Saturday, July 30, 2016

#StackingtheShelves #44 - blog updates and week's end for 7-30-16

Thanks to our Sponsor, Tynga's Reviews!

First, let's find out HOW Stacking the Shelves works! 

Hello everyone! It's that time of week again, that time to do an awesome "SHOW AND TELL" of the books I have been given, from authors, from publishers, I bought, borrowed, or received somehow, the library, a yard sale, or some way this past week! I LOVE showing books off like this! This is one of MY favorite posts to write!!
I also use THIS POST EACH WEEK to do somewhat of a wrap-up AND to post my NEW REVIEWS, NEW GIVEAWAYS, and whatever else I should bring to your attention!
After you are done reading HERE, click on the Sponsor's name up above and see THEIR post for Stacking the Shelves, too! They have a link-up with OVER 100-200 other blogs that also participate!
I'm also finding OTHER PLACES TO LINK UP TO AS WELL! I'm finding these places from other blogs, and they are GREAT ideas! The following NEW one is Talk of the Town where we can add ALL THINGS BOOKISH! Check it out! I still plan on joining in on other link-ups, too, I just haven't had the chance to do it all yet! I'll get there!!
I will also be linking this post AND my reviews to Saturday Situation as well from now on, too! That is a place to link ALL THINGS BOOKISH! I'm anxious to start posting there!! Check it out, too!

Hello everyone! It's been a quiet week, and that Giveaway I thought was this week, isn't. There is another coming August 17th! Otherwise, it's been a little quiet around here. I'm trying to enjoy summer, but it's been so HOT this year. I don't do well in the hot weather. I always say in the winter you can always get warm, but in the summer you can never cool down enough, and that's my problem.

This week history was made! The FIRST woman is running for president! Hillary Clinton! I cannot be more ecstatic! I admit I got a few tears in my eyes as she accepted the nomination, as I watched history take place! (That's what I've been doing more so this week, watching the Convention and reading the newspaper articles! I have to keep up with history!!) I hope you and your daughters, mothers, grandmothers LOVED this historic moment!

For this coming week we have a LOT of NEW reviews coming! Most of the books release August 2nd, so watch for the reviews through the week! See you then!

Here are the books I received for review this week:

The Regulars by Georgia Clark - for review

The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak - this one I bought for myself!

See you next week!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

#StackingtheShelves #43 + #Blog Updates and week's end for 7-23-16!

Thanks to our Sponsor, Tynga's Reviews!

First, let's find out HOW Stacking the Shelves works! 

Hello everyone! It's that time of week again, that time to do an awesome "SHOW AND TELL" of the books I have been given, from authors, from publishers, I bought, borrowed, or received somehow, the library, a yard sale, or some way this past week! I LOVE showing books off like this! This is one of MY favorite posts to write!!
I also use THIS POST EACH WEEK to do somewhat of a wrap-up AND to post my NEW REVIEWS, NEW GIVEAWAYS, and whatever else I should bring to your attention!
After you are done reading HERE, click on the Sponsor's name up above and see THEIR post for Stacking the Shelves, too! They have a link-up with OVER 100-200 other blogs that also participate!
I'm also finding OTHER PLACES TO LINK UP TO AS WELL! I'm finding these places from other blogs, and they are GREAT ideas! The following NEW one is Talk of the Town where we can add ALL THINGS BOOKISH! Check it out! I still plan on joining in on other link-ups, too, I just haven't had the chance to do it all yet! I'll get there!!
I will also be linking this post AND my reviews to Saturday Situation as well from now on, too! That is a place to link ALL THINGS BOOKISH! I'm anxious to start posting there!! Check it out, too!

How is everyone doing? I hope you are well! I didn't have a post last week! I know! Well, I'm definitely here this week and I am making up for it today! 

#GIVEAWAYS - Look in the Top-LEFT side column! We have until the 26th to enter the Lazy Days of Summer! Or click HERE! TO ENTER!

