Free Ebook for Kindle! Aug 31

Hi everyone! 

I just found a really popular book available for free on Kindle today!

Whether you haven't gotten around to reading it yet, or would like a digital copy, Artemis Fowl book one is available for free!

"Artemis Fowl" Book 1 by Eoin Colfer


 
Kindle

Sorry, this one isn't available for free for the Nook.

Enjoy! Grab it now while it's free!

Giveaway: "Blame it on Texas"


As part of the blog tour for "Blame it on Texas" by Christie Craig, I'm happy to host a giveaway for a copy of the book!

"Blame it on Texas"
by Christie Craig

Publisher: Forever
Release Date: Aug 28, 2012



Summary from goodreads.com:  


Zoe Adams has always been content with her quiet nights at home, watching TV alone-until her life turns into a real-life episode of Unsolved Mystery Hunters. The story of a kidnapped girl triggers unexplained memories, and Zoe is dead-set on figuring out why. Her search leads her to one of the Lone Star State's richest families-and to sexy PI Tyler Lopez.

Tyler has sworn off women, especially redheads with killer curves who poke their noses into his clients' private lives. Still, he can't deny the attraction any more than he can deny that some of Zoe's crazy story makes sense. But when she becomes a hit man's target, this cold case starts heating up. Suddenly, Tyler will do anything to protect Zoe-even risk his heart.
 


If you think this book sounds good, you may like to check out my review of another book by this author:




GIVEAWAY RULES:

The publisher has generously provided a copy of "Blame it on Texas" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher/publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Sun Sept 13
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

"The Ugly Duchess" Review

"The Ugly Duchess"
by Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon
Release Date: Aug 28, 2012
Source: sent by publisher and publicist

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
How can she dare to imagine he loves her…when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess ?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke's passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.

Theo would have given it a lifetime…until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry. Society was shocked by their wedding; it's scandalized by their separation.

Now James faces the battle of his lifetime, convincing Theo that he loved the duckling who blossomed into the swan.

And Theo will quickly find that for a man with the soul of a pirate, All's Fair in Love—or War.

My Review:

I really enjoy this author's historical romances, there is no doubt that she is an excellent writer. The first "part" of this book was amazing, I was totally addicted to the romance between Theo and James. However, Part II really went awry for me. It just jumped ship (pardon the pun) and went so far out into left field that it stopped being believable for me. If I were reviewing just Part I of the book, I would give it 5 stars, hands down.

In Part I, the romance was very sweet, and very believable. Theo and James were best friends before they became romantically involved, so you could really see where their feelings were coming from. Part of the sweetness of the story was because they were both so young, 17 and 19. I really liked where the story was going with them being so young, but then in Part II, they aged 7 years, and then it became the typical story of grouchy spinster-type woman and world-weary, over-experienced man. Sigh, I really enjoyed the uniqueness of their sweet, young romance at first.

I enjoyed reading about Theo's outrageous fashion sense in the beginning. Her fashions were detailed, and it was fun to read about. In  Part I, James was an interesting mix of brooding temper, and very sweet and loyal husband. Their personalities at the beginning were fascinating to read about. They just turned cliche in Part II.

Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 4/5

Romance: 3/5

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


Bottom Line:  Even though I was disappointed in Part II, the book is still worth reading just to enjoy the sweet romance in Part I.


Check out the rest of the stops on the TLC Book Tour here!

Sunday Shout Out (15)


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.

Check out my first Sunday Shout Out post for even more info, here!

For Review

"Wolfishly Yours" by Lydia Dare
 

This is such a fun series!

"The Bridegroom Wore Plaid" by Grace Burrowes


Another of my favorite historical romance series!

"Waltz with a Stranger" by Pamela Sherwood


"How to Tame a Willful Wife" by Christy English



Contests

 Check out all of the amazing giveaways I have running right now! Most have low entries so your chances of winning are great!!

