Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Designed By:

Munchkin Land Designs Elements by Aprilisa

Goodreads Challenge 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Kendal has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Review: 1066: What Fate Impose

1066_Tour Banner _FINAL


Publication Date: March 4, 2013
Matador Publishing

1066 What Fates ImposeKing William then utters the following words to the room: ‘I appoint no one as my heir to the Crown of England, but leave it to the disposal of the Eternal Creator, whose I am and who orders all things. For I did not attain that high honour by hereditary right, but wrested it from the perjured King Harold in a desperate bloody battle.’

England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland.

Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold.

Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?

1066: What Fates Impose is an incredibly researched and poignant novel. I kept getting lost in all the political intrigue and wondering who would come out on top. I kept wanting desperately for Harold to win the day; but, alas, I know history was not kind to him or his family.

I have not read a lot of historical fiction of the time period; therefore, I am pretty ignorant on the facts on how William the Conqueror obtained the throne of England or of his predecessors. The depiction of Edward really surprised. After reading several chapters, I did some quick research and realized he was Edward the Confessor. He did not seem so saintly in 1066. He was so easily manipulated and incredibly stubborn. Like William, Edward failed to name a heir to the throne and caused so much of his own troubles which ultimately ended with the Battles of Hastings.

The Godwin was the ultimate power climbing family in England during this period. By marrying his daughter to Edward, Earl Godwin was able to ensure his family had substantial power that was resented by many. Harold really continued that power but to his ultimate demise. Harold would have been a good king if not for William. I wonder what the world would be like if Harold was the victor at Hastings, instead of Williams. Interesting question, isn’t it?

1066 is a wonderful novel depicting a dark and dangerous time in England and Europe. It is full of intrigue and power struggles. I highly recommend picking this one up; especially if you love historical fiction.


About the Author

I have been interested in history since I was a boy, which I suppose explains why, when I came across a degree course in HistoryGK Holloway and Politics at Coventry University that looked tailor made for me, I applied right away.

In my first year at Coventry I lived in the halls of residence within a stone’s throw of the Leofric Hotel. In the opposite direction, just a short walk from my halls, is the bell tower that houses a clock, which when its bell chimes the hour, produces a half size model of naked Lady Godiva riding a horse for the titillation of tourists. Above her, Peeping Tom leans out of a window for a better view. In all of the three years I was there, it never once occurred to me that I would one day write a book featuring Earl Leofric and his famous wife, as key players.

After graduating I spent a year in Canada before I returned to England to train as a Careers Officer in Bristol. Later, I lived and worked in Gloucestershire as a Careers Officer and then in Adult Education as an Education Guidance worker.

After I met my wife, I moved back to Bristol to live and I worked at Bath Spa University as a Student Welfare Officer for a number of years. It was about this time I read a biography about King Harold II which fascinated me so much I read more and more about the man and the times. I found the whole pre-conquest period of England so interesting I couldn’t understand why no one had written a novel about it. So, I decided to write one myself. Now, after many years of study and time spent over a hot keyboard, I have finally produced thatnovel.

1066: What Fates Impose is the result of all that study and hard work and is the first book I’ve written. I am now working on a sequel.

Virtual Tour and Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 14
Book Blast at Kincavel Korner
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, April 15
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, April 16
Review at Svetlana’s Reviews and Views
Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read

Thursday, April 17
Book Blast at Closed the Cover
Book Blast at Historical Tapestry

Friday, April 18
Book Blast at Time 2 Read
Book Blast at The Bookworm

Monday, April 21
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Book Blast at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Tuesday, April 22
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, April 23
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, April 24
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Book Blast at Reading the Ages

Friday, April 25
Review at Impressions in Ink
Book Blast at Ink Sugar Blog
Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer

Monday, April 28
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Book Blast at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, April 29
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Book Blast at Historical Readings and Reviews

