Wednesday, December 31, 2014

0 Review: Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas

Title: Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas (Jane Austen Mysteries #12)
Author: Stephanie Barron
Publisher: Soho Crime
Published: October 28, 2014
Ebook, ARC
ISBN13: 9781616954239
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: NetGalley





Goodreads Summary:
Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful murder mystery set over the twelve days of a Regency-Era Christmas party.

Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family. As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood:Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.

Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident, which Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?


My Thoughts:
I've heard great things about the Jane Austen Mysteries so I was eager to finally read one for myself.  Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas seemed like a good place to start. There are eleven books in the series before this one, but since when have I ever let that stop me? 

Jane, Cassandra, and their mother are spending Christmas with Jane's brother and sister-in-law, James and Mary. Once there, the whole party gets an invitation to spend Christmas at the Vyne. So they go, have a merry time, and then someone spoils it all by getting murdered. But not to worry. Jane is clever and will find out the culprit. 

Now some people might be wary of starting a series with the twelfth book, but I think this could be read as a standalone. Barron does make reference to some of the other books, but she also provides a footnote with a short explanation. Never once did I feel lost in the story line.  My only issue was that nothing really happened until about 37% (according to my kindle) through. 

I know I might sound heartless, but I was eager for someone to die already and the mystery to officially begin. Patience has never really been my strong-suit. And besides, I was completely annoyed with Jane's sister-in-law Mary. Do you remember Anne Elliot's sister Mary Musgrove. Well both Marys have a lot in common, though I will say that Mary Austen was ten times worse. I kinda hoped that she would have gotten murdered, but no such luck. 

I'm glad I finally got an opportunity to read a Jane Austen mystery. I did enjoy it, and I hope to read some of the other books in the series as well in the near future. 

My Rating:

Click here for a complete list of books in the series.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

0 Review: I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas

Title: I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas (Half Moon Hollow 2.7)
Author: Molly Harper
Publisher: Pocket Star
Published: November 17, 2014
Ebook, ARC
ISBN13: 9781476784540
Genre: Paranormal
Source: NetGalley






Goodreads Summary:
Experience the vampire world for the holidays through the eyes of Gigi Scanlon in this e-novella prequel to The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire from beloved paranormal romance author Molly Harper!

College co-ed Gigi is headed home to Half-Moon Hollow for her first Christmas since her sister, Iris, was turned into a vampire by her beloved undead husband, Cal. Iris is working overtime to make this holiday as normal and special as possible. After all, it’s taken her months of working with Jane Jameson and the Hollow’s vampires to convince herself that she won’t bite her baby sister on sight.

Gigi has her own worries. She’s falling out of love with her high school sweetheart, Ben, and has no idea how to tell him. She’s got a secret job interview with terrifying teen Council official, Ophelia Lambert. And there’s a handsome but cagey vampire following her around town and then disappearing before Gigi can confirm that he’s not, in fact, a figment of her fertile imagination. Holidays with family are complicated. Christmas with an undead family can be downright dangerous.


My Thoughts:
My first experience with Molly Harper was a few years ago. I listened to How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf in audio book format, and I really liked it. It was the perfect blend of romance and humor. Sadly I haven't read more by Harper until now for the simple reason that there are so many books and so little time. However, I'm glad to jump back into the paranormal world that Harper has created--this time in the Half Moon Hollow series. 

I sorta just jumped into this series feet first since I haven't read the previous books. I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas is a novella set between the second and third book. And actually there are a few novellas before this one as well. But don't worry, if you're a newbie like me, you won't get lost. Though there are probably a few spoilers for the first two books in the series. But Harper doesn't give away so much detail as to completely ruin the first two books if you haven't read them. 

I felt like this is a great introduction to the characters that live in Half Moon Hollow. I immediately was taken in by Gigi and her family of supernaturals. I enjoyed this book as much as How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf. It's just as humorous as this book. A Martha Stewart Christmas with vamps, what could possibly go wrong? Reading this book really is just a teaser. Because after you read it, you'll want to go back and read the rest of the series if you haven't already. But sadly you'll have to wait until March to get the third book, The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire. 




Monday, December 29, 2014

9 Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress Spotlight and Giveaway

Title: Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress
Series: The Matchmaker Trilogy #3
Author: Theresa Romain
ISBN: 978-1-4022-8405-2
Pubdate: January 6th, 2015

One good proposition deserves another…

Heiress Augusta Meredith can’t help herself—she stirs up gossip wherever she goes. A stranger to Bath society, she pretends to be a charming young widow, until sardonic, darkly handsome Joss Everett arrives from London and uncovers her charade.

Augusta persuades Joss to keep her secret in exchange for a secret of his own. Weaving their way through the treacherous pitfalls of a polite world only too eager to expose and condemn them, they begin to see that being true to themselves is not so bad…as long as they’re true to each other…

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

An Excerpt:

She tilted her head, setting the loose curl free again. “Are you doing what you wish?”
Doing what he wished? No, of course he wasn’t.

Right now he wished he could make her smile as she had when giving away her gloves. He wished he could dispense with his conscience and plead for her to take him as a lover. He wished he could pluck the pins from her sunset hair and send it tumbling over her naked skin, wished he could stop kissing her only to make her cry out in pleasure.

But always, in the face of a wish, came prosaic reality. A scarred wooden table, a plate of mutton and potatoes, a wedge of cheese. An adequate fire and a roof over one’s head. Such a reality was perfectly acceptable, even if it didn’t hold the luster of a gemlike fantasy.

“I try to wish,” he said in a calm voice, “for what I know I might attain. For respectable employment for a reasonable wage. For a reasonable employer.”

This brought a faint smile to her features, but the expression fell away in another instant. “That seems a very small dream.”

“What on earth do you mean by that? It’s a very suitable dream.”

“But it’s not really a dream, is it? It’s what you have now, just shuffled about a bit.”

Again, he folded his arms. She lifted her hands, placating. “As you say, it’s perfectly suitable. And if you insist that it’s exactly what you want, then I suppose it is a dream, after all.”

Of course it wasn’t a dream. It was good sense. It was practicality. “I don’t know what else I ought to wish for. This is my life. I am a man of business for a nobleman.” Remembering Chatfield’s words, he added, “I am not in bodily danger, nor in mortal peril. It could be far worse.”

“It could be. But if you want it to be better...”

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to buy happiness.”

“No one is fortunate enough for that.” She turned over her fork and scratched the tines into the surface of the table. “That’s not what I meant. I know happiness can’t be bought, or I would have bought it.”

Buy Links:
Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1p1CZfP


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Saturday, December 27, 2014

0 Review: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Title: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Author: R.A. Dick
Publisher: Vintage Movie Classics
Published: September 23, 2014 (first published in 1945)
Paperback, 174 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8041-7348-3
Genre: Paranormal, Historical
Source: Publisher






Goodreads Summary:
Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain's story as a book, Blood and Swash, Lucy finds in her secret relationship with Captain Gregg a comfort and blossoming love she never could have predicted.

Originally published in 1945, made into a movie in 1947, and later adapted into a television sitcom in 1968, this romantic tale explores how love can develop without boundaries, both in this life and beyond.


My Thoughts: 
I've must have watched The Ghost and Mrs. Muir starring Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney about a dozen times in my life. I absolutely love the story! It's one of those old movies that you watch when it's cold and rainy outside or if you're feeling a little under the weather. It's comforting. All this time I had no idea that the movie was based on a book. I guess if I ever watched the credits carefully I might have known that, but I didn't. So upon recently learning that fact I knew I must read the book because, as you know, the book is always better than the movie.

If you're unfamiliar with the story line, I'll fill you in. Lucy Muir has been recently widowed. She's a young woman who had a very romanticized idea of life until she got married. Then her life revolved around her husband and her husband's family. They controlled everything she did. Before you get upset (rightly so) remember this book took place in the early 1900's. Anyway, Lucy craves the freedom to make her own choices, so she leaves her in-laws and moves with her children into a house that is said to be haunted by it's late owner, Captain Gregg. Well, it is haunted by Captain Gregg, who decides she can stay, and an unusual friendship forms between the two.

The book closely follows the movie, but with a few exceptions. This is one of the better book-to-film adaptations that I've experienced. This book is a total love fest for me. I love the story; I love the characters. After I finished reading The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, I immediately wanted to watch the movie again. This book will be filed under comfort reading for me to take out again and again when the mood strikes. I can't wait to read other titles from this collection as well. 

My rating:


Other titles from this series include:
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Cimarron
Alice Adams
Backstreet
The Bitter Tea of General Yen

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

0 Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

0 UNTIL MIDNIGHT is here…and it’s FREE!




UNTIL MIDNIGHT is here…and it’s FREE!



Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series, and I have a present for you—a brand new e-short from Disney Hyperion!

UNTIL MIDNIGHT takes place onboard an intergalactic transport, soon after ALIENATED ends and before the sequel INVADED begins. The story details Aelyx and Cara’s last day together before he returns to Earth to mend the alliance and she continues to his home planet. It’s sweet and romantic, and as a bonus, it includes a four-chapter preview of the sequel, which releases February 3rd.

Oh, and did I mention the best part? IT’S FREE!

You can download UNTIL MIDNIGHT from the following e-tailers:

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1v06kVd

*If you live outside the USA, no worries. I’ve uploaded the story to Scribd for you. (The only downside is it doesn’t include the bonus preview chapters, due to technical reasons from the publisher.) Link: http://www.scribd.com/AuthorMelissaLanders

To celebrate this new release, I’m offering TWO lucky winners an autographed swag pack complete with a personalized bookplate, mini-poster, bookmarks, and stickers—open internationally! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below.

Best of luck, and happy reading!



BIO: Melissa Landers writes romantic science fiction for teens and the young at heart. To learn more, or just to say hello, visit her at www.melissa-landers.com


Monday, December 22, 2014

0 30 Postcards of Awkward Romance and Awkward America

When was the last time you received a post card in the mail. Not an e-card, but a physical card? I received a couple this summer from friends who traveled Europe. I can't describe to you the joy I felt upon receiving each postcard. Or receiving any mail that wasn't a bill. The art of letter writing and post card sending is assumed to be dead, but I refuse to believe it! And now Wilhelm Staehle has come out with two postcard books that will change your mind also. If you're not familiar with Staehle, let me summarize him in a nutshell: Wilhelm Staehle is a silhouette artist with an uncanny sense of humor.

The first book is called Stars and Swipes: 30 Postcards of Awkward America. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll let the pictures do the talking:


The next post card book is titled Hugs and Misses: 30 Postcards of Awkward Romance. 



These cards are so great, you're probably going to want to keep them all for yourself instead of mailing them to unsuspecting friends and family.


*Thanks to Quirk Books for sending these my way to review!

Friday, December 19, 2014

0 Review and Giveaway: The Dress Shop of Dreams

Title: The Dress Shop of Dreams
Author: Meena van Praag
Publisher: Balleatine Books
Published: December 30, 2014
Ebook, ARC
ISBN13: 9780804178990
Genre: Fiction
Source: NetGalley






Goodreads Summary:
Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.

Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.


My Thoughts:
Last year I fell in love with Meena Van Praag's House At the End of Hope Street, so I was very excited to read her latest book, The Dress Shop of Dreams. There's something about her books that suck you into the pages and you find yourself reading way past bedtime. It makes you wish that the characters were real and that you could actually visit Etta's dress shop.

Trying to explain this story in a nutshell is a hard job. First you have Etta. She's kind of a magician, but not in the pull-a-rabbit-out-of-your hat sense. She owns a dress shop and has the mystical ability to help women's dreams come true by helping them pick the perfect dress and giving a bit of courage through her needle and thread. 

Etta is grandmother to Cora. Cora's parents died when she was a girl. To protect her from pain, Etta did a little something to help repress the sadness and memories. Unfortunately the result isn't quite what she hoped for. Cora is a scientist who can't see past the end of her nose. She can't even see that her best friend is in love with her. Etta does the only thing she knows how to do, she undoes the magic. Leaving a bit of chaos in her wake.

This book is full of magic, romance, mystery, and more. I love how all the characters interact with one another. There are stories that coincide with Cora and Etta's. I love the twists and turns of the plot. Basically this is a must read. I highly recommend it. And I also recommend House At the End of Hope Street too. 

My Rating:


Thanks to Penguin/Random House I have one copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. This giveaway is for US addresses only. Please read the giveaway policy before entering.


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Thursday, December 18, 2014

0 GIVEAWAY and FEATURE: On The Move by K.V. Flynn

FEATURE: On The Move by K.V. Flynn




BLURB: Callum Vicente and his four best middle school buddies live in a Southern California beach town, and narrowly miss being grounded for life after they sneak out of town on the bus for a great skateboard day just before promotion from 8th grade. Their pal Justice ends up with a wicked broken leg, but their parents soon forget about it because weird, tense things are happening in the news. So Callum, Levi and his bff Apollo are soon deep into their best summer ever at PEAK skateboard camp where they learn tricks from the pros, grind on endless street courses, and careen off one awesome ramp straight into the lake. It is mad fun until the War breaks out: the teens watch major cities blown up on TV, have no idea what’s happened to their parents, and then lose virtually all communication with the outside world.
Stranded, the boarder buddies strike out on their own to find their families, travelling north through all of California and Oregon, following a network of underground message boards and savvy riders who they find holed up in skate parks along the way. They pick up their school buddy Mateo Beltran and hitch a ride with their Native friend Obbie, on his way to safety on his dad’s reservation in Washington state, and even get some surprising help as they try to figure out a world gone crazy while they are On the Move.
On the Move is the first book in a trilogy about teen skater Callum and his friends. The prequel, On the Rim, will be published in 2015.


AUTHOR BIO:
K.V. Flynn is a writer who lives in Southern California, kind of near Manhattan-Huntington-Malibu Beach. His action-adventure book On the Move is about 14-year-old skater friends who are stranded at skate camp when a War breaks out. Follow the news about it at www.OnTheMoveBooks.com.
He’s currently writing the prequel, On the Rim, which takes place during his characters’ eighth grade year, and includes a series of misadventures when they are separated from their class on the traditional Europe Spring Break trip to Germany and Spain. His favorite ride is an 8.25" Krooked deck, Independent trucks, and 53 mm Spitfire wheels, but he’s been eying some new Bones Sonics and may give them a try. He is half Spanish and half Irish and has a big gray dog who likes walks near the ocean like everybody else. Lately, he has been watching "Pretty Sweet" by Chocolate Skateboards, "Stay Gold" by Emerica, and "The Deathwish Video" by Deathwish Skateboards. What about you!? Around Southern California, he and his bros regularly cruise Venice, Stoner, Skatelab, and Van’s. Talk back: KVFlynnOntheMove@gmail.com. Facebook/OntheMoveBooks or onthemovebooks.tumblr.com.
Looking for a fun MG action novel, especially for a skater? Please find my book here:
Amazon: http://goo.gl/W0A2Zg
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/KuY8EI
Kobo: http://goo.gl/45hFgD

EXCERPT: Callum and his 14-year-old friends, plus high school buddy Justice, have taken the bus down to a bigger town without telling their parents in order to skate around a cool school campus, and had planned to get back without anyone noticing…

Justice lay at the bottom of the flight of long concrete stairs. He looked almost peaceful. Relaxed. Folded up on the cement next to a flowering bush. But his arm was bent, bizarrely backward. And his jeans bulged below the knee as though a stick was holding the fabric up from his leg.
Yech! That was his leg. Was it a snapped tibia? Fibula? I couldn’t exactly recall that bio class lesson… but his shin looked so freaky I could barely remember even where we were.
“Holy crap!” Mateo said, rolling up first and lifting Justice’s head. “What happened?”
“Missed it, man,” was all Justice could mutter. Then he started howling again in pain. You knew that he wanted to cry. The bone was poking out of his skin… really, outside of it! Not to mention, his arm was not hanging right from his shoulder at all.
“We have to get him to the hospital,” I said as we all hovered over him, a little frozen.
“No ambulance or car can get in here,” Obbie insisted. “We’re behind, like, four locked gates. And we can’t move him.”
“We have to move him,” Mateo argued. “To the bus.”
“Why? How’s the bus going to help us?” I wanted to know.
“We go straight up the coast, right to the center of Surfside. Urgent Care is across the street from the bus stop.”
Justice had stopped moaning and was eerily silent. His bangs were soaked with perspiration. I swore the freckles on his face were fading as we watched.
“Urgent Care?” I snapped. “We need a hospital. Here. Now. Remember when PJ crashed on the half-pipe during Levi’s birthday party? His dad drove straight to Huntington Hospital. Isn’t that around here somewhere?”
“No, no — Mateo’s right,” Obbie fretted. “We have to get back to Surfside. We are not supposed to be here. I’ll be grounded all summer.”
“Guys, Justice is more important than summer. Look at him. He’s passing out.”
“Okay, okay — listen,” Mateo plotted, talking more rapidly, his accent getting sharper as his mind went on overdrive. “We don’t know this place super well. There’re hospitals, emergency, sure. But first we have to find them. They are at least fifteen, twenty blocks away. But if we get Justice out to the boulevard in front of school, then lay him down on the bus seats, I think we’ll be at Urgent Care as fast as any other idea.”
I wasn’t so sure. But it was two votes — or three if you counted Justice shrieking — against one. We stashed all but one skateboard. That, we positioned under his freaky broken leg, which we tied with Obbie’s T-shirt to keep it straight-ish and protected. Each of us took one corner of Justice. The idea seemed okay to me, at least until we got out to the boulevard. There, though, we’d have to cross all six busy lanes of traffic to catch a bus going toward home.
Three boys carrying another one, who was screaming like a lunatic, was not exactly inconspicuous. But we had made the plan, so we hit the crosswalk light.
“He’s not looking so good,” I noticed.
Justice was sweating through his T-shirt. The curls over his entire head were matted flat to his skull. He seemed to be breathing fast, like a nervous dog. Even with all of us helping, he was having a hard time standing on his own good leg.
“Okay, green hand. Let’s do it,” Mateo commanded.
We all scooped Justice up like a mad heavy duffel bag and made our way across to the bus stop.
Obbie sighted the blessed 434. “It’s coming!”
Then he stubbed his foot on the curb and grabbed Justice’s dislocated arm the wrong way. With a last sharp scream, Justice vomited and passed out.


I have a kindle copy of this book to give away to a lucky reader.You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Giveaway is open internationally. Please read our giveaway policy before entering.

 

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0 Review: Texts From Jane Eyre

Title: Texts From Jane Eyre And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
Author: Mallory Ortberg
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Published: November 4, 2014
Hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62779-183-0
Genre: Humor
Source: Publisher





Goodreads Summary:
Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield.

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car. Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.



My Thoughts:
Mallory Ortberg writes for The Toast, on online website, where she writes a feature called "Texts From." Basically it's a hilarious feature about authors, poets, writers, and characters from all the above and what they would probably text if they lived during the age of cell phones. This is probably the funniest  book of 2014. 

This is the kind of book where you read silently to yourself while laughing out loud. Then someone asks about what you're reading, so you decided to read out loud to said person and they laugh. Others overheard and join in. Soon your solitude of reading turns into an event. But you don't mind because humor like this can't be contained withing the binding of a book.

Here's an example:

Texts from Miss Havisham:

Sarah, darling!
Got your note 

oh lovely
couldn’t possibly make it over for the christening
as I’m simply swamped at the moment
(you may recall I was left at the altar
and have spent the intervening years reeling from the betrayal)

yes I remember
Wish terribly I could make it
but you know how it is
being jilted

Well
we’ll set out a piece of cake for you just in case
Please don’t worry about me
I’m surrounded by the ruins of an aching, hopeless love that’s slowly congealing into poison
so I’m keeping busy
much love to the baby

thank you
if it’s a boy I hope you drown it
Pip
Pip what are you doing right now

I’m at work
what’s up
did you know that my name would have been Mrs. Compeyson
if I’d married my fiancé Mr. Compeyson

really
but I never did marry him
right
because as you recall
I was abandoned on my wedding day
by my fiancé 

(Mr. Compeyson)
and have never never never recovered
but I’m just thrilled to hear that you’re doing so well
just Havisham will do for now
unless he comes back

is there anything in particular you need from me right now?
all men are dogs Pip
okay
write that down
I will
really write it down though
are you writing it down?

yes
I think you’re just saying you’re writing it down 
no I wrote it down
Estella what are you doing tonight
do you want to come over and look at wedding photos

I don’t think I can
that’s okay
I never had wedding photos anyway
because I never got to have a wedding
I don’t know if I ever told you that
I never want to see another save the date evite again
oh my godddd
Has she been texting you too?
YES
or like
I think yes
because I keep getting pictures of wedding dresses from a blocked number
*Text taken from the-toast.net. Read more at http://the-toast.net/2013/08/28/texts-from-miss-havisham/#4rUk96b1pzLXUM8x.99

This is a book that bibliophiles will get a kick out of. Everyone should add this to their bookshelf! 
My Rating:



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

0 Review: Jane Austen Cover to Cover

Review: Jane Austen Cover to Cover (200 years of Classic Covers)
Author: Margaret C. Sullivan
Publisher: Quirk Books
Published: November 11. 2014
Hardcover, 224 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59474-725-0
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Publisher


Goodreads Summary:
Jane Austen’s six novels are true classics, still immensely popular some 200 years after their first publication. But although the celebrated stories never change, the covers are always different. Jane Austen Cover to Covercompiles two centuries of design, from elegant Victorian hardcovers and the famed 1894 “Peacock” edition to 1950s pulp, movie tie-in editions, graphic novels, foreign-language translations, and many, many others. Filled with beautiful artwork and insightful commentary, this fascinating and visually intriguing collection is a must for Janeites, design geeks, and book lovers of every stripe.

My Thoughts:
A picture is worth a thousand words, but how about a book cover. A book cover is one of your first introductions to a book. A good cover can intrigue you enough to pick up a book and turn it over to see if this book is right for you. Some covers are so pretty you want to hang them on your wall and display as a work of art. But what about books that have been around for a couple of centuries. Have you ever wondered about their original covers? 

There is something about Jane Austen that calls out to many people. We're still fascinated by her over two centuries later. Even more so, her books are still widely read. Although her books have remained the same, the covers  have evolved over time.  Margaret C. Sullivan takes us on a journey through pictures and commentary of Austen books throughout their publication.

I thoroughly enjoyed looking through this book and reading Sullivan's thoughts on the cover and laughed at the snarky comments as well--because some covers have the 'what were you thinking' vibe.  I enjoyed the history behind the covers as well as recognizing some of the covers to the books I own. I also made a mental list of editions I'd like to own. 

I think all book lovers will appreciate this book, but the Janeites will love it. 

My Rating:


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

1 Review: Mr. Darcy's Challenge

Title: Mr. Darcy's Challenge (The Darcy Novels #2)
Author: Monica Fairview
Publisher: White Soup Press
Published: November 24, 2014
Ebook
ISBN13: 9781310714689
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Source: From Author





Goodreads Summary:
In this humorous Pride and Prejudice Variation, Mr. Darcy is determined to win Elizabeth Bennet's hand in spite of her rejection, and he has a strategy worked out. He will rescue Lydia Bennet from Wickham and will return to Longbourn to convince Elizabeth to marry him. But when a chance encounter prompts Darcy to propose once again to Elizabeth before he has rescued Lydia, his plans go horribly wrong.

Broken hearted, disillusioned and bitterly regretting his impulsive action, Darcy sees no point in assisting Miss Bennet. After all, rescuing Lydia might save Elizabeth’s reputation, but why should he care when they have no future together? His code of gentlemanly conduct, however, demands that he fulfill the terms of his promise to her. Once again, Darcy finds himself faced with impossible choices: helping Elizabeth when she is certain to marry someone else, or holding onto his dignity by turning his back on the Bennets once and for all.

Pride and love are at loggerheads as he struggles to choose between his mind … and his heart.

Volume Two of The Darcy Novels continues the story began in Mr. Darcy's Pledge but can be read as an independent book as well.

My Thoughts:
Mr. Darcy's Challenge is the second installment of The Darcy Novels. While you could possibly read this as a standalone, I believe you would get more enjoyment out of it if you read Mr. Darcy's Pledge first.

Monica Fairview takes us back into the world of Darcy and Lizzy. Just when things between the two start to smooth out, Darcy goes and ruins it all. He's a complete and utter jerk and well, as you can imagine Lizzy isn't having it. So the two go their separate ways. Darcy knows he must marry someone, even if it's not Elizabeth.

Things happen and roadblocks are put in both of their paths, but Darcy can't forget Lizzy. Fortune is on his side and their paths cross again. But can they finally find their way to each other? Monica Fairview certainly knows how to shake things up for her characters.

This next installment in The Darcy Novels is quite exciting. So much happens, but I don't want to spoil it for you. Needless to say, it's an exciting, emotional roller coaster ride.  Darcy if full on inner turmoil as he tries to act as a gentleman should. The rocky road of love is paved with good intentions, but will Lizzy recognize it? The ending left me wanting to know what happens next, and I eagerly wait the next installment.

My rating:


Monday, December 15, 2014

0 Giveaway: Moth and Spark



A Prince with a quest.
A commoner with mysterious powers.
And dragons who demand to be free—at any cost.
Moth
and
spark
By Anne Leonard

MOTH AND SPARK is hands down one of the best books I've read this year, and it's absolutely an addition to my favorite's shelf. With a mixture of EragonGame of ThronesCinderella, and buckets of original personality, Anne Leonard has written a fantasy you don't want to miss.
Fresh Fiction

“Winning characters and the inclusion of dragons... Fantasy fans who enjoy books with
a hefty dose of romance, such as Juliet Marillier’s “Seven Waters” series, will want to
give this one a try.”
Library Journal

“While the introduction of dragons would make this accessible to fantasy readers as well, MOTH AND SPARK is actually a vivid story of conflict, change and confrontation and will immerse any historical novel reader in a fantasy setting all too real.”
Midwest Review of Books

With stunningly panoramic prose, Anne Leonard’s debut novel, MOTH AND SPARK (Penguin Books; On-sale: December 30, 2014; $16.00; ISBN: 9780143126218), is simply an unforgettable tour de force. Set in the land of Caithen, a country on the brink of invasion by vicious Tyrekh, this breathtakingly imaginative fantasy packs every punch the genre requires—intrigue, war, sorcery and magic, dragons, and forbidden romance. For fans of the Game of Thrones series, Diana Gabaldon, and Anne McCaffrey,MOTH AND SPARK is an elegant and compelling read.

Recruited by the Firekeepers, Prince Corin has been given an impossible task—to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, though no one, not even the dragons or their riders, understand the bonds that hold them. Given their power, but none of the knowledge to use it, Corin is torn between his new quest and his royal duty to defend his country from the Sarian invasion.

Before arriving in Caithen for Summer Court, Tam, the unassuming daughter of a well-respected doctor, has no idea she was born a Seer, someone gifted with visions. After a rainy afternoon leads Prince Corin and Tam to a chance encounter in the palace library, they meet for dinner where sparks fly, but it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner, Caithen is falling to the Sarians. When an attack on the capital forces the lovers to flee, Corin and Tam must figure out how to master their newly discovered powers in order to save Caithen and themselves. With the help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they might just pull it off.

Leonard began MOTH AND SPARK while attending the University of California-Hastings College of Law (where she graduated cum laude) eking out a few hours on weekends or a half hour on the bus, or wherever she had the chance. After 3 years, she had a draft, but ultimately decided to practice law first.  At last readers will be introduced to the deadly harsh steppe lands of Sarian, to the white-barked tree-lined streets of Caithenor.  Every last element of Leonard’s lush, extraordinary world carries the heft of cinematic detail with pitch-perfect vision. 

Thanks to Penguin/Random House I have one paperback copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. I read this book earlier this year. You can check out my review here. This giveaway is open to US addresses only. Please no PO Boxes. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please read my giveaway/review policy before you enter.


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