 
Win "Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom" Ends 8/31

 Win "Pleasures of a Tempted Lady" and "A Study in Seduction" Ends 8/31

Win "Big Sky Mountain" Ends 8/31

Win "An Echo through the Snow" Ends 8/31

 
Win "The Trouble with Magic" Ends 8/31



If you would like to do your own Sunday Shout out, please add the button that links back to this post, and leave your link in the comments section this weekend so I can check it out, and so that other readers can stop by too!!


Please remember to add the button so we can get the word out about the event!

(Original image from The Graphics Fairy)



Giveaway: "The Trouble with Magic" by Patricia Rice


Casablanca Classics! Classic romances back in print.


Inspired by the book "The Trouble with Magic" by Patricia Rice, I'd like to ask what magic power you would like to have or your favorite book with magical elements.
Leave your pick in the comments section and be entered to win a copy of "The Trouble with Magic", sponsored by Sourcebooks!

"The Trouble with Magic" info from Sourcebooks:


Is Her Magic a Gift or a Curse...?
All the Malcolms have some magic, but Lady Felicity's ability to read people's emotions simply by touching them or their possessions overwhelms her. She's reached a marriageable age, but how can she ever wed when she can see so clearly a man's guilty secrets?
Only He Can Tell the Difference...
Ewen Ives, itinerant rake and adventurous inventor, knows better than to underestimate the mischief of the Malcolms. But sparks fly when he encounters Felicity, and Ewen can't seem to refuse her plea for assistance...
"Rice's enchanting book is truly spellbinding."—Booklist
"You can always count on Patricia Rice for an entertaining story with just the right mix of romance, humor, and emotion."—The Romantic Reader
"Patricia Rice's historicals are deliciously fresh, sexy fun. Never has the battle of the sexes been more charming!"—Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author



GIVEAWAY RULES:

Sourcebooks has generously provided a copy of "The Trouble with Magic" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher/publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Fri Aug 31
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free Ebook for Kindle! Aug 31

Hi everyone! 

I just found a really popular book available for free on Kindle today!

Whether you haven't gotten around to reading it yet, or would like a digital copy, Artemis Fowl book one is available for free!

"Artemis Fowl" Book 1 by Eoin Colfer


 
Kindle

Sorry, this one isn't available for free for the Nook.
 
Enjoy! Grab it now while it's free!  


Waiting on Wednesday (222)


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:

"Poison Princess"

by Kresley Cole
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Oct 2, 2013

The following description is from goodreads.com:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…
Since Kresley Cole has written historical romances, she's already an author on my radar. I'd love to see what she does with YA. Poison Princess is just too cool of a title, too, I love it. My only question is, is her love interest way older than her? He looks way too old for YA in my opinion, what do you think?

What are you waiting for this week???

Giveaway and Blog Tour: "An Echo Through the Snow"


As part of the blog tour for "An Echo Through the Snow" by Andrea Thalasinos, I'm happy to host a giveaway for a copy of the book!

"An Echo Through the Snow"
by Andrea Thalasinos

Publisher: Forge
Release Date: Aug 21, 2012



Summary from goodreads.com:  



Andrea Thalasinos's debut novel is an inspiring story of how a single act of kindness can transform your life.

Rosalie MacKenzie is headed nowhere until she sees Smokey, a Siberian husky suffering from neglect. Rosalie finds the courage to rescue the dog, and—united by the bond of love that forms between them—they save each other.  Soon Rosalie and Smokey are immersed in the world of competitive dogsled racing. Days are filled with training runs, the stark beauty of rural Wisconsin, and the whoosh of runners on snow. Rosalie discovers that behind the modern sport lies a tragic history: the heartbreaking story of the Chukchi people of Siberia. When Stalin’s Red Army displaced the Chukchi in 1929, many were killed and others lost their homes and their beloved Guardians—the huskies that were the soul and livelihood of their people.

Alternating between past and present, telling of a struggling Chukchi family and a young woman discovering herself, An Echo Through the Snow takes readers on a gripping, profound, and uplifting dogsled ride to the Iditarod and beyond, on a journey of survival and healing.



The Single Act of Kindness That Changed Everything
College professor uncovers a rich and colorful history of a little-known population


MADISON, Wis. – It's 1992 in the Red Cliff Indian Reservation on Lake Superior and Rosalie McKenzie has several lifetimes already packed into her 18 years, including a long line of dead-end jobs and a destructive marriage. Stuck and feeling hopeless, she can only envision a bleak future for herself...until she meets Smokey.

The exquisite Siberian husky is suffering greatly from neglect, and Rosalie, moved by more than just a gut feeling, sticks her neck out and rescues him. United by a bond deeper than love, the two become a natural pair as they enter the world of competitive dogsled racing. Curious about the history behind this sport and ancient breed of canine, Rosalie digs around and discovers a rich background colored by tragedy and maybe even the supernatural.

Through of a series of mysterious events, her life begins to intertwine with that of Jeaantaa, a young Chukchi woman from eastern Siberia, who lived in the early 1900s. When Stalin's Red Army displaces the Chukchi in 1929, many were killed and others lost their homes. Jeaantaa's devotion to her Huskies, called Guardians, creates a rift with her husband and with the ancient ways of her people, and her stunning choice haunts her family for years to come.

When Rosalie's life in the present day begins to summon the spirit of Jeaantaa, all the strength and potential she failed to see in herself earlier can no longer be denied, and the two narratives meet together in a dramatic present-time conclusion.

An Echo Through The Snow (Forge, August 2012, Hardcover, $23.99) is ultimately a story about the relationship between unlikely people who forge ahead with the belief that a better world is possible.

"Much of my inspiration for this novel has come from watching my students over the years," says Thalasinos, a sociology professor. "It's been moving to note how resilient they are; how they bounce back from trauma and move on to find their lives and save themselves."

For ANDREA THALASINOS, it was the newspaper ad that changed everything. A husky puppy needed a home. Thalasnios, a sociology professor at Madison College, and naturally curious about origins, delved into research about this particular breed. What she found out about these little-known historical and political events spanning 60 years; they inspired a novel. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her own dogsled team. Find out more on www.andreathalasinos.com.





GIVEAWAY RULES:

The publicist and publisher have generously provided a copy of "An Echo Through the Snow" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher/publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Fri Aug 31
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday Shout Out (14) including Free Ebooks


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.

Check out my first Sunday Shout Out post for even more info, here!

For Review
The Secrets of the Tudor Court Series by Kate Emerson

"The King's Damsel" (#5)


I actually received this one last week, but this is the newest one in the series, so I wanted to share it again!

"The Pleasure Palace" (#1)

  
"Between Two Queens" (#2)


"By Royal Decree" (#3)


"At the King's Pleasure" (#4)




Free Ebooks!


"Shut Up and Kiss Me" by Christie Craig


I usually don't like contemporary romances at all, but I loved this one! It's free, and I highly recommend it! You can check out my review here.

download for Kindle
download for Nook
 
"The Inconvenient Duchess" by Christine Merrill


I love a good Harlequin Historical book! And this one is free!

download for Kindle
download for Nook


Contests
 
 Win "Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom" Ends 8/31

Win "Pleasures of a Tempted Lady" and "A Study in Seduction" Ends 8/31

Win "Big Sky Mountain" Ends 8/31

I have a lot of great contests going on til the end of the month! Check them out and enter now!

Also, you can enter to win autographed copies of both Mickey Tussler novels by Frank Nappi at the author's website! Check it out, these are great books! Enter here!


Win "The Legend of Mickey Tussler" and "Sophomore Campaign" by Frank Nappi



If you would like to do your own Sunday Shout out, please add the button that links back to this post, and leave your link in the comments section this weekend so I can check it out, and so that other readers can stop by too!!


Please remember to add the button so we can get the word out about the event!

