Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 30: The Beautiful Ones, by Silvia Moreno-García

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!
This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and inspired by "Waiting On Wednesday", which used to be hosted by
 Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

For more information, please click HERE.

As in the previous meme, this one showcases future releases  we book  bloggers 
are eagerly anticipating!!
There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 The Beautiful Ones
Silvia Moreno-García
Hardcover,  320 pages
Thomas Dunne Books
October 24, 2017    
Fantasy, Historical Fiction,
Paranormal Romance

In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be.

Antonina Beaulieu is in the glittering city of Loisail for her first Grand Season, where she will attend balls and mingle among high society. Under the tutelage of the beautiful but cold Valérie Beaulieu, she hopes to find a suitable husband. However, the haphazard manