Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Release Day Review: "The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Daughters" by Mary Hart Perry


To the court and subjects of Queen Victoria, young Princess Louise—later the Duchess of Argyll—was the “Wild One.” Proud and impetu­ous, she fought the constraints placed on her and her brothers and sisters, dreamed of becoming an artist, and broke with a three-hundred-year-old tradition by marrying outside of the privileged circle of European royals. Some said she wed for love. Others whispered of a scandal covered up by the Crown. It will take a handsome American, recruited by the queen’s elite Secret Service, to discover the truth. But even as Stephen Byrne— code name the Raven—vows to risk his life to protect the royal family from violent Irish radicals, he tempts Louise with a forbidden love that could prove just as dangerous.

In the vein of Philippa Gregory, Mary Hart Perry tells the riveting story of an extraordinary woman—a princess who refused to give up on her dreams, including her right to true love.

The Wild Princess: 
                                                a Novel of Queen Victoria's Daughters
                                                             by Mary Hart Perry

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children; four were girls. In this first book of the sensual historical romance series, Princess Louise, known as the "wild child" of the royal family, marries amidst scandal and threats against the Crown from Irish radicals. But when Louise discovers love, it isn't with the man the queen arranged for her daughter to wed.

Coming August 1, 2012 from Avon Books
ISBN: 9780062123466 
Info: www.Mary@MaryHartPerry.com
Twitter: @Mary_Hart_Perry
Find Mary Hart Perry on Facebook
Victorian, the new Regency!

What Others Are Saying About "The Wild Princess:"
"In The Wild Princess, Mary Hart Perry spins a marvelous tale about the life of the real Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s most unconventional daughter—and the fascinating events that might have taken place between the cracks of recorded history. Full of romance and suspense, The Wild Princess is the life Louise could have—should have—had. Mary Hart Perry has created a masterly historical novel."

Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author of No Longer a Gentleman, and Dark Destiny as M. J. Putney.
"Romantic, exciting, historically accurate and deliciously imaginative, Mary Hart Perry's THE WILD PRINCESS is a lush and entertaining read that truly delivers. Perry creates a fascinating portrait of Princess Louise -- artist, wild child and modern thinker caught in the confines of her mother's strict court -- and immerses the reader in a vivid Victorian setting. I devoured the book and I'm eager to read more about Victoria's daring daughters!"

Susan Fraser King, author of Lady Macbeth and Queen Hereafter
"THE WILD PRINCESS is a fascinating, intriguing glimpse into a royal household. There is the public image and then there is the reality that Mary Hart Perry brilliantly brings to life." Cathy Maxwell, NY Times bestselling author of Lyon's Bride


Osborne House, Isle of Wight
Wednesday, January 23, 1901
My dearest Edward,
            I write to you with a grieving heart. My emotions are so a-jumble at this moment I can barely stop my hand from trembling long enough to put pen to paper. As all of London wakes to the sad news, you too must by now be aware that Victoria, Queen by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India—my mother—has passed from this life. Last night I stood at her bedside along with my surviving sisters and brothers, the many grandchildren, and those most favored among her court. We bid our final good-byes, and she drifted away. Among us was the devoted Colonel the Lord Edward Pelham-Clinton, who delivers this letter and accompanying documents, by hand, into your possession. 
The doctors say it was a cerebral hemorrhage, not uncommon for a woman in her 80’s, but I believe she was just tired and ready to rest after reigning these tumultuous sixty-four years, many of them without her beloved Prince Consort, Albert, my father, who died before you were born.
She was not a physically affectionate mother, demanded far more than she ever gave, often drove me to anger and tears, and very nearly destroyed my life…more than once. Yet I did, in my own way, love her.
            The enclosed manuscript is my means for setting straight in my own mind the alarming events of several critical years in my life. But more than that, it will bring to you, although belatedly—and for that I apologize—the truth. Your mother, my dearest friend, wished to tell you of these matters long ago. Indeed, it was she who compiled most of the information herein, using her rare skills as an observer of human nature and, later in life, as a gifted investigative journalist. I have filled in the few facts she was unable to uncover on her own. For selfish reasons I begged her to keep our secrets a while longer…and a while longer. Then she too departed from this world for a better one, leaving no one to press me to reveal these most shameful deeds. Indeed, Edward dear, I would not even now strip bare the deceptions played out in my lifetime, had they not so intimately involved you.
            Do these words shock you? If so, then you had best burn these pages and live the rest of your life in ignorance. But as I remember, you were a curious lad, and so I expect you will read on. However, before you go further, I must ask of you a solemn favor. What I am about to reveal is for your knowledge alone, that you might better understand both the gifts and the sins passed along to you. To share this account with others would cause scandal so damaging that our government would surely topple. Therefore, I implore you to choose—either destroy the enclosed manuscript this instant without reading it, or do the same after reading in private.
Regardless of your decision, I pray you will ever think of me as your devoted godmother and friend, and not hate me for the things I have done to protect you or, on my own behalf, simply to survive.
Be assured of my love,
Princess Louise, duchess of Argyll

March 21, 1871—Windsor Castle, St. George’s Chapel
Under siege, that’s what we are, Louise thought as she observed the mayhem beyond the church’s massive oak doors. Indeed the week-long crush of boisterous visitors had become truly dangerous.
“There must be thousands of them,” she murmured, more to herself than to any of her bridesmaids clustered around her.
Her brother Bertie gently closed the door, shutting out the cheers of the crowd. “It’s all right. The guardsmen have things well in hand.”
Scores of well-wishers from London and the surrounding countryside had arrived on foot and horseback, along with souvenir vendors, draysmen with cartloads of sightseers and hawkers of ale, roasted potatoes and meat pies. They clogged Berkshire’s country roads, converging on Windsor, making virtual prisoners of the royal family and their guests within the great castle’s walls. 
Many travelers hadn’t been content with a tourist’s hasty view of Windsor in the days before the wedding. They’d set up crude campsites outside the walls, lit bonfires that blazed through the night. Toasts to the bride and groom turned into drunken revelry. Hundreds pressed against groaning castle gates, hoping for a chance glimpse of the royal couple. Crowd control, never before an issue at a royal wedding, became a necessity. A nervous Queen Victoria called up her Hussars and a fleet of local constables to reinforce the castle’s guardsmen.
Louise stepped away from the chapel’s doors, fingering the delicate Honiton lace of her gown. Strangely, she wasn’t worried about being hurt by the mob of well wishers. What concerned her was what her mother’s subjects might expect of her. 
To do her duty as a princess, she supposed, whatever that might mean to them. Or simply to “be a good girl and don’t make trouble,” as her mother had so often scolded her since her earliest years.
Standing at the very foot of the church’s long nave, Louise tried to reassure herself that all the pomp and fuss over her marriage was of no consequence. It would pass with the end of this day. The mob would disperse. The groundsmen clear away the mountains of trash. The important thing was—she had agreed to wed the marquess of Lorne as her mother wished. She was doing the responsible thing for her family. Surely, all would be well.
Louise rested her fingertips lightly on Bertie’s arm. The Prince of Wales stood ready to escort her down the aisle. She desperately wished her father were still alive to give her away. On the other hand, Papa might have talked her mother into letting her wait a little longer to marry. But, of the six girls in their family, it was her turn. In the queen’s mind, Louise at 23 was already teetering on the slippery verge of spinsterhood. An unwed, childless daughter knocking about the palace was a waste of good breeding stock.
Louise felt Bertie step forward, cued by the exultant chords of organ music swelling to the strains of the Wedding March’s intricate harp obbligato. She matched his stride, moving slowly down the long rose petal-strewn quire toward her bridegroom.
Another trembling step closer to the altar, then another. Wedding night jitters? Was that the source of her edginess?
Definitely not. The panic swelling in her breast could have little to do with a bride’s fragile insecurity regarding her wifely duties in bed. Louise felt anything but fragile and more than a little eager for her husband’s touch. Nevertheless, she sensed that something about the day was disturbingly wrong. Sooner or later, she feared it would snap its head around and bite her.
She closed her eyes for a few seconds and drew three deep breaths while letting her feet keep their own pace with the music.
“Are you all right?” Her brother’s voice.
She forced a smile for his benefit. “Yes, Bertie.”
“He’s a good man.” The Prince had trimmed his dark mustache and looked elegantly regal, dressed in the uniform of their mother’s Hussars. He had initially stood against the marriage, believing his sister should hold out for a royal match. But now he seemed resigned and loath to spoil her day.
“I know. Of course he’s good.”
“You like him, don’t you?” Not love him. They both knew love didn’t enter into the    equation for princesses. The daughters of British royals were bred to marry the heads of state, forge international alliances, produce the next generation to sit upon the thrones of Europe.
“I do like him.”
“Then you’ll be fine.”
“Yes,” she said firmly. “I will.” Somehow.
Three of her five bridesmaids—all in white, bedecked with garlands of hothouse lilies, rosebuds, and camellias—led the way down the long aisle, leaving the two youngest girls in Louise’s wake to control the heavy satin train behind her. The diamond coronet Lorne had given her as a wedding present held in place the lace veil she herself had designed. 
She felt the swish of stiff petticoats against her limbs. The coolness of the air, captured within the church’s magnificent soaring Gothic arches, chilled her bare shoulders. Yards upon yards of precious hand-worked lace, seemed to weight her down, as though holding her back from the altar. An icy clutch of jewels at her throat felt suddenly too tight, making it hard to breathe.
Her nose tingled at the sweet waxy scent of thousands of burning candles mixed with perfume as her guests rose to view the procession. The pulse of the organ’s bass notes vibrated in her clenched stomach. Ladies of the Court, splendid in silks and brocades and jewels, the gentlemen in dignified black or charcoal grey frock coats, turned heads her way in anticipation—a dizzy blur of smiling, staring faces as she passed them by.
But a few stood out in sharp relief against the dazzling splendor: Her dear friend, Amanda Locock beside her handsome doctor-husband, their little boy wriggling in Amanda’s arms. The always dour Prime Minister Gladstone. A grim-faced Napoleon III, badly reduced in health after his recent defeat by the Prussians. Her brothers and sisters: Affie, then Alice and Vicky with their noble spouses. A predictably bored looking Arthur, always solemn Lenchen and young, fidgety Leo. Bertie’s lovely Danish wife Alix clasped a hand over each of their two little boys to keep them quiet.
Louise lifted her gaze to the raised box to her left where she knew her mother would be seated. Beatrice, youngest of Louise’s eight siblings, sat close by the queen, gazing down wide-eyed at the ceremony. Victoria herself, a plump figure in black mourning muslin six years after her husband’s death, her grim costume relieved only by the rubies and blues of the Order of the Garter star clipped over her left breast, looked down on the wedding party as though a goddess from Mount Olympus.
They’d all come to witness Louise’s union with the striking young man waiting for her at the chapel’s altar. The marquess of Lorne. John Douglas Sutherland Campbell. A stranger to her in many ways, yet soon to be her wedded mate.  Beside him stood his kinsmen in striking Campbell-green kilts, sword scabbards strapped to hips, hats cocked forward.
Louise felt an almost equal urge to rush into her intended’s arms…and to turn around and run back out through the chapel doors. Into the fresh spring air, breaking through the crowd to escape down Windsor’s famous Long Walk and into the countryside. To freedom.
But was that even a possibility now?
All of the country had lapped up news of her betrothal as eagerly as a cat does cream. Hadn’t the newspapers been chock full of personal details for months? The chaperoned carriage rides through Hyde Park. The elaborate French menu for the wedding feast. Everything, from the details of her gown to advertisements placed by a London perfume manufacturer announcing their newest fragrance, Love-Lorne, had been gossiped about in and outside of the Court.
And then all of that fled her mind as Bertie deposited her before the archbishop and beside Lorne. Her husband-to-be stood breathtakingly handsome in his dark blue dress uniform of the Royal Argyllshire Artillery with its bits of gold braid, burnished buttons, and shining black leather boots that shaped his long legs to above the knees. A silver-hilted sword hung from the wide black patent belt that encircled his narrow waist. His hair, a glorious pale blond mane brushed back from his face, long enough to feather over his collar, looked slightly risqué and tempted her fingertips.
He took her hand in his. At his touch, she finally settled inside herself.
During the ceremony Louise was aware of her bridegroom’s eyes turning frequently to her. She did her best to meet his gaze, to bring a little smile to her lips and hope that some of it slipped into her eyes for him. Like her, he had blue eyes. But, while hers were a soft shade, the mesmerizing sapphire brilliance of the young marquess’s eyes never failed to startle people on meeting him for the first time. He was a Scot, one of her mother’s northern subjects. When his father passed, he would become the duke of Argyll. A minor title, but better than none at all in her mother’s view. For Louise’s part, titles were of no consequence. They marked a man as neither good nor bad, kind nor cruel, rich nor poor.
She had every reason to believe they’d get along well, even though they’d not once been left alone together. Still, their escorts had been discreet, allowing them to speak freely. Lorne had even shyly kissed her on the cheek, last night. In time, they might fall in love. She’d like that. And even if they didn’t, he would give her the children she so longed for. Life was full of compromises.
The archbishop was speaking in that sing-song voice of his that was at once soft yet somehow carried to the very back of the grandest church. Louise let the words wash over her, a warm and calming stream. She daydreamed of her honeymoon—Lorne making tender love to her, his soft hands opening her gown to touch the places on her body that most longed for his caresses. And she would discover ways to please him.
The images in her mind brought a rush of heat to her cheeks. She raised her eyelashes shyly to glance up at him in anticipation.
Their gazes met.
He grinned and winked. Did he know what she was thinking?
It was at that moment something odd caught her eye. A motion off to her left and above. Startled, she turned her head just far enough to take in her mother’s box.
John Brown, once a lowly ghillie in the queen’s stables at Balmoral in Scotland, and now her personal attendant and self-appointed bodyguard, stood behind Victoria physically blocking a man who seemed to be trying to force his way into queen’s box. A frisson of alarm shot through Louise.
“Steady,” Lorne whispered in her ear, grasping her hand. “Brown’s handling it.”
The archbishop, too, seemed to have noticed the disturbance, but he droned on, the ultimate performer under pressure.
Louise glimpsed Victoria waving off Brown. The stranger bent down as though to whisper something in the queen’s ear. He wore rough riding clothes, a long dung-brown overcoat of a less than fashionable cut, in what appeared to be scuffed leather. He looked unshaven. As if he hadn't bothered to even run a comb through his spiky black hair. In one hand he held not a stove-pipe top hat that was the only acceptable headwear for a gentleman in London—but a strange wide-brimmed style of black felt hat she’d never seen on any head in all of England.
Louise turned back to face the bishop, fearful of missing the rest of her own wedding. The next time she glanced back, the stranger had gone.
Lorne squeezed her hand, as if to say, All is well.
Was it? She shivered but forced a smile in return.
Then all at once, the archbishop was giving them his blessing. A joyous “Hurrah!” rang out in the chapel. Her new husband kissed her sweetly on the lips, and every concern fled her mind at this excruciatingly joyful moment.
All she could think of was the night that lay before them—her first night as a married woman.

Amanda Locock stood beside the dressing table in the bridal suite at Claremont House while Lady Caroline Barrington unpinned Louise’s hair and brushed it into soft golden-brown waves down her back. "I'm so sorry about bringing Eddie with me to your wedding dinner and concert,” Amanda said.
The music that followed the lavish meal at Windsor had been one formal event too many for a restless four year old. Amanda walked him up and down the great echo-y hallway outside the grand salon until he’d fallen asleep on her shoulder. She’d been able to bring him back inside in time for her to hear the lovely Bach violin solo, played so beautifully by Herr Joachim.
“You know how unpredictable my husband is. He promised to watch Eddie while I stayed for the reception and concert, but one of his patients was in urgent need of him."
                Louise waved off her concern, reached up and ruffled the little boy’s hair. No longer a toddler, Eddie still loved to be propped on his mother's hip. He buried his face shyly against her breast now, looking pink-eyed and exhausted by the day's activities.
                "You know I love to see Eddie any chance I get." Louise opened the drawer in her dressing table and pulled out a tin of salt-water taffies. "What you need, my darling, is a little more energy to get you through the rest of the day."
                "More sugar?" Amanda rolled her eyes. "Henry has this notion that my indulging the child with sweets keeps him up late at night." But she laughed as he selected with great concentration a single candy from the tin. "Here, love, let me unwrap that for you. Then you go sit on your favorite chair over there and suck on it while I talk to your godmother."
                "He's growing so fast," Louise said, her eyes misting with affection as she watched the child stride away from them. "Soon he'll be all grown up."
                "I know. That's why I'm particularly happy with the news I have to tell you." Amanda bounced on her toes and felt she might burst like an iridescent soap bubble with happiness.
                "I'm with child.” She giggled at Louise’s shriek of joy.  “Henry says the baby will be here in August." They had tried for a brother or sister for Eddie for years, but after miscarrying two babies she’d nearly given up hope. “I didn’t say anything to you sooner because of the other times, you know.” The thought of her lost babes nearly undid her.
                Louise shot to her feet, tears in her eyes, nearly knocking over Lady Car in her haste to reach Amanda and clasp her in her arms. “Oh, my dear, I’m so happy for you. Maybe a little girl then?”
                “We’ll see. Why so weepy? Are they tears of happiness for me?”
                “Of course.”
                Amanda knew better. “You and Lorne will have your own brood in no time. You’ll be tripping over little ones.”
                Louise laughed and wiped away her teardrops. “I’d love that. Truly.”
                “Your Royal Highness,” Lady Car interrupted with a meaningful glance toward the door.
                Louise smiled. “Yes, of course.” She turned back to Amanda. “Speaking of Lorne.”
Amanda gasped. “What a ninny I am, standing here gossiping with you while your new husband is waiting to take you off to bed.” She laughed, thrilled for her friend. No matter what Louise might think, Amanda was sure that marriage would agree with her friend. Children meant so very much to her, and Lorne seemed such a stable counterpart to Louise’s sometimes impulsive nature. “Come, Eddie. Let’s run along and let your Auntie Loosy be alone with her new husband.” She cast Louise a knowing look and teased, “Don’t need no pointers from an old married woman, do you now?”
                Louise lifted her gaze to the ceiling but watched Lady Car out the door before she responded. “It’s not as though it’s the first time; we both know that.”
                Amanda smiled. “’deed I do.” She had started toward the doorway when Louise reached out to clasp her arm and hold her back.
                “What do I tell him?” Louise’s face was tight with anxiety, her voice tremulous.
                Before she answered, Amanda pushed her son a few steps in front of her and out the door. “You wait for me right there,” she instructed him then ducked back inside the bedchamber.”The truth,” she whispered. “What else?”
                “I was wondering, maybe I could just say…nothing?
                “And you think the man won’t realize you’re not a virgin?” Amanda laughed. “That’s wishful, girl.” She winced. “Sorry I’m reverting to my old ways, Your Highness.”
                Louise cuffed her gently on the arm. “Stop that. We stand on no formalities, you and I.” She sighed. “I had guessed, from things my mother said in recent days, that Lorne might already know. So, why bring it up? I mean, it’s quite possible she’s told him about my wild years.”
                “About Donovan, you mean?”
                Louise shut her eyes and nodded. “I truly did love him, you know. To think he so suddenly took off. Not a word….”
                “Most of them do, dear.”
                “Well, I suppose I was naïve.”
                “And I didn’t know that—“
                “Now isn’t the time to blame yourself.” Amanda touched Louise on the shoulder and gave her a comforting smile. “You were so very young. We both were. Anyway Donovan is in the past. I can’t imagine Lorne will reject you when he finds out you’ve had someone before him. Someone who really didn’t matter. Or at least…he doesn’t now. Lorne’s such a sensible, modern man.”
                Louise bit down on her bottom lip and gave her an anguished look. “I don’t know what to think.” She groaned. “But it would make sense that Mama would have told him I’d had…experience. Why else would she champion a marriage with someone who wasn’t a royal? A man with such a minor title.”
                “I don’t understand all the fuss.” Shaking her head, Amanda peered out the door to check on Eddie. Lady Car was entertaining him, coaxing the little boy to march up and down the hallway like a Beefeater. “You make it sound as if it’s never been done before, marrying a commoner.”
                Louise let out a bitter laugh. “Not for over three hundred years has a child of an English monarch married outside of the royal families of Europe.”
                Amanda winced. She hadn’t realized that. “Then your mother must have discussed this with him, don’t you think?”
                Louise shook her head. “I just don’t know.” She looked down at her hands, clenched in front of her. “I do need to tell him. I know that, Amanda. It’s only fair. And if he is upset…well, I must then deal with the consequences.”