A NEW SIZZLING SUMMER GIVEAWAY! just like the current one that is going on, another $250 Giveaway will be starting on Wednesday, July 27th again! Look for this:

REVIEWS (over the last 2 weeks!)
All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker HERE!
A Curious Beginning, (A Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn HERE!
The Secret Language of Stones: A Novel" (The Daughters of La Lune #2) by MJ Rose HERE!
"Falling, a novel" by Jane Green HERE! 
And now . . . Introducing "Park Row Books"! A NEW Literary Fiction Imprint from MIRA Books! A NEW PUBLISHER!!! Go on over and see the books and authors they are putting out! They have some amazing titles I definitely want to read!! HERE! 


The Judas Game, A Shepard Thriller #4, by Ethan Cross
Publisher: Story Plant - Releases October 1st

Making a Killing, A Murder on the Mekong Thriller by John L Hart and Olivia Rupprecht - Releases July 26th!
Publisher: Story Plant
A Red Dotted Line, A Mike Walton Thriller by Simon Gervais
Publisher: Story Plant - Releases November 1, 2016

Free Fall by Rick Moin - Releases in Mass Market form on July 26th!

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber - I don't believe I showed you this one before, but it sure stands to be shown! Debbie Macomber, the QUEEN of ALL things Christmas! Releases October 4th!
I apologize if I've shown this twice? I can't remember if I have shown this off before or not, so I thought I would err on the side of caution and show it!

Buzz Books 2016 - ROMANCE - Exclusive Excerpts from top selling Romance Titles by PublishersLunch (a variety of publishers all contribute to this book) Released July 7th so this means it is available at Amazon right NOW! Go grab it!! It's FREE!

Sewn With Joy, The Pinecraft Pie Shop, by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore
An Amish story! It's been a LONG TIME since I've read an Amish book! It will be kind of neat to get back to it again! Releases September 1st!


A Perilous Undertaking (A Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn
i've been DYING to "hopefully" get this one for review!!! YES!!! This follows Book 1 from the review above! Releases January 10, 2017

That's all for these last two weeks! Currently I am back to reading and finishing up (I had to put it down to read and review a few of the above books under Reviews.) At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen. This is a book the book club I belong to is/was reading! I love how this author writes! She really pulls you into the story.

The Week Ahead? LOTS of reading to do for a review this week and the first week of August I believe there are FOUR books! Plus I am trying to squeeze in books I've received in the mail, as usual, but to get them READ! It seems simpler to read the ebooks, and more difficult to read the print books and I believe that is because I need a light where I sit and at least right now when I am reading I need my lamp on, and WOW! It throws the heat! Yes, I have central air, but I don't like it freezing in the house. It's must not be cool enough to not allow this lamp to heat up or something? Any of you have this problem? Or perhaps you have certain places you can and cannot sit during different times of the year? Tell us about them!

Okay! You all have a wonderful week ahead! I'll be reading and reading! (I do have one review for sure, and I will have the book I am reading now, it's review to post!) For now, 

Au Revoir!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#REVIEW #NEW #RELEASE! "Falling, a novel" by Jane Green

The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Jemima J, and Summer Secrets presents a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them...

When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn't the life she wanted either.

On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.

Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.

But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all.

In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman's far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be…

Advance Praise:
"Gripping and powerful." -- Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"The kind of novel you'll gobble up at one sitting." -- Cosmopolitan

"A smart, complex, character-driven read." -- The Washington Post

"The perfect summer read." -- Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author

I was going to rate this only as a 3.5 rating, but the ratings must be full, so I'll go up to a 4. This was an enjoyable novel to read, and a good summer one to pass the time while lying on the beach, or for someone like me, inside, with the air on! Hey! It’s HOT out when you have no shade! It’s just that from the description and the cover of the book (I'll admit it! Yet the cover says everything! That's all I'll say!) I had such huge hopes for this book, that I feel a little let down. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the book, but I’m just not ‘falling’ all over myself with praise for it, and that is probably because you know how some books just suck you into their story and no matter what you do you can’t put the book down because the author has sucked you completely in? This book did not do that to me. This is what I was SO hoping this book was going to do to me, and I wanted it to do that, but it fell short in that area for myself. It was enjoyable reading how Emma and Dominic’s relationship happened, and yes, he is the perfect father, too perfect, which is probably one reason why this story fell flat for me. When the end came, Emma ended up having to do so much more growing in such little time in the end, but then again, I felt the end went on for far too long because we know how it’s going to end.  Every time you thought it was over, it kept on going, and right when you knew how it was going to end, it just felt stretched out. It did focus on the person it was supposed to, but I thought there would have been more about another person? Go figure. That probably sounds as confusing as all heck, but if you read this book, then I think you’ll know what I’m talking about because you are probably asking yourself what the heck am I talking about? I don’t want to ruin this for you, so it’s better to leave you confused! This does all tie together at the very end, and when you read it you’ll understand what I mean, but I can’t say anymore or give any more detail away. It’s too easy to ruin it and I refuse to do that.
Thank you to Berkley Publishers for this BEAUTIFUL hardcover book, along with the ease of the ebook! You are beyond GREAT, as always! Thanks to NetGalley, too! This book was provided to me for free in exchange for my written opinion.

At Goodreads there is a GIVEAWAY for this book! It runs from July 11th to July 25th, 2016! Go to the book's page and scroll down and after the Description you'll see the Giveaway! Good luck! (There are a LOT of people trying for this!)

ebook: $12.99
print:   $17.17

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

#REVIEW - #NEW #RELEASE "The Secret Language of Stones: A Novel" (The Daughters of La Lune #2) by MJ Rose!

As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).

5 STARS!!!
First thing we cannot ignore about this book is the absolute GORGEOUS cover! Wow! The publisher and author, and the designer of this cover did a great job matching it to the story, or at least I felt that way! I have read this author's first book in this series, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, (The Daughter of La Lune #1) HERE, and I LOVED it! I am able to tell you that both of these books can be read on their own or as a stand-alone book, but I would still suggest reading them both because of the way this author writes! She does a beautiful job painting scenery and things that are going on with words that you becomes so absorbed into these stories. The written word on these pages of this book pull you into this book even faster than the first book did, making our world of reality slip by which is one of the things I like most about this author, MJ Rose, and the books she writes! When reading her books I just do not want to stop! This is definitely one of my favorite authors because of her talent with that! I really was shocked several times to look up and see how little time passed and yet how much I was into both of these books, especially this second one in this series is even better than the first, in my opinion. In my review of the first book, I made mention it seemed as if it took a little time for the story to get going, but definitely not with this second book. This second book needed no time at all to get going, and it felt as if it just seemed to fly by it was so good! I wanted it to slow down, but I could not slow down reading!
In this book, it is 1918, and World War I has been raging on for the past several years already, but these characters don't know it's nearing the end, so each day is as was the day was before, trying to stay safe and out of the way of any fighting, bombs, specifically. The characters try to move along in life the best they can given the circumstances. 
Opaline Duplessi is our main character in this book, and she is the daughter of Sadrine. Sadrine dabbled in the dark arts, and Opaline did not want to be a part of that at all, nor did she want to be compared to her mother, either. Opaline does succeed in staying in Paris and working there, too, despite what her parents wanted for her. They had wanted her to go to the US, but she snuck off the ship her parents were so comfortable putting her on, thinking they were getting her out of harms way by having her go to the United States. Opaline did not want anything to do with leaving Paris, so she snuck off the ship to stay behind and work in Paris with Pavel Orloff, who at one time worked as the protege to the famous Faberge' (you've heard of the Faberge Egg?) These eggs are some of the most opulent and exquisitely sought-after, expensive pieces of art and/or art/jewelry made in the shape of eggs standing on four opulent legs. Not many can pass up the beauty of these. Today, the only thing you'll ever pass on after seeing these absolutely gorgeous things are the price! They are truly exquisite! 
As Opaline works with stones making jewelry and talisman in remembrance of the men the mother's, wives and girlfriends have lost to the war, Opaline learns she has a very special rare gift while working with these special gemstones when paired with something personal from the one who has passed, such as their hair. She will often hear a message from that someone who has passed, and it is usually that soldier she is making it for, and they did not get a message to their loved one before they passed. Now Opaline has that message for the women. People seek her out for this gift she has, and she accommodates, until that day day she hears her own fallen soldier who starts to speak to her . . . Hmmm. Did she hear that right?
This is just the beginning of this journey! Enjoy!

Here is this author's MJ Rose's Pinterest page which will give you a look at this series, more so from Book One, but still applies to this entire series. What a great way to show images beyond the books!
Here is the author's Facebook page for MJ Rose 
Here is the author's Twitter page - @MJRose
Here is the author's MJ Rose's Website 
(At this website, I see she is still advertising her boo, The Book of Lost Fragrances AND The Collector of Lost Breaths. "Those books" are my ALL time favorites of this author's, along with THIS BOOK, The Secret Language of Stones! I LOVED that book! It is still with me today! That is the book that got me addicted to this author!)

ebook: $12.99
print:   $17.14

Friday, July 15, 2016

Introducing Park Row Books! A NEW Literary Fiction Imprint from MIRA Books!

A New Literary Fiction Imprint from MIRA Books

New York, NY, July 1, 2016—MIRA Books announced today the official launch of Park Row Books, an exclusive line of thought-provoking and voice-driven novels by both celebrated and new authors. Park Row Books will be led by Margaret Marbury, Vice President, General Fiction Editorial, and Erika Imranyi, Executive Editor. Park Row Books will publish unique voices and powerful stories that inspire discussion. Inaugural titles are slated for release in summer 2017.
“With the success of MIRA’s rapidly expanding literary fiction program, we decided to establish a dedicated imprint that focuses on the incredible novels we are publishing,” said Marbury. “Park Row Books allows us to create new opportunities for talented literary writers who want a boutique publishing experience with the support of a powerhouse commercial publisher.”
“We are aggressively growing our imprints that publish hardcover and trade paper original fiction,” said Loriana Sacilotto, Executive Vice-President, Global Publishing and Strategy at Harlequin. “Park Row Books is acquiring powerful and compelling novels by talented writers who are looking for a house that will shine a spotlight on their titles.”
The name Park Row Books was inspired by the landmark street that runs through downtown Manhattan and ends at the Woolworth Building, the former home of Harlequin’s New York office for many years. Once known as “Printing House Square” and the location of many of New York’s major newspapers, Park Row has a rich heritage of fostering free expression, creative ideas and important voices.
“MIRA Books has a long history as an industry leader when it comes to publishing commercial fiction,” said Imranyi. “The passion and innovation of the MIRA team is second to none and we have seamlessly parlayed our strengths as a commercial publisher into our literary fiction program. It is a great privilege to be spearheading the expansion of MIRA’s powerful list with the launch of Park Row Books, which will be an exciting destination for talented literary voices whose books have broad mainstream appeal.”
The launch title for Park Row Books is the blockbuster debut novel The Improbable Flight of Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig, which Park Row acquired in a significant preemptive deal. The highly anticipated novel follows a recently adopted teenager with autism who is desperately plotting to get herself kidnapped by her birth mother. Told in an extraordinarily fresh and wholly unique voice, The Improbable Flight of Ginny Moon is a compulsively readable and unforgettable story about finding a place to belong in a world that doesn’t always add up. It will be published around the world in 11 territories and counting.
Park Row Books will also be home to the much-buzzed-about new novels by New York Times bestselling authors Mary Kubica and Heather Gudenkauf. Kubica’s book, a psychological thriller about a young widow’s pursuit of the truth in the wake of the devastating crash that took the life of her husband, takes readers inside the dark, twisted corners of a psyche plagued by grief. Her first novel, The Good Girl, has sold over half a million copies and has been published in two dozen territories worldwide. Gudenkauf’s next book, a high-concept crime thriller about a protagonist with profound hearing loss, features the bestselling author’s most compelling heroine to date. Gudenkauf’s first novel, The Weight of Silence, was an instant New York Times bestseller, spending 22 weeks on the list.
Other exciting titles forthcoming from Park Row Books include When I Think of You, from award-winning journalist and bestselling author Karma Brown, exploring how a woman’s life falls apart over a random act of courtesy; Hanna Who Fell from the Sky, a breakout literary novel set in the fascinating and unknown world of a polygamist society from award-winning Canadian author Christopher Meades; Undertow, by British journalist Elizabeth Heathcote, the much-buzzed-about debut domestic thriller in the vein of The Widow; and a new novel from Phaedra Patrick, the author of wildly acclaimed The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, that follows a down-on-his-luck jeweler whose life is changed when his estranged teenage niece makes a surprise visit to his quiet village.
Agents with manuscripts that feature strong, unique voices and groundbreaking content with mainstream appeal may send material to Erika Imranyi or Park Row Books editor Liz Stein.
About MIRA Books
MIRA Books is an imprint of Harlequin and features a lineup of some of the bestselling authors across North America as well as industry-anticipated debut authors. MIRA Books is committed to publishing the very best in commercial fiction, including women’s fiction, suspense and psychological thrillers, literary bestsellers, and historical. In 2015, 24 MIRA Books titles placed on bestseller lists (New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly) for a total of 194 weeks. MIRA publishes approximately 100 books per year in hardcover, mass-market and trade paperback formats.
About Harlequin
Harlequin ( is one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women, with titles issued worldwide in as many as 34 languages and sold in up to 102 international markets. The company publishes more than 110 titles monthly and more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, and has operations in 11 countries. For more information, please visit and Follow Harlequin on Twitter: @HarlequinBooks.

#  #  #

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#NEW #RELEASE IN #PAPERBACK with a #GIVEAWAY! "A Curious Beginning, (A Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn!


A Curious Beginning, (A Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn!

I LOVED this book, and this review is from the original release back on September 2nd, 2015, last year from the Hardcover! (Re-reading it now makes me want to change my original review a little bit! Figures! I'm not going to, I'll keep it the same because it is 'this' review that is 'everywhere'! That ALWAYS seems to happen when you do get to read the SAME BOOK a 2nd time! You want to add things to your review! Better I don't so I don't spoil anything this way, too! LOL!
I am ALSO anxious and EXCITED that Book 2 is coming out on January 10th, 2017, A Perilous Undertaking, (A Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn! Yes!!! I will list it at the bottom with a direct link to Amazon where you can pre-order it! I highly recommended it!
HUGE secret!!! I DID get the ebook from NetGalley to review it!!! YES!!! However, this FIRST BOOK IS SO GORGEOUS!!! I want the PRINT VERSION OF ALL OF THESE BOOKS! I will buy it and ADD it to my collection!

ONE GIVEAWAY FOR THIS BOOK - fill out the QUICK form below!
A Curious Beginning (A Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn! 
"1" paperback new release!
United States ONLY (due to shipping) and the book will come directly from the publisher!
Dates of Giveaway: NOW to July 18th at midnight! 
The #WINNER will be posted HERE at this blog and on my Facebook page the next day, Tuesday, July 19th!


“Deanna Raybourn…brings energetic storytelling and a strong sense of history to
—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Fans will be delighted with Raybourn’s return to this era, while page-flipping newcomers will find them full of witty riposte and elegant descriptives…. Both will be crying for more, and Raybourn delivers.”
—Florida Times-Union

“Raybourn introduces her latest feisty heroine, deftly twining together suspense, romance, and cracking good dialogue….As Veronica and Stoker careen through dastardly plot twists, they match wits, bantering with skill worthy of Tracey and Hepburn. A thrilling—and hilarious—beginning to a promising new series.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Creating strong character pairings, placing the action in unexpectedly unusual but actual historical settings, and folding it all into a clever mystery are hallmarks of this author’s magical, signature style.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

A CURIOUS BEGINNING will leave you, as it left me, whimpering for more.”
—Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of the Flavia de Luce series

“The intrepid Veronica’s witty narration and the sexual tension she shares with the equally eccentric and articulate Stoker deliver a fun read with promises of more to come.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Deanna Raybourn writes with wisdom, sass and a rich texture that is a joy to read.  I love this book!  A CURIOUS BEGINNING brings us the powerful Veronica Speedwell who triumphs over diversity and danger with wit, charm and uncanny determination.  This is a real find for mystery lovers!”
—Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Virgin River series
“A CURIOUS BEGINNING is a fantastic read, both wickedly clever and devilishly amusing. Like a grown-up Flavia de Luce, Victorian explorer and naturalist Veronica Speedwell is a joy—slaying rapscallions, scoundrels and dullards alike with her bon mots—or sharpened hatpin. She’s an unflappable, unrepentant, and thoroughly delightful butterfly of a new heroine—and I'm already impatiently drumming my fingers awaiting the next book.”
— Susan Elia MacNeal, author of the New York Times bestselling Maggie Hope series

“I've been a big fan of Deanna’s for some time and this book was a treat to read. How could I resist a royal scandal, an Irish plot, and a really sexy hero who has a tendency to work with no shirt on? Deanna is one of the few writers who can make history feel immediate and exciting without losing a feel for the period.”

—Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of Her Royal Spyness series and winner of the Agatha Award for Queen of Hearts

In her thrilling new series, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England…and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell.

London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
I loved this book, and it's going to be a fun series of three books to read! I will tell you why! You'll notice this takes place in London in 1887. Veronica is a lepidopterist (I never knew they even existed!) which happens to be someone who studies butterflies. Hmmm! Veronica is also quite the outspoken, opinionated, a headstrong woman (whom you'll never hear a woman speak like she does back then), literally shocking people at times, and I loved it! Also, she’s not specifically against marriage, just in the past, instead, she has taken on her own lover, or lovers (five to be exact) of her own accord instead of marriage so far. I love it, a woman who definitely knows what she wants! This book is definitely NOT your average Victorian mystery, nor would I want it to be after reading this now! I just LOVED the sexual tension between Veronica and Stoker (I’ll tell you about him in a moment!). This book went completely against what you would ‘think’ a Victorian mystery would/should be like! Just how I LOVE it!
There are actually two mysteries that take place in this book. One is why is someone after her, as she does get abducted in her aunt’s home after returning from that aunt’s funeral. The other mystery ends up being why did someone murder the German man, the man who put Stoker by Veronica's side to help keep her safe, although, she did not need him or any man to keep her safe as far as that went! She has a special hat pin for that, although he was quite handsome! The German was going to give her more information about her parents and her abduction, too, but not now. There is some heat between Veronica and Stoker, and I wanted to see more of that, but at times, instead the author would take us off in a different direction when all you wanted was her and Stoker to continue on! These two even ended up joining in on a traveling caravan, but this is when you were hoping to see these two make more heat together while investigating the crimes, but we were taken away from that direction. This is my only complaint about the book. Every now and then the author would take us off into another direction rather than the direction I believe the reader wanted to go! Maybe she thinks we need to cool down or doesn’t want ‘that’ in her books? I don’t know? LOL! Rather, off to the next deviation! Veronica and Stoker do find the answers to what they were looking for, but it really turned out to be anti-climatic. Strange, or possibly with the rest of the story coming in two more books we’ll learn why there was not much to the answers? We’ll see!
This will stick with me as well. The last line in this book says, ‘As the excellent Arcadia Brown, Lady Detective, so often proclaimed, “EXCELSIOR!”
I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book, don't you? It's beautiful! Well, I have found a new author of whom I am in love with her writing! I want to go now and read ALL of her books! She has quite the series about a 'Lady Julia Grey'! I don’t want to wait to read them, either, although there are a LOT of volumes to that series! Wow! You'll have to check those out, too! I want to thank Penguin/Berkley/NAL for the wonderful opportunity they gave me to read and review this wonderful book in exchange for a review of my own opinion. Thank you!

Here are the links below for BOTH books! Book 1 can be bought RIGHT NOW!!!

Book 2 can be Pre-Ordered! It is due out on January 10th, 2017! 

ebook: $11.99
print:   $ 8.82

ebook: $12.99
print:   $21.52