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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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cover Crush: The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson

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.

life and times of persimmon williams

I feel like this cover adequately captures the books description.  First, the font of the title gives the distinct impression that it has been handwritten, as a journal might be.  The scene in the background distinctly looks like the west, which would fit with the setting of Texas.  While it might not be a favorite cover, I think it captures the mood well.


What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: (to be updated as they become available).

keep calm and support book bloggers


Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Audiobook Discussions: Book Extras

IMG_20161207_184007_065000 (1)

I have been doing a lot of audiobook listening lately and I attended a recent blogger webinar about audiobook reviewing which got me thinking more and more about audiobooks.  So I wanted to know more of what you think about them!  From there, Audiobook Discussions has been born!

Today I want to find out how you feel about book extras and their inclusion or exclusion from audiobooks.

Historical novels in particular tend to have some supplementary material included in a print copy of the book, be in a cast of characters, glossary of terms, maps, etc.  I have always enjoyed perusing them as I read and this is even more so with non-fiction.  Obviously they can’t include images in an audio medium.  Some books have these extra materials available on the author or publisher website, but many do not (or if they do they don’t make it clear as to where the listener can go to find these materials.)  That is one thing that I miss when listening to some audiobooks.  I do appreciate that much of the time Reader’s Guides are available online.  It is also hit or miss with whether they include the Author’s Notes in the narration, which is one of those things that I always read.

So, what are your thoughts on book extras and their inclusion or exclusion in audiobooks?  Have you found any that have done an especially excellent job handling these? 


You can check out the other posts in this series:


Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cover Crush: The Mark of the King

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.

the mark of the king

I always love covers that show the details of clothing.  I don’t even see this as a clichéd “headless woman” cover because you can’t even really see ANY of the woman’s skin.  I love the colors and how if morphs right into the nature and almost looks like the sky is a yellow hue.  I don’t think the title font is the easiest to read, but it’s ok.  It definitely made me go look the book up and add it to my wishlist.


What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: (to be updated as it becomes available)

keep calm and support book bloggers



Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Book Alert: The Half Wives

the half wives

The Half Wives by Stacia Pelletier
e-Book & Hardcover; 336 pages
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
April 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Book Blurb:

Over the course of one momentous day, two women who have built their lives around the same man find themselves moving toward an inevitable reckoning.

Former Lutheran minister Henry Plageman is a master secret keeper and a man wracked by grief. He and his wife, Marilyn, tragically lost their young son, Jack, many years ago. But he now has another child—a daughter, eight-year-old Blue—with Lucy, the woman he fell in love with after his marriage collapsed. 

The Half Wives follows these interconnected characters on May 22, 1897, the anniversary of Jack’s birth. Marilyn distracts herself with charity work at an orphanage. Henry needs to wrangle his way out of the police station, where he has spent the night for disorderly conduct. Lucy must rescue and rein in the intrepid Blue, who has fallen in a saltwater well. But before long, these four  will all be drawn on this day to the same destination: to the city cemetery on the outskirts of San Francisco, to the grave that means so much to all of them. The collision of lives and secrets that follows will leave no one unaltered.

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

Read an EXCERPT of The Half Wives at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the Author:


STACIA PELLETIER is the author of Accidents of Providence, which was short-listed for the Townsend Prize in Fiction, and the forthcoming The Half Wives. She earned graduate degrees in religion and historical theology from Emory University in Atlanta.  A two-time fellow of the Hambidge Center, located in the mountains of North Georgia, she currently lives in Decatur, Georgia, and works at Emory University's School of Medicine. 

Find Stacia Pelletier: Website | Facebook


Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Book Alert: Young and Damned and Fair

youg damned fair

Young and Damned and Fair by Gareth Russell
e-Book and Hardcover; 464 pages
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1501108638
April 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Book Blurb:

Written with an exciting combination of narrative flair and historical authority, this interpretation of the tragic life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, breaks new ground in our understanding of the very young woman who became queen at a time of unprecedented social and political tension and whose terrible errors in judgment quickly led her to the executioner’s block.

On the morning of July 28, 1540, as King Henry’s VIII’s former confidante Thomas Cromwell was being led to his execution, a teenager named Catherine Howard began her reign as queen of a country simmering with rebellion and terrifying uncertainty. Sixteen months later, the king’s fifth wife would follow her cousin Anne Boleyn to the scaffold, having been convicted of adultery and high treason.

The broad outlines of Catherine’s career might be familiar, but her story up until now has been incomplete. Unlike previous accounts of her life, which portray her as a naïve victim of an ambitious family, this compelling and authoritative biography will shed new light on Catherine Howard’s rise and downfall by reexamining her motives and showing her in her context, a milieu that goes beyond her family and the influential men of the court to include the aristocrats and, most critically, the servants who surrounded her and who, in the end, conspired against her. By illuminating Catherine's entwined upstairs/downstairs worlds as well as societal tensions beyond the palace walls, the author offers a fascinating portrayal of court life in the sixteenth century and a fresh analysis of the forces beyond Catherine’s control that led to her execution—from diplomatic pressure and international politics to the long-festering resentments against the queen’s household at court.

