*UPDATE*

I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!


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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cover Crush: The Hidden Light of Northern Fires

Cover Crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.

hidden light of northern fires

While I’m not quite sure what the book is about based on the cover (maybe the Underground Railroad in the North?) I think it’s beautiful.  The purple patter in the dress with the orange of the swirls and the lantern is beautiful together.  I also love how the swirls replicate flame to some extent.  This one has caught my attention for quite some time.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: A Literary Vacation; A Bookaholic Swede; Of Quills and Vellum; Layered Pages; 2 Kids and Tired Books.   

keep calm and support book bloggers




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Book Review: The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg & Giveaway

02_The Secret Life of Mrs. London
The Secret Life of Mrs. London
by Rebecca Rosenberg
e-Book & Paperback; 348 pages
Lake Union Publishing
January 30, 2018
★★★★☆
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received for review with HFVBT tour

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

I am not very familiar with Jack London; beyond knowing he had written White Fang and Call of the Wild I knew nothing. This is precisely the reason why I didn’t actually put together that the titular character, Mrs. London, was the wife of this author until quite some time after reading the blurb and then setting down to read it. He is just so far off my radar at this point in time.

This is, however, the third or fourth book that I have read from the perspective of a wife of one of the world’s great male authors of the early twentieth century (Hemingway and Fitzgerald previously). As was my prior experience, I find that I don’t like most of the men at all, they all seem to have been perpetually drunk, the women were overshadowed even when they were writers too, and everyone had affairs with everyone else. Jack London appears to fit that mold quite well too.

Rosenberg did an excellent job of illuminating the mood of the pre-war era, the appeal of Socialism, and the atmosphere within which London and his gang moved. I never quite got inside his head, but we do climb right in to the mind and thoughts of Charmian, his second wife. She was a woman who was so passionately in love with Jack and was critical to his writing process and maintaining his legacy after his death, but she was not without her flaws, which made her such an accessible character, even if I had never known she existed before. She was a very complex and rich character and I especially enjoyed her interactions with Bess Houdini, that woman was a hoot!

As has happened in the past when I have read novels on the life of famous authors, it has stirred my interest in reading London’s works and I have even went so far as to check out online the historical park created of his home in California. If nothing else, these novels serve to reignite interest in the original author’s works.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Find Rebecca Rosenberg: Website | Facebook | Book’s Facebook Page | Blog | Goodreads


Giveaway!!!

As part of the tour I have the pleasure to be giving away one paperback copies of The Secret Life of Mrs. London! To enter, please enter via the Rafflecopter app below.  Good luck!

Giveaway Rules

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open to US residents only (tour rule).
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner will be notified by email and has 5 days to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow the Tour

04_TSLOML_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

At HFVBT Website or on Twitter: #TheSecretLifeofMrsLondonBlogTour

Tuesday, January 30
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Wednesday, January 31
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, February 1
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, February 2
Review at View from the Birdhouse
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, February 5
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, February 6
Review at Planting Cabbages

Wednesday, February 7
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, February 8
Interview at Planting Cabbages

Friday, February 9
Review at Bookish

Sunday, February 11
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, February 12
Review at Cup of Sensibility

Tuesday, February 13
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, February 14
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Thursday, February 15
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, February 16
Guest Post at Short Book and Scribes

Monday, February 19
Review at Reading the Past

Tuesday, February 20
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, February 23
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, February 26
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, February 27
Guest Post at My Reading Corner

Wednesday, February 28
Review & Giveaway at Suzy Approved Book Reviews

Thursday, March 1
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, March 2
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, March 5
Review at Caryn, the Book Whisperer

Tuesday, March 6
Review at Bookish Beck


Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cover Crush: The House on Foster Hill

Cover Crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.

house on foster hill

Notice how I went INSIDE the grand house this time!  I love everything about this cover.  The staircase grabs your attention, and it should because it is beautiful.  As you look closer you see the piano tucked under the stairs, the grime all over everything, and even the detailing of the paper on the walls.  This screams creepy old home!

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: A Literary Vacation; A Bookaholic Swede; Of Quills and Vellum; Layered Pages; 2 Kids and Tired Books.   

keep calm and support book bloggers




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, February 5, 2018

Book Review: The Phantom’s Apprentice by Heather Webb

02_The Phantom%27s Apprentice

The Phantom’s Apprentice by Heather Webb
ARC, e-Book, 350 pages
Sonnet Press
February 6, 2018
★★★★☆
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received for review with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In this re-imagining of Phantom of the Opera, meet a Christine Daaé you’ve never seen before…

Christine Daaé sings with her violinist Papa in salons all over Paris, but she longs to practice her favorite pastime—illusions. When her beloved Papa dies during a conjurer’s show, she abandons her magic and surrenders to grief and guilt. Life as a female illusionist seems too dangerous, and she must honor her father’s memory.

