Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tell me something Tuesday: What do you do when you hit a blogging wall?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's conversation starter: 
May 23rd: What do you do when you hit a blogging wall?

I have been lucky to be honest. I have never felt like I want to give up, but I have had rough times. I have wondered why I even do this. Those times I have wanted to try new things (I still have ideas that I never used). But in the end every time I just go back to my reviews. They are simple, they do not take a lot of time. They are there, I love them.

Wow, I am no help at all today. I have seen others hit that evil blogging wall and I just can not help. I have made it through, it has never been that bad. But I do worry it might come later this year.

But breaks to seem to help some. Just take your time, relax, and hopefully come back stronger.

Luci in Feb


Monday, 22 May 2017

Author Post and Giveaway: Michele Summers



Today's guest is Michele Summers. She will tell us a bit about her heroine. And at the end there is a giveaway :)

Marabelle’s favorite summer activities 

Tennis is a huge favorite summer activity for Marabelle. She teaches lessons and clinics and plays in a USTA league for women. Living in North Carolina, she always makes time to hit the beach for a couple of weeks to soak up some rays, collect seashells and cook some fresh seafood. And when the heat is unbearable in August, she heads to the NC Mountains for a long weekend and cooler temps. Besides playing more tennis surrounded by beautiful mountains, she enjoys antiquing and hiking. 

What are some of your favorite summer activities?

Thanks for hosting me! It’s been fun.

Giveaway
1 print copy of Sweet Southern Trouble

1. US only
2. Enter by answering her question
3.  Ends May 28th

EXCERPT
“Coach Frasier, may I be perfectly frank?”
“Have you ever been anything else?”
Marabelle hesitated before answering. “Well, no, but I think it’s an admirable trait.”
Nick bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling. “Then certainly don’t change on my behalf.”
Blinking huge, chocolate-brown eyes, Marabelle looked more determined. Her face—sans the paint—was attractive. Faint freckles were scattered across her small, pert nose, but her mouth—by far the main attraction—had that bee-stung look that Hollywood stars coveted. For a moment, he wondered if her lips were as soft as they were full, if she tasted…
Where had those thoughts come from? She’s a kindergarten teacher, for chrissakes. He punted those unwanted thoughts right out of the stadium, and got his head back in the game by focusing on her small hands, which seemed to talk even more than her sexy, full mouth.
Marabelle paced in front of the large, white, dry-erase board. “Trinity Academy has a very important fund-raiser every spring that the whole community supports, and this year is going to be extra special, because they’re raising money to improve the football field and add two more tennis courts. And—”
Nick had heard this pitch a million times. Same setup, different location. “And you want me to contribute to the fund? Right?”
She stopped pacing. “Well, it’s more than just your money. Don’t get me wrong, your money is huge.” Nick chuckled at her lack of tact, but she ignored him, intent on lining up dry-erase markers in alternating colors.
“We need your help in contacting your celebrity friends and asking them to participate in the golf and tennis tournaments,” she said, leaning the markers against the board. “And we want you to ask the single, eligible men you know to sell themselves in our bachelor auction,” she finished all in one breath and turned, knocking all the markers to the floor.
“Um, what?” Nick shook his head as he bent to help her gather the scattered markers. This had to be a joke. “Are you secretly filming me for YouTube or something? Is this some sort of practical joke?” He’d had enough of being secretly filmed to last a lifetime, and if this fairy-tale character thought she could pull a fast one on him, she had no idea who she was up against. His gaze darted around the classroom, searching for a hidden camera. The room looked clean. Then he smirked. “Did my offensive coordinator set this up?”
Kneeling on the floor with puckered brows, Marabelle asked, “Who?”
Nick handed over three reds and two blues. “Coach Prichard. We’ve been arguing about the draft, but I didn’t think he was this upset.”
Right on cue, she turned stern schoolteacher. Standing, she released the handful of markers on the metal tray, her back as straight as if fused with a goalpost. “Coach Frasier, this is not some reality TV show, and I don’t even know your offensive coordinator. But if he’s upset, I suggest you make nice, and maybe you guys will start winning some ballgames.”
Splaying hands on his hips, he delivered one of his fiercest stares. “You tetched in the head or something? Are you telling me how to coach a professional football team?”
Marabelle didn’t flinch. A room full of five-year-olds must be tougher than he thought. Curling her fingers around a ruler in the metal tray as if she might rap his knuckles, she said in the same firm, schoolteacher voice, “If there’s dissension among your staff, it would be prudent to smooth things over. Arguing with your staff is bound to affect the players. It just goes to reason.” Tap, tap went the ruler in her palm.
Nick swore under his breath. Many a rookie had backed down from his most intimidating stare. Its effect was legendary. But not on crazy Marabelle. “Ms. Fairchild, you don’t know jack shit about coaching football.” Nick rarely lost his temper off the field, but she’d managed to push all his buttons. He knew his young team had struggled last season. He certainly didn’t need reminding from little Miss Muffet. He had the team’s owner, general manager, and the press for that. But Nick believed in his team. They had raw talent, and with good coaching and proper discipline, they’d only get better. Yet, it still rankled when he was confronted with their less-than-stellar record.
He didn’t need this hassle. “I’m out of here,” he muttered, starting for the door.
“Coach Frasier, please wait!”
Nick whipped around to squash the crazy, ruler-toting fairy once and for all, when three high school boys barged through the classroom door, carrying large tennis bags over their shoulders.
“Hey, Coach, you comin’ to practice today?”
“What?” The theme song from The Twilight Zone played in his head. Why would he be coming to practice here?
“Whoa! You’re Nick Frasier,” said the tallest of the boys as all three gazes landed on him.
Nick plastered on a smile, not wanting his scowl to be reported all over social media. “Hey, guys. What’s up?” All three eagerly shook his hand, talking at once. “You boys play for the tennis team?” Nick asked in between introductions and hand pumping.
“Yeah. We’re heading to practice and wondering if Coach is coming.”
“Coach?” Still confused, he searched their faces.
“Surprise, surprise,” Marabelle chimed softly next to him.


