I looked at this cover was the dome of the building in the background makes it look like the woman has a halo or hat around her head.  Don’t know if that was intentional or not, but it is noticeable for sure.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: A Literary Vacation; A Bookaholic Swede; Flashlight Commentary; Layered Pages; 2 Kids and Tired Books.   

keep calm and support book bloggers

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Audiobook Review: Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling & Giveaway

Three Lessons in Seduction - Audiobook Cover - Promo 1

Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling
Book 2 in the Shadows and Silk series
Unabridged; 9 hrs.
Sofie Darling
Mary Sarah (Narrator)
December 13, 2017
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Genre: Historical Romance/Thriller

Source: Received download from Audible with Audiobookworm Productions tour

Paris, September 1824

Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.

Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?
When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.
Even if the thought makes his blood boil.

Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping.

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband.

It's only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.

I always love romance novels where the characters are married right from the beginning. It brings a very different tone between the characters than that of two characters that are just meeting for the first time. In this case, Mariana and Nick are not at all happily married, they actually have had very limited interactions over the last few years and are brought together surprisingly to them both. How they find their way through the web of lies and intrigue that have existed between them to determine if they can ever be actually together is quite fun. The plot builds their romance up over time in a satisfying manner, a true slow burner. I found them to be such a fun pairing.

I have also always enjoyed historical thrillers, it just adds something more to the traditional historical novel and I appreciate thrillers in modern settings as well. Here, we add the layers of thriller on top of the layers of romance, which makes for added depth to the story and characters. It adds more complication to the relationship between Mariana and Nick it also moves the plot along more quickly.

Oh and I loved how each chapter began with an entry from The Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue! It was fun!


Narrator Mary Sarah has such a soothing voice that it is an absolute pleasure to listen to and I could listen to the novel for long periods of time without needing to take a break – even if I wasn’t enjoying the story! Her tone is also excellent for the thriller/spy aspect of the novel as well; it well conveys the intrigue/romance/anticipation throughout. She also has an excellent French accent for the characters from that country. Sarah appears to have narrated many romance novels and I think that is an excellent choice! I would listen to any of them!

You can preview a sample of the audiobook below:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Audible| iTunes

Also by Sofie Darling:

tempted by the viscount
Tempted by the Viscount

Find Sofie Darling:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Find Mary Sarah:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin


As part of the tour, there is a tour wide giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card, open internationally.  The giveaway is open March 20 to the 26th.  All entries are made via the Gleam form on any of the tour stops.  Any questions should be directed to Audiobookworm Productions.  Good luck!!

Three Lessons in Seduction Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card

Follow the Tour

Three Lessons in Seduction Banner
On the Audiobookwork Productions website.

Mar. 20th:
T's Stuff (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Author Interview, Giveaway)
The Book Junkie Reads . . . (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Mar. 21st:
The Maiden's Court (Review)

Mar. 22nd:
What Is That Book About (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 23rd:
Jazzy Book Reviews (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
The Bookworm Lodge (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 24th:
Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm (Review, Author Interview)

Mar. 25th:
Lilly's Book World (Review)

Mar. 26th:
The Book Addict's Reviews (Review, Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Author Interview)

Three Lessons in Seduction Teaser 2

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

New Book Alert: The Highlander’s Norse Bride by Cathy and DD MacRae–Excerpt & Giveaway

The Highlander%27s Norse Bride

The Highlander’s Norse Bride by Cathy and DD MacRae
Book 4 of the Hardy Heroines series
e-Book; 131 pages
Short Dog Press
March 17, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
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Book Blurb:

Caught between two kings vying for sovereignty of the Isles and Western Scotland, Hanna of Hällstein has lost everything—and vows to repay the Scots for the deaths of her husband and children. Fleeing the smoldering ruins of her village, Hanna crosses the Strait of Mull and chooses the Laird of Clan MacLean as the object of her revenge.

Alex MacLean has buried a wife and three children. Ignoring the clamors for him to wed again and produce an heir, he finds himself drawn to a Norse refugee who defies him and tests the limits of his patience—and his power as Laird.

Torn between revenge and honor, Hanna fears setting aside her vow of vengeance means she has lost her reason for living. Alex is determined to save her, even if it means defying the king.

Buy the Book: Amazon

Check out this EXCERPT from The Highlander’s Norse Bride

Hanna snatched a platter from the table, slamming the trenchers she’d gathered onto the broad surface. Gripping the handles with white knuckles, she braced against the overwhelming waves of grief.

It mattered to no one when my daughter died. Or my son. No one hesitated to destroy my family, my life. Nay, the cursed Scots relished the task.

Tears slipped from burning eyes and she blinked to clear her vision as she bore her burdens to the kitchen.

Something tugged at her skirt.

“Hanna?” a small voice chirped.

Hanna whirled. Her platter slammed against a broad chest mere inches away, and the trenchers crashed to the floor. She released the platter, freeing her hands, the tip of a dagger appearing magically from her sleeve. Her gaze slid from the child to the man immediately in front of her. He grabbed her forearm in a bruising grip, immobilizing her, rendering her threat ineffective. His dark eyes pierced hers, reminding her the man did not succeed as laird by being weak.

The tense line of his jaw echoed the taut muscles of his body, weight poised slightly forward, ready to counter her next move. Forcing back her anger, she relaxed, tearing her gaze away to indicate at least partial surrender. His grip loosened, though she knew she’d bear the marks for a few days, yet he did not completely release her. His touch burned her skin. His half-step closed the remaining distance between them, trapping the threat of the dagger between them.

“Are ye well?” he asked, his voice sliding smooth as aged whisky through her ears.

Hanna eyed him warily. Her heart raced. “I was told ye did not tolerate abuse of women.” With a supreme effort, she kept her tone barely within the range of civil. Something flashed in his eyes, but was quickly gone.

“’Tis understandable ye wish to protect yerself. And fortunate none has seen the glint of steel between us.” A moment of tense silence slid past. “Put away yer dagger,” Laird MacLean growled. “Yer safety is assured. And the mess easily put to right.”

The dagger disappeared into the narrow sheath beneath her sleeve, Hanna’s hesitancy brief and unremarked. She remained of half a mind to plunge the blade into his chest and be finished with her torment. Joining her family in the afterlife held great appeal, and she’d no doubt she’d not last long once her vengeance was sated. But a quick death for the laird weighed against his lifetime of the same sorrow and loss she felt? She needed more time to plan her revenge.

About the Authors:

Cathy MacRae lives on the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains where she and her husband read, write, and tend the garden—with the help of the dogs, of course.

You can visit with her on facebook, or read her blogs and learn about her books at www.cathymacraeauthor.com. Drop her a line—she loves to hear from readers!

* * *

DD MacRae enjoys bringing history to life and considers research one of the best things about writing a story! With more than 35 years of martial arts training, DD also brings breath-taking action to the tales.

You can connect with DD through www.cathymacraeauthor.com. It’s always exciting to hear from readers!

Find the Authors:
Website | Facebook | Twitter |


As part of the tour, there is a tour-wide giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card.  Entries can be made via the Rafflecopter app below or on any participating site.  Any questions should be addressed to the tour coordinator, Author’s Pal.  Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Highlander%27s Norse Bride Tour   Banner

You can follow the tour here!

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Audiobook Review: Love’s Courage by Elizabeth Meyette & Giveaway

loves courage
Love’s Courage by Elizabeth Meyette
Book 3 in The Brentwood Saga
Unabridged, 7 hr. 36 min.
Boris Publishing
Amy McFadden (Narrator)
January 23, 2018
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Genre: Historical Romance

Source: Received download from Audible with Audiobookworm Productions tour

She had to leave him to save her father. He had to follow her to save his heart.

In August 1777, Jenny Sutton leaves Williamsburg, Virginia and the man she loves and sets sail for British occupied Manhattan to tend to her dying father. Aboard the Destiny, Jonathon Brentwood makes a request of Jenny that will entangle her in the network of spies serving the Patriot cause. With her father already under suspicion, Jenny’s activities must be hidden from the watchful eyes of British troops. But she has caught the eye of British officer Lieutenant Nigel Ashby, who is aware of her sympathies, yet offers her protection through marriage. Only by accepting his proposal will Jenny avoid the hangman's noose…and lose Andrew forever.

Desperate to join—and protect—Jenny, Andrew Wentworth agrees to deliver messages to Patriot troops on his way to New York. His route brings him face to face with those suffering under British rule. The fight for independence and his desire to reach Jenny become intertwined. Arriving in Manhattan, Andrew is arrested as a spy by the British officer coercing Jenny into marriage. She may be saved from the gallows but will Andrew?

As war rages around them, Jenny and Andrew must find the courage to fight for their new country's freedom and their own eternal love.

This is the kind of historical romance that I enjoy most: hearty in historical detail and atmospheric world building, with the romance added in as is fitting to the story. I certainly enjoy a romance set in the English Ton or on the American western trail, but sometimes they tend to feel somewhat cookie-cutter: replace the heroine and the specific situation she is running from when she meets hero, while the two don’t always get along well at first, they fall in love and everything is wonderful at the end. These are fun and light and quick reads. However, I’m a straight historical reader first, and I truly prefer more historical detail and depth of story that fits into some real historical event. That is exactly what Elizabeth Meyette brings to us in Love’s Courage.

