Wednesday, July 29, 2015

G594 Book Review of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts by KC Tansley

Name of Book: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts

Author: K.C. Tansley

ISBN: 978-1-943024-00-1

Publisher: Beckett Publishing

Type of book: Ghosts, time travel, Young adult, supernatural, romance, 1900s, curse, 2000s, Connecticut, wealth, secrets

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.

Characters:

The main characters include Kat, a psychic young woman who knows next to nothing about her father's side of the family. She is strong-willed and determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Another main character is Evan, who is a TA and who seems to annoy Kat a whole lot. He is intelligent, logical and open minded. Toria, in beginning, is a ghost who has helped Kat with a problem, but as a human she is outgoing, tomboyish, unpredictable and very protective of others. Alistair is Toria's friend and is best described as stubborn and intelligent. Yes, all characters have a purpose.

Theme:

Perhaps that time for right things will come

Plot:

The story is written in first person narrative from Kat's point of view, although towards the story, another character by name of Toria is talking in third person narrative. One thing that did bug me a little is the romance angle between Kat and someone else, and I also have to wonder at the accuracy of the way the characters lived back then, although one could think of that as an alternative universe. Other than that, a delightful and nostalgia-filled romp through time in more ways than one.

Author Information:
(From goodreads.com)

born
The United States 
gender
female

website

genre

influences
Richelle Mead, Charlaine Harris, Paige Shelton, Andrea Cremer, Laini T ...more

member since
February 2015



K.C Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and three quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them. 

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is the first book in her YA time-travel murder mystery series.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

Opinion:

From the start the story becomes intriguing with a young girl becoming haunted by ghosts and learning the consequences that come from them. I have to say that beginning wasn't really appealing, but the more the story went on, the more invested I became in it. When I was a teen/young adult, I loved reading Sweet Valley Twins and Friends Super Chiller books, and this book really took me to that time of nostalgia. If the author was going for that, then she has done a good job in creating the mystery and atmosphere of the story. About the story, I felt that nothing is really predictable and it managed to keep me on my toes while helping me experience the times of young adult without dumbing anything down.

This was given by Larissa from PR communications?

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G242 E-Reading Book Review of Trust: Pandora's Box by Cristiane Serruya (The Elegant and Intelligent Fifty Shades of Grey)

Name of Book: Trust: Pandora's Box

Author: Cristiane Serruya

ISBN: 9781489524508

Publisher: CreateSpace

Part of a Series: Trust Trilogy

Type of book: Erotica, marriage, trust, issues, England, realism, 2010-2011, plot, spy, Pandora's Box, philosophy, maturity, surprises, infertility, legends, family

Year it was published: 2014

Summary:

TRUST: PANDORA'S BOX, the last installment of the TRUST TRILOGY, follows Ethan, Alistair and Sophia as each one of them strives to live happily ever after. But a greedy man, who has uncovered the many secrets and wrong deeds committed by Ethan, Alistair and Sophia, realizes they could be worth millions. Many are invited to join his team. Each one has an agenda. Each one has a target. Things get out of control when Pandora's Box is opened and the demons are let loose. With so many enemies out for revenge, what will the future bring to Ethan, Alistair and Sophia? Eventually, wishes and nightmares come true... Will hope survive?
This book is the last installment of the TRUST TRILOGY and contains graphic sex scenes and mild violence. Indicated for mature audiences.

Characters:

The characters stayed the same but at the same time they changed realistically and became more of what they are: Sophia continues to be a strong-willed young woman who is determined to do the best she can for her daughter and for her husband. She struggles with placing burdens on those she loves and tries to maintain her sense of perfection. Alistair continues to be his charismatic self but at the same time he seemed to have thawed towards Sophia and Gabriella and tries to do whatever he can to let Gabriella and Sophia know how much they mean to him. Ethan, it seems, went through a lot of changes such as the fact he is okay with children, and he learned a lot of valuable lessons about himself and the way he treated people along the way. Barbara also went through some dramatic changes and I do hope that one day in a book she will discover real love.

Theme:

Through chaos there are good things too. Due to the title, I keep thinking of Pandora's Box, how Pandora opened it and out flew the ills of the world, and when she closed it, only one good thing remained: hope

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from a lot of characters' points of view. Like in the previous two books, there is little warning when she decides to switch from one point of view to another, at least in most cases, but there is separation between the main guys and the bad guys so to speak. I have to say that Ethan and Barbara really matured and grew in the story. While the story is about Sophia and Alistair, I do feel that Ethan, in particular, outshines them. It's a very worthy conclusion to Trust Trilogy and is fitting for what happened to the characters. I also felt as if I was coming back home whenever I started to read the book.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil April 25, 1970

gender
female

website
http://cristianeserruya.com.br

twitter username
CrisSerruya

genre
Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit

influences
Classic literature, historical romance

member since
November 2012

I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with my husband and two daughters. I'm a lawyer, who specializes in cases of sexual abuse and violence against children and women. I also have a Masters in Business Law and a BA in Fine Arts.

I've always loved to read, write and listen to music. I lived and studied in England, France, Italy and Switzerland. Traveling is one of my passions - as is keeping fit and healthy.

After twenty-two years of practicing law, I decided to give writing a go. And - amazingly - it was just the piece that was missing in my life.

Opinion:

First of all, I'm sorry that I'm pretty late with this review. I have previously read the unedited version, and now I've started and finished reading the edited version. I do feel that the edited version is a whole lot better than the unedited version because Ethan grows in very unexpected ways and he doesn't feel or seem to be cast-off as with unedited version. Although he was a bit of a douchebag in previous books, I have to say that in this one he seemed to grow on me again and I felt pity and sadness for the child he used to be. Sophia and Alistair continue their various struggles realistically and a lot of unexpected surprises-pleasant and unpleasant-come their way, yet through it all, their love survives. I do admit that the spy plot of the story made a bit more sense to me and that also there was a lot of mystery as to who's who and why. The strong points in the story, in my opinion, were the characters and the fact that a lot of unexpected characters were three dimensional and given more room to grow.

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

G615 Book Review of The Tide Watchers by Lisa Chaplin

Name of Book: The Tide Watchers

Author: Lisa Chaplin

ISBN: 978-0-06-237912-2

Publisher: William Morrow

Type of book: 1802-1803, Spying, running away, England vs France, Napoleon Bonaparte, wars, conquering, inventor, submarine machine, family ties and bonds, slight romance, abuse, murders, sadism

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

n the winter of 1803, one woman stands between Napoleon and the fall of Great Britain

The free-spirited daughter of an English baronet, Lisbeth defies convention by eloping to France. When her husband abandons her, she must find a way to survive and be reunited with her young son, who is in the care of her mother-in-law.

A seasoned spy known as Tidewatcher, Duncan apprenticed under Lisbeth's father and pledged to keep his mentor's pretty daughter safe—a promise complicated by the wily Napoleon Bonaparte. The British believe he is planning an attack, and Duncan is sent to search for signs of invasion on the French coast—where he draws dangerously close to adventurous and unpredictable Lisbeth.

A sensational new invention may shift the tide of a French victory. A brilliant and eccentric American inventor named Robert Fulton has devised a deadly weapon that can decimate an enemy's fleet. To protect English ships, Tidewatcher must gain control of Fulton's invention and cross enemy lines . . . but he cannot do it alone. Left with no other options, he enlists Lisbeth's help in outwitting the American inventor and uncovering Bonaparte's secret plans.

Going undercover for the handsome and duty-bound spy, Lisbeth risks her freedom and her life as she navigates double agents and submarine warfare to outwit the greatest military tactician in history. The only question is . . . who can she trust?

Characters:

The main characters would be Lisbeth, Duncan, Duncan's two half brothers, and a lot of others. Lisbeth is a resourceful, fearless and battered woman who is seeking to be reunited with her son and to get away from her husband. What is cool about the character is that she is truly a lady of 1800s, but somehow she feels modern and easy to relate to. She also doesn't give up and will go through hell to get her child back. Duncan is a mysterious dark character that is sent to either bring back Lisbeth as well as to spy and find out what is going on. In beginning of his life he is a lonely individual and doesn't really get close to people, preferring to push them away. He is also resourceful but doesn't have the magic touch of charisma that Lisbeth does. He also has a big heart and cannot express himself easily. Duncan's two half brothers also play a role as well as many officers and people who work for Duncan. But I do think those people weren't main characters.

Theme:

Women are strong if not stronger than men

Plot:

From beginning to almost an ending, I felt very lost in a book, as if I was navigating through a forest without a compass by my side. I didn't understand how the plots and stories connect with one another, and only towards the end I had an inkling of the connection. The stories were written in third person narrative point of view, from what seemed to be all the characters' points of views, which seemed messy for me. I liked that there was a character sheet in beginning of the book, and that one could look up who's whom, but in one case, in Camelford's as he is referred to by dozens of characters throughout the novel, perhaps a nickname should have been used so it could be easy locating him.

Author Information:
(From TLC)

Add to Goodreads badge
Purchase Links

About Lisa Chaplin

Lisa Chaplin has published twenty contemporary romances under a pseudonym, but the publication of The Tide Watchers marks her mainstream debut. Lisa, her husband, and their three children currently reside in her home country of Australia.
Follow Lisa on Twitter.

Opinion:

To be honest, if I did things in halves, it would be 3.5 stars, very close to 4 stars. There are a lot of things I enjoyed when it came to Tidewatchers such as an admirable and strong heroine who isn't daunted by anything and who also seems to be very likable; I also liked the attention and detail that was paid to history, and I enjoyed learning more about the 1800s history. With that being said, I feel there are a few things that could have been worked on such as the spying details. I liked learning about spying in 1800s, but I was very confused as to why they were spying and doing what they were doing. Some of the plots also didn't seem to connect, in particular the role of Lisbeth's friend spending time with Napoleon. I really don't get why or how Lisbeth's friend was helping her. Also, although I enjoyed the romance between Lisbeth and Duncan, I honestly feel as if a major issue was really glossed over and not really talked about simply for the sake of having a happy ending. And yes, I do think that Lisbeth should have been with someone else.

This is for TLC Book Tours

Lisa’s Tour Stops

Wednesday, July 1st: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, July 6th: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, July 8th: Walking With Nora
Thursday, July 9th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, July 13th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, July 16th: Broken Teepee
Friday, July 17th: Lavish Bookshelf
Monday, July 20th: Book Him Danno!
Tuesday, July 21st: Mom’s Small Victories
Friday, July 24th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

G602 Book Review of '89 Walls by Katie Pierson

Name of Book: '89 Walls

Author: Katie Pierson

ISBN: 978-1-940014-55-5

Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing

Type of book: Multiple sclerosis, abortion, liberal views, conservative, 1989, politics, government policies and rules, euthanasia, Cold War dampening down

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

Characters:

The main characters include Seth and Quinn. Quinn claims to be a Republican and is more of a conservative, although her family do have liberal views. She is not certain of what she wants to do and comes from a family that used to be farmers and took care of themselves, advocating government that stays away from their business. Seth is a liberal guy who has a mom that has MS and also has a crush on Quinn. In classes he tends to be quiet although he has a very snarky commentary inside his mind.

Theme:

I honestly have no idea what the theme is: how present relates to history perhaps?

Plot:

The story is written in third person narrative from Quinn's and Seth's points of view. While I did appreciate that this time its the boy who seemed new to intimacy and not the girl, I have to say that a lot of politics were over my head and I was very confused about what the message of the story should have been. Politics play a huge role in the book because the characters constantly talk and analyze about them, but it often seems that very little gets done when it comes to politics or trying to make a world better place.

Author Information:
(From Pump Up Your Book Blog)

Katie PiersonKatie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.
For More Information

For More Information


Opinion:

From the start, I sensed and thought it would be like Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell because its Nebraska, takes place in 1980's, and the language and the cover reminded me of Eleanor and Park. But its not Eleanor and Park. The cover, while good, doesn't really hint at the turmoil and how controversial issues are brought up and handled. First of all I had no idea that the story would contain abortion and brief description of abortion that someone went through, and I also was confused by the politics that were going on as well as the characters' points of view on them. I also feel that there was way too much for a 240 page book, and I really didn't appreciate the way one of the colored male characters was handled and written. The big thing that killed my rating for the story is abortion. Also as well, the beginning and ending of the book are well written and told, but the middle, on the other hand, dragged on and on. Also, its pretty cool that the characters like pop music instead of rock music. (I love pop songs)

This is for Pump Up Your Book Tours


3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, July 20, 2015

G619 Book Review of The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

Name of Book: The Sunrise

Author: Victoria Hislop

ISBN: 978-0-06-239609-9

Publisher: Harper

Type of book: 1972-1975, future, Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot, riot, fighting, surviving, wealth, expense, gender roles, Cyprus Famagusta, hotel, affair, rape

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

Internationally bestselling author Victoria Hislop delivers a stirring novel set during the 1974 Cypriot coup d'état that tells the intersecting stories of three families devastated by the conflict. . .