Title: Sweet Southern Trouble
Author: Michele Summers
Pub Date: May 2, 2017
ISBN: 9781402293641

An ambitious Southern belle 
Marabelle Fairchild knows she’s a gal who can get things done. Feeling unappreciated at the exclusive private school where she’s a kindergarten aide and varsity tennis coach, Marabelle determines to score with the next big fundraiser. What she doesn’t expect? A smokin' hot football coach to throw her off her game...

A reclusive NFL bachelor...
NFL coach Nick Frasier is Raleigh’s most eligible bachelor, but he wants to focus on  his career…not his playboy status. He doesn’t need a smart-mouthed, pint-sized kindergarten teacher pestering him. So he cuts Marabelle a deal—in exchange for Nick sponsoring a bachelor auction starring him and his gorgeous celebrity pals, Marabelle will pose as his fiancée to ward off unwanted advances. 

What could possibly go wrong?

MICHELE SUMMERS writes about small-town life with a Southern flair, and has her own interior design business in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Miami, Florida. Both professions feed her creative appetite and provide a daily dose of humor. | 


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: Mistletoe at Moonglow


Author: Deborah Garner

Title: Mistletoe at Moonglow (Paige MacKenzie Mysteries #2.5)
Genre: Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published: November 2015
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon Freebie)

A Christmas novella with cookie recipes included! 


The Timberton Hotel has always provided a perfect Christmas retreat for regular guests, as well as newcomers. But the small town of Timberton, Montana, hasn't been the same since resident chef and artist, Mist, arrived, bringing a unique new age flavor to the old western town. When guests check in for the holidays, they bring along worries, fears and broken hearts, unaware that Mist has a way of working magic in people's lives. Old-fashioned time spent together, exquisite food, conversation and a snowball or two offer guests a chance to trade sadness for hope. One thing is certain: no matter how cold winter's grip is on each guest, no one leaves Timberton without a warmer heart.



Awwweeee sometimes you really need a heart-warming tale in the middle of May. I found this randomly as a freebie on Amazon and I decided I needed to read it ASAP.



This was a short novella about Mist and her crew running the Timberton Hotel in a small town in Montana. Mist has a certain talent in helping people who come to her hotel. She is simply the nicest person and I wish I could go to her hotel. 



The guests varied from a family who just lost their son, a man who has to be away from his family on Xmas, a young lady from Arizona just trying to get away from her problems, and so forth. 



The characters were a little 2D, but it is a short story and there are a lot of characters, so it is bound to be tough to do much there. 



It was a quick read and I highly enjoyed it. I want to learn more about Mist and see her work her magic on more people who really need it! For sure read this. It put a smile on my face.



