Saturday, March 31, 2018

#BookReview - Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Title:  Still Missing
Author:  Chevy Stevens
Genre:  Thriller & Suspense
Release Date:  July 6,  2010


About the Book:


On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old realtor, had three goals - sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.
Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive in a remote mountain cabina, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is the second narrative recounting the nightmare that follows her escape: her struggle to piece her shattered life back together, the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor, and the disturbing sense that things are far from over.
Still Missing is a shocking, visceral, brutal, and beautifully crafted novel about surviving the unsurvivable, and living to bear witness.
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Written in first person, in a series of sessions with the victim's pychiatrist, Still Missing is a shocking thriller about a kidnapping and the events leading up to the discovery of who was responsible.  The gruesome details of her year-long abduction will send shivers down your spine and bring tears to your eyes.

From start to finish, I could not put this book down!  I want to say so much more in this review, but I do not want to give away any spoilers.  This is one you will have to read for yourself.

I'll be looking for more books from this author, Chevy Stevens.

My Rating: 

About the Author:
CHEVY STEVENS grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still lives on the island with her husband and daughter. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s camping and canoeing with her family in the local mountains. Her debut novel, STILL MISSING, won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. Please visit her at www.chevystevens.com.

Friday, March 30, 2018

New Release! Shadow Pact by Tally Adams

Title:  Shadow Pact
Author:  Tally Adams
Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Release Date:  March 16, 2018


About the Book:


Family ties can often be complicated. For Emily, her determination to save her sister from an unspeakable fate has a far bigger impact than she ever expected. Without warning, she suddenly finds herself in a world she never knew existed, surrounded by the dark monsters of the night. Only one thing stands between her and being someone's next meal. 

William long ago learned that immortality was simply overrated. Night after night he brings death to is own kind--immortals who've lost the bare remnants of humanity and gone insane--not because he wants to, but because of a bargain made years before that left him in bondage. There is no light left in his world. Nothing remains for him but darkness and the eternal monotony of death. Until the night he finds her. Together, they set on a journey that will turn the entire immortal world on its head.
Buy Links: Amazon 

Hey Readers!  Are you a fan of vampires and paranormal romance? Then check out this newly released novel by Tally Adams! Right now it is free on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited! 

About the Author:
I live in Texas with my husband and four children. (And one big, fat English bulldog). I have been writing my entire life because the characters in my head just swirl around with different potentials if I don't put them on paper. By the time I entered high school, I'd already written my first book. Years later, I worked as a nurse and continued to write. Finally, I decided to move forward into the world of publication and share my imaginary friends with the world. 

Shadow Pact was released in 2018 in digital format through Amazon and Kindle, and paperback format through Amazon. The main characters, William and Emily, flowed as they were expected to through the story. Paoli, however, became a real pain. He refused to stay in the original idea I had for him, and continued to shift into a very different character than I meant him to be. Eventually, I gave up the fight and allowed him to develop as he was determined to.

The next book in the series, Shadow Blood, is Paoli's story. I can't wait to see how it unfurls, but Paoli's woman is sure to keep him on his toes!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

#BookReview - Best Beach Ever (Ten Beach Road, Book #6) by Wendy Wax

Title:  Best Beach Ever (Ten Beach Road, Book #6)
Author:  Wendy Wax
Genre:  Women's Fiction
Release Date:  May 22, 2018
Available for Pre-order

About the Book:

Hoping for smooth sailing the ladies of Ten Beach Road confront choppy seas...

Forced to rent out or lose their beloved Bella Flora after the loss of their renovation-turned-reality-TV show Do Over, Maddie, Nikki, Avery, Kyra, and Bitsy move into cottages at the Sunshine Hotel and Beach Club believing the worst is over. Only to discover just how uncertain their futures really are. 

Maddie struggles with the challenges of dating a rock star whose career has come roaring back to life while Nikki faces the daunting realities of mothering twins at forty-seven. Avery buries herself in a tiny home build in an attempt to dodge commitment issues, and Kyra battles to protect her son from the Hollywood world she once dreamed of joining. And Bitsy is about to find out whether the rewards of seeking revenge will outweigh the risks. 