Including a forgotten text of Catherine’s confession in her own words, color illustrations, family tree, map, and extensive notes, Young and Damned and Fair changes our understanding of one of history’s most famous women while telling the compelling and very human story of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous age.

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

Read an EXCERPT at Simon & Schuster’s website

Praise for Young and Damned and Fair

Young and Damned and Fair is a gripping account of a young woman's future destroyed by forces beyond her control.  Gareth Russell moves effortlessly between Catherine Howard's private, inner world and the public life of the Henrician court, providing an unparalleled view into this tragic chapter of Tudor history. This is an important and timely book.”

– Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and A World on Fire



Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, April 10, 2017

Cover Reveal: The Duke of Defiance by Darcy Burke

DoD Cover Reveal

I am so excited to bring you the cover reveal for Darcy Burke's The Duke of Defiance, book 5 in The Untouchables series. We I have thought her covers for this series have been some of my favorites in the HF Romance genre, but this is my favorite so far!

Release date: June 27, 2017

Book Blurb:
Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.
Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life...until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences could destroy them both. 
Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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About the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats.
Find Darcy BurkeWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Join the Giveaway:

As part of the cover reveal blitz, there is a tour-wide giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card.  Please note, I do not have any control over the giveaway.  Entries can be made via the Rafflecopter below; good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you love this cover as much as I do and I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series (although I do have books 1 and 2 to hold me over until then!!)


Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Book Review: A Study in Scoundrels by Christy Carlyle

a study in scoundrals

A Study in Scoundrels by Christy Carlyle
Book 2 in the Romancing the Rules Series
ARC, e-Book, 272 pages
AVON Impulse
April 11, 2017

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Genre: Historical Romance

Source: Received for Review for Tasty Book Tours

Sophia Ruthven is the epitome of proper behavior. On paper at least, as long as that paper isn’t from one of the lady detective stories she secretly pens. She certainly isn’t interested in associating with the dashing Jasper Grey, the wayward heir to the Earl of Stanhope, and one of the stage’s leading men. But when she learns Grey’s younger sister Liddy has gone missing, she can’t deny her desire to solve the mystery…or her attraction to the incorrigible scoundrel.

Responsibility isn’t something Grey is very familiar with. On the boards and in the bedroom, he lives exactly how he wants to, shunning all the trappings of respectability and society. Grey knows he should avoid the bewitching Sophia, but he’s never been able to say no to what he wants. And having Sophia in his arms and his bed is quickly becoming the thing he wants the most.
As Sophia and Grey’s search for Liddy continues across the English countryside, can this scoundrel convince a proper lady that he’s actually perfect for her or will their adventure leave them both heartbroken?

The first thing that I noticed about this novel was how it feels different than the first in the series, Rules for a Rogue. Even though Jasper Grey certainly falls into that category and Sophia does have a run in with a few scoundrels within the pages, it felt a little less about proving oneself to be something else and more of a romantic adventure. While Rules for a Rogue was about two people learning who they are in their new lives (which is still pertinent here), A Study in Scoundrels takes us on an actual adventure.

Like Kit who proceeded him (our hero from Rules for a Rogue), Jasper is running from the trappings of societal responsibility and is doing so in epic fashion: women, illicit substances, and living the life of an actor. However, very quickly he receives a kick in the pants when his sister goes missing and he has to set out on her trail to rescue her from a potential reputation damaging decision. He has to, at least temporarily, give up his vices to walk nearer the line of respectability (although it is QUITE the struggle). Sophia we got to know a little in the first book of this series and at that time she came across as the rule follower in the family. Her father published the book on female decorum and Sophia epitomizes it, or so she would let people think. Secretly she is working on writing her own female detective story and throws herself in to helping Jasper Grey in solving this real-life mystery. However, this puts her actions at odds with her reputation.

These two were quite entertaining together and were always able to just push the right buttons to keep each other on edge. Being a rogue, Jasper is enchanted with Sophia from the first time they are reacquainted with each other. Sophia is taken with him too, but she is not willing to just succumb to him, there are too many of those rules that she learned to deal with first. Their scenes were always balanced with the right amount of wit to build their characters and relationship as well as continue to push to plot forward.

I very much enjoyed this second novel from Carlyle and would certainly pick up the next that comes out!

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

  • Up Till Dawn Book Blog
  • The Book Junkie Reads

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

Also by Christy Carlyle:

The other books in this series include:

rules for a rogue
Rules for A Rogue
(Book 1)
[My Review]

Find Christy Carlyle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


Check out this morsel from the opening of the novel!!!

