Sunday, March 31, 2013

International Giveaway! The Seduction of the Crimson Rose and The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig

Welcome to the Fool For Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer! In celebration of Lauren Willig's upcoming release, The Ashford Affair, I have two books from her fabulous Pink Carnation Series to giveaway: The Seduction of the Crimson Rose and The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. To enter, just fill out the form below. The winner will be notified by email. Good Luck!

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Determined to secure another London season without assistance from her new brother-in-law, Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn on behalf of the Pink Carnation. She must infiltrate the ranks of the dreaded French spy, the Black Tulip, before he and his master can stage their planned invasion of England. Every spy has a weakness and for the Black Tulip that weakness is beautiful black-haired women-his 'petals' of the Tulip. A natural at the art of seduction, Mary easily catches the attention of the French spy, but Lord Vaughn never anticipated that his own heart would be caught as well. Fighting their growing attraction, impediments from their past, and, of course, the French, Mary and Vaughn find themselves lost in a treacherous garden of lies. 
And as our modern-day heroine, Eloise Kelly, digs deeper into England's Napoleonic-era espionage, she becomes even more entwined with Colin Selwick, the descendant of her spy subjects."

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"A New York Times extended list bestseller and the exciting fifth book in the national bestselling Pink Carnation series. 
After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer's identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady. 
Charlotte Lansdowne wistfully remembers the Robert of her childhood as a valiant hero among men. Too aware of his own flaws, Robert tries to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, even as he finds himself drawn to her. When Charlotte takes up a bit of espionage-investigating a plot to kidnap the King-Robert soon realizes that she is more than the perfect partner in crime. 
Caught in a dangerous game full of deadly spies and secret rites, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain...and confront their true love."

Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Suddenly Sunday

Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea @ The Muse in the Fog Book Review. The purpose of Suddenly Sunday is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week. If you would like to participate, just grab the button and link back here.

Hello! Where did spring break go? I can't believe Belle and I have to go back to school tomorrow, lol, my mind was definitely in summer vacation mode. Disneyland was a great start to the week. It was great to extend our trip beyond a one day trip (we live 4 hours away). Of course the lines were beyond insane due to spring break, so we probably rode on less than we usually do. I'm watching The Ten Commandments on ABC as I type this post, so I'm a bit distracted despite the fact that I've seen the film at least 100 times. I know it sounds cliche, but they just don't make movies or have the same caliber of actors as they used to!

Ok, so I know that Google Reader is being retired on July 1st, but it is still questionable as to whether or not Google Friend Connect will follow. I'm quite dismayed by the possibility since 1300+ of my amazing followers are currently following via GFC, and that's how I follow the majority of people as well! My remedy to this possible situation has been to follow my lovely friends Marie from The Burton Book Review and Lucy at Enchanted by Josephine in utilizing Bloglovin' as the means of following my favorite blogs. I was a bit skeptical at first, but after playing around with it for a while I an in raptures with the program! It's quite easy to import your current Google Reader subscription list into the Bloglovin' site, and it is a joy to place blogs in various folders for easy access and viewing pleasure. If it becomes clear later on that GFC will be going away for good I will be sure to alert you to the imminent need to find a new method of following this blog. If you would like to bypass the GFC doom and follow me on Bloglovin' just click on the button bellow this lengthy ramble.

Follow on Bloglovin

I have been working on the menu bar this week, and I'm happy to say that I think it's finally finished! I've updated the author websites and have linked up all the blog features. Have a look around and feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions, or if something is acting a bit wacky. I'm always eager to hear from you about how to customize this blog to fit your needs!

2013 is shaping up to be another year of fabulous historical fiction! Here are a few upcoming releases I posted about during the week: 
Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties by Renee Rosen
The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

Current International Giveaway:
Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark
I will have a new giveaway for you tomorrow, so check back soon! 

Have a great week and happy reading!
Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Easter!

Abundant blessings to you all on this joyous day and throughout your life! 


Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Upcoming 2013 Historical Fiction Release! Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties by Renee Rosen

Publication Date: November 5th 2013
Format: Paperback 384 pages

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"America in the 1920s was a country alive with the wild fun of jazz, speakeasies, and a new kind of woman—the flapper. 
Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood behind and live a more exciting life, one that her mother never dreamed of. Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.”

As the ultimate flapper, Vera captures the attention of two high rollers, a handsome nightclub owner and a sexy gambler. On their arms, she gains entrée into a world filled with bootleg bourbon, wailing jazz, and money to burn. She thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose.