(Original image from The Graphics Fairy)



Giveaway and Scavenger Hunt: "Big Sky Mountain"


As part of the blog tour for "Big Sky Mountain" by Linda Lael Miller, here is today's excerpt from the scavenger hunt! I'm also hosting a giveaway for a copy of the book!

BookTrib is hosting a great contest including the book and a cowboy boot necklace!! 

Now on to the book!


"Big Sky Mountain"
by Linda Lael Miller

Publisher: HQN
Release Date: July 31, 2012



Summary from goodreads.com:  



With his rugged good looks, vast wealth and family name, hell-raiser Hutch Carmody is still the golden boy of Parable, Montana. But he's done some growing up—making peace with his illegitimate half brother and inheriting half of Whisper Creek Ranch, which should have been all his. These days, Hutch knows there are some things money can't buy: like the heart of loving, ladylike divorcĂ©e Kendra Shepherd.Kendra's quiet mansion reminds her of what she wants most—a devoted husband and the pitter-patter of little feet. She can't get Hutch Carmody out of her mind. But a rough-and-tumble cowboy like Hutch, coming home for family dinner? Seems crazy! Then again, crazier dreams have become reality under the vast Montana sky.


Excerpt:

Somewhat to Kendra’s surprise, Madison slid down off her lap, Rupert the kangaroo dangling from one small hand, and approached the older girl, albeit slowly. “Okay,” she said, her voice tentative.
Joslyn, meanwhile, lumbered over to the table, pulled back a chair and sank into it. She looked incandescent in her summery maternity dress, a blue confection with white polka dots, and she fanned her flushed face with her thin white clutch for a few moments before plunking it down on the tabletop.
“Do you need to lie down?” Callie asked her daughter-in-law worriedly, one hand resting on Joslyn’s shoulder. Madison and Shea, meanwhile, were plundering the cookie jar.
“No,” Joslyn told her. “I’m fine. Really.”
Opal tied on an apron and instructed firmly, “Now don’t you girls stuff yourselves on those cookies with me fixing to put a meal on the table in a little while.”
A swift tenderness came over Kendra as she took it all in—including Opal’s bluster.



Follow along with the rest of the blog tour and enter another contest at Book Trib:



GIVEAWAY RULES:

BookTrib and the publisher have generously provided a copy of "Big Sky Mountain" for a lucky follower of my blog!
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher/publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Fri Aug 31
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway and Guest Posts for Pleasures to Seduce Blog Tour!

Today, I'd like to welcome two fantastic historical romance writers to In the Hammock for guest posts! 

Jennifer Haymore is the author of "Pleasures of a Tempted Lady" and Nina Rowan is the author of "A Study in Seduction." Both novels are new releases from Forever Romance. As part of the Pleasures to Seduce blog tour, I also have a giveaway for a copy of each book!

 



Procrastination
By Jennifer Haymore



As a writer, it’s so easy to procrastinate. There are so many ways to do it! Perhaps worst of all, much of this procrastination can be done in the name of “promotion” or “research,” making it so easy to rationalize the time that’s spent away from writing. And that time commitment can be absolutely enormous! In fact, I think between promotion and research, I could make “procrastination” a full-time job!
First and foremost, I know my number one priority is to write the best book I can. But once that book is written, I need to promote it. I need to research the next one. I need to continually work on improving my craft.
Here are some of the ways I engage in “productive procrastination”:

(1) Research and Skills
*reading fiction
*reading non-fiction
*Browsing google books
*conferences
*Romance Writers of America chapter monthly meetings
*Specialty groups (mainly historical) chat lists
*Keeping apprised of the state of romance and of technology in publishing
*Critique groups – returning critiques and beta reads others have done for me
*Mentoring new writers

(2) Social Groups and Promotion
*Group blogs & lists (I’m a member of the Dangerous Women group of authors)
*Guest blogging (how can I say no?)
*Interviews
*Appearances and book signings
*Reader chat groups (for Dangerous Women and others)
*Twitter (www.twitter.com/jenniferhaymore)
*Facebook (www.facebook.com/jenniferhaymore-author)
*Emailing readers
*Snail mailing readers
*Coming up with new ideas for contests and managing them
*Responding to blogs
*Updating my website, keeping it fresh and current
*Writing groups-the social aspect
*Writing newsletters
All of this is important, right? I do think, in this day and age, most of it is necessary. And sometimes it can be a really fun diversion from the comparative loneliness of writing. But as a writer with a young family, it can be an incredible challenge at times to balance it all. I’m definitely trying! What are some of the ways YOU procrastinate? 


Victorian Entomology
By Nina Rowan


A dark, dangerous secret…an explosive passion…a clash of brilliant minds…a provocative scandal, and….insects?
When I started writing A Study in Seduction, I was mired the story of Lydia and Alexander’s intense, passionate relationship. I certainly didn’t expect to delve into research about Victorian entomology, the scientific study of insects, but when I started to write the character of eleven-year-old Jane Kellaway, she led me right toward butterflies, bees, grasshoppers, and all sorts of other creepy-crawlies.
“Ew,” I said.
“Oh, come on, they’re fascinating!” she replied.
She was right. The nineteenth-century obsession with nature is evident in many Victorian pastimes, including fern-collecting, nature painting, gardening, bird-watching, and amateur entomology. Sketchbooks and diaries abound with drawings of various insect species. The collection and display of insects, especially butterflies, was also a very popular pastime.
While many Victorian women studied nature in one form or another, one woman in particular made important scientific contributions to entomology. Eleanor Anne Ormerod (1828-1901) had an early interest in insects and eventually published entomological journals and handbooks. She became the consulting entomologist to the Royal Agricultural Society and lecturer at the Royal Agricultural College. With her shared love of insects, I like to think that Jane might grow up to be a scientist like Eleanor!
The other characters in A Study in Seduction are well acquainted with Jane’s scientific fascination. In one scene, Alexander gives Jane a collection of books by John Curtis called British Entomology, a catalogue still considered to be one of the greatest nineteenth-century entomological works. With detailed text and exquisite engravings, the final product comprised sixteen volumes covering 770 insect species. Needless to say, Jane is thrilled to receive such a gift, especially the volume on her favorite butterflies.
I share Jane’s appreciation of butterflies, having fond memories of visiting Pismo Beach, CA, where monarch butterflies migrate each year. Thousands of orange-and-black butterflies cluster on the eucalyptus trees in a vibrant display of color. Jane would most certainly love it.
Do you have a favorite insect? Do you think of them as pests or, like Jane, as objects of fascination?



Thank you, so much for stopping by, Jennifer and Nina! It was great having you here!

I also had a burning question for Jennifer that I just had to ask. I've read all the books in this series, and since book one I've held on to hope that Meg would return!! I mean, it's possible! So I am THRILLED that she is back and reunited with Captain Langley in "Pleasures of a Tempted Lady." So here's my question for Jennifer:

Did you know all along that the lost sister Meg would return?

Jennifer's answer: I didn't. When I was writing the beginning of CONFESSIONS OF AN IMPROPER BRIDE and thinking where the series would go, I had a lightbulb moment and thought, wouldn't it be great if I could bring Meg back for book 3? The more I thought about it, the more my imagination ran wild and the more excited I got. I was afraid of asking my editor about it, thinking that she wouldn't go for it. But she did, and I was so excited to get to work on PLEASURES OF A TEMPTED LADY (but I still had books 1 and 2 to finish at that point!).


 
GIVEAWAY RULES:

Forever has generously provided 2 sets of both books for a lucky reader of my blog! The two winners will each receive a copy of "A Study in Seduction" and "Pleasures of a Tempted Lady."
All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and fill out the Rafflecopter form below! Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :)
  • US and Canada only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Books will be mailed out by the publisher
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Fri Aug 31
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway and Review: "Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom"

"Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom"
 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Publisher: Aladdin
Release Date: Aug 7, 2012
Source: sent by the authors

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Summary from goodreads.com:

After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series!The terrible Titans—merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans—have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe....      Ten-year-old Zeus is mystified (and super-annoyed) by the fact that he keeps getting hit by lightening. Every. Single. Year. He also longs for adventure, as he has never been far from the cave where he grew up.      Zeus gets his wish—and a lot more than he bargained for—when he is kidnapped by dangerous, giant Titans! In self-defense, Zeus grabs the first thing he sees—an actual thunderbolt he pulls from a stone that is covered in mysterious markings. Zeus is the only one who can decipher the markings, and sets off on a quest to rescue his fellow Olympians from the evil Cronus. Armed with his trusty thunderbolt (named Bolt, of course), Zeus is on an adventure of a lifetime—and a journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Gods.

My Review:

This is the first book in the brand new Heroes in Training series by the authors of the Goddess Girls books! This time, the books focus on the boy gods. The two series aren't related, so we aren't reading about the same Zeus and Poseidon as we see in the Goddess Girls books. I think this book gets the series off to a great start. Lots of fun and adventure with great characters!

It turns out Zeus wasn't always the all-powerful leader of the gods that we know about. He was a somewhat awkward tween boy on an adventure, hardly knowing what he was doing. This is a completely new spin on Zeus, I've never seen him like this before. It's really refreshing and realistic at the same time. The authors do a great job of modernizing his story to make it accessible to today's young audience, while still teaching the basic legendary stories.  The illustrations are great and they add a bit of a comic book or graphic novel feel to the book.

My favorite part of the book was Zeus' thunderbolt, Bolt. Bolt had his own personality even though he didn't speak. He was so cute, almost like a pet. I really enjoyed reading about their adventures together. Another great character was the Oracle. She was so funny, and definitely will appeal to young readers. Ironically, she can barely see the future through her often fuzzy, oversized glasses.

It's not all about the boys though, there is an appearance by a sassy, 10 year old Hera, and I can't wait to see the direction their friendship goes. It will be great to see what adventures Zeus, Poseidon, and Hera find next.

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

Setting: 5/5

Romance: n/a

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



Bottom Line: A fantastic start to a new series by two of my favorite MG authors, this time following the adventures of the boys.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams have generously provided a finished copy of "Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom" and a bookmark for one lucky reader of my blog!

All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this post 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


Extra Entries:
+1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
+1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)


Rules:
  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Books will be mailed out by the authors, In the Hammock is not responsible for lost or missing books, or the amount of time taken to ship the books
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Fri Aug 31
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!



If you think this book sounds great, check out my reviews for ALL of the books in the author's other series, The Goddess Girls!  

#1 Athena the Brain
#2 Persephone the Phony (one of my favorites in the series)
#3 Aphrodite the Beauty (another top pick in the series)
#4 Artemis the Brave
#5 Athena the Wise
#6 Aphrodite the Diva
#7 Artemis the Loyal 
#8 Medusa the Mean (another of my favorites)
Goddess Girls Super Special: The Girl Games

Sponsor Spotlight on The Sweet Life!

This month, In the Hammock Blog has a fantastic sponsor: The Sweet Life e-novellas by Francine Pascal! 

You may remember my review last year of "Sweet Life Confidential: Sweet Valley High 10 Years Later." It was a fun, addictive read! This new series of ebooks are the continuation of Jessica and Elizabeth's life in their 30s. If you thought the Wakefield twins were scandalous in high school, wait until you read about them now!

Each ebook novella is only $1.99! There are 6 all new stories!

