I had the chance to review Ant-Man, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you can read my thoughts at BreakPoint! I thought the movie was a lot of fun and Paul Rudd is, as per his norm, pretty delightful. ;-) If you've seen Ant-Man I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Came back this afternoon to tons of fantastic spoilers about the upcoming fifth season of Once Upon a Time -- this Dark Swan storyline is going to be sooooo good!! Here's a few videos and links.
Comic-Con video - "The Dark Swan" - No new footage here, but Ginnifer Goodwin's narration tracing Emma's journey is absolutely heartbreaking.
First look at...MERIDA!! Can't wait! Also, a chilling video clip featuring the introduction of Dark Swan, in what looks to be Rumple's old Enchanted Forest jail cell...or very like it. I have to think Jennifer Morrison is going to enjoy the chance to play a dark Emma. Also, the black feathers in the promo? FAB work there.
Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) back in their original Victorian setting? This may be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen...well, this week at any rate. ;-) I hate the wait between new Sherlock episodes, but this clip makes me realize anew how much this show makes it worth the wait.
As I promised yesterday, today I'm thrilled to share an exclusive excerpt from Ross Poldark with you as part of the Ross Poldark Blog Tour! Following the excerpt, read on for information on the blog tour giveaway hosted by Sourcebooks Landmark. Enjoy!
Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Ross Poldark:
Ross came into a company quite
unprepared for his arrival. When his figure showed in the doorway, one after
another of those at the table broke into words of surprise. Elizabeth and
Francis and Verity and Dr. Choake were on their feet; Charles lay back grunting
and inert from shock. Cousin William-Alfred polished his steel spectacles,
while Aunt Agatha plucked at his sleeve mumbling, “What is it? What’s to do?
The meal isn’t over.”
Ross screwed up
his eyes until they grew used to the light. Trenwith House was almost on his
way home, and he had not thought to intrude on a party.
First to greet
him was Verity. She ran across and put her arms around his neck. “Why, Ross
dear! Fancy now!” was all she could find to say.
gave her a hug. And then he saw Elizabeth.
“Stap me,” said
Charles. “So you’re back at last, boy. You’re late for dinner, but we’ve some
apple tart left.”
“Did they lame
us, Ross?” said Dr. Choake. “A pox on the whole war. It was ill-starred. Thank
God it’s over.”
Francis, after a
short hesitation, came quickly around the table and grasped the other man’s
hand. “It’s good to see you back, Ross! We’ve missed you.”
“It’s good to be
back,” said Ross. “To see you all and—”
The color of the
eyes under the same heavy lids was the only mark of cousinship. Francis was
compact, slim, and neat, with the fresh complexion and clear features of
handsome youth. He looked what he was: carefree, easy-going, self-confident, a
young man who has never known what it was to be in danger or short of money, or
to pit his strength against another man’s except in games or horse-play.
Someone at school had christened them “the fair Poldark and the dark Poldark.”
They had always been good friends, which was surprising, since their fathers
“This is a
solemn occasion,” said Cousin William-Alfred, his bony hands grasping the back
of his chair. “A family reunion in more than name. I trust you’re not seriously
wounded, Ross. That scar is a considerable disfigurement.”
“Oh, that,” said
Ross. “That would be of no moment if I didn’t limp like Jago’s donkey.”
He went around
the table greeting the others. Mrs. Chynoweth welcomed him coldly, extending a
hand from a distance.
“Do tell uth,”
lisped Polly Choake, “thome of youw exthpewiences, Captain Poldark: how we
lotht the wa’, what theethe Amewicanth awe like, and—”
“Very like us, ma’am. That’s why we lost it.” He had reached Elizabeth.
she said softly.
His eyes feasted
on her face. “This is most opportune. I couldn’t have wished it different.”
“I could,” she
said. “Oh, Ross, I could.”
“And what are
you going to do now, my lad?” asked Charles. “It’s high time you settled down.
Property don’t look after itself, and you can’t trust hirelings. Your father
could have done with you this last year and more—”
“I almost called
to see you tonight,” Ross said to Elizabeth, “but left it for tomorrow.
Self-restraint is rewarded.”
“I must explain.
I wrote you, but—”
“Why,” said Aunt
Agatha, “Lord damn me if it isn’t Ross! Come here, boy! I thought you was gone
to make one of the blest above.”
walked down the table to greet his great-aunt. Elizabeth stayed where she was,
holding the back of her chair so that her knuckles were whiter even than her
Ross kissed Aunt
Agatha’s whiskery cheek. Into her ear he said, “I’m glad to see, Aunt, that
you’re still one of the blest below.”
with delight, showing her pale brownish-pink gums. “Not so blest, maybe. But I
wouldn’t want to be changing just yet.”
became general, everyone question-ing Ross as to when he had landed, what he
had done and seen while away.
said Mrs. Chynoweth, “fetch me my wrap from upstairs, will you? I am a little
She turned and walked away, tall and virginal, groped with her hand for the oak
Paynter is a rogue,” said Charles, wiping his hands down the sides of his
“If I was you I
should throw him out and get a reliable man.”
Ross was watching Elizabeth going up the stairs. “He was my father’s
in some annoyance. “You won’t find the house in a good state of repair.”
“It wasn’t when
worse now. I haven’t been over for some time. You know what your father used to
say about coming in the other direction: ‘It is too far to walk and not far
enough to ride.’”
“Eat this, Ross,” said Verity, bringing a piled plate to him. “And sit here.”
Ross thanked her
and took the seat offered him between Aunt Agatha and Mr. Chynoweth. He would
have preferred to be beside Elizabeth, but that would have to wait. He was
surprised to find Elizabeth there. She and her mother and father had never once
been to Nampara in the two years he had known her. Two or three times he
glanced up as he ate to see if she was returning.
helping Mrs. Tabb to carry out some of the used dishes. Francis stood plucking
at his lip by the front door; the others were back in their chairs. A silence
had fallen on the company.
“It is no easy
countryside to which you return,” said Mr. Chynoweth, pulling at his beard.
“Discontent is rife. Taxes are high, wages have fallen. The country is
exhausted from its many wars, and now the Whigs are in. I can think of no worse
“Had the Whigs
been in before,” said Dr. Choake, refusing to be tactful, “none of this need
across at Francis. “I’ve interrupted a party. Is it in celebration of the peace
or in honor of the next war?”
Thus he forced
the explanation they had hesitated to give.
Francis. “I—er—the position is—”
celebrating something far different,” said Charles, motioning for his glass to
be filled again. “Francis is to be married. That is what we’re celebrating.”
“To be married,”
said Ross, slicing his food. “Well, well, and who—”
said Mrs. Chynoweth.
Ross put down
his knife. “To—”
“Can I get you
something to drink?” Verity whispered to Elizabeth, who had just reached the
bottom of the stairs.
“No, no… Please
“Oh,” said Ross.
“We are very
happy,” said Mrs. Chynoweth, “that our two ancient families are to be united.
Very happy and very proud. I am sure, Ross, that you will join with us in
wishing Francis and Elizabeth all happiness in their union.”
of Three Fabulous Prizes
celebration of the re-release of Ross Poldark
and Demelza, Sourcebooks Landmark is
offering three chances to win copies of the books or a grand prize, an
Anglophile-themed gift package.
lucky winners will each receive one trade paperback copy of Ross Poldark and Demelza, and one grand prize winner will receive a prize package
containing the following items:
) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers
Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Plater by Johnson Brothersr
London Telephone Box Tin of Ahmad English Breakfast Tea
Jar of Mrs. Bridges Marmalade
Package of Duchy Originals Organic Oaten Biscuits
Packets of Blue Boy Cornflower Seeds by Renee's Garden Heirloom (1) Trade
Paperback Copy of Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham
enter the giveaway contest simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog
stops on the Ross Poldark Blog Tour starting July 06, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT,
August 10, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the entrants and
announced on the Buzz at Sourcebooks blog on August 13, 2015. Winners have
until August 20, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to US residents
and the prizes will be shipped to US addresses. Good luck to all!
Click HERE or HERE for a list of all stops on the tour. Good luck!
Today I am thrilled to announce the start of the Ross Poldark Blog Tour! Speaking of Ross, how are we all enjoying Poldark on Masterpiece? We ARE enjoying Poldark yes? And if not -- well for goodness' sake catch up people! These stories are the BEST!! Historical fiction catnip, a swoon-worthy, brooding hero -- need I say more? I thought not. :)
Here's some information about the books and the tour (and what would a blog tour be without a giveaway, am I right?). And come back tomorrow when I share an exclusive excerpt and information about the giveaway!
“If Jane Austen met Charlotte Bronte and they
drank too much port, the Poldark Saga
would be their literary love child.” — Poldarkian.com
Poldark rides again in the new Sourcebooks Landmark tie-in editions of Ross Poldark and Demelza, the first two novels in the acclaimed Poldark Saga by Winston Graham, adapted into
the inaugural season of the new Masterpiece Classic PBS’s series Poldark, airing June 21 – August 2 on
through August 3rd, The Ross Poldark Blog Tour will visit thirty popular book
blogs specializing in historical, romance and Austenesque fiction. Featuring spotlights,
previews, excerpts and book reviews of these two acclaimed historical fiction
novels, the tour will also offer readers a chance at a fabulous giveaway
contest including copies of the books and a stunning Anglophile-themed prize
In the first
novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returns to England
from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth.
But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock
and drunken servants, and Elizabeth—believing Ross to be dead—is now engaged to
his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.
the Poldark series, a heartwarming, gripping saga set in the
windswept landscape of Cornwall. With an unforgettable cast of characters that
spans loves, lives, and generations, this extraordinary masterwork from Winston
Graham is a story you will never forget.
enchanting second novel in Winston Graham’s beloved Poldark series,
Demelza Carne, an impoverished miner’s daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a
fairground brawl, now happily finds herself his wife. But the events of these
turbulent years test their marriage and their love. As Ross launches into a
bitter struggle for the right of the mining communities, Demelza’s efforts to
adapt to the ways of the gentry (and her husband) place her in increasingly odd
and embarrassing situations. When tragedy strikes and sows the seeds of an
enduring rivalry between Ross and the powerful George Warleggan, will Demelza
manage to bridge their differences before they destroy her and her husband’s
chance at happiness?
stunning backdrop of eighteenth century Cornwall, Demelza sweeps readers into
one of the greatest love stories of all time.
Graham (1908-2003) is the author of forty novels. His books have been widely
translated and the Poldark series has
been developed into two television series, shown in 22 countries. Six of
Winston Graham's books have been filmed for the big screen, the most notable
being Marnie, directed by Alfred
Hitchcock. Winston Graham is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in
1983 was awarded the O.B.E.
Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies #1)
By: Sarah Zettel
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
ASIN: B00AUZS6CE Review: Margaret "Peggy" Preston Fitzroy had few friends and few prospects. Following her father's disappearance and her mother's subsequent death, at the tender age of eight Peggy was left saddled with the burden of her dubious parental antecedents. Sent to live off the largesse of aunt and uncle, she serves as a companion to their only daughter, Olivia. While she and Olivia become fast friends, now sixteen Peggy is ever more increasingly aware of her tenuous status in her uncle's household. When he arranges a wholly unsuitable engagement solely for the purpose of ridding himself of an unwanted familial expenditure, Peggy's refusal to comply sees her cast on the streets with little more than the clothes on her back. Her only hope is to pursue the acquaintance of Mr. Tinderflint, a gentleman who claimed to have been her mother's friend and expressed a keen interest in doing the daughter a good turn, should her fortune and interest desire. Through Tinderflint and his asssociates Mr. Peele and Mrs. Abbott, Peggy becomes a reluctant player in an intrigue reaching the crown itself. The unlikely trio train Peggy to infiltrate the court of George I by assuming the identity of the recently -- and secretly -- deceased Lady Francesca Wallingham. Assuming that lady's position as maid of honor to Caroline, Princess of Wales, Peggy would then be ideally placed to pass intelligence on the doings and intrigues of the court to her trio of spymasters.
With no other option, Peggy accepts, embarking on the most dangerous game of her young life -- and quickly learning that everything she was taught about her predecessor was a life. In a court riddled with Jacobite spies, where lord and lady alike jockey for position and favor, one misstep in this intrigue could cost Peggy her life. But in this great game of kings and pretenders, the most important player of all may turn out to be a masquerading maid.
Thanks to its youthful protagonist and candy-colored cover, Palace of Spies is positioned and marketed as a young adult novel, but like the best stories it transcends categorization -- this is a frothy spy caper, yes, but solidly grounded in its historical context. Those who look to the television show Reign and its ilk would do better to look within these pages for their historical drama fix. For while Zettel brings the 18th century royal English court to life with enough beautiful, bright young things and romantic intrigue to satisfy the most die-hard historical soap opera aficiando, hers are not merely modern characters dressed in period costume. Peggy is quite intelligent and forward-thinking, but Zettel is careful to make her very much a girl of her time, well aware of the social expectations vis-a-vis women in the world in which she lived.
Zettel peppers the narrative with facts on dress, make-up, hair, and court customs and procedure, grounding the incredible adventure Peggy finds herself involved in historical fact and realities. For those who cut their teeth on stories of aristocratic intrigue as I did, such as The Scarlet Pimpernel or The Man in the Iron Mask, there is much to love in watching Peggy's dangerous chess mach of political intrigue unfold. Except here, unlike most classic tales featuring male protagonists, a heroine is center stage, arguably ill-equipped but a determined survivor, her greatest assets her quick wit and keen intelligence.
Peggy is the type of heroine I absolutely adore -- smart, resourceful, and compassionate. Part Nancy Drew, part Peggy Carter, with a dash of an Austen heroine's sensibilities, Peggy's first adventure in George I's court is perfect gateway historical fiction. Palace of Spies has all the energy and rapid pacing of modern filmmaking, grounded in history and character development sure to leave readers craving more. There's the promise of romance with Matthew Reade, the handsome artist's apprentice, a blossoming relationship rife with swoon-worthy sparks, but more importantly built on a foundation of friendship and mutual regard. Between Matthew and her cousin, Peggy has formed an unlikely team with which to tackle the mightiest political forces of her day -- a team I can't wait to see in action in future installments! Palace of Spies is a breezy, fast-paced read set in a time period too little explored in historical fiction, laced with intrigue and historical flavor, a welcome addition to YA lit and above all, a rollicking fun read. About the book:
A warning to all young ladies of delicate breeding who wish to embark upon lives of adventure: Don't.
Sixteen-year-old Peggy is a well-bred orphan who is coerced into posing as a lady in waiting at the palace of King George I. Life is grand, until Peggy starts to suspect that the girl she's impersonating might have been murdered. Unless Peggy can discover the truth, she might be doomed to the same terrible fate. But in a court of shadows and intrigue, anyone could be a spy—perhaps even the handsome young artist with whom Peggy is falling in love . . .
History and mystery spark in this effervescent series debut.