Wednesday, April 30
Review at Historical Tapestry
Book Blast at Book Nerd

Thursday, May 1
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, May 2
Review at Curling Up By the Fire
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Book Blast at A Book Geek
Book Blast at Layered Pages

Review: Project Darcy

  • Project Darcy
    Written by Jane Odiwe
    Published on December 11, 2013 by White Soup Press
    326 pages
    Austenesque Fiction
    Received from the author in exchange for an honest review


It is high summer when Ellie Bentley joins an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home. She’s always had a talent for “seeing” into the past and is not easily disturbed by her encounters with Mr. Darcy’s ghost at the house where she’s staying. When Ellie travels into the past she discovers exactly what happened whilst Jane danced her way through the snowy winter of 1796. As Steventon Rectory and all its characters come to life, Ellie discovers the true love story lost in Pride and Prejudice – a tale which has its own consequences for her future destiny, changing her life beyond imagination.

Project Darcy is a modern day Pride and Prejudice in every way. Each character can be matched up with a character in P&P. The main character is Ellie (Elizabeth) and she goes to Steventon with her four friends Jess (Jane), Margaret (Mary), Liberty (Lydia) and Cara (Kitty). There is even a Wickham and Mr. Collins. I really enjoyed matching up the characters as I read the book. It made really fun.

I really enjoyed the time travel aspect of Project Darcy. Jane Austen’s story really made the book engaging and fun. Ellie’s story, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as engaging. Her Mr. Darcy wasn’t very likeable and didn’t turn out to be HER Mr. Darcy. I found the ending to be a little disconnected from the story. It didn’t make much sense to me.

However, I found Jane Austen and Mr. Lefloy’s romance to very to be very charming and touching as well. Jane is portrayed as someone who is fun-loving and flirtatious; not the serious spinster that people might attribute to her. Their relationship seemed a little illicit and passionate. I truly hope that Miss Austen experienced passion in her life amidst her disappointment. I felt her story was the most potent storyline of Project Darcy. I wanted to know more and I was a little disappointed when Ellie would return to her own time.

Overall, I really enjoyed Project Darcy. I loved the Jane Austen bits of the book. The only thing I found disappointing was how Ellie found her ultimate love interest. It was very romantic but didn’t make sense to me. But still this book is very much worth a read if you a true fan of Austenesque fiction.


World Book Night!


I absolutely LOVE World Book Night! For me, giving out books to random people is just amazing. I love all the different looks I get when I hand him/her a new book. I will get a puzzled look, “are you weird?!” look, the “WTH” look, but my favorite is the beaming smile look. It gives you the warm fuzzies when someone says, “Ohhh! I love books! Thank you so much!” I will carry that with me for a long time. Seeing that surprised joy on a recipient’s face is such a blessing.

This is my second year as a World Book Night giver and my book is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I loved this book and I couldn’t wait to share it. I will say it is a very unusual book. There are some very strange pictures inside. When I started handing them out, I did get some odd looks; but, I noticed so many IMMEDIATELY opened it and started to read. I know it’s not a book that they would ever have chosen for themselves. By giving this book, I’m able to open new worlds to readers and non-readers alike.9460487

It’s truly amazing what a gift can do; especially a book. There are so many out there who can’t afford to buy a book. It’s just not in their budget. World Book Night is just a small way to bring smiles to so many people. The gift of a book is a wonderful thing and I will keep doing it as long as I can. And urge everyone to be a giver. It’s so much fun and fulfilling!


Review: Fin Rising

  • Fin Rising
  • Written by Paul W. Newman
  • Published by Really Blue Books on May 20, 2013
  • 253 pages; Literary Fiction
  • Received from the author in exchange for an honest review


Finn Rising is a romantic mystery and black comedy set in Ireland. Fin McGrath loves and fishes in equal measure, and when the twists of the present cause the questions of the past to arise suddenly, he begins to wonder where the truth lies. Will the dark twists of the past be finally revealed? Will Fin have everything or nothing? Will love be reborn or lost again, this time, forever?

