Thursday, July 23, 2015

New Spectre Trailer!!

A new trailer for Spectre dropped yesterday and it is GLORIOUS.

Needless to say I cannot WAIT for my  James Bond/Daniel Craig fix come November. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


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!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Once Upon a Time @ Comic-Con

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.

TVLine has more info and spoilers from the panel.

And finally, this links to the video shown at the panel penned by Once-screenwriter Jane Espenson...and it is absolutely HILARIOUS.

Star Wars @ Comic-Con

Absolutely loved seeing the Comic-Con reel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- I may or may not have teared up a few times:

And this article is absolutely wonderful, about Harrison Ford embracing his role in the Star Wars fandom after nearly forty years.

December can't get here soon enough, and I promise I'm not just saying that because it's hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk today... :P

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sherlock Special - First Look!

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.

Doctor Who Series 9 Trailer!

Thank you, Comic-Con for new Doctor Who footage! Can't wait until September 19th!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Ross Poldark Blog Tour - Excerpt & Contest Info!

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.

“Verity!” He 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 had not.

“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.

“Well, Ross,” 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.”

Reluctantly Ross 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 face.

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.”

She chuckled with delight, showing her pale brownish-pink gums. “Not so blest, maybe. But I wouldn’t want to be changing just yet.”

The conversation became general, everyone question-ing Ross as to when he had landed, what he had done and seen while away.

“Elizabeth,” said Mrs. Chynoweth, “fetch me my wrap from upstairs, will you? I am a little chilly.”

“Yes, Mother.” She turned and walked away, tall and virginal, groped with her hand for the oak banister.

“That fellow Paynter is a rogue,” said Charles, wiping his hands down the sides of his breeches.

“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 friend.”

Charles shrugged in some annoyance. “You won’t find the house in a good state of repair.”

“It wasn’t when I left.”

“Well, it’s 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.

Verity was 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 a prospect.”

“Had the Whigs been in before,” said Dr. Choake, refusing to be tactful, “none of this need have happened.”

Ross looked 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.

“No,” said Francis. “I—er—the position is—”

“We are 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—”

“To Elizabeth,” said Mrs. Chynoweth.

There was silence.

Ross put down his knife. “To—”

“To my daughter.”

“Can I get you something to drink?” Verity whispered to Elizabeth, who had just reached the bottom of the stairs.

“No, no… Please no.”

“Oh,” said Ross. “To…Elizabeth.”

“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.”

Contest Info:

Win One of Three Fabulous Prizes

In 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.

Two 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:

(2 ) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers
(1) Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Plater by Johnson Brothersr
(1) London Telephone Box Tin of Ahmad English Breakfast Tea
(1) Jar of Mrs. Bridges Marmalade
(1) Package of Duchy Originals Organic Oaten Biscuits
(2) Packets of Blue Boy Cornflower Seeds by Renee's Garden Heirloom (1) Trade Paperback Copy of Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham

To 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!

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Ross Poldark Blog Tour - Intro!

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.” —  

Captain Ross 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 PBS.

In celebration, July 6th 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 package.

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.

Thus begins 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.

In the 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?

Against the stunning backdrop of eighteenth century Cornwall, Demelza sweeps readers into one of the greatest love stories of all time.


Winston 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.


July 06           My Jane Austen Book Club (Preview)
July 07           Booktalk & More (Excerpt)                                   
July 08           Reading, Writing, Working, Playing (Review)
July 09           vvb32 Reads (Preview)
July 10           The Paige Turner (Review)                                 
July 10           My Kids Led Me Back To P & P (Excerpt)                                
July 11           Austenprose (Review)                                          
July 12           Laura's Reviews (Preview)                                                          
July 13           Peeking Between the Pages (Review)                         
July 13           Reflections of a Book Addict (Preview)                                               
July 14           Living Read Girl (Review)                        
July 15           Confessions of a Book Addict (Review)
July 16           vvb32 Reads (Review)                 
July 17           Paige Turner (Review)                             
July 18           Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books (Preview)                           
July 19           Marie Antoinette’s Gossip Guide (Excerpt)                             
July 20           Laura's Reviews (Review)                                   
July 20           The Calico Critic (Review)                                               
July 21           So Little Time…So Much to Read (Excerpt)
July 21           Poof Books (Excerpt)                                            
July 22           Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
July 23           Austenprose (Review)                                          
July 24           Peeking Between the Pages (Review) 
July 25           My Love for Jane Austen (Excerpt)
July 25           Living Read Girl (Review)
July 26           Delighted Reader (Review)
July 27           My Jane Austen Book Club (Review)
July 27           Austenesque Reviews (Review)
July 27           Laura's Reviews (Review)
July 28           She Is Too Fond Of Books (Review)
July 29           English Historical Fiction Authors (Preview)                         
July 30           vvb32 Reads (Review)
July 30           Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
July 31           CozyNookBks (Excerpt)                                       
Aug 01           The Calico Critic (Review)
Aug 01           More Agreeably Engaged (Review)
Aug 02           Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books (Review)
Aug 03           Romantic Historical Reviews (Review)
Aug 03           Psychotic State Book Reviews (Review)         

Remember to check back tomorrow to read an excerpt from Ross Poldark and for information on the giveaway hosted by Sourcebooks Landmark!

Review: Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel

Palace of Spies (Palace of Spies #1)
By: Sarah Zettel
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers


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.