Waiting on Wednesday 251


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose: 

"Royally Lost"
by Angie Stanton
Harper Collins
Release Date:  May 6, 2014

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have...is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?
This sounds so FUN!! And a prince! Sounds like a perfect
summer read!

What are you waiting for this week???

Sunday Shout Out 48


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.

For Review


"The Blonde" by Anna Godberson


"Love Comes Calling" by Siri Mitchell


"Hearts Afire" by Sara Luck


"Recklessly Royal" by Nichole Chase


What books did you receive this week?


DVD Review: "When Calls the Heart"

"When Calls the Heart"

DVD Review
Word Entertainment

Release Date: Nov 19, 2013
Source: DVD sent by publicist in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the DVD: (from the publicist)


When Calls the Heart, directed by Michael Landon Jr. and based on the best-selling books by Janette Oke, tells the story of a young high society teacher receiving her first classroom post in a prairie town in the Western Frontier.  Determined to prove to her family that she is brave enough to live on her own,  Elizabeth (Poppy Drayton) struggles with her own fears and doubts until she discovers her late Aunt's diary.  Her aunt (Maggie Grace), also named Elizabeth, had set off on a similar adventure as a teacher into the frontier, where she struggled with prairie life and eventually met and fell in love with a Royal Canadian Mountie (Stephen Amell).  Reading her aunt’s words, the young Elizabeth decides to put her future in God’s hands and embark on her own adventure where she uses the diary as her guide as well as Edward, another Mountie (Daniel Sharman), sworn to see her arrive.

My Review: 

This is such a great movie, I really loved watching it! The story is so romantic, it is beautifully filmed and it's just a fantastic movie. It is a wholesome story, but not overly so. I think fans of inspirational historical fiction are going to love this movie as much as I did.

The movie tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, a somewhat spoiled young woman intent on becoming a teacher in the Canadian West. While her family strives to keep her from going into the dangerous country all by herself, she finds the diary of her aunt Elizabeth who also was a teacher in the west. As Elizabeth reads about her aunt's struggles on the frontier, the movie provides flashbacks to Aunt Elizabeth's story interwoven with young Elizabeth's current journey.

I have not read the book "When Calls the Heart," but from what I saw on the DVD extra features, "Aunt Elizabeth's" story is the one from the book and "young Elizabeth's" story is a new story for the movie and subsequent Hallmark TV series. I have also watched the TV series, and while both the series and movie are wonderful, they are very different. My heart broke a little when I first started watching the tv series because I didn't get to see the story continue in the way that it was told here. I would advise watching this movie with a completely separate mindset from watching the tv series and reading the book because they are very different.

This movie not only tells a wonderful story, but it is absolutely gorgeous to look at. The area where the fictional town of "Coal Valley" is set is spectacularly beautiful. The costumes are outstanding, I found myself distracted by the beautiful lacy details on the clothing. 

I found myself especially drawn into "Aunt Elizabeth's" story. I loved how she was so stubborn and independent, and wouldn't accept help even when she needed it. She got into some adorable, awkward scrapes being so stubborn. Then I couldn't help but get drawn into "young Elizabeth's" story too when she started on her journey to Coal Valley. The friendship and romance that developed between Elizabeth and her Canadian Mountie escort was just so swoon-worthy. I loved it!


Bottom Line: This is a wonderful film all around. The story is heart-warming, the romance is sigh-worthy, the acting is spot-on, the setting is gorgeous. I really enjoyed watching it and I can't wait for more like it.

 
Trailer:




Purchase "When Calls the Heart" here:

http://www.amazon.com/When-Calls-Heart-Maggie-Grace/dp/B00FRILRZC/



Disclosure: I received a copy of this DVD from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Waiting on Wednesday 250


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose: 

"Faces of the Dead"
by Suzanne Weyn
Scholastic
Release Date:  Aug 26, 2014

When Marie-Therese, daughter of Marie Antoinette, slips into the streets of Paris at the height of the French Revolution, she finds a world much darker than what she's ever known.

When Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France learns of the powerful rebellion sweeping her country, the sheltered princess is determined to see the revolution for herself. Switching places with a chambermaid, the princess sneaks out of the safety of the royal palace and into the heart of a city in strife.