Summer 1972—Famagusta is Cyprus's most desirable tourist destination in the Mediterranean. Aphroditi Papacostas and her husband, Savvas, own The Sunrise, a wildly successful new luxury hotel. Frequented by only the very wealthiest of Europe's elite, The Sunrise quickly becomes the place to see and be seen. Yet beneath the veneer of tranquil opulence simmers mounting hostility between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Years of unrest and ethnic violence come to a head when, in 1974, Greece's coup d'état provokes a Turkish attack on beautiful Famagusta.

The fallout sends the island's inhabitants spiraling into fear and chaos, and the Papacostases join an exodus of people who must abandon their idyllic lives in Famagusta and flee to refugee camps. In the end, only two families remain in the decimated city: the Georgious and the Özkans. One is Greek Cypriot, the other Turkish Cypriot, and the tension between them is palpable. But with resources scarce and the Turkish militia looming large, both families must take shelter in the deserted hotel as they battle illness, hunger, fear, and their own prejudices while struggling to stay alive.

The Sunrise is a poignant story about the measures we take to protect what we love.

Characters:

There are a lot of characters in The Sunrise, and all I know are basics about them; Aphroditi is the wealthy and gorgeous wife of Savvas who owns the hotel and he has very ambitious plans to go further. Savvas is best described as selfish who doesn't see how his actions hurt or affect those around him. Aphroditi is a bit more complex character that cares about appearances and wants to be equal with her husband in all footings instead of being seen as a trophy wife. Markos is the talented bartender on whom Savvas begins to rely more and more, but Savvas treats Markos as a workhorse rather than awarding him for his hard work. Markos also has many sides to him and is very manipulative who is not above in gaining money or revenge on those who wrong him. Other main characters such as Huseyin and the Ozkans and Georgious families are not well developed as those three characters.

Theme:

What can be promising can be brutally killed

Plot:

The story is written in third person narrative from a lot of characters' points of view, that of the Greek and Turkish families that resides on Cyprus, from Markos', Aphroditi's, Aphroditi's husband's? point of view and so forth. While the city of Famagusta and the island of Cyprus really came alive in the book, (any chance I can experience the world within The Sunrise?) The characters weren't as alive or fleshed out as I had hoped. Mainly I had hoped to understand Markos more, and at some points he really confused and frustrated me.

Author Information:
(From TLC)

Add to Goodreads badge
Purchase Links

About Victoria Hislop32517

Victoria Hislop is the internationally bestselling author ofThe Island and The Return. She writes travel features for the Sunday TelegraphMail on SundayHouse & Garden, and Woman & Home. She divides her time among rural Kent, London, and Crete. She is married and has two children.
Find out more about Victoria at her website and connect with her on Twitter.




Opinion:

What a gorgeously written book! In an odd way, it really reminded me Chasing the Sun by Natalie Sylvester, Also, after reading the novel, I really want to travel to the book's location and experience the world the way it was described in The Sunrise. The description and beginning scenes are the strongest points of the book and they were enough to draw me in and not let me go. However, I do feel that the characters, at least that of Markos, needs to be worked on more, and although I understood the consequences of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Riots as well as what it has done, I still do not really understand why the conflict occurred because we only catch glimpses of the people that are destined to be involved in the conflict while the main body of the people are victims. I also am confused about why some families decided to stay behind rather than escape? What I also had fun is figuring out Aphroditi and Markos. Aphroditi the goddess of love, and was heavily worshiped on the island of Cyprus, while Markos, interestingly, is the first book in the christian testament. (Markos being the Greek version of Mark) I am wondering if this is symbolism for supplanting the dominant culture?

This is for TLC Book Tours

Victoria’s Tour Stops

Wednesday, July 8th: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, July 9th: Novel Escapes
Friday, July 10th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Tuesday, July 14th: bookchickdi
Monday, July 20th: Bibliotica
Tuesday, July 21st: Lit and Life
Wednesday, July 22nd: she treads softly
Friday, July 24th: Raven Haired Girl
Friday, July 31st: Many Hats
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

G331 The Same Sky; A Traveler's Quest for redemption and peace

Title of the book: The Same Sky; A Traveler's Quest for redemption and peace

Author: Debbie Yee Lan Wong

Publisher: Createspace

Publishing Date: 2013

ISBN: 9781490997131

Summary:

After a painful breakup, a young Chinese Canadian packed her bag, a journal and a camera and went on a solo journey through Southeast Asia. Brokenhearted and needing to escape, she embarked on a three-month trip that took her from the ancient Buddhist temples of Tibet, to the heights of the Mt. Everest base camp, through the bustling markets of Laos, and to the peaceful hallways of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Along the way, as she navigated the difficulties of traveling alone, she encountered locals who have lived through war, poverty and political repression. Their moving stories of loss and resilience inspired her to reclaim her independence and rediscover peace and strength after a traumatic event.