This book is all about second chances. The question is who is entitled to get that second chance. There are so many ghosts, as well, that may prevent those second chances from being earned. Finally it is up to Lord Henry Comerford to decide each character’s happily ever after.

During his life, Lord Henry Comerford made some very questionable decisions regarding his life and his family. He is alone; accept for when each year his children and friends gather for a dinner. This particular dinner changes everything. In the beginning, I found that Lord Henry was a pleasant, old school Earl. However, as the story unfolds, he is not so pleasant, especially to his wife and children.

Fin is the family favorite. He has lived the majority of his life on the estate near the lake that he loves. However, due to the death of his mother many years before, he can’t truly be happy there. Also, with a love lost, he needs to find his own path outside of Ireland. Fin represents all that is good and he is opposite of Lord Henry’s son, Roger. Fin and Roger, as children, were like brothers. However, when Lord Henry favors Fin, Roger turns away from both Fin and his father.

Besides his quarrel with Roger, Fin, also, have his nemesis in the lake. A rainbow trout named the King is forever taunting him. It is man versus nature. Eventually, they come face to face and it is a thrilling moment in the book. Roger, likewise, faces the lake and finds a little bit of his childhood that he thought was lost. I always find it remarkable how nature can bring goodness back into someone’s soul.

There is another character that was lost in the beginning but later is found. Lorelei really finds herself when she comes home. So many things are revealed to her that could have crumbled but she didn’t. She embraced those revelations and is able to move forward in her life. By the end of the story she is a completely different person. Maybe she became the Lorelei of old. At the end, I liked her quite a bit.

In my opinion, Fin Rising would make a wonderful independent film. I love the quirky Irish movies. They have so much charm and humor. Fin Rising could very easily become one of those.


It’s Monday! What are you reading?!


Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey.

Last Week:

This Week:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

9460487A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows



Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

The first short story collection in the #1 New York Times bestselling series-including a brand-new Harry Dresden novella!

Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher-a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago’s only professional wizard.


Also reading:

Floats the Dark Shadows by Yves Fey



Review: Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

  • Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
    Written by Box Brown
    To be published on May 6, 2014 by First Second
    240 pages
    Graphic Novel/Biography


Andre Roussinmoff is known as both the lovable giant in The Princess Bride and a heroic pro-westling figure. He was a normal guy who’d been dealt an extraordinary hand in life. At his peak, he weighed 500 pounds and stood nearly seven and a half feet tall. But the huge stature that made his fame also signed his death warrant.

The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies which means I’m a fan of the lovable giant rather than the pro-wrestler. That is the reason I wanted to read Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. However, after reading about his life, I’m left with a sadness on how Andre lived his life.

Box Brown really captured the loneliness of Andre’s life. All of his life he was treated with disdain. People feared him. However, once Andre discovered wrestling, his life changed. When he was in the ring, people loved him, but outside of it, he was an outcast who was feared and tormented by the same people who cheered him. This fear, loneliness, and abuse caused Andre to turn to alcohol to ease his pain; both mental and physical.

After reading this book, I felt that Andre was never comfortable in his body. He couldn’t be alone; or maybe he was afraid to be alone. He truly wished for a normal life; however, that wasn’t possible. Furthermore, Andre was a very flawed man. He was not only an alcoholic but he was a mean and abusive one at that. He made bad decisions and sometimes abused his friends. But it seemed they always forgave him for his shortcomings.

Andre’s body was not his friend. I couldn’t imagine that pain he endured just to remain mobile. However, he never gave up and remained in the ring until the end. Andre lived a full life; but, he lived a very sad and lonely as well. He died alone; but he will always be remembered. He is a true legend; a flawed one but a legend all the same.

 Does anyone want a peanut?