Soon the princess is brushing shoulders with revolutionaries and activists. One boy in particular, Henri, befriends her and has her questioning the only life she's known. When the princess returns to the palace one night to find an angry mob storming its walls, she's forced into hiding in Paris. Henri brings her to the workshop of one Mademoiselle Grosholtz, whose wax figures seem to bring the famous back from the dead, and who looks at Marie-Thérèse as if she can see all of her secrets. There, the princess quickly discovers there's much more to the outside world - and to the mysterious woman's wax figures - than meets the eye.
YA historicals are a favorite of mine, and this one adds in Marie Antoinette! Sounds great!

What are you waiting for this week???

Blog Tour and Giveaway with Vanessa Kelly

"Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom"
by Vanessa Kelly
Publisher: Kensington Zebra
Release Date: April 1, 2014 

Summary from goodreads.com:

Only one woman is worthy of his secrets…

They are the Renegade Royals, illegitimate sons of the Royal Princes, each finding his rightful place in society—and the woman destined to be his perfect match…

Some men are born into scandal. Others pursue it with a passion. Griffin Steele, secret son of the Duke of Cumberland, is guilty on both counts. Yet somehow London’s most notorious scoundrel has been saddled with an abandoned baby boy—and with the unflappable, intriguing spinster summoned to nurse him…

Justine Brightmore may be a viscount’s niece, but she’s also a spy’s daughter, determined to safeguard the infant when his suspected royal parentage makes him a target. Yet how to protect herself from the rakish Griffin? Marriage might shield her reputation, but it can only imperil her heart, especially with a groom intent on delicious seduction…

I'm so happy to host a stop on Vanessa Kelly's tour for "Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom" today. This book sounds SO good to me. I really can't wait until I get a chance to read it myself. Here's your chance to read an excerpt from the book and also enter a tour-wide giveaway for a copy of Vanessa's previous book, "Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard."

Excerpt:

Excerpt 8:  Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom


Griffin was dressed in black again but for the white shirt underneath his black waistcoat. He’d discarded both his jacket and his cravat, and rolled his sleeves up to his elbows. The sight of his tanned forearms, corded with muscles and lightly dusted with dark hair, made her poor stomach give an odd little flip.


Griffin’s eyes gleamed with amusement as he rose, but his words were scrupulously polite. “Come in, my dear, and sit before the fire. You look chilled.”


He strolled around the desk, laying a gentle hand on her elbow as he steered her to one of the club chairs in front of the grate. She didn’t fail to notice his swift but searching inspection.


“You’re pale as milk,” he added as she took her seat. “Why didn’t you join me for dinner after I made a point of asking you? You need to eat.” He waved an impatient hand to forestall her answer. “And don’t use the baby as an excuse. You’re not a nursemaid anymore, Justine. It’s time you realized that.” His tone conveyed his disapproval with her small show of defiance about dinner.


Through Phelps, he’d all but ordered her to join him in the dining room. Justine had sent back a politely worded refusal, saying Stephen was fractious and Rose too worn out to watch him. Phelps’ grimace conveyed how little he’d relished the idea of relaying that news to his master, but Justine had no intention of allowing Griffin to impose his will on her. She might, within the next few days, be his wife in truth, but she intended showing him that she would remain her own person.


Besides, she’d been so rattled and sick about the whole business that she’d doubted her ability to keep down a single morsel of food.


“I wasn’t hungry,” she replied. “And Stephen was fractious. You can’t expect Rose to do everything, you know. That’s why you brought me here in the first place.” She gave him what she hoped was a pleasant but disinterested smile that signaled her intention to keep her distance.


His dark brows lifted with elegant disdain. “Matters have changed, Justine. You will soon be mistress of this household, and it would be unseemly for you to act like a common servant.”


“I have neither the intention nor the desire to run your household, and I’m sure you don’t want me to, either,” she fired back.


So much for keeping a polite distance.


His lips thinned with irritation. Pivoting on his boot heel, he crossed to the whatnot behind his desk and pulled down a crystal decanter and a small glass.


“I don’t want any brandy,” she protested. “My stomach is unsettled enough as it is.” Then she winced as she realized what she’d revealed.


He cast her a half smile. “It’s only ratafia, the perfect thing for your stomach and your nerves.”


When he returned with the glass, she accepted it with a resigned sigh. She knew him well enough by now to know better than to refuse.


He stood over her, staring down at her with a brooding but curiously absent gaze. As the seconds ticked by, she had the impulse to fidget, and not even the soothing warmth of the liqueur could counteract it.


“Mr. Steele, are you deliberately trying to make me more anxious than I already am?” she finally asked.


He looked blank for a moment, then shook his head. “Why would I want to do that?”


“Well, I have noticed you like to keep everyone around you slightly off balance.” She forced a smile to her lips. “It is an effective method of control, I’ll grant you.”