The heady life she’s living is an illusion resting on a bedrock of crime and violence unlike anything the country has ever seen before. When the good times come to an end, Vera becomes entangled in everything from bootlegging to murder. And as men from both gangs fall around her, Vera must put together the pieces of her shattered life, as Chicago hurtles toward one of the most infamous days in its history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre."



Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Upcoming 2013 Historical Fiction Release! The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

Hardcover, 544 pages
Publication Date: July 23rd 2013

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"The newest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory tells the passionate story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen, who gets caught in the middle of a battle for the crown of England. 
The White Princess opens as the news of the battle of Bosworth is brought to Princess Elizabeth of York, who will learn not only which rival royal house has triumphed, Tudor or York, but also which suitor she must marry: Richard III her lover, or Henry Tudor her enemy. 
A princess from birth, Elizabeth fell in love with Richard III, though her mother made an arranged betrothal for her with the pretender to the throne: Henry Tudor. When Henry defeats Richard against all odds, Elizabeth has to marry the man who murdered her lover in battle, and create a new royal family with him and his ambitious mother: Margaret Beaufort, The Red Queen. But, while the new monarchy can win, it cannot, it seems, hold power in an England which remembers the House of York with love. 
The new king’s greatest fear is that somewhere, outside England, a prince from the House of York is waiting to invade and re-claim the throne for the house of York. Fearing that none of his new allies can be trusted, Henry turns to his wife to advise him, all the time knowing that her loyalties must be divided. When the young man who would be king finally leads his army and invades England, it is for Elizabeth to decide whether she recognizes him as her brother and a claimant to the throne, or denies him in favor of the husband she is coming to love…"


Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Ten Commandments Tonight on ABC!

Since 1973, ABC has been airing the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments every year, with its airing date somewhere between Passover and the Saturday before Easter. The only exception to this was in 1999 when they aired a remake, which was in no way comparable to the classic. Luckily, they switched back to the original the next year. I look forward to watching this movie every year and am always so grateful that ABC continues to broadcast it!


The Ten Commandments was produced and directed by great Cecil B. DeMille in 1956, and it quickly became one of the most popular box-office movies of all time. Tracing the steps of Moses, as told in the Book of Exodus, the film vividly brings to life everything from his being sent out on the Nile in a reed basket as an infant, through his life as an Egyptian prince, his exile into the land of Midian followed by his return to deliver the Hebrew slaves, and concluding with the receiving of the commandments on Mt. Sinai. Starring Charlton Heston as Moses, Yul Brynner as Pharaoh, Anne Baxter as Queen Nefretiri, Edward G. Robinson, and Yvonne DeCarlo, The Ten Commandments is a film that will dazzle the senses on every level.

The Ten Commandments was awarded the 1956 Academy Award for Best Special Effects in addition to receiving nominations for Best Picture, Best Art Direction & Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Sound. This spectacular film will air as an ABC Special Presentation, Saturday April 30th (7:00-11:44 p.m., ET), on The ABC Television Network.


Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

International Giveaway! Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark

Welcome to the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop, hosted by I am a Reader not a Writer and  co-hosted by Read Now Sleep Later. Today I have one brand new copy of Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark to giveaway! To enter this international giveaway, just fill out the form below. Good luck!

Publication date: 8/16/2012
Format: Hardcover 368pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"London 1887. For Maribel Campbell Lowe, the bohemian wife of a maverick politician, it is the year to make something of herself. A self-proclaimed Chilean heiress educated in Paris, she is torn between poetry and the new art of photography. But it is soon plain that Maribel’s choices are not so simple. As her husband Edward’s career hangs by a thread, her real past and the family she abandoned come back to haunt them both. When the notorious newspaper editor Alfred Webster begins to take an uncommon interest in Maribel, she fears he will not only destroy Edward’s career but both of their reputations."

Take a look at the other blogs participating in this giveaway hop!
Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Suddenly Sunday

Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea @ The Muse in the Fog Book Review. The purpose of Suddenly Sunday is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week. If you would like to participate, just grab the button and link back here.

Good morning! I'm writing this as I run around the house finishing up last minute packing for Disneyland. Very last minute since we leave in two hours, lol. We are super excited this time because we are going with my parents, which means my husband and I can go on all the rides Belle can't go on, or doesn't want to. I've been able to get her to go on Matterhorn twice, but she made me promise to refrain from trying again until she is six. I wish I had a video camera inside my head so I could save watching the look on her face while we are there; it's so amazing. Well, on to the blogdown. It's been a week full of reviews this week, and I have a few more scheduled for next week along with a new giveaway! Here is a look at what's new and upcoming on The Muse in the Fog Book Review:

Recently Reviewed: 
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Mistress of my Fate by Hallie Rubenhold
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Reviewed Next Week:

Currently Reading:

Upcoming Giveaways:
March 29 - Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Hop

Have a great week and happy reading!
Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Format: Hardcover, 357 pages
Publication Date: January 10th 2013 

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"A gripping novel set in Belle Époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and a notorious criminal trial of the era. 
Paris. 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventy francs a month, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work—and the love of a dangerous young man—as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. 
Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her
image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Antoinette, meanwhile, descends lower and lower in society, and must make the choice between a life of honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde—that is, unless her love affair derails her completely. 
Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized Society."
My Thoughts:

Degas, ballet, vivid settings, life-like characters, and the tragic realities of 19th century Paris, mix these elements together and you have a mesmerizing story that will transport you back in time. In other words, you have Cathy Marie Buchanan's novel, The Painted Girls.

The story is told from two perspectives, Marie and Antoinette, two sisters faced with the hardships of 19th century Paris. With their father recently deceased, and an alcoholic mother drinking away their meager earnings, they must learn to make their own way in life while attempting to keep a semblance of integrity. The vivid portrayal of the lower class, with their speech, mannerisms, and environment was excellent. It was easy to imagine standing right next to the characters, watching the story unfold in person.

As the story progressed, Marie's point of view was definitely the most captivating. Learning about what truly went on behind the scenes of the Paris Opera was fascinating and heart breaking at the same time. To discover what these girls must have gone through to obtain a place in the ballet, and what happened when they did not, enhanced the emotional connection with each character.

Although Antionette's story became less engaging about half-way through the novel, it would have been harmful to the story had it been absent. The conflicting personalities of the sisters helped give an unbiased and truly objective narration of the story, which is something not easily achieved. Her fall from good society and struggle to find happiness evoked great sympathy on its own, but it was enhanced when reading Marie's narration.

The Painted Girls is a marvelous tale that will have you captivated by the Paris Opera just like the works of Degas has done for so many years. If you are a lover of ballet and Degas, or are merely looking for a well developed and consuming novel, this is the book you've been looking for.

Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: Mistress of my Fate by Hallie Rubenhold

Publication Date: January 8th 2013
Format: Hardcover 464pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Set during a period of revolution and turmoil, Mistress of My Fate is the first book in a trilogy about Henrietta Lightfoot, a young woman who was abandoned as a baby and raised alongside her cousins, noble children of a lord and lady. At just sixteen years old, circumstance and a passionate love affair tear Henrietta away from everything she knows, leading to a new life fending for herself on the streets of 18th century London as a courtesan, gambler, and spirited intellect of the city."
My Thoughts: 

Living as a companion to her cousin Lady Catherine, Henrietta Ingertion/Lightfoot is treated as nothing more than a poor relation who is bothersome and useless. Although it hurts her not to be accepted as a friend she is still accepting of her fate of solitude among her uncles books, that is until she meets the charming Lord Allenham. Never before has she known such emotion, and never before has someone understood her character so completely, but she is not destined to rise so high in life, and Lady Catherine will be sure to keep her in her place. When a sudden and tragic event occurs, followed by startling revelations, Henrietta must learn to break free of her destiny and become the mistress of her own fate.

This was one of those books where you are captivated one moment, and wanting to skim through pages the next. The redeeming quality that pulls the reader along despite the slow moments was definitely the excellent descriptive detail. From the dresses, to the parties, and the scoping landscape, Hallie Rubenhold did a splendid job of bringing the reader into the heart of 18th century London. Each character faced a certain level of distress, and it was easy to feel sympathy for their plight. Of course this is where the problems started to occur; there is a fine line between sympathy and irritation.

As the story progressed, Henrietta's story began to seem forced. At the beginning her naivete and distress was believable and invoked compassion, but about half-way through she just sounded like a complaining child stomping her foot. In her confessions she claimed innocence, but it came across as stupidity instead. Another inconstancy was the steamy love scenes. They were descriptive and drawn out, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if it fits with the character, but it felt out of place in this story, especially when the character is claiming innocence. Due to these aspects, it was impossible to relate to the main character for the majority of the novel; the secondary characters were much more interesting.

Mistress of My Fate is a novel written in the style of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions, and it is reminiscent of Kathleen Winsor's novel Forever Amber. If you are a fan of either of these novels you will find some pleasure in this tale of a fallen woman's perseverance, but don't expect it to have the same sweeping effect.


Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Publication Date: January 15th 2013
Format: Hardcover 416pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong. 
Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements—she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States—Anne is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness. 
Drawing on the rich history of the twentieth century—from the late twenties to the mid-sixties—and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, The Aviator’s Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage—revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows. With stunning power and grace, Melanie Benjamin provides new insight into what made this remarkable relationship endure."
My Thoughts:

There isn't much I can add to the synopsis above, so I will just jump right into my thoughts of The Aviator's Wife. When I first picked up Melanie Benjamin's latest novel, I was excited to learn about the famous Lindbergh family on a more personal level, especially since the family has been romanticized by many throughout history. There is no doubt that Melanie did a wonderful job removing the romantic layer, justly exposing the human side of the Lindbergh's. I could vividly imagine the personalities of each character and how they interacted with others on a daily basis. 

Despite the vivid portray of human characteristics, throughout the novel I was constantly trying to find a way to connect with the characters. Unfortunately I never succeeded in doing so, not even with Anne, despite all the turmoil surrounding the family. Perhaps this was the intended portrayal of these characters, especially the cold unfeeling Charles, but still, it made the novel read as a history lesson instead of a engrossing story. 

Overall, The Aviator's Wife is a great novel for someone unfamiliar with the history of the Lindbergh family, and wanting to learn about their lives beyond the moments highlighted by history. 

Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always these are my own honest opinions

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Suddenly Sunday... St. Patrick's Day Edition!!!

Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea @ The Muse in the Fog Book Review. The purpose of Suddenly Sunday is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week. If you would like to participate, just grab the button and link back here.

A very happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! It's been a very fun St. Patrick's day so far with the leprechauns leaving gold dust all over the house and eating all of our cornbread, having a green themed breakfast, and preparing the corned beef and cabbage for dinner; all that's left to do is start drinking the Irish beer! In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I am sharing a few Irish blessings that have stayed with me through the years. 

An Irish Prayer 
May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

From Saint Patrick's Breastplate 
Christ be with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right
Christ on my left
Christ where I lie
Christ where I sit
Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man
who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of every man
who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me.

An Old Irish Blessing 
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

To continue the celebration, here is an Irish themed international giveaway: 
Ireland by Frank Delaney AND The Irish Princess by Karen Harper

Have a wonderful day and happy reading!
Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

International Giveaway! Ireland by Frank Delaney AND The Irish Princess by Karen Harper

Welcome to the 2nd annual Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop, hosted by I am a Reader not a Writer and co-hosted By Books Complete Me & Author Cindy Thomas.

An Irish themed giveaway hop deserves no less than an Irish themed prize. Therefore, I am giving away one brand new copy of Ireland by Frank Delaney AND The Irish Princess by Karen Harper! To enter, just fill out the form below. Good luck!

Ireland by Frank Delaney

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"In the winter of 1951, a storyteller, the last practitioner of an honored, centuries-old tradition, arrives at the home of nine-year-old Ronan O'Mara in the Irish countryside. For three wonderful evenings, the old gentleman enthralls his assembled local audience with narratives of foolish kings, fabled saints, and Ireland's enduring accomplishments before moving on. But these nights change young Ronan forever, setting him on a years-long pursuit of the elusive, itinerant storyteller and the glorious tales that are no less than the saga of his tenacious and extraordinary isle."

The Irish Princess by Karen Harper

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"A grand-scale historical novel from the national bestselling author ofMistress Shakespeare.
Born into a first family of Ireland, with royal ties on both sides, Elizabeth Fitzgerald-known as Gera-finds her world overturned when Henry VIII imprisons her father, the Earl of Kildare, and brutally destroys her family. Torn from the home she loves, her remaining family scattered, Gera dares not deny the refuge offered her in England's glittering royal court. There she must navigate ever-shifting alliances even as she nurtures her secret desire for revenge. From County Kildare's lush green fields to London's rough-and-tumble streets and the royal court's luxurious pageantry, The Irish Princess follows the journey of a daring woman whose will cannot be tamed, and who won't be satisfied until she restores her family to its rightful place in Ireland."

This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway!


Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Suddenly Sunday

Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea @ The Muse in the Fog Book Review. The purpose of Suddenly Sunday is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week. If you would like to participate, just grab the button and link back here.

Good morning! It's going to be a quick wrap-up post this week since I am about to head back home after visiting with out of town family. Also, there isn't a lot of posting activity to talk about since my main focus this week has been to create a new look for the blog. About halfway through the creation process I was kicking myself for undergoing such a task, but now that it's done I'm quite happy I sacrificed my temporary mental health for it, lol.

I have now added RSS and Google+ to the many ways you can follow The Muse in the Fog Book Review. You can find the new follow icons on the right hand sidebar under "Follow Us" section.

Currently Reading:

I have a new international giveaway and a few reviews coming up this week, so keep an eye out for those posts!

Have a great week and happy reading!
Copyright © 2013 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.