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Showing posts from January, 2014

Lightning by Dean Koontz

Bolts of lightning for us are natural phenomenons forking up in the sky but for Laura Shane it is anything but natural. These lightnings bring tidings, a foreboding or worse, a fate on the brink of death. For each time it strikes somewhere nearby, she knows she'll be in danger and with certainty, she knows her mysterious "guardian angel" will appear to save her.
A book of paradoxes is what this is. It lets your mind cruise along its assuming path then flips out on you while your brain scrambles back to get its bearings. Out of all Koontz books, this is an instant favorite even after all these years, even for a non-science junkie like me.

Book to Film: Austenland by Shannon Hale

Jane Hayes is a thirty-something woman who's been unlucky in love. She's pretty and has a great career, but then she has a secret - she's obsessed with everything Jane Austen, particularly Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth version!). To help Jane overcome with her obsession, her wealthy aunt sends her to Austenland - a vacation destination that takes you to the regency era. Jane leaves New York for England with hopes of fulfilling her dreams of wearing period clothing, channeling her inner Elizabeth Bennet and finding her own Mr. Darcy.

A New Adult Romance : Deeper by Robin York

In this New Adult debut by Robin York, a college student is attacked online and must restore her name—and stay clear of a guy who’s wrong for her, but feels so right. When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground. West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works. They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her r…

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

The story starts in London with a little girl hiding in a corner waiting for someone as a traveling crowd pass her by. As time stretched on, no one came for her and suddenly she felt the wooden planks under her feet move, tilt and then cruise along. She was on a boat and it was now sailing away from the pier to the sea. She will find herself later on under the hot skies of Australia.

In her middle years, from the remnants of the things she brought with her, she retraced her roots in Cornwall where a manor by the coast may hold the answers to the mystery of her own family. The Forgotten Garden is atmospheric with its muted descriptions, unraveling slowly the story of three women who keep clinging to their past and cannot let go.

Vicious by Victoria Schwab

Victor Vale and Eli Cardale started out as best friends and roommates in the prestigious Lockland University. They're both brilliant, ambitious, and ruthless. On their senior year, Eli decided to research about the existence of ExtraOrdinary people or EOs - people who have super human powers. People thought of it as a joke but this only instilled jealousy in Victor, who thought that it was an challenging research compared to his research on adrenal inducers.

The connection of their researches led to experiments with themselves as the test subjects. Victor and Eli succeeded and they are now armed with dangerous power in their hands.

Ten years later, Victor has escaped from prison with only one thing in his mind: Revenge.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The most popular of Daphne du Maurier's works, Rebecca remains one of the unforgettable stories I have read. It is as if Rebecca herself stretches her long arm from the grave unwilling for anyone to forget her.

It begins with our unnamed heroine who meets Mr. de Winter one day in Monte Carlo and after a whirlwind acquaintance and courtship, was swept back to his English home in Cornwall, Manderley. And this is where the mystery starts to unravel.

Manderley is a beautiful manor by the coast, surrounded by the scents of flowering gardens. One could imagine how grand it looks for the heroine. Little did she knows the manor itself is like a breathing thing, its walls tainted with memories and shadows. As time passes, old secrets were brought to light and always, always there's a remnant of Rebecca; a painting of a beautiful woman hanging on a wall, a room that is left as it was full of things engraved in the letter R, an old devotion by a lady's maid. In Mr. de Winter himself…

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Across the Universe #1)

Seventeen year old girl Amy is cyrogenically frozen along with her parents to be part of a voyage to a new planet. The ship will arrive three hundred years later and Amy, along with the other frozen passengers, will be reanimated to terraform the new planet.

She finds herself violently woken up 49 years earlier than planned which almost caused her death and discovers that there's someone on the ship that wants to kill those who were frozen - Amy thinks her parents might be next.

And now she must solve the mystery to save her parents.

Elder is the next leader of Godspeed. After given an assignment by the ship's leader, Eldest, he stumbles through a secret area of the ship. He finds a girl, frozen in ice.

He seeks to find out the truth about the girl and other secrets that is hidden from him.

Book Club: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

This month's book club discussion is going to be about Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay.  Its not exactly a Jane Austen book adaptation but it does take some elements from her works.  What's interesting about this novel is that its written as a series of letters (an epistolary) by the female protagonist, Samantha, addressed to her grad school benefactor. The letters are one way, Mr. Knightley never writes back to her and in effect it reads more like her journal rather than a conversation.  The book has had great reviews and some not so great ones.  This becomes a perfect jumping point for discussion.  What makes it a great book and what makes it a not so good one. Which elements work and why some don't.  
Book Summary: Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fict…

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Travel memoirs are always a delight, don't you think? A little pile of it is actually growing on my bookshelf, a third of which are about France. One of them made it here earlier in the blog.

In this book, Peter Mayle and his wife moved to France in an old stone farmhouse in the Luberon region. The English couple spent their early days bustling errands with their sporadic French, meeting neighbors, discovering the mystery of truffles, dealing with a half-finished home, harrying imposing guests who's a friend of a friend, facing local oddities and the typical culture shock.

Mayle writes their adventures in a series of months, from January to December, and it gets more interesting from one chapter to the next. I think the winning streak of this delightful account is the author's rich wit and candor, with a talent of turning an almost disastrous moment into a hilarious comedy of errors.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

War hero Major Tarver Merendsen is invited to a party aboard Icarus, a massive luxury space liner on its first voyage. Feeling out of place in a party attended by the famous and the rich, he finds solace when he meets a young, beautiful woman who he thinks might be different from the fake, pompous, rich people - only to find out that this woman is Lilac LaRoux, daughter of the richest man in the universe.

Things turn to worse as Icarus is taken out off the hyperspace and Tarver bumps into Lilac as they start evacuating. The two managed to escape Icarus - only to crash to a nearby planet.

With no one but each other to survive, Lilac and Tarver embark on the greatest adventure of their lives.

Release Day Blitz: The Wild One by Magan Vernon

Its The Wild One's book birthday!  The third book in the Forever Wild serial by Magan Vernon releases today.  As a special treat the rest of the series covers are also released here!  Check out The Wild One now. 

Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

When the human race began to genetically engineer their offspring in order to create perfect babies, they thought they were successful. However, the babies subjected to the experiment lead to the birth of the reduced - mentally and physically impaired children. Those who were affected with this tragedy, the Lost, turned against those who rejected the experiment and caused annihilation - this is called the Wars of the Lost. After the wars, the survivors created a new home which they called New Pacifica.

Centuries later, New Pacifica has been separated into two countries - Albion, the northern island and Galatea, the southern island.  Aristocrats (descendants of those who have not been reduced) and the regulars (descendants of the reduced) have been living together in peace. Until that one fateful day..

Persis Blake is a beautiful, intelligent and adventurous aristocrat from the country of Albion. When news of revolt in Galatea has reached their country, she decided to check the situat…

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

One drowsy afternoon, at a dusky library overlooking the sea in a distant island, my seeking eyes landed on this book stuck in the furthermost corner. There are times when the moment of first acquaintance between two fictional characters is as interesting as the one between a reader and a book.

Libba Bray's debut novel, the first in Gemma Doyle Trilogy, takes us to the turn of the nineteenth century boarding school for girls with its cliques and daring pranks, school mysteries and a lost diary. Almost it tethers on the typical coming-of-age-set-in-a-boarding-school cliche (running to the woods under the moonlight, dancing in circles, napping on a floating boat in the middle of a lake, entwined flowers on hair, etc) nevertheless with a smear of fantasy, it becomes something dangerously richer, lusciously darker and a fine setting to play up a young woman's riotous whims and the exploration of one's self; the light and the dark.

Blog Tour: Fearless by K.M Fawcett

Today we are hosting a blog tour for the newly released paranormal fantasy romance Fearless by KM Fawcett and in honor of that we have an exclusive excerpt from the book plus a giveaway to a lucky reader who leaves a comment.

Fearless FEARLESS by K.M. Fawcett January 7, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; $3.99; 978-1-4555-2819-6 Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. To hone her powers of prophetic visions and healing, the village elders send Myia on a quest to heal the Highland leader's heart and stop a brewing war. Myia's mended many souls before, so this should be an effortless duty . . . until she meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord.

Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe-a race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments. Fueled by his rage, Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when a raven-haired beaut…

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Before the Reduction, a group of humans called the Lost sought to challenge God by doing an experiment that would change the world. They experimented on the human babies in order to enhance their vision, hearing, speed. However, these experiments lead to the birth of the reduced - humans with limited mental capabilities. This is the called the Reduction.

The aftermath of the Reduction led the people who rejected the experiments, called the Luddites, into power. The Luddites became the nobility who ruled their own estates and caretaker of the reduced.

Elliot North came from a Luddite family. She had refused to run away with her childhood friend, Kai, who served as a mechanic in her family's estate. Kai was part of a new class, the Post-Reductionists, children of the Reduced who were born normally. Four years later, Elliot was forced  to rent out part of their estate to a group of shipbuilders who called themselves the Cloud Fleet. Elliot was then dumbfounded when she found out that o…

Accidentally Cimil by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff: A Launch Day Blitz

Accidentally...Cimil? is out today! This is the seventh book in the popular Accidentally in Love series by Mimi  Jean Pamfiloff and it features none other than Cimil, the harbinger of all things evil and deadly!  We are honored today that Cimil has agreed to grace our blog and answer a few of our questions (and we better make them nice ones cause we don't one to be at the end of the evil and deadly bit) in honor of her own launch party.
Cimil Q&A By Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
1. Cimil, rumor has it that you are trying to end the world.  How do you respond to these allegations? - Well, that’s just crazy-talk! (And absolutely true.) I would never try to harm my precious people pets (a HUGE lie), because I am a deity. I am incapable of doing harm to anyone. (Another HUGE lie.)  That said, everything I touch does have a way of blowing up. (All true.) But it’s not my fault. I swear! (Sad, but true.) Once you read my story, you will understand. (Not likely, but hey… One can dream.)
2. Why, ex…

Cover Reveal: Magan Vernon's The Wild One (Book 3 in the Forever Wild Series)

The Wild One is the third book in the Forever Wild Serial. (This is a six part series with one book releasing every 3 weeks, see Author's Note). The book is set to release on January 16, 2014.
Summary: Wes never considered himself a lucky man - until one wild night in Vegas that ended with a marriage to Valerie Wilder. She doesn’t consider herself as lucky, and gives him thirty days to sign the divorce papers, forgetting their marriage every existed. There’s just one problem. He’s fallen hard for Valerie. Wes loves everything about the girl he married by mistake, except the fact that he doesn’t feel worthy of her - especially when hedge funder Max Green keeps coming back in the picture. Wes can’t compete with the rich and powerful man who also wants Valerie as his own, but he doesn’t want to lose her. To prove his love for Valerie and save their marriage, Wes is going to fight hard for the woman he loves, putting his wild side behind him to be the man she needs. Before it’s too late.


Book to Film: My House in Umbria by William Trevor

British romance novelist Emily Delahunty had traveled to Rome by train when the carriage she sat on, along with others, got blown up by a bomb explosion. Presently, she lives in a quaint villa in the hills of Umbria which has now became a haven for the remnant survivors; an old Englishman, a young German lad, and an American girl.

In the surface, it seems like an idyllic scene as Mrs. Delahunty spends her time in nostalgia, drinking grappa, taking walks along the Italian countryside and sitting in her private rooms with a shelf displaying her array of novels but beneath this delightful image runs a dark past and dim musings. As is the facade of a quiet pensione villa for tourists that now houses a handful of people, walking figures of grief and pain and survival.

Happy New Year!