Review & Giveaway: The Towers of Tuscany

The Towers of Tuscany_Tour Banner _FINAL 2 (1)

  • Publication Date: January 23, 2014
    New Arcadia Publishing
    388 pages
    Historical Fiction


Set amid the twisting streets and sunlit piazzas of medieval Italy, the Towers of Tuscany tells the story of a woman who dares to follow her own path in the all-male domain of the painter’s workshop. Sofia Barducci is born into a world where a woman is only as good as the man who cares for her, but she still claims the right to make her own mistakes. Her first mistake is convincing her father to let her marry Giorgio Carelli, a wealthy saffron merchant in San Gimignano, the Tuscan city of towers. Trained in secret by her father to create the beautifully-crafted panels and altarpieces acclaimed today as masterpieces of late medieval art, Sofia’s desire for freedom from her father’s workshop leads her to betray her passion and sink into a life of loveless drudgery with a husband who comes to despise her when she does not produce a son.

In an attack motivated by vendetta, Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco, compelling Sofia to act or risk the death of her soul. The choice she makes takes her on a journey from misery to the heights of passion—both as a painter and as a woman. Sofia escapes to Siena where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her.

The Towers of Tuscany unites a strong heroine with meticulously researched settings and compelling characters drawn from the rich tapestry of medieval Italy during one of Europe’s most turbulent centuries. The stylishly written plot is packed with enough twists and turns to keep readers up long past their bedtimes.

The Towers of Tuscany is a very powerful story about a woman’s passion for art and independence. Sofia is a wonderful character who will face any obstacle to remain true to herself and her true passion. Since her birth, Sofia has been surrounded by art. Her father taught her the intricacies of frescoes and panels. He taught her to look at the world differently. She took all of his lessons to heart and attempted to make a world for herself.

I really loved the way Ms. Cram used flashback conversations between Sofia and her father to really enhance how Sofia looked at life. Her father really made Sofia into who she was. I’m not sure it was really fair to her due to the fact that being a woman in medieval Italy was extremely limited. Sofia had to hide her talent and passion to paint. She sacrificed everything to achieve her dream.

Ms. Cram’s description of the medieval art world was so descriptive and detailed. You feel that you are actually in a workshop smelling and seeing the creation of a panel or fresco.

There are some characters that I really didn’t like which was, I believe, the author’s intent. Sofia’s love interests started out to be so hopeful and optimist; but in the end, both men wanted her to give up her life as an artist and become basically their wife in servitude. It was so sad to see Sofia’s heart break each time. Ms. Cram really captured the misogynistic tone of medieval Italy.

The Towers of Tuscany is a wonderful book about passion and courage. The backdrop of medieval Italy was beautiful and so vibrant. You could picture Sofia’s world in your mind. You could feel her passion and pain. This book just makes you feel.


About the Author

Carol Cram

Carol M. Cram has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at  Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and  authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications  and software applications. She holds an MA in Drama from the University  of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh,  Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she  can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with  an arts twist.

She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.

Author Links

Website Blog Goodreads Facebook Twitter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, April 14 Review at Historical Novel Reviews Tuesday, April 15 Review & Giveaway at Kinx’s Book Nook Wednesday, April 16 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Thursday, April 17 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages Friday, April 18 Review at A Chick Who Reads Guest Post & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter Monday, April 21 Review at CelticLady’s Reviews Excerpt & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time Tuesday, April 22 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book Guest Post at Kincavel Korner Wednesday, April 23 Review at Flashlight Commentary Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book Thursday, April 24 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views Interview at Flashlight Commentary Friday, April 25 Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Barefoot Saturday: The Prince’s Breakfast

The Prince’s Breakfast

theprincesbreakfast_w_9Jaunty text and vibrant illustrations take a fussy prince on a global adventure in search of foods that he will eat. With story CD narrated by Hugh Bonneville!
• MULTICULTURAL JOURNEY: The royal trip around the globe introduces foods and mealtime practices of many cultures
• PICKY EATERS: Perfect for families struggling with mealtimes
• LESSONS FOR LIFE: Joins The Prince’s Bedtime to address common frustrations for families with small children

Ages 3 to 7 years
Written By: Joanne Oppenheim
Illustrated By: Miriam Latimer
Narrated By: Hugh Bonneville

The Prince’s Breakfast is a wonderful new book published by Barefoot Books written by Joanne Oppenheim and Illustrated by Miriam Latimer. In fact, its the sequel to The Prince’s Bedtime which happens to be one of my favorite children’s books. The Prince’s Breakfast is about a little boy who refuses to eat nothing but dry toast and hot chocolate. The king and queen decide to introduce to him foods from around world to try to get him to eat. Their travels take them to India, Mexico and Zambia. In each amazing place, the Prince refuses to try anything. However at the end of their travels, a man brings a simple bottle of something yummy for the Prince to try. Well, it worked and the Prince will now try anything as long as he has his special bottle of yumminess.

This book has so many things for your child to enjoy. First, the illustrations are so beautiful. I love Ms. Latimer’s art work. Every page is so vivid and bright where a child will be caught up in the story. Second, the words of the story flow so nicely and the rhyming scheme is very fun. It’s a fun way for a child to be more familiar with rhyming words. And last, your child will be able to visit some amazing countries and learn about food from that country. In India, we are introducted to  idlees and dahl, in Mexico, it’s tortillas, fried eggs, avocado and salsa and finally, in Zambia, it’s plantains and other amazing fruits. Your child’s tummy will definitely rumble with hunger after reading The Prince’s Breakfast.

The Prince’s Breakfast is a wonderful to read to your child or for her to read on her own. My younger daughter loved it!


Review: Darkfever

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever, #1)
Published in 2006
342 Pages
Urban Fantasy
Purchased from Amazon for Books, Babes and Booze


When MacKayla’s sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death, a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone. Journeying to Ireland in search for answers, Mac is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master a power she had no idea she possessed – a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae.

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho…while at the same time, the ruthless V’lane – an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women – closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: to find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book – because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of both worlds in their hands.

I found Darkfever to be a very good start to this urban fantasy series. It is dark, full of the disgusting Fae, and a good female heroine in Mac. At times, I thought Mac was a bit annoying but she made some serious changes that redeemed her in the end.

Usually, I don’t read a lot of Fae urban fantasy because I’m not a huge fan of the Fae. However, I did like this story. I like the concept of the sidhe-seer; maybe because it’s a lot like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think there can be a lot of comparison made between Mac and Buffy Summers. Like Buffy, Mac starts the story as a spoiled, prissy girl; however, she ends the story with a whole lot of new skill and confidence. I really liked at Ms. Moning developed Mac throughout the story.

Now, Jericho Barrons is very mysterious. He’s not quite human. What is he? Whatever he is, he is a good match for Mac. Their unlikely partnership is fun and full of caustic banter. I’m thinking opposites attract but I need to keep reading the series to find out.

Overall, Darkfever is a fun and action-packed book with lots of sexual tension. I love urban fantasy which means that I have found a new series to get lost in. I can’t wait to start reading Bloodfever.





Grab My Button

Kinx’s Book Nook

Connect With Me

Network Blogs


Follow on Bloglovin


Follow My Blog!

Click here to follow this blog and view my other followers...

Oklahoma Women Bloggers

Oklahoma Women Bloggers

Books, Babes, and Booze

May Selection


Currently Reading

Kendal's bookshelf: currently-reading


Kendal's to-read book montage

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
Where Are the Dinos?
Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Cold Blooded
Bristol House
My Notorious Life: A Novel
Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind
Long Live the King
To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Bad News for a Ghost
The Next Pendragon
Caroline Bingley
My Beloved World
Royal Mistress
My Dear Sophy
The Wild Girl
To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started
Hades: Lord of the Dead
The Man Who Loved Jane Austen

Kendal's favorite books »

Blogoversary Countdown!

Get your own free Blogoversary button!