Friday, June 30, 2017

Review: Vlad the Impaler: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History

Title: Vlad the Impaler: A Life From Beginning to End by Hourly History 
Publication: October 2nd 2016 by Hourly History
Genre: Nonfiction ~ History
Purchase (free everywhere): Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

Vlad the Impaler

The character Count Dracula is well-known throughout the world. He is a dark, seductive, pale man wearing a cape. His gaze is quite literally captivating, and he has the strength of ten men. The story, written by Bram Stoker in 1897, has been retold hundreds of times, but is there a historical figure upon whom the character is based? Is there really a Dracula? Many scholars argue that Vlad III Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, is the real Dracula. He was known in western Europe for his cruelty, most especially his penchant for impaling his victims. He is said to have killed somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 people during his crusade to stop the Ottoman Empire from expanding into eastern Europe. He was equally harsh on the people he ruled and is said to have taken great pleasure in torturing his victims.

Inside you will read about...
✓ Vlad’s early life and family
✓ Rise to power: Vlad’s first reign
✓ War with the Ottomans, Vlad’s main reign
✓ Vlad’s imprisonment, third reign, and death
✓ Vlad Dracula’s legacy
✓ Vlad the Impaler in fiction: Count Dracula

His story, however, is much more complicated than the oft-reported details of his atrocities would imply. He lived in a time of conflict where many were equally as cruel, and he is viewed as a hero in Romania where he is remembered as a protector of his people. This eBook tells the story of his life and times, and discusses his connection to the fictional Count Dracula, in a succinct, compelling manner, which makes for an entertaining read that is packed with historical information.

To be honest, there wasn't much in this book that I didn't already know about Vlad the Impaler (also known as Vlad III, Vlad Tepes and Vlad Dracula.) But luckily that didn't take away any enjoyment in this book as I love reading about this controversial person in history. The few things I didn't know about him before reading this book were really interesting. It would also be perfect for readers who want to read and learn more about Vlad III.

To be clear, Vladd III is NOT Count Dracula. Bram Stoker only took his name and based his character of Dracula on Vlad III, although even this is being questioned still. We don't actually know if he indeed used the Impaler as inspiration aside from the name.

I've always been pretty intrigued by Vlad the Impaler and his complex personality. So this book was pretty compelling to me. My favorite chapter by far was 'War with the Ottomans, Vlad's main reign.' The Ottoman Empire also happens to be a favorite subject in history of mine. I always enjoy reading about it and the connection with Vlad III.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading about history, Vlad the Impaler, the Ottoman Empire or this era in history in general. With only 48 pages it's a quick and easily read book. 

Check out my other reviews:

More Hourly History reviews to come soon!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: Mayan Civilization: A History From Beginning to End by Hourly History

Title: Mayan Civilization: A History From Beginning to End by Hourly History
Publication: September 25th 2016 by Hourly History

Genre: Nonfiction ~ History
Purchase (free everywhere): Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

Mayan History

Making sense of our universe...It's an age-old practice that transcends cultures and generations. From our vantage point, the larger than life Maya civilization grappled with the urge in a grand scale. Join us as we take a voyage to understand the ways of the Maya.

Inside you will read about...

✓ Who Made Contact? Early Explorers and their Impact
✓ How the Maya Wanted to Be Represented - History Written by the Victors
✓ Different Periods of Maya History
✓ Larger Than Life
✓ New Findings

We'll learn what they held as sacred, how the sacred manifested itself in their lives, and about efforts to accurately portray them, despite romanticized versions. This eBook provides a deeper look at their pre-Columbian battling dynasties and their highly-structured approach to religion, science and society, as we explore their glories and misfortunes.

The Mayan civilization is one of my favorite things to read about. I've always been super intrigued by the Maya and their whole society. So it's not a surprise that I ended up really enjoying this book.

This was a really great book if you want to learn more about the Mayan civilization. It was informative and with 61 pages it can be read so fast. The new findings especially were very interesting to me. I also loved learning about the connection with Charles Lindbergh and Edgar Allan Poe. I didn't know that before this book.

There's also so much more to learn about the Maya. If the invaders hadn't destroyed so many Mayan artifacts we'd know and understand their culture so much more. But new discoveries can always be made, of course. We can only hope.

Overall, Mayan Civilization: A History From Beginning to End was another great Hourly History book that I enjoyed immensely. As usual with these books, I would highly recommend this one as well.

More Hourly History reviews to come soon!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Tamed: Ten Species that Changed our World by Alice Roberts

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

Tamed: Ten Species that Changed our World by Alice Roberts
Expected publication: October 19th 2017 by Hutchinson

Ten species that changed our world...

