Thursday, April 27, 2017

Blog Tour: Rise of the Dawnstar

Welcome to A Redhead's Ramblings! I am excited to be a part of the blog tour for Rise of the Dawnstar! I am currently reading it and am in love with the story and the cover! How gorgeous is that? 

An Inside Look Into the Kitchens of the Crystal Castle: The Rise of the Dawnstar Tour

Come enjoy teatime at the Crystal Castle in Elfi, crafted by Guido, the best pastry chef in the seven kingdoms. Guido is a brownie or a house sprite as they are called in the Fae lands, and his sugar cream rolls are unmatched in Elfi and beyond.

 1.    Sugar cream rolls

 2.    Rose cake cream sandwiches

 3.    Raspberry Meringues 

 4.    Vanilla and Cardamom sugar buns

 5.    Cream bun cake (Aurora’s Favourite)

 6.    Cherry Blossom mini cakes

 7.    Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream filling topped with wild berries.

 8.    Lavender and lemon bars

 9.    Butter cookies with sugar icing

 10.    Buttermilk scones with clotted cream and fresh raspberry jam.

What is your favorite teatime sweet from the list? I would love to have some sugar cream rolls!
For each stop on tour, there will be a special number at the end of the post. Collect all the numbers, add them up, and enter to win one of three prizes! Once you have all the numbers you can enter the giveaway here: 

The giveaway closes on May 21st, 11:59pm Eastern US time. 
My number is 25.
Good luck!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review: A Season in London

A Season in London
Goodreads Summary
From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance, comes A SEASON IN LONDON.

Three brand new Regency Romance novellas by Elizabeth Johns, Heather B. Moore, and Rebecca Connolly.

POOR RELATIONS by Elizabeth Johns
As a ‘poor relation,’ Emma Standrich has already pre-empted her dismal Season by applying for a governess post. Her aunt and cousin are kind enough to sponsor her, but in truth, Emma is just waiting for it to all be over. Emma’s grief over the death of her brother while in military service casts a pallor on everything else in her life. When Colonel Shelton, the man who was her brother’s superior, asks her to dance at her first ball, Emma is more surprised than anyone. But she has questions for him, and soon she’s caught up in an intrigue she wasn’t expecting—both of the heart and the mind.

EDWARD & EMILY by Heather B. Moore
As a second son, Edward Blackwood never anticipated becoming heir to his family estate, or the need to find a wife and secure that inheritance. But with the death of his older brother, Edward is thrust into a life he never wanted. When his mother encourages him to be kind to his long-time neighbor Emily Foster, a girl he’d hardly paid attention to while growing up, Edward realizes that returning home might not be such a set-back after all.

A SPORTING SEASON by Rebecca Connolly
Daphne Hutchins is no simpering female who aims for a husband with a fortune. In fact, she’d be more than happy to live her life free of the heartache that men seem to bring. So when she sets out to play the fool in front of the ton during her first Season in order to send all eligible men running, she’s quite unprepared for James Woodbridge. Bored, but with a sense of family duty, James arrives for the Season, anticipating going through the expected motions befitting any gentleman. What he isn’t prepared for is Daphne Hutchins and the way she completely upends his heart.

I love these Timeless Regency anthologies! This version focused on, you guessed it, Seasons in London, which I find the whole idea behind Seasons fascinating. The first story, Poor Relations was exciting and had some mystery to it. Emma was more rational than her cousin, but both women were good characters. Colonel Shelton was also great. The story is a good fit for a short story and wraps up nicely. The second story, Edward and Emily was so sweet! Emily has what could be seen as an unusual talent for the day but Edward does, too, so they were perfect for each other! I would have liked this story to be longer, but I am satisfied with what I got. The last story, and my favorite one, was A Sporting Season. I would love a full length version of this story! Daphne was such a great character who had been through something difficult two years prior. This Incident, as it is referred to in the book, has influenced how she feels about having a Season. We meet James early on and I instantly loved him! Both he and Daphne have a sense of humor I just loved. Seeing their relationship develop was a treat!

A copy of this book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Book Review: Love's Shadow

Love's Shadow
Goodreads Summary
Branwell D'Angelo . . .
Six years ago, I fell in love with Lucy--my brother's girlfriend. Stupid of me, I know, but sometimes the heart doesn't listen to reason.
Six years, I've lived on the sidelines. Seeing him love her, be with her, bask in her sunshine . . .
I watched her break his heart and then cleaned up the shattered pieces of him she left behind.
She's the one woman I can't have but still the only one my soul wants.
Now she's back in our lives and needs the unique help only us D'Angelos can give.
He's not emotionally strong enough to face her. So he's sending me instead . . .

For her part, when tragedy strikes Lucy Snow on a visit to Italy, she can't bring herself to call any of the D'Angelo brothers for help. There are consequences for falling in love with your ex-boyfriend's brother. But Lucy desperately needs Branwell's paranormal skills and his gift of Sight. And if seeing him will negate at least three years of therapy? Well, it's a price she is willing to pay.

Thrown together in a desperate bid to save an innocent life, Branwell and Lucy struggle against their shared past, only to realize that something even more dangerous is reaching through the weight of time to stalk their every move . . .

Though the second book in the Brothers Maledetti series, Love's Shadow is a full-length, standalone novel.

Oh this book! I absolutely adored the first one in this series, as you can see in my review here. This author, Nichole Van, is so, so talented! I could read her work forever! I went into this novel thinking it couldn't compare to the first one, but boy was I wrong! I might actually love Love's Shadow better than Gladly Beyond. It doesn't hurt that the heroine, Lucy, is a redhead with freckles, either ;). Branwell was a fantastic hero, and I loved reading from his perspective as well as Lucy's. They have complicated history, and I loved how things worked out for them. For your viewing pleasure, I have added a picture of who I think makes a great Branwell, man bun and all! And I may just be looking for excuses to post pictures of Aidan Turner, but that is neither here nor there. 

Image result for aidan turner man bun

I have yet to find a picture of someone who could be Lucy. Anyways, this second book in the series tells us some more about the Curse that the D'Angelo brothers share. I loved learning more about the brothers' relationship with each other. I don't want to spoil too much, but the ending was pretty perfect and I am excited to read more in the series! Also, I have a new love for green candy. As to the mystery of why, I'll let you read the book to find out! 

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Book Review: A Country Christmas

A Country Christmas
Goodreads Summary
From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance, comes A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS. 

Three brand new Regency Romance novellas by Josi S. Kilpack, Carla Kelly, and Jennifer Moore. 

SAINTS AND SINNERS by Josi S. Kilpack. When Neville Franklin’s best friend Burke wants to wager who can kiss Eloise first, Neville puts a stop to it. Eloise has been his friend since childhood, and, well, she’s off-limits. Especially to Burke. As Burke pursues Eloise and claims that she has a tendre for him, Neville becomes more and more protective of the girl he grew up with. On the night of the Christmas ball when Eloise appears in a dress that clearly shows that she is no longer a girl, but a beautiful woman, Neville realizes that his protective feelings toward Eloise have turned into something greater. But now, Neville’s best friend stands in his way.

THE CHRISTMAS ANGLE by Carla Kelly. Sailing Master Able Six is on half-pay with the British navy, biding his time during the uneasy Peace of Amiens and the resumption of war. Meanwhile, he’s invited to teach young pupils at the home of a vicar outside of Plymouth. There, he unexpectedly meets Meridee, the spinster sister-in-law of the vicar. From the moment Able sees Meridee, he’s entranced. When she asks him about his past and discovers his remarkable yet troublesome gift, he realizes he’s finally found someone who can care for all of him. Sadly, Able’s low station and half-pay gives him no way to provide for a wife. Meridee’s lack of dowry and dependence on relatives makes their union impossible at best. But isn’t Christmas a season of hope?

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS by Jennifer Moore. Archie Clawson wants nothing more than to give Jane the perfect Christmas. Since her troubled childhood, she’s not experienced a Christmas with all the trimmings. To top off the perfection, he also plans to ask her to marry him on Christmas Eve. But as he and his friends, including Jane, travel to his country home, they are caught in a snowstorm and discover that notice of their arrival did not get through to the house staff. Worried over the disappointment he must be causing Jane and the complete shift in their planned Christmas, Archie fears that he’s misinterpreted her kindness towards him and lost her favor forever. 
Reading this Christmas collection was the perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit! The first and last stories featured characters from other Timeless Regency stories, so it was fun to read about these characters again. The first story, Saints and Sinners featured Neville and Eloise, who were in the Autumn Masquerade collection. I loved that they were friends and knew each other well. The second story was pretty unique. The Christmas Angle (no that's not a typo) is about Able Six teaching the young sons of a vicar some math, hence the "Angle" part. I don't think I've come across a Regency story about sailors or a man teaching students. Usually its women doing the teaching. Able and Meridee's relationship was so tender and sweet. The last story, The Perfect Christmas, featured characters from the Spring in Hyde Park collection. This story focused on Archie and Jane and I love them together. Christmas festivities don't go exactly as planned but turn out perfectly! 

A copy of this book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Book Review: Her Fateful Debut

Her Fateful Debut
Goodreads Summary
Classic Regency romance with a dash of suspense . . . 
Beautiful Miss Penelope Swinton wants to live out her life as a spinster in her beloved Northamptonshire, but with an ailing father and an entailed estate, she must come to London and enter the Marriage Mart. And if she must marry, she is determined to marry for love. 
In a brief respite from the social whirl of the season, she retreats from the restrictions of the ton to sketch in the park and stumbles over a French spy. When Penelope finds her life in danger, Viscount Beau Wellingham steps up to protect her, however he has secrets of his own. Wellingham leads a clandestine life as an agent for the Foreign Office trapping spies. In defending her life, he unwittingly puts her reputation at risk. 
In order to save Penelope from society’s scorn, Beau presses for a betrothal. Though she resists, he insists. Soon Beau is unable to deny the attraction he feels towards her. Before he can act on his feelings, danger rises again. This time, his life is on the line. 
With a desperate spy closing in, Penelope must choose the safety of what she has always known or a chance for love. But will she be too late? 
I loved this book! Can I have more clean, Regency spy novels please! I could read those books all day long! Like can they make Mission:Impossible movies but set in the Regency period? Yes please! Anyways, this book took me longer than I anticipated to read, mostly because school is busy. The spy aspect wasn't as present in the book as I was hoping, but I still loved the book. Penelope or "Pen" (I seriously swooned whenever Beau called her that) was such a good heroine. She was realistic and I just loved that she had a passion for learning and drawing. I really wished there was a book or even a short story to follow this one in which it shows her married life. It would be fun to read about her exploring Somerset. Beau was so dashing, even with his dandy disguise. And the fact that he knows jiu-jitsu is so awesome! Five stars for this book!

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review: The Fall of Lord Drayson

The Fall of Lord Drayson (Tanglewood, #1)
Goodreads Summary
Who is he really? A high and mighty lord or a lowly servant?

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience?

Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact. 

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?
This was a cute book. I don't think I have read a book where one of the main characters forgot who they were and another character convinced them they were another person. Lucy was a realistic character who is not perfect, but tries hard to fix her mistakes. I also enjoyed the presence of Georgina, Lucy's friend and maid. They had an admirable friendship. While I didn't love Colin when we were first introduced to him, I quickly grew to like him and his family. I liked how the author described the duties Lucy had to do around the house. What would seem like mundane and ordinary tasks turned into fun adventures to read about, especially with Colin helping out. Overall, 4 stars. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dream Coldplay Concert Setlist

A week from tonight, I will be attending the #1 item on my bucket list, a Coldplay concert. I have dreamed of seeing them in concert for as long as I can remember, and it still doesn't feel real. It probably won't until after the concert is over. To say I'm excited is a massive understatement. Since I bought the tickets the day before they were available (thanks presale codes!), whenever I hear their songs, I get so excited to hear and see them performed live. I grew up listening to Coldplay, and they have been my favorite band since I was 10. 

Because of the concert, I thought I'd do something fun and come up with my dream Coldplay concert setlist, consisting of 20 songs that I would want them to play if I got to choose. Enjoy!


If I could only listen to one Coldplay song, this would be it. Once upon a time, I dreamed of playing this on the piano, but I ended up quitting piano 6 months in. This song just makes my ears happy.

Am I a part of the cure?
Or am I part of the disease?

Who doesn't love this song? It is so soothing to listen to.

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And all the things that you do.

In My Place
I love the musicality of this song. I don't think it gets as much attention as it should.

Green Eyes
I do indeed have green eyes, so I guess that makes me partial to this song ;)

I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter now I met you
And honey you should know
That I could never go on without you
Green eyes

The Scientist
The piano is beautiful in this. 

Fix You
I love Chris Martin's voice in this song. I love his voice anyways, but his voice is especially evocative in this piece. The second half of this song is just SO GOOD! If you've seen the video of the boy crying at the Coldplay concert, it is this song in the video. And I will totally cry at least once at the concert.

When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

One of my favorite Coldplay music videos. Another song where I just really like the musicality. 

Cemeteries of London
Viva La Vida is a great album, and this is my favorite song on it, next to Violet Hill and Lost!. It just has a different feel than any other Coldplay song, in my opinion. 

I see God come in my garden, but I don’t know what he said, 
For my heart, it wasn’t open… 
Not open… 

Violet Hill
I just love how this song starts, with Chris and the piano, and then suddenly you have the guitar and it is so AWESOME! And then at the end when it slows down again. I love to listen to this song with the volume up! :)

When the future's architectured
By a carnival of idiots on show
You'd better lie low

If you love me, won't you let me know?
I don't want to be a soldier
Who the captain of some sinking ship
Would stow, far below.

So if you love me, why d'you let me go?

Lost ft. Jay Z
I like both versions of this song, but I think I like the one featuring Jay Z better. I don't listen to rap often, but when I do, it's Jay Z. 

Another music video I like. I remember listening to this for the first time and being in awe. The violin adds so much! And the piano! Ahh!

And so lying underneath those stormy skies
She'd say, "oh, ohohohoh I know the sun must set to rise"

Major Minus
I like the tone of this song. Sort of mysterious. I like it. 

Charlie Brown
This is a fun, upbeat song. It makes me happy.

Light a fire, a fire, a spark
Light a fire, a flame in my heart.
We'll run wild,
We'll be glowing in the dark.

Princess of China ft. Rihanna
Another music video I like. I'm not usually a Rihanna fan, but I like her in this. A cool song.

I love this song! It has such a hopeful message, and the music video is really cool. The past few months have been so crazy and overwhelming at times, and this song came into my life at just the right time, cheesy, I know. But I have a special connection to this song. Between my best friend going on an LDS mission for 18 months to my parents and two of my sisters moving all the way to Florida, this song has a good message to remember. I so hope they play this at the concert. 

We're gonna get it, get it together, I know
Gonna get it, get it together and flow
Gonna get it, get it together and go
Up and up and up

God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
If I remember right, this is one of my dad's favorite Coldplay songs. Another song with great musicality. And God truly does put a smile on my face. :)

Where do we go nobody knows?
Don't even say you're on your way down, (when)
God gave you style and gave you grace
And put a smile upon your face, ah yeah

Besides the funky spelling, I like the drums in this song. A lot. The piano is a nice touch as well. 

Give me strength, reserve control
Give me heart and give me soul
Wounds that heal and cracks that fix
Tell me your own politik

Besides Yellow, this is my favorite song from their first album. Parachutes. 

And it's you I see, but you don't see me.
And it's you I hear, so loud and so clear
I sing it loud and clear.
And I'll always be waiting for you.

Speed of Sound
This was one of the first Coldplay songs I remember listening to. Love the piano in this one. By this point, we can just assume that if its a good piano piece, I'm hooked. Add in the drums. Yep, you know the drill. 

Look up, I look up at night,
Planets are moving at the speed of light.
Climb up, up in the trees,
every chance that you get,
is a chance you seize.

Hurts Like Heaven
Another great track off of Mylo Xyloto, aka the coolest album name EVAH!

It's true
When you
Use your heart as a weapon
It hurts like heaven

If you've stuck with me this long, here is a hug *hugs*. Thanks for reading! I am so excited to see Chris Martin, Will Champion, Guy Berryman, and Jonny Buckland in a week! Wahoo!