Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop April 1

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!






My Answer: I can't think of any books I don't want to admit to loving!!



 
Answer: I'm not really much of  a pranker, unless it's really harmless :)






If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

Fool for Books Giveaway!!

Welcome to my stop on the "Follower Love Giveaway Hop" hosted by Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer!


Here at In the Hammock Blog, I'm giving away an
ARC of "Madame Tussaud" by Michelle Moran!!


I'm passing my copy of the ARC on to one of my readers!

GIVEAWAY RULES:

The winner will receive an ARC of "Madame Tussaud" by Michelle Moran


All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!
Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.
 
There are no extra entries for this one, I know you all are wanting to get to each giveaway quickly! All you have to do is be a GFC follower!

Rules:

  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by me
  • Ends Sat April 2 at midnight
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop!

"Kat, Incorrigible" Review

"Kat, Incorrigible"
by Stephanie Burgis

Publisher: Atheneum
Release Date: April 5, 2011

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Twelve-year-old Kat Stephenson may be the despair of her social-climbing Step-Mama, but she was born to be a magical Guardian and protector of Society--if she can ever find true acceptance in the secret Order that expelled her own mother. She’s ready to turn the hidebound Order of the Guardians inside-out, whether the older members like it or not. And in a society where magic is the greatest scandal of all, Kat is determined to use all her powers to help her three older siblings--saintly Elissa, practicing-witch Angeline, and hopelessly foolish Charles--find their own true loves, even if she has to turn highwayman, battle wild magic, and confront real ghosts along the way!

My Review: 

I remember wanting to read this one under it's original title "A Most Improper Magick." As a huge fan of historical romance, I thought it was great fun to see the Regency Era with it's ballrooms, carriages, and adorable suitors, from the eyes of a twelve year old.


There was a slight Cinderella slant to the story, with Kat's at times annoying two sisters, and her almost evil stepmama. I think this element will greatly appeal to younger girls. Sometimes the magical element seemed a little overdone and slightly confusing, but I liked the general idea of Kat having magical powers.


The two boys who Kat encourages to court her sisters are just too adorable for words. Mr. Carlyle was especially cute as a love potion victim. And Kat's exasperation with Mr. Collingswood's various shortcomings was quite entertaining. 


Kat was a super heroine and she had so much self-confidence! She was so confident and sure of herself that it was a little funny sometimes, but still, I think this is a fantastic trait to nurture in girls that age. Kat knows what she wants and she doesn't even think twice before going after it.


The door is wide open for a sequel, I can't imagine what Kat will be up to next! 



Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5 

Setting: 5/5
Romance: 4/5 (Kat's sisters)

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:
This is a fun historical romp that is perfect for middle grade girls and I think older fans of Regency book will get a kick out of Kat's story too.

 

Waiting on Wednesday (61)

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:

"Juliet Immortal"
by Stacey Jay
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Sep 13, 2011



The following description is from goodreads.com:

"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.


You all know I'm into the retellings! And "Romeo and Juliet" is one of my all time favorite stories!

What are you waiting for this week???

"Get Energy!" Review

"Get Energy"
by Denise Austin

Publisher: Center Street
Release Date: Jan 7, 2011

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


With busy schedules, demanding careers, and little time, many of us battle just to stay awake. But energy is something that is in our control, even when time is short. Now 50 years young, fitness guru Denise Austin shows readers how to super-charge their lives, using her innovative lifestyle plan. She eats the right foods at the right time of day. She uses the power of stretching and breathing to feed her body with energy-enhancing oxygen. She uses mini-workouts to get energy even on her busiest days—and now you can too!
Denise shows how simple changes can add up to increased energy levels throughout the day. From the foods they consume to the way they sit in their chairs, readers won't believe how Denise's quick and easy plan will dramatically increase their energy levels. In as little as a week, results will be felt: radiant skin, more restful sleep, and a sharper mind...so follow Denise Austin and prepare for a fitness wake-up call!


My Review:

I thought the author made some really good points and she had a great positive attitude. The book was set up with an intro and then a quiz to determine what aspects of your life are energy-deprived. Then you can flip to specific chapters to learn how to get energy in the areas of life that you need it most.

The tips and tricks aren't  physically hard, but it's hard to make lifestyle changes. The workout moves and stretches aren't difficult either, they are things that people most levels of fitness can do. I like her ideas for mini stretches throughout the day, and yes, she shows you how to do them.  her meal and snack ideas are simple and do-able. No foods you've never heard of, three hour prep times, or complicated recipes. The great thing about the book is that everything is do-able. It's not a heard core diet or work out book.

