“Shades of Milk and Honey” by Mary Robinette Kowal— Book Review

 

 

About The Book:

“Shades of Milk and Honey” is a somewhat simple regency romance that follows the story of Jane, a spinster who is not considered outwardly beautiful, BUT has talent with the art of glamour. The book follows her life as it is entwined with various other characters, and the ensuing drama caused by emotions and magic is rather like an Austen book, except, you know, there’s magic. 😛

My Review:

Have you ever wondered what a Jane Austen book would be like if it had a bit of magic? Well, Miss Austen never got around to writing a book like that (*sad face*) , but Mary Robinette Kowal did, and the result is fantastically charming…

Think about a proper British Regency book or film. Okay, now imagine the characters not only having to deal with the drama of society’s structures BUT also the fact that some people have talents to glamour things, while others do not. Think of a world where illusion can make rooms a bit otherworldly, or hide flaws in one’s features. Sounds fascinating, does it not? That is what this book does. It reads like a historical, but the woven-in magical parts complement it so that the story has an authentic flavor that tastes delicious. (Dare I say magically delicious? 😉 #sorrynotsorry) I am a lover of both historical fiction and fantasy, and so the blend of both was ever so lovely

Another thing I liked about this book? Well, as I’m  a young woman who considers herself to be not outwardly beautiful, I always love finding a book where the heroine is NOT the fairest in the land. It makes her much more relate-able for me. I liked that the story showed Jane for being a likable woman because of who she is inside. And, though she is shown as an inwardly strong woman, the story shows every now and again a vulnerability from her that is felt for not having the desired looks women crave. Jane is now one of my favorite heroines ever. ❤

Dislikes… Hm, one swear word. I also think that this story suffers from not being very fast paced. But that is not a terrible flaw.  Also, the ending was rushed, but since there is a sequel, I won’t complain too much about it.

Overall, “Shades of Milk and Honey” is a sweet book with enough drama to make it interesting. I personally would have preferred more action scenes, but that’s just me. I give it a rating of four.

Also, I listened to this book’s audio book version, and the author narrated it. She did an excellent job. *claps hands in a proper, regency era way*  😀

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

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“Exiles” by Jaye L. Knight—Book Spotlight + Giveaway

I’m spotlighting Jay L. Knight’s newest book in her “Ilyon Chronicles” today. This fantasy series is unique in that, while it has the swords, woods, dragons, and dangers of fantasy novels (you know, the basic essentials of the fantasy book checklist), there is no magic. That’s right, NO MAGIC. Say what? It is different, but a good different. 😀 Let me assure you that Jaye L. Knight has done an awesome job of creating a fantasy world without magic in the books I’ve read in this series (1&2), and I’m sure she continues with book three, and book four, “Exiles.”  😀

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About the Book

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Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest.

Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all.

Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir but, with other forces at work, it might not be that simple.

One small misstep could prove fatal for all.

Available now on Amazon!

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Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? The first three Kindle books are on sale August 11th – 14th! You can find them on Amazon.

About the Author

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Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

 

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.

Giveaway

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Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Exiles, a pewter dragon necklace by treasurecast, and a sword letter opener! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.

Click Here To Enter The Giveaway via Rafflecopter.

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, August 10

Friday, August 11

Saturday, August 12

Sunday, August 13

Monday, August 14

 

Tuesday, August 15

 

July 2017 Book Haul

I think I did better when it came to resisting buying books this month. Still, I did get more than I ought to have obtained. Still, I got books. Books. books. books. I’ve got books piled on the floor, people. PILES. (Don’t worry, I have yet to visit the hospital due to a book-related injury brought about said books and my clumsiness. Go me.)

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I had all the other books from this series in some form, and finding a good copy of this one in hardback and for a reasonable price was not an easy feat. However, Thriftbooks finally had a copy that looked fine enough. Listening to the book before it.

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I’m on the author’s street team for this book, so once I finish the book I’m reading now (Sara Ella’s awesome “Unblemished”), I plan to start this one. I LOVE the cover of this book.

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I won this book in a giveaway at Nicole’s blog, The Christian Fiction Girl, which you ought to go and check out by clicking here (<— CHECK OUT HER BLOG NOW!). This cover has such a cool look to it. It looks like the top right corner is bent, but it’s actually the cover design. 😛 Thank you, Nicole, for sending me this book. So sweet of you. 😀

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I won this one is another giveaway. It was one I had been considering buying, but I got it for F-R-E-E. Now the money I planned to use for it can go towards other things. Ideally books or dramas. 😀

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This series looks interesting. So, it’s supposed to be a futuristic story, but the characters live in a Victorian-era- like world, there are zombies in this world, and the heroine falls in love with a zombie. Nope, I could not pass giving this series a try, and thanks to Thriftbooks I was able to procure them for good prices. Also, “Dearly Departed” is signed by the author. *heart eyes*

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My dear best friend surprised me by sending me this book for my birthday. It’s one I’ve been wanting to try, and now it is mine.

고맙습니다, 친구. 😀 

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This book was priced under four dollars on Amazon, and since I was already ordering another book, why not add this one to my order? (Do not answer that.)

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Saw a friend with this book on Goodreads. I had never seen it, but it looked like something I could enjoy. I mean, regency era with fantasy elements? Many yeses. I flipped through it and saw the book even has some illustrations.

“Shattered Worlds” Blog Tour— Author Julie Hall Spotlight + A Giveaway

Today is special for two reasons. One, it’s my birthday, and we are planning on having my favorite cake this evening. Yum. 😀

Two, I’m joining in on the tour for the cool looking, upcoming  YA/NA e-book collection, “Shattered Worlds” by spotlighting author Julie Hall, and sharing some about this compilation of e-books. A compilation that I want on my Kindle N-O-W, but must wait for its August 8 release. 😭

 

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Author Spotlight: Julie Hall

Julie Hall

Before writing her first novel Julie worked as a film publicist and rubbed elbows with the rich and famous . . . as in she would gently nudge them to let them know their meal had arrived during press interviews.

She now spends most of her “office hours” with her two furry writing buddies, Bear and Coco. Her daughter thinks that mommy’s superpower is “sleeping all day,” but that’s because she’s often awake until the wee hours of the morning weaving tales of adventure in worlds of her own creation. When asked in an interview what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’s quoted to have answered, “to never have to grow up.”

She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her four favorite people–her husband, daughter, and two fur babies (because dogs are people too).

Social Media Links:

Website // Amazon Author Page // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads

 

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About Shattered Worlds:

Escape into twenty-three epic worlds that will leave you breathless.

From dystopian nightmares to gorgeous steampunk and fantasy settings to fairy-tale retellings and beyond, SHATTERED WORLDS has every story you’ve been dying to get your hands on!

This unique Young Adult/New Adult collection, inspired by the creative minds of today’s New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors, promises to satisfy your cravings for action and adventure as you experience rune magic and time-travel, overthrow corrupt governments, meet reapers and aliens, battle dragons, fall hopelessly in love, and break ancient curses, right alongside some of the bravest characters in fantasy fiction!

Each book within this collection is exclusive to the set and can’t be found anywhere else.

Preorder now for your passport to SHATTERED WORLDS!

Purchase Links:

Amazon // iBooks // Nook // Kobo // Google Play

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35122753-shattered-worlds

 

Shattered Worlds Authors

J.L. Weil, USA Today Bestselling Author

J.A. Culican, USA Today Bestselling Author

J.A. Armitage, USA Today Bestselling Author

N.R. Larry, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author

Jane Redd, USA Today Bestselling Author

Miranda Hardy, USA Today Bestselling Author

Julie Hall, International Bestselling Author

Cameo Renae, International Bestselling Author

Jen Minkman, International Bestselling Author

Cindy M. Hogan, Bestselling Author

Elana Johnson, Bestselling Author

Rebecca Rode, International Bestselling Author

Audrey Grey

Nichole Giles

Katy Haye

Cortney Pearson

Elizabetta Holcomb

Ali Winters

Kristy Tate

Liz Long

AG Henley

Ainsley Shay

Jay Noel

Emily Martha Sorensen

 

(Click the author’s name to visit their site!)

