Friday, May 29, 2015

Review and Giveaway of The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams


REVIEW

A suitcase full of secrets?  A suitcase that opens up the proverbial can of worms which leads Vivian Schuyler to find out about her aunt who supposedly murdered her husband.

Once Vivian found out some juicy details about her aunt, she couldn't stop researching her life.  This could be her big break at the magazine with this story.

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT goes back and forth between Vivian's life and Aunt Violet's life.  Are there parallels between their lives?  Vivian wants to know about her aunt and this mysterious suitcase's contents that started it all.

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT is quite entertaining.  Aunt Violet is definitely something else.  I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters....well most of them. ​ They range from Vivian's stuffy mother to her carefree self.

Vivian is also a "modern" woman with a mind of her own and a heart that was broken.​

Professor Grant, Violet's husband, is a bit too controlling if you ask me and a poor excuse for a husband.

Violet was a favorite.  She was a self-made woman that knew what she wanted, but she also was ​a bit submissive as women were in the early 1900's. ​

​THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT is thoroughly enjoyable and a book I couldn't put down because of the characters and because of the steps Vivian took to uncover the clues about her Aunt Violet.​ 

​I have no qualms about recommending THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT. You will be entertained by the characters and will love the secrets of the suitcase and of Aunt Violet.  Who would think a suitcase could cause all this excitement, intrigue, entertainment, and of course a fantastic story?

LOVED this book.  You will get caught up in all of ​Aunt Violet's and ​Vivian’s antics.​  ​

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT is a truly ​delightful, witty read.​ ​The ending held a secret and surprise of its own. 

Ms. Williams is a marvelous storyteller.  THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT is going to be one of my favorite reads of this year.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

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A Winner Has Been Chosen!!

CONGRATS to Linda - #17

Thanks to all who entered.

GIVEAWAY
USA ONLY
Enter here
May 29 - June 5 
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Book Beginnings - 5/29/15


*Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.  *Taken directly from Rose City Reader's Blog Page. 

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My book beginnings is the same as last week, but I do have to tell you, this book is absolutely WONDERFUL.

The characters and the storyline are very intriguing.  I am LOVING the book.

If you are at the BEA, I hope I see you.
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This week's book beginnings comes from the prologue of THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK by Kelli Estes:

"Liu Mei Lien felt the steamship shudder beneath her feet and wondered if the quaking of her own body had caused it.  "You don't have a choice,"  Father hissed. Before she knew what was happening, he'd prodded her to the ship's cold metal railing.  "Climb up, Mei Lien."


Can you tell what is going to happen?
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Finished this book last week...wonderful historical fiction.

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY by Pamela Schoenewaldt:

An excerpt from my review is below:

"UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY is worth reading because of the wonderful writing style of Ms. Schoenewaldt and her marvelous research of WWI.  She has a very descriptive and in-depth writing style.​

​Sadness and heaviness do prevail in UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY as we read of worries about war, the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, and the aftermath of the effects the war had on its returning soldiers.  UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY is a book you will want to read but a book that will pull at your heart strings.​"

My full review was up yesterday, May 28, for a TLC Blog Tour.
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What are you reading or what have you read?










Book Blogger Hop - 5/29 - 6/4

 Question of the Week:

Can you read in a room with noise or do you have to have total quiet?

My Answer:

I can read in a room with some noise like perhaps a TV program that I have no interest in, but loud music or excessive talking prevents me from reading or concentrating.
 


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pam Jenoff

I chatted with Pam Jenoff today as she was passing by on her way to her book signing and I was standing in another author's signing line.

Ms. Jenoff was at the BEA signing copies of her newest book, THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH.

Meeting her today made my BEA complete.  :)

She is the sweetest person, and I just love her books.


I have THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH and am looking forward to reading it.

Under The Same Blue Sky by Pamela Schoenewaldt


Where did Hazel belong?  Did she belong in Dogwood, Pittsburgh, or somewhere else.

Hazel Renner's mother left her and left Dogwood, and Hazel's aunt and uncle lovingly raised her in Pittsburgh.  The smog of Pittsburgh and the effects of war upon the citizens also had an effect on Hazel.

Like her mother, Hazel wanted to leave and find where she really belonged.  She first tried teaching in Galway, but things happened there that necessitated her leaving and coming back home.  Hazel then tried Dogwood where her she was born to see if that would help her find her roots.

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY will pull you in because of the beautiful descriptions and wonderful characters.  ​You will love Hazel and her parents and feel sorry for her and all the problems she encounters.  ​Hazel's father was quite intense about his heritage and the war.  You could vividly feel his every concern and the emotions of every character because Ms. Schoenewaldt has ​a marvelous ​knack for words and for descriptions of characters and situations.​

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY was set during the first world war when German-Americans were under attack just as they were in Europe.  History and a beautiful story make up UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY.

You will enjoy UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY because of the nicely flowing storyline.  The only ​complaint I have is that I was really confused at the beginning.  The healing power of Hazel was a bit confusing too and not sure why it was in the story.