Austin feels that if we're always running around,  working, and doing chores and we never take even a few minutes for ourselves, our energy is always going to be zapped. I love that she tells us to take time out for joy. Whether it's talking to friends, taking a walk, or ice cream with your kids, we all need to treat ourselves to recharge our energy.

Sometimes, the book becomes a little repetitive, almost like she had to fill a certain number of pages. But the basic ideas are great. Even if I only take a few this way from the book and try to implement them, I think I will see an improvement in my energy level.


Bottom Line: Great advice delivered with a positive attitude and kindness.

Teaser Tuesday (29)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:



  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

My teaser Tuesday pick:



" The man underneath me had kept walking forward even after I kicked his hat off. He hadn't even paused to look up at me, or to pick up his hat.  "




p 25 "Kat, Incorrigible" by Stephanie Burgis (ARC)

In My Mailbox (60)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review:

"Until Tuesday" by Luis Carlos Montalban





"Never a Gentleman" by Eileen Dreyer

 Uh oh, just read reviews of this one on goodreads. Not sure I'm going to like it :(


"How I Planned Your Wedding" by Susan Wiggs and Elizabeth Wiggs



"Marrying Miss Bellamy" by Susan Wiggs
 

 both Susan Wiggs books (and a Sephora Gift Card!!) won from Blissfully Domestic


What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop March 25

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!













My Answer:
1. I like paper books over ebooks.
2. I don't even own an ereader.
3. I'm a sucker for used book sales at the library.





 
Answer: "Emma" by Jane Austen b/c it's such a fun book with loads of fun characters!



If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

"To Defy a King" Review

"To Defy a King"
by Elizabeth Chadwick

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: Mar 1, 2011

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

A story of huge emotional power set against the road to Magna Carta and the fight to bring a tyrant king to heel.The privileged daughter of one of the most powerful men in England, Mahelt Marshal's life changes dramatically when her father is suspected by King John. Her brothers become hostages and Mahelt is married to Hugh Bigod, heir to the earldom of Norfolk. Adapting to her new life is hard, but Mahelt comes to love Hugh deeply; however, defying her father-in-law brings disgrace and heartbreak. When King John sets out to subdue the Bigods, Mahelt faces a heartbreaking battle, fearing neither she, nor her marriage, is likely to survive the outcome . . .

My Review:

Once again, Elizabeth Chadwick perfectly blends together a well-researched historical saga with a tender, caring romance. Her characters are well-drafted and I love the glimpses at daily medieval life alongside the sweeping major battles.

For having an arranged marriage, I'd say Mahelt got extremely lucky! You couldn't ask for a better husband than Hugh. Strong, jaw-droppingly handsome, a great father, and always fighting for what's right-those are just a few of his qualities. Hugh never tried to reign Mahelt in or dampen her wild spirit and I loved that about him. Did I mention how handsome he was?

There was one thing about the book that upset me though. I absolutely loved the previous book, "For the King's Favor" and I completely fell in love with Roger Bigod along with Ida. Roger and Ida are Hugh's parents and I was looking forward to seeing them again. I fully understand Roger's conflict with Mahelt, and even enjoyed it, because they were such opposites. Mahelt was so wild and Roger so by-the-book, it was fun to watch them butt heads as they became family. However, I didn't like the portrayal of Roger's relationship with his wife at all. It's disheartening as a reader to get so attached to characters and see them have their happily ever after, only to see it shattered in the next book. It makes me wary that next time Hugh will be made out to be the bad guy and stop caring about Mahelt, even though he was so wonderful in this book.


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5 

Setting: 4/5
Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:
I really enjoyed this historical saga, even though some of my old favorites from the series weren't portrayed as I'd hoped.

 

Waiting on Wednesday (60)

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:

"Tris & Izzie"
by Mette Ivie Harrison
Egmont USA
Release Date: Oct 11, 2011



The following description is from goodreads.com:

 (unofficial description, subject to alteration)

A modern retelling of the German legend "Tristan and Isolde", "Tris and Izzie", is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until-- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.

Light, contemporary romantic fantasy for teens


I love these modern retellings! And how gorgeous is that cover!?


What are you waiting for this week??

Free Ebooks and .99 cent Ebooks!!

This week, I've found a handful of free ebooks available on Kindle and Nook. Grab them now, while they're still free! 

"Leota's Garden" by Francine Rivers

"Triumph of Grace" by Kay Marshall Strom




"Daughter of Joy" by Kathleen Morgan



Sourcebooks has a promotion going on right now with the launch of their Facebook fanpage for The British Babes Book Brigade. "Like" the page on Facebook, and the following British Babe eBooks will be available for .99 cents!! 


