Monday, October 16, 2017

0 Audiobook Review: The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit


The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit
Narrated by Tanya Eby
5 hours and 26 minutes
Tantor Audio | May 16th 2017 |  9781541456266

Summary


In a timely and incisive follow-up to her national bestseller Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit offers sharp commentary on women who refuse to be silenced, misogynistic violence, the fragile masculinity of the literary canon, the gender binary, the recent history of rape jokes, and much more. In her characteristic style, Solnit mixes humor, keen analysis, and sharp insight in these eleven essays.

My Thoughts

It seems like in this day and age we shouldn't still be talking about sexism. Surely the human race should have evolved by now. But somehow we seem to keep having the same conversation day after day. It doesn't matter what political party you belong to, your age, race, or how much money you make, you've probably been a victim of sexual harassment or assault. If not, you probably know somebody who has. From government officials, newscasters, producers, to even managers at your local burger joint, sexual harassment is wide spread. 

After last week's huge bombshell with HW, I read a few articles on the heinous alleged crimes committed by this sexual predictor. I was curious to find out if other people were as disgusted as I was, so I did what you really shouldn't do. I read the comments. I found myself bewildered over the negative comments toward the victims and not toward the criminal himself. Victim blaming. Have we as a society been brainwashed to think that if an assault happens it's because the victim was somehow asking for it? That it's part of the burden of being a woman? We should just take it? 

If there is one good thing about what happened is that there is an ongoing conversation happening about how far reaching sexual assault and harassment is. And maybe now that it's being talked about out in open, we can finally do something about this dysfunctional climate. When a victim steps forward and tells their story it helps other women step forward. #NoMore #MeToo

Rebecca Solnit writes on many topics such as art, politics, and the environment. She writes with humor and grace. In The Mother of All Questions, Solnit writes on topics such as the rape culture, women who refused to be silent, violence against women, literature, film, and so much more. Each essay has a powerful message that enrages, empowers, and is thought provoking. Solnit's passion shines through every word. Though some of her points are repeated throughout the book, I didn't mind. Mostly because it bears to be repeated. After all, how many times have we had this conversation, and yet, the same things keep happening. Solnit is a powerful voice in today's world. The Mother of All Questions should be required reading.

I listened to The Mother of All Questions on audio. It's read by Tanya Eby, who has a ton of credits to her name. Her voice is very personable and pleasant, and was the perfect choice for reading the essays. She seemed to emulate Solnit's passion for the subject matter. I enjoyed listening to this on audio and recommend it. 




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

0 Review: The Breathless


Delacorte Press | October 10, 2017, 9781524714765


Summary

No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.

Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.

And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.

And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead.

My Thoughts

Is this really your debut novel, Tara Goedjen? Because it was awesome! I love Southern Gothic stories. William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Dorothy Allison, and Truman Capote are just a few authors who have mastered this genre and now Tara Goedjen can add her name to this list. There's something about old, decrepit houses, family secrets, and unsolved mysteries that make for a phenomenal story. The Breathless by Tara Goedjen is just that.

Roxanne Cole (Ro) died almost a year ago under mysterious circumstances. Everyone blames her boyfriend, Cage, for her death because he ran away directly after. Almost a year later, Cage shows up at Ro's house claiming he only left her the day before. Mae, Roe's sister, is the only one who believes he's telling the truth. Or at least believes he believes he's telling the truth. Mae also finds a old, green book that belongs to her family hidden in Ro's room. It's full of strange secrets that might have something to do with what happened to Ro. 

From start to finish I was enraptured by this novel. The setting of Blue Gate Manner surrounded by an eerie past provides the perfect background for this Southern Gothic novel. The house is a character in itself that holds the secrets to the past. Mae is a young girl trying to come to grips with the tragic death of her sister while helping the person who could be responsible for her death in the hopes that maybe they can bring Ro back to life is an interesting twist. I won't go too far into the plot because that will only spoil it for those who haven't read it.

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen had me reading way past my bedtime. It's the perfect novel to usher in fall. Grab a warm blanket and get comfy. You're going to want to read this book in one sitting.




Friday, October 6, 2017

0 Audiobook Review: The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd



Published October 3rd 2017 by Blackstone Audiobooks
Narrated By Saskia Maarleveld
10 hrs and 32 mins


An incredible story of dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

The year is 1739. Eliza Lucas is sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their family's three plantations in rural South Carolina and then proceeds to bleed the estates dry in pursuit of his military ambitions. Tensions with the British, and with the Spanish in Florida, just a short way down the coast, are rising, and slaves are starting to become restless. Her mother wants nothing more than for their South Carolina endeavor to fail so they can go back to England. Soon her family is in danger of losing everything.