ALSO! I LOVED the recipes at the end. Super yummy! I want to try them this Xmas. :D 



Out of five stars, I'll give this a 4. 











Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday Night Movie: The Light Between Oceans

A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from a drifting rowing boat.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writers: Derek Cianfrance (written for the screen by), M.L. Stedman (novel)
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz 

Drama/Romance
2 h 13 min


Musings:
Omg, I cried for over 30 minutes. This was brutal, my heart broke in a million pieces. It was so  heartbreaking.

That is honestly all I would like to say, how I cried and cried. You know it will be sad, and still you watch it.

A man becomes a light keeper, he takes a wife, they find a baby. Oh you know that will not end well. But they are happy on their little island. It's a beautiful but desolate place, and they so love each other.

And then I cried and cried and cried and cried. It was a good movie, but so freaking sad.

Fassbender and Vikander do well in their roles. He is the silent one, she is the longing one.

But yes SAD



Weekend Update: A new Arrival

And here is an update in case you missed it :)

I miss my fitreaders posts, but yes I am going to not do those for some time now. But anyone who wants to join in then go do it :D. It does help, it pushed me to do things so I had something to show at the end of the week :D And you can do whatever you want, yoga, walking etc.

Anyway, to the post then ;)


What did you bring home?
He is still not cool with it


This is Sigrid. She finally arrived 2 weeks too late on the 12th of May. They tried inducing labor on Thursday but that did not work so there was another try on Friday with strong meds.

This pic was mostly for the view I had :) And cos I do not want to show her too close.


I call her Siggi. I did not mean to go with some super ancient Nordic name, but she just is a Sigrid.

Like I said before, I have read LOTS and I have posts scheduled for months. Don't think I have time to read that much, I just saved and saved posts so I would have something to show.

Sigrid /ˈsiːɡrɪd/ is a Scandinavian given name for women from Old Norse Sigríðr,meaning "victory", "wisdom", and "beautiful". Sigrid = Sigr + fríðr ("victory" and "beautiful", respectively).


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Buns - Alice Clayton

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

My thoughts:
It was the cover, I had seen those other two around and I just had to read this one for the cover. I did read the first book in her red head series, that one was funny, this one did not have that humour.

Anyhow. Clara is sent to save a hotel. She was very focused, loved her job and wanted to do it right. And she has issues, she has been in foster care and now she is all I dare not love. Sometimes I wish there was a book where the mains did not have issues ;)

Archie thinks she has too many ideas (even though they are all good ideas but he is stubborn). And he has issues too, but he let go of those faster than her.

These two fight, oh but the tension is there and they just want to rip each other's clothes off. But they fight, then there is passion and they will fall in love, stubbornly ;)

Conclusion:
A nice romance, with buns, those yummy buns...I am talking about the ones you bake! I mean hello

Cover
It amuses me

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Gallery Books
Hudson Valley #3
Contemporary romance
Netgalley


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Carole's Wednesday Review: The Princess Bride - William Goldman

Author: William Goldman
Title: The Princess Bride
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, & Comedy
Pages: 398
Published: 1973
Where I Got It: My Shelf (B&N)

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?


As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears.



Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.



What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.



In short, it's about everything.



I had read this book eons ago. I barely remember much about it, but I LOVE the movie so I knew I had to buy this and give it a re-read. 



This is for sure a MUST read book especially if you like the movie. There is so much more story plot, character development, background, and hilarity. Simply fantastic writing and story-telling. 



I do go back and forth about how I feel about the author's "narration" mixed in. It did add some humor and complexity, but in some parts, it ruined the flow of the story. It is genius of the author to make it seem like an abridged version of the "classic", but it is his own classic. Clever, but if the reader doesn't know what is going on, then I can see how it is confusing. The movie did something similar and a part of me thinks it was done better. 



There is so much going in this story: love, revenge, sword fights, giant rats, hilarity, torture, miracles, and etc. 



*swoons* Ooooh Westley. I always forget how much I love him. Buttercup is a super snot at the beginning and I wanted to kick her, but she does get better. I still don't understand why she decided to marry that Prince. Maybe I am just a tragic person, but I would've just died alone in my own pool of misery. So yeah - I get why Westley was POed. 



Now, the ending was brilliant. It does have that romantic POW, but it also spreads a serious message about how life really isn't a fairy tale all the time. What I loved about the book is the more "realistic" message it gives. Yes, it is a fairy tale but a realistic one. Hard to explain, but it was great. 



