Friday, March 31, 2017

0 Review: Shakespeare Retold

Author E. Nesbit
Publisher: Harper
Published: October 18, 2016
Hardcover, 128 pages
ISBN: 9780062404534
Genre: Children's Fiction
Source: Publisher


A beautifully illustrated collection of prose retellings of seven Shakespeare plays will bring the Bard to life for young readers. Not only is this a beautiful keepsake edition, full of gorgeous illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo, but the prose retellings by beloved classic children’s book author E. Nesbit are an excellent tool to introduce children to the complex language of Shakespeare.

A foreword by John Lithgow touches on his own childhood as a Shakespearean actor and the importance of Shakespeare. The book contains extensive support materials, including a biography, a timeline of Shakespeare’s life, and further recommended readings.

In this volume, you will find:

Romeo and Juliet
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Twelfth Night
The Tempest
Much Ado About Nothing

My Thoughts

After a day of visiting Shakespeare's house E. Nesbit took great joy in telling her children all about The Bard. As they were looking over a book of his famous plays, the children quickly became disillusioned after reading a few pages. The children had a hard time understanding the words that Shakespeare used. So, in an effort to help the children understand, she told the story of A Midsummer's Night's Dream in her own words, After she had finished telling the tale, the children were delighted. They encouraged Nesbit to write the story in her own words so that they might understand them better. And she did. Which is why we have the wonderful book: Shakespeare Retold.

I read this book to my children when they were younger. Not this edition, of course, but I wish it had been. This beautiful book has a forward from John Lithgow. He talks about his history with Shakespeare. He spent his summers around an outdoor festival where his father would produce Shakespeare's plays. The plays became the story of his childhood and no doubt influenced his desire to be an actor. In addition to John Lithgow's introduction, this book is also illustrated by the illustrious Antonio Javier Caparo, who has lent his talents to many other children's books. His illustrations make a wonderful addition to this book.

E. Nesbit has written many wonderful books for children. My favorite is The Railway Children. I can't imagine someone other than E. Nesbit writing these stories. She does a fantastic job making these plays accessible to the young. She writes in a plain, easy-to-understand style that children will understand. This book includes: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, and Much Ado About Nothing. This book will expose children to Shakespeare's timeless plays and hopefully foster a lifelong love for The Bard. Shakespeare Retold is a treasure! 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

0 5 Books From @Harper360 That Will Make You Want To Stay In And Read All Summer

Just when you thought your tbr pile couldn't get any bigger from all the books coming out this summer from Dey Street BooksWilliam Morrow PaperbacksAvon and Voyager, and Harper, Harper 360 waltzes in with a few amazing titles of their own. 

Release Date: May 23, 2017

Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problem run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?

Alexandra Adornetto
Release Date: June 27, 2017

The edge-of-your seat powerful conclusion to GHOST HOUSE.

In the sequel to the page-turning GHOST HOUSE, Alexander Reade turns up at Sycamore High not remembering how he got there. But worse, he doesn't remember Chloe Kennedy and believes he has come back to search for his lost love Isobel.

Chloe soon realizes that Alex needs her help surviving in the modern world. With his looks and the way he speaks, it's as though he's from another century. Which he is. In fact Alex has been dead for 157 years, but that doesn't change how Chloe feels about him.

Chloe begins to experiences dreams that take her to a past life and realizes they are linked to Isobel. But when Isobel appears, Alex and Chloe must accept that the past and the present have collided. Chloe is being hunted by Isobel, who is just as vengeful as ever and out to destroy any bond between Alex and Chloe.

And she will do so - no matter the cost.

Lisa Hall
Release Date: May 9. 2017

Don’t. Trust. Anyone.
It was supposed to be a fresh start.

A chance to forget the past and embrace the future. But can you ever really start again?

Or does the past follow you wherever you go?

Steph and Mark have just moved house, trying to find a way forward after all the secrets, lies and betrayal.

But starting over isn’t always easy. Especially when someone will go to any lengths to make sure you never forget…

Release Date: May 23, 2017

Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.

Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.

Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.
Alice thinks Clare is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.

One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac.
Two sisters. One truth.

