27 Aug 2014

Book Review / The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan (Blog Tour)

Having unexpectedly lost her husband and lacking the means to support herself, Josie DiSanti and her two daughters take refuge in the small town of Mill River, to live with Josie's aunt, Ivy. The sisters, Rose and Emily, are inseparable growing up - until a shocking tragedy tears them apart.

Years later, Rose and Emily return to Mill River for the reading of their mother's will, where they learn that Josie would do anything to force their reconciliation: the sisters must move into neighbouring houses for the summer and work together to locate the key to Josie's safe deposit box, which contains their inheritance. And so, left with no choice, Rose and Emily reluctantly begin their search. But in a place known for its magic and miracles, little do they know that an even greater treasure awaits them . . .



Published:     26th August 2014
Publisher:  Sphere (Little Brown)
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Not part of series ** But note the recommendation in the review below ***
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   9 out of 10

 
My Review

What I loved about this story...
After reading, finishing and loving The Mill River Recluse I was so excited to get stuck into this one and picked it up pretty much immediately.  This story definitely did not disappoint.  Similar to Darcie Chan's first book there are quite a few characters that feature in this story but I had absolutely no problem keeping up to date with each of them.  I do have to say that it did help that I had read The Mill River Recluse recently as characters from that story are also in this one.  

What I loved the most about this story was the personalities of the two sisters, Rose and Emily and their relationship with each other - both in the past and in the present.  They seem to be the complete opposites in nearly every way possible.

I also liked the fact that this story is split into two 'time zones' - one following Josie's story (Rose and Emily's mother) when the two sisters were children and the other in the present day when Rose and Emily are adults. 

What I was not fond of with this story...
I have to be honest and say that the ending of this story really surprised me.  Obviously I won't talk about what happens as I don't want to spoil the story for you but there is a twist that I really wasn't expecting and it really threw me.  It wasn't necessarily the ending that I was hoping for and expecting but an interesting one...  

RECOMMENDATION

Although The Mill River Redemption can be read as a stand alone novel, completely separate to Darcie Chan's first book The Mill River Recluse, there are quite a few references to the first book in The Mill River Redemption some of which will spoil the story in The Mill River Recluse.  

If you don't like to be spoiled, I would strongly recommend picking up Darcie Chan's first book (The Mill River Recluse) first and then follow it with The Mill River Redemption.   


About the Author
From Goodreads

Darcie Chan is the author of THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, an originally self-published debut novel that became a word-of-mouth e-book sensation. With more than 700,000 copies sold, THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists for more than 30 weeks and became a heartwarming favorite of readers across the country.

Ballantine Books will release THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE in print for the first time in the United States and Canada on June 17, 2014, and an updated e-book version of the novel will go on sale on that same date.

Only two short months later, on August 26, 2014, Darcie's second novel, entitled THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION, will be published in both print and electronic formats. Like her first novel, THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION is set in the fictional town of Mill River, Vermont, and will be released by Ballantine Books.

Currently, Darcie lives just north of New York City with her husband and son. She is hard at work on the third novel in the Mill River series.


 
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Waiting on Wednesday / Sorceress by Claudia Gray


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 3rd March 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

As this is book 3 in a series, below is the description to book 1, Spellcaster.  For a full description of this book, please click on the Goodreads link above.

When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed - and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel is sure to draw fans of the Hex Hall and Caster Chronicles series, and fans of the hit CW TV show The Secret Circle.
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25 Aug 2014

Book Review / The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan

Disfigured by the blow of an abusive husband, and suffering her entire life with severe social anxiety disorder, the widow Mary McAllister spends almost sixty years secluded in a white marble mansion overlooking the town of Mill River, Vermont.

Her links to the outside world are few: the mail, the media, an elderly priest with a guilty habit of pilfering spoons, and a bedroom window with a view of the town below.

Most longtime residents of Mill River consider the marble house and its occupant peculiar, though insignificant, fixtures. An arsonist, a covetous nurse, and the endearing village idiot are among the few who have ever seen Mary.

Newcomers to Mill River -- a police officer and his daughter and a new fourth grade teacher -- are also curious about the reclusive old woman. But only Father Michael O’Brien knows Mary and the secret she keeps -- one that, once revealed, will change all of their lives forever.


Published:     22nd November 2012
Publisher:  Sphere
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Not part of a series
Source:  Bought
Review:   10 out of 10

 
My Review

What I loved about this story...
I had seen this book around for quite a while and it is one of those books that I add to my wishlist to read 'some day' and just hadn't got around to it.  I was then asked to be part of a blog tour for Darcie Chan's second book 'The Mill River Redemption' and I thought now was a good a time as any to pick this up and get it read before reading the second one.  I am so glad that I did, I absolutely loved it!

What started out as a 'village family drama story' with lots of characters turning into that but so much more.  Yes, there were quite a number of characters to keep on top of but that was no problem at all.  The scenery etc was described so brilliantly I could imagine I was right there in the story watching what was happening as the story unfolds.  

If I had to pick one thing that I liked the most about this book, it would be the story of Mary.  I really enjoyed following her story from when she was younger right up to the present day.  Her personality and character gave the book a sense of warmth that I enjoyed a lot.  I also liked the sense of community with all the characters who lived in Mill River, some good and some bad but equally as interesting to read.  

This is such a fantastic read and one that is definitely inspiring right up to the very last word.  If you have not read this book, you need to go and pick this up and read it instantly.  You won't regret it!

What I was not fond of with this story... 
I loved this story from start to finish and really don't have anything bad to say about this book.  

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Darcie Chan is the author of THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, an originally self-published debut novel that became a word-of-mouth e-book sensation. With more than 700,000 copies sold, THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists for more than 30 weeks and became a heartwarming favorite of readers across the country.

Ballantine Books will release THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE in print for the first time in the United States and Canada on June 17, 2014, and an updated e-book version of the novel will go on sale on that same date.

Only two short months later, on August 26, 2014, Darcie's second novel, entitled THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION, will be published in both print and electronic formats. Like her first novel, THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION is set in the fictional town of Mill River, Vermont, and will be released by Ballantine Books.

Currently, Darcie lives just north of New York City with her husband and son. She is hard at work on the third novel in the Mill River series.



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The Mill River Redemption Blog Tour : Debra's Book Cafe will be posting on 28th August 2014......



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Book Review / The Story of You by Katy Regan

There is no story of me without the story of you
I want to explain it all to you. How this happened. How that summer – the summer I was 16 – made me the person I am today.

I want to share my memories with you: the happy memories are like sunbursts, sparkling on the sea. But then, like a current dragging me under, there's that summer of 1997.

The summer my life exploded.


The summer I had to grow up


The summer you came into my life.

And so this is the story of you.


Published:     11th September 2014
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Not part of a series
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   10 out of 10


MY REVIEW

What I loved about this story...
I loved this story.  Katy Regan is a reasonably new author to me and I absolutely love her writing style.  Very easy to get into and has the right amount of dramatic suspense that kept me at the edge of my seat wanting to know what would happen next.  I have to say that my favourite character in this book had to be Robyn, the main character.  I liked how she has her issues that she needs to deal with and enjoyed watching her progress throughout the book, whether that be for the better or worse (not telling which!).  Alongside that, you have several different stories from sideline characters which include Grace who is a mental health patient that Robyn works with, you have Robyn's relationship with her father and stepmother, you have Robyn's sisters and their lives and many more characters.

This is one of those books that when I was finished with it I could not help but stop and think back to it at various parts of the day (I finished this book yesterday morning).  There are so many things to think about with this book and I enjoyed that.

What I was not fond of with this story...
Nothing!  I loved this book.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(from Goodreads)

Katy Regan was born and brought up in the northern seaside town of Morecambe. Her claim to fame - aside from being possibly the only person in the world to get expelled from primary school - is that at the age of 16 she went to stage school in Surrey with Posh Spice. 

She worked at 19 magazine for two years before joining Marie Claire in 2002. 'Highlights' in that position included spending ten days in the buff on a nudist resort and becoming a footballer's wife for a week -- all in the name of investigative journalism. 

In 2004 at the height of her career as the office roving reporter singleton, she fell accidentally pregnant by her best mate (who just remained a friend). Seeing the creative possibilities in this unconventional situation, her editor commissioned her to write a column - And then there were three! which proved so successful it ran for two years and inspired many a reader to write in to Katy with their life story. 

She has now taken her loyal following to her blog - The State She's In - on the Marie Claire website. She lives in south London and shares care of her son Fergus with his dad who lives across the road. 


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21 Aug 2014

Book Review / Caleb & Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Colona

""Romeo + Juliet "gets an update in this story of forbidden love. Shakespeare's never been so hip." -- Jenny B. Jones, author of The Charmed Life Series

As the popular darling of the junior class and heiress to the five-star Monrovi Inn empire, Kate has both everything and nothing. She's bored with school and life...until she locks eyes with Caleb at a school dance.

Caleb is new to Kate's exclusive prep school, and it's clear he doesn't fit in. In fact, he and his dad work in maintenance for Kate's father. And while Caleb knows better than to spend time with the boss's daughter, it seems that every time he tries to back away, something pulls him right back in.

When their parents demand that they are to stay away from each other, they learn of a fight between their families that occurred more than fifty years ago. It's a mystery Kate doesn't understand...but a legacy Caleb has endured his entire life.

With the world stacked against them, Caleb and Kate will have to walk by faith to find the path that God has planned for them.


Published:     4th May 2010
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Not part of a series
Source:  Bought

Review:   9 out of 10


MY REVIEW

What I loved about this book...
This is one of those books that I purchased on my Kindle app a long time ago, when it first came out in 2010, and forgot I had it until now.  I was in the mood for a summertime read that would have a bit of romance in it but not any 'sexiness' in it (which I seem to find a lot around at the moment).  I adored this book.  Absolutely loved the two main characters Caleb and Kate.  I loved the way they each had their own 'back story' and had their own issues that they had to overcome throughout the story.  I liked how they characters progressed through the story.  What I also liked about this book was the feel of character history between most of the characters.  Both Kate and Caleb's grandfathers were friends/enemies and that was something that 'hung' over both families heads

What I was not fond of with this book... 
Although I enjoyed this book so much, I did feel the ending left me wanting more.  It was one of those endings that I felt left it to the imagination as to what happens next rather than actually spell it out and, on this occasion, I needed it spelt out to me.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(from Goodreads)
 
Cindy Coloma is a national bestselling author who has written twelve novels, including: Beautiful (2010 Christy Award finalist for Young Adults and 2011 Revolve Young Adult Tour featured book); The Salt Garden (one of Library Journal's best genre books in 2004); Song of the Brokenhearted (2013 ECPA bestseller with coauthor Sheila Walsh); Orchid House (2008 ECPA bestseller); and Winter Passing (2001 Christy Award finalist and Romantic Times Top Pick).

Cindy has collaborated on fiction projects with bestselling author, singer, and speaker Sheila Walsh, and as a ghostwriter with a former federal prosecutor and national TV legal-news analyst.

Her nonfiction projects include collaborations on memoirs such as The Waiting (May 2014, Tyndale Momentum) and It's a Wild Life: How My Life Became a Zoo(June 2014, Medallion Press), a book about an exotic animal zoo in Michigan and the Nat Geo Wild television program. Cindy developed and wrote the nonfiction book Renting Lacy: A Story of America's Prostituted Children (coauthored with former Congresswoman Linda Smith) and has also written over one hundred published articles.

Cindy is a speaker, book doctor, and writing coach. Her writing coach clients have included both aspiring and professional writers. She tailors her programs to meet their individual needs and goals.

She's spoken at such events and conferences as the World Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany; Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference; Simpson University Faculty Retreat; LittWorld in Tagaytay, Philippines; and many others. In her local area, she has co-led a writer's group for seventeen years.

With five children ranging in age from their early twenties to a baby boy, Cindy's life is always full of laughter, joy, and toys to trip over. She can't own enough books or watch enough movies, has more travel dreams than possible for a human (including underwater and outer-space itineraries), but loves home best of all. She and her extended family have lived in the Redding, California area for over thirty-five years. a with her husband and four children
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20 Aug 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / When Reason Breaks by Cindy L Rodriguez


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 10th February 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.

"When Reason Breaks is infused with a rare blend of suspense and sensitivity, despair and hope. The poetic spirit of Emily Dickinson shines through the gloom of daily struggles faced by modern teens, as they discover the possibilities where they dwell."

--Margarita Engle
Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree
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18 Aug 2014

Author Interview / Caroline Greyling



‘Magical’ is the only word that can describe the moss-covered trunks and exposed roots; the dark, rich earth; the rays of sunshine glittering with dust particles; the unearthly swirls of mist tangling through the leaves and between the branches. It’s easy to believe in fairies from this vantage point.

At sixteen, all Shaylee Greene wants is to become a dancer and her biggest problems in life are her over-protective parents and a strange recurring dream she’s been having most of her life. Then she wakes up on her seventeenth birthday and discovers that she has been marked.

Ripped from her beloved South Africa, home for most of her life, Shaylee is sent, without explanation, to a tiny town in the Forest of Dean, England, to live with her grandmother, whom she has not seen since age seven. Here, Shaylee learns that she is not who she thought she was.

Assigned one protector and promised to another, she must come to terms with her unexpected attraction for both boys, learn about her fantastical heritage, uncover some harsh truths about her past and fight to survive in this new world fraught with dangers she never knew existed.

 GOODREADS LINK - CLICK HERE


1.    If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? 
Maggie Stiefvater. She is my absolute favourite (SA English!) author of all time. There is something just so lyrical and poetic about the way she writes. Her words and her characters brush a special place in my heart with every novel.

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? 
Which ‘job’ are you referring to? I have two...or three...or four. I wake up at 5am, get the kids ready for school, commute to work and listen to a great Audible book on the way, work in the exciting Telecoms industry full day, commute home (and listen again!), do the mommy-wifey cooking and homework what-not, study for an hour or so, check up on my emails, blog and social media, write until my eye’s get heavy (sometimes next to the fireplace, next to the kids who are watching some TV, or at one of the tables), climb into bed and read until my eyes burn, listen to a book on my kindle until I fall asleep. Rinse, repeat...Weekends are my favourite though, because I can wake up and write, write, write!

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you? 
Time, but we find time to do the things we love, and there isn’t much I love more than writing.

4.  When and why did you first start writing? 
I remember sitting with my best friend, Bronwyn, on the school quad, talking about how I would one day write novels and dedicate my first one to her. (Yip, she’s in there!) From my early school days, writing was always my dream and it was one of the first things I put on my ‘dream chart’. I used to write stories and diary excerpts in hard cover exercise books, but many of my projects never saw the end-of-race ribbon. ‘Five’ was my first serious decision to write, and there will be many to come!

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?
No, it didn’t come to me in a dream... unless day dreaming also counts? I LOVE the young adult paranormal genre and I have a thing for fairies. Trouble is, I never wanted to write about the typical cliché wings and wands. I wanted to write something ‘real’ but magical. I wanted my readers to believe that the friend sitting next to them at school could really be one of them. So I took out my trusty old computer and typed ‘What if’ at the blinking cursor, then I proceeded to fill in the blanks, much like Shaylee does for the emotion excerpts at the beginning of each chapter of ‘Five’. From these ‘What if’s’, ‘Five’ emerged.

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? 
Yes, yes and yes again! I don’t think it’s possible to be a good writer unless you’re a good reader first. My current series, (which has made it onto my favourite series list) is Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. It has everything I love in a great series; action, romance, mystery. Go and get your copy! Seriously!

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
 
Stop making excuses and start chasing your dreams. At the end of the day, it is words that count – or should I say word-count. Find time to do what you love and do what you love.
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12 Aug 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / Talon by Julie Kagawa


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 14th May 2013
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.
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10 Aug 2014

Book Review / Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt

Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She's been admitted to Wellesley, but her dad just lost his job, and somehow she has to come up with a year of tuition herself. But Shannon's dream of making big bucks waitressing at the local casino, the Collosio, disappears faster than a gambler's lucky streak. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. Worse, time is running out, and Shannon hasn't made even half the money she'd hoped.

When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn't react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.

Soon Shannon's caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money's this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?

This fun, sexy, recession-proof story is a bubbly summer read with surprising depth—great for fans of Sarah Mlynowski.


Published:     10th August 2010
Publisher:  Ember
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Not part of a series
Source:  Bought

Review:   2 out of 10
 

My Review

What I loved about this story...
So, Lauren Barnholdt was one of those authors who I had been meaning to pick up for a while and when I was trawling through Amazon at their Kindle reads, I found this one at a reasonable price so I decided to pick it up and give it a go.  What I liked about this book was the 'easy read' feel to it.  It is definitely one of those books you could just pick up and enjoy while sitting down at the beach.  The plot is not complicated and the characters are easy to follow.
 
What I was not fond of with this story...
Unfortunately, I didn't really connect with this book.  Although the story was fun and I was definitely rooting for the characters to get the best out of the situation, I didn't necessary agree with a particular point in this book.  You have the main character, Shannon who needs money for her further eduction.  Her father has been laid off work and the family are struggling to survive (having some of their possessions repossessed).  Instead of working to help the family into a better position, she worked to better herself and that was something that I, personally, had a little trouble understanding as it was not something that I would do myself.  But don't let that dissuade you from giving this story a go if it something that you would find interesting.  It is a great easy beach read and there are definitely a few laughs that go along with the story.

About the Author


Lauren Barnholdt is the author of the teen novels The Thing About the Truth, Sometimes It Happens, One Night That Changes Everything, Two-way Street, Right of Way, and Watch Me. 

She is also the author of the middle grade novels The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, Four Truths and a Lie, Rules for Secret-Keeping, Fake Me a Match, and the Girl Meets Ghost series. 

She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. Visit her at LaurenBarnholdt.com.


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7 Aug 2014

Book Review / Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.


Published:     2nd October 2012
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series:  Book 1, Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
Source:  Bought
Review:   3 out of 10


My Review

What I loved about this story...
I had seen this book absolutely everywhere, BookTube and Blogs, and thought it was about time that I picked this up to see what all the fuss was about.  Its about a bookstore, who wouldn't want to pick that up, right?!  This is such a strange but fun story with a lot of mysterious charactersThe main character, Clay, is the main driving force in the story with his need for finding out what in the world was going on at the bookstore and I have to admit I was dying to know myself too!  Mr Penumbra was, of course, the weirdest of them all but I enjoyed finding out more.

 
What I was not fond of with this story... 
Although I really did enjoy the plot of this story, I did have a bit of trouble connecting with the characters in this book and did, at certain points, have to put in a bit of effort to keep going and push through to the end, but it was definitely worth the effort in the end.  I am looking forward to finding out where this story goes from here...

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Robin Sloan grew up near Detroit and now splits his time between San Francisco and the internet. 

He graduated from Michigan State with a degree in economics and, from 2002 to 2012, worked at Poynter, Current TV, and Twitter. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is his first novel. 

You can learn more at robinsloan.com and follow along at @robinsloan. 
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5 Aug 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date:  9th June 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

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3 Aug 2014

Author Interview / Marissa Tejada




When Ava Martin’s new husband unexpectedly ditches her months after they’ve relocated across the world to Greece, the heartbroken American ex-pat isn’t sure where home is anymore. On the verge of flying back to the States with her tail between her legs, she makes an abrupt decision to follow her gut instead and stay on in Greece. She soon discovers that the tumultuous, culture-rich Mediterranean country is coloring her life in a way no place else can, changing her forever. But is it where she belongs?

Ava’s newfound independence throws her into the thick of Athenian reality, where she has brushes with violent police riots and gets a taste of both the alluring islands and the city nightlife. Despite pressure from her mother, uncertainty over her impending divorce, and unresolved issues with her long-estranged father weighing on her, she’s determined to make it on her own. With the help of two very colorful Greek friends, she laughs and learns while facing culture shock, language barriers and the charm of Mediterranean men, until a life-threatening medical emergency back home in sleepy Ithaca, N.Y., forces her to decide where she truly belongs – and what truly matters.

Site/Author Blog: www.chasingathens.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marissa Tejada is the author of the romantic comedy/contemporary romance novel, Chasing Athens. Marissa is also full-time freelance writer specializing in food and wine, technology and travel writing. She contributes to numerous publications including Fodor’s Travel, Forbes Travel, Wine Enthusiast and more. She also enjoys blogging for her travel photography blog, my Greece, my travels


As an award-winning journalist, Marissa has worked across the United States as a television reporter and anchor in Florida, Washington State and Upstate New York. She has also worked in newsrooms in Los Angeles and London and managed high tech PR in San Francisco.  

Marissa loves traveling, learning languages, sipping mochachinos and devouring dark chocolate. She currently resides in Athens, Greece.

INTERVIEW

1.  If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? 
I think I’d work with Jennifer Weiner. I think she’s a pioneer in the women’s fiction genre.  Her books are so touching, witty and her themes are meaningful. I love that she was a journalist as well. 

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? 
I am not a morning person so I get my freelance writing and novel writing done later in the day. I can work until 2 am to 3 am in the morning or later if there’s nothing stopping me!  I write in my flat which has an office. My desk faces out into a wooded area of the city so on the best days I can just slide the windows open and feel a fragrant breeze waft in every so often
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3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you? 
The hardest part is stepping back and improving that first draft.  I’ve always loved the quote, “Writing is rewriting.” Getting everything down is one thing but polishing it up to be its best is a challenge and a challenging process.

4.  When and why did you first start writing? 
I’ve always written professionally as a reporter and journalist in some form starting in college. I worked in newspapers, television and now for magazines and website.  Writing creatively was always a hobby and now I’ve incorporated it into my work day and my career goals. I’ve always loved telling stories whether it’s through a news story or feature travel piece.  Now, as an author I can create new worlds to convey the themes and emotions through fiction writing. I truly love it.

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book? 
Living abroad as an expat I couldn’t help but be inspired to write Chasing Athens. Greece is a vibrant city steeped in ancient history, natural beauty and the chaos of modern day living.  You can’t help but keep note of the changes, experiences, culture clashes, humorous moments and emotional moments that surround your life.   That’s how my romantic comedy/women’s fiction novel came to be.

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? 
I’ve always loved reading. Besides keeping up with my magazine subscriptions, I always have a few fiction and non-fiction books nearby. On the non-fiction side I’m currently reading Cooked by Michael Pollan. I’m reading contemporary romance/chicklit novel Maybe Baby written by another American expat living in Europe, Kim Golden. I’m also reading Sophia Kinsella’s Wedding Night.  I’m also finishing up Ladysmith by Giles Foden.

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? 
One piece of advice I valued from those far more experienced than me is to set realistic goals and expectations. You need to define what means success for your book.  Also rejection, rejection, rejection is part of the experience. I faced a lot of that as television reporter too so I was sort of prepared but when it comes to something like your first novel, so close to your heart, rejection is tough and can wear you down but keep moving. It just takes one person to believe in you and your work and that’s who is best to stand by you to get your novel out there.

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