‘Gilt’ by Katherine Longshore

Gilt12952710

by Katherine Longshore

Viking Juvenile

398 pages

Pub. Date:   May 15, 2012

Book received from:  Won (signed copy from A Little Shelf of Heaven)

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Genre:  YA Historical Fiction

Series:  There is no name to the series, but it is a series focusing on the women of the court of King Henry VIII.

Cover:  Alluring and somewhat lascivious.  I can’t decide if I like this or the redesign better.

Characters:  Fun, catty, and full of betrayal and intrigue.

Tagline:  “In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free- and love comes at the highest price of all.” 

For Fans Of:  The Tudors (TV show), The Selection, and Pretty Little Liars

Rating:  3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Worth the read?  Yes.  Especially if you like a bit of glitter with your historical fiction.

From the Cover:   When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties.  No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire.  But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

The Short & Sweet of It:   I enjoy reading about the court of Henry VIII, and I have never read a YA book focusing on the time.  I was not sure what to expect, and I have been greatly surprised.  While the overall feeling of Gilt is a bit glittery and glossy, there is a lot of gritty depth intertwined.  In a time full of gowns and jewels, Longshore manages to delve a bit deeper into the betrayal and illicitness it took to survive as a woman of the court.  What begins as a game of matchmaking and courtship among girls quickly turns into a risky reality of life and death at the hands of a dominating and unforgiving king.

This is part fun and glamour and part darkness and deception, while being entirely entertaining.  There are some historical facts that have been changed for the sake of the story, about which Longshore is up front, yet these do not distract from the story at hand.  I highly recommend this series for someone who is just beginning to explore historical fiction, as well as those who would like a quick read, as opposed to the meaty selections of Cornwall and the like.  I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Awards & Nominations:

Junior Library Guild Selection

For More Info & to Purchase:

Author Site

Goodreads

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Dear Twisted Reader

I have been in a blogging rut lately.  Believe me, I know this has not been the most thrilling book blog around.  I have even been boring- and disappointing- myself.  There has been a lack of substantial content for some time, and I have been relying heavily on book blitzes and promos and such to fill in the gaps.  But I want to be more than that, if I am going to be putting my name on this blog.  You, my readers, deserve more than just filler posts.  You deserve content that I, the author, stand wholeheartedly behind.  And, on that account, I have let you down.  I have not been keeping up my end of the bargain in this relationship, and I understand if you are disappointed.  You may feel that you hardly even know me any more.  Don’t worry, it’s not you- it’s me.  Really, though.  It is me, because I have not been giving you the 100% you deserve.

So, what do I plan to do about it?  Well, first, I would like to ask you to stay by me and this blog and support me along the way as I figure out a few things on my own.  I don’t expect you to just forgive and forget.  These things take time, and I am willing to give you the space and time you need as a reader to trust me as a blogger again.  I have come to the conclusion that I am really busy with this stupid ‘life’ stuff, and that it takes far more time than I had previously thought.  So, something has to give.  Unfortunately, I do not have as much to give to you as I previously have.

It has been a wonderful two years of bookish joy.  We have shared so many stories, seen some beautiful covers, traveled amazing places together, and have a full bookshelf as a testament to it all.  It has been nothing short of a whirlwind of bookish enjoyment.  And I am not ready to give it all up.  Not in the least.  I do, however, have to step back a bit and be a bit choosier and perhaps spend more time with other things in my life.

In doing so, I will be posting much less than I have in the past.  I will not be posting anything just for the sake of having content on the site.  I may not be seeing you everyday, but when we do meet up, it will be worth your while, and I will be giving you my full attention.  You deserve nothing less.  I will still be delivering solid reviews, participating in a couple of memes, and hosting the occasional giveaway or promo and such.  It may only be one or two posts a week, but they will be worth your time.  I want to make our time worthwhile, and I do not want to waste it for a second.  It will be content I fully stand behind, and not just something to fill the space.

This is my pledge to you, and I do hope you will understand it is not an easy thing to admit how much I feel have let you down.  However, I knew it was time to be honest when my feelings about what I was posting began to change- when I became a bit more lackluster, and felt the spark a little less.  If nothing else, I want this space to be an honest account of my reading journey and sacred space for the bookish to mingle.  Thank you for sticking by me all this time, and I hope we can mend what I have broken.