Laughter tickled his ears. Weight bore down on his chest, draped over his hips. A soft weight, pliant under his hands. Heated too. Pleasure in his groin twined with pain in his head as the soft, warm weight moved against him.

He blinked, then again. Colors shimmered and blurred. The light was too dim. The room too smoky. Perfume burned his nose, too spicy and pungent.

What was that sound? A moan. A cry.

A rumbling groan reverberated in his own chest.

“Don’t leave me now,” a woman whispered near his ear. “I need release.”

He flexed his fingers, digging into the warm flesh of smooth feminine legs. Slid his hand up, finding the thicket of curls between the woman’s spread thighs.

“Yes, Grey.”

She moved against him, her breath quickening as little moans emerged. She clutched at his shoulder, her other hand on his, showing him how to touch her.

He didn’t require much direction. The role of lover was one he knew by heart. Some said he was skilled on stage, but he never doubted his expertise in the bedroom.

His own body had numbed. Whether from drink or the drugging effect of the smoke rising in whorls above his head, he wasn’t certain. But this, how to touch a woman, how to give pleasure. This he knew intuitively. This was where he excelled.

Heaven knew he’d failed at everything else.

Except acting.

But performing on stage was all a matter of illusion, of lying artfully. Sex and falsehood were his twin aptitudes.

If only he could see the woman clearly and scatter the fog in his mind. He twisted his head on the pillow and noticed a half-empty glass of blue-green liquid glowing in the low gaslight.

“What did I drink?”

A trill of laughter. Red lips. The curve of a grin in a pale face. A waterfall of red hair.

He swirled his fingers in the woman’s curls. She stilled and held her breath. He knew he’d found the key. Gently, masterfully, he touched her with all the art he’d learned from countless lovers.

“Oh, Grey.” She twitched against his fingers, dug her nails into his shoulder. “Don’t stop.”

He didn’t. Not until she gusted out a long moan, dipped her head, and sank against him as if her bones had melted.

“Absinthe,” she murmured against his chest. “A bit of laudanum.”

Grey pressed a fist to the throbbing crown of his head and tried to sit up. The lady on his chest stretched like a cat woken from a nap before rising off him and stepping away from the bed.

No, he realized when his vision cleared and he took in the books lining the walls, not a bed. Not his bedroom. He was on a settee in his London townhouse’s library, and he and his lady companion were not alone. Half-clothed bodies reclined around the musky, haze-clouded room. Some sleeping. Others smoking from an enormous bubbling hookah. At least one couple was busy, writhing and moaning in the far corner.

A man stumbled past the open library door, nude from the waist up, his shirt and coat rolled in a crumpled ball in his arms. Returning to the threshold, he let out a burp before offering, “Many happy returns, Grey. Smashing birthday party.”

Tour-Wide Giveaway!

Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for TWO print copies of RULES FOR A ROGUE.  Entries can be made via the Rafflecopter below.  Please note, I am not in charge of this giveaway and any questions should be directed to the tour coordinator.  Good luck! (It’s a good book, I hope you win!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour!


Tasty Book Tours Website

April 10th

Booklove -Rev
Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog -Rev/Exc
The Maiden's Court - Rev/Exc
Books & Spoons - Exc/GF
Born to Read Books - Exc/GF
What Is That Book About - Exc
Leigh Anderson Romance - Exc/GF

April 11th

The Book Junkie Reads -Rev/GF/Exc
Ellesea Loves Reading -Int/Exc
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium- Exc/GF
The Reading Wench - Rev/Exc
A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars- Exc
Polished Bookworm - Exc/Int
Undomesticated Reads - Rev/Exc/GF

April 12th

I Heart Romance & YA -Rev
Celtic Dragon Book Reviews -Rev/GF/Exc
Cat's Guilty Pleasure - Exc
Teatime and Books - Rev/Exc/GF
Hearts & Scribbles - Exc/GF
underneath the covers - Exc
Eskimo Princess Book Reviews - Exc

April 13th

What I'm Reading -Rev/GF/Exc
Those Crazy Book Chicks - Exc
What the Cat Read - Rev/Exc
Books & Benches - Exc/Int
I'm A Book Shark - Exc
Laura Lu's Book Reviews - Exc/GF
April 14th

Amanda Writes -Exc
I am, Indeed - Rev/Exc
Buried Under Romance - Rev/Exc/GF
Becky on Books - Exc/GF
deal sharing aunt - Exc/Int


Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, April 7, 2017

Cover Crush: Escape from Saigon

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.

escape from saigon

I’m not 100% sure what I’m look at here, (boats on a river maybe?), but those street lights and their reflections are what drew me in to this one.  I also really like the font for the title and how it is comprised of two different fonts.  Very beautiful, but also giving the feel of being very alone.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: (to be updated as they become available).

keep calm and support book bloggers


Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court