Overall, I love this story. I love this book. I love the characters. A must read for everyone. I'll stamp it with 5 stars. 





Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tell me something Tuesday How do you keep up with your blog?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's conversation starter: 


May 16th: How do you keep up with your blog?
I keep it simple. I do not write long reviews, I do not take notes. It would be such a hassle honestly. So my reviews take no time at all. I sit down, I write them. I want them to be my thoughts for the moment, my feelings fresh in my mind. Even if I sometime leave them too long, which is bad. I really should write them within a day or I forget what I feel.

So the reviews are done fast, I have also come to realise that scheduling posts are awesome! It makes it so easier. There has been times when it has been stressful to get a post up in a hurry. Instead I can just schedule. I can recommend it.

And I answer comments whenever I am online ...ahem and watching tv. Yes I can not focus on just one thing. From there I make visits to other bloggers and then go visit those blogs I follow.

Then there are emails to keep up with *delete*.  Then there is the author posts and such to deal with, but that go fasst. I do not have many posts like that these days.

I have no idea if I have answered anything. I just keep it simple.



Monday, 15 May 2017

Carole's Monday Review: Raging Madness - Jude Knight

Author: Jude Knight
Title: Raging Madness (Redepenning #2)
Genre: Historical Romance & Mystery
Pages: ebook
Published: May 2017
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.)

Ella survived an abusive and philandering husband, in-laws who hate her, and public scorn. But she’s not sure she will survive love. It is too late to guard her heart from the man forced to pretend he has married such a disreputable widow, but at least she will not burden him with feelings he can never return. 

Alex understands his supposed wife never wishes to remarry. And if she had chosen to wed, it would not have been to him. He should have wooed her when he was whole, when he could have had her love, not her pity. But it is too late now. She looks at him and sees a broken man. Perhaps she will learn to bear him. 

In their masquerade of a marriage, Ella and Alex soon discover they are more well-matched than they expected. But then the couple’s blossoming trust is ripped apart by a malicious enemy. Two lost souls must together face the demons of their past to save their lives and give their love a future.


This is book 2 of the series. I did not read the first one (I had no idea there was a first one, oh well), but this did well as a stand-alone; I think the other book followed two other characters - not 100% sure though. 

But yes, this story follows Ella and Alex. The two of them have had lots of horrible stuff happen to them from the past and in their present. Ella comes to Alex for help and a part of Alex needed helping too. They had loved each other but never acted on it since Ella had been previously married to a scum-bag. But fate throws them a bone and they really have to work for it. It was not an easy road for them. Which I really do love that in a romance...you know they are going to end up together, but it is fun watching the journey and having that worry that they may not. 

There is LOTS of drama and a lot going on. Ella had the roughest time...yes, Alex had a rough patch too, but I feel Ella had a lot on her plate. There were a couple of times I did tear up for her. BUT a lot of it could have been avoided if THEY COMMUNICATED! GAH! *rips hair out of head* Just say what you mean and how you really feel. Gah! Yes, yes, if they did that then there would've never even been a second book. I get it, but still maddening. 

Anyways...

It did take me FOREVER to finally get into the book. I had a hard time the first 20 or so pages. Not that the beginning was slow, it just did not grip me right away. I also had an issue with the flow of the story during some parts. It just felt uneven and chunky. The rest of the book flowed well overall. Also, there were some unrealistic parts that had me sigh.

Besides for the first 20 pages, the flow in a couple spots, and a couple cheesy parts I really enjoyed this book. It was sad, but it was a beautiful story of two people going through so many trials and heartaches to finally be together. I do recommend reading this if you love a story about moving forward and finding happiness. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this with....4. 












Friday, 12 May 2017

Magic Binds - Ilona Andrews

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this...

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar.

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in a never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules… 

My thoughts:
What can I say, it's book 9 after all. We all know Kate is totally kick-ass, and I do like her darker side. It shows more now. Her father's legacy is hanging like a sword over her. The power of magic is influencing her. And she did claim Atlanta, not an easy thing to live with. But I like all that, she is struggling without even realising it all times.

This book is sort of a filler and sort of not. The peace between her and Roland is not an easy one. And now he has kidnapped Saiman (oh and there is thing happening and I am so curious about how that will impact things, but hey I can not say a word.)

And of course the wedding date of her and Curran is coming closer, but then there is that whole Atlanta will burn and you will all die thing if that happens.

Conclusion:
I enjoyed the ride. I liked her dealing with her legacy. I even grew to like Julie (we have had our ups and downs). I liked to learn more about her family. But...I also wished more had happened. I want a big showdown soon.

Cover
Curran looks very serene there

Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Ace (first published September 20th 2016)
Kate Daniels #9
Urban fantasy
Own


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Audio Review: Highland Vixen - Mary Wine

Marcus MacPherson is every inch the fearsome Highlander. He's used to men averting their eyes and women cowering before him. He thinks he'll eventually settle down with a nice, obedient bride. Instead, he gets Helen Grant . . . Stubborn as the day is long, fearless, and dedicated to raising as much hell as possible, Helen is definitely going to challenge Marcus. And challenge him some more. And then some. It's anyone's guess who'll win this battle of the heart . . .

Narrator: Antony Ferguson

My thoughts:
This is book 2, and sure it works as a stand alone. But the couple from book 1 is still around since it's his brother and wife. And we met Helen and Marcus in book 1 and got a bit of their story.

Marcus stole her to teach her family to behave. And she is pissed at him. She wants to go home and he, oh he totally fancies her but is too man to admit it. Silly man!

I am not saying what happens, but these two end up married. And it will not be an easy marriage. Not by any means at all.

But first. Brenda! Poor Brenda. Through the entire book I wondered what would happen to Brenda. She would so deserve a book of her own! If you wonder who that is, well she belongs to the same clan as Helen and they will do some travelling together ;)

We also meet a girl named Catherine and I am looking forward to her book for sure.

But this is about Helen and Marcus dancing around each other. They both want each other. But she is a nobody, he is the war chief. Then there is that bloody Earl of Morton making plans and being evil.

Conclusion:
It was amusing listening to this. I could not wait for them to end up together and when they finally did they still had a long way to travel, and with drama, some good drama and suspense too.


Narration:
This is the second book I am listening to by Ferguson and I am used to his voice now. And his voice fits these books. He does the highlanders well.

Cover
Ok

Audio CD, 8h
Expected publication: May 9th 2017 by Tantor Audio (first published February 7th 2017)
Highland Weddings #2


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Within the sanctuary of Wings - Marie Brennan

After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent--dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field.

And yet--after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia--the Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure--scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland's enemies--and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings. 

My thoughts:
The end.
I am sad to see this series end but as Isabella herself says in her memoirs, the truly interesting parts has already happened. And I will take her word for it.

In this one she braves the highest mountains in the world in search of new dragons. And...oh I can't say but there are secrets, revelations and things I did not see coming! Exciting stuff.

I like Isabella, she so wants to explore and learn new things and here she feels she needs to get out in the field again. Her husband is trying to decipher the Draconian language and is all for a trip too. Aww he is so nice.

I wish I could say more about the journey but trust me, it's a good one. And as always I love the way it is written. It feels so real you know, like this really is a memoir from back in the day.

Conclusion:
This is a great series. It is written as a memoir of an inspiring woman who studies dragons. The world is rich and interesting. And as it now has ended, I do recommend it to all and read them in order so you get all her adventures.

Oh and as always, I love the drawings!


Paperback, 365 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Titan Books
The Memoirs of Lady Trent #5
Fantasy
For review


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Tell me something Tuesday: Blog commenting: do you comment altruistically or are their strings attached?



Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post here on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's conversation starter: 
May 9th: Blog commenting: do you comment altruistically or are there strings attached?

An interesting question. Sure when I comment on my favorite blogs I want them to visit me back. When I head out and try new blogs I do not expect this because you do not know how they roll.

It would be kind of boring if you spent ages commenting on a blog, but they never even once visited your blog. I get that people do not always have the time, but that also makes me wonder. Do they ever visit other blogs? That is the fun part with blogging! Reading other reviews, finding out which new books are out, drooling over books to come etc etc. Connecting with your fellow readers :D

I guess there are strings attached then. I mean, if you do not care what I say on my blog, then why would you care what I say on your blog?

I am a spaceball though. I was sure I was commenting on this one blog, and then suddenly my feed was flooded with posts, and I was all, whaaat? These are all new, but old! Uhoh. So I asked and she said I had not been there for months. Which shocked me, cos I was sure I had been! Too many blogs for my brain, lol.


