Friday, November 30, 2012

The Mudlark by Delle Jacobs

The Mudlark
by Delle Jacobs
Goodreads Book Description
The only thing they have in common is their grim determination not to marry each other. But their fathers have them well and truly trapped. No matter how much they dislike each other, their only hope for escape is collaboration. And so together the concoct an elaborate scheme of their own, a double elopement, with a twist, so to speak... A Regency Romance in the Georgette Heyer tradition

My Thoughts:
This was free on Amazon a few days ago, I downloaded it because the book description interested me. Written in a traditional regency prose this romance was refreshing; I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the humor and interaction between the main characters, Izzy and Tristan. It may have been predictable in the outcome but as it's a romance, they all are and it's expected, I wouldn't want it any other way. The pace of the story stays quick and delightful with plenty of strength in the plot and interaction between Izzy and Tristan to give the reader what she/he wants throughout the tale. I just love the adventure these two characters are involved in, it's new and exciting. The story comes alive with beautiful detail and descriptive writing. I definitely enjoyed this novel. Even though Tristan begins very cantankerous you can't help but fall for him and Izzy's witty nature is irresistible!

Genre - Regency Historical Romance / Traditional
Pages - Amazon lists it as 193 pages & Goodreads lists it as 226 pages
Amazon - 4.3 stars
Goodreads - 3.47 stars
Me - I give it 5 stars

Two things really draw me to a novel - the cover and the title. Sometimes I don't even read a books description if the cover doesn't do it for me. If a title is witty or interesting that can also draw my attention.

This author's covers are not super appealing to me but because I really enjoyed The Mudlark (the title sucked me in) I wanted to see what else Jacobs had to offer. I had to look past the covers for a change and go straight for the descriptions. I didn't realize that I had downloaded another one of Delle Jacobs books. (I seriously have over 1,000 books on my kindle). The title is what drew me to this one as well. I began reading it this evening -

His Majesty, the Prince of Toads
Amazon Book Description:
Sometimes it takes more than a kiss to change a toad into a handsome prince.

When Captain Lucas Deverall returns from the Peninsular War to succeed his deceased brother's title, he grudgingly decides to take back his wife. But even before he learns the circumstances of his inheritance, he encounters her at a New Year's gala. Shock sets in as he realizes the most beautiful woman in England is the same gangly, calf-eyed chit who tricked him into marriage six years before.

That's not how Sophie remembers it. She wishes fervently she'd had the sense not to scream when the drunken scapegrace crawled into her bed at her Uncle Harry's house party. True, she'd had a secret tendre for the handsome wastrel, until his scathing denunciation of her after their forced wedding. Then he went off to war without even consummating their union, and for six years she heard nothing from him.

Now the toad offers her forgiveness in exchange for his presence in her bed? Revenge comes more to mind. And so the battle of wits begins. And the harder they fight it, the more they fall in love.

Della Jacobs Website

As it has been a super long week I am going to curl up with His Majesty, the Prince of Toads and relax - a perfect way to begin the weekend.

"Mischief Managed" ~ Kelly

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Barbara Monajem - Author (new to me)

Today I was reading Ella Quinn's blog interview with Barbara Monajem. The excerpt from Barbara's new novella, A Lady's Lesson in Seduction  really caught my eye. I love regency romance and I love novellas!!! Click on the link to read the interview -

Ella Quinn - Author Blog Interview with Monajem

The first thing I did, as always, was to head over to Goodreads (Monajems Page) to check her books out. Monajems has written 5 regency novella's and they all look good enough to read! ;) She has also written 2 full length paranormal romance novels.

Then I headed to Barbara Monajem's Website.

I have a surprise......she has a free novella on Smashwords I downloaded it for my Kindle but there are a number download options.

Lady Ambleforth's Afternoon Adventure is a collective writing effort by 6 authors who each wrote 2 chapters (Barbara Monajem, Ann Lethbridge, Annie Burrows, Elaine Golden, Julia Justiss and Louise Allen). All 6 are published romance authors.

I love a free read to see if I'm going to like the style of the author. I'm super picky about my romance novels!

Goodreads Description -

Lady Araminta Ambleforth has been looking forward to her outing to Maidstone from the moment she'd thought of the idea yesterday. Sadly, it looked as if her journey would end almost before it began. Her brand new phaeton disabled, Araminta decides to enjoy the fine afternoon and walk home rather than wait by the dusty roadside.

If only one handsome gentleman after another didn't distract her along the way. Will one of them steal the lady's heart?

My Review -

This has some humor, the situation was absurd and it made the whole novella enjoyable and just plain fun. There was that touch of regency wit, adventure, intrigue and a surprise twist of fate that I didn't see coming. It's probably why I enjoyed it so much! Oh and there's a highway man, pugilism, a naked man in a stream and a group of men handsome enough to make any regency lady want to swoon or wash her hands of men forever!!!!!

I love the freedom of a novella. You go into it knowing it's probably not going to be long enough to assuage your hunger for a novel but you also figure that it's exactly you have time for, an hour or two in the evening is sometimes all you get. A novella is going to be quick and hopefully well written so you don't feel like a jilted bride left at the alter. It's a bonus if you want to read more by the author!

I don't think you'll feel jilted by this novella, I didn't!

Here's a quick look at Barbara Monajem's other Regency Novella's -

A Lady's Lesson in Seduction (A Scandalous Regency Christmas)
Amazon Book Description:
Once a notorious rake, Camden Folk, Marquis of Warbury, is now consumed by desire for only one woman: beautiful young widow Frances Burdett. And the Yuletide festivities at his country estate present the perfect opportunity for seduction…
After her brief and unsatisfying marriage, Frances Burdett swore never to become tied to another man. Then a passionate kiss under the mistletoe reawakens longings she thought buried forever. But can she give in to the pleasures of the body with a rogue like Cam—without losing her heart?
To Rescue or Ravish?
Amazon Book Description:
London, 1802
When heiress Arabella Wilbanks flees a forced betrothal in the middle of the night, the last person she expects to find at the reins of her getaway hackney is Matthew Worcester. It's been seven long years since they gave in to their mutual desires and shared the most incredible night of their lives, but Matthew is still racked with guilt for leaving her without a word. He should escort her to safety, but the chance to re-claim and ravish her once more is proving impossible to resist!
The Unrepentant Rake
Amazon Book Description:
England, 1802
Beatrix March chose to be a governess rather than let an overbearing husband rule her. Even though she never intends to marry, it doesn't mean she can't enjoy a man' —especially when presented with one as tempting as notorious rake Simon Carling!
Simon doesn't usually seduce virtuous governesses, but Beatrix is unlike any woman he's ever encountered. Her luscious curves were made to grace a man's bed, and he's never denied himself such satisfaction before. Flouting society's tedious conventions, in favor of thrilling chemistry, may force Beatrix and Simon to contemplate the unthinkable—marriage!
The Wanton Governess (Fortney Follies)
Amazon Book Description:
Sussex, 1801
Governess Pompeia Grant thinks pretending to be Sir James Carling's wife as a favor to his sister will be harmless. She is haunted by his rejection of her youthful advances, but she's desperate for a place to stay after losing her last post.
When James unexpectedly returns home from America, she assumes the game is up—until James encourages her to stay, and enjoy the pleasurable consequences of their charade.
Notorious Eliza
Amazon Book Description:
Eliza Dauntry was infamous. Most people assumed she was a wanton because she supported herself and her son by painting portraits of courtesans. Yet Eliza hadn't been tempted by a man since her husband's death...until she met Patrick Felham. An old friend of her husband and a one-time rake, Patrick awakened a yearning in Eliza that demanded to be satisfied at once....
Patrick was looking for an upright woman to become his wife and stepmother to his daughter, not a siren like Eliza Dauntry! But Eliza had aroused his desire ever since he saved her scandalous self-portrait from the auction house. The chance of an affair with the alluring widow was irresistible, but this notorious woman could also turn out to be his perfect bride...
**If you get busy like me and want a nice quick regency read these novellas are all between 49 and 58 pages long and they are $2.51 each on Kindle. I'll let you know how they are as I read them too!
"Mischief Managed" ~ Kelly


I do not have many earthly hero's, I just never have! I've never been fascinated by actresses or actors, though I do have a few hem...John Wayne. He is just so sexy, I would have loved to meet him, but he died just a few months before I turned 3. Sigh! This is my favorite John Wayne movie, I love when he spanks Katherine (Maureen O'Hara).
I've never been thrilled with politicians either. I will admit that there are some incredible hero's from the past.........
George Washington Werewolf*
by Kevin Postupack
*I haven't read this yet but I'd like to. I do love my spoof lit. So many books, so little time.

I've not really thought much about inventors as hero either though I suppose one could idolize an inventor, especially if you are in love with your iPhone, as my son is lol
The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret
by Seth Shulman
looks like an intriguing tale
I digress as usual, what I am slowly getting at here is a worthy hero, a select group that we may not always consider hero/heroine material. We possibly even pass them off as just being there doing their job to entertain us and low and behold we take them for granted....AUTHORS!

They give us so much - escape from the grind of daily living, enjoyment, a chance to live many lives, the ability to travel to far off places, to see things we have never seen and may never have the opportunity to see in person. We are time travelers and worldly explorers all because of authors. They have a true gift, so today I celebrate my earthly hero's...authors! There is no way today that I can share all of the heroic authors that have shaped my world but just a few of my favorites will suffice. The pictures are from goodreads and the links will take you to their author pages on that website.
Louisa May Alcott - Author of Little Women etc
Barbara Cartland - Queen of Romance

C.S. Lewis - best known for his The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe Series

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - yep creator of Sherlock Holmes
Ariana Franklin - Mistress of the Art of Death series & many more

Jill Barnett - my favorite historical romance author

Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

William Shakespeare - English Playwright

Bill Watterson - Calvin & Hobbes Comics
Ian Fleming - James Bond

These authors have all given me something special and I'm not talking literary genius, though in my opinion they are phenomenal, I speaking of pleasure...hours and hours of pleasure. I could add so many authors but these came to mind this evening. I'm sure I'm leaving deserving favorites of mine out and not intentionally either. I hope you've enjoyed my look at author hero's. Just imagine what life would be without books......NO, it's just not worth contemplating!
"Mischief Managed" ~ Kelly

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stolen Crown - Susan Higginbotham

Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England
Susan Higginbotham

I loved this historical fiction novel, I couldn't bear to put it down.

I have a hard time remembering names of characters, especially if they don't play a huge role in a book, heck from time to time I forget the main characters names and sooo you will understand I can be easily confused. I was daunted by the thought of all the Henry's, Richard's, Harry's, Elizabeth's and so on but this author was amazing. For the length of this book and the shear audacious number of characters mentioned I did not once have any problem deciphering who was who. I was never confused, perhaps because I was so into the book.  
This novel was enthralling, the characters dynamic and the history rich throughout. I love the author’s depiction of Katherine and Harry’s story. Katherine (7) and Harry (9) marry and we follow them during their marriage, while at court, during war, love, child birth and death of friends and loved ones.

I didn't feel that any character had been short changed, nothing was left hanging and I was not once bored. Higginbotham did not disappoint me!! With what little history has been documented in regards to Katherine and Harry she still managed to bring to life these interesting historical figures. The emotions were real, the heartbreak, tenderness, love, disappointment etc. I felt it all! Higginbotham, in my opinion, weaved a wonderful tale. I will definitely be reading more of her novels.

Book Stats:
Genre - 15th Century Historical Fiction
Length - 403 pages

Goodreads Book Description

Trapped in the Wars of the Roses, one woman finds herself sister to the queen...and traitor to the crown

When six-year-old Kate Woodville’s beautiful sister Elizabeth makes a shocking—and secret—marriage to King Edward IV in 1464, Kate and her large family are whisked to the king’s court. Soon a bedazzled Kate becomes one of the greatest ladies in the land when she marries young Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. But Kate’s fairy-tale existence as a duchess is shattered when the ongoing conflict between the houses of Lancaster and York engulfs the Woodville family.

As Edward IV fights to keep his crown, Harry’s relatives become hopelessly divided between Lancaster and York. Forced constantly to struggle with his own allegiances, Harry faces his defining moment when his dear friend Richard, Duke of Gloucester, determines to seize the throne for himself as Richard III. With lives in jeopardy and nothing less than a dynasty at stake, Harry’s loyalties—and his conscience—will be put to the ultimate test.

Susan Higginbothams Website

Harry - (Henry) Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham & married to Katherine,
signature was Harre Bokyngham and motto  - "remember me often" from Garter stall plate St. George's Chapel, Windsor
I could not find a picture of Katherine but I will keep trying!

You will have to forgive me if I've left anything out, I've been sick since Thanksgiving and right now I'm exhausted, so I bid you goodnight!

"Mischief Managed" ~Kelly

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I love a good quote

I love quotes! They can be inspirational, make me laugh, I can feel justified for my actions, live in clarity for some mixed emotion, see the inexplicable truth to some and the nonsense of others.

Quotes are just wonderful and when they come from books I love or authors I admire, I admit that I can feel less disgruntled about a world where fools make a mockery of knowledge and it gives me hope that maybe not everyone is as bad as they sometimes seems.

That being said, here is a selection of interesting quotes. They are not linked to a particular topic except for the sheer enjoyment of sharing quotes from books by celebrated authors and the characters who have brought us pleasure.

"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying." Oscar Wilde

"It is never to late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible, and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." Charles William Eliot

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them." Agatha Christie

"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." Louisa May Alcott

"Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living." Jonathan Safran Foer

"My wish is that you may be loved to the point of madness." Andre Breton

"Being crazy isn't enough." Dr. Seuss

"Do your bit to save humanity from lapsing back into barbarity by reading all the novels you can." Richard Hughes"

"There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love." Christopher Morley

"A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading." William Styron

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." J.K. Rowling

"Don't gobblefunk around with words." Roald Dahl

"The person be it gentlemen or lady, who has not the pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." Jane Austen

"My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody." Wilkie Collins

"I crawled into my book and pulled the pages over my head......" Laurie R. King

I could have listed dozens more, but I thought to spare you until another time. Hopefully I have made no mistakes in quoting these famous authors, though I am not perfect. Enjoy these few author meanderings and may your Monday be bright and cheerful with the thoughts of eccentric authors filling your heads.

"Mischief Managed" ~ Kelly

Sunday Shenanigans

Afternoon Tea~

I love having afternoon tea......I love tearooms, I love teacups and I love tea. Ohhhh and I love the sweet and savory confections that go with tea. Here are a few I'm just dying to try!

Is this not a delightful setting for a tea party?

one of my favorite scone flavors, this recipe looks excellent
to be served with Clotted or Devonshire cream and
homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam or Marmalade
Before our infamous hurricane, Charlie, I frequented the Harbor Inn Tea Room
they served a delightful strawberry soup -
I have searched for a similar recipe and this seems to be close

 Tea would not be complete without a few tea sandwiches
I recommend soaking the sliced cucumbers in vinegar for a short time,
then pat them dry before sandwich assembly
 This is a beautiful romantic and shabby chic garden tea party setting
 I am nuts over savory tarts and am looking forward to trying these delectables.

 On to the deserts.....
Vanilla Bean Shortbread Sandwiches with Orange Butter Cream
 Lemon Mascarpone Brulee with Cherry Compote
lots of tea - black tea, white tea or green tea
ohhhhh I love Chi tea too!
And if you haven't tried Russian tea it's something all together different, strong,
smoky and woodsy with an unforgettable flavor, not unpleasant by any means

Wouldn't it be fun to have tea with Cary!

"Mischief Managed" ~Kelly

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Currently Reading Shelf

A week ago I was overwhelmed with the desire to read something, anything but had no idea what that something was. Now I'm in the middle of 4 books.

I told you about Roberto Calas's The Scourge  a few posts back. I'm still waiting for Nov 27th  and the release of the next episode.
The Scourge
Roberto Calas 
Amazon Description:

Episode 1: Released on November 13, 2012. 37 pages. Sir Edward leads two knights through zombie-plagued England in search of his wife, despite the Church expressly forbidding the mission.

I also started The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens -

Pickwick Club
Charles Dickens
Dickens 1st novel, The Pickwick Papers was published in 1836 as a serial and portions or episodes of the book were published once a month. Kindle is re-releasing in episodes, one episode a week. 12 episodes have been released so far but I'm taking my time. I thought, if I read an episode a week I may not feel bogged down with a Dickens novel. I've never enjoyed Dickens as I really prefer happy, lively, romantic tales. I live in the real world and frankly I don't always want to read about the doom and gloom of everyday life, even if it happens in Victorian England. I'm hoping Pickwick can cure me of my Dickens dislike. Being his 1st novel I am hopeful. It is also free along with Oliver Twist for Kindle Serial fans.

Amazon Description:

Samuel Pickwick is the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. He and his fellow Pickwickians travel to the far-flung corners of London in search of adventure – luckily for the gentlemen, amusement and hilarity are never in short supply. Along their way, they encounter plenty of characters – from villains who land them in deep trouble to one woman who sues Pickwick to force him into marriage, providing the Pickwickians with plenty of tales to entertain.

I stumbled on The Great Book Collectors by Charles and Mary Elton -

The Great Book Collectors
Charles and Mary Elton

I accidentally downloaded this book. Amazon doesn't give a description of this book and the description on Goodreads left a lot to be desired so I decided to just read a bit and see for myself what it was about. So far, and I'm not sure if I'm still just in an introduction of sorts, it seems to be about famous bibliophiles throughout the ages. It's actually been interesting to read how men coveted books so much that wars could have been fought over them, libraries were destroyed because of war and men and families were sometimes in peril because of owning books. I'm not saying I will ever finish this and if I do it won't be anytime soon. Just something to read here and there. It has some amazing information that has also been quite interesting.

Today I began reading Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England by Susan Higginbotham.

Goodreads Description:

Trapped in the Wars of the Roses, one woman finds herself sister to the queen...and traitor to the crown
Katherine Woodville's sister never gave her a choice. A happy girl of modest means, Kate hardly expected to become a maker of kings. But when her sister impulsively marries King Edward IV in secret, Katherine's life is no longer hers to control...

So far I am in love this medieval historical fiction. It's so well written and from the point of Katherine "Kate" and her husband Harry. To describe my opinion of this book so soon would not give credit to the story so I will be back, when this novel is complete hopefully with a new author to love.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet, That is the Question

What is twitter? Wikipedia defines twitter as "an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets"."

I have been asked on more than one occasion if I have a twitter account. I don't! I didn't even consider the fact that I would need one running a blog. I basically want to just write about the books I love! I have found that, in itself, is not always easy when I work full time, have 2 teenagers and want to read as much as possible. I often think.....get ahead with your blog, but that isn't as easily done. I will adjust, I am sure, and find a way to manage all of this better. I think I need a smart  gasp, "you don't have a smart phone?" In defense, I have a laptop and well, I guess I thought that was enough (here I hang my head in shame, knowing that what I really want is a smartphone but semi conscience of the fact that I don't want to pay for it)!

So to tweet or not to tweet, that is the question. I suppose I should make a twitter account and see what all the fuss is about before actually committing to posting tweets myself. I could follow authors and maybe fellow bloggers. I admit I'm not much of a facebooker but I love pinterest and goodreads.

I follow my favorite authors for new book releases and most of the time I don't even check in to see what they are reading. I'm often more interested in what their fans are reading. They, like me, are much more interested, in my opinion, in reading good entertaining books. I know this is not completely true as I have spoken with many authors who read as much as they write. Having an obvious fondness for reading. Ok, I'll be brutally honest, sometimes I look at the books they are reading and in no way would I follow suit! I will amend this only to Anya Wylde, who likes a lot of the same types of books that I do. More on her later - she is an amazing new author!

So would a twitter account be beneficial to a blogger? I really have no way on knowing, hmmmmm without asking fellow bloggers.....time to check in at Blook Blogs. The bloggers and authors there seem to know everything! LOL! And it's fun too, meeting bibliophiles like me!
"Mischief Managed (for now)" ~ Kelly

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Bibliophiles!

I'm so thankful for my family - my son, my daughter, my mom & dad, all of my sisters & all of my brothers, their spouses, my nieces & nephews & I can't exclude my aunts & uncles & cousins.

I'm thankful for my friends who make my life full and even my enemies (why? because they add a spice usually found only in the novels I read). I'm thankful for my home, my job & even my piece of crap car that is costing me a small fortune. Oh & I'm thankful for my cat, Waffles.......

 Waffles (I think he got into the turkey)
I'm thankful for my freedom......
With freedom we have many blessings but the freedom to read novels, as many as we choose, whatever genres we want with no dictation to what we have to read is a wonderful gift. We have the freedom of speech - authors are free to voice their opinion, hopes and dreams for the bibliophile to devour.  
I hope you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day spending time with family & friends, eating turkey & stuffing & enjoying a good book with a piece of pumpkin pie!

"Mischief Managed" ~ Kelly