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Friday, May 31, 2013

2013 Pre-1960 Classic Childrens Books May Wrap Up




 
May Wrap Up!
 
Unfortunately I never got around to any of the books I planned to read for the challenge this month with so blog tours, book club reads and library trips I just couldn't squeeze them in so I better make sure I do next month.
 
I do hope to see some of what you guys have read though so link up below!
 
 
 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cat Thursday #5



Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s) and then link up at the host's site: The True Book Addict. It's all for the love of cats!
 
This week I thought I'd share some hilariously relatable kitty pictures :)
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

*[Blog Tour Review] Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara


Cascade
CascadeTourBannerFINAL1 photo CascadeTourBannerFINAL1_zpsa7f9bbc0.jpg
 
Summary:
 
A novel of art and desire in the 1930s

It’s 1935, and Desdemona Hart Spaulding has sacrificed her plans to work as an artist in New York to care for her bankrupt, ailing father in Cascade, Massachusetts. When he dies, Dez finds herself caught in a marriage of convenience, bound to the promise she made to save her father’s Shakespeare Theater, even as her town may be flooded to create a reservoir for Boston. When she falls for artist Jacob Solomon, she sees a chance to escape and realize her New York ambitions, but is it morally possible to set herself free?

Fans of Richard Russo, Amor Towles, Sebastian Barry, and Paula McLain will become engrossed in this transporting novel about the eternal tug between our duties and our desires, set during in New York City and New England during the Depression and New Deal eras.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 384 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E- book/Audio
Publication Date: April 30th 2013 by Penguin Books (first published August 16th 2012)            
 
 
When I first got the tour invited for Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara I was so excited to finally be reading the novel as it had been on my TBR shelf since June of last year when I was perusing Goodreads and came across the stunning cover of this book that had an equally alluring summary.
 
While I'm a lover of historical fiction I don't read books set after 1900 very often since I don't find them historical enough for me to enjoy but there was something about Cascade that really caught my eye and made me want to give the book, and the era it was set in a chance, one that I'm glad I gave it since it turned out to be better than I could have hoped for.
 
Desdemona's story really struck a chord with me. Her struggle with learning and striving to be the woman she wants to be yet stuck in a loveless marriage with a good, honest but passionless man Asa Spaulding. Her struggle with the towns people of Cascade, dealing with her father's death and legacy as well as her feelings for Jacob Solomon. I loved how this was such an amazingly emotional and realistic struggle of searching for one's sense of self and the consequence one has to deal with because of the choices we make.
 
The plot enthralling, there's no other word to describe it. Maryanne O'Hara did an excellent job making the words leap off the page and whisk me away to Cascade in the 1930's. I loved the atmosphere of the story and thought that the pacing of the novel was just right. It was neither too fast or too slow and it flowed seamlessly from one scene to the next for the most part. For me my only real issue with the book was that I thought it wrapped up a little to quickly for me and would have liked to see it build up a wee bit more but that's perhaps just me.
 
I thought that Maryanne O'Hara's character development was very good. My favourite was Desdemona, she could be a little self centered and high strung but I really enjoyed reading her story. The other characters like Asa and Jacob were interesting and I liked seeing their dynamics with Desdemona play out but the most enjoyable thing about them was that they were all very realistic and I thought that added a lot to the over all story.
 
Overall, I found Cascade by Maryanne O'Hara to be even better than I had hoped it would be. The plot was compelling and made me read into the wee hours of the early morning and had me totally invested in the characters and I can't wait to see what the author comes out with next because I'll be buying it as soon as it hits the shelves.
 
I would highly recommend this novel to fans of historical fiction set in the 1930's who enjoy character driven plots as well as novels that deal with personal growth and hard choices.
 
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
 
I read this book for the following reading challenges:
 
2013 150+ Reading Challenge
2013 Historical Reading Challenge
Loved It!
★★★★1/2

To "Like" Maryanne on Facebook CLICK HERE
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To visit Maryanne's Website CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Chapters Indigo CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Amazon CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Kobo CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via The Book Depository CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Barnes & Noble CLICK HERE
 
Author Bio:
 
Maryanne O'Hara
 
Maryanne O’Hara was the longtime associate fiction editor at the award-winning literary journal Ploughshares. She received her MFA from Emerson College fifteen years ago, and wrote short fiction that was widely published before committing to the long form. She lives on a river near Boston.
 