Luci in February


Monday, 8 May 2017

Audio Review: Highland Spitfire - Mary Wine

Passion flares between enemies Two hotheaded Highlanders, the offspring of feuding lairds, are tricked by the King's Regent into a desperate choice: marry or die. Bhaic MacPherson is more disposed to lead his clan into battle than stay married to the daughter of his enemy. But perhaps the intensity of his feelings has more to do with desire than hostility. And the Highlands ignite Ailis Robertson wanted a husband, not a savage-but when her family was faced with a deadly ultimatum, she had no choice. The union of a MacPherson and a Robertson could end three generations of hostilities between the two families, but can bitter rivals truly become lovers? 

My thoughts:
Huh, so that is how you spell his name! When I listen to audio I just never know, well I know now. So let us start.

Bhaic and Ailis are part of feuding families. You know those highlanders, there is always a feud to be had. They really hate each other, but the country needs peace and they must marry.

Bhaic is a man of honor, she could have done worse.  But he does not have a lot of trust over, but hey I get that. The feud has been going on for 3 generations. He tries his best.

Ailis tried to keep it cool, but she does have a spitfire hiding in her. And I did feel so sorry for her because the people of the castle does not want her there. But she never gave up, she was strong. I liked her.

And of course it helps that they do start to fancy each other, but I liked that they took it slow. We got to know them, the castle and the people.

Conclusion:
A nice historical romance with highlanders , and I do love them. I look forward to the next book.

Narration:
Antony Ferguson did a good job. Sure the voices did not always sound all that different, but I did not care cos his voice was pleasant listening too. He kept me entertained and I did like the brogue.

I would def listen to more by him, and I am already doing just that.

Audio CD, 9ish
Published April 18th 2017 by Tantor Audio (first published February 2nd 2016)
Highland Weddings #1
Historical romance
For review


Saturday, 6 May 2017

#FitReaders Check-In: May 5, 2017

FitReaders is hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog  and That’s What I’m Talking About.

Join in!
It's fun, it's good for you too :D


Sat 30 min walk. 2 km bike
Sun 30 min walk
Mon 45 min walk. 2 km bike
Tue 30 and 30 min walks
Wed 2 km bike. 50 min walk
Thu 2 km bike. 1 h walk
Fri 2 km bike. 30 min walk

I did not expect to do another fitreaders post, but here I am :) I got a boost of energy this week and has done a lot of yard work too.

On Sunday we woke up to 10 cm of snow, but that was almost all gone by Monday when it was windy and warm again. And this time I admit, for the last day of April that much snow is strange. I also love that the sun sets so late again. I think it was 10 pm last night. It's nice with evening walks.


NOT amused


Friday, 5 May 2017

The Last Night - Cesca Major

In a quiet coastal village, Irina spends her days restoring furniture, passing the time in peace and hiding away from the world. A family secret, long held and never discussed, casts a dark shadow and Irina chooses to withdraw into her work. When an antique bureau is sent to her workshop, the owner anonymous, Irina senses a history to the object that makes her uneasy. As Irina begins to investigate the origins of the piece, she unearths the secrets it holds within.

Decades earlier, another young woman kept secrets. Her name was Abigail. over the course of one summer, she fell in love, and dreamed of the future. But Abigail could not know that a catastrophe loomed, and this event would change the course of many lives for ever... 

My thoughts:
After reading her other book I knew something bad would happen, and the blurb does hint at that too. I so wanted to google and see what happened in that village. But I braced myself.

The book is told in present day and in 1952. I was not that fond of Irene who was fixing up an old bureau and started to wonder about its history. See I was all about reading about what actually happened.

In the past we follow Abigail who moves in with her sister. Not the best place to stay. But the village is nice, romance is on the horizon and something is looming in the distance. I also liked Abigail, she was, well not shy, just not that outspoken and she did not always dare to say things she wanted too. Which was totally understandable in the situation.

It was a good book and I kept racing towards the end so I would know what would happen, what was the big bad? Would there even a big bad this time around? 

It was a lovely summer that turns into a mystery decades later

Cover
Ok

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: May 4th 2017 by Corvus Books
Fiction/ Historical fiction
In exchange for an honest review


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Dead Letters - Caite Dolan-Leach

Ava doesn't believe it when the email arrives to say that her twin sister is dead. It's not grief or denial that causes her scepticism - it just feels too perfect to be anything other than Zelda's usual manipulative scheming. And Ava knows her twin.

Two years after she left, vowing never to speak to Zelda again after the ultimate betrayal, Ava must return home to retrace her errant sister's last steps. She soon finds notes that lead her on a twisted scavenger-hunt of her twin's making.

Letter by letter, Ava unearths clues to her sister's disappearance: and unveils harrowing truths of her own. A is for Ava, and Z is for Zelda, but deciphering the letters in-between is not so simple... 

My thoughts:
I enjoyed the mystery in this one, it did make it hard to out it down.

Sure, the characters all had issues, but why would I mind that. They were all alcoholics even if Ava was in denial. I like unreliable narrators. 

Ava comes back to her parent's vineyard after her sister has died...or has she? She keeps getting these emails and I could honestly not tell, was Zelda really dead? Was she hiding? Was this revenge or some sort of effed up way of messing with the sister that left? I needed to know. 
'
The book is about Ava finding clues and trying to figure out what is going on. All while dealing with their messy vineyard, her mother and the betrayal that made her leave in the first place. And I did like Ava, though she should stay away from the booze and pills. A vineyard was so not the best place for them to grow up with a mum like that.

And Zelda was a piece of work, she was a mess. The flashbacks of them growing up shows her calculating side.

Conclusion:
The book was a fast read and it kept me wondering what was really going on. Oh I had some insane theories to be sure ;)

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 4th 2017 by Corvus
Thriller /Fiction
For review


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Alien Education - Gini Koch

As if learning as much as possible about every alien race in the galaxy, fending off the advances both business and personal from a variety of Hollywood types, dealing with the assimilation of various alien races, and navigating the Embassy Daycare kids' first day of "real" school wasn't bad enough, President and First Lady Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini must now deal with new robotic attacks that endanger every alien child on Earth, the resurgence of a bigger, nastier Club 51, and a variety of murders, all while facing the most truly terrifying organization they've ever encountered -- the school's Parent-Teacher Association. 

My thoughts:
Kitty does deal with a new scary big bad here, PTA. Dang those women, well woman ;), are scary!

One thing that I am very happy that have changed is that there were less music talk. 500+ pages of constant music references can be tiresome so this book was a total improvement.

Right, to the book then! Book 15, omg I know! When did that happen? Did I not just start reading these?! Now she has 2 kids and her husband is president. And she has a lot more animals ;)

There is always something bad coming. It's like you take down one tentacle and then 2 more come out. Arms that sends out robots, aliens, you never know who to trust. And then there are those stupid Humans first idiots too. They hate all aliens and want them gone. 

And then there was the PTA at the new school Jamie is going too. That will give her some trouble too, but then when is Kitty not in trouble? Luckily she is kick-ass and has great friends.

Conclusion:
Action, aliens and I need another A! I can't think of a good ending. Dang. Lol. 
I read it fast. It felt light and fun.

Cover
cool

Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by DAW
Katherine "Kitty" Katt #15
Sci-fi
For review


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tell me something Tuesday: How do you keep up with commenting?



Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post here on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's conversation starter: 
May 2nd: How do you keep up with commenting?

I used to have this awesome system where I did commenting before work and then late at night. But that totally fell apart during this fall when I was too tired to comment. I still got it done, but I was usually 2 days late ;)

And since I need to be doing a lot at the same time, I tend to comment on blogs while watching tv. Or just procrastinate, and then realise that I should be in bed and comment like crazy in a few minutes. Maybe not my best commenting, but at least I get something done.

I am also really bad at long comments. I have tabs open for 2 hours and then when I get to commenting I have forgotten what I just read in the review. I always feel like my comments should be longer, but I have given up, I think short is me. I just can not seem to shake it.

How I will keep up commenting in the future, we will see. Maybe I can shake that, looking at tv and commenting ;)

And I do tend to skip a few posts sometimes if I have too many, mostly spotlights and such...eh.


Luci in February when I wrote this


Monday, 1 May 2017

City of Miracles - Robert Jackson Bennett

Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is back, and this time he's out for vengeance. 'Astonishingly good ...a deep, powerful novel that's worth reading and rereading - Publishers Weekly The awesome climax to the fantasy thrillers City of Stairs and City of Blades: perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Brent Weeks and China Mieville. Shara Komayd, once Prime Minister of Saypur, has been assassinated. News travels fast and far, even to a remote logging town somewhere northwest of Bulikov, where the silent, shaven-headed Dreyling worker 'Bjorn' picks up the newspaper and walks out. He is shocked and grieved and furious; he's been waiting thirteen years for Shara, his closest friend, to reach out to him - to tell him to come home. He's always believed she was running a long operation, that there would be a role for him at the right time. Now he has no one else in his life, and nothing to live for - except to find the people who did this. Sigrud wasn't there for the death of his daughter Signe, and he wasn't there when Shara was murdered. Now Bjorn is dead and Sigrud is back. And he will find answers, for Shara, and for himself. He's made a promise ... 