 

Giveaway:

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The Shattered Worlds authors have generously offered to give away 17 e-books to one winner. Fill out the form to enter! Open INT.

Entry Form Link: Giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, July 24th

Tuesday, July 25th

Wednesday, July 26th

Thursday, July 27th

Friday, July 28th

Saturday, July 29th

Monday, July 31st  

Tuesday, August 1st  

Wednesday, August 2nd

Thursday, August 3rd

Friday, August 4th

 

Drama Wednesday (15): “Chicago Typewriter” Review

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What I  Liked:

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The writing elements. It can be fun to watch a drama and see characters who do things you like to do. In my case, this drama was about a writer who, well, writes. Which I happen to do both here and on some personal fictional works. Anywho, I liked the writing and bookish parts of this series.

The historical vibe of 1930’s Korea. Okay, so I have not really thought much on what a 1930’s Korea looked like before watching this drama. From this show, it looks a lot like 1930’s America, except, you know, overrun by Japanese and mixed with Korean/Japanese culture. However, some of the clothing styles, architectural structures, and music style are similar. So it was interesting to see this side of Korean history. Speaking of Korean history…

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The little taste of history concerning Japan’s occupation of Korea was something my history loving heart appreciated.  Before watching this drama, something that kind of flew over my head about Korea is this time period. I guess I just tend to be drawn to the hanbok wearing days of Korean history, so I found it an eye opening lesson to learn about the struggle the Koreans went through because of the Japanese occupation. So awful! *hugs the 1930’s Koreans*

The way the series flips from present to past, past to present was interesting. I helped add the mystery feeling of this series.

The romance was sweet, and not overdone. Kind of feel sad for one character, though. 😦

The friendship between the characters in the past, and how they renewed their friendship in the present. Some of their story was tear worthy, but that just added to the emotional, heartrending awesomeness that I (morbidly) kind of like. O_o

Action scenes. Yep, while not a lot (they’re mostly in the past), there is some action.

What I Was Not So Fond Of:

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More, please?

There were a few loose ends left untied at the end. It was not so bad that I’m melting from lack of knowledge, but there are a few characters that have me curious about what happened to them.

Curse words in the subtitles. Most dramas I watch have curse words, but I’m just saying I. don’t. like. it. #rantover

Overall, I really enjoyed this drama. It was different and stands out, and I am glad I decided to watch it. Wish there were more episodes, because I’m going to miss this drama and its characters. 😥 *sniffle*

“My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Aston, and Jodi Meadows — Book Review

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About:

A re-imagining of the story of Lady Jane Grey, the girl who, once upon a time, was queen of England for nine days…

My Review:

Before I read this book, I’d seen it around. However, for some reason it did not particularly pique my interest. Which, as I think about it, is somewhat odd as I was fond of the story of Lady Jane Grey when I was younger… Anywho, I one day decided to give it a try. Why this happened, I’m not 100% sure. It was a spur of the moment decision, but I’m glad I made said decision because I enjoyed this book.

The original story of Jane Grey is a sad one, but this story, while it does have some sad moments, was overall far from having a full-blown depressing tone one might expect from a retelling of Lady Jane Grey. In fact, this book really is not a retelling of the story, but more of a re-imagining of history. This book was one historical re-imagining that I wish was the true story.

So what did I like? It is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Who knew one could recreate a sad event from the past and turn it into a tale full of smile inducing comedy? That’s exactly what this book was for me. The story is told from three perspectives—Lady Jane, Lord Gifford (known as “G”), and Kind Edward the VI. I’m telling you this because I just have to say that I think King Edward’s POV was my favorite, and probably had the most amusing voice to me.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book is that the historical England in the story is not the historical England we usually learn about today today. In history, there are just people who are, well, people. However, in this book there are people who can transform into animals. I ❤ this.