 

Waiting on Wednesday #65




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and is where we can talk about books we are looking forward to being released!

Here are my picks for the week:

Always Watching
 
Summary:
 
She helps people put their demons to rest.

But she has a few of her own…

In the lockdown ward of a psychiatric hospital, Dr. Nadine Lavoie is in her element. She has the tools to help people, and she has the desire—healing broken families is what she lives for. But Nadine doesn’t want to look too closely at her own past because there are whole chunks of her life that are black holes. It takes all her willpower to tamp down her recurrent claustrophobia, and her daughter, Lisa, is a runaway who has been on the streets for seven years.

When a distraught woman, Heather Simeon, is brought into the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit after a suicide attempt, Nadine gently coaxes her story out of her—and learns of some troubling parallels with her own life. Digging deeper, Nadine is forced to confront her traumatic childhood, and the damage that began when she and her brother were brought by their mother to a remote commune on Vancouver Island. What happened to Nadine? Why was their family destroyed? And why does the name Aaron Quinn, the group’s leader, bring complex feelings of terror to Nadine even today?

And then, the unthinkable happens, and Nadine realizes that danger is closer to home than she ever imagined. She has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most…and fight back.

Sometimes you can leave the past, but you can never escape.

Told with the trademark powerful storytelling that has had critics praising her work as “Gripping” (Kirkus), “Jaw-dropping” (Publishers Weekly) and “Crackling with suspense” (People magazine), ALWAYS WATCHING shows why Chevy Stevens is one of the most mesmerizing new talents of our day.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 352 pages (Hardcover)
Expected Publication Date: June 18th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
 
Why I'm Waiting:
 
I loved Chevy Steven's first book Still Missing when it came out and her second novel is on my summer reading list along with this the third of her books and I can't wait to read it. She's such an awesome writer AND she's Canadian!
 
Bound by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampires, #1)
 
Summary:
 
The first installment in a sexy new paranormal romance series by Larissa Ione, author of the bestselling Demonica series!

A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE
A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 400 pages (Mass Market Paperback)
Expected Publication Date: September 24th 2013 by Pocket Books
 
Why I'm Waiting:
 
I'm a huge fan of Larissa Ione's Lords of Deliverance series so as soon as I saw she was doing a vampire series I knew I had to add it to this week's Waiting on Wednesday post. The book sounds like it's going to be yet another awesome read by one of my favourite authors!
 
 
 
What are YOU waiting for this Wednesday?

 
 
 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

*[Blog Tour Review] Illicit Love (Marlow Intrigues #1) by Jane Lark


Illicit Love
 
Summary:
 
Trapped under the reign of a cruel keeper, Ellen Harding longs to be free. Under his oppression, her soul and conscience have died while her body lives on, fulfilling his dissolute desires. She is empty––a vessel––deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame.
When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines what it would be like to escape her chains for a night by giving her body to him.
But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her, and her subconscious whispers, this man could be her salvation. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her freedom?
Edward is restless, lonely, and a little angry with his lot in life—it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking, and he cannot take his gaze off her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes.
Once he’s known her, he cannot forget her, and once he’s seen the evidence of her supposed benefactor’s brutality, he wants to help her. But how can he when she will not run any more than she will speak of her past?
When a desperate Ellen finally relents and shocks Edward from his sleep, he doesn’t hesitate, he helps her flee .He just doesn’t know he’s running headlong into the secrets of her past.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 368 pages (E-book)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: May 2nd 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing      
 
When I first got the invite for Illicit Love I was really excited to read it. Historical Romance is one of my favourite book genres and one that I've been indulging in since I was a about 12 years old a bit early may hap but it's still a genre I come back to time and again.
 
Illicit Love was definitely one of the most unique historical romances I've ever read. It is definitely a darker read but one that was still had lots of passion between the pages. I think Jane Lark brought forth a really good read and one full of substance with characters that were very well developed.
 
I really felt for Ellen. The poor woman had been through so many things I couldn't help but like her and cheer her on through the novel. I thought that the abusive nature of the man to whom she was a mistress was an interesting angle. I've only seen the abusive "spouse" theme in a few Historical Romances and as weird as it sounds I think it should be used more to make the characters as well as the story more real. I loved how there was a lot of struggling and personal growth in the book with Ellen and Edwin as individuals as well as as a couple.
 
