Monday, May 28, 2012

Tabby says Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy The New Book is FINALLY Finished!

Tabby celebrating the completion of my novel about the Grey Sisters--Lady Jane, Katherine, and Mary. Now if I can only get it away from her, I can start editing:-)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Queen's Pleasure Virtual Book Tour Schedule

The Virtual Book Tour for The Queen's Pleasure (to be published 8/2/12 as A Court Affair by Emily Purdy in the UK) is about to begin. I hope you will follow along. There will be reviews, interviews, and giveaways starting tomorrow leading up to the book's release on June 26th. Thank you again to all the bloggers who will be hosting my book.

Monday, May 28th
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court

Tuesday, May 29th
Review at Always with a Book

Wednesday, May 30th
Review & Giveaway at Kelsey's Book Corner

Thursday, May 31st
Review at The Owl Bookmark Blog

Friday, June 1st
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Author Interview & Giveaway at Always with a Book

Monday, June 4th
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Review at The Lady Gwyn's Kingdom

Tuesday, June 5th
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, June 6th
Review & Giveaway at Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books

Thursday, June 7th
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Owl Bookmark Blog

Friday, June 8th
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Monday, June 11th
Review & Giveaway at Bippity Boppity Book
Review at Psychotic State Book Reviews

Tuesday, June 12th
Review at Diary of a Book Addict

Wednesday, June 13th
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie

Thursday, June 14th
Review & Giveaway at Royal Reviews

Friday, June 15th
Review at Raging Bibliophile
Author Interview & Giveaway at Psychotic State Book Reviews

Monday, June 18th
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Review at Paperback Princess

Tuesday, June 19th
Review at To Read, Perchance to Dream

Wednesday, June 20th
Review at BookingIt

Thursday, June 21st
Review & Giveaway at CelticLady's Reviews
Author Interview & Giveaway at Paperback Princess

Friday, June 22nd
Author Interview at To Read, Perchance to Dream
Review at Reviews by Molly

Monday, June 25th
Author Interview & Giveaway at BookingIt
Review at A Novel Affair

Tuesday, June 26th
Author Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Victorian language of flowers has most often been used to convey messages of romance and affection, but Victoria Jones, a young woman who has been dealt some harsh blows by life, uses it to express grief, anger, and mistrust.

After spending most of her life in the foster care system, Victoria can no longer trust anyone. The only way this antisocial young woman can connect with others is through the language of flowers, which she learned from a foster mother, Elizabeth, the woman she thought would be her savior but let her down worse than any before.

At eighteen, released to make a life on her own, she sleeps in the park, where she plants and tends her own garden, until a local florist, Reneta, discovers her talent.

Working for Reneta, Victoria discovers that she has a gift--she can help others with the flowers she chooses and arranges for them.

In the flower market, Victoria meets Elizabeth's nephew, Grant. They converse, warily at first, through the language of flowers. But Grant is persistent. When he gives her white poplar, Victoria, uncertain of the meaning, goes to the library to look it up. It is then that she discovers that the language of flowers is not as precise as she thought. Elizabeth always said "the language of flowers in nonnegotiable" but the books at the library reveal that there are often numerous and contradictory meanings for each bloom. So Victoria begins compiling a dictionary of her own with Grant's help. Their friendship soon blossoms into romance and Victoria becomes pregnant, but will her fear of trust, destroy her chance at true happiness? And you know I'm not telling; I won't spoil it for you.

I remember finding a book about the language of flowers at the library when I was a little girl, so this book was a real treat for me to read. The author has also published A VICTORIAN FLOWER DICTIONARY THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS COMPANION with Mandy Kirkby, which, though I haven't read it yet, I was pleased to add to my reference library.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

I love Ms. Allen’s books, this is another brisk, breezy read sprinkled with magic like confetti candy on a cupcake. The heroine of this novel is Josey Cirrini, a plump spinster of twenty-seven who hides her stash of sweets, romance novels, and travel magazines in the closet of her room in the big blue Victorian house she shares with her vain, elegant, and domineering mother in Bald Slope, North Carolina.

Enter waitress Della Lee Baker, like a tough-talking fairy godmother, literally through Josey’s closet door. For her own reasons, Della has chosen Josey’s closet to hide out in, and while there she decides its high time Josey broadens her horizons and stops living her life to be her mother’s escort, chauffeur, and all around doormat and dogsbody. To this end she enlists the aid of her friend Chloe, a gorgeous redhead for whom books magically appear when she needs them, who also happens to be the girlfriend of the best friend of Adam Boswell, the mailman Josey secretly loves.

This is a fun little book--chick-lit with fairy dust to make it extra special and above the norm.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Queen's Pleasure Virtual Book Tour Begins May 28th

My first virtual book tour, for the Queen's Pleasure (published in the UK as A Court Affair) begins May 28th. For the full schedule of events please visit

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bent Road by Lori Roy

This is a story of family secrets that fester instead of being exposed to the light and air so they can heal. For over twenty years Celia Scott has watched her husband evade and grieve over the sudden and mysterious death of his sister Eve. As a young man he fled the little house on Bent Road in Kansas where the tragedy occurred and ran away to Detroit. He married Celia and never looked back.

But in 1967, with the city stinking of burning tires and simmering in fear brought on by the race riots, he finally decides its time to pack up his family and go home to the house on Bent Road.

Arthur and their eldest daughter, Elaine, find it relatively easy to adjust to their new rural life, but for the two youngest children, Daniel and Evie, and their mother, Celia, it is a struggle. Celia is used to life in the big city, and a certain refinement, like wearing white gloves and pillbox hats to church on Sundays, and a mother-in-law who insists on teaching her to cook a friend chicken dinner from scratch, starting with wringing its neck.

When a little girl named Julianne Robinson mysteriously disappears, Arthur’s brother-in-law, Ray, a troublemaker, wife-beater, and hard drinker, is the prime suspect. Everyone remembers how Ray loved Eve, but after her death married her sister Ruth instead, and notes how Julianne bore an uncanny resemblance to Eve at that age with the same “blonde hair, blue eyes, and pink satin skin.” Almost everyone thinks that Ruth, who hides her bruises, secretly mourns the babies she lost when her husband’s beatings brought on miscarriages, and bakes strawberry pies and banana bread, married the man who murdered her own sister. To make matters worse, Celia’s own youngest daughter, Evie, named for her dead aunt, not only resembles her but has developed an obsession about her and even takes to wearing her old dresses, and Celia begins to fear that some harm might befall her own daughter.

I had mixed feelings about this novel, while I can’t say I loved it, I can’t say I hated it either, “lukewarm” is the word that first comes to mind. The characters and situations were interesting but the solution—which I will not reveal and ruin for any prospective readers—was somewhat mundane, a bit of a letdown. No one ever wishes for tragedies and horrors in real life, but in the pages of a novel like this, the reader expects what the unfolding story reveals to be a tad more dramatic and sinister. The events were undeniably tragic and should never have happened, but the buildup they were given made this reader at least expect more.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

On the morning that will change her life forever 32 year old real estate agent Annie O' Sullivan puts on her favorite yellow suit, kisses her golden retriever, Emma, goodbye, and heads out the door with three goals in mind--sell a house, forget the argument she had with her
mother regarding the return of her cappuccino machine, and be on time for dinner with her boyfriend, Luke, to try to make up for being so focused on her career lately.

After the open house, as she is preparing to leave, a man in a tan van drives up. Annie hopes it is a prospective buyer arriving late; instead he is Annie's worst nightmare. He abducts her, and this is just the start of a hellish year Annie will spend being held captive in a secluded log cabin with the man she calls "The Freak."

He forces her to strip for a romantic candlelit bath with rose petals floating in the water, and as he shaves her legs he tells her "knowing someone has life-and-death power over you can be the most erotic experience of your life."

Annie's days are so tightly regulated that even the slightest deviation provokes punishment. For example, when she sneaks an unscheduled bathroom break, "The Freak" forces her to drink the water in the toilet and then brush her teeth twenty times.

"The Freak" is a volatile and unpredictable man; sometimes lashing out at Anne in a rage over his impotence, and at other times he lies in bed and cuddles with her like a lover and talks about what kind of fruit he likes best.

"Reading Time" is the only tolerable part of Annie's day, when "The Freak" allows her to read aloud to him and they discuss literature, it is the only time Annie ever feels even a little like herself. Then she discovers that she is pregnant, which is exactly what "The Freak" wanted-- whenever she got her period he would punish her by making her take showers so cold her skin turned blue. But the baby dies when it only a few weeks old because "The Freak" refused to allow medical care.

Six weeks later, when "The Freak" is chopping wood and talking about having another baby, Annie loses control, seizes the axe, and kills him and makes her way back to civilization.

Annie tries hard to pick up the pieces and return to her old life, but as the police investigation progresses, another attack on Annie, foiled by her dog, leads her to suspect her abduction by "The Freak" might not have been so random after all. And Annie has to ask herself who would benefit most from her disappearance? Who amongst her friends and family would betray her in such a shocking and brutal manner?

This was a very interesting, frightening, and disturbing book to read. Each chapter is told in the form of a session with Annie's therapist, though only Annie speaks. And I thought the author did a great job portraying the difficulty and anguish Annie experienced while trying to readjust to freedom and return to her old life. The only quibble I have is that Annie's affair with a cop felt tacked on, as though it were inserted only to add consensual sex to balance out the rape and sexual abuse she suffered during captivity, but perhaps this was intended to show Annie taking back control over her life and body.

This is the second book I have read by this author and I look forward to more.