Saph's Review:

"The Wild Princess" is the first book in a series about the daughters of Queen Elizabeth. This novel is a fantastic historical fiction piece that focuses on Louise, daughter number 4. The writing style of the author was fantastic. I felt like each scene throughout the novel was real and that I was there reliving history. 
And who doesn't love a book filled with scandal? She's promised to the Duke of Argyll, John Lorne, and has preconceived ideas about the ideal marriage. Her brother, who walks her down the aisle, confirmed that John is a good man and her mother insists that too.  Things aren't exactly all wine and roses for our Princes, who is now the Duchess of Argyll   Enter Stephen Byrne, the Secret Service Agent employed by the Royals and things really heat up.  

I love the twists and turns that author, Mary Hart Perry, has given to this historical novel.  There are bits of truth, bits of hearsay, lots of fiction.  This was a good paces novel and it captured me from the beginning.  The letter she writes to her godson is intriguing and piques interest in the contents of the novel quickly.

Quote from the Prologue:

" The enclosed manuscript is my means for setting straight in my own mind the alarming events of several critical years in my life. But more than that, it will bring to you, although belatedly—and for that I apologize—the truth. Your mother, my dearest friend, wished to tell you of these matters long ago. "

I enjoyed reading the first novel in the "Queen Victoria's Daughters" series and look forward to the next book.

My review comes from the eArc provided to me through Innovative Online Book Tours, the host of this tour.

 Author Bio:

Mary Hart Perry lives in Maryland with her husband and two feline writing partners: Miranda and Tempest. She teaches at The Writer's Center in Washington, DC and is an inspiring speaker for international and regional organizations interested in the joys of history and fiction writing. She is an advocate for teen and adult literacy. You can reach her at Mary@MaryHartPerry.com. She invites you to "like" her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter @Mary_Hart_Perry.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Promo: "Her Loving Husband's Curse (Loving Husband Trilogy, Book 2) by Meredith Allard

Her Loving Husband’s Curse 
Book Two of The Loving Husband Trilogy 
By Meredith Allard 

How far will you go to protect the one you love?

Finally, after many long and lonely years, James Wentworth’s life is falling into place. Together with his wife, Sarah, the only woman he has ever loved, he has found the meaning behind her nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and now they are rebuilding the life they began together so long ago.