This novel brings us squarely into the events of the American Revolution. While we are introduced from the outset to the heartbreak that pushes the romantic plot-line forward throughout the entirety of the novel, it is clear that this is just an element that the characters must face while they try to help their families and the American cause. It is certainly something important to each of the two romantic leads, but it isn’t their only important trait or direction in life. However, don’t fear that you are going to lose out on the romance story-line, it is present throughout and is well served by the details.

I have not read the first two books in this series, Love’s Destiny or Love’s Spirit, however, for the most part I felt sufficiently in control of the story having jumped in at book 3. The first chapter, where we meet Andrew and Jenny, had me questioning if we were introduced to their budding romance in either of the earlier novels because it felt like I should know a little something about them already, but based on reviewing the blurbs of the other two novels, if so, they must have been side characters. So besides that initial chapter, I felt comfortable with starting later in the series.


I very much enjoyed listening to Amy McFadden read this novel. Her personification of the characters was complete and made them entirely more relatable to me and my enjoyment of them within the story. Each character has their own voice and characteristics. Any good narrator can do that though; what makes it an even better production is the small things. When they are aboard a ship, the characters have to sometimes shout to be heard over the wind or the snapping of the sails. Sometimes they are very angry for a situation not going they way anticipated. McFadden brilliantly encapsulates these stylistic elements in her performance. Additionally, the pace of the performance is perfect to keep the plot moving forward, but give you enough time to digest what is happening (as the plot is FULL!).

You can preview a sample of the book below:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

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

Also by Elizabeth Meyette:

loves destiny
Love’s Destiny
(Brentwood #1)

loves spirit
Love’s Spirit
(Brentwood #2)

Find Elizabeth Meyette:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Find Amy McFadden:
Website | Facebook | Twitter


As part of the tour, there is a tour wide giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card, open internationally.  The giveaway is open March 18 to the 25th.  All entries are made via the Gleam form on any of the tour stops.  Any questions should be directed to Audiobookworm Productions.  Good luck!! Love’s Courage Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card

Follow the Tour!

On the Audiobookworm Productions website

Mar. 18th:

The Maiden's Court

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Mar. 19th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

T's Stuff

Mar. 20th:

What Is That Book About

Mar. 21st:

Notes from 'Round the Bend

Mar. 22nd:

The Bookworm Lodge

Mar. 23rd:

The Book Addict's Reviews

Booktalk with Eileen

Mar. 24th:

Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog

Lilly's Book World

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cover Crush: The Milliner’s Secret

Cover Crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.


I love this mint green dress and hat combo!  It’s not a color you see all the time and it basically jumps right out at you.  And even though she is looking down, you still see the face of this woman.  Even though they look a little disconnected to the rest of the cover, I don’t dislike the little corner embellishments.  I think the cover would still stand just as well on its own without them, but they do draw the eye around the whole cover.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: A Literary Vacation; A Bookaholic Swede; Flashlight Commentary; Layered Pages; 2 Kids and Tired Books.   

keep calm and support book bloggers

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Book Alert: Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie Runyan

daughters of the night sky

Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan
Hardcover & e-Book; 316 pages
Lake Union Publishing
January 1, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
goodreads button

Book Blurb:

A novel—inspired by the most celebrated regiment in the Red Army—about a woman’s sacrifice, courage, and love in a time of war.

Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on to use her wings to serve her country in its darkest hour. Not even the entreaties of her new husband—a sensitive artist who fears for her safety—can dissuade her from doing her part as a proud daughter of Russia.

After years of arduous training, Katya is assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—one of the only Soviet air units comprised entirely of women. The Germans quickly learn to fear nocturnal raids by the daring fliers they call “Night Witches.” But the brutal campaign will exact a bitter toll on Katya and her sisters-in-arms. When the smoke of war clears, nothing will ever be the same—and one of Russia’s most decorated military heroines will face the most agonizing choice of all.

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

aimie runyan 

About the Author:

Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She is the author of two previous historical novels: Promised to the Crown and Duty to the Crown, and hard at work on novel #4. She is active as an educator and a speaker in the writing community and beyond. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children.

Find Aimie K. Runyan: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Follow the Tour!

Aminies Tour Banner 

March 12th

Book Review – 2 Kids and Tired Books


March 13th

Guest Post – Let Them Read Books

Book Review – Locks, Hooks and Books

March 14th

Book Spotlight – The Writing Desk

Book Review – The Maiden’s Court

March 15th

Book Excerpt –  A Bookaholic Swede

March 16th

Interview –  Just One More Chapter

Book Excerpt – A Literary Vacation

Book Review – before the second sleep

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court