For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors depended on wild plants and animals for survival. They were hunter-gatherers, consummate foraging experts, but taking the world as they found it. Then a revolution occurred – our ancestors’ interaction with other species changed. They began to tame them. The human population boomed; civilization began.

In her new book, Tamed, Alice Roberts uncovers the amazing deep history of ten familiar species with incredible wild pasts: dogs, apples and wheat; cattle; potatoes and chickens; rice, maize, and horses – and, finally, humans. Alice Roberts not only reveals how becoming part of our world changed these animals and plants, but shows how they became our allies, essential to the survival and success of our own species – and to our future.

Enlightening, wide-ranging and endlessly fascinating, Tamed is an epic story, encompassing hundreds of thousands of years of history and archaeology alongside cutting-edge genetics and anthropology. Yet it is also a deeply personal journey that will change how we see ourselves and the species on which we have left our mark.

I'm so excited for this nonfiction, you have no idea. I've been a big fan of dr. Alice Roberts for a while now so I'd love to read her newest upcoming book. It sounds super interesting! 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: The Black Death: A History From Beginning to End by Hourly History

Title: The Black Death: A History From Beginning to End by Hourly History
Publication: February 16th 2016 by Hourly History
Genre: Nonfiction ~ History
Purchase (Free everywhere): Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Rating: 4.5/5

The Black Death
Sweeping across the known world with unchecked devastation, the Black Death claimed between 75 million and 200 million lives in four short years. In this engaging and well-researched book, the trajectory of the plague’s march west across Eurasia and the cause of the great pandemic is thoroughly explored.

Inside you will read about...
✓ What was the Black Death?
✓ A Short History of Pandemics
✓ Chronology & Trajectory
✓ Causes & Pathology
✓ Medieval Theories & Disease Control
✓ Black Death in Medieval Culture
✓ Consequences

Fascinating insights into the medieval mind’s perception of the disease and examinations of contemporary accounts give a complete picture of what the world’s most effective killer meant to medieval society in particular and humanity in general.

Lately I've been reading a wole lot of these 'Hourly History' books but I gotta say that this one has been one of the best so far. I've always been interested in medieval history and the Black Death, although it was horrible, has also always fascinated me. 

This book was very informative about the Black Death or "The Plague" as it was also known. I learned quite a few new things about it all that I didn't know before. For example I didn't know that "areas in Poland, Belgium and the mountainous Basque region largely escaped the Black Death, as did many other isolated alpine locations through the alps." This is exactly why I read nonfiction, there's always something new to learn about the subjects I'm interested in.

And as always with a Hourly History books, this one also can be read very quickly in less than an hour. I always tend to read these in one sitting because they're always really engrossing. Highly recommended! 

More Hourly History reviews to come soon!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Blitz: Luca by Sarah Castille + Giveaway (INTL)

Sarah Castille
(Ruin & Revenge #2)
Published by: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Luca is the second book in a full-length, standalone series by New York Times bestselling author, Sarah Castille, set in Las Vegas and featuring deliciously sexy mafia bosses and the women who can’t help but love them.
Luca Rizzoli was nearly destroyed by a brutal betrayal that cost him his family. Now a ruthless crime boss in Las Vegas, he lets nothing touch his frozen heart…until a smoldering encounter with a beautiful stranger ignites his passion. One night isn’t enough for a man who takes what he wants—and Luca will do whatever he can to possess his mysterious temptress…
Police detective Gabrielle Fawkes lives for revenge. She lost everything at the hands of an unforgiving ruler of the Vegas underworld. Now she wants to see him six feet under. But when a near-fatal attack leads her into Luca’s arms, what was meant to be one night of unbridled passion becomes something forbiddingly more. Luca has his own agenda, but when strong, determined, kick-ass detective Gaby sets her sights on her target, Luca feels compelled to stand by her side and protect her at all costs. However, pursuing danger comes at a high price—and both Gaby and Luca must work together in order to eliminate the dark enterprise that threatens them.


“An engrossing erotic crime drama that will leave readers wanting more.” – Library Journal
“With sizzling love scenes, taut plotting, and a hair-raising finish, Castille’s romantic thriller will appeal to her existing fans and win her new ones.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Luca is a fast-paced, action-packed tale balanced by humor, heart and family.” – RT Book Reviews 4.5 stars, Top Pick

Author Bio:
Sarah Castille is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Redemption Series, Ruin & Revenge Series, Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series, Legal Heat series and the Club Excelsior series. A recovering lawyer with a fondness for dirty-talking alpha males, she now is a full-time writer, who lives on Vancouver Island. Sarah’s books have been listed as Publisher’s Weekly’s Top Ten Picks and Best Summer Reads, and Amazon’s Best Romance Books of the Year, and have won numerous reader’s choice awards including the Holt Medallion.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

ARC Review: Open Wounds by Inver Iversen

Title: Open Wounds: Abel and Hope: Love Against the Odds
Author: Inger Iversen
Publication: June 28th 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4.5/5

Open Wounds: Hope & Abel, a Love Against the Odds AWWM Novella

If you could see your life from inception to death, would you change things or would you let your death play out as fate intended?

Abel is in search of only two things: a stable job and a safe place to lay his head at night after a mistake that cost him eighteen months of his life. As if fate had plans made only for him, Abel is offered a complicated job, and a chance to redeem himself to his old boss.
And then he meets her …
And Abel adds another item to his list—Hope.

At twenty-six, Hope has only ever slept with one man, and at her boss’s unsolicited advice, Hope plans to forget the abuse and degradation she suffered at her ex’s hand by seducing and bedding the next man she meets. Unfortunately, after Hope finds a promise of death at her doorstep, her plans are derailed and her only chance at staying alive rests on the dedication of her new bodyguard and her own sheer will to live the life she deserves.

Everytime I finish a book by Inger Iversen I feel like I've read my news favorite book by her. It's the same with this new book by her. I pretty much loved it right from the start and I also think that Abel and Hope are my new favorite couple from her books (I probably say this every single time too but it's true.) 

This story is about Hope who's been running away from her abusive husband, Mark. Soon enough Mark finds out where she is and that's where Abel comes in as Hope's bodyguard and her only hope (no pun inteded) to keep her alive. The only things Hope and Abel hadn't counted on was to be fiercely attracted to one another.

Seriously, this book was such a great romance. It definitely ended up being my favorite one of the year so far in this genre. I loved both Hope as well as Abel (and not just because he can cook, although I felt slightly obsessed with the food he made for Hope.) The romance between them was sexy, steamy and just amazing!

The thing I probably loved the most was the change Hope made throughout the book once she met Abel. He helped her find the strength and confidence within that she needed to finally stand up to Mark in the end, which was really powerful.

Overall, Open Wounds was another hit for Inger Iversen. Not only was it a quick read, romantic and well written, there was also the element of suspense that made it even better. And I also feel like I should say how totally gorgeous the cover is. I can only say: go read it now!

This book is one you can read as a standalone but I'd recommend to read the books in order.

Incarcerated: Letters from Inmate 92510   -Katie & Logan {My Review} 
Inevitable: Love and War - 2/28/2015        -Teal & Trent 1 {My Review}
Indelible: Beneath His Ink - 12/12/2016    -Teal & Trent 2 {My Review}
Rogue in Love - 3/28/2017 *standalone*   -Thea & Lex {My Review}
Open Wounds - 6/28/2017 *standalone*     -Hope & Abel {This review}
Indebted: Til Death Do us Part 9/28/2017  -Teal & Trent 3
Weathered Souls 12/28/2017 *standalone* -Ivory & Eric

There is also a boxed set of Incarcerated, Inevitable and Indelible
Find it here.

About Inger
Inger Iversen is an American author residing in Virginia. She lives for bringing her fictional characters from darkness to light through self-discovery and passion. From her emotionally gripping, new adult Few Are Angels series that builds in intensity and intrigue to a finale you won’t see coming, to her international bestselling interracial romance dubbed “one of the most emotionally gripping” books of the summer, Inger breathes life into her fiction through her enthusiasm and devotion to writing. Her influences range from life experiences and daydreams, Inger spends her time in the writing cave and fantasizing of the day she can figure out how to Weird Science her characters to life.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Scalding Ice and Goldfire by Avie Adams

Title: Scalding Ice and Goldfire
Author: Avie Adams
Series: Lost Souls
Publication: December 30th 2016

Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 5/5

A girl of fire should never fall for a man of ice.
When Lyvie accepts a silly bet to kiss a random Reviver in the Tower of Whims, she doesn’t know the first thing about men. Then she chances upon one who becomes her obsession.

Only she couldn’t have chosen worse.

In hot pursuit of a man as handsome as he is cold, she abandons her best friend and ignores mounting perils in her new chapel, ultimately sacrificing her pride to secure his attention. Blinded by infatuation, she overlooks a Reviver who undertakes to mend her life before it unravels completely… whose unstinting aid goes far beyond friendship.

Navigating the twisted path of desire, Lyvie soon discovers that in the glamorous Tower of Whims, people obey only one law - that of attraction. And one rule.

That there are no rules.

"Scalding Ice and Goldfire" is a standalone dark fantasy romance set in the world of Malvaar, and is best enjoyed after "Incanta" and "Reviver Amond".

