Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 23: The Broken World, by Lindsey Klingele

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!
This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and inspired by "Waiting On Wednesday", which used to be hosted by
 Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

For more information, please click HERE.

As in the previous meme, this one showcases future releases  we book  bloggers 
are eagerly anticipating!!
There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 The Broken World
(Marked Girl, Book 2)
Lindsey Klingele
Hardcover,  432 pages
Harper Teen
August 29, 2017   
Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, 
Young Adult Fiction

The adventures of three teen royals and foster girl Liv, which began in The Marked Girl, conclude in this exciting sequel.

In the fantasy world of Caelum, Liv, Cedric, and Kat must attempt to defeat an evil traitor and his army to save their families and the kingdom. But the city they left behind is facing its own problems: back in Los Angeles, the sky is orange, gravity isn’t working right, and earthquakes shake the ground every few hours. Opening the portals has had devastating effects, and Liv’s best friend Shannon and Cedric’s frenemy Merek are the only ones who know what’s going on – and that tracking down the murderous Knights of Valere might be the way to fix everything.

It's a race against time as the crew must find a way to reunite and combine their quests to save both worlds.

Why I can't wait for this one!

This one immediately caught my eye! It wasn't so much the cover as the title that grabbed me. How could a world possibly be "broken"? Then I read the synopsis, and KNEW that I had to add this one to "Mount TBR" for SURE! This book is all kinds of EXCITING!! I LOVE the mix of pure fantasy and urban fantasy, as the city of Los Angeles is featured! Oh, man, this is DEFINITELY going to be a WILD ride!!!! (But I'm going for the first book first. Lol.)

This is the first, exciting novel
in this duology!!

Lindsey Klingele grew up in Western Michigan, where she read every book she could get her hands on. She eventually moved to Los Angeles (the real land of make-believe) and worked as a writers' assistant for TV shows such as "The Lying Game" and "Twisted". She still loves living in L.A., especially since it's home to great television shows, truly excellent cheeseburgers, and her pitbull, "Bighead".

What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Tour Book Review: A Stranger At Fellsworth, by Sarah E. Ladd

A Stranger at Fellsworth
(Treasures of Surrey, Book 3)
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Thomas Nelson
May 16, 2017
Christian Fiction, Historical Romance,
Mystery, Women's Fiction

 Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.

I received an ARC of this novel 
from TLC Book Tours 
in exchange for an honest review.

I love the Regency period just as much as Sarah Ladd does, and thoroughly enjoyed falling into this great story that reminded me of the novels of Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austen (but especially the former).

The plot of this novel is a very interesting combination of elements -- romance, an overview of the relationship between the higher and working classes, the hardships endured by women at this time in history, and even mystery. It was all handled beautifully, too, and kept me turning pages!

The characters and the world they lived in were very believable. At first sight, the villains in the story might appear a bit predictable and one-dimensional, were it not for the fact that real people of this time period did engage in the types of nefarious activities depicted in this novel.

Annabelle Thorley is a wonderful, kind, thoughtful person, not at all like many upper-class women of the time. However, she has the misfortune of being tyrannized by a cruel, selfish brother who attempts to force her to marry a man she cannot love.  Thomas Thorley is only interested in covering his debts, as Cecil Bartrell, the man he wants his sister to marry, is very wealthy. Thomas has absolutely no concern for Annabelle's happiness and wellbeing. As for Bartrell, he's the classic misogynist who loves to treat women as property, as well as physically mistreat them.

I thoroughly enjoyed how Annabelle stood up to this bully. Although she couldn't count on her brother's emotional or physical support in this matter, she refused to cower before Bartrell; instead, she courageously defied him every chance she got. 

Annabelle initially tries to be patient with her brother, but must finally take matters into her own hands. I admire her courage in doing so; she has to leave everything behind in order to escape this forced marriage. In the process, her whole life changes. In this she reminded me very much of Jane Eyre, who similarly had to make a life-changing decision, although hers was motivated by a different matter entirely.

I was so happy to see a working-class hero in this story! This is not at all common in Regency romance novels. Usually, these novels depict romantic relationships strictly within the upper classes. Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, written and published in the Victorian period, broke with this tradition, as Jane is a governess, while Rochester is an aristocrat. In the case of A Stranger at Fellsworth, the situation is reversed. Annabelle is the aristocrat, while Owen Locke is a gamekeeper.

The sweet, tender relationship between Annabelle and Owen develops gradually, while other events are going on, and in the relative solitude of a village school, run by Annabelle's uncle, who has been kind enough to take in the niece he had not seen in many years, and offer her employment at the school.

I love Owen! He's such a gentle, honorable man, who is totally devoted to his motherless daughter. He is also a man of high moral principles, a perfect match for Annabelle. The more he interacts with her, the greater his attraction to her, and hers to him. Annabelle was a balm to Owen's wounded soul, while he was a refreshing change for her. 

It was also wonderful that Annabelle never for one moment thought that Owen was beneath her. On the contrary, she admired him for his character, and ended up falling in love with him because of it. But then, she was not a shallow silly person, but instead, a woman of substance. The fact that she adjusted so well to having to work for a living, after having lived such a privileged life, speaks very highly of her.