Yours in Book-filled Love,

Jaime (a.k.a. Twisty J)

Blog Tour: Blurb & Excerpt’ ‘Armored Hearts’ by Lee & Creeden

 armoredheartstour

Armored Hearts17736129

by Melissa Turner Lee & Pauline Creeden
Publication date: May 20th 2013
Publisher:  Altwit Press
Genre: YA Steampunk/Fantasy

From the Cover:

When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother’s side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales.Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

Excerpt

He swallowed hard and choked down the cold bite of food he’d taken.  It clawed its way down his constricted throat.  If only he could walk and run like the other boys.  Then maybe he’d be at boarding school with them instead of the empty house. Or atleast in London with Tabitha.  He blinked hard when he remembered.  He could fly.

But had he really flown?  Maybe it was some sort of fantasy he’d let get out of control.  But there was the little girl.She was too real to be fantasy.  Her body was warm and soft against his, and her giant brown eyes had locked on him when he caught her. She’d smelled like flowers.  He pulled the stone from his pocket and sniffed it again, closing his eyes.

It had to be real. If he flew once, could he do it again?

Gareth normally waited at the table for a servant to push him to the stairs, pick him up from his chair, and carry him to his chamber.  He decided to wheel himself.  The winding staircase of the Waverly Park unfolded before him like an uncurled tongue. He glanced about, just as the little girl had done before climbing the tree.

First he thought the word ‘fly,’ but nothing happened.  He tried lifting his rear off the seat and pushing himself forward, but let out a stifled yelp of pain as his shoulder hit the railing before he fell onto the red carpet on the stairs. 

Gareth pulled himself by the railing and stood. His legs wobbled but held. He rubbed his upper arm. It was sure to sport a bruise the next day.  Strange how he was able to kick and stand but not able to walk. He used his leg to pull the chair closer.  No doctor could explain it. His grandfather accused him of faking—like Gareth would choose to be stuck in the blasted chair.

He narrowed his eyes at the ugly, brown, woodenchair on wheels that kept him separated from life. His grandfather took Tabitha to the city every few months.  Gareth had never been. His grandfather said making accommodations for him and his chair was too much trouble. He was almost a grown man, and yet a male servant bathed him.  He hated the chair.

Gareth glanced up the stairs toward his chamber door.  He thought about how he wanted to be there—to go there on his own, without a servant carrying him and going back for his chair. He stared at the door and willed himself there.

The door drew closer and closer.  He glanced down. The stairs lay beneath him along with his chair. He was floating upward and toward his bed chamber.  He thought he heard a servant coming and willed himself to go faster, like he’d done that morning in order to catch the little girl.

He pushed the door open and flew inside, kicking the door behind him.  It slammed shut.  The freedom of this new discovery made his soul take flight.  Gareth flew to the ceiling  and got a close-up view of the cherubs there and smiled.  That was a rare thing, for Gareth to smile with Tabitha away.  Until that moment, she was the only one capable of pulling one out of him.

About the Authors:

5169670In simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Melissa Turner Lee is  a stay-at-home mom of three of the CRAZIEST boys ever. She’s also the wife to a 5284782wonderful man she met when at 17, who is also the inspiration behind her awesome Painter series. Melissa has a degree in Journalism and Marketing, which she has never used. One day her husband sent her to the local book store for a day to herself. Melissa picked up Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and her life changed. She remembered being 17, falling in love. But most of all she remembered herself. She’d become “Mommy” and forgotten all about Melissa, the girl who dreamed of being a writer, but suddenly she remembered and the writing started. And It hasn’t stopped.

Where to find/buy:

Goodreads

Amazon

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 Giveaway!

Win a paperback of Armored Hearts and some sweet swag.
Steampunk Pack for Shane

Click HERE to Enter!

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IFBtours

Check out all the tour stops!

E-Galley Glimpse #4

So, this feature is intended to spotlight the galleys I peruse.  I will read 25 pages or so and judge from there whether I will choose to:  Buy, borrow, add to the wishlist, forget about, or delete and never look back.

So, let’s take a peak:

13265293Hidden (Avena #1) by Marianne Curley

Expected publication:  June 25, 2013

Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children’s

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Source:  NetGalley

Cover blurb:

For as long as Ebony can remember, she’s been sheltered.  Confined to her home in a secluded valley, home-schooled by her protective parents, and limited to a small circle of close friends.  It’s as if she’s being hidden.  But something is changing in Ebony.  Something that can’t be concealed.  She’s growing more beautiful by the day, she’s freakishly strong, and then there’s the fact that she’s glowing

On one fateful night, Ebony meets Jordan and she’s intensely drawn to him.  It’s as if something explodes inside of her–something that can be seen from the heavens.  Ebony still doesn’t know that she’s a stolen angel, but now that the heavens have found her, they want her back.

My quick take:  Angel novels have to be really good or really different for me to get into them- and the darker the angel the better.  Hidden missed the mark for me in so many ways.  The characters are all very cliche and the main girl is just one of those kind of girls I would never have been friends with.  The love triangle was absolutely agonizing and complete insta-love that felt like whiplash while reading it.  I shelved this one as soon as I made it through about 50 pages, hoping it would get better.  It didn’t.  It has been done before, and much better at that.

The Verdict:  Delete it and do not allow the pretty cover to tempt you

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Linked  by Imogen Howson14999965

Publication date:  June 11, 2013

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre:  YA Sci-fi

Source:  Edelweiss

Cover blurb:

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future.  But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. 

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain.  But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. 

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run.  A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises.  The twin sister she never knew existed. 

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world. 

Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.

My quick take:  Linked has everything in it to have the makings of a great Sci-Fi read.  Somehow, though, those elements are not used as they could have been.  The characters are boring.  In fact, I found myself not even caring about the horrific things that had happened to the leading lady.  The writing is slow for a sci-fi novel, and I actually found myself dozing off every time I tried to read too far.  I think it has potential, I’m just not sure it is using it well.

The Verdict:  Borrow

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16045120All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

Publication date:  July 30, 2013

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Source:  NetGalley

Cover blurb:

The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them.  Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love.  What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined.  They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all.  The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

My quick take:  Right away there is a dark tone to this book, and drew me right in.  The characters are real and the dialog flows really well.  The concept is just enough different from a lot that is out there right now that is is intriguing- and even more so with the backdrop of the 1990′s music scene.  I love the setting, as there are not many set in that place and time in YA (actually, none that I can think of).  For me, I was able to connect right away because I was one of those girls.  I love the gritty feel, the lush and descriptive writing that does not go overboard, and the cultural references of the time.  I am definitely hooked.

The Verdict:  Buy it

Promo: ‘Watersong’ series by Amanda Hocking

Watersong-by-Amanda-Hocking

 

Amanda Hocking has become a sort of poster girl for and indie author making the transition to a major publisher with St. Martin’s Press.  Her Trylle series won rave reviews and garnered a large amount of attention by the press and readers alike.  Now, she has a new YA fantasy series, the Watersong series, and we are able to see her growth as an author.  The third book, Tidal, was released this week, and the final installment, Elegy is due out in August.  Here’s the lowdown, in case you haven’t stumbled across Hocking yet:

 

Blurb (from Amanda’s blog):pizap.com13539946112041

In the Watersong quartet, sixteen-year-old Gemma Fisher and her older sister Harper live a quiet life in the ocean-side town of Capri, MD. Gemma’s biggest concerns are her blossoming crush on the neighbor boy Alex and practicing for the swim team, while Harper is stressing out about going to college in the fall and reconciling her own feelings for a local guy, Daniel.

When a trio of new girls come into town for the summer, everything changes.  Harper can’t explain it, but she senses something disturbing about them, especially their interest in her younger sister.  But as Gemma and Harper discover the truth behind the new girls and what they want with Gemma, it’s far worse than anything they could’ve imagined…

Are they mermaids, sirens, or something else entirely?  I guess you are going to have to read it to find out.  Plus– gorgeous covers, huh?!

 

 

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AmandahockingA bit about Amanda:

Amanda Hocking is the USA Today bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and six additional self-published novels. After selling over a million copies of her books, primarily in eBook format, she is widely considered the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age.

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amandahockingfans

Website: http://www.worldofamandahocking.com

Blog: http://amandahocking.blogspot.com

 

Alright, now if you are excited about the series and would like to help promote it in your own little way, post the widget on your site/facebook/etc.  I posted it on Facebook, because WordPress won’t allow javascript embedding (Boo.)

Get the Widget HERE!