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!

Search This Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cover Crush: The Time Between

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 time between

I read this book awhile back, but I do still love this cover.  It’s a very sweet image: a young woman at the edge of the ocean looking out at its great expanse.  It doesn’t give you many clues to go on as to what the book will be about, which is ok.  I feel like I have been this girl before and that’s what draws me in.  It’s very simple, serene, and quietly beautiful.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

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

keep calm and support book bloggers

Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wishlist 5: Alternate History Novels


Once a month I am planning on sharing with you all 5 of my biggest wish list books broken up by theme.  I know that you all need more on your TBR!!!  I have never read an alternate history novel, but I have been intrigued by them for awhile.  I think it would be cool to explore certain historical possibilities, but at the same time (at least for me) the author needs to walk a fine line of believability in order for me to want to buy into it.  Here are a few that have piqued by interest.

Lincoln’s Bodyguard by T.J. Turner

lincoln's bodyguardIn "Lincoln s Bodyguard," an alternative version of American history, President Lincoln is saved from assassination. Though he prophesied his own death the only way he believed the South would truly surrender Lincoln never accounted for the heroics of his bodyguard, Joseph Foster. A biracial mix of white and Miami Indian, Joseph makes an enemy of the South by killing John Wilkes Booth and preventing the death of the president. His wife is murdered and his daughter kidnapped, sending Joseph on a revenge-fueled rampage to recover his daughter. When his search fails, he disappears as the nation falls into a simmering insurgency instead of an end to the War. Years later, Joseph is still running from his past when he receives a letter from Lincoln pleading for help. The President has a secret mission. Pursued from the outset, Joseph turns to the only person who might help, the woman he abandoned years earlier. If he can win Molly over, he might just fulfill the President s urgent request, find his daughter, and maybe even hasten the end of the War."

11/23/63 by Stephen King

112363Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

Dominion by C.J. Sansom

dominionThe Great Smog. London. A dense, choking fog engulfs the city and beneath it, history is re-written . . .

1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and television are controlled; the streets patrolled by violent auxiliary police and British Jews face ever greater constraints. There are terrible rumours too about what is happening in the basement of the German Embassy at Senate House. Defiance, though, is growing. In Britain, Winston Churchill's Resistance organization is increasingly a thorn in the government's side. And in a Birmingham mental hospital an incarcerated scientist, Frank Muncaster, may hold a secret that could change the balance of the world struggle for ever.

Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, secretly acting as a spy for the Resistance, is given the mission to rescue his old friend Frank and get him out of the country. Before long he, together with a disparate group of Resistance activists, will find themselves fugitives in the midst of London's Great Smog; as David's wife Sarah finds herself drawn into a world more terrifying than she ever could have imagined. And hard on their heels is Gestapo Sturmbannfuhrer Gunther Hoth, brilliant, implacable hunter of men . . .

At once a vivid, haunting reimagining of 1950s Britain, a gripping, humane spy thriller and a poignant love story, with Dominion C. J. Sansom once again asserts himself as the master of the historical novel.

1812: The Rivers of War by Eric Flint

1812Eric Flint's acclaimed 1634: The Galileo Affair was a national bestseller from one of the most talked-about voices in his field. Now, in this extraordinary new alternate history, Flint begins a dramatic saga of the North American continent at a dire turning point, forging its identity and its future in the face of revolt from within, and attack from without.

In the War of 1812, U.S. troops are battling the British on the Canadian border, even as a fierce fight is being waged against the Creek followers of the Indian leader Tecumseh and his brother, known as The Prophet. In Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte's war has become a losing proposition, and the British are only months away from unleashing a frightening assault on Washington itself. Fateful choices are being made in the corridors of power and on the American frontier. As Andrew Jackson, backed by Cherokee warriors, leads a fierce attack on the Creek tribes, his young republic will soon need every citizen soldier it can find.

What if-at this critical moment-bonds were forged between men of different races and tribes? What if the Cherokee clans were able to muster an integrated front, and the U.S. government faced a united Indian nation bolstered by escaping slaves, freed men of color, and even influential white allies?

Through the remarkable adventures of men who were really there-men of mixed race, mixed emotions, and a singular purpose-The Rivers of War carries us in this new direction, brilliantly transforming an extraordinary chapter of American history.

With a cast of unforgettable characters-from James Monroe and James Madison to Sam Houston, Francis Scott Key, and Cherokee chiefs John Ross and Major Ridge-The Rivers of War travels from the battle of Horseshoe Bend to the battle of New Orleans, and brings every explosive moment to life. With exquisite attention to detail, an extraordinary grasp of history, and a storyteller's gift for the dramatic, Flint delivers a bold, thought-provoking epic of enemies and allies, traitors and revolutionaries, and illuminates who we are as a nation, how we got here, and how history itself is made-and remade.

The Virgin’s Daughter by Laura Andersen

the virgins daughterSince the death of her brother, William, Elizabeth I has ruled England. She’s made the necessary alliances, married Philip of Spain, and produced a successor: her only daughter, Anne Isabella, Princess of Wales. Elizabeth knows that her beloved Anabel will be a political pawn across Europe unless she can convince Philip to grant her a divorce, freeing him to remarry and give Spain its own heir. But the enemies of England have even greater plans for the princess, a plot that will put Anabel’s very life and the security of the nation in peril. Only those closest to Elizabeth—her longtime confidante Minuette, her advisor and friend Dominic, and the couple’s grown children—can be trusted to carry forth a most delicate and dangerous mission. Yet, all of the queen’s maneuverings may ultimately prove her undoing.

If you are looking to add more books to your list, here are some of the wishlists from a few of my friends this month: (to be updated as they go live)

  • Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede –
  • Colleen @ A Literary Vacation –
  • Erin @ Flashlight Commentary –
  • Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books –
  • Stephanie @ Layered Pages –

keep calm and support book bloggers

Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, June 19, 2017

Let’s Celebrate Audiobooks in June & Giveaway


For those of you that might not know, June is audiobook month.  I’ve been talking a lot about audiobooks this year with both my reviews and Audiobook Discussions series, so I had to take part in this event to continue to share the audiobook love. 

For this tour, I was asked to share 5 audiobooks that I think would be great for a new listener or to introduce someone to the world of audiobooks.  I will link to reviews below, where applicable.  One of the things that I think all these audiobooks share is a compelling narrative that pulls you along and an excellent narrator that makes an already compelling story even more engaging and entertaining with the way they present it.  These are not presented in any particular order.

A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt pulls you along with a compelling mystery and Carly Robbins imbues the main character with a personality that the reader can immediately connect to.  HIGHLY recommend this book and can’t wait for the next in the series.

The SecretLifeofAnnaBlanc audiocover art Final_thumb[1]
Click on Picture to Play Audio Sample

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe is another top notch historical mystery that I have recently enjoyed.  I am quite sure this is the BEST audio production I have listened to and Moira Quirk is among my top rated narrators.  Her characters are individualized to such an extent that you can picture their mannerisms!  Another that I am eagerly awaiting the second book and will certainly await the audio release.

Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson by S.C. Gwynne is my pick for best of my non-fiction listens.  Not only was the book stellar in its ability to bring me to tears about a historical figure from the Confederacy, which I considered a major feat, but the narration was strong.  Non-fiction can be hard to narrate based on the material being more fact based rather than plot based, but you could feel the passion behind Cotter Smith’s words as he read the material and he brought it to vivid life.

My Last Continent by Midge Raymond brought me to tears.  I don’t honestly cry much while reading, but I have found that an on-point narration can imbue a story with so much more passion than just my own reading of a book that I find myself tearing up more when listening to a book.  A powerful book about love and relationships set in the treacherous world of Antarctica as narrated by the fabulous Cassandra Campbell cannot be recommended highly enough! 