Another thing I loved about Owen was that he was never condescending toward Annabelle, nor did he ever attempt to force her to do anything against her will. Quite the contrary! In marked contrast to Bartrell, he was always respectful toward her, and not only because of her station, but also because he simply did not believe in mistreating women, but instead, gave them respect and any assistance they might require of him. Although he did feel protective toward Annabelle, he never made her feel that she was in any way "a second-class citizen" just because of her gender.

The secondary characters are well-developed, too. I especially liked Annabelle's Uncle Edmund, her deceased mother's brother, as well as his wife. They both welcomed Annabelle to their home with open arms. When they finally learned the reason for her coming to them for help, they immediately offered her a safe haven, giving her much needed love in the process.

I also loved Annabelle's relationship with Hannah, Owen's daughter. She not only helped the girl with her studies, but also protected her from bullies at school. Furthermore, she also taught Hannah how to paint with watercolors.

One secondary character I tried to like, and could not, was Margaret Crosley, Annabelle's maid. There was always something about her that made me think she was untrustworthy, and my hunch proved right in the end. It was really too bad, as Annabelle did try to be friends with her when they both began to work at Fellsworth School. 

This is one aspect of the novel I do wish the author had handled differently. It would have been absolutely wonderful if Annabelle and Margaret could have developed a new friendship as equals. Instead, Margaret turned out to be harboring resentment and envy toward Annabelle. This became clear later on in the novel.

The prose style is wonderful, and the settings vividly described. I was strongly reminded of Lowood School and its environs (from Jane Eyre), except that in Ms. Ladd's novel, the children are well treated, disciplined in a fair manner, and Edmund is certainly not in any way to be compared with the hypocritical clergyman who ruled Lowood with a merciless, iron hand. Still, this part of the novel did bring back memories.

I also liked that Ladd refers to Annabelle's mother having kept a prayer journal, and mentions that Annabelle is struggling with her faith. These details made her female protagonist more believable and realistic, as well as someone the reader could easily relate to.

The plot of this novel came to a very satisfactory conclusion, with no plot lines left dangling, and no cliffhangers, either. The action was mixed in with parts in which character development, chiefly through dialogue, took place. Toward the end, things did speed up as the villains moved in on Annabelle, and Owen stepped up to the plate in order to protect her.

In spite of my comment regarding Annabelle and Margaret, I loved this wonderful tale that included a touch of mystery and intrigue! Furthermore, even though it's part of a series, it can be read as a standalone.

In short, A Stranger at Fellsworth is a very enjoyable historical romance, with great characters and a very sweet love story. I can't recommend it highly enough to all Regency fans, especially as a great escape on a rainy afternoon!


Purchase Links


Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her an idea of what life would have looked like in that era. 

It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly thereafter, she released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series, The Heiress of Winterwood, which was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for Historical Romance.

To access the complete tour schedule, just click on the button below!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 99: Reading Interruptions

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

If you are at a really good point in 
a book, and either the phone or doorbell rings, do you stop 
reading, or let the phone or doorbell
go unanswered?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth @ 

My Answer

I wish I could say that I would be able to ignore the phone or doorbell, and just keep on reading.....However, I'm totally unable to do that. Once I hear that very annoying sound (my husband and I don't have a doorbell, but, if someone were to knock on the door, the effect would be the same), my concentration is completely broken, and I'm thrown "out of the book" -- whether fiction or nonfiction -- that I happen to be reading at the time.

If it's the door, I do need to answer it, because it might be something important, such as the delivery of supplements from the pharmacy, or an urgent message from the Condo Association, for example. 

If it's the phone, and my husband is not at home, I also need to answer it, because it might be him calling with something important, or perhaps he wants me to get him some information that he needs, and forgot to take with him.  It could also be one of my relatives, with some urgent request, or simply wanting to have a nice little chat. (Of course, sometimes I do let them know -- ever so subtly -- that they've interrupted my reading. Lol.)

I do get spam calls sometimes, but I have a call block app that takes care of them, so that's not even an issue anymore. 

After I deal with these interruptions, I will then go back to whatever I was reading. Unfortunately, it will take me a while to get immersed in the book again, but it's not impossible for me to do so -- eventually.

I think it's better for me to deal with the interruption, and get it out of the way, so that I will then be free to continue with my reading. If, instead, I were to stubbornly refuse to answer the phone or the door, I would be left with a nagging doubt as to what it could have been about, and this will DEFINITELY make it impossible for me to focus on my book once more.

The perfect alternative would be to simply shut off my cell phone (we no longer have a land line at home) when I want to get down to some serious reading. Lol. But that leaves the problem of the door....

I have indeed found the perfect solution, though. I just read late at night. People don't make calls at midnight or thereafter, unless, of course, there's some emergency (God forbid!). As for the door, no one would come knocking at those hours, either, unless, again, there were some emergency.

Yes, indeed.....the late hours are the absolute BEST for reading! (Or blogging, for that matter, lol.) I happen to be a lifelong night owl, and it's not at all unusual for me to turn in around 4:00 AM! Since I no longer have a 9 to 5 job, this is perfect for me! After all, I don't have to start my part-time job until 3:30 PM, and I get off at 9:30 PM. I'm usually back home by 10:00 PM. Then I change into something more comfortable and settle down to do some blogging. After I'm done with that (usually around 1:00 AM), then it's uninterrupted reading time, until I start nodding off......

Needless to say, I LOVE the night owl life!! 

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment!
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!!