But the past is never far behind for the Wentworths. While Sarah is haunted by new visions, now about the baby she carried over three hundred years before, James is confronted with painful memories from his time with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Through it all, the persistent reporter Kenneth Hempel reappears, still determined to prove that the undead walk the earth. If Hempel succeeds in his quest, James and Sarah will suffer. Will the curse of the vampire prevent James and Sarah from living their happily ever after?

Her Dear & Loving Husband 
Book One of The Loving Husband Trilogy 
By Meredith Allard 

James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties with anyone. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife, Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth's death, James cannot move on.

Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?

Part historical fiction, part romance, part paranormal fantasy, Her Dear & Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.

Author Bio:

Meredith Allard is the Executive Editor of The Copperfield Review, an award-winning literary journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Northridge. She has taught writing to students aged 10 to 60, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction workshops at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. Her writing has appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Moondance, Wild Mind,Muse Apprentice Guild, The Maxwell Digest, CarbLite, Writer’s Weekly, and ViewsHound. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.





Her Dear and Loving Husband (Loving Husband Trilogy)

Her Loving Husband's Curse (The Loving Husband Trilogy)


BN—Her Dear & Loving Husband

BN—Her Loving Husband’s Curse

The Copperfield Review

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Guest Post/Free eBook: "Sprite" (Annabelle's Story, Book 1) by Leigh Michael and Book Release News: "Kin" (Annabelle's Story, Book 2)

Now trending: YA mythology
(Guest post by Leigh Michael)

The love of dystopia, steampunk, vampires, and things that go bump in the night are trends that are still going strong (as they should). Thanks to authors like Rick Riordan, P.C. Cast, and Josephine Angelini, mythology is a YA trend that has also made a name for itself.

Here's 3 reasons why I believe mythology is worth the hype.

1. Writing mythology is two-fold: an impressive imagination and extensive amounts of research. I personally love this combination that's seen in various genres.

2. As we all know... Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are the three main Greek Gods. Which means, there's potential for story lines in the sea, the underworld, and all of earth's land and sky. Really makes ya question the saying, "the sky's the limit."
3. Sure, there's Greek Mythology (as I just mentioned), but that's just scratching the surface. In fact, mythology is defined as "A collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes." In other words, lots of fun variations, prophecies, and adventures to behold.

So are you ready to dive into mythology? Below are a few books that aspire to be hot buttons in the YA mythology trend. Pick 'em up and become a part of this growing genre. In anticipation of the release of Kin (Annabelle's Story Part Two), Sprite (Annabelle's Story Part One) will be available for free on Amazon.com July 30th and 31st. You can also enter to win 5 of the YA mythology books seen below.

Sprite by Leigh MichaelSonora by Travis Hall
The Chosen by Sheenah FreitasBonded by Mande Matthews
Unchanged by Heather CrewsBetrayal by Mayandree Michel
Become by Ali CrossEternal Vows by Chrissy Peebles
Promises by Amber GarrEternal Youth by Julia Crane and Nolia McCarty

Join the conversation at #booktrends

Add Leigh on Facebook, follow on Twitter, or subscribe through email.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: "Blood Curse" (The Fear) by Susan Hern


Delia is dead.

All we have to go on, in order to determine how, and why she succumbed, are a trunk-full of old papers and the diary her nineteen-year-old niece, Lindsay, discovers. From her journal, it is clear that Delia, was a talented spunky girl, with a glittering future ahead of her.

We are given a window to watch Delia, bravely, attempt to understand, and evade her fate, all-the-while, being unaware of the intensity of the ancient magic, which has been focused on her. Can Lindsay, untangle herself, from the Blood Curse, or will its meaning disrupt her destiny, and shadow her world with sinister psychic haunting.

A tale of action, love, adventure, and malicious unnerving terror.

How horrifying might it be to discover you have been granted a truly unnatural gift.

Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 289 KB
Print Length: 131 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Genre: Young Adult
Approximately 51,000 words

Review Copy Courtesy Of: The author, Susan Hern, in exchange for an honest review.

Saph's Review:
"Blood Curse" is a pretty interesting thriller that pulls you along as you move from paragraph to paragraph.  The novel starts with Lindsay learning about the death of an estranged aunt.  Aunt Delia was the sister of Lindsay's deceased mother.  When Lindsay goes to Aunt Delia's home to investigate her inheritance, she discovers an old diary among the many belongings in the attic.  The diary chronicled some of Delia's life, telling of a tragic tale, suspected mental illness, and ending with a harsh discovery.  

Lindsay doesn't have a huge part in the novel; we spend most of the time within the pages of Aunt Delia's diary, learning about her love life and visions that lead her to investigate a missing persons case, off the record.  Delia's character is intriguing and well-written.  The plot is different and full of suspense as you try and figure out what is going on with Delia.  The majority of the secondary characters have short appearances but, in most cases, are likeable. 

The novel is a fairly short and easily read.  There are some formatting issues, run-on sentences, and incorrect use of punctuation but all-in-all this was a thrilling tale, despite the grammatical errors.  Overall, this was a pretty interesting book that kept me engaged and held my interest from start to finish! 


Buy Link:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Promo: "Wild Point Island" by Kate Lutter

Wild Point Island 
By Kate Lutter

Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants--immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island.

Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death. Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council. Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she’s ever met. But he’s been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom.

With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love.

About the Author

Kate Lutter believes she was born to write. She wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing contemporary paranormal romances, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel,Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with 
Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost 
famous cat.

Website: www.katelutter.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/katelutternovelist

Blog: www.katelutter.blogspot.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/katelutter

Thursday, July 26, 2012

**Lazy Days Of Summer Giveaway Hop**

I'd like to start this blog hop out with a big  

So, I know you're asking yourself - "Come on Saph, what do you have up for grabs today?"

You can enter to win my gently used copy of "Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles" by Merrie Destefano.

My review can be found HERE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to keep on hopping:

Guest Post/Giveaway: "Night School: Vampire Hunter" by Michelle Cornwell-Jordan (Angel Book 1)

Night School 
By Michelle Cornwell-Jordan 
Genre: Paranormal YA 
Rating: PG13 

Fifteen year old Dasheen Bellamy’s world is turned upside down, when she is accused of killing her father and godmother. Dasheen cannot remember the events of the night her world is destroyed, but she feels inside that she is innocent; due to lack of evidence against her and with no other family; Dasheen and her younger brother Jordan, are sent to the elusive and mysterious Ame’ Academy ; a residential school where all is not what it appears. There all goes well, until Jordan, begins to become distant and behave strangely as if he is afraid of something or someone. Jordan is transferred to Ame’ Academy’s Night School track, which is usually only open to special cases. In order to discover what is happening with her brother, Dasheen is finally allowed to also transfer, attending classes in the evening while the rest of the world sleeps. Soon Dasheen’s world changes again as she discovers that things out of fairytales and horror stories exist, that she has ancient powers and is the major player in a mystical prophecy; and then she falls in love with a boy, whose mission is to see that she is destroyed before her destiny is fulfilled

Welcome to Sapphyria's Book Blog Michelle!!



Hello YA 

Just bringing you the completely updated playlist that I listened too and created the Mind Track for Night School:Vampire Hunter, BK.1 

Thought I would share the music which inspired me while writing Night School Vampire Hunter 

I had so much fun when I was writing Bk.1, I listened to a lot of new artists that I had never listened to before; and found that I loved it! It energized me, helped me to really get into Angel's skin...while writing, at times I felt Angel has so much..."feeling" inside her...passion that ranges from anger....to intense love and loyalty for those she allows into her heart. Angel is such an expressive character, although outwardly she doesn't speak much...She feels life strongly, and the music I listened to express her perfectly! 

Unbreakable by Fire Flight would be the perfect theme song for Night School: Vampire Hunter,Bk.1 

No matter the odds that came against, or will come against Angel:)...She doesn't stop, and she will do whatever necessary to protect the innocent and those she loves...This song characterizes it perfectly! 

Angel & Rafael 

The song which I liked for these two would be best Evanescence Bring Me To Life 

I felt that, although Angel was coming into her destiny prior to meeting Rafael, that when meeting him, she woke up to who she would become, or she was to become...the Hunter... 

I liked Adele's Crazy For You 

It's so tongue and cheek, funny...which with Night School:Vampire Hunter being a little dark, it was fun to write Angel, being a little unnerved by Rafael, such as when she first saw him, and how she worked hard on not thinking of him...:) 

These were just some...see the complete playlist here 

Happy reading all:) 


Goodreads book page


Amazon: Night School:Vampire Hunter Bk.1(Angel)

About the Author:

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan is a book lover, with YA paranormal adventures as her favorite genre,although she can be a glutton for any young adult title. Michelle’s other love is writing, Michelle has been writing about as long as she has been a bibliophile! Losing herself in a fantasy world that she, or others have created is how she loves spending her spare time...

One last thing about Michelle, she believes that she has her own secret powers:)

Next Night School Vampire Hunter (Bk#2) "Dark Angel" tentative release date October 2012


Indiewritersreview: http://indiewritersreview.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5303071.Michelle_Cornwell_Jordan

Links are: @mcjordan37 (Twitter)

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Indiewritersreview-YA-blog/243295842393117

IndieReview Behind The Scenes (Indiewritersreview's radio segment) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/indiereviews-behind-the-scenes

a Rafflecopter giveaway



to the FIRST EVER BookPushalooza!