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is a memoir, which is not my usual genre.  This was a book read for reasons very close to my heart, due to the loss of my mother last year and how the author chose this quest because of the same event in her life.  I laughed, I cried, and then laughed again throughout this moving and honest tale of her life.  Bernadette Dunne did a fabulous job with the material – this is actually the first memoir that I have read that was not narrated by the author, so that makes it interesting to me.  She made it feel like her own story.

I would encourage you to pick up any of these books and provided you enjoy the genre, you will not be disappointed in your experience.  And to help you take advantage of any of these books, I have an awesome giveaway courtesy of the Audiobook Publishers Association.  I have a set of earbuds and a card with codes for 3 free audiobook downloads from Audiobooks.com!  How awesome is that!  This giveaway rules are simple: entries are made via the Rafflecopter below and you must be a US resident (as I will be mailing this out).  I can’t wait to see what you choose to listen to!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to check out the other stops on this tour this month to check out all the AWESOME audiobooks out there!  I’m sure you will find something to fall in love with!

June 1 – Lost in Literature

June 2 – AudioGals

June 3 – Book Riot

June 4 – Collector of Book Boyfriends

June 5 –The Book Nympho

June 6 – BJ’s Reviews

June 7 – Everyday I Write the Book Blog

June 8 – Book of Secrets

June 9 – AudioGals

June 10 – Elsie’s Audiobook Digest

June 11 – Great Kid Books

June 12 – Adolescent Audio Adventures

June 13 – To Read or Not To Read

June 14 – Caffeinated Book Reviewer

June 15 – Beth Fish Reads

June 16  – AudioGals

June 17 – The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shh

June 18 – The Book’s The Thing

June 19 – The Maiden’s CourtHERE!

June 20 – I Am Indeed

June 21 – Shelf Addiction

June 22 – Under My Apple Tree

June 23 – AudioGals

June 24 – Books Movies Reviews Oh My

June 25 – Mumfection

June 26 – For the Love of Words

June 27 – A Bookworm’s World

June 28 – Literate Housewife

June 29 – Hot Listens

June 30 – Under the Boardwalk

Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cover Crush: The Violets of March

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.

violets of march

I’m throwing back a little bit with this one – not a release from this year, but I really like this one.  I love how the background is a little faded/misty and the focus is simple – flower, book, chair.  Simple and pretty and a little bit mysterious.

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 go live).

Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, June 12, 2017

New Book Alert: Highland Hellion by Mary Wine–Excerpt and Giveaway


Highland Hellion by Mary Wine
Book 3 of the Highland Weddings series
e-Book & Mass Market Paperback; 320 pages
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1492602507
June 6, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
goodreads button

Book Blurb:


  • Illegitimate daughter of an English earl
  • Abducted to Scotland at age 14
  • No family, no reputation...
  • No rules


  • Heir to an honorable Highland laird
  • Can’t believe how well tomboy Kate can fight
  • About to learn how much of a woman she really is

Scotland is seething with plots, the vengeful Gordons are spoiling for a fight, and the neighboring clans are at each other’s throats. All it takes is a passionate hellion with a penchant for reckless adventure to ignite the Highlands once more.

Buy the Book:  Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound 

Highland Hellion graphic

Check out this awesome EXCERPT from Highland Hellion!!

“What do ye mean by that?” Helen Grant demanded.

Marcus eyed his wife, crossing his arms over his chest and facing her down, as was his fashion. Helen’s eyes narrowed. “Ye heard me clearly, Wife.”

Helen scoffed and settled her newest babe into its cradle before she turned on him while pulling the laces on her dress tight. “What I heard was that ye seem to think what a woman does with her day is easier to learn than a man’s lot.”

Marcus frowned. “Do nae go twisting me words.”

“I should have had charge of her years ago if ye wanted her trained properly in the running of a house,” Helen continued. “Ye are the one who allowed her to be a lad.”

“And for good reason,” Marcus answered back. “She’s English. Ye know how often ye have heard curses against her kin, and I assure ye, I have heard three times as much because the men do tend to mind their tongues around the women in the hall.”

Helen had finished closing her dress and settled her hands on her hips. “As I said, I do nae know what ye expect me to do with her now that ye’ve let her run wild for the past six years. She’s twenty now.”

“I know.” Marcus’s control slipped, allowing his exasperation to bleed through into his tone. “She’s a woman, and yet she was intent on riding out with us last evening.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” Helen replied. “Why is it a concern now?”

Marcus’s jaw tightened, and his wife read his expression like a book. There was no point in trying to keep the matter to himself. He let out a soft word of Gaelic.

“We went out and lifted some of the Gordons’ cattle.”

His wife stiffened. The Gordons hated the MacPhersons and would spill blood if they could. Old Laird Colum Gordon wanted vengeance for the death of his son, Lye Rob, and the old man didn’t seem to care that Bhaic MacPherson had killed Lye Rob with good reason. Lye Rob had stolen Bhaic’s new wife, Ailis, and no Highlander worth his name was going to let a man get away with that. Nothing seemed to matter to the old laird of the Gordons except vengeance.

Marcus knew he was playing with fire by going anywhere near Gordon land. Needling the local clans was one matter; going onto Gordon land was another altogether because it might get him killed. His wife was going to tear a strip off his back for chancing it.

“Damn ye, Marcus,” Helen berated him. “So, ye are still acting like a child?” She pointed at their son. “And what will become of the children I bear ye if ye get yer throat slit?”

Marcus only lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “Ye know it will nae come to that. The Grants took some of ours last month. It’s just a bit of fun.”

Helen made a soft sound. “With the Gordons, it is very different. Which is why ye do nae want Katherine along. Do nae think to pull the wool over me eyes.”

Marcus opened his arms in exasperation. “Aye!” He snorted. “There, I’ve agreed with ye. And ye would have a place if I were to pay for me choices in blood, so do nae insult me by asking such a question. Now tell me ye will take her in hand.” He made a motion with his hand. “And teach her…what a woman should be doing with her time.”

Helen wasn’t pleased, and as she looked at her baby, worry creases appeared at the corners of her eyes.

“I love ye, Helen, but ye know full well what manner of man I am.” He pulled her close, wrapping her in his embrace. She settled for just a moment, inhaling the scent of his skin before she pushed against his chest and he released her.

“Aye, well,” Helen said softly. “At twenty years of age, Katherine has decided what sort of woman she is as well. Something ye have allowed. Now ye expect me to be the one to destroy her world?”

Marcus’s expression tightened as he crossed his arms over his chest. “I’ll have words with her.”

Mary Wine & Blue Bird (close)

About Mary Wine

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons.

Find Mary Wine: Website | Facebook | Goodreads


As part of this tour, Sourcebooks has an excellent tour-wide giveaway for two bundles of the 3 books in the Highland Weddings series, which includes: Highland Spitfire, Highland Vixen, and Highland Hellion.  Entries can be made through the Rafflecopter below or on any of the tour hosting blogs.  Please note, any questions should be directed to the publicist as I do not have any input in this giveaway.  Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, June 9, 2017

Audiobook Discussions: 2017 Audie Award Winners

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!

A couple posts back in this series I told you about the Audie Awards, which are prestigious awards for the audiobook community.  Well, the 2017 winners were announced and I just wanted to share the winner list with you all and make a couple comments at the end.

Audiobook of the Year: Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, narrated by Mariska Hargitay with the authors, published by Hachette Audio

Audio Drama: In the Embers by Brian Price and Jerry Stearns, narrated by Robin Miles, Edwin Strout, Dean Johnson, et al; music by Mike Wheaton, published by Great Northern Audio Theatre/Blackstone Audio

Autobiography/Memoir: The Greatest: My Own Story by Muhammad Ali with Richard Durham, narrated by Dion Graham, published by Graymalkin Media

Best Female Narrator: Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson, narrated by Tavia Gilbert, published by HarperAudio

Best Male Narrator: Jerusalem by Alan Moore, narrated by Simon Vance, published by Recorded Books

Business/Personal Development: Humans Need Not Apply by Jerry Kaplan, narrated by John Pruden, published by Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books

Erotica: Marriage Games by CD Reiss, narrated by Sebastian York and Elena Wolfe, published by Flip City Media Inc.

Excellence in Design: Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley, design by Jessica Daigle, published by
HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Excellence in Marketing: Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 by L. Ron Hubbard, narrated by Josh Clark, Scott
Menville, Jim Meskimen, Phil Proctor, Stefan Rudnicki, Fred Tatasciore and a full cast, published by
Galaxy Audio

Excellence in Production:  Alien: Out of the Shadows: An Audible Original Drama by Tim Lebbon and Dirk Maggs, narrated by
Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, Kathryn Drysdale, Laurel Lefkow, Andrea Deck, and
Mac McDonald, published by Audible Studios

Fantasy: The Hike by Drew Magary, narrated by Christopher Lane, published by Brilliance Publishing

Fiction: Sister of Mine by Sabra Waldfogel, narrated by Bahni Turpin, published by Brilliance Publishing

History/Biography: In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors by Doug Stanton, narrated by Mark Boyett, published by Audible Studios

Humor: I’m Judging You written and narrated by Luvvie Ajayi, published by Macmillan Audio

Inspirational/Faith Based Fiction: Risen: The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture by Angela Hunt, narrated by P.J. Ochlan and Alana Kerr Collins, published by christianaudio, a division of Recorded Books

Inspirational/Faith Based Non Fiction: The Awakening of HK Derryberry by Jim Bradford and Andy Hardin, narrated by Milton Bagby, published by Thomas Nelson

Literary Fiction & Classics: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, narrated by Dominic Hoffman, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books on Tape

Middle Grade: How to Train Your Dragon: How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell, narrated by David Tennant, published by Hachette Audio

Multi-Voiced Performance: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, narrated by Audra McDonald, Cassandra Campbell, and Ari Fliakos, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books on Tape

Mystery: The Crossing by Michael Connelly, narrated by Titus Welliver, published by Hachette Audio

Narration by Author/Authors: A Life in Parts written and narrated by Bryan Cranston, published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Nonfiction: Hillbilly Elegy written and narrated by J.D. Vance, published by HarperAudio

Original Work: The Dispatcher by John Scalzi, narrated by Zachary Quinto, published by Audible Studios

Paranormal: Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella, narrated by Nicol Zanzarella, published by Brilliance Publishing

Romance: Dirty by Kylie Scott, narrated by Andi Arndt, published by Macmillan Audio

Science Fiction: Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster, narrated by Marc Thompson, published by Penguin Random House Audio / Books on Tape

Short Story Collection: The Brink: Stories by Austin Bunn, narrated by Austin Bunn, Luke Daniels, Tanya Eby, Ralph Lister, Amy McFadden, Mikael Naramore, and Nick Podehl, published by Blunder Woman Productions via ACX

Thriller/Suspense: Cross Justice by James Patterson, narrated by Ruben Santiago Hudson and Jefferson Mays, published by Hachette Audio

Young Adult: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, narrated by Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, and Michael Crouch, published by Listening Library

Young Listeners: 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr., narrated by Dion Graham, William Jackson Harper, Zainab Jah, January LaVoy, Robin Miles, Lizan Mitchell, Jonathan Earl Peck, and Carter Woodson Redwood, published by Live Oak Media

You can read more about the Audies here.

I’m not surprised that Hamilton took Audiobook of the Year, it is running away in all kinds of award categories.  Most of these books I haven’t heard of, which really surprised me!  I was happy to see In Harm’s Way won an award because I was recently looking at picking this book up, so I probably will with my next credits. 

Have you read any of these or do their awards make you want to pick any of these up?

You can check out the other posts in this series:

Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Cover Crush: Before the Rains

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.

before the rains

There are those jewel tones again!  I love, love, love those jewel tones!  I love how the cover is framed within the edges of the window/balcony.  And the monkey is super cute too!  Although I have struggled with the author before, she has some delightful covers!

What are your thoughts on this cover?

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

keep calm and support book bloggers

Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court