·         The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick (love this author!)
·         The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick
·         Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine
·         Amelia O’Donohue Is So Not a Virgin by Helen FitzGerald
·         Miranda’s Big Mistake by Jill Mansell
·         Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley (saw the tv movie of this one-too cute!!)
·         Willoughby’s Return by Jane Odiwe
·         The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview
·         Mr. Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange
·         Beautiful People by Wendy Holden (another fab author!!)


 Enjoy the freebies and bargains!!

Teaser Tuesday (28)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:



  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 


My teaser Tuesday pick:



" 'What am I to do with you?' he said sorrowfully. 'I can't save you from yourself.'  "




p 146 "To Defy a King" by Elizabeth Chadwick (ARC)

Winners Announced!! "Wither"


Winner Announced!!
 
Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by and entered the Lucky Leprechaun giveaway here at In the Hammock! It was one of the most successful contests that I've had! Thank you so much!

 
The winner of the "Wither" ARC is:
 
 
xxsquigglesxx
 
Winner was chosen via random.org random number generator. Congrats to the winner!! I have emailed the winner for her mailing address. Winner has 3 days to respond :) A huge thank you goes out to  everyone who entered!! Congrats!!
 

In My Mailbox (59)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review:

  
"Athena the Wise" by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

I can't wait to read the newest book in the Goddess Girls Series! I'll be having a contest in April for the book and fun swag!
"The American Heiress" by Daisy Goodwin

This one looks fascinating!

bought:

"Bright Young Things" by Anna Godberson


Finally!! I've been waiting so long to read this one!! Yay for the Roaring 20s!

"A Season of Eden" by Jennifer Laurens



This one has been on my radar for a long time. Finally getting a chance to read it.



Don't forget to enter my Lucky Leprechaun contest!! Ends tonight at midnight!
What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop March 18

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!













 
Answer: I almost always just read one book at a time. There are exceptions, especially if I'm reading a non-fiction book, but I hardly ever read two fiction books at the same time.


I have a contest going on as part of the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!
Win an ARC of "Wither" by Lauren DeStefano! Ends 3/20

If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway: "Wither" by Lauren DeStefano

Welcome to my stop on the "Follower Love Giveaway Hop" hosted by Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer!


Here at In the Hammock Blog, I'm giving away an
ARC of "Wither" by Lauren DeStefano!!


I didn't get a chance to read this one, so I'm passing the ARC on to one of my readers!

GIVEAWAY RULES:

The winner will receive an ARC of "Wither" by Lauren DeStefano


All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!
Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.
 
There are no extra entries for this one, I know you all are wanting to get to each giveaway quickly! All you have to do is be a GFC follower!

Rules:

  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by me
  • Ends Sun Mar 20
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

Free Ebooks Available Now

Here are some new historical ebooks available for free for Kindle and Nook! You never know how long these will be free!

"Wild Desire" by Lori Brighton
This has been on my to read list for so long!



"Michal" by Jill Eileen Smith



"Somewhere to Belong" by Judith Miller



And one non-historical, a contemporary Christian romance :)
"Sweet Baklava" by Debby Mayne


not available free on Nook

Happy Reading!!

Waiting on Wednesday (59)

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:

"Falling for Hamlet"
by Michelle Ray
Poppy
Release Date: July 5, 2011


The following description is from goodreads.com:

Meet Ophelia: a blonde, beautiful high-school senior and long-time girlfriend of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her life is dominated not only by her boyfriend's fame and his overbearing family, but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go. As the devastatingly handsome Hamlet spirals into madness after the mysterious death of his father, the King, Ophelia rides out his crazy roller coaster life, and lives to tell about it. In live television interviews, of course.
Passion, romance, drama, humor, and tragedy intertwine in this compulsively readable debut novel, told by a strong-willed, modern-day Ophelia.

A modern retelling of Hamlet, I love it!

What are your Thoughts on Captcha??




Word Verification aka Captcha is a big buzzword around the book blogosphere this week. Audrey over at Holes in my Brain has formed a petition to raise awareness about how readers feel about Word Verification. Normally I don't get involved in any of the blogosphere drama, but I wanted to share my experience with this one.

First and foremost, some of my VERY FAVORITE blogs use Word Verification, and I do not love those blogs any less for it.  I would never let it affect whether or not I visit a blog or leave a comment. I don't have some list in my head of who uses it and who doesn't, but I feel so relieved when I don't have to take the extra time to enter that word.

I just want to get the word out and make a suggestion to try not using it and see if you get spam.  I used to use Word Verification until I realized that a lot of people are very against it and actually won't leave comments on blogs that use it. I don't want my blog to be thought of negatively in any way. So I tried turning it off, thinking that if I got spam, I would turn it back on. I fully expected spam later that week or even that day. But guess what? I've only gotten one spam comment ever. It was about buying a hammock, and I just deleted it, quick and painless.

So this post is not to be hard on those who use captcha. It's just a suggestion to make it easier for readers to leave comments.

How do you feel about this issue? Please check out the post over at Holes in My Brain, and if you want, sign her petition!

Teaser Tuesday (27)

Yay for "Teaser Tuesday" from MizB of Should be Reading!!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:



  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

My teaser Tuesday pick:


" Stock the lumber room of your mind with as many facts as you can fit in there. Don't attempt to distinguish between important facts and trivial facts: they're all potentially important.  "



p 53 "Death Cloud" by Andrew Lane (see my review of this one here)

In My Mailbox (58)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review:

"Where She Went" by Gayle Forman


I am a lucky duck this week!! It's all about quality and not quantity! I can't believe I received this ARC for review!

"The Autumn Palace" by Ebony McKenna


I can't tell you how excited I am to receive this book for review!! It's the sequel to "Ondine" which was one of my favorite books of last year!

"The Wilder Life" by Wendy McClure


How can I not want to read this? It's about Little House on the Prairie!


"The Soldier" by Grace Burrowes



You gotta love a Regency Romance!

bought:

"Scones and Sensibility" by Lindsay Eland


I have been needing a really light read and this book is just overflowing with cuteness!!


What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

"Death Cloud" Mini-Review

"Death Cloud"
by Andrew Lane

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: Feb 1, 2011

Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.  

My Mini-Review:

"Death Cloud" is the first in a series of the adventures of young Sherlock Holmes. The book has been approved by the Sir. Author Conan Doyle estate, so you know it's going to be good! This book is really the perfect combination of action/adventure and logical explanations. I love the logic Sherlock is starting to cultivate, and it's great to see everything explained in a detailed way. The explanation of the Death Cloud itself is quite intriguing.


I loved the characters, Sherlock is so lovable in that he's not perfect, but he's learning to see his own flaws and wants to better himself. Sherlock's partners in logic are fun and likable as well, including Matty the street urchin and Sherlock's mentor, Amyus Crowe.


Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 4/5
Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: This is such a fun read, packed with action, and logical thinking that makes you ask "why didn't I think of that?"

Book Blog Follow and Book Blogger Hop March 11

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

It's time for Book Blog Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee.com and The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy for Books!










 
 


If you're visiting for the first time, I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and say hi!! :)

"Merely Magic" Review

"Merely Magic"
by Patricia Rice

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: Mar 1, 2011 (originally published 2000)

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


With exhilarating wit, sensuality, and emotion, bestselling author Patricia Rice offers an enchanting historical romance. When a magical young woman meets a dark aristocrat in a moonlit forest, neither dreams that a strange and powerful love is about to change their lives forever....


My Review:


I loved the two leads in this magical romance. Drogo was so studious and responsible. There were so many people who depended on him to take care of them. Two of his stepsister's friends even ended up living in his home because they had no where to go and Drogo couldn't say no. The author wove this trait of his into the story in many intricate ways and I loved to watch it affect his decision making. For one, Drogo had such trouble realizing that Ninian could love him because she was fiercely independent. She didn't need him like so many others did. Also, Drogo had to learn to let his family learn to fly on their own, which was very difficult for him.


Drogo was so arrogant, but in a way that was so logical, it was almost funny. He basically thought no woman would ever refuse him because of his money. But because of that attitude, he overlooked many of this other attractive traits and believed that was the only reason a woman would want him.


The main conflict of the story, the disaster that could happen if a Malcolm (Ninian) and an Ives (Drogo) married, sort of went over my head. It didn't come across as that believable to me. And it was never really clear to me whether all of the magic in the book affected their feelings for each other or if it was all coincidence.



Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5 

Setting: 3/5
Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line:
This is a nice tale to read on a rainy afternoon, especially to read about the great lead characters.





New Free Books for Kindle and Nook!

Woohoo, more new free books are available for the Kindle and Nook this week! Try to grab them before they're gone, you never know how long these will be free :)



"The Highest Stakes" by Emery Lee



"Wild Sight" by Loucinda McGary



"The Secret" by Beverly Lewis



Enjoy, everyone! Have a great reading week!
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