Felicity Everett
Release Date: August 8, 2017

Have you met them yet, the new couple?

When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara's street seem dull by comparison.

When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another's houses.

And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they've no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them...

Have you met The People at Number 9? A dark and delicious novel about envy, longing and betrayal in the suburbs...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

0 International bestseller Jill Mansell weaves a heartwarming tale of love, family, and friendship in her latest novel + a #giveaway

Title: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
Author: Jill Mansell
Pub Date: May 2, 2017

International bestseller Jill Mansell weaves a heartwarming tale of love, family and friendship in her latest novel

1. A brief encounter that could have become so much more…if only everything were different
2. Step-sisters, bitter rivals in every area except one—by unbreakable pact neither will ever steal a man from the other
3. A love triangle that starts out as a mess of secrets and mix-ups, and only gets worse from there

Friendship, family ties, crossed wires and self-discovery, second chances and first impressions

Welcome to Jill Mansell’s blustery seaside world. Once you step inside, you’ll never want to leave!

With over 10 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny, poignant and romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Jojo Moyes. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England.

Buy Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Jill Mansell book bundle and a British summer tumbler


Much of the beach was busy, but Belle made her way to the quieter section and found a peaceful spot where she could sit and think without being disturbed.
With her bags and the bunch of lilies resting beside her, she wrapped her arms around her knees and surveyed the shoreline of Beachcomber Bay. The tide was receding, and small children with buckets and spades were excitedly searching the clean wet sand for uncovered shells, fascinating pebbles and comical crabs. Two dogs, a golden retriever and a mink-gray whippet, were bounding around together in the shallows.
OK, back to Ronan and Clemency. Well, well, when had this happened? Had they been hiding it from her last Friday evening at the Mermaid?
And if so, how much longer had they been planning on keeping it a secret?
Plus, how was it making her feel?
This was a tricky one to sort out. Did she feel jealous?
Did she have the right to feel jealous? Probably not, but it didn’t make any difference; the emotions were the same either way. Once you had that sibling rivalry thing ingrained in you, it was hard to let it go.
Belle puffed a strand of hair out of her eyes, keeping her arms clasped around her knees in order to hold her skirt in place and remain decent. It was one of those weird beach-etiquette things; if you were wearing a tiny bikini, fine. But if you happened to be dressed in a collared shirt and stripy knee-length skirt, you wouldn’t dream of flashing your knickers. Even if they were super-expensive pink silk ones from La Perla.
The dogs were chasing after a ball now, barking with excitement as they cavorted through the waves. A toddler, his face splashed by their antics, let out a wail of protest. An athletic-looking young woman in a slate-gray bikini skipped and swerved to avoid the two dogs as she ran along the shoreline. Seconds later, she passed a group of teenage boys, one of whom wolf-whistled in youthful appreciation. The young woman ignored the whistle and jogged past them, her blond ponytail bouncing jauntily with each step.
Belle closed her eyes and pictured Ronan the first time she’d ever seen him. It had been soon after he’d moved to St. Carys in order to take up his new job with Gavin Barton. Word had spread rapidly around town, of course it had, that the new arrival was a twenty-four-year-old with looks, charisma, and a decided way with the ladies. Belle, however, had assumed he wouldn’t be her type; apart from anything else, he was from a working-class background, and why on earth would she be interested in a boy like that?
Until she’d seen him for the first time a week later, playing a game of pool at the Mermaid, and against all odds her interest had been piqued, because he was pretty and he exuded fun and sometimes your brain chose not to care about working-class backgrounds and simply thought: Ooh, he’s nice.
Which had been embarrassing in one way and confusing in another. But at the same time it had been a complete thrill. A fresh challenge was always good.
As an attractive twenty-one-year-old from a wealthy family, Belle had been accustomed to getting any boy she wanted. She’d expected to get Ronan. But it had never happened, which had been both puzzling and annoying. For some reason he hadn’t been interested in her. Which had naturally had the effect of keeping her interested in him.
Belle knew perfectly well that if they’d gone out together for a few weeks, the novelty would have worn off and they’d have drifted apart—because that had been the recurring pattern of her relationships up until then. But it hadn’t had a chance to happen, which was why the weird crush had continued unabated. She’d never had the opportunity to get it out of her system.
And now this.
Taking out her phone, she texted Clemency.
Where are you?
As soon as the text had been sent, she was overcome with impatience and scrambled to her feet. Collecting up her bags, her discarded shoes and the bunch of lilies in their tissue paper wrapping, she dusted the sand off her palms and made her way back up the beach to the stone steps that led to the Esplanade. It was only five minutes from here to the real estate agency, so she may as well head over there now.
The text arrived less than thirty seconds later, and she stopped in her tracks, fumbling for the phone she’d tucked into the narrow side pocket of her handbag. In the struggle to reach it, the bag’s leather strap slid off her shoulder and the expensive calla lilies slithered sideways, causing her to double over in order to catch them before they landed headfirst in the soft, dry—
Woomph! Something thudded into Belle’s side, knocking her off balance and sending her crashing to the ground. She let out a shriek of alarm, the lilies went flying, and so did her shoes as she sprawled on the sand. For a split second she thought it was a mugger, about to make off with her bag and everything in it.
“Oh God, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Are you OK?”
It wasn’t a mugger. It was the girl in the slate-gray bikini, who’d careered straight into her. Mortified at how idiotic she must look, Belle said furiously, “Well, that’s the stupidest question I ever heard. Do I look as if I’m OK?”
“I meant are you hurt?”
Was everyone watching? Were they all laughing at her? Belle stumbled clumsily to her feet, shrinking away as the girl reached out to try and help her up. “I’m not hurt.”
“Oh, thank goodness. Sorry again. It was all my fault.” Belle glanced at her in disbelief, because of course it was all her fault. Who else could possibly be to blame?
“I was timing myself, you see.” The girl tapped a gadget on her left wrist. “Trying to beat my record. It’s harder to run on soft sand, so I checked the coast was clear, then put my head down and just went for it.”
“You didn’t see me at all?” Still furious, Belle dusted sand off her skirt then watched as the girl hastily retrieved her scattered bags and handed them back to her.
“Of course I saw you, but I thought you were heading for the steps. I thought you’d be long gone by the time I reached this bit; I didn’t know you were going to stop dead…but of course, I should have been looking where I was going. I’m an idiot.” As she handed over the lilies, the girl fixed her steady light-blue gaze on Belle. “I’m really sorry.”
Belle looked away first and gave the kind of angular, dismissive shrug that signaled their unwelcome encounter was at an end. “OK. Bye.”

Monday, March 27, 2017

0 Flowers, Brontes, and Painting: Last Week In Review (41)

Last week was a pretty good week. I want to start with Things I Watched last week because I took my daughter to see Beauty and the Beast! It was awesome. If you have the chance, go see it!!! Triple exclamation points because that's how badly I want you to see it.

Also, I watched To Walk Invisible Sunday on PBS. I thought it was really good. I'm not sure if Anne Bronte would have like it, though. It's probably available for streaming on PBS in case you missed it or you just want to watch it again. It made me want to learn more about this talented family.

And last, but not least, I watched another episode of The Mindy Project. The last few episodes have been good. So, for now, the breakup is off.

What I Read

Last week, I read two books: A Death By Any Other Name and 84, Charing Cross Road. I posted my review of A Death By Any Other Name last Friday. Click here if you want to read it. I read 84, Charing Cross Road over the weekend. It a short but endearing read. 

What I'm Currently Reading

I started a few books this weekend as well. There are so many books on my TBR and I want to read them all with the same urgency. So here are the books I started.

From the best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks--writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer.

Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles--and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. 

And from a different notebook: the "California Notes" that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage, all of which would appear later in her acclaimed 2003 book, Where I Was From. 

Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and mostly elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building, and despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband takes a shine to them.

Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant—and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavets' circle is not what it seems...

What will 21st century fiction look like?

Acclaimed literary critic Adam Kirsch examines some of our most beloved writers, including Haruki Murakami, Elena Ferrante, Roberto Bolano, and Margaret Atwood, to better understand literature in the age of globalization.

The global novel, he finds, is not so much a genre as a way of imagining the world, one that allows the novel to address both urgent contemporary concerns -- climate change, genetic engineering, and immigration -- along with timeless themes, such as morality, society, and human relationships. Whether its stories take place on the scale of the species or the small town, the global novel situates its characters against the widest background of the imagination. The way we live now demands nothing less than the global perspective our best novelists have to offer.

I'm still reading/listening to The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray.

The man. The movies. The life. The legend. He’s played a deranged groundskeeper, a bellowing lounge singer, a paranormal exterminator, and a grouchy weatherman. He is William James “Bill” Murray, America’s greatest national treasure. From his childhood lugging golf bags at a country club to his first taste of success on Saturday Night Live, from his starring roles in Hollywood blockbusters to his reinvention as a hipster icon for the twenty-first century, The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray chronicles every aspect of his extraordinary life and career. 
He’s the sort of actor who can do Hamlet and Charlie’s Angels in the same year. He shuns managers and agents, and he once agreed to voice the lead in Garfield because he mistakenly believed it was a Coen Brothers film. He’s famous for crashing house parties all over New York City—and if he keeps photobombing random strangers, he might just break the Internet.
Part biography, part critical appreciation, part love letter, and all fun, this enormous full-color volume, packed with color film stills and behind-the-scenes photography, chronicles every Murray performance in loving detail, recounting all the milestones, legendary “Murray stories,” and controversies in the life of this enigmatic performer.

Other Things I've Done

Spring is in the air. The temperature outside has warmed to a comfortable degree. Blue skies can be seen. And it's made me want to clean. Yes, that's right. The cleaning bug has hit me . . . hard. One thing I've done and am currently finishing up, I've put off for more than a year, is painting my bedroom. Well, my husband is the one actually painting. But I've helped with moving furniture, cleaning said furniture, and organizing room. I wish I had taken before pictures because the difference is huge. 

I've also started organizing my house room by room. Everyday, or every few days, I pick a room and get busy. <insert sarcastic voice here> The kids are super excited! <end of sarcasm> In truth, I don't love cleaning, but I love the way everything looks after it's done. So that's my motivation. 

I'm also trying to enjoy the weather, when it's good. I love the spring. I love having the windows open. I love reading a book out of doors. It's such a refreshing thing after the gloomy winter.

That's it for last week. What do you like doing in the spring? 

Friday, March 24, 2017

0 Review: A Death By Any Other Name

Minotaur Books 
March 14, 2017


The elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, investigate a murder among a group of amateur rose-breeders while the idyllic English summer days count down to the start of the First World War.

When Mrs. Jackson receives a visit from a cook who believes she was an indirect witness to murder from a poisoned dish of breakfast kedgeree Lady Montfort promises to do what she can to clear the cook’s name, and contrives an invitation to Hyde Castle, the home of a self-made millionaire, to investigate a murder of concealed passions and secret desires.

With the help of the invaluable Jackson Lady Montfort sets about solving the puzzle surrounding the death of the rose society’s most popular member and discovers a villain of audacious cunning among a group of mild-mannered, amateur rose-breeders.

While they investigate, the headlines bring news of the growing crisis in the Balkans following the assassination of.the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire. As each day brings more threatening news and the very real fear that Britain will be drawn into war, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson must race against the clock to solve the mystery before Britain declares on Germany.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson a few years ago in Tessa Arlen's first novel, Death of a Dishonerable Gentleman. They seemed to be the perfect duo to solve mysteries. Right up there with Holmes and Watson. Lady Montfort has a keen mind and feels a duty to right certain wrongs. Mrs. Jackson takes pleasure in working for an illustrious family. Though she thinks Lady Montfort shouldn't really get involved in other people's affairs, she'd do anything to help her. And, of course, Mrs. Jackson's acute attention to detail makes her a valuable asset to Lady Montfort. 

A Death By Any Other Name begins with a distraught, dismissed cook coming to Lady Montfort's home. The cook was dismissed after a guest died from food poisoning. She enlists the help of Lady Montfort who could turn her away. With the help of Mrs. Jackson, the two women visit the cook's previous residence to help clear her name with the guise of being rose enthusiasts. Once there, they soon discover that many of the guests have motives to want the gentleman, who may have died from food poisoning, dead. Not only is there a delicious murder to solve, the novel takes place on the cusp of the first world war.

Even though this is the third book in the Lady Montfort Mystery series, you could absolutely read this as a standalone. Though, I will warn you, once you read this book you won't rest until you've read them all. I had no sooner finished A Death By Any Other Name before I was checking to see when the fourth book would be available. So you see, it's clearly addictive. There are so many reasons I love this series: great characters, great plot, the time period, and, of course, there's nothing like a good whodunit. I can't wait to see what Arlen has in store for her characters in the fourth book. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

0 From Magpie Murders to Michael Crichton, your bookish summer just got made! @harperbooks ‏

Dey Street BooksWilliam Morrow Paperbacks, Avon and Voyager have some amazing titles coming out this summer. And just when you thought it can't get any better, Harper swoops in with a whole lot of bookish delights. From Murder to Michael Crichton, your bookish summer just got made! 

Release Date: June 6. 2017

From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.

Release Date: May 9. 2017

An award-winning writer makes her debut with this mesmerizing page-turner in the spirit of Everything I Never Told You and Olive Kitteridge.

Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives.

Skillfully interweaving multiple points of view, Bryn Chancellor knowingly maps the bloodlines of a community and the indelible characters at its heart—most notably Jess Winters, a thoughtful, promising adolescent poised on the threshold of adulthood. Evocative and atmospheric, Sycamore is a coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a moving exploration of the elemental forces that drive human nature—desire, loneliness, grief, love, forgiveness, and hope—as witnessed through the inhabitants of one small Arizona town.

Release Date: May 23, 2017

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition.  But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions.  With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic. 

Release Date: June 20, 2017

It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match. 

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

From the dreamy mountaintop village of Roseto Valfortore in Italy, to the vibrant streets of South Philly, to the close-knit enclave of Roseto, Pennsylvania, to New York City during the birth of the golden age of television, Kiss Carlo is a powerful, inter-generational story that celebrates the ties that bind, while staying true to oneself when all hope seems lost.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani’s consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia.

Release Date: August 1, 2017

Since the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson's father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family's land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather's betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising.

But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It's not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather's cruelty comes at the hand of her brother's arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.

Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.

With so many good titles to choose from, what books are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

0 Your summer will be even hotter with these titles from @Avonbooks and @HarperVoyagerUS

Last week, I shared some upcoming titles from Dey Street Books and William Morrow Paperbacks. Yesterday was the first day of spring, but today's going to feel like summer with these hot, new titles from Avon and Voyager. 

Hate To Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1)
Release Date: July 25, 2017

One night. No one will know.

That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts-and the last names that made them enemies.

Until the night she didn’t show up.

Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want…so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?

Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence–and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.

Being together might be against all the rules…but being apart is impossible.

Release Date: October 31, 2017

Set in New York City’s Gilded Age, Joanna Shupe’s Avon debut introduces an English beauty with a wicked scheme to win the man she loves—and the American scoundrel who ruins her best laid plans…

Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do. Nora seeks a mate so abhorrent, so completely unacceptable, that her father will reject the match—leaving her free to marry the artist she desires. Who then is the most appalling man in Manhattan? The wealthy, devilishly handsome financier, Julius Hatcher, of course….

Julius is intrigued by Nora’s ruse and decides to play along. But to Nora’s horror, Julius transforms himself into the perfect fiancé, charming the very people she hoped he would offend. It seems Julius has a secret plan all his own—one that will solve a dark mystery from his past, and perhaps turn him into the kind of man Nora could truly love. 

Release Date: August 8, 2017

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…

Police academy cadet Charlie Burns can’t believe his luck when the gorgeous blonde he meets in a bar murmurs those magic words: “Nothing serious, ’kay?” Mind-blowing, no-strings sex with Ever Carmichael—it’s the holy grail of hookups for a guy who’s too busy following in his law enforcement family’s footsteps to think about getting serious. Charlie’s all about casual…that is, until Ever calls it quits and his world tilts on its axis.

Ever knows that when you control the relationship game, you can’t get played. But for the first time, she wants more than short-term satisfaction. Step one: end her fling with commitment-phobic Charlie. Step two: sacrifice herself to the ruthless NYC dating scene. Yet everywhere she turns, there’s Charlie, being his ridiculously charming self. No online match or blind date compares to the criminally hot cop-in-training, but they’re over. Aren’t they?

If love is a four-letter-word, why does the idea of Ever seeing someone else tie Charlie up in knots? Now he’s desperate to win her back…and a little date sabotage never hurt anyone, right?

Release Date: March 28, 2017

In an unforgettable debut, Lisa Berne introduces you to the Penhallow Dynasty—men destined to marry, but hesitant to love.

Wealthy and arrogant, Gabriel Penhallow knows it’s time to fulfill his dynastic duty. All he must do is follow the 'Penhallow way': find a biddable bride, produce an heir and a spare, and then live separate lives. It’s worked so well for generations, certainly one kiss with the delectable Livia Stuart isn’t going to change things. Society dictates he marry her, and one chit is as good as another as long as she’s from a decent family.

But Livia’s transformation from an original to a mundane diamond of the first water makes Gabriel realize he desperately wants the woman who somehow provoked him into that kiss. And for all the ladies who’ve thrown themselves at him, it’s the one who wants to flee whom he now wants. But how will he keep this independent miss from flying away?

Maggie Shea King
 Release Date: September 12, 2017

From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classic The Handmaid's Tale and When She Woke.

China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritatian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.

Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family--one harboring an illegal spouse--shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear. 

Release Date: October 3, 2017

The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel—the opening installment in a thrilling quartet—a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope

A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.

But there are those who fight the Talisman's spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.

Finding a copy of The Bloodprint promises to be their most dangerous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal ex-slave and Arian’s former confidante and sword master—both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.

S.A. Chakraborty

When Nahri, a young con artist in eighteenth century Cairo, accidentally summons a powerful djinn warrior to her side, she finds herself drawn into the political machinations of the royal court of Daevabad, the ancient, magical city of brass. Descendant of a powerful family thought to be destroyed, blessed with the gift of healing, Nahri soon realizes her very presence threatens to reignite a centuries-old religious war between the feuding djinn tribes. Hoping to keep her head, she forms an alliance with a fiery prince who dreams of revolutionizing his father’s corrupt reign. But she soon learns that working with the enemy—even to make peace—can have deadly consequences. 

What titles are you looking forward to?

Monday, March 20, 2017

0 Murder, Mindy, and Spring In This Week's Last Week In Review (40)

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. We had nice, warm-ish weather here. My family and I were able to spend some time out of doors. I think I've been missing that a lot with the cold weather.

And in case you didn't know. Today's the first day of spring! 

I love spring. It's my favorite season. Fall is a close second, though.

Now, let's get to what I did last week. 

I finished two books: The Enemies of Versailles and Northanger Abbey. I reviewed The Enemies of Versailles on Friday. There's a giveaway included in the post. As of today, there's eleven days left to enter.                                                                                                     

Currently, I'm reading A Death By Any Other Name by Tessa Arlen. This is the third book in the Lady Montfort Mystery series. I'm a few chapters in and I love it! I have it scheduled to review for Friday. 

I didn't watch a lot of television last week. I continued with The Mindy Project. I know I was kinda wavering a few weeks ago whether I should continue to watch or not. Last week's episode was more on point with what I like about the show. It was relevant in today's current event and Mindy seemed more pulled together than in the past few episodes. Not that I mind silly Mindy. I don't like it when the character is 'dumbed down'. So, for now, I'll keep watching. 

Last week, I also shared some upcoming titles from Dey Street Books and William Morrow Paperbacks. Stay tuned this week as I share more from Harper Collins summer 2017 titles. 

My goal for this week is to get a little more organized and do a lot more reading. I've been doing a bit of spring cleaning while I've been listening to audio books. Which is another reason I love audio books. It makes cleaning more bearable. That's my week in review. How was yours? 

Have a great week! 

Don't forget to follow me on social media for more bookish things.

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