I thought that the romance between Edwin and Ellen was perfect as weird as it sounds I don't think I would change a thing about how their relationship came about and how it progressed because of all the other components of the book fitting together so well.
 
Overall, I found the plot to be enthralling and the characters to be rather addictive to read about. The author used a theme I don't see often and she used it with a deft hand. I thought the pacing of the book was just right and was neither too fast or two slow and was always bringing about something new and surprising. I'm really glad that I signed up for this tour because now I've found a new author to be on the lookout for.
 
I would recommend Illicit Love to fans of historical romance who are looking for a new author to try out and a historical romance that isn't as light and fluffy as the other ones out there on the market. 
 
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
 
I read this book for the following reading challenges:
 
2013 150+ Reading Challenge
 
Really Liked It!
★ ★ ★★
 

To "Like" Jane on Facebook CLICK HERE
To "Follow" Jane on Twitter CLICK HERE
To visit Jane's Website CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Amazon CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via Barnes & Noble CLICK HERE
 
 
Author Bio
 
 
 
Jane is qualified to the equivalent of a Masters Degree in People Management and is fascinated by the things which craft people's personalities, so she has great fun exploring these through characters. She lives in the United Kingdom near the Regency City of Bath and has just bought her 400 year old dream home. History has always tempted her imagination and she loves researching and also exploring ruins and houses to get ideas. She equally loves a love story.
 
Jane has always aspired to writing a historical novel so when she was thirty she put it on her ‘to do before I am forty’ list. She completed her first novel ten years ago, never sent it anywhere then started the next. She’s not stopped writing since, and escaping into a mental world of fiction is a great painkiller to help fight off her Ankylosing Spondylitis.
 
Jane is a member of RWA, RNA, and the Historical Novel Society.



 
 
 
 

Teaser Tuesday #4


 
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
 
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• 
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


A Perfect Beast-After Earth
 
Summary:
 
The official prequel novel of the epic film After Earth, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith

After their exodus from Earth, the last humans settled a remote planet, Nova Prime. When an alien force known as the Skrel descended from the skies, the United Rangers Corps, an elite defense unit, valiantly resisted. Centuries passed without an attack, and many colonists believed that, with other security measures in place, the resources devoted to maintaining their military strength would be better spent elsewhere. Little did they know that trouble was coming to Nova Prime—and it had a taste for blood.

The latest in a long line of decorated warriors, Conner Raige is one of the Rangers’ most promising young cadets, although his brash confidence and tendency to act on instinct have earned him as many skeptics as admirers. Conner’s ancestors were on the front lines of humanity’s victory against the Skrel. But when a deadly ground war breaks out, Conner’s up against an entirely different beast—because, this time, the Skrel have brought a secret weapon: ferocious killing machines designed to eliminate humanity from Nova Prime . . . and the universe.
Summary & Photo taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 352 (Paperback)
Publication Date: April 30th 2013 by Del Rey
 
My Teaser:
 
"What do you suggest I tell the kids?" he asked?
She paused, her back to him so that he didn't see her closing her eyes in pain over the prospect of the children being informed of her absence.
 
 

Top Ten Tuesday #29

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
 
Top Ten Favourite Books Of 2013 (So Far):
 
(In No Particular Order)
 
The Fever TreeKnight Awakened (Circle of Seven, #1)A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)VoyagerWhat's a Witch to Do?Archangel's Consort  (Guild Hunter, #3)Cape TownThe Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild
 
The year is almost half over and I was already struggling to weed out my favourites. These were all awesome reads and ones that I couldn't put down.
 
 
 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Quote-Tastic Monday #3

 

 

This one is simple and just about sharing your favorite quotes and the books they come from! Hosted by the FABULOUS Anna at Herding Cats & Burning Soup
 
 
 
I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin so I thought I'd share one of my favourite quotes from the first book in the series:


A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
 
 
“Opening your eyes is all that is needing. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth.”
 

 
What is YOUR favourite bookish quote this week?
 
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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #55


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey and is a great way for others to find out what you are planning to read this week and, best of all, see what others are reading.
 
Read Last Week:
 
The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest CreaturesGemmaThe Perfume GardenCape Town
 
Currently Reading:

CascadeUnder The Tuscan Sun: At Home In ItalyA Perfect Beast-After Earth
 
Up Next:
 
To Be Decided!
 
What are YOUR reading plans this week?
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