ARC August 2016 Reading Challenge Sign Up


Woot! ARC August is here again, and honestly it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I fell WAY behind in June and July so I have accumulated an ARC backlog of 28 books from those two months. Plus the 12 ARC’s I’m scheduled to read in August gets us to a grand total of 40 ARC’s to read this month. Ha, no way will I be able to read 40 books in a month, but I’m still really glad to be participating in ARC August again this year to try and decrease my backlog a little bit at least. For those of you that don’t know, ARC August is a month-long reading challenge hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. and the only participation requirement is reading ARC’s! I participated in this reading challenge last year and it worked out really well for me, I hope to be super productive with this challenge this year since I have so much to read! Plus in a beyond perfect twist of events I will on an island for a week in August with no wi-fi and no cell service and no electricity! What else is there to do but read!

So here is the list I’m going to be working off of for this year’s challenge (more or less):

-The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Elizabeth Crispell
-Results May Vary by Bethany Chase
-Sting by Sandra Brown
-The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges
-Quarter Life Poetry by Samantha Jayne
-Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax
-Thirty Days to Thirty by Courtney Psak
-All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
-Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan
-The Killing Game by Nancy Bush
-Luck, Love, and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
-The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger
-If You Left by Ashley Prentice Norton
-All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
-To Have and To Hold by Laura McHugh
-The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood
-My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor
-First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
-Stormswept by Sabrina Jeffries
-Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney

Obviously I don’t expect to read through 20 books in one month but this will give me a little wiggle room to pick what I want to read as I go rather than being stuck with a set schedule. Happy reading everyone!

Author Interview! Tiffany McDaniel – Author of The Summer That Melted Everything


I recently read and reviewed The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel, you can see my review here. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview Tiffany and get a little background info/behind the scenes look at the book and her writing process, plus a few other odds and ends. If you have not yet read The Summer That Melted Everything, I would definitely recommend it. Quoting from my recently posted review “This book was interesting and thought-provoking with what I thought was a very creative plot line. The characters were all complex and the story line was well-paced.” Definitely check this one out!

So, here is Tiffany’s About the Author from her website:



An Ohio native, Tiffany McDaniel’s writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows.  She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist.  The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel.




Below is the interview I had with Tiffany. My questions are in bold and her answers follow.

  1. When did you realize you wanted to be an author and did you have another profession before this?

Writing was the first thing I remember doing as a kid outside of any external influence or direction to do so.  I just knew I wanted to pick up a crayon and put down what was in my head.  As a kid with my ‘still learning to write ways’ it probably appeared to be scribbles to the nearest adult, but to me as a kid I was writing an entire story.  I came out of the womb drawn to story.  Reading it.  Creating it.  I wouldn’t realize it was something I could do as a career until much later, when I was in middle school.  The guidance counselor came in with her Rolodex of careers and we had to choose a  card listing the career we wanted.  I had no idea what card to pull out.  So the guidance counselor asked me what I liked to do.  I said, “I love to write.”  And she said, “Well, then you’ll be a writer,” and she pulled out the card and handed it to me.  I remember there was another girl in the class who also wanted to be a writer, so we had to share the career.  Only I wouldn’t let her have the card to hold.  There was something so powerful about it.  As if it was a physical key and I didn’t want to lose it for the door I felt was just right there.  I wonder about that girl in the class who wanted to be a writer too.  I hope she became one.  I hope she’s a bestseller right now, and I apologize to her for not letting her hold the card.

  1. For this book, did you work off of an outline while writing or did you just start writing and went where the story took you?

I never outline or write a synopsis.  I find that writing an idea down before hand causes the idea to lose its appeal to me.  I always start a novel with two things.  The title and the first line, always.  These two things determine the course of the story for me.  I never know the direction the story will take.  I just sit in front of my laptop and type.  Whatever I type that day ends up in the story.  The more you draft and chip away, the more the story takes shapes.  I never force anything out.  I let it come on its own and that works best for me.

  1. Give us some insight into Fielding as a character, what inspired you to create him?

I always say what inspires me are the characters themselves.  I’m inspired by them to tell their story.  It’s almost as if this is their own truth and I’m merely the vessel through which they tell this truth.

  1. Do you have any special rituals that you find yourself following when you’re writing? OR Take us through your typical work day.

I have no routine or schedule.  I know some authors try to write a certain number of words or pages in a day, or start at a certain time and finish.  I’m very ‘whenever.’  Sometimes I work on one chapter for several weeks.  Sometimes I can write several chapters in a week.  It’s really just what’s there at that moment.  I don’t have any rituals I follow.  I do try to avoid distraction when I’m writing.  The internet mostly.

  1. What do you do to cure writer’s block? Do you have issues with this often or hardly at all?

I’m a very superstitious writer, so I don’t talk about that which is mentioned above.  It’s almost like the Bloody Mary game.  If you say it’s name three times, it will appear.  So I just don’t speak of it.

  1. What (if any) research did you have to do for this novel? What was your favorite piece of research you did for this novel?

The Summer that Melted Everything takes place in 1984 so I had to research not just the year 1984, but also the decade.  Make sure I got it right socially, culturally, down to the way people dressed, the music they listened to, the television and film they watched.  Since this is early eighties and right on the cusp of the AIDS epidemic, I had to make sure I had the appropriate news headlines to correspond with the disease and at what point it was coming to the masses at that time.  It was really wonderful to travel back to the eighties.  I was born in 1985, so the eighties were not a decade I was living it up, dancing to the boom box and getting a perm in my hair, so it was fun to write about a time not our own.

  1. Do you find that you base any of your characters on people in your life? Have you gotten any inspiration for scenes in your novel from things that have happened to you in real life?

I don’t tend to base any character on a specific person in my life.  I think that’s dangerous territory, because the person you base that character on might not like the portrayal.  I always say the characters are their own people, and really they are.  This is their story.  This is what is happening to them, in as a real a way as their fictional universe will allow.

  1. How long did it take you to write this novel, from when you first put pen to paper to when it was published?

I wrote The Summer that Melted Everything in a month during the summer I was twenty-eight.  It wouldn’t be submitted to editors until I got a new agent in the autumn I was twenty-nine.  It sold that autumn to St. Martin’s Press.  I turned thirty during the publishing process.  And I’m thirty-one now when I’ll see the book released, so it takes a while to see a novel on the shelf, even after you have a publishing contract.  Before I got the contract for The Summer that Melted Everything, I worked for eleven years to get published, having written my first novel when I was eighteen.  Eleven years of rejection after rejection, and me fearing I’d never be published.  I feel very fortunate now to be in the position I am where I am about to see my novel on the bookstore’s shelf.  And I certainly sympathize with writer’s still on the journey to publication.  All I can say is to never give up.  It’s hard, but never give up. Are you working on any future books now?

  1. Are you working on any future books now?   

    I just finished the novel I hope to follow The Summer that Melted Everything up with.  This novel is titled When Lions Stood as Men.  It’s about a brother and sister escaping Nazi Germany.  They end up in Ohio, and while there try to survive in their own special way.  It’s a unique story I really can’t wait to share with readers.  I do have nine novels total, so I write all the time.  I’m just waiting for publishing to catch up to me.

  2. Are there any books or authors that have really influenced you and made you want to write? What about those authors inspired or influenced you?

I didn’t read the literary heavyweights until I was much older.  Donna Tartt, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Toni Morrison.  I wouldn’t say anyone influenced or made me want to write.  Writing is just something I’ve always done and been drawn to do.  But the writers listed above are definitely some of my favorite authors to read.  Especially Shirley Jackson and Ray Bradbury.  I also love the poetry of James Wright.  If you’ve never read his poetry, you’re missing out some of the  shiniest stars in the sky.

  1. Have you read anything lately that you loved?

I waited a long time to read Peter Pan and Wendy by JM Barrie.  Mostly because of the Disney version.  I just never really cared for the Disney Peter Pan movie and I thought that’s what the actual novel was going to be.  It’s definitely not the Disney story.  JM Barrie’s prose is beautiful and the story so melancholic.  It is so much more the ‘children’s story’ it is billed to be.  It’s honestly one of the saddest books I’ve read.

  1. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I read of course, a great deal.  I garden.  We always had gardens growing up so the message to work from the land was instilled in me from a very young age.  Right now in the garden there’s paw-paw trees, cherry trees, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, okra, zucchini, corn, broccoli, peppers, the list goes on and on.  I’m pretty into gardening, hope to have a greenhouse one day.  I also really like to bake.  Breads and pies mostly.  I think my crumb-top rhubarb pie is probably the best in the world, but I’m biased and I’m sure I am also sorely mistaken.

  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Like I said, never give up.  The eleven years it took me to get published was heartbreaking and oftentimes emotionally devastating as it is for most writers.  Being told over and over again that I was not publishable, or commercially relevant to publishers, that’s  a hard thing to hear.  The genre I write, which is literary fiction, is very difficult to break into, especially if you’re a female literary fiction writer.  So if you’re looking to get published, just remember you are worth it to yourself to keep trying.  Query all the agents there are, draft and re-draft your novel if you have to but don’t ever lose yourself.  And NEVER give up.  I do have a ‘pay it forward’ mindset with aspiring writers.  Meaning I never turn an author down who asks me for help.  I only ask that once they get published they do the very same thing to another author and pay forward the help and kindness.  We have to help each other out or we’ll go insane.

  1. What do you hope people are taking away from your stories? Do you have any particular messages you are trying to convey to readers?

When I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of extra money.  So I’d go into the bookstore and I knew I could only get one or two books.  Books are not terribly expensive, but they are expensive if you don’t have a lot of money.  So I had to hope the books I chose would be well worth the money.  I remember how disappointing it was to have spent money on a book that ended up being not very good.  So that’s what I strive for.  That readers have in me an author they feel good about spending their hard-earned money on.  That they’ve bought a book they can close and say, “Well, that was worth the money after all.”

  1. Is there anything else about you that you’d like your readers to know?

That readers have all the power.  With books like mine, there’s not going to be a lot of marketing put forth as say a publisher would do with the Stephen King’s of the world.  So the novel’s success comes down to word of mouth.  It’s really up to readers.  If they like the novel, I hope they talk to people about it, and share the name of the book.  Especially with a debut novel, it all comes down to readers.  They determine your life as a writer in more ways than one.  No writer becomes a career author by herself.  My only hope with this novel and my others to follow is that readers like what they’ve read and they can honestly say, “I’m really glad I read The Summer that Melted Everything.  I’m going to tell all my family and friends about it!” Please do!

I just wanted to say thank you to Tiffany for being featured on my blog. It was a pleasure reading your book and interviewing you! Readers make sure to check out The Summer That Melted Everything!


2016 Book #70 – The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

51PUBYCxdvLTitle: The Summer That Melted Everything
Author: Tiffany McDaniel
Date finished: 7/24/16
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE:I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.
Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.
When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. You can see the book trailer for this book here. Also I was lucky enough to get an interview with Tiffany and learn a little bit more about her life and her writing, which you can read here. This book tells the story of Fielding Bliss, whose life changes irrevocably during the summer of 1984. It is during that summer that Fielding meets and befriends Sal, the devil himself in the form of a thirteen year old boy. Over the course of that very hot summer, a number of tragic accidents happen and the townspeople are whisked into a frenzy, all looking for someone to blame. And isn’t it just lucky for them that a colored person recently came to town claiming to be the devil? During that summer of fear and hatred, the townspeople take on the form of an angry mob more than once, all losing their common sense when the “mob mentality” takes over.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I found this to be a thought-provoking read with a creative plot-line, and the characters all had a great depth and complexity to them. I LOVED Sal’s character, he played a great devil and I loved how the reader gradually learned more and more about his background. Another character I loved was Autopsy (Fielding’s Dad). I thought his narratives about the law and his role in interpreting the law as a local prosecutor were very well written and really made the reader consider the age old ideals of good vs evil and innocent vs guilty. This book had a fantastical feeling to it at the start but I think that there was more to it than that. I think this book really makes the reader examine how people’s perception can affect what they will believe about you and how the public mob mentality inspires more and more fantastical ideas. There was also a number of surprise twists at the end of this book that I didn’t see coming and that really created a lot of tension at the end of the story. While there were some gruesome tragedies in this story, I thought that this was a great novel that is most definitely worth the read. This was McDaniel’s debut novel and I’m very excited to read more by her in the future.

The bottom line: This book was interesting and thought-provoking with what I thought was a very creative plot line. The characters were all complex and the story line was well-paced. I would definitely recommend.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #69 – The Witness by Sandra Brown

51Fjdq-jF4L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Witness
Author: Sandra Brown
Date finished: 7/12/16
Genre: Fiction, romantic suspense
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Reprint)
Publication Date: Originally 1996, Reprint March 29, 2016
Pages in book: 418
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Target – purchased

Blurb from the cover:

Kendall Deaton pulls herself and her baby out of a wrecked car, and a mixture of courage and fear gets her to the top of a ravine, where she flags down help. But she doesn’t dare reveal her true identity to the authorities. Instead, she plans her immediate escape. Her perilous flight begins.
The best public defender in Prosper, South Carolina, Kendall had stumbled upon the town’s chilling secret, turning her marriage to one of the town’s most powerful men into a living hell. Now Kendall is a terrified mother trying to save her child’s life…a reluctant witness who knows too much about an insidious evil…and a woman surrounded by forces that will stop at nothing to protect what is “theirs.”

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: So if you read my blog you know that overall I am definitely a fan of Sandra Brown. I’m slowly trying to make my way through her backlist and since I’ve been so good at avoiding my ARC’s lately I decided to pick up. However, I have a tip for my future self: Never pick up a Sandra Brown book on a Sunday night unless you are (1) on vacation that week or (2) have somehow discovered in the future that sleep is no longer needed. Once I start reading a Sandra Brown book it is so hard for me to put it down. I was up until midnight last night finishing it. This book was about Kendall Deaton, a defense attorney in Prosper, South Carolina, who stumbles on a horrible crime out in the woods one night. In order to survive she runs away without leaving any trace, hoping to escape the clutches of a dangerous and deadly adversary. I don’t want to go too much into the plot line because of the twists and turns, I don’t want to give anything away! Even though some of the plot twists were somewhat predictable, they were all great and the story line kept me on my toes throughout. The only plot twist that didn’t really fit for me was the one at the end, I almost felt like it was added as an afterthought. It didn’t fit well for me with the rest of the story, but that’s just me!
Overall I really liked this book. It was definitely a page-turner, and my heart was pounding throughout the book. I must warn you readers, some parts of this book were downright gruesome, but it only adds to the evil character of the villains. I really liked this book overall and I would definitely recommend it, especially to Sandra Brown fans!!

The bottom line: This was a great read. The plot line definitely had my heart pounding and I was interested in the story right through to the end. There were a couple somewhat slow parts for me but overall was definitely a great book.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #68 – Indiana Belle by John A. Heldt

51XlqNu7xmL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Indiana Belle
Author: John A. Heldt
Date finished: 7/10/16
Genre: Fiction, Time travel
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: April 14, 2016
Pages in book: 295
Stand alone or series: #3 in American Journey series
Where I got the book from: Author/publisher NOTE: I received this book for free from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the “time-travel professor,” and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Cameron Coelho, a doctoral student from Providence, RI studying societal norms and customs during the 1920’s, with a specific emphasis in Indiana, as part of his doctoral research. During the course of his studies, he comes across some diary entries of a Miss Candice Bell, some of which mention time travel. He discusses this with one of his professors, who directs him to talk to a colleague named Geoffrey Bell in California. Geoffrey turns out to be a relative of Candice’s, and since he has a great personal interest in Candice and her diary entries (specifically whether she knows of the location of her father’s lost diary) he offers Cameron the chance of a life time: to travel back in time. It is in the 1920’s that Cameron is able to meet the girl he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about, Candice Bell herself. Though Geoffrey has warned Cameron not to interfere in the past, Cameron can’t help but develop deep feelings for this vivacious and intelligent young woman.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was fairly predictable but this actually added to my enjoyment of the story since I knew I wouldn’t be left disappointed at the end. I liked the characters in this book, and the villains were adequately evil and also got a somewhat justified end. I liked that we were able to look into the future in this book in an interesting way and I thought that it fit well within the story line, and honestly it did make a lot of sense to me because I agreed with Cameron that the government is heading in that direction. I think the concept of time travel is just really interesting and I like the story lines of these books and how the author approaches time travel. This is I think the 5th book I’ve read by this author and I’ve enjoyed all of them. This was a good read and I would say anyone who likes to read about time travel should definitely give it a try!

The bottom line: I enjoyed both the story line and the characters in this book, and I love the author’s continued creativity with the concept of time travel. There were some cringe-worthy moments and some of the conversations were a bit awkward but it didn’t detract overall from my enjoyment of the book. A good read and I would recommend!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #67 – How The Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell

51UASmzwz0L._SX298_BO1,204,203,200_Title: How the Duke Was Won
Author: Lenora Bell
Date finished: 7/5/16
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Disgraceful Dukes series
Where I got the book from: The Reading Room NOTE:I received this book for free from The Reading Room in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.
James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.
Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?
She is not like the others…
Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:
* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]
* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns [blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]
* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]
* Keep said duke far, far from her heart [no matter how tempting]
When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of James, who has returned home as the Duke that he never expected to be. Following the death of both his father and only brother though, he is forced to become responsible for an estate that he didn’t ever think of as his. In order to make sure that his lineage continues, he has to get married and beget an heir, and fast. So he decides to invite 4 eligible ladies over to his country estate and spend time with them to decide which one he should marry. Unfortunately for Lady Dorothea though, who is currently returning from Italy, she won’t be able to attend the competition. That is unless she has a half-sister that could pass for her twin, which oh hey guess she has one of those. Charlene Beckett is Dorothea’s half-sister and agrees to masquerade as Dorothea at the competition in exchange for certain monetary payments. Charlene has her reasons for agreeing to this arrangement, not the least of which is that she wants to arrange for her younger sister to have formal training for her painting talents.
Overall, I liked this book a lot. According to the author website this was her first book and I thought it was really great for a debut novel!  It was romantic and sweet and heart-wrenching. It had a Cinderella-like feel to it which I really liked. The characters in this book were all witty and interesting and very funny and I didn’t want to put the book down. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series, If I Only Had a Duke, coming out in late August.

The bottom line: I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and was well-paced and interesting throughout. It was very romantic and somewhat of a Cinderella story, which I loved. I would definitely recommend.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #66 – The Seer’s Spread by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

510nuTTyxbL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Seer’s Spread
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Date finished: 7/3/16
Genre: Young adult
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Pages in book: 40
Stand alone or series: Short story in the Beautiful Creatures series
Where I got the book from: Purchased from Amazon

Blurb from the cover:

Fate is a powerful thing…
Ethan Wate is still grieving the loss of his beloved Amma when he receives an unexpected gift–the old, yellow Whitman’s Sampler box that held Amma’s most closely guarded secrets. “One day I might let you have a look under that lid, Ethan Wate,” Amma used to say. “But today isn’t the day.”
Now it’s time for one of her greatest secrets to be revealed. In a long-lost letter, Amma tells Ethan the story of growing up as a young Seer with a remarkable gift for reading cards. But with a power that far-reaching comes responsibility, and Amma has been honoring her mission since before Ethan was born–to protect the Wate family at any cost. So when Lila Jane Evers enters Mitchell Wate’s life, bringing the whole Caster world with her, Amma turns to her cards. This time, it’s a the reading that will define the rest of her life–and Ethan’s.
In this second installment of Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories, #1 New York Times bestselling authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl bring you even deeper into the Caster world.

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This short story tells the reader how Amma came to be working in Ethan’s household before he was even born. This was a nice addition to the overall Beautiful Creatures story line and added some depth to Amma’s back story. I liked it though it was short and didn’t add too many details. Short and quick read.

The bottom line: I liked this short story though it was very short. I would recommend if you’re a Beautiful Creatures series fan.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #65 – Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt and BLOG TOUR


Title: Once Upon a Moonlit Night
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Date finished: 7/4/16
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Stand alone or series: #10.5 in the Maiden Lane series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE:I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

From New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt comes a delightful Maiden Lane novella that begins once upon a moonlit night—and ends wickedly, wonderfully ever after . . .
Hippolyta Royle is running for her life. Pursued by hounds on a cold rainy night, the heiress flags down a passing carriage and throws herself at the mercy of the coach’s occupant. Whoever this handsome traveler may be, he is her only hope to escape a terrible fate. But should he agree to escort her to safety, he’s in for much more than he bargained for . . .
At first Matthew Mortimer doesn’t believe Hippolyta’s story, that she’s a fabulously wealthy heiress who’s been kidnapped. He assumes she’s a beggar, an actress, or worse. But once his new travel companion washes the mud from her surprisingly lovely face, and they share a breathtaking kiss, there is no turning back . . .

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5


My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Hippolyta Royle, who we left in book ten of the series fleeing for her life after being kidnapped by the Duke of Montgomery. I’m glad that Hoyt wrote this short story to let the reader know what happened to Ms. Royle, I was deeply concerned for her well-being at the end of the last book. Hippolyta comes across a carriage while she is fleeing for her life, and the owner of said carriage, Matthew Mortimer, agrees to take her to the next town so that she can obtain passage in a mail coach to get back to London. Matthew doesn’t believe that Hippolyta is actually a wealthy heiress on the run from her kidnapper, more likely she is a down on her luck actress looking for some sympathy and a caretaker.
Overall I liked this short story a lot. I was very interested in finding out what had happened to Hippolyta after escaping from the Duke of Montgomery’s clutches. I’m glad that everything worked out for the best even though Montgomery is just a total jerk for kidnapping her in the first place. This was a sweet story and was a good addition to the series most definitely but overall it was a short story and wasn’t overly thrilling or detailed. Good story though and for anyone who likes the Maiden Lane series I would most definitely recommend.

The bottom line: I liked this novella and I thought it was a good addition to the Maiden Lane series. I appreciated learning about the fate of Ms. Royle since that was one of the open ends of book #10 in the series that I wished we had wrapped up. Nothing overly exciting but was a good addition to the series. I would recommend.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page


About the Author:

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series.Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Follow this link to enter to win a SIGNED copy of DUKE OF SIN:

Social Media Links:
Twitter @elizabethhoyt
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2016 Monthly Status Update: June


Well. June wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped. I had a sort of mini-crisis mid-way through the month and had to make some hard choices. I only tend to have a couple hours of free time each night and I have to choose how to spend my time each evening between exercising, reading, and sleeping. And most of the time above everything else I choose reading. Which leaves not much time for taking care of my health. So long story short I turned June into health month. Which also meant I didn’t get much reading done for June. And since I had like 20 books on my TBR list for June I most definitely fell off path but that’s ok. Hopefully July I’ll get a little more reading done and I can learn how to balance reading time and exercise time. Anyways, here’s my progress for June.

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 7
# pages read this month: 2,110
# books read year-to-date: 64
# pages read year-to-date: 20,490

Favorite Books I Read:

The Wedding Sisters by Jamie Brenner – 4.5 stars
Beauty and the Highland Beast by Lecia Cornwall – 4.0 stars

Books I Didn’t Particularly Enjoy: 

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid – 2.5 stars – I just didn’t really get it, I’m hoping one day someone can explain to me what happened

Other Posts this month:

Didn’t get to post anything else this past month, will be working on that for July hopefully!

Status of 2016 Reading Challenges:

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016 Checklist – 18/20 books read
Book Riot Read Harder Reading Challenge – 6/24 books read
Penguin Random House: Challenge Your Shelf A-Z Reading Challenge – 0/26 books read

July TBR list: 

Since I didn’t really make any progress on my June list so I’m pretty much going to work off of the list of books I didn’t read in June. And I’m not planning to read them in any particular order, I’m winging it for this month! I’m hoping to re-claim my reading spark in June and also find a way to balance my new exercise time with my reading time. Happy Fourth of July to everyone and Happy Reading!