Concerned for her welfare, family friend Professor Delacroix secures an audition for her at the Nouvel Opéra—the most illustrious stage in Europe. Yet Christine soon discovers the darker side of Paris opera. Rumors of murder float through the halls, and she is quickly trapped between a scheming diva and a mysterious phantom. The Angel of Music.

But is the Angel truly a spirit, or a man obsessed, stalking Christine for mysterious reasons tangled in her past?

As Christine’s fears mount, she returns to her magical arts with the encouragement of her childhood friend, Raoul. Newfound hope and romance abounds…until one fateful night at the masquerade ball. Those she cares for—Delacroix, the Angel, and even Raoul—aren’t as they seem. Now she must decide whom she trusts and which is her rightful path: singer or illusionist.

To succeed, she will risk her life in the grandest illusion of all.

I approach The Phantom’s Apprentice possibly from a different angle than many readers do – I have no point of reference from The Phantom of the Opera to compare to: not movie, stage performance, nor book! So Webb’s treatment here is a completely fresh slate for me.

One thing that drew me to this novel was the exploration of the spiritualist movement sweeping the globe at this time. We still find magic and mysticism fascinating today, but it would be even more so at a point in time where technologies were blossoming and it was easier to pull magic on people, but also it was something that people were afraid of as well. So for me, I wasn’t drawn to Webb’s take on Christine or reimagining of the classic, but more so for the world that the story inhabited. Right from the start, we get thrown into the spiritualist movement and the clashes between those who believe in it and those who are either afraid or find it foolish; this dichotomy is even shown in the perspectives of Christine and her father. The other aspect that fascinated me was the world of the opera. I have only read one other novel that explored this profession, and that one was set States-side, so it was a very interesting perspective with all the intrigue that surrounds it.

From reading the Author’s Note I understand that Webb’s goal was to flesh out a more well-rounded and self-possessed Christine than that provided in the original context. It is always maddening to see a woman pushed to the sidelines of a novel and be wilting or one-dimensional. However, at the same time, I do like to see the characters represented in a way that would be true to societal norms of the time. I felt that Christine walked the line fairly well here and felt that I was able to dig into who she was and what made her tick.

I found the plot to be fun and fascinating. There were moments toward the beginning where it did feel a little bit slow, where Christine is sort of moping for quite some time about her life and not having a direction; however, it does pick up substantially with the introduction of the Phantom. From that point forward the plot barreled ahead and I literally read half of the book in one sitting as I just didn’t want to put it down and find out how it would all resolve itself. I was rather satisfied with the ending too.

While I can’t gauge the enjoyment of someone who is a huge Phantom fan, as someone with no preconceived notions, I did enjoy much about this novel.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by Heather Webb:

becoming josephine
Becoming Josephine
[My Review]

rodins lover
Rodin’s Lover
[My Review]

last christmas in paris
Last Christmas in Paris
[My Review]

fall of poppies_thumb[1]
Fall of Poppies
[My Review]

Find Heather Webb: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Tour Wide Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we are giving away two paperback copies of The Phantom’s Apprentice! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below or on any of the participating blogs. If you have any questions please contact the HFVBT Tour Coordinator.

Giveaway Rules

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


The Phantom's Apprentice

Follow the Tour!

04_The Phantom%27s Apprentice_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

On HFVBT Website or on Twitter: #ThePhantomsApprenticeBlogTour

Monday, February 5
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, February 6
Review at The Lit Bitch
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Wednesday, February 7
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, February 8
Review at A Bookish Affair

Friday, February 9
Review at Trisha Jenn Reads

Saturday, February 10
Review at Bookish

Monday, February 12
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, February 13
Review at Linda’s Book Obsession

Wednesday, February 14
Review at Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, February 15
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, February 16
Review at Baer Books

Monday, February 19
Review at Cup of Sensibility
Review at Let Them Read Books
Review at Bookworms Anonymous

Tuesday, February 20
Feature at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 21
Review at Writing the Renaissance

Monday, February 26
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story


Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cover Crush: The Dressmaker of Dachau

Cover Crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.

dressmaker of dachau

Another war book, but this time from a very different perspective.  Obviously the title gives you the setting, but even if you didn’t know that name, the cover does a good job of getting you into the right frame of mind.  You can see the barbed wire, the old school sewing machine, and the worn nature of the curtains.  This is an excellent cover.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: A Literary Vacation; A Bookaholic Swede; Of Quills and Vellum; Layered Pages; 2 Kids and Tired Books.   

keep calm and support book bloggers




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Cover Crush: Hearts of Resistance

Cover Crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.

hearts of resistance

Love my war covers!  I feel like this cover says a lot – the red of her shirt pulls in the symbolism of the word “hearts” in the title, the airplanes are obviously a subtle nod to the war, and the look on her face has “dare me” written all over it.  Plus, it’s the color palate that I love.  I want to get my hands on this one.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: A Literary Vacation; A Bookaholic Swede; Of Quills and Vellum; Layered Pages; 2 Kids and Tired Books.   

keep-calm-and-support-book-bloggers_




Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Guest Post by K.A. Servian

Today I have the wonderful opportunity to host K.A. Servian, author of The Moral Compass book 1 of the Shaking the Tree series about a Victorian woman who moves to New Zealand after losing it all in Victorian England.  Today she is here to tell you about this longest journey from England to New Zealand.


The Moral Compass: An Immigrant Story
A Guest Post by K.A. Servian, Author of
The Moral Compass

The voyage from England to New Zealand was known as the ‘longest emigrant journey in the world’ with good reason. Some vessels did the 25,000km trip in as little as 83 days while others took as long as six months. Some called in at various ports along the way, but many did not stop with those on board not sighting land for several weeks at a time. The expedition to New Zealand saw the travelers sail south past the coast of Africa, turning east around the Cape of Good Hope then ride the ‘Roaring Forties’ to approach New Zealand from the South. This route brought a variety of conditions such as equatorial heat, the calm of the Doldrums and raging icy storms in the Southern Ocean. It was not a trip for the faint-hearted yet many thousands undertook it in the hope of making a better life for themselves and their families.

People from all walks of life were encouraged to emigrate in the hope of creating a new ‘little England’ in the South Pacific. There were two distinct classes of passenger onboard most ships: Cabin and steerage. The cabin passengers generally enjoyed comfortable accommodation and decent food. The steerage passengers were usually crammed together in bunkrooms in the bowels of the ship with very little light and fresh air. Despite this distinction between the classes, the fact that everyone was enduring the hardships of ship life together was a great leveler and a forerunner to the flatter social structure they would experience in colonial New Zealand.

Photo Credit: K.A. Servian

Having endured such a long journey, the new arrivals were faced a multitude of hardships in their new home forcing them to be resilient and resourceful. Disease, natural disasters, fire and conflict with the indigenous population resulted in numerous injuries and deaths amongst the colonists.
After reading many first-hand accounts written by colonial women, my aim was to convey the sense of a new world with its many dangers and possibilities in my novel, The Moral Compass. The heroine, Florence Thackeray, is forced to endure a long and arduous voyage only to find that everything is not as she expected upon her arrival. She realizes that the status she enjoyed back in England does not apply in New Zealand and she must struggle for survival along with everybody else. This reality faced many new arrivals who found that there was often no house waiting for them and the land they had purchased required years of backbreaking work to become productive.

Photo Credit: K.A. Servian

While it is a historical novel, the main theme of The Moral Compass is still relevant. The desire for a better life that drove many to leave Europe for the colonies in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds spilled over into the twentieth century. I am an immigrant, as are my husband’s family. Our parents saw possibilities in a new place that did not exist for them in their home countries. And millions of people today still make the decision to uproot their families and risk everything to travel vast distances in search of something more.


As a life-long creative, Kathy gained qualifications in fashion design, applied design to fabric and jewelry making and enjoyed a twenty-year-plus career in the fashion and applied arts industries as a pattern maker, designer and owner of her own clothing and jewelry labels.

She then discovered a love of teaching and began passing on the skills accumulated over the years—design, pattern-making, sewing, Art Clay Silver, screen-printing and machine embroidery to name a few.

Creative writing started as a self-dare to see if she had the chops to write a manuscript. Writing quickly became an obsession and Kathy’s first novel, Peak Hill, which was developed from the original manuscript, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016.

Kathy now squeezes full-time study for an advanced diploma in creative writing in around working on her novels, knocking out the occasional short story, teaching part-time and being a wife and mother.

Find K.A. Servian: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads






Book Blurb:
Florence lives like a Princess attending dinner parties and balls away from the gritty reality, filth and poverty of Victorian London.
However, her world comes crashing around her when her father suffers a spectacular fall from grace. She must abandon her life of luxury, leave behind the man she loves and sail to the far side of the world where compromise and suffering beyond anything she can imagine await her.
When she is offered the opportunity to regain some of what she has lost, she takes it, but soon discovers that not everything is as it seems. The choice she has made has a high price attached and she must live with the heart-breaking consequences of her decision.
This novel is part one in the ‘Shaking the Tree’ series.


Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Tour-Wide Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away an eBook of Throwing Light by K.A. Servian! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.  Any questions please contact HF Virtual Book Tours.  Good Luck!

Giveaway Rules
  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.




Follow the Tour


On the HFVBT Webpage or on Twitter: #themoralcompassblogtour

Monday, January 22
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, January 23
Review at What Cathy Read Next
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, January 24
Guest Post at The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, January 25
Review at Linda’s Book Obsession

Friday, January 26
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, January 29
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, January 31
Review at Broken Teepee



Copyright © 2018  The Maiden’s Court