Luckily, when the going gets tough, the ladies of Ten Beach Road know that their friendship--tried and tested--can chase away the darkest clouds and let the sun shine in...

My Review:

Best Beach Ever was a delightful conclusion to the Ten Beach Road series.  This is Book #6 in the series and I strongly recommend that at least some of the previous books be read prior to reading this one, especially Book #1 - Ten Beach Road.  This series tells the struggle several women must endure and how their friendship brings each of them through to their very own happily-ever-after.  The core of this friendship circle is Maddie, who seems to help each one focus on the positives in their lives.  Their favorite way to do that is to gather at sunset each evening with a glass of wine, or a pitcher of margarita's, a few snacks, including Cheez Doodles, and each one toasting to one good thing that happened to them that day.

I don't want to give away any spoilers here, but we see the return of someone who irritated Kyra in a previous book.  We also see another side of Daniel and of Tonja.

Wendy Wax gave us some memorable, delightful characters.  I'm looking forward to more from this author.

Disclosure:  A complimentary ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:


I write novels that explore friendship, self-discovery and the challenges life brings us, leavened with a touch of humor. I'm proud of all my books and perhaps best known for my "Ten Beach Road" titles including the USA Today bestsellers, Ten Beach Road and The House on Mermaid Point, and for While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.

I was born in St.Petersburg, Florida and grew up on St. Pete Beach within spitting distance of the Gulf of Mexico. I went, appropriately enough, to Sunshine Elementary School where recess and art class sometimes took place on the beach, and the highlight of every school year was the annual fish broil.

It’s hard to be a type-A personality when you grow up in such a laid back environment, but I managed. Convinced that you were expected to know how to read BEFORE you showed up for school, I forced a neighbor friend to teach me to read at the age of five. I’ve been reading ever since.

Books, in all forms, are one of my greatest pleasures and best forms of escape. And they’ve had a major impact on my life.

I went to the University of Georgia after reading Gone with the Wind one too many times. For a while I re-read Margaret Mitchell’s classic yearly, saw the movie whenever it played within twenty miles, and could quote large passages from memory. Today I have a growing GWTW collection, and the time I spoke at he Margaret Mitchell House was an incredible last thrill. 

After college I worked in radio, television, and film. Like Olivia in 7 DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS, I’ve done live talk radio. I hosted a show in the eighties called Desperate & Dateless, and while I was never locked in an apartment for a week with a webcam rolling as she was, I did fall in love. Happily, the man who swept me off my feet consults with financial types and understands the bottom line. Unlike Olivia’s nemesis, Matt Ransom, my husband has never, to my knowledge, advised anyone to ‘love the one they’re with.’ We live in Atlanta with our two sons


Wendy loves to hear from her readers! You can reach her at wendy@authorwendywax.com.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

#BookReview - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Title:  Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author:  Gail Honeyman
Genre:  Women's Fiction
Release Date:  May 9, 2017


About the Book:


A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

“Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!” —Reese Witherspoon

This wacky, charming novel. . . draws you in with humor, then turns out to contain both a suspenseful subplot and a sweet romance. . . Hilarious and moving.People 

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . 

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Eleanor Oliphant is a character you will long remember. Is she really "completely fine" or is she a total mental case? Either way, she will linger in your heart for years to come. 

I listened to the Audible version of this novel and the British accent added to the flavor. Eleanor is a socially inept, lonely woman, trying to adjust to the world around her. When she develops a crush on a rock star, her imagination has a budding romance forming and she begins to transform herself with new clothes, a new haircut and a bikini wax... which was a humorous adventure.

After years of lonliness, she begins to develop friendships with a man she works with and soon meets his delightful mother. Eleanor Oliphant and Raymond then help to save an elderly man who has fallen on the street and later find themselves involved with his family.

