Friday, February 27, 2015

The Secret of Pembrooke Park Spotlight & Tour!

If you've followed by reading habits for a while you've probably gathered that Julie Klassen is a favorite of mine. She's been touring the blogosphere in celebration of her latest release, The Secret of Pembrooke Park:

Award winning historical romance author Julie Klassen tours the blogosphere February 16 through March 2 to share her latest release, The Secret of Pembrooke Park. Twenty five popular book bloggers specializing in historical and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, book reviews and excerpts of this acclaimed gothic Regency romance novel. A fabulous giveaway contest, including copies of all of Ms. Klassen’s eight books and other Jane Austen-themed items, is open to those who join the festivities.  

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about Julie and her books at her website, follower her on Twitter, and visit her on Facebook and Goodreads.


Here's all you need to know to participate in this grand tour's fabulous giveaways!

Grand Giveaway Contest

Win One of Four Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the release of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, four chances to win copies of Julie’s books and other Jane Austen-inspired items are being offered.

Three lucky winners will receive one trade paperback or eBook copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, and one grand prize winner will receive one copy of all eight of Julie’s novels: Lady of Milkweed Manor, The Apothecary's Daughter, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Tutor’s Daughter, The Dancing Master, and The Secret of Pembrooke Park, one DVD of Northanger Abbey (2007) and a Jane Austen Action Figure.

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on The Secret of Pembrooke Park Blog Tour starting February 16, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, March 9, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Julie Klassen’s website on March 16, 2015. Winners have until March 22, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to residents of the US, UK, and Canada. Digital books will be sent through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Good luck to all!



THE SECRET OF PEMBROOK PARK BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

February 16              My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
February 16              vvb32 Reads (Excerpt)                             
February 17              Psychotic State Book Reviews (Review)
February 17              My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice (Spotlight)    
February 18              Addicted to Jane Austen (Review)                                
February 18              Peeking Between the Pages (Review)                                     
February 19              Jane Austen in Vermont (Interview)                                          
February 19              Living Read Girl (Review)                                                
February 20              My Love for Jane Austen (Excerpt)                                           
February 20              Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books (Review)                            
February 20              Laura's Reviews (Guest Blog)                                        
February 21              A Bookish Way of Life (Review)                                    
February 21              Romantic Historical Reviews (Excerpt)                        
February 22              Reflections of a Book Addict (Review)                                    
February 23              Austenesque Reviews (Guest Blog)                                         
February 23              Peace, Love, Books (Review)                                        
February 24              vvb32 Reads (Review)                                         
February 24              Poof Books (Excerpt)
February 25              Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)                                         
February 25              Austenesque Reviews (Review)                                    
February 25              Luxury Reading (Review)
February 26              So Little Time…So Much to Read (Review)
February 26              More Agreeably Engaged (Excerpt)
February 27              Psychotic State Book Reviews (Interview)                             
February 27              Booktalk & More (Review)
February 28              Laughing with Lizzie (Spotlight)
February 28              The Calico Critic (Review)
March 01                   Leatherbound Reviews (Excerpt)                                              
March 01                   Delighted Reader (Review)
March 02                   CozyNookBks (Review)                                       
March 02                   Laura's Reviews (Review)

Now, you might notice that there is a "review" next to Booktalk & More in the above list...and now I must admit, much to my chagrin and with my most heartfelt apologies, that I've not yet finished the book! However, I checked with the tour organizer (thanks Laurel Ann!) and this spotlight will serve as my tour entry post for today, with a review to come before the tour's end on March 2nd! 

To help whet your appetite, here's more information about The Secret of Pembrooke Park, including the gorgeous trailer. In my view, this is easily Klassen's most ambitious novel to date! (I'd love to hear your favorite Klassen novel in the comments!)


In the spring of 1818, twenty-four-year-old Abigail Foster fears she is destined to become a spinster. Her family’s finances are in ruins and the one young man she truly esteems has fallen for another woman — her younger, prettier sister Louisa.

Forced to retrench after the bank failure of Austen, Gray & Vincent, the Foster family optimistically pool their resources for another London Season for her sister in hopes of an advantageous alliance. While searching for more affordable lodgings, a surprising offer is presented: the use of a country manor house in Berkshire abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to the imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left, the tight-lipped locals offering only rumors of a secret room, hidden treasure and a murder in its mysterious past.

Eager to restore her family fortune, Abigail, with the help of the handsome local curate William Chapman and his sister Leah, begins her search into the heavily veiled past aided by unsigned journal pages from a previous resident and her own spirited determination. As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

EARLY PRAISE:

“Jane Austen meets Victoria Holt in Christy Award–winning Klassen’s latest deliciously spooky and sweetly romantic historical.” — Booklist

“Regency romance with awesome castles, secrets, hidden rooms and, of course, romance . . . . Julie Klassen has hit this one out of the ballpark.” — Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick

“If you are looking for a book which combines the enticing elements of a Gothic with the mannerly charm of a Regency, look no further, because this lovely Inspirational is just your cup of tea.” — Heroes and Heartbreakers

“While there are plenty of Regency authors out there, the lovely Julie Klassen is by far one of the top and a must read for fans of Austen/Brontë style and prose. Klassen’s latest, The Secret of Pembrooke Park has a touch of both – the mystery of Brontë and the fun of Austen.”— Books and Beverages


The Secret of Pembrooke Park is perfectly packaged with several threads of the gothic suspense, Regency romance and inspirational themes while presenting a well plotted story with intriguing characters in an amazing setting.” — Burton Book Review

See you soon with my full review!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Once Upon a Time: The Dark One

And we FINALLY get a new preview for Once Upon a Time's season 4B! This hiatus has been FOREVER LONG!!

The Sound of Music at the Oscars

I didn't watch the Oscars last night (no surprise, especially since Downton Abbey and Grantchester were on!), but I heard about Lady Gaga's The Sound of Music performance and was blown away. Just gorgeous!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Remembering Louis Jourdan

Over the weekend I somehow missed the news that one of my favorite classic Hollywood stars, the inimitable Louis Jourdan, passed away on Valentine's Day at the age of 93. For a swoon-worthy star who was married to his wife (who passed away last year) for over six decades, that date somehow seems fitting.

As per usual, TCM does a fab job with their video honoring Jourdan's career:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - 1st trailer

Has anyone seen the original The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television show? Please tell me I'm not the only one. My gosh that was awesome and this actually looks so much better than I expected. Napoleon Solo & Illya Kuryakin ride again! :)



(May this redeem Henry Cavill from the gosh-awful mess that was his turn as Superman...)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Is it March 13th yet?

Because I am NOT doing a good job patiently waiting for the release of Cinderella. A new trailer dropped today and it GORGEOUS. Can't wait!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Auschwitz 70

January 27th marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp, and in conjunction with that date the BBC released video footage of a drone they sent over the camp grounds. I think this chilling footage is absolutely essential viewing, a stark reminder of those horrors.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Words

A little something to help anyone out there (like myself) who might be suffering from Once Upon a Time withdrawals, may I offer up Colin O'Donoghue in Christina Perri's video for "The Words"?



Excuse me while I swoon. *wink*