Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery


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The Mourning Ring by Sarah Parke, review


Publication Date: October 10, 2016
CreateSpace
eBook & Paperback; 350 Pages

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fantasy

READ AN EXCERPT.

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Bronte lives to tell stories. She longs to improve her fortunes through her writing. Charlotte’s father expects her to leave behind her childish fantasies in order to set an example for her three younger siblings.

But the Bronte children hold a secret in their veins—a smidgen of fairy blood that can bring their words to life.

When Charlotte discovers that the characters from their childish stories exist in an alternate world called Glass Town, she jumps at the opportunity to be the heroine of her own tale.

The city of Angria teeters on the brink of civil war and Charlotte and her siblings must use their magic and their wits to save its people from a tyrant with magic abilities. But entering the fictional world means forfeiting control of their own creations. If they fail, the characters they have come to know and love will be destroyed.

Charlotte is determined to save the city and characters she loves, but when the line between creator and character becomes blurred, will she choose her fantasy or her family?

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

My Review

THE MOURNING RING by Sarah Parke is a fantastical tale of the Brontë siblings during their childhoods and how they found out they had fairy blood running through their veins.  When they discover that the characters in their imaginary kingdom of Angria are in trouble, the foursome take a magical journey to save the day.

This is Sarah Parke’s debut novel and I can only hope that she continues down this road.  The story is imaginative and well told, suitable for youngsters and adults alike–especially those like me who have a bit of Peter Pan in them.  It was interesting to envision the Brontë’s as teenagers as I usually view them as adults.  I was especially happy to learn of Tales of Angria, a book written before their more famous works as it gives me something new to read by some of my favourite authors.

With the perfect mix of historical fiction and fantasy, I give THE MOURNING RING 4 stars ****.

 

Thank you to Amy from Historical Fiction Virtual Books Tours for asking me to be part of the blog tour.  

 

About the Author

Sarah Parke writes fantasy and historical fiction (sometimes at the same time) for young adult readers and those young at heart.

She has a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program. Her work has been published internationally, most recently in the July 2015 issue of The Writer magazine.

For more information, please visit Sarah Parke’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, April 20
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Review, Excerpt & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, April 21
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Review at Queen of All She Reads
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Review & Excerpt at Adventures Thru Wonderland

Saturday, April 22
Interview at T’s Stuff
Review at A Book Drunkard

Sunday, April 23
Review, Excerpt, & Interview at Quitterstrip

Monday, April 24
Review & Excerpt at Rainy Day Reviews

Tuesday, April 25
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books 
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, April 26
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at A Chick Who Reads

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24 Hour Read-a-thon: Hour 1


Oh the joy of hour 1.  It’s the time of day when you’re so full of hope and excitement that the next 24 hours will be full of books and reading and snacks.  Never once have I read a full 24 hours and I’m under no illusion that THIS will be the time.  I have plans to read for about 8 hours today–the rest of my day off will be spent with my husband, daughter (I’m one daughter short because my eldest up and moved away for a job!), and with some other family this evening for my dad’s birthday.  But, I intend on having fun and enjoying every moment of reading time I have.

I’m excited to share the love of reading with other read-a-thon’ers all over the world.  Have fun!

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Shadow of Whimsy Blog Tour


Shadow of Whimsy: A Cape Cod Love Story
by Ann Hymes

Publication Date: June 15, 2016
Secant Publishing
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Genre: Contemporary/Women’s Fiction/Literary

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Several generations of one family have lived, loved, and lied at Whimsy Towers, a unique oceanfront house in Chatham, Massachusetts. Strong women who refuse to be suffocated by marriage have found excitement and refuge in this house filled with artists and parties. Love surfaces in unexpected ways.

The newest owner, Theresa Alston Crandall, has just inherited the property and leaves her too-predictable husband in Virginia to spend time on the Cape and unravel family secrets and history. She swims, reflects, explores, and watches dramatic cloud formations float high over the ocean as she sorts through the choices in her path forward.

Romance arrives in the form of a young widower and landscape gardener with an awesome pickup truck, who likes Theresa’s dog and provides temptation to stay at Whimsy Towers. Tips of tree branches dance with the weight of birds that seem to scream warnings of danger, and the churning ocean disrupts family continuity.

Theresa learns how her Southern grandmother came to buy a storm-weathered New England house and how loveless marriage is not a mandatory life style. The final decision feels just right.

“In her debut novel, Hymes presents a conflicted young woman who is beginning to question her humdrum existence. From grief and loss to forgiveness and redemption, Hymes does not hold back. The author steers clear of predictable outcomes in this unexpected story, providing ample romantic suspense and witty prose to keep the reader turning pages. Chock-full of rich descriptions of the New England coast, as well as surprising scandals and an adorable dog named Gypsy, the book should satisfy even seasoned beach readers. A captivating and uplifting tale best suited for fans of meaningful beach-town romances.” -Kirkus Reviews

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

My Review

SHADOW OF WHIMSY: A CAPE COD LOVE STORY is a book of few pages.  But, those pages contain the charm and wit of many books.  This is Ann Hymes first novel and it’s an enjoyable one.

This book has it all–love, mystery, family.  The author has a knack for description, and, though I’ve never been to New England, I feel like I’ve been there after finishing the book.  Characters aren’t your typical which I always appreciate.  This isn’t your run of the mill romance as it’s quite unpredictable.  I was immediately pulled into the story and stayed there until the last page.

With a refreshing book that gives you the unexpected, I give SHADOW OF WHIMSY: A CAPE COD LOVE STORY by Ann Hymes 3 stars ***.

Thank you to Amy from Book Junkie Promotions for inviting me to participate in this tour.  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Ann Hymes is a retired real estate broker and mother of two grown daughters. She has a B.A. in English from Mills College and an M.A. in English from Washington College. Her published work includes creative nonfiction. An active international volunteer, including service in the Peace Corps in the 1960s, Ann lives in St. Michaels, Maryland.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 27
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 28
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, March 1
Review at Books, Dreams, Life

Thursday, March 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, March 3
Spotlight at Cafinated Reads

Monday, March 6
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Tuesday, March 7
Review at Book Drunkard
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, March 10
Review & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, March 14
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, March 15
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, March 16
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, March 21
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Friday, March 24
Review at Blushing Babes Are Up All Night

Giveaway

Five copies of Shadow of Whimsy: A Cape Cod Love Story are up for grabs during the blog tour! To enter, please click the link below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 10th. You must be 18 or older toenter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– 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.

 

Direct Link: https://gleam.io/53SYk/shadow-of-whimsy

 

 

 


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Solo by Jill Mansell, review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

It all starts at a party, as these things often do…

– A one-night stand with far-reaching consequences
– Momentarily enamored guests going home with all the wrong people
– An unfaithful wife struck by jealousy and getting a dose of her own medicine
– A shocking family secret revealed at the worst possible moment

One fling follows another, and now the whole community is embroiled in a great big web of deceit, the untangling of which will charm you, amuse you, make you laugh and make you cry.

MY REVIEW:

I’m not going to lie.  This is not my favourite Jill Mansell book.  The story line is just okay, the characters were annoying for the most part (I did enjoy a few of the minor characters–the book should have been about them) and I was seriously galled that either of the main male characters should end up with women in the end.  They are AWFUL!  The only thing they should have ended up with is syphilis.

BUT, I read the entire thing and wasn’t able to put it down so there is that.

With great writing I always expect from Jill Mansell, but with the worst bunch of characters I’ve had the displeasure of meeting in a long time, I give SOLO, 2.5 stars.

I received an ebook copy of this title from SOURCEBOOKS Landmark via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

 


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The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine, review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

What secrets are hiding in the heart of Paris?

At the famous Patisserie Clermont in Paris, 1909, a chance encounter with the owner’s daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air.

But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins.

Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words ‘Forgive me’. Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.

MY REVIEW:

I’m just going to get the boring aspects of this review out of the way first–  I love the dual narrative, the characters are fantastic, I enjoyed the writing style, I felt like I was there, I want to eat macarons really badly right now.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author.  It has everything I look for when I’m searching for a new book to read and/or review– some sort of historical aspect, easy flow, interesting twists, plots that keep you guessing, a gorgeous cover, and, of course, some romance.  It doesn’t hurt that it was interesting from the start.  Nothing kills a book quicker than a slow beginning.  Life is too short to read a boring book, so make it interesting on the first page!  Laura Madeleine created engaging characters and was able to depict early 1900’s Paris with ease.  In THE CONFECTIONER’S TALE, Petra learns about her grandfather’s surprising life after an autobiographer hints at a scandal.  In an effort to maintain his reputation, she takes it upon herself to find out his story before it’s told to the world.  In the end, the book made me cry.

With a love story peppered (sugared?) with mystery, I give THE CONFECTIONER’S TALE 4 stars ****.

I received an ebook copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


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18 and Life on Skid Row by Sebastian Bach, review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this uncensored, unfiltered memoir, the musician and former front man for Skid Row tells the story of how a choir boy became a mega-successful hair metal god, rode the wave of fame in Heavy Metal’s heyday, and came out alive on the other side when glam rock went the way of the cassette tape and the Walkman.

Sebastian Bach is an iconic rock vocalist who has sold in excess of twenty million records worldwide. Best known for his powerful high vocal range and his flowing blonde locks, he’s been a stand out member of the metal music scene since he was fourteen. From first joining Kid Wikkid, Bach has rocked out with Skid Row, Madam X, The Last Hard Men, The Frogs, and Frameshift, and with famous friends such as Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Soundgarden, Pantera, and Guns ’N Roses.

But eventually the party bus stopped and the rock star grew up. Yet the fun didn’t end. Bach established a successful solo career as an actor, musician, and singer, appearing on numerous television shows and on Broadway. In this no-holds-barred memoir—raw, powerful, wild, funny, and reflective—he charts his unconventional childhood, first in the Bahamas and then in his rise from small-town Canada to the world’s greatest concert stages to the Great White Way and beyond.

There’s the usual sex, drugs, parties, women, hair products, and headbanging rock ‘n’ roll, but there is also a lot more. Here is a rock star who can write, tell a great story, and has kept his career moving forward despite the changing musical landscape. Through it all, this talented artist remained devoted to his craft, and to having a damn good time.

MY REVIEW:

If you grew up in the 80s listening to metal, you were probably a fan of Skid Row — and most likely in love with the lead singer, Sebastian Bach.  I know I was!

In his book, 18 AND LIFE ON SKID ROW, Sebastian tells us the story of his life, starting at the beginning with his earliest memories.  Oftentimes while reading, I felt I was sitting on a bar stool beside him, listening to him talk about his adventures while we drank shots.  He is very candid throughout the book, sharing the good and bad times.  I love the parts where he talks about other big bands in the 80s and the friendships he had with them, but I mostly enjoyed the personal bits.  It was during those stories that he really opened up and shared himself with us, unflattering or not. I appreciated the candor.  The various pictures of his family, the band, friends, and himself peppered throughout the book were a definite plus!

I recently had the chance to see Sebastian Bach in concert (For the FIRST time!!) and it was amazing.  I’m so glad I was able to read this book.  For any fan of hair metal, this is a must read.

With all the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll you can handle, I give 18 AND LIFE ON SKID ROW 4 stars ****.

 

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.