When I started writing this review I didn't expect it would end up this long. This book was just so good! ♥

The Lost Souls series by Avie Adams has turned into my new favorite series that I've read this year. It's the biggest surprise for me of the year as well. These books are true gems. And this one, Scalding Ice and Goldfire ended up being my favorite of them all. I absolutely loved it and could not put the book down. 

This book takes place around the same time as Incanta Soul-Catcher but revolves mainly about Lyvie, a new Incanta who got a place with a Reviver in a chapel where she doesn't have it easy at all being a second Incanta to the first Incanta loaths her and really has it out for Lyvie. In the meanwhile she gets hopelessly infatuated with the coldhearted Zeitlin (who we also know from Incanta)

As flawed as she was, I really liked Lyvie. She really goes through hell during this book, but we can also see a big change in her towards the end. It was such great character developement! Her obsession with Zeitlin was quite intense, slightly extreme and sometimes I wondered why she did this to herself but it all did serve a purpose in the end, which I was glad about.

I'm also glad this book delved more into the character of Zeitlin because it made me look at him in a whole different way than I did in Incanta. He has suffered so many awful things in his life so I understand him more now and his decisions. It totally changed my whole perspective of him.

There were so many new secondary characters that I just loved. Mari and Ree were my two favorites. As well as Kair, who I thought was pretty brilliant. Mari was such a good friend to Lyvie and I just really adored Ree and kept wishing he would end up with Lyvie (of course I won't say if they do end up together. No spoilers!)

And just like I said before in my reviews of the other books, the writing is absolutely gorgeous. My opinion on that will probably never change. It's a delight to read this book word for word, page after page, chapter after chapter. 

Overall, Scalding Ice and Goldfire by Avie Adams was yet another great addition to the Lost Souls series. The world the author has created is so very unique and addictive. I really can't get enough these dark fantasy books. I loved it! 

Find my reviews of the other books here:
Incanta Soul-Catcher - 4.5 stars
Reviver Amond - 4.5 stars

About Avie:
At school, Avie busied herself with drawing comics about escaping school. It wasn't an option, of course.
So she'd escape into reading. Her first reads were pure fantasy: fairy tales, preferably ambiguous, as well as myths from around the world and pretty much anything with a dark fantasy element in it.
She never thought she would write, but creating living and breathing dark worlds was too much of a temptation.
For artwork and updates visit

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Artist’s Muse by Kerry Postle

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

The Artist’s Muse by Kerry Postle
Expected publication: August 25th 2017 by HQ Digital

Vienna 1907
Wally Neuzil must find a way to feed her family. Having failed in many vocations, Wally has one last shot: esteemed artist Gustav Klimt needs a muse, and Wally could be the girl he’s been waiting for. But Wally soon discovers that there is much more to her role than just sitting looking pretty. And while she had hoped to establish herself as an emerging lady, the upper classes see her as no more than a prostitute.

With her society dreams dashed Wally finds herself at rock bottom. So when young artist, Egon Schiele, shows her how different life can be Wally grabs hold of the new start she’s been desperately seeking. As a passionate love affair ensues will he be the making of her or her undoing?

This book sounds so perfect for me. Set in the early 20th century + it's about a muse of a famous artist (in this case Gustav Klimt!) It's definitely one of my favorite things to read about. I hope the book is going to be great! ♥

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Blitz: The Amethyst Bride by Kelsey McKnight + Giveaway (INTL)

The Amethyst Bride
Kelsey McKnight
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical

British heiress Penelope Elmsly always thought she’d marry young and settle down to a life of domestic bliss. But her perfect plan may come unraveled, along with her corset strings, when two men vie for her hand.
One is a wealthy businessman who offers her the financial stability and social standing she always held dear. The other is a rugged Scottish highlander who gives her passion she never knew she desired.
With two amethyst rings upon her finger, Penelope has a choice to make, and she can’t afford to choose wrong, especially when more than just her livelihood is at stake.
Will she walk down the aisle into a life of luxury, leaving her heart in Scotland? Or will she choose to save her fortune, and her reputation?

Book trailer:

Author Bio:
Kelsey McKnight is a university-educated historian from southern New Jersey. She has married her great loves of romance, history, and literature to create her newly finished works. Her first books, "The Scottish Stone Series", are coming in April of 2017 by Limitless Publishing. Book one is titled "Queen of Emeralds", and is available now. "The Scottish Stone Series" take readers on a journey through the bustling streets of Victorian London and into the lush hills of the Scottish Highlands. Her second book, a contemporary romance titled "The Non-Disclosure Agreement", will also be available in May of 2017 and feature a bad boy politician and the small town girl that could change his ways. When she’s not writing, Kelsey can be found reading, drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family, and working on two nonprofits.