Tuesday, August 29, 2017

0 Review: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel


The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimetel
St. Martin's Press | Agust 22, 2017 | 9781250130372
Available @ Amazon

Summary


A smart, funny, and modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a lost love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.

Ten years later, Ruby's single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there's nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .
 

My Thoughts


Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I don't think it gets much better than Wentworth and Anne. I mean that letter . . . so swoonworthy! I was happy to take on Melissa Pimentel's modern-day take on the classic both in 'half agony, half hope.' Do you see what I did there? Half agony fearing it wouldn't be as great as I had hoped and half hope because I desperately wanted it to be great. But I just don't think it's anywhere near the realm of greatness that Persuasion is--No book can fill Persuasion's shoes. And once I accepted that fact, I really enjoyed the The One That Got Away.

Ruby and Ethan fell hard and fast for each other. It seemed as if the stars had aligned giving the gift of happily ever after. But the timing isn't right. Ruby plans to move to New York to start a new job. Ethan is a bartender that doesn't have a lot of time off. Distance and miscommunication tear them apart until they're reunited for Ruby's sister's destination wedding in England. Ruby realizes that she's still in love with Ethan, but after so much time has passed, is he still in love with her? Especially now that he's super successful. 

The One That Got Away is a perfect book for a rainy weekend. Pimentel's novel is a loose re-telling, but it captures the trials and errors of relationships and family. It will make you laugh and make you cry. It will make you want to jump on the first plane heading toward England. It's a good rom-com that you're sure to enjoy.



Friday, August 25, 2017

0 Review: The Scandal Of It All by Sophie Jordan


Sophie Jordan
July 25, 2017 Avon Books ISBN: 9780062463623
Available @ Amazon


Summary

It takes two to make a scandal…

What kind of woman ventures into London’s most notorious pleasure club? An outsider like Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, snubbed time and time again by society because of her Spanish roots. Ela longs to take a lover for a single, wild night, and within the walls of Sodom there are gentlemen to suit every forbidden taste. If only she were not so drawn to the smoldering Lord Strickland…a dangerous man who sees beyond her mask, and could ruin her reputation with a mere whisper.

Lord Strickland never permitted himself to fantasize about the sultry, off-limits lady, but then he never expected to find Ela in a place so wicked, looking for what he’s more than too happy to give. She may not be to the ton’s taste, but she suits him perfectly. First, however, he must convince her to trust in this dangerous desire—and in the promise of forever unleashed by one wild, scandalous night.

My Thoughts

After a daunting and hectic week, I was looking forward to a little down time over the weekend. The Scandal Of It All by Sophie Jordan had come in the mail during the week and I was looking forward to taking a weekend reading vacation with The Rogue File. It's the perfect book to escape into to forget one's troubles for a while.

Graciela (Ela) has just attended a funeral for a friend. It reminds her that life is short. After being widowed, she put all her efforts into her children. Now that they're almost grown, she feels the need to spread her wings. Her dear friend Mary Rebecca invites her to a notorious pleasure club, and Ela feels like this might be her chance to live life to the fullest. However, once there she realizes she might not be ready for all that Sodom has to offer, but before she can make her escape, she spots her stepson and must take her leave before he discovers her. 

And that's when Lord Strickland enters the picture. He's shocked to find Ela in such a place, but is eager to help this damsel in distress. Also, he's her stepson's best friend. Which is hella awkward for Ela. After a few close calls and one amazing kiss, she's able to leave Sodom. When Strickland offers to help her scratch her 'itch', she refuses. Strickland takes that as a challenge he's more than willing to accept.





There were several things that I liked about this book. The first is that the heroine is a bit older than the hero. That's not something you see every day in romance. It made for an interesting story and added to the complications of the couple. The second is the females in this story wanted to take control of their own sexuality. The third is I love the fact that Jordan doesn't write off her female character's lives as over once they've fulfilled their 'duty'.

This is a great book to escape into when you've had enough of the world. It's an easy, fast-paced read that will leave you satisfied.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

0 Review: The Frozen Hours


The Frozen Hours by Jeff Shaara
Ballantine Books |  May 23, 2017 |  9780345549228

Summary

June 1950. The North Korean army invades South Korea, intent on uniting the country under Communist rule. In response, the United States mobilizes a force to defend the overmatched South Korean troops, and together they drive the North Koreans back to their border with China.
But several hundred thousand Chinese troops have entered Korea, laying massive traps for the Allies. In November 1950, the Chinese spring those traps. Allied forces, already battling stunningly cold weather, find themselves caught completely off guard as the Chinese advance around the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. A force that once stood on the precipice of victory now finds itself on the brink of annihilation. Assured by General Douglas MacArthur that they would be home by Christmas, the soldiers and Marines fight for their lives against the most brutal weather conditions imaginable--and an enemy that outnumbers them more than six to one.
The Frozen Hours tells the story of Frozen Chosin from multiple points of view: Oliver P. Smith, the commanding general of the American 1st Marine Division, who famously redefined defeat as "advancing in a different direction"; Marine Private Pete Riley, a World War II veteran who now faces the greatest fight of his life; and the Chinese commander Sung Shi-Lun, charged with destroying the Americans he has so completely surrounded, ever aware that above him, Chairman Mao Tse-Tung watches his every move.
Written with the propulsive force Shaara brings to all his novels of combat and courage, The Frozen Hours transports us to the critical moment in the history of America's "Forgotten War," when the fate of the Korean peninsula lay in the hands of a brave band of brothers battling both the elements and a determined, implacable foe.

Steve's Thoughts


Everything I knew about the Korean War came from M.A.S.H before reading this book. This book really put that knowledge into perspective. While M.A.S.H did show some of the drama and brutality of what the soldiers witnessed and partook in, it did so in a very sanitized environment. The use of these first-hand accounts to drive the story bring it to light and make it all the more real. Jeff Shaara is truly a master of his craft. This book has fueled my desire to learn more about the time surrounding the Korean War.

The story takes three very distinct and different perspectives: Oliver P. Smith, the commanding general of the American 1st Marine Division, Marine Private Pete Riley, and the Chinese commander, Sung Shi-Lun. These differing takes shows how this series of movements and battles over about a four-month time span affects the groups in diverse ways. They are called the “Frozen Chosin” because it was a brutal winter near and around the Chosin Reservoir. It was so cold that their water and rations would freeze solid. Many of the soldiers would lose extremities to frost bite.  

Shaara has an easy writing style that invites you to learn about and then relate to the characters in the story. He intertwines their back stories in such a way that it is seamless. It did take a bit for the story to get really going but once it did I did not want to put it down. I am a big fan of Shaara’s books. It began with he and his father’s Civil War series and now The Frozen Hours is just another excellent addition to his catalog.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

1 Anne Of The Island Audiobook Tour and Giveaway

Author: L.M. Montgomery

Narrator: Colleen Winton

Length: 8 hours 20 minutes

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press

Series: Anne of Green Gables, Book Three

Genre: Classics




Anne of the Island was published in 1915, seven years after the best-selling Anne of Green Gables, partly because of the continuing clamor for more Anne from her fans - a fan base that continues to grow today!
In this continuation of the story of Anne Shirley, Anne leaves Green Gables and her work as a teacher in Avonlea to pursue her original dream (which she gave up in Anne of Green Gables) of taking further education at Redmond College in Nova Scotia. Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane enroll as well, as does Anne's friend from Queen's Academy, Priscilla Grant. During her first week of school, Anne befriends Philippa Gordon, a beautiful girl whose frivolous ways charm her. Philippa (Phil for short) also happens to be from Anne's birthplace of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia. Anne, always the good scholar, studies hard, but she also has many life lessons. This book sees Anne leave behind girlhood to blossom into a mature young woman.

AudiblePost Hypnotic Press
➜Use the code Anne_VT17 to get 35% off downloads and CDs from Post Hypnotic Press.
Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) was a Canadian author best known Anne of Green Gables and the series of novels that book begins. The "Anne" of the books is Anne Shirley, an orphaned girl who comes to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert on their farm, Green Gables. Published in 1908, the book was an immediate success in Canada, the United States and beyond. It has been adapted multiple times to screen, stage, radio, and TV.

Anne Shirley made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following. Anne of Green Gables was ranked number 41 in "The Big Read," a survey of the British public by BBC to determine the "nation's best-loved novel" (not children's novel!). And a survey conducted by School Library Journal (USA) in 2012 ranked Anne of Green Gables number nine among all-time children's novels.
Anne of Green Gables was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery published 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays in her lifetime. Her work, diaries and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide. Mostly set in Prince Edward Island and locations within Canada's smallest province, the books made PEI a literary landmark and popular tourist site. Montgomery was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.
WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterest
Narrator Bio
Colleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer...and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honoured with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.












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1 Q&A With Nicholas Abdilla


Adam Exitus is the debut novel by Australia’s most exciting new science-fiction voice, Nicholas Abdilla and edited by award-winning author Chris Stead. It is also the first book in the Adam X series, a massive, immersive new universe in the tradition of epic space sagas like Star Wars, Hyperion and Imperial Radch, and inspired by authors like Timothy Zahn, Kevin J. Anderson, James Luceno and Michael Anderle. Filled with mystery, romance and heart-pounding action, it’s the best science-fiction book of 2017.


1. You've been been writing and drawing comics since the age of four. What authors/comic books inspired you the most growing up?
In terms of inspiration when I was a kid I remember MAD magazine being a huge influence. Growing up my dad would buy me the new issue every month, and most of my early comics emulated there work and was satirical in nature. Once I hit my teens it was all superheroes, my favorite being Spider-man comics which I still collect to this very day. But if we're talking actual writers who inspired me, it would have to be Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller. The work they did on Sandman and Sin City taught me comics as a medium didn't have to be just for kids. They wrote stories that were very deep and adult and made me want to spend my life doing the same.     

2. Adam Exitus is your first novel. How is writing a novel similar to/different from writing a comic book?
I have found writing a novel compared to writing a comic to be a different but equally rewarding. As a rule a speech bubble should never contain more than thirty words, so when you're creating a comic a lot of what you want to say ends up getting chopped and you really have to rely on your art to get the rest of the story across. As much as I enjoy it, it can be a challenging at times because once the panels are drawn there is very little wiggle room in how you tell your story. If you have a new idea you want to add later you now have space restrictions that don't allow change. I think that's why I enjoyed writing my first novel so much. It gave me a freedom to my storytelling I've never known before. Going over the story over and over, fine tuning it until it feels just right was very satisfying and I am extremely proud of the end result. That's why I think I will continue writing novels for the foreseeable future.  

3. Tell us a little bit about Adam.
The best way I can describe Adam is: ordinary man, extraordinary circumstance. He's a normal guy who finds himself if this bizarre situation and just wants what anyone would want if they were in his shoes. He wants to go home. That's essentially what his story is about. A journey home. With a few twists and turns on the way.

4. When you're not writing or creating comic books and or novels, what do you do?
When I'm not writing or drawing I enjoy movies, reading -both novels and comics- and playing video games. Pretty much any medium that can tell a story I have an interest in.

5. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I guess I would advise them to write whatever they feel like and not to get bogged down with whether or not what they're writing will actually make money or get published. Writing is a great way to express oneself but that doesn't mean everything written is meant to be a bestseller. The more stories you write the more experience you gain and the more chance you'll stumble across that one great character that resonates with you and others. Write because you love it, not to make a fortune.  



Nick:

Old Mate Media:

Adam Exitus – Book One: Adam X buy links
Kindle and Paperback: http://geni.us/AdamExitusK     

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

1 Play Right By Me Audiobook Tour. Check out an excerpt and enter to win an Amazon Echo Dot

Title: Play Right By Me

Author: Patrice Wilton

Narrator: Rita Page

Length: 8h 6m

Publisher: Patrice Wilton

Series: Paradise Cove, Book 3

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Play Right by Me is a new riveting romance that will steal your heart and make you sigh with pleasure.

Brittany Holmes, heartbroken and pregnant, leaves the touring dance troupe and the glamorous life she led in Miami for home in Paradise Cove. Her mother and sisters are like a beacon at the end of the road, and their unconditional love and support is what her bruised heart craves.

Ashley Jordon Chase, New York advertising exec, is in Paradise Cove to pursue his lifetime dream of being a playwright. Family circumstances thwarted his earlier writing ambitions and his lucrative career doesn't satisfy him.

When Brittany loses her baby, Chase offers comfort. Having experienced the same tragedy in his first marriage he knows how devastating a miscarriage can be. Brittany hides her insecurities behind a wall, but Chase breaks past it to see her most vulnerable side. Their friendship becomes more, and she trusts that he won't let her down. Yet a family emergency pulls him away, leaving her alone. Again. Was she a fool to let him into her heart? Or can they turn their brief affair into a lifetime of love?










Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about.
Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages.
She is a mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters and one grandson, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience.
She has twenty-five books published on Amazon, and is a NY Times and USA Today best selling author.



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Aug. 11th: Spunky 'N Sassy

Aug. 12th: CGB Blog Tours

Aug. 13th: From the TBR Pile


Aug. 15th: A Book and A Latte


Aug. 17th: Between the Coverz

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

0 Review: Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt


Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt
Berkley Hardcover; August 1, 2017
9780425281789

Summary

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree... 

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky. 

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again and succeeds in a brazen hospital room attack. 

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person and she's not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage..."


My Thoughts


Afton Tangler is a family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department. She's got great instincts and hopes to become a detective one day. On a ride-along with her partner Max Montgomery, she unexpectedly gets pulled into a murder investigation when a helicopter carrying a heart for a wealthy client explodes. Almost as soon as the investigation begin, bodies start to pile up. Afton soon finds herself the center of the murder's attention, putting her family in danger.

Shadow Girl is told from different perspectives of both the good and bad guys.You might think that would spoil the story, but it didn't. It was interesting seeing the actions of both sides and wondering when the characters and story lines would collide. 

Overall, I did like this book, but I had a hard time connecting with the story in the beginning. Shadow Girl started off with a bang, but then the pacing seemed to slow down. As the police start gathering evidence and flushing out their suspects, the pace picks up again. It took around 100 pages before I was fully invested in the story. I'm glad I stuck with it because the ending was pretty exciting.

Shadow Girl is the second novel in the An Afton Tangler Thriller series. Don't worry if you didn't read the first novel, Little Girl Gone. This novel can be read as a standalone. And if you're looking for a good thriller to get you through the lazy, hazy days of summer, this might just be the book for you.




Friday, August 11, 2017

0 AudioBook Tour: Anne of Avonlea Excerpt and Giveaway

Author: L.M. Montgomery

Narrator: Colleen Winton

Length: 9 hours 5 minutes

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press

Series: Anne of Green Gables, Book Two

Genre: Classics




Following Anne of Green Gables (1908), this book covers the second chapter in the life of Anne Shirley. We learn of Anne's doings from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school. It includes many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, as well as new ones: Mr. Harrison and his foul-mouthed parrot, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora (sweet and well behaved) and Davy (mischievious and in constant trouble). Anne matures, slightly, but she gets into a number of her familiar pickles, as only Anne can: She accidentally sells her neighbor's cow (having mistaken it for her own), gets stuck in a broken duck house roof while peeping into a pantry window, and more.

AudiblePost Hypnotic Press
➜Use the code Anne_VT17 to get 35% off downloads and CDs from Post Hypnotic Press.
Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) was a Canadian author best known Anne of Green Gables and the series of novels that book begins. The "Anne" of the books is Anne Shirley, an orphaned girl who comes to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert on their farm, Green Gables. Published in 1908, the book was an immediate success in Canada, the United States and beyond. It has been adapted multiple times to screen, stage, radio, and TV.

Anne Shirley made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following. Anne of Green Gables was ranked number 41 in "The Big Read," a survey of the British public by BBC to determine the "nation's best-loved novel" (not children's novel!). And a survey conducted by School Library Journal (USA) in 2012 ranked Anne of Green Gables number nine among all-time children's novels.
Anne of Green Gables was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery published 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays in her lifetime. Her work, diaries and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide. Mostly set in Prince Edward Island and locations within Canada's smallest province, the books made PEI a literary landmark and popular tourist site. Montgomery was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.
WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterest
Narrator Bio
Colleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer...and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honoured with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.












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