Here's some info about the first book in the e-series:

The Sweet Life #1

Description from Sweet Valley 10 Years Later:

From Francine Pascal, creator of the bestselling SWEET VALLEY HIGH series and author of the NY Times bestselling SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL, comes the continuing adventures of beautiful blonde twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield in an exciting new six-part e-serial, THE SWEET LIFE.
The first novella-length episode – THE SWEET LIFE #1 – begins three years after the events of Sweet Valley Confidential; Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are back in Sweet Valley and inseparable once more. Things are looking up for both twins: Elizabeth is a star reporter at the LA Tribune with a popular blog, and Jessica’s PR career is on the fast-track. But while the professional lives of the Wakefield sisters are secure, their personal lives may be in jeopardy. Jessica, now a mother, finds that managing parenthood, marriage, and a job is harder than she expected, while Elizabeth and Bruce must face a scandal that could strengthen their bond…or tear them apart for ever.
Meanwhile, life goes on in Sweet Valley. Families are made, hearts are broken, and…Lila Fowler is a reality TV star? Some things never change.
THE SWEET LIFE #1 takes Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield through a new chapter in their well-chronicled and beloved lives. This dramatic first installment and cliff-hanger ending will leave readers breathless for the next episode.


Buy all 6 ebooks at Sweet Valley Ten Years Later!


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FTC Disclosure: "The Sweet Life" is an advertising sponsor of this blog. 

"The Bride Wore Pearls" Review

"The Bride Wore Pearls"
by Liz Carlyle

Publisher: Avon
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Source: sent by publisher and publicist

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
Beneath the elegant facade of Victorian high society, the mysterious men of the St. James Society play only by rules of danger and desire.

Rance Welham, the Earl of Lazonby, has survived scandal and disgrace, even evading the Queen's justice at the end of a hangman's rope. Now he's about to gamble everything on something far more dangerous--desire.

An exotic and elegant beauty, Lady Anisha Stafford fled her native India to seek refuge within London's secretive St. James Society. But accepting protection from someone called a cold-hearted killer is a double-edged sword . . . especially when he's the most intriguing man Anisha has ever laid eyes upon.

In a world where treachery abounds, no one can be trusted--and no true passion can be denied. Together, these two tempestuous souls will risk their lives for a love that could redeem them . . . or destroy everything they hold dear.

My Review:

While I had a difficult time getting into this book at first, I ended up really enjoying the romance by the middle and end of the book. At the beginning of the book, a lot of the story revolved around the mystery instead of the development of the relationship between the two leads. Once the plot focused on the romance, I really loved their story.

Anisha and Rance had a fiery relationship, mostly based on a friendship. I really liked this angle, they bickered so much but always with a backbone of respecting each other, never those horrible, nasty fights you sometimes see played off as 'romance.' They had some fun bantering, and their favorite nickname for each other was "old thing", not something I'd like to be called by my love interest, but it worked here, and showed how they really were old friends.

This book is part of a series, and I hadn't read the previous books. While this one reads perfectly well as a standalone novel, I did feel like I was missing out on the overall picture. Sometimes all the characters involved in the mystery, as well as the main conflict itself, became a bit overwhelming and confusing.

I would have loved to see more family members and friends being the secondary characters instead of players in an overall mystery scheme. Anisha's brother, the character who ties Anisha to Rance in the first place, is barely seen, as are her children. Anisha's two sons seemed like an afterthought, and at one point near the middle of the story when their names were mentioned, I had no idea who they were. After that point, Anisha actually interacted with them during a few scenes, but they still seemed to be just "there" not really adding anything to the story.

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5

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


Bottom Line:  Once I got into the book, I loved the two leads and their romance! I just would have preferred the backdrop to be less mystery-oriented.


Check out the rest of the stops on the TLC Book Tour here!

Sunday Shout Out (13)


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.

Check out my first Sunday Shout Out post for even more info, here!

For Review

"A Dangerous Liason with Detective Lewis" by Jillian Stone



This sounds like such a new and different type of historical romance!

"The Ugly Duchess" by Eloisa James


Historical romance by one of my favorite authors!



If you would like to do your own Sunday Shout out, please add the button that links back to this post, and leave your link in the comments section this weekend so I can check it out, and so that other readers can stop by too!!


Please remember to add the button so we can get the word out about the event!

(Original image from The Graphics Fairy)



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