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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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.


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Delilah: Treasonous Beauty by Angela Hunt, review


ABOUT THE BOOK

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.
When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

MY REVIEW

DELILAH: TREASONOUS BEAUTY by Angela is the third book in her Dangerous Beauty series.  The author has a real knack for Biblical Fiction, making the story feel authentic (for those who don’t believe in the Bible) with rich details of a long ago era.

Delilah isn’t mentioned much in the Bible, so mostly I thought of her a woman who betrayed a man who was born to serve God.  This book gave me a different insight into the woman who cut Samson’s hair and took his strength away.  I hadn’t really thought about her past and what drove her in life.  In the end, I felt pity for her and could see the reasons behind her decisions.  Of course, we will never know the true reasons behind the betrayal, but Angela Hunt weaves a compelling argument into the interesting tale.

I’m never disappointed by this author’s books.  I devour them quickly and eagerly await the next one.  This is easily my favourite so far.

With a different look into a well known Biblical story, I give DELILAH: TREASONOUS BEAUTY 5 stars *****.

*I received an ebook copy of this book from Bethany House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*

 

 


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A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams, review


ABOUT THE BOOK

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

 

MY REVIEW

I love reading a book that completely transports me to another era and makes me wish I had been born there.  A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Willams is such a book.  It kept me happily ensconced in the Jazz age–a period in time I can only dream about..  or read about.

The book alternates between two voices.  Theresa, a ‘confident on the outside, sensitive on the inside’ married socialite who knows the ropes and how to use them.  And, sweet, naive Sophie who wants to break free of life planned out for her but is too afraid.  Theresa is the one I preferred the most of the two.  I’m not sure if it’s because we are both “women of a certain age” or because I saw myself in her a few times, but I was rooting for her to get her happy ending.  With a mysterious family secret making its way into the story, this book has it all.

This is the first book I’ve read by Beatriz Williams and I was so impressed that I went and bought another straight away.  I work at a book store and when people ask for books about this era, I immediately hand them this one.  She has an elegant writing style that flows easily and creates a different world for the reader to live in.

With love, murder, betrayal, and booze, I give A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams 5 stars *****.

*I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for my honest review*