July 26th ONLY

Books, only $.99

With each purchase you get the chance to WIN while Helping Authors reach new heights in Amazon’s ranks.

It’s so easy a CAVEMAN could do it!

Follow the Instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget and for each book you purchase (or Borrow through Amazon Prime for Free) you get an entry in to WIN ---

(1) Grand
Prize- $100 Amazon Gift Card

(2) Runners
up of $25 Amazon Gift Cards

That’s not all! Purchase all NINE (9) books and get an additional 5 entries!

Don’t delay, this offer is good for JULY 26th ONLY!

Overview of Dark Isle (Celtic Legacy Book 2)

When evil begets evil, a choice is forced on Quinn, the one person who can see the danger. Does she save the ones she loves, or does she save the world from Chaos?

As the realms of Fae and human collide, Quinn's future has never looked so grim, or so damn impossible.

Genre- Urban Fantasy

The streets aren't safe when your enemy wears a blue uniform and a gold badge.

What if the good guys weren't good?

What if a cop went rogue and killed an innocent man?

What if it was all caught on video and the cop would do anything to cover it up?

Chase this lawless cop through the streets and to a scintillating series of showdowns with Cruz Marquez, a young attorney trying to nail down his enemy in blue.

Will justice be served?

Genre- Thriller

When two strangers have nothing left but their dreams, they must forge a relationship in Nantahala, North Carolina, a small town known as Land of the Noonday Sun.

A man with a traumatic past is able to turn his life around and is happy with his chosen career as a whitewater guide. Everything changes though when fate hurls a woman into his path. His carefree life is in turmoil, and his former weaknesses threaten to overtake him. Will he be strong enough when tragedy strikes and is once again in danger of losing everything he loves?

Genre- Contemporary Romance 

Delaney Brannigan and Blake Morrisson met at the Cedar Cove annual costume dance, known only to each other as the leopard and the cowboy--but, as Delaney soon discovers, the cowboy she'd thought had ridden off into the sunset never to tempt her again, is none other than the man she came from New York to find and discredit. Against her will, Delaney is drawn deeper and deeper into an overwhelming attraction to Blake--an
attraction she can't give in to if she wants to keep the one thing she values more than anything else.

Genre- Contemporary Romance

Fourteen-year-old Cassidy Jones wakes up the morning after a minor accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist to discover that her body has undergone some bizarre physical changes. Her senses, strength, and speed have been radically enhanced.

Lives are put at risk when they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous, action-packed adventure. Soon they are forced to confront a maniacal villainwilling to do anything - including murder - to reach his own ambitious goals.

Genre- YA/MG Superhero

Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut thriller from Alan McDermott. When a killer walks free from court, the victim's father sees just two options: accept the judge's decision; or take on the entire British justice system. Tom Gray chooses the latter and his crusade attracts instant worldwide media coverage. It was just what Tom was hoping for, but it brought him a lot more than he bargained for.

Gray Justice is much more than a simple tale of revenge: it's a rollercoaster ride with an ending you'll never forget!

Genre- Thriller

"Their lives are in the hands of two 18-year-olds..."

A Prominent P.I. is gunned down - killed by a sniper - and it’s broadcasted on live TV.Now, her daughter, along with her childhood pal, are thrust into a complex and riveting thriller forced to take on a secret club whose members call themselves The Privileged Ones.

Murder. Teen abductions and illegal underground parties.

They’re chased by men in ski-masks, nearly gunned down by members of a cartel, and the only way to bring down this criminal enterprise; is to crash a Mardi Gras bash and stop their private cruise ship from sailing off
into the sunset.

Overview of  Allegiance, a Thriller

Who do YOU pledge allegiance to?

After exposing one of the most notorious rings of police corruption in history, lawyer Cruz Marquez planned on starting a new life south of the border. That plan unraveled when an extremist group of Minutemen captured and tortured him and his wife.

Will Cruz pledge allegiance to do right, or will he do anything to serve up revenge?

Genre- Thriller

Curbchek-Reload is a dark account of the streets as they were worked by Zach Fortier, a dangerously deranged cop. Welcome back to the inner city and the twisted mentality of Zach Fortier. Patrolling the streets, broken and mentally damaged from years of urban violence, Zach fights a losing battle to maintain a hold on reality. Join him in the passenger seat of a police cruiser for more of the darker and meaner side of life: The inner city. In Curbchek-Reload you get a front row seat to an attempted murder of a cop, suicide attempts, rapes, and DARK cop humor. Curbchek-Reload - Fasten your bullet proof vest and buckle your seatbelt, it is gonna be a wild ride!

Genre- Police Procedural


All winners will be notified via email July 28th 2012. For a list of winners contact onedaybookpush@yahoo.ca