My thoughts:
These books do connect, the same players are there. It's just stretch out over a longer period of time. I can't remember exactly how much time has passed since the events in the last books. They said it, and I forgot it. Was it 10 years? Less? The previous books have been about strong women, now we get a man, but he sure is surrounded by women still. The book does have some great side characters.

Shara is dead. What? Come on. That was not nice. I liked her and she did so much for this country! This is a revenge book. Sigrud is a wanted man but he sets out like the devil is behind him. He is gonna kill those bastards that took her down. Nothing stops this man, he is pretty awesome. But there is also something strange about him.

The mystery of who killed her takes him on another route. To find her daughter, to find who the player behind it all is (that person grrrrrrr.)

And what would the book be without a few revelations. And that end! Ha, I did NOT see that coming. Omg, so many, Oh I can not say a thing without spoiling it. It was an epic conclusion. I could leave it at that. But it also showed how the world will continue to grow and change. Epic.

I like how the world is created. Those dead or hidden gods. The miracles they created that crumbled or still stand. It's a fascinating world. Not a medieval fantasy, but a world with magic and industrialization that now has brought us cars. It's such a nice mix of things and the books has taken the reader to different cities, all strange, all interesting.

Book 2 is still my fav cos that one was intense! This one had a different but excellent vibe. An I do recommend this series. I am sad to see the trilogy end, and I hope, hope, he will write more in this world.

Conclusion:
Mystery, danger, revenge and quite a few miracles. A good series ending.

Cover
ok

Paperback, 448 pages
Expected publication: May 4th 2017 by Quercus Publishing
The Divine Cities #3
Fantasy
For review


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: For all time - Caroline B Cooney

Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Title: For All Time (Time Travelers #4)
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, and Historical Fiction
Pages: 272
Published: Oct 2001
Where I Got It: My Shelf (I honestly can't remember)

Annie Lockwood is testing Time. She’s traveled through it before, but always at Time’s bidding. Now she is asking Time to take her to the year 1899, when Strat is in Cairo. But Time doesn’t like to be tested. In what feels like a cruel joke, Annie is transported to ancient Egypt, thousands of years before Strat was born — to a world far removed from the one she knows. Meanwhile, in 1899, Strat is photographing the same pyramids that Annie walks among. But while Strat eagerly awaits Annie’s arrival, another visitor arrives: his father, Hiram Stratton, Sr., has come to Egypt to collect his son.


Powerless, Annie and Strat both look to Time. Can its force, which brought them together once, help them find each other again?



I swear my memory is getting so bad. I swear I read this and the other books in the series an eon ago...but after reading this I don't recall anything. Lucky me, though, this stands well as a stand alone so I was able to read this even though I couldn't remember the events of the past. 



This story follows a few characters. There is Annie who is from the 1990s and she has a special bond with Time..it likes to sweep her around. Strat is a young man in the 1890s whose dad is rich and crappy, so he decides to run away and become an archaeologist. Annie and Strat met in the past books and are in love. The author also included a couple side characters: Rennifer (a girl in Ancient Egypt), Camilla (a woman who dresses as a man to be a hired secret agent), and a couple others who got their two cents in. 



I felt bad for Annie and Strat. Time is a cruel wench who likes to put them together for a day or two and then tear them apart again. That would really stink. However, it was fun to cheer for them!



I really loved the interplay of all the different time periods and locations. The author did wonderful mixing everything together. The author did a good job at writing the different POVs. However, I do think that some of the POVs were not really needed and seemed to slow the pace of the story. The pace wasn't consistent. 



Also...I hated the ending. I get what the author was doing...but GAH *throws book*. Annie needs a kick in the butt. I felt bad for her, but I was so annoyed with her the entire time, but the ending made me loath her. Stupid chit. However, Strat was a cutie and I think he deserves a better everything...better family, a better lover, etc. Poor guy has had a hard time.



I am curious to see what happens next. I do recommend this even if you skip the other books. This was a fun book, but it did have some issues. I'll give this 3 stars.   




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