Monthly Archives: March 2014

Regency Love

Hello, it’s Karen again, and I’m late, again. This time by a whole week… 😦 Sorry! I really need to work on that. lol. But I do believe I will be writing posts on Saturdays instead of Fridays from now on. Just easier to do. This week I’m reviewing an old and favorite author, Julie Klassen. She is, without a doubt, a wonderful author of the regency era. I first read her years ago, and have been reading her ever since. Her recent book, The Dancing Master is a find example of her abilities as an author, and one that I had a great amount of pleasure reading.

I have to admit, I do love a good regency. But I have to say, I am a little disappointed with a lot of regency. Most seem simplistic in their story-lines, the usual focus on etiquette, women needing to find a husband, that sort of thing, which is a trademark of regency, but some leave it there. There really isn’t conflict, and a good story needs at least some sort of conflict. That is where Julie Klassen is amazing. She incorporates the classic elegance, civility, and etiquette, with a good dose of tension and mystery. In The Dancing Master, she shows her special touch when introducing us to Alec, a dancing and fencing master who had to flee London with his family after a scandal. But what that scandal was isn’t clear, and the author loves to tease what that mystery could be. But unfortunately, he finds himself in a town where dancing, his main trade, is forbidden. In a world where dancing is an essential social grace, it is very disconcerting to find himself in the one town that doesn’t have it. But why the matriarch of the village has forbidden it is anyone’s guess, and no one’s answer. But her daughter, Julia, has other ideas, and dreams of being able to dance in grand balls. When Alec arrives, she thinks that she can finally be free to follow that dream. But how can either of them pursue dance in a village where it’s prohibited? Could they finally put to rest a mystery long held by secrets? And are the feelings they’re developing for each other a hindrance, or a taste of what love feels like? Well woven with imagery of England’s countryside, this story brings to life an age long gone. The characters have so much depth, it’s hard not to fall for them all. The description is fantastic, pulling you into the old manors and dancing rooms. And the story is engaging, with just enough mystery to pull you along, dying to find out ‘why’, just waiting ’til you’re hooked to let you in on its secret. This is definitely a book I’d recommend, although, I could say that about all the author’s works.

Interested? You can learn more about the author through her website and Facebook. And if you’re interested in the book, you can get it for your Kindle, NOOK, or a paperback version at your local bookstore.

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Happily Ever After

Hello, it’s Karen again. So, had a busy day yesterday and wasn’t able to post. Sorry. 😦 So, I’m posting my review tonight instead. Last week I did a new author I discovered who writes fairytale retellings. After watching the mid-season premier of Once Upon a Time, I’m still in fairy tale land. lol. (I won’t give any spoilers, but it was AWESOME! This season looks to be really good. 🙂 ) So, to continue with the fairytale themes, I’m going to introduce you to an old favorite author of mine, Melanie Dickerson. I discovered her a few years ago when her first book, The Healer’s Apprentice, came out. And let me tell you, I was hooked! But today, I’m gonna tell you about her latest masterpiece, The Captive Maiden.

My favorite thing about Melanie’s works is that they are Christian fairytales. I know, kinda weird huh, but she does a fantastic job. If you’ve ever seen Ever After, you can get the general idea of what she writes. All her stories are set in the reality of the late middle ages. There is no ‘magic’, other than some spiritual warfare. She does a fantastic job researching the medieval era, and describing it so vividly, I got drawn into the era. Her writing style flows so easily, pulling you along the story. She describes the settings so vividly, carrying the reader from simple country manors to old world forests, and great castles full of noblemen. Though each book is a stand alone story, it does help to read them in publication order, as many of the characters are found in the other books.

The Captive Maiden is the fourth book in this collection, and wonderfully based on the story of Cinderella. Gisela is a classic Cinderella character. A beloved daughter to a doting father, a kind heart, and jealous stepmother and stepsisters. And Valten is the quintessential Prince Charming. I love how he is the image of a strong knight, a winner of tournaments, but is also very sweet off the field. He has no problem sweeping her off her feet and saving the day. The romance is so sweet, very much an old school chivalric love. What I love is even though Gisela is sweet and kind, and has no problem being swept away, she is also very strong, and very resourceful on her own. And Valten, while a strong knight, still has some learning to do, especially when his brawn isn’t enough to save them. This is a beautiful story, well written, with a sweet romance, and a great message of relying on God, especially when things seem hopeless.

Interested? I know I was. You can get it for either the Kindle or NOOK, but also in Paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also find this wonderful author on Facebook, Twitter, and her personal website

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Once Upon A Time

Karen here! I love those words! For centuries they invoke its readers to imagine worlds of wonder, where magic is possible, and romance causes the heart to just sigh. There is a reason these stories have been around for so long, and have been retold so many times. These stories show simple truths in fantastical settings. Jealousy hurts everyone, honor and chivalry are signs of a true gentleman, and what’s inside is more important than the outward appearance. I love fairytales, and try to get my hands on as many retellings as I can. And yes, I did grow up as a Disney girl. Still love a good Disney. Why am I on a fairytale kick? Well, it might have to do with the fact that ‘Once Upon A Time’ is back!!! I love that TV show! Wonderland came on last Thursday and the original starts again Sunday. So excited! But I also have been reading a good author’s series retelling different fairytales. Jenni James is an author I recently discovered, and I love her Fairytale collection. I figured I’d review the first book in her series, the first I read, and also my all time favorite fairytale, “Beauty and the Beast”. 

I love the tale of “Beauty and the Beast”. There is something wonderful about this story. It’s one of the few fairytales where it’s not ‘love at first sight’. And this one is no exception. I love the relation between the ‘beauty’ and ‘beast’ characters. There is such great dialogue between them! Now, the werewolf as the beast isn’t a new twist, but the fact that he appears in both forms to Cecelia, as two people, that I found fascinating. And I love the strong woman, especially when she has no problem standing up to her childhood tormentor, even when he’s trying to romance her. My favorite twist? What happens when Cecelia breaks the curse, but doesn’t stay to see Alexander there? You’ll just have to read to find out. It’s so well written, the narrative and dialogue flowing seamlessly, along with wonderful characters you can’t help but root for. If you love new tellings of timeless classics, then this is definitely a series to look into.

If you’re interested in getting a copy for yourself, you can get it for both Kindle and NOOK. Or, for those like me who love a book in hand, a paperback version is also available at Amazon. You can also visit the author’s website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter

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Party week 3!!!

Yet another party day celebrating the soon to be release of The Ransom!So, we’ve met the hunk of a hero, and the wonderfully strong and smart heroine, wanna see them together? Then head on over and play this week’s game: guess what the  character will say next. I have to say reading these, I am so excited to be reading more!

So, head on over to MaryLu Tyndall’s website, and have a blast! Also, there is a limited time pre-order sale at Amazon: only $2.99 for the Kindle edition! But take advantage of this soon, as it’Lll be gone in a few days!

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