Also, Jane is a historical bookworm. Yesssss. 😀

There was not a whole lot about this book that I did not enjoy. There were a few curse words (bleh), and some parts were slow. Not much else to mention when it comes to negativity.

All of the above (positive) things mixed into an overall lovable story that has me eager for the next book in this series. I think it’s supposed to be a Charlotte Bronte/Jane Eyre mashup, and I’m thoroughly awaiting its 2018 release.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you a smile, you might want to give this a try. (However, if you are a die-hard history purist, this book might make you faint.) I give “My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows a rating of four and a half.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

June 2017 Book Haul

Do you ever feel guilty about buying so many books? Yeah, me neither… for the most part, anyways. 😉

June’s ridiculous amount of physical books I bought/got for review show this truth.

 

“The Chronicles of Faerie” by O.R. Melling: I’ve been wanting to read this series for years. Went to the library awhile ago to finally start, but they did not have the first one available. (How rude!) Now I own three of them.

 

“Dorothy Must Die” series by Danielle Paige: Decided I wanted to try these books. Bookoutlet had a sale, so why not buy them all even though I don’t know if I’ll like the first book?

 

“Of Triton” and “Of Neptune” by Anna Banks: I bought the first book in this series over three years ago and still. have. not. read. it. Saw these for sale, and thought I’d get them. Maybe having them all will encourage me to, you know, actually read them? #bookwormlogic

 

Books 3,4, and 5 of the “Glamourists Histories” by Mary Robinette Kowal: My dearest friend has praised this series, and, seeing the hardcovers on sale, I thought I’d get them even though I have not read books one and two. They’re pretty, don’t you think?

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“Silver Phoenix” and “Fury of the Phoenix” by Cindy Pon: Always looking for Asian-based fantasies, and so I’m happy to have these added to my library.

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“Jane of Austin” by Hilary Manton Lodge: A contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” that I received for free for review. On my July TBR.

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“These Broke Stars” by Aimee Kaufman and Megan Spooner: I hope this book is as good as it’s gorgeous cover.

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“True to You” by Beck Wade: It was on sale at Lifeway…

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“Defy The Stars” by Claudia Gray: Been eyeing this one for a little while, and, a trip to Barnes and Noble one day saw me leaving with it.

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“King’s Folly” by Jill Williamson: I LOVE the “Blood of Kings” trilogy by Williamson, and this one is supposed to be a prequel series! Found it at a good price and now it is mine. Mwhahahaha! 😀

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“Stealing Snow” by Danielle Page: Because, when buying the author’s other series that is on sale, why not pick up another book by her?

 

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“The Conspiracy of Us” by Maggie Hall: I was at Dollar Tree late one evening, and I found this book. Say what? One of my best deals of the month, for sure.

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“Flamecaster” by Cindy Williams Chima: I had not seen this book before one day browsing at Barnes and Noble. I’m interested in seeing if it is as cool as its cover.

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“Love, Lies, and Spies” by Cindy Antsey: A fun looking regency that I found on sale.

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“Hello, I Love You” by Katie M. Stout: K-Pop. A heroine named Grace. Yesss.

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“Counted With the Stars” by Connilyn Cossette: That cover. ❤

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“Sirens” by Janet Fox: Another good deal. The price was marked $0.99.

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“My Lady Jane” by Cythia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows: This funny re-imagining of Lady Jane Grey’s story is one of my current reads. Picked it up at Barnes and Noble.

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“Ghost Talkers” by Mary Robinette Kowal: I looove the cover of this book. Normally priced way out of my comfortable-book-buying-price, I found it at a nicer price at Bookoutlet.

Did you get any books is June? Feel free to share. 😀