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.

I am no longer an Amazon Associate. I am currently working on updating my posts with links to various locations to buy books. One of the links I am including is to RJ Julia - this is my favorite local independent book store. You can shop their store online and have access to pretty much anything you are looking for. I do not have any affiliation with any of these sites - just looking to support my local indie book store.

Anyone looking for a new feed reader? My recommendation is Bloglovin'. I made the switch and love the layout, plus there is now an app for my phone. If you use Bloglovin' or have made the switch to another feed reader, please make sure you are following me on it so you miss none of the content here!

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

In-Progress Book Review: Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn

01_Lady of the Eternal City

Lady of the Eternal City by Kate Quinn
Book 4 in The Empress of Rome series
ARC, e-book, 528 pages
March 3, 2015

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from the publisher for review with HFVBT

National bestselling author Kate Quinn returns with the long-awaited fourth volume in the Empress of Rome series, an unforgettable new tale of the politics, power, and passion that defined ancient Rome.

Elegant, secretive Sabina may be Empress of Rome, but she still stands poised on a knife’s edge. She must keep the peace between two deadly enemies: her husband Hadrian, Rome’s brilliant and sinister Emperor; and battered warrior Vix, who is her first love. But Sabina is guardian of a deadly secret: Vix’s beautiful son Antinous has become the Emperor’s latest obsession.

Empress and Emperor, father and son will spin in a deadly dance of passion, betrayal, conspiracy, and war. As tragedy sends Hadrian spiraling into madness, Vix and Sabina form a last desperate pact to save the Empire. But ultimately, the fate of Rome lies with an untried girl, a spirited redhead who may just be the next Lady of the Eternal City…

Please note, this review is an “in-progress” review as I only had 2 days between receiving the book and the date of my tour stop. I crammed in as much reading as I could over those two days, but at 528 pages, I have only made it 20% of the way through it (which I think is actually pretty darn good). A full and complete review will be forthcoming.

Additionally, I have only read a fraction of book 3 in the series, Empress of the Seven Hills, so I’m essentially jumping in to the middle of Vix and Sabina’s story. This is one of those series where I highly advocate reading the volumes in order – or at least books 1, 3, and 4 (as book 2 is slightly along a different story line – comprised of an entirely different cast of characters). That being said, I still find that I am able to follow along with their story as there is enough background information to fill in some of the gaps (although I get the feeling that reading book 3 now will be a little less exciting). There even is enough reference to remind me of what happened in the first book, Mistress of Rome, which I read quite a while ago.

So far I think there have been four characters who point of view we see the story from: Vix, Sabina, Antinous, and Annia. So far, I’m enjoying the Vix and Sabina perspectives most, by I feel that Antinous and Annia will grow into more important characters as the book progresses. Kate Quinn’s signature style is here in full force – the wit and charisma of the characters just shines through the pages. I can’t wait to have the opportunity to read more!

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Kate Quinn:

Mistress of Rome series


Mistress of Rome [My Review]


Daughters of Rome [My Review]

empress of the seven hills

Empress of the Seven Hills


The Borgia Chronicles series

serpent and pearl

The Serpent and the Pearl [My Review]

lion and the rose

The Lion and the Rose

Find Kate Quinn: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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Follow along with the rest of the tour!

On Twitter: #LadyoftheEternalCityBlogTour


Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Book Alert - Book Blast: Letters to Kezia by Peni Jo Renner


Letters to Kezia by Peni Jo Renner
Book 2 in The Puritan Chronicles series
eBook & Paperback, 208 pages
Published: January 14, 2015 by iUniverse
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 1491755369

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Book Blurb:

It is 1693 in Hereford, Connecticut, when Mary Case, the spinster daughter of a Puritan minister, finds herself hopelessly smitten by the roguish thief, Daniel Eames. Betrothed to a man she does not like or love, she is soon compelled to help Daniel escape from jail. Suddenly, she finds herself on the run, not only accused of being Daniel’s accomplice, but also of murder.

The fugitive pair soon finds solace-and a mutual attraction-among the escapee’s Algonquin friends until two men from Daniel’s dark past hunt them down. After Mary is captured and returned home to await trial, a tragedy takes the life of her younger sister, revealing a dark secret Mary’s father has kept for months. But just as Mary learns she is pregnant, she makes a horrifying discovery about Daniel that changes everything and prompts her to develop an unlikely bond with his mother, Rebecca, who soon saves Mary from a shocking fate. It is not until years later that her daughter, Kezia, finally learns the truth about her biological father and family.

Letters to Kezia shares a courageous woman’s journey through a Puritan life and beyond as she struggles with adversity and betrayal, and discovers that loyalty can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

Praise for Letters to Kezia:

“In the tradition of author Peni Jo Renner’s gripping debut novel, Puritan Witch: The Redemption of Rebecca Eames, Letters to Kezia recounts the tale of courageous, compassionate, and relatable Mary, whose connection to Rebecca and her family is unforeseen and profound. The reader is captivated at the very first page, as Letters to Kezia is a story of forbidden love, deep family secrets, intrigue, murder, and atonement. Another beautifully written triumph for this author, whose immense gift for story-telling transports the reader into each scene so deftly, one can almost smell the wood smoke and hear the crackling of the fire in the hearth.” – Kelly Z. Conrad, award-winning author of Shaman

“Peni Jo Renner enthralled readers with Puritan Witch, the ordeal of Rebecca Eames, who was condemned to hang from Salem’s gallows as a witch. Now the Eames saga continues as Peni uses her special brand of witchery to bring Mary Case and Daniel Eames to vivid life, and shows us just how much a young woman will risk for love. Letters to Kezia is a poignant, true-life tale from colonial New England’s heartland which will captivate you, and keep you guessing until the end.” -JoAnn Butler, author of Rebel Puritan and The Reputed Wife


Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


About Peni Jo Renner:

03_Author Peni Jo Renner

PENI JO RENNER is the author of the IPPY award-winning novel, Puritan Witch: the Redemption of Rebecca Eames. Originally from North Dakota, Peni now lives with her husband in Maryland where she is currently researching for the third book in the Puritan Chronicles series.

Find Peni Jo Renner: Puritan Witch Website | Puritan Witch Facebook Page | Twitter


Follow the Tour!

04_Letters to Kezia_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

On Twitter using hashtags: #LetterstoKeziaBookBlast #HistoricalFiction

On the HFVBT Book Blast Webpage

Tour Schedule:

Monday, February 23
Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, February 24
So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, February 25
Broken Teepee
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Thursday, February 26
Genre Queen
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, February 27
Mythical Books
Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Saturday, February 28
The Never-Ending Book

Monday, March 2
Layered Pages
CelticLady’s Reviews
History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, March 3
A Book Geek

Wednesday, March 4
Mel’s Shelves
The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, March 5
100 Pages a Day

Friday, March 6
The Mad Reviewer
Let them Read Books



Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mailbox Monday #185


Mailbox Monday is becoming less and less of a Monday occurrence on this blog - here we are again with Mailbox Monday on Tuesday!  Let's see what I received over the last couple of weeks.

a future arrivedblack diamondscity of godclassic love poemsheir to a prophecyin the heart of the seainamoratainspector of the deadjohn quincy adamsmademoiselle chanelrace to tibetso shines the nightthe evening chorusthe inheritancethe last to knowthe settling earththe will to believethetempleoflightthreefateswoodrow wilson

Quite a few books arrived over the last couple weeks!

Received for Review:



That was more than I thought that I had received!  Some great books.  What did you receive this week?


Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, March 2, 2015

New Book Alert: Red Fury Revolt by J.F. Ridgley & Tour Wide Giveaway

red fury revolt

Red Fury Revolt by J.F. Ridgley
Book 1 in the Agricola series
Paperback & eBook, 412 pages
R Pride Publishing
Publication Date: January 31, 2015
ISBN: 1491039817
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Blurb:

Something keeps drawing G. Julius Agricola to Britannia again and again…

This is where it starts… book one, Red Fury…Revolt

A.D. 60…

Camulodunum! Londinium! Verulaneum!

Three towns writhe under the Iceni queen’s wrath, as she leads her warriors intent on destroying all things Roman – be it Roman temples, Roman villas, or entire families sympathetic to Rome. At stake is Suetonius Paulinus’s reputation. With only 80,000 legionaries, will he destroy Boudica or will he endure the disgrace in Rome for losing–to a woman?

Julius Agricola-Rome’s tribune, and Rhianna-Boudica’s youngest daughter, become ensnared in this horrific historical revolt against Roman injustice. Just as Julius and Rhianna reveal their love to each other, they are hurled back into the harsh reality of their differing worlds that are determined to destroy each other.

Who will survive?

Read an Excerpt

Praise for Red Fury Revolt:

“…Ms. Ridgley has done very well at telling her story, while being respectful to the events that devastated Britannia, and even shook the Roman Empire itself, in 60 to 61 A.D.” – James Mace, Author of ‘Soldier of Rome – The Artorian Chronicles’

Check out the Book Trailer:

About the Author, J.F. Ridgley:


Ms. Ridgley loves the ancient world. Even after years of researching and many trips to the sites of her stories, she is still fascinated by what she can use for her next story. One thing she does enjoy more is bringing this world to life in her award-winning stories of power, greed, violence, and love.


Find J.F. Ridgley: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Google+ | Newsletter | Blog

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book 2 in Agricola series, Red Fury Rebellion to be released in 2016.



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You can follow along with the rest of the tour in the following ways:

* HFVBT Red Fury Revolt Webpage

* On Twitter with the following hashtag: #RedFuryRevoltBlogTour



There are lots of great giveaways up for grabs on this tour! To enter to win one of the following prizes, please complete the form below.

**Please note that these giveaways are tour-wide and the rules are set and giveaway hosted by the tour coordinator**

4 Copies of Red Fury Revolt
4 Red Fury Revolt Branded Coffee Mugs
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Iceni Pendant (like the one featured on the cover!)


  • Giveaway is open internationally.
  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on March 13th.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • 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 chosen via GLEAM on March 14th and notified via email. Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
  • Please email Amy @ hfvirtualbooktours@gmail.com with any questions.

    Red Fury Revolt Blog Tour Giveaway


Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Special Book Promotion

A year or so ago I had the chance to meet a local author, Robert McMaster, who was writing about the area that I was living in at the time - Central Massachusetts around the turn of the 20th century.  At that time he was releasing the first book in the trilogy, Trolley Days.  At the end of last year he released book two, The Dyeing Room and there is a third in the works, Noah's Raven.  In an effort to get his book into the hands of more readers, McMaster has a promotion going on for the next couple weeks.  Here are the details:

McMaster Ebooks

If you would like to receive a free e-book copy of either Trolley Days or The Dyeing Room, visit the Trolley Days website, and click on the button that says "FREE eBOOK GIVEAWAY", then follow the instructions provided. You will receive a free copy of the book of your choice in whichever format (Kindle, Nook, or Kobo) you choose.

How cool is that?

I encourage you to check out these wonderful books for a little bit of New England Americana.

trolley days

Trolley Days (Book 1)
Available in Paperback & E-book
Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Book Blurb:

Trolley Days is the story of an unlikely friendship between two boys growing up in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in its industrial heyday. Jack Bernard is the son of a mill worker who emigrated from Canada, Tom Wellington the son of the mill owner. Jack is shy and socially a bit awkward, Tom self-assured and smooth-talking. But for all their differences, the two boys have much in common. They love fishing, sports, and all manner of youthful tomfoolery. Each has suffered the loss of a sibling, tragedies that have affected both families deeply.

In the opening chapter a blizzard is approaching as Jack boards a train for the long trip to Boston. He has received a cryptic letter informing him that Tom is in a Boston jail. Despite a recent falling-out between the two, Jack still considers Tom his best friend, and he refuses to allow a snowstorm to prevent him from going to Tom's aid. Soon Jack will be plunged into a mystery that calls on all his courage and determination to solve, even as Tom's freedom, perhaps his very life, hangs in the balance. To save his friend, Jack will need the assistance of Tom's sister, Anne, but that will require Jack and Anne to reconcile their fractured relationship.

Does friendship have its limits? Can bonds of trust, once broken, be repaired? Can we learn from life's tragedies and move on, or must we carry them like lead weights on our hearts forever? In Trolley Days, it seems it is the young who bear the heaviest of life's burdens and must marshal the strength to free themselves and their parents.

the dyeing room

The Dyeing Room (Book 2)
Available in Paperback & E-book
Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Book Blurb:

Spring - 1917. War is raging in Europe and America has just cast its lot against the German war machine. Back home, the nation is reeling with social strife: workers marching for their rights, immigrants demanding fair treatment, suffragettes clamoring for the vote.

In Holyoke, Massachusetts, 17-year-old Jack Bernard has begun a new job at one of the city's largest textile mills, hoping to save money for college. Meanwhile, his friend, Tom Wellington, appears to have taken control of his demons and set himself on a new course.  Soon the lives of both young men, their families and friends, will be torn asunder by forces and events far beyond their control.

The Dyeing Room, Book 2 of the Trolley Days Series, is an absorbing blend of adventure, mystery, and romance. Readers young and old will be captivated by this story from a century past, the world of our forebears, an era that, however distant, still speaks to us across the generations.

noah's raven
Noah's Raven (Book 3)
To Be Released in 2015/2016

Book Blurb:

The grim realities of the Great War in Europe are beginning to hit home across America. In Holyoke, Massachusetts, Anne Wellington and Jack Bernard befriend a scientist excavating fossil dinosaur tracks along the banks of the Connecticut River. Soon dark secrets will be revealed, some buried in ancient rock, some hidden deep in the heart of their mysterious new acquaintance.


Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Book Alert & Giveaway - Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey

black diamonds

Black Diamonds: The Downfall of an Aristocratic Dynasty and the Fifty Years that Changed England
by Catherine Bailey
Kindle & Paperback, 542 pages
Penguin Books
December 30, 2014
ISBN: 0143126849

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Book Blurb:

From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Secret Rooms, the extraordinary true story of the downfall of one of England’s wealthiest families

Fans of Downton Abbey now have a go-to resource for fascinating, real-life stories of the spectacular lives led by England’s aristocrats. With the novelistic flair and knack for historical detail Catherine Bailey displayed in her New York Times bestseller The Secret Rooms, Black Diamonds provides a page-turning chronicle of the Fitzwilliam coal-mining dynasty and their breathtaking Wentworth estate, the largest private home in England.

When the sixth Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left behind the second largest estate in twentieth-century England, valued at more than £3 billion of today’s money—a lifeline to the tens of thousands of people who worked either in the family’s coal mines or on their expansive estate. The earl also left behind four sons, and the family line seemed assured. But was it? As Bailey retraces the Fitzwilliam family history, she uncovers a legacy riddled with bitter feuds, scandals (including Peter Fitzwilliam’s ill-fated affair with American heiress Kick Kennedy), and civil unrest as the conflict between the coal industry and its miners came to a head. Once again, Bailey has written an irresistible and brilliant narrative history.

Curious and want to know more? Check out this Q&A with the author about this book.

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

About the Author:

Catherine Bailey studied history at Oxford University and is an award-winning television producer and director, making a range of critically acclaimed documentary films inspired by her interest in twentieth century history. Her previous book The Secret Rooms was a New York Times bestseller. She lives in West London.

Also by Catherine Bailey:

the secret rooms

The Secret Rooms



Courtesy of the publisher I have one paperback copy of Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey to giveaway.  Giveaway is open to USA residents.  Please read the full giveaway rules under 'Policies' at the top of the page.  Entries are made through the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!  Last day to enter is March 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court