There is a bit of drama, and a touch of a psychological thriller, and although it was fairly easy to figure out how all of that turns out, the story was still quite good.  If you are a fan of books like "A Man Called Ove", you will enjoy this novel.  I did.

My Rating: 

About the Author:
Gail Honeyman wrote her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, while working a full-time job, and it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress. She has also been awarded the Scottish Book Trust's Next Chapter Award 2014, was longlisted for BBC Radio 4's Opening Lines, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. She lives in Glasgow.

Monday, March 26, 2018

#BookBlitz & #GiveAway - Owl Eyes by Molly Lazer


Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale
Molly Lazer
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Nora knows three things: she is a servant, her parents are dead, and she lives in the kitchen house with her adoptive family. But her world is torn apart when she discovers that her birth father has always been right there, living in the house she serves.
This discovery leads Nora to more questions. Why was she thrown in an ash-covered room for asking about her father? Why is a silver-bladed knife the only inheritance from her birth mother? Why is magic forbidden in her household—and throughout the province of the Runes? The answers may not be the ones Nora hoped for, as they threaten a possible romance and her relationship with the adoptive family she loves.
With the announcement of a royal ball, Nora must decide what she is willing to give up in order to claim her stolen birthright, and whether this new life is worth losing her family—and herself.
EXCERPT:
“Hi.”
I shot up from the bed, screaming, and scrambling backwards before falling off the mattress onto the planked wood floor. A boy crouched next to me with his elbows balanced on his knees and his chin resting against his palms. He wore an old, light blue shirt that was much too large for his small frame. A piece of hay stuck up from the mop of brown hair on his head.
“Jack!” Liana called from the kitchen. “Don’t wake Nora.”
“Too late,” the boy called back.
“Who are you?” I pressed my hand to my chest to keep my heart in place. “Why were you watching me sleep?”
“I wasn’t watching you sleep,” the boy said. “Peter and me just got back from the Market, and I got up here and found you on my mattress.”
“Your—” I sputtered. I took a deep breath and tried to inhale the motherwort from the candle. “This is my bed.”
“Well, no one said it was yours, did they? I claimed this bed when I got here, and no one made a peep.” He crossed his arms and looked at the floor. “They were probably too worried if you were okay to care about where I was sleeping. You looked pretty rotten.”
“I was sick,” I said, staking my spot on the mattress again.
“No, I mean you actually looked like you’d rotted. Your skin was all black. Are you sure you’re not a spirit who’s talking to me now?”
I grabbed his arm and pressed my palm to his. “No spirit,” I said. “I’m here.”
He grinned. I shoved him on the floor.
“I’m Jack,” he said as he picked himself up.
“Nora.”
“Are you Greta and Peter’s daughter?”
“No.” I regretted the words as soon as they came out of my mouth. They were true, but I chewed them like a lie. “I mean yes. Sort of.”
“How are you only ‘sort of’ their daughter?”
“I mean, yes, I’m their daughter. They’re just not my real parents. My real parents are dead. Or gone. Or something. My mother is dead.” I was rambling. I pulled the candle closer to the mattress, hearing Greta’s voice in my ear warning me that the flame could catch the straw on fire. I didn’t care. I lowered my face and breathed in.
“Does your ma’s spirit ever talk to you?” Jack asked.
“What?” I stared at him. “That’s stupid. How old are you that you still think that can happen?”
“I’m thirteen.” Defensiveness crept into his voice. “And I only asked because I can talk to my pa anytime I want to. Or at least I could when we lived in the Vale. His spirit lives in the river there.”
Sir Alcander had hired a crazy person to work in the kitchen house.
“No, he doesn’t.”
“He does so! I’ll show you sometime, and you’ll see.”
I flopped back down on the mattress and rolled over so I was facing away from him, pulling the candle to the other side with me. I could feel Jack watching me.
“Your ma is nice,” I said, still not facing him.
“Thanks. I think so too.” There, finally, was something we agreed on. “I’m going to bed now. You can keep your spot. I didn’t want it anyway.” I peeked over my shoulder. Jack lay down on a new mattress I hadn’t noticed next to the wall.
“Thanks,” I said. In the dim light of the candle, his eyes looked almost gold. I smiled.
“It’s all right,” he said. “I can sleep almost anywhere as long as I’ve got enough space. I don’t like feeling closed up in small places.” The dark room pulsed behind me. “Me neither.”
Now we had two things in common.