A deeply personal story with universal resonance, The Same Sky will appeal to anyone with an interest in Southeast Asia, and particularly to women who have experienced the exhilaration and vulnerability of solo travel. It is the inspiring story of how a young woman at the lowest point of her life began to heal by facing the challenges of traveling alone and opening her heart to people across cultures.

Author Info:

(From back of the book)

Debbie Yee Lan Wong is a Chinese Canadian and has been a writer all her life, starting with a pocket size journal she kept as a child to writing stories as an adult about her overseas travels. Excerpts from her memoir have been published recently in Sound Literary and Art Book (SLAB) and Under the Sun literary journal.

She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a concentration in English literature at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She currently lives in New York City and when not writing, she is Training Director at a global communications firm.

Personal Opinion:

This review has been a very long time in coming, I'm only sorry that I hadn't finished and reviewed it earlier as I had hoped. I've never traveled to any of the countries that the author visited, but still, I was amazed at the way she captures the atmospheres in Tibet, Laos, and Cambodia; how these three countries come alive in her writing and at the unique and fascinating details that I learned about each of the countries and the resilience of the human spirit. What is also unique is that the author seems to take on a storytelling approach to the audience but she makes non-fiction fascinating and well constructed. It was actually a joy to read the book and to travel through her experiences and stories. If you are looking for a non-fictional story about self empowerment and self discovery through travel without great focus on romance, then I highly recommend this book.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Part XXVI: Why I will not Review Veronica Roth or Hunger Games

Part XXVI: Why I will not Review nor Read veronica roth or Hunger Games

For those that know me, I'm a story fanatic and often one can find all sorts of books on my blog from fiction to non-fiction and books that mix in different genres. Sometimes I review culturally popular books such as first book of Twilight, and E.L James' horrible series of abuse and domination that she claims is "romance" and "erotica." (Right, and I'm the wealthiest woman in the world-and richer than Christian Grey- if her books are actually romantic and are erotic...hmm where's my money?)

Despite the liberty I give to practically all the books I have, there are some books that will not see the light of day on my book review blog and here are my reasons why: As a high school junior or senior, I was introduced to Lord of the Flies, which, as people know, is about a stranded group of boys that are stranded on an island and it tends to be a blueprint for the dystopia fiction of today. I also was introduced to Ender's Game which I also disliked and found frustrating. Recently there are some exceptions that proved that I didn't completely detest the genres such as books by Christopher Pike, or The Invasion of Tearling by Erika Johansen and even Sally Ann Melia book titled Guy Erma and the Son of Empire. Also, due to my experiences with mainstream religion and something continuously being shoved down my throat to the point of forced vomiting, I also became defensive when it comes to reading christian fiction/non-fiction because my reaction to it is something akin to anger whenever I read or see really overt hints in literature about christianity.

So, you may be asking, where do Hunger Games and veronica roth come in? I'm not a prude to stories of violence or where death is, or even ones that have sexual scenes in them, thus its not because I'm objecting to violence or murder. (Also practically all of my book reviews are books that women authors wrote...) Simply put, Hunger Games turns me off because of the dystopia element and from previous history, I really, really, tend to dislike popular stories or books or even authors (Charles Dickens and boris pasternak anyone?) Also, just because something is insanely popular doesn't mean its good. I also think I'm not a huge fan of survival type stories because I recall trying to read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, and, well, while it had a big potential to be a good story, I still wasn't a big fan of it. May I be missing something important by skipping out on Hunger Games? Probably, but I'm sure that the lessons Hunger Games offers could be found in other stories as well.

The author, veronica roth, (yes, I'm doing that on purpose) is a different and complex story of why I refuse to read her or will not review her stories, not even for a trillion dollars. First is that sometimes what the author does or supports really affects their art. Its wrong to judge, but I'm sure that I'm not the only one that's doing it. After all, when last year an author, Kathleen Hale stalked a blogger for giving her book a negative review, how many will refuse to read or touch her books because of her actions? How about Orson Scott Card's negativity towards homosexuals and the fact that his book tends to border on homosexuality and vivid descriptions of naked boys showering? What did veronica roth do that causes me to shun her books? I don't agree nor endorse her decision to become a christian and the fact that everyone keeps saying her books are christian in nature and so forth, well, why should I read something that I know will upset me due to author's choices? Second story is the anti-intellectual bent that the stories are supposed to have. Before deciding to read something, I often go to goodreads.com and will read negative one star reviews of books and often ask myself, is this something I can handle? Reading reviews of veronica roth's books caused me to realize that no, its not something I can handle.

Its complicated being an intellectual, and its a lonely experience as well. I often end up feeling as if I have to care about topics that I don't really care for, that no one else reads or cares about various issues as I do, and that its rare to find someone who can understand you. And there is also a sort of shame about my own interests and hobbies as well because I cannot really talk to others about the books I am reading. Knowing that these are my experiences, why read something that will make me feel even worse about myself? From what I also read about the story's structure, I can imagine that if I should read it, it will drive me crazy as well. I like flashbacks, I like when things are explained midway through the book, not when you have to keep everything in your head, and then refer to the author's website to know who's who. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Spotlight for Lady Bornekova by Sara Turnquist'

02_The Lady BornekovaPublication Date: July 14, 2015 (tentative)
Publisher: Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press)
Format: eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Add to GR Button

The red-headed Karin is strong-willed and determined, something she inherited from her father. She tries to keep her true nature a secret to avoid being deemed a traitor by those loyal to the king. Karin and her father butt heads over her duty to her family and the Czech Crown. She is then sequestered to the Royal Viscount’s hunting lodge.

Not aware of everything that is happening, she becomes the target of an individual with murderous intent. Her heart soon becomes entangled though her father intends to wed her to another. The turmoil inside Karin deepens and reflects the turmoil of her homeland, on the brink of the Hussite Wars.


The Lady Bornekova Available at

Amazon


03_Sara Turnquist_AuthorAbout the Author

Sara resides with her family in Middle TN. Though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara's great love of the written word has always drawn her to write. An avid reader, she has been, for many years, what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write Historical Fiction. Sara has made several trips overseas to the Czech Republic for short stints in the summer over several years. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in the Czech town of Hradec Kralove.

For more information please visit Sara Turnquist's website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


The Lady Bornekova Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 6
Spotlight & Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, July 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Spotlight at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, July 8
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, July 10
Spotlight & Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book

Sunday, July 12
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, July 13
Review at Book Nerd
Excerpt at To Read, or Not to Read

Tuesday, July 14
Interview at Library Educated

Wednesday, July 15
Excerpt at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Thursday, July 16
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Monday, July 20
Guest Post at Unshelfish

Tuesday, July 21
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, July 22
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, July 24
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, July 27
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, July 28
Review at Genre Queen

Wednesday, July 29
Interview & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, July 30
Review at Bookramblings

Friday, July 31
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter


Giveaway

To enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Lady Bornekova


04_The Lady Bornekova_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Thursday, July 2, 2015

G620 Book Review of Sword of the Gladiatrix by Faith L Justice

Name of Book: Sword of the Gladiatrix

Author: Faith L Justice

ISBN: 9780692386491

Publisher: Raggedy Moon Books

Type of book: Kush, Celtic, Romans vs Celts, 60-62 ME, Nero, gladiators, sport, entertainment, animals, lesbians, romance, interracial relationship African female/Celtic female, fighting, Pompeii, trading, cheetahs

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

Two women. Two swords. One victor.

An action-packed tale that exposes the brutal underside of Imperial Rome, "Sword of the Gladiatrix" brings to life unforgettable characters and exotic settings. From the far edges of the Empire, two women come to battle on the hot sands of the arena in Nero's Rome: Afra, scout and beast master to the Queen of Kush; and Cinnia, warrior-bard and companion to Queen Boudica of the British Iceni. Enslaved, forced to fight for their lives and the Romans' pleasure; they seek to replace lost friendship, love, and family in each other's arms. But the Roman arena offers only two futures: the Gate of Life for the victors or the Gate of Death for the losers.

Characters:

The main characters include Afra and Cinnia. Afra comes Kush which is part of the land of Egypt and is a fierce and brave huntress as well as a fighter. She is loyal to those who care about her and will do anything for them. I have to say that out of the two, she is my favorite. Cinnia comes from the Celtic culture and although a warrior, I feel that not much is known about her personality besides the fact that she is loyal to the queen and is obedient. There are other characters who are drawn well, but they are not main, although I did like the trader and his wife.

Theme:

Love happens when you least expect it

Plot:

In beginning and end the story is told in first person narrative from Afra's point of view, while the middle is told in third person narrative from Afra's and Cinnia's points of view. One of the things that attracted me to reading and reviewing the book is the pitch of lesbian women gladiators, and the fact that recently gay marriage became legal in all states, it turned out to be a fitting and an unexpected choice to mark the event. However, I did have a few issues with the story, mainly that the romance between the two characters happened a little too fast and that if time passed, there are barely hints of it passing. But still I am curious about what will happen to the characters in the future.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)

Sword of the Gladiatrix Available At

Amazon (USUKCanada)
Barnes & Noble
CreateSpace (print only)
iBooks (ebook only)
Kobo (ebook only)
Smashwords (ebook only–all formats)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR02_Faith L. Justice_Author

FAITH L. JUSTICE writes award-winning novels, short stories, and articles in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Salon.com, Writer’s Digest, The Copperfield Review, the Circles in the Hair anthology, and many more. She is a frequent contributor to Strange Horizons, Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine, and co-founded a writer’s workshop many more years ago than she likes to admit. For fun, she digs in the dirt—her garden and various archaeological sites.
For more information visit Faith L. Justice’s website. You can also find her onFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Opinion:

I really enjoyed the attention that the author gives to historical details as well as creating an interesting and a plausible story of two women falling in love. The story is immersive and one is encouraged to keep going. However, what I did dislike about the story is that I was confused by how much time passed in the book, although I estimate that its about two years? And also, I didn't like the implication that gang rape of a woman leads to her becoming a lesbian, which is what I felt the book said. I know its not the author's intention because of the way Afra was portrayed, but prior to rape not once has Cinnia expressed that she is either a lesbian or a bisexual. In fact she sounds like a heterosexual woman, but after the gang rape, she is a lesbian.

This is for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Sword of the Gladiatrix Blog Tour

Monday, June 29
Guest Post at The Writing Desk
Tuesday, June 30
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Wednesday, July 1
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Thursday, July 2
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, July 3
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Saturday, July 4
Guest Post at I Heart Reading
Monday, July 6
Review at Book Nerd
Tuesday, July 7
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, July 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Thursday, July 9
Review at Genre Queen
Review at Boom Baby Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Guest Post & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Friday, July 10
Review at Bookramblings

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

G613 Book Review of Guy Erma and the Son of Empire Part Three Exile by Sally Ann Melia

Name of Book: Guy Erma and the Son of Empire Part Three Exile

Author: Sally Ann Melia

ISBN: 9781508959038

Publisher: Self published

Part of a Series: Guy Erma and the Son of Empire Series

Type of book: Science fiction, friendships, insects, plague, escape, alien/human relationship, disguises, different planets, young adult, class conflicts, proof, hidden secrets

Year it was published: 2014

Summary:

Thank God!

13-year-old Teodor has found a way to escape from kidnap, how long before he is safely home?
13-year-old Guy Erma has run away from everything he has even known and no longer knows what the future holds.
They escaped through dark tunnels and back alleys but they also discovered a hidden terror that now threatens their entire planet.
Two boys as different as two boys might be. Their adventure has forged an unexpected friendship, but do they really trust each other?
Dare they share their darkest, deepest secrets?

Characters:

Some of the main characters include Prince Teodor, an only child and an heir to the kingdom. He is best described as loyal, resourceful, a leader and charismatic as well as fierce and comfortable in whatever situation he finds himself at. Guy Erma is the more interesting character, at least for me. He shares in a lot of Prince Teodor's characteristics, but he is also ambitious, principled, and smart although a bit prejudiced. Karl II is a Valvanchi but he seems to be trying to redeem himself from the reputation that people bestowed upon him. While there are female main characters, in particular Nell and Teo's mom, I feel that Teo's mom, Sayginn, got a bigger role than Nell. Sayginn is clever, sneaky, resourceful and wants to do whatever she can for her son and the kingdom as well as herself.

Theme:

Things change quickly

Plot:

The story is written in third person narrative from Teo's, Guy's and Karl II's points of view, although once in a while we do get points of view from Teo's mom and Chart Segat as well as the man that wants to marry Teo's mom. For this story, one has to read the previous two in order to understand what is going on because the author doesn't give hints or mention what happened in the past two books. I do think that the romance aspect of the story could be worked on a little more because it felt too sudden for me, and perhaps more background information will also work.

Author Information:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Buy the book here:   Amazon 
Sally Ann Melia author pic
Meet the Author:

The author was born in Wallasey, England, in 1964, and moved to the South of France when she was eleven. She spent her teenage years living in the cosmopolitan city state of Monaco and became immersed in its many languages and cultures. An English girl in a French school, for three hours each week she would sit at the back of the class as her colleagues learnt English. To pass the time, she wrote stories. This led to a lifetime of writing novels, scripts, stories and articles.

In her working life, Sally writes marketing communications and manages large international websites.

In 2010, Sally joined the Hogs Back Writers, a club located on the outskirts of Guildford, and she set about turning an old manuscript into this novel: Guy Erma and the Son of Empire. Sally currently lives in Farnham, and she is married with two children.

Connect with Sally:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Pinterest

Opinion:

First of all this is continuation of Hunter which is continuation of Kidnap, and I feel that as soon as the author upped the stakes in Hunter, she manages to keep the same rhythm and atmosphere for the last part, leaving a lot of readers with more questions than answers about Guy Erma and his role. I have to admit that I liked the artwork and I felt it really added to the atmosphere of the story and helped me understand the characters a lot. I do think that Nell Valvanchi didn't seem to play as big of a role in the book as I thought she would and she is seen as a supporting character rather than the main one, which is a little disappointing. Other than that, a fun fantasy read that should leave one wanting to know more of what happens.

This is for iRead Book Tours

Tour Schedule:

June 22 - Horror Maiden's Book Reviews - review of Exile
June 22 - Cheryl’s Book Nook - review of Exile
June 22 - The Booksnake Etc. - review of Kidnap
June 22 - Bookroom Reviews - review of Exile
June 23 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Exile
June 23 - Life as Leels - review of Exile
June 24 - T’s Stuff - review of Exile
June 25 - Readers Muse - review of Exile
June 26 - The Booksnake Etc. - review of Hunter
June 26 - Blooming With Books - review of Exile
June 26 - The BookDragon - review of Kidnap
June 26 - The Autistic Gamer - review of Exile
June 26 - Vic’s Media Room - review of Exile
June 26 - The Reading Diaries - review of Kidnap
June 29 - 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy ,  +  Sissy, Too ! - Review of Exile
June 29 - A Bit Bookish - review of Exile
June 30 - redhead.with.book - review of Exile
June 30 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Exile
July 1 - Christy’s Cozy Corners - review of Exile
July 1 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Exile
July 1 - Book and Ink - review of Kidnap
July 1 - Room with Books - review of Hunter
July 2 - The World As I See It - review of Exile
July 2 - The Booksnake Etc. - review of Exile
July 3 - The BookDragon - review of Hunter
July 3 - Book Stop Corner - review of Exile
July 3 - The Reading Diaries - review of Hunter
July 6 - Blissful Book Reviews - review of Kidnap
July 7 - Fundinmental - review of Hunter
July 8 - Life With Katie - review of Exile
July 8 - Book and Ink - review of Hunter
July 8 - Rockin’ Book Reviews - review of Exile
July 9  - All the Reads - review of Kidnap
July 10 - The Reading Diaries - review of Exile
July 10 - The BookDragon - review of Exile
July 13 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review of Exile
July 13 - Dreams Come True Through Reading - review of Kidnap
July 13 - In this World of Books - review of Exile
July 14 - Blissful Book Reviews - review of Hunter
July 15 - Dreams Come True Through Reading - review of Hunter
July 15 - Bound 4 Escape - review of exile
July 15 - Book and Ink - review of Exile
July 16 - I’d Rather Be at the Beach - review of Exile
July 16 - Jessica Cassidy - review of Exile
July 16 - All the Reads - review of Hunter
July 17 - Dreams Come True Through Reading - review of Exile
July 17 - Brooke Blogs - review of Exile
July 17 - Sarah Rehmatullah - review of Kidnap
July 17 - Create With Joy - review of Exile
July 20 - Blissful Book Reviews - review of Exile
July 22 - Room with Books - review of Exile
July 22 - Sarah Rehmatullah - review of Hunter
July 23 - Fundinmental - review of Exile
July 23  - All the Reads - review of Exile
July 24 - Sarah Rehmatullah - review of Exile
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...