His low, purring laugh somehow both ruffled and soothed her nerves. “No, I’m not trying to make you anxious. And I have no wish to control you.”

“Except in the matter of forcing me to marry you,” she said, carefully placing the delicate liqueur glass on the circular table between the two armchairs.
Where to Buy: 

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1fOIPWJ
Book Depository: http://bit.ly/OHTSuX
BAM: http://bit.ly/1gTffUo


Meet Author Vanessa Kelly:


Vanessa Kelly is a nationally bestselling author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the "New Stars of Historical Romance." Her sensual, Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, the first book in her new Renegade Royals Series, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Vanessa also writes USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.
Jaunty Quills:  http://jauntyquills.com/




Giveaway Details:


One print of SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODYGUARD, book one of The Renegade Royals series per the total number of stops. (US/Ca only) Please see Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter widget. Winners and info submitted to Rafflecopter will be the responisibility of the publicist, not In the Hammock, I am just hosting the Rafflecopter!


Vanessa is also hosting a giveaway on her website for a chance to win one of three gift baskets stuffed with books, cookies and candy, and other fun gifts. 
Link to contest on Vanessa’s website:  http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/contest/




Follow the rest of the tour:

http://events.litconnect.com/confessions-of-a-royal-bridegroom-by-vanessa-kelly/


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post.

Free Ebook for Kindle and Nook! Mar 29


Hi, everyone!

I've found a great free ebook available for free for Kindle and Nook!


"Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark" by Ridley Pearson
 
Nook
 
Hurry and grab this one while it is still free!

"A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff" Review and Tour Wide Giveaway

"A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff: 52 Menu Plans, Recipes, and Ideas to Bring Families Together"
by Six Sisters' Stuff

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Release Date: March 25, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

What's for dinner?" Three words every mom dreads.
Don't panic! The Six Sisters are here to help you answer that question. The Sisters have gathered together more than 150 of their most popular recipes for entrees, side dishes, and desserts and have combined them into 52 stress-free menus of perfectly prepared three-course meals.
Filled with delicious tried-and-true family favorites and oh-so-easy-to-make dishes, A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff features all-new recipes using basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Each menu is designed to make your dinner plans as easy as possible—and with such wide variety and a photograph accompanying every recipe in the book, you can easily mix and match menus to create a year's worth of dinner ideas.
In addition, the Sisters share some of their favorite family dinner traditions and crafts, as well as 52 dinner conversation starters, a list of pantry staples, and, food storage plan for beginners.
So what's for dinner? Whatever you'd like.

My Review:

Wow, there a LOT of recipes in this book! And the best part about all of them is how easy they seem to cook! Another thing that I love about all the recipes is that the sisters use ingredients that are actually familiar. If they aren't already in our pantry, they are easy to buy at at the store. No scratching my head and saying, "Now where would I find that?" or even worse, "What is that?" All of these dishes are made with everyday ingredients, and usually only a handful of ingredients, not a whole shopping list-yay!

As I mentioned, there are really a lot of recipes in this book. There are 52 menu plans, each plan has a main dish, a side dish, and a dessert. That's over 150 yummy, do-able recipes! There are so many that I just can't wait to try! The Crispy Onion Chicken gives you the similar texture and flavor of chicken nuggets or fried chicken, but without frying! I may try the Crunchy Black Bean Tacos later this week, they sound delicious! The Cheddar Cheese Biscuits are another recipe that I know I will try soon. They look similar to the ones that are pretty famous at a certain seafood restaurant, and I can't believe how EASY they look to make!

Many of the recipes involve a slow-cooker, which I am not that comfortable with yet, but it does seem like a really easy way to make dinner. Slow-cooker fans will really love this book, but don't worry, there are plenty of other recipes that don't use a slow-cooker too.

The family dinner ideas are short and sweet, and are a nice little addition to the recipes. My favorite idea is the "Crazy Dinner" Tradition, where the kids get to pick the dishes, with no restrictions! How fun!


Bottom Line: This is a great addition to any cookbook collection. The recipes seem amazingly simple and look delicious too!




GIVEAWAY RULES
This is a TOUR-WIDE giveaway sponsored by the publisher! They will be giving away 10 copies of the book from entrants on the entire tour, not just this stop.
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • The publisher is responsible for Rafflecopter info and for prizing. The publisher will contact you if you are the winner, I am just hosting the Rafflecopter as one of the blog tour stops.
  • Prizes will be mailed out by the publisher
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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