Author Bio:
Molly Lazer is a former associate editor at Marvel Comics, where she worked on books such as Fantastic Four, Captain America, New Avengers, and cult favorite comic book Spider-Girl. After returning to graduate school to receive a degree in education, she began a career as a high school reading, writing, and drama teacher. She also serves as a professional critiquer for Comics Experience, helping aspiring comic book writers finesse scripts for publication.
In 2016, Molly received a MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. Her short stories have been featured in numerous literary magazines including Gone Lawn, LIT, and Silver Blade. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and twin sons. Owl Eyes is her first novel.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

#BookReview - Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Title:  Before We Were Yours
Author:  Lisa Wingate
Genre:  Women's Fiction, Historical, Family Saga
Release Date:  June 6, 2017


About the Book:


The NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLER! 

For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a "thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal."

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge--until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents--but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility's cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals--in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country--Lisa Wingate's riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Before We Were Yours is a heart wrenching story based on a real life scandal.  The author, Lisa Wingate takes us back and forth from the tragic abduction of the Foss children in 1939 and their horrific treatment at the hands of Georgia Tann, director of the Tennessee Children's Home Society in Memphis, Tennessee, to the present day life of Avery Stafford, a successful federal prosecutor being groomed to take over her father's political position.  

From a chance meeting with May Crandall at a nursing home, hints of a connection to Avery's grandmother begin to surface. As the story unfolds, and Avery discover's her grandmother's secrets, Avery also discovers a few things about herself in the process.

Although there were times when I cringed and my eyes filled with tears, there were also times when I felt the warm fuzzy's. Lisa Wingate created vivid characters who told the story of a real life tragedy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would heartily recommend it. Be sure to read all the way to the end, including the author's notes.

My Rating: 

About the Author:


Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 for two years running, Lisa Wingate writes novels that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and ForeWord Magazine refers to as "Filled with lyrical prose, hope, and healing.” Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of a host of literary works. Her novels have garnered or been short-listed for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the LORIES Best Fiction Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, Family Fiction's Top 10, RT Booklover's Reviewer's Choice Award, and others. The group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with six others for the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who promote greater kindness and civility in American life. She’s been a writer since Mrs. Krackhardt’s first-grade class and still believes that stories have the power to change the world.

IN THE WRITER'S OWN WORDS: A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, made a writer out of me. That may sound unlikely, but it's true. It's possible to find a calling when you're still in pigtails and Mary Jane shoes, and to know it's your calling. I was halfway through the first grade when I landed in Mrs. Krackhardt's classroom. I was fairly convinced there wasn't anything all that special about me... and then, Mrs. Krackhardt stood over my desk and read a story I was writing. She said things like, "This is a great story! I wonder what happens next?"

It isn't every day a shy new kid gets that kind of attention. I rushed to finish the story, and when I wrote the last word, the teacher took the pages, straightened them on the desk, looked at me over the top, and said, "You are a wonderful writer!"

A dream was born. Over the years, other dreams bloomed and died tragic, untimely deaths. I planned to become an Olympic gymnast or win the National Finals Rodeo, but there was this matter of back flips on the balance beam and these parents who stubbornly refused to buy me a pony. Yet the writer dream remained. I always believed I could do it because... well... my first grade teacher told me so, and first grade teachers don't lie.