Upon hearing how much the French pay for indigo dye, Eliza believes it's the key to their salvation. But everyone tells her it's impossible, and no one will share the secret to making it. Thwarted at nearly every turn, even by her own family, Eliza finds that her only allies are an aging horticulturalist, an older and married gentleman lawyer, and a slave with whom she strikes a dangerous deal: teach her the intricate thousand-year-old secret process of making indigo dye and in return -- against the laws of the day -- she will teach the slaves to read.

So begins an incredible story of love, dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Based on historical documents, including Eliza's letters, this is a historical fiction account of how a teenage girl produced indigo dye, which became one of the largest exports out of South Carolina, an export that laid the foundation for the incredible wealth of several Southern families who still live on today. Although largely overlooked by historians, the accomplishments of Eliza Lucas influenced the course of US history. When she passed away in 1793, President George Washington served as a pallbearer at her funeral.

This book is set between 1739 and 1744, with romance, intrigue, forbidden friendships, and political and financial threats weaving together to form the story of a remarkable young woman whose actions were before their time: the story of the indigo girl.

My Thoughts

Elizabeth (Eliza) Lucas was a woman far ahead of her time. At the tender age of 16, she was left to manage three of her father's plantations while military duties kept him away. Eliza had a keen mind and became one of the leading agriculturists of the 18th century. When people (men) were telling her she couldn't grow indigo. She said, "Watch me." After a rocky start, Indigo became one of the most successfully farmed plants, second only to rice.

Natasha Boyd writes a remarkable story of one of history's most amazing women. You can tell Boyd has a passion and love that she weaves in between the words of Eliza's story. She paints a vivid picture of the era breathing life into each character. Excerpts from Eliza's diaries are also used, and they fit in so seamlessly with the fiction, it's as if the real Eliza has written this story and not Boyd.

The book takes place between 1739 and 1744, during which Eliza has thrown off the constraints of her time and lives her dream of Indigo. The story if full of heartache, friendships, perseverance, intrigue, and so much more. The Indigo Girl is one of the best historical fiction books of 2017.

I listened to The Indigo Girl on CD narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. It was brilliant! Saskia Maarleveld is a seasoned narrator and if you've listened to her narrate it's easy to see why she's in demand. Her voice was made to read stories. She gives a voice to each character making them stand out. I was so enraptured in the story, the minutes flew by. An hour would pass and I hardly noticed. I absolutely recommend this on audio. 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

0 Check out Cheree Alsop's new series!




This book will be available for free for Kindle Unlimited customers! It is available for preorder for $2.99 for everyone else.  Available Oct. 7.

A life-threatening accident reveals that Finn is a werewolf; the next morning, he receives an invitation to a secluded high school. Finn quickly realizes that the school is in fact an academy for monsters and is far more perilous and full of adventure than he ever expected. But Haunted High has had a dangerous history with werewolves. Can Finn survive monster politics, life-threatening pranks, and teachers more likely to kill him than help him in time to answer the real question: Who is the girl haunting the cemetery and why does he sleepwalk to her grave each night?

Check out more books by Cheree Alsop @  www.chereealsop.com

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

1 The Vineyard by Maria Duenas



“Dueñas’ sweeping tale of fortunes made and lost abounds with dramatic characters and operatic plot twists […] this sprawling tale will charm fans of historical romance.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Heart wrenching yet uplifting, this beautifully rendered story will linger in readers’ minds”
– RT Book Reviews, four stars


The New York Times bestselling author of The Time in Between returns with a magnificent new novel set in 1860s Mexico City, Havana, and Spain about a self-made man who loses his fortune overnight but finds his destiny as he works to restore a legendary vineyard to its former glory, and to win the love of the combative widow who once owned the property.

Mauro Larrea sees the fortune that he had built after years of hardship and toil come crashing down on the heels of a calamitous event. Swamped by debts and uncertainty, he gambles the last of his last money in a daring move that offers him the opportunity to resuscitate his fortune. But when the unsettling Soledad Montalvo, wife of a London wine merchant, comes into his life, her passionate intensity lures him toward an unanticipated future.

The Vineyard spans diverse worlds, from the young Mexican republic to magnificent colonial Havana; from the West Indies to the Jerez of the second half of the nineteenth-century, when its wine trade with England turned the Andalusian city into a legendary cosmopolitan enclave. A novel replete with glories and defeats, with silver mines, family intrigues, vineyards, and splendid places whose grandeur has faded in time, The Vineyard is a story of resilience in the face of adversity, of a lifeline forever altered by the force of passion.



Monday, October 2, 2017

1 Cover Reveal: Death Island by Kelsey Ketch


Death Island by Kelsey Ketch
Genre: New Adult
Publication: December 31st, 2017
Cover DesignerDesiree DeOrto Designs


Her family name tainted by her great-grandfather’s crimes of piracy, Meriden Cummings is far from the typical 18th century woman. A social outcast, she works in a carpentry shop in a small village, where the people barely tolerate unconventional behavior.



However, her life takes a turn after a gang of pirates attack her village and her blood reveals an ancient map adorned with Mayan glyphs leading to Death Island. An island legends say is ruled by the Mayan god of the underworld, Ah Puch. Her great-grandfather had sought after the island before he vanished without a trace. Now, Meriden is about to journey across the sea to understand her family history.



There are only a few problems: her growing feelings toward a mysterious stranger linked to her great-grandfather’s past; a greedy band of pirates after her great-grandfather’s legendary treasure; and a contract she has unwittingly signed in blood with Ah Puch himself.








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Thursday, September 28, 2017

0 Review: Whispers of Warning


Published by Berkley
Sep 19, 2017 | 336 Pages | ISBN 9780425281611

Summary


The latest in a dazzling new historical mystery series featuring Ruby Proulx, a psychic with a questionable past who suddenly finds her future most uncertain…

Partially reformed con artist Ruby Proulx is starting to feel at home in her aunt’s seaside hotel. She loves the feeling of being rooted in one place and also feels a sense of purpose as she helps her aunt keep her business afloat by acting as a psychic medium for the hotel’s metaphysically inclined guests.

When one of the guests, renowned Spiritualist and outspoken suffragist Sophronia Foster Eldridge, checks into the hotel for a month-long stay, Ruby finds her sense of purpose expand outside the confines of home and family. Sophronia takes Ruby under her wing and mentors her in the mediumistic abilities, encouraging her to work for a woman’s right to vote. But not everyone is as happy with Sophronia’s appearance in Old Orchard. When her body is found floating in the saltwater plunge pool of a local bathhouse, Ruby takes it upon herself to solve the murder, and in the process learns that Sophronia was hiding some secrets of her own.

My Thoughts

Whispers of Warning is the second book in A Change of Fortune Mystery series. I had not had the pleasure of reading the first novel, Whispers Beyond the Veil. Despite that I was able to jump right in without feeling as though I missed something. In this delightful series the heroine, Ruby Proulx, is a physic who finds herself from time to time drawn into the middle of a mystery, and what else can this modern girl do but solve it.



Whispers of Warning is set during the 1800's during the women's suffrage movement. Ruby is ecstatic when the estimable Sophronia Foster Eldridge, an outspoken suffragist, comes to stay at the Belden. Ruby is fascinated by Sophronia and does all she can to help her idol out. Meanwhile, Ruby and her Aunt Honoria have strange premonitions that may have something to do with Sophronia. And when Sophronia is found dead, Ruby finds herself investigating and uncovering more secrets than the Waterergate scandal.  

I really liked that this wasn't my average historical mystery. I loved that the Belden was a hotel whose staff had supernatural abilities. I also was fascinated by the time period. Though I was interested in both the story line and the characters, it took a while for the mystery to begin. But once it did, the story moved quickly. Jessica Estevao has tapped into the perfect mixture of mystery, magic, and mayhem. This book will appeal to readers across genres. History lovers, fantasy lovers, get ready to snuggle up with Whispers of Warning and a cup of coffee. Your weekend will be made! 





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

1 Review: Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump by @caroleproman @TCBRbookreview #partnership



ABOUT THE BOOK

Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump

Illustrated by Mateya Arkova
Publisher’s Synopsis: Susannah Maya Logan is not having a good day. She doesn’t want to go to her best friend, Lola’s sleepover. Susannah thinks the house is big and spooky, not to mention the ghost that is said to live there. Lola’s big brother, Kai, loves to tease Susannah with scary stories. Throughout her day, she sees people deal with things that scare them. Her sight-impaired friend, Macy, is terrified of unicorns, of all things. She sees a boy at a party who’s frightened of clowns. Her teacher is afraid of getting a cold. Susannah realizes everybody is scared of something. She wishes she was more like Lola, who is not afraid of anything, or so it seems. Susannah discovers people have different ideas of what is scary and what is not, and only they can determine the difference. Join Susannah as she learns to confront her fears and not let her imagination prevent her from having fun.


Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Chelshire | July 11, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1947188136
Available Here:
Susannah Logan has been invited over to her best friend's house for a slumber party. What girl wouldn't be excited over that? Susannah wants desperately to go, but there's a problem. She's afraid of her best friend's house. It's old and creepy. Not to mention her bff's brother tells Susannah that the place is haunted. As the sleepover draws near, Susannah realizes she's not the only one scared of something. In fact, she's surrounded by people that have a fear of one thing or another. Seeing that she's not alone helps Susannah face her fears.

In this wonderful new book by Carole P. Roman, children will learn everyone is afraid of something. For me it's clowns and spiders. Susannah will help kids learn to face and overcome their fears. Though this book is a great read anytime, it's perfect for Halloween--when things go bump in the night. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series. Both Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis have received the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit. The first book in the series was named to Kirkus Reviews Best 2012. Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis has been named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2015. Each book in the series has won numerous awards including the NABE Pinnacle Award, IAN Award, Moonbeam Award 2014, National Indie Excellence Award Finalist, Shelf Media Outstanding Series Award, ForeWord Review Five Star and Finalist in the Book of the Year, and Reader’s Views Children’s Book of the Year 2013. Roman is also the author of the award-winning non-fiction culture series, If You Were Me and Lived in… that explores customs and cultures around the world. She has co-authored a self help book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren.

OFFICIAL LINKS


TOUR SCHEDULE

The Children's Book Review
9/20
Shooting Stars Mag
9/21
Lille Punkin'
9/22
Crafty Moms Share
9/25
To Read, or Not To Read
9/26
icefairy's Treasure Chest
9/27
The Fairview Review
9/28
Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom
9/29
Word Spelunking
10/2
Mommy Ramblings
10/3
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
10/4
LitPick Student Book Reviews
10/5



GIVEAWAY

Enter to win an autographed copy of Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag, Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump, and Oh Susannah: Color with Me, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman—plus a set of 48 colored pencils!
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
Value: $52+
Four (4) winners receive:
  • A copy of Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag, autographed by Carole P. Roman
  • A copy of Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump, autographed by Carole P. Roman
  • A copy of Oh Susannah: Color with Me, autographed by Carole P. Roman
Value: $27+
Giveaway begins September 20, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends August 31, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. MT.
Giveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Prizes provided by Carole P. Roman


*I worked in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Carole P. Roman for this post.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

0 Review: Hook, Line, and Murder


Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Berkley

Summary:

The USA Today bestselling Murder, She Wrote mystery series continues as Jessica Fletcher takes a relaxing getaway that turns into a reel deadly situation...

Jessica enters a fly-fishing competition at a nearby lake. Joining her is the sheriff's wife, Maureen Metzger, who surprises Jess with her enthusiasm for the sport. Their guide, however, is a surprise to both.... 

Brian Kinney is an ex-con. Jailed as an accomplice to convicted killer Darryl Jepson, Brian was later exonerated, but not before spending seven years behind bars. He seems like a decent enough fellow. Just someone trying to rebuild his life as a family man and fishing guide. 

Yet when Jepson breaks out of prison vowing revenge, and the lawyer for both men is found murdered, Cabot Cove becomes the focus of the nation as local, state, and federal authorities descend on Jessica's hometown. And to add to the tension, Maureen has gone missing. Is she lost or is she a hostage? Jess soon finds herself caught in a net full of lies, deceit, and ulterior motives. In order to save her friend, she'll need to find some answers by hook or by crook... 

My Thoughts


I can't remember when I was introduced to Murder, She Wrote. As a kid, I used to run around while my mom watched it in syndication. It was part of the background noise of my childhood. I had no idea that this was also a book series. Hook, Line, and Sinker the is 46th book in the series. So, not only did I come late to the party, I also jumped right in with book #46. 

I started reading this book along the same time my daughter had a daycamp thing down by the lake. My husband and I took her, dropped her off, and enjoyed a few hours by the serene landscape. Being in that setting helped me to immerse myself into the world of Murder, She Wrote.

Jessica Fletcher enters into the yearly fly-fishing competition. Looking forward to some quiet time, she's a little disgruntled that first-time fisherman, Maureen, eagerly wants to join her. But Jessica agrees and the two set off for an adventure in Cabot Cove.

Meanwhile, Darryl Jepson, a convicted killer, escapes and a manhunt ensues. Tensions are high around town, but when Maureen goes missing, her husband, the sheriff, will risk anything to get her back. And Jessica puts her detective skills to work to aid in the investigation. But will they find Maureen before it's too late?

If you're a fan of the television series, you'll be a fan of the book series as well. I was pleased that I was able to jump into a series so late in the game and feel like I hadn't missed much. This book was an entertaining weekend read that I would recommend to anyone who loves a bit of mystery in their life. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

0 Beach, Breeze, Bloodshed $75 Gift Card Giveaway

 Minotaur is running a sweepstakes that you should know about. 



All you have to do is pick up a copy of BEACH, BREEZE, BLOODSHED by John Keyse-Walker (now available!), post a photo of the book on any social media platform and use the hashtag #BeachBreezeBloodshed to be entered. Winners will get a $75 gift card to the bookseller of their choice!

Deadline to post is October 12, 2017.
 

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