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY is worth reading because of the wonderful writing style of Ms. Schoenewaldt and her marvelous research of WWI.  She has a very descriptive and in-depth writing style.​

​Sadness and heaviness do prevail in UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY as we read of worries about war, the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, and the aftermath of the effects the war had on its returning soldiers.  UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY is a book you will want to read but a book that will pull at your heart strings.​

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and TLC book tours in return for an honest review.

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About Pamela SchoenewaldtPamela

Pamela Schoenewaldt lived for ten years in a small town outside Naples, Italy. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines in England, France, Italy, and the United States. She now lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband, Maurizio Conti, a physicist, and Jesse, their dog.
Find out more about Pamela at her website, keep up with her on her blog, and connect with her on Facebook.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Perfect Quote from Neil Gaiman and A Glimpse at Depot 87 Cafe & Books


My son is visiting Cafe Mill Valley, California, and stopped in Depot 87 Cafe & Books.

He sent me these photos that he knew I would love.  



The book store looks adorable, and this quote is too amazing to not share.

I don't read Neil Gaiman's books, but I do love his quote.

ENJOY!!



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

All Souls Trilogy Board Game Giveaway


Penguin has created a gorgeous, limited-edition All Souls Trilogy Board Game (see pictures here, here, here, and here) and will be giving 10 board games away via their Twitter @PenguinPbks over the course of the next two weeks (among other great All Souls prizes). 

These will be random giveaways taking place on Tuesday 5/26 and Thursday 6/4

To enter, check the Penguin Twitter during the mornings (ET) on those days and be sure to re-tweet the giveaway post by 4:30 p.m. ET—Penguin will be randomly selecting winners around 5 p.m. from among the people who re-tweet.

Best of Luck!!  Looks like fun.


PLEASE let me know if you win!!  THANKS.



Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

Catrin was once a wonderful mother, wife, and friend, but once her sons died she became a totally different person.

Catrin grieved as any mother would, but she never got over the death of her sons.  She had plans to take revenge against the person responsible for their deaths even though another child went missing on the island and it was swarming with authorities and islanders looking for this third missing child.

Were all the disappearances accidents or deliberate kidnappings? Were they all related and carried out by the same person?

LITTLE BLACK LIES has beautiful, descriptive writing that will pull you along and have you absorbed in the lives of the islanders and especially in the lives of Catri​n, Callum, and Rachel.  Could one of them be the one responsible for the disappearances and kidnappings? They always seemed to be involved in some way.

​LITTLE BLACK LIES has you questioning those three characters in your mind.  Subtle hints make you think you know the answer about who is responsible and then boom...something happens and you change your mind.​  Each character has some obsession that is more deadly than innocent.  The characters stay with you even when you are not reading, and they will still haunt you after you close the last page.

When one of the suspects is arrested for yet another disappearance, the tension builds and the story turns into one you won't want to put down.​

LITTLE BLACK LIES has serious situations, lies, secrets, and love all rolled into one gripping, pull-you-in plot.  Ms. Bolton's writing is riveting, and as she hints at what's happening, you can't help drawing yourself into the book's drama.  ​The ending is excellent.

​If I were to put LITTLE BLACK LIES into a category, I would put it in the category of a psychological thriller.

ENJOY!!  A marvelous read.  5/5​

​This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.




Monday, May 25, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - 5/25/15


   
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I hope you had a great reading week.  

I am at the BEA this week!!

I hope I see you if you are there!!
 
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This is a weekly meme run by Book Journey!
 

Post the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week.


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Books Completed Last Week:

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY by Pamela Schoenewaldt for a May 28, 2015, post for a TLC blog tour.

Book Currently Reading: 


THE GIRL WROTE IN SILK by Kelli Estes for a July 7, 2015, post.

I am not too far into the book, but it is quite good.

 
Books Up Next: 


IN THE DARK PLACES by Peter Robinson for an August 8, 2015, post.

   
THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH by Pam Jenoff for an August 28, 2015 post.  Ms. Jenoff is a favorite author.


DEAD MONEY RUN by J. Frank James for an August 31, 2015, post along with a giveaway for the book.

 
TAHOE GHOST by Todd Borg


HIGH SEAS DARKNESS by Burr B. Anderson

THREE STORY HOUSE by Courtney Miller Santo


GARDEN OF LETTERS by Alyson Richman



THE BEEKEEPER'S BALL by Susan Wiggs




NATCHEZ BURNING by Greg Isles

MADAME PICASSO by Anne Girard


THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR by Joel Dicker


THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME by Hazel Gaynor


WOMAN OF ILL FAME by Erika Mailman




THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS by Elizabeth Gilbert



PERFECT by Rachel Joyce


UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan


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The books below are not necessarily in the order I have planned to read them.  

I normally read in order of publication or tour date.

And....these are not for reading in the upcoming week.  They are books into and including all of 2014.

The "list" is a means of keeping me organized.  A visual display helps a lot for organization along with my Excel lists. 

 
How was your reading week?