So, that is my story, and if you are a teacher, or know a teacher, or ever loved a special teacher, I salute you from afar and wish you days be filled with stories worth telling and stories worth reading.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

#BookReview - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title:  Ready Player One
Author:  Ernest Cline
Genre:  Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Release Date:  June 5, 2012


About the Book:


The worldwide bestseller—soon to be a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

I'm always looking for something new to read and when my book club suggested READY PLAYER ONE I thought... why not?  When I told my daughter that I was reading this book, she looked confused.  "Why in the world are you reading THAT?"  I replied, "Why not?  It got excellent reviews."  She shook her head and said, "It is indeed a good book.  But Mom... you're not a gamer!  You won't know what they are talking about!"  To a large extent, my daughter was right.  Although I enjoyed the references to the 1980's, I had no clue as to some of the terminology used in reference to gaming techniques.

The book is well written and imaginative.  It was exciting and adventurous.  I can understand the excellent reviews, but it is probably more appealing to the younger set, or those people really into gaming.  I don't particularly like reading about teenagers.  Just my opinion.  Has nothing to do with the quality of writing.  Like I said, this is really well written.

Wade is a slightly overweight teenager living in a stackable trailer park, known as the "stacks".  A total geek living in 2024.  When the outrageously wealthy James Halliday dies, he leaves clues for the person who finds the secret to a game he has created.  The winner wins it all.  His entire fortune and control of his company.  A real online treasure hunt!

My Rating: 

About the Author:
ERNEST CLINE has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone. His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture fulltime as a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His 2009 film" Fanboys," much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon. These days Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, their daughter, and a large collection of classic video games. READY PLAYER ONE is his first novel."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Sin With Me (Original Sin Series Book 1) by JA Huss & Johnathan McClain


Sin With Me
JA Huss & Johnathan McClain
(Original Sin Series, #1)
Publication date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Sin with Me is the first book in a four-book contemporary romance series by New York Times bestselling author, JA Huss, and veteran actor and writer, Johnathan McClain. Each full-length novel will release three weeks apart starting on March 6, 2018.
***
Two broken people in a city fueled by sin.
Maddie Clayton isn’t looking to be saved. She knows the only person you can count on is yourself. Her moral compass might not point true North these days—but at least she’s still standing.
The Military taught Tyler Bell about loyalty. Being there for your brothers is the only thing that matters—but when it mattered most, he wasn’t.
She’s got a ticket straight to Hell. He’s already been there and back.
She needs to win. He just needs to stop fighting.
Some sins scar your soul so deeply, you’ll never be the same.
But this Devil in disguise might just be the angel he needs to forgive himself.
Book Trailer:




Author Bio:
Two accomplished writers come together to create unforgettable sexy romance. JA Huss is the New York Times bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today bestsellers list eighteen times. Johnathan McClain is a veteran actor and writer whose work, either performed or written, is probably airing on at least one of the channels on your television right now. You can contact them on their website www.hussmcclain.com or find them at their social links below.
STALK JULIE
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM
STALK JOHNATHAN
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

#BookReview - Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Title:  Memoirs of a Geisha
Author:  Arthur Golden
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Release Date:  November 9, 1999


About the Book:


A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it. 

In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.
Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

After receiving this book as a gift, I let it sit on my shelf. I didn't think it would appeal to me. When I finally picked it up, I found myself enthralled in the Japanese culture and the poetic wording of a novel that will remain with me for some time to come. While beautifully written, I still found it somewhat disturbing by todays standards. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a very old culture that had been kept alive by the standards prevalent in that day and time in Japan.

While this is Historical Fiction and not true memoirs, Arthur Golden portrays the novel as an interpretation of a series of interviews with the geisha, Sayuri, in her later years. Written in a first person narrative, we are given the illusion that this is an autobiography. The history, the research into the culture, and even the day to day happenings in the life of a geisha are beautifully and sometimes heart-wrenchingly portrayed, but the actual sex scenes did not seem to be told from the mind of a woman. They don't teach that at Harvard and Columbia University. Sorry, Mr. Golden.

The story follows the life of Chiyu, a nine year old girl and the daughter of a poor fisherman. When Chiyu's mother becomes ill and it is apparent that she will not live, Chiyu and her older sister Satsu are sold into slavery. The girls are soon seperated and Satsu is sent to become a prostitute, but because of Chiyu's striking appearance due to her unusual light colored eyes, she is taken into an okiya to be trained as a geisha. Chiyu soon becomes aware how cruel people can be when she encounters Hatsumomo, whose jealousy and greed cause her undue torment. It is not until Mameha, Hatsumomo's biggest rival, takes an interest in Chiyu, that her life begins to turn. Chiyu's name is changed to Sayuri as she begins her training to become a geisha. Japanese culture was beautifully portrayed as we followed Sayuri during her early years of training and on into her adult life, spanning the years before and after World War II.

This was beautifully written, almost lyrical at times.  Well worth reading.

My Rating: 

About the Author:


Arthur Golden was born and brought up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is a 1978 graduate of Harvard College with a degree in art history, specialising in Japanese art. In 1980 he earned an MA in Japanese history from Columbia where he also learned Mandarin Chinese. In 1988 he received an MA in English from Boston. He has lived and worked in Japan, but now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and children.

Monday, March 5, 2018

#BookBlitz & #Giveaway - Celestia (Unicorn Blessed Chronicles Book 1) by Aspen Winters & Yumoyori Wilson


Celestia
Yumoyori Wilson
(Unicorn Blessed Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: March 2nd 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
What do you get when your father’s a centaur and your mother’s a powerful magician?
A unicorn shifter…
You’d think being the only known unicorn shifter in the world would have a few benefits. Like, people treating you kindly or getting special treatment from the council. Not in my case. I’d be lucky to get a piece of bread thrown at me.
My name is Celestia Rainbow, and yes, my last name is fucking Rainbow.
Shifters assume that I’m kind by nature, but trust me: I’m fierce, short-tempered and have the mouth of a sailor. Add in my stealthy fighting skills, advanced magic casting, and swift movement, I’m someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. But everyone looks at my shifter side – my ditzy, peaceful half, sprinkling magic dust, and on a mission to end world hunger.
Regardless of my dual personality, I’ve sworn to become a huntress at Aslan Academy. Now that I’m of age–my lucky twenty-fifth birthday just happens to coincide with the entrance exams–I’m ready to prove my worth.
Too bad I’m grouped up with six sinful looking men.
Time to prove to my community, classmates and this attractive bunch of weirdos that unicorns can kick ass too.
CELESTIA is a new REVERSE HAREM, paranormal series. Recommended for 18+ audiences, containing mature sexual content, violence and strong language.
EXCERPT:
“Good luck, Celestia. Work hard, make some new friends, and achieve your goals.”
“I will, Master Magnor. May you remain safe until we return,” I replied.
“Bru-REE!” Arielle agreed, fluttering her wings.
“Be off then. Keep in touch.” He stepped aside, allowing me to walk out the entrance and away from his property.
I took a few steps, before looking back to see his sad smile. One last time.
I left my luggage where it was, running back to give him a final hug. He looked pleased, giving me a tight squeeze.
“I love you,” I whispered into his white shirt.
“I love you more, Celestia. Now get going. You don’t want to be late,” he reminded.
I nodded against his shoulder, taking one last whiff of his meadow scent and pulled away. We shared a smile; both of us knew this wouldn’t be the last time we’d see each other.
“Bye,” I waved, running off to where my luggage sat.
“Celestia.”
I paused mid-stride, looking back over my shoulder to see Magnor’s glossy eyes.
“No boys,” he called out, a wide grin on his face while a tear rolled down his cheek.
I giggled, letting my tears flow freely. “No promises! I’ll make sure I bring home six of the finest men,” I called out, giving him a final wave.
He shook his head in amusement, waving back.
I took a deep breath and began to walk away. This won’t be the end. I’ll make you proud, Master Magnor. I promise.


Author Bio:
Yumoyori Wilson is from Toronto, Ontario. She loves to sleep and write her days away. She works at night as a registered nurse. She has a little addiction to bubble tea and coffee but loves to workout. She has big plans for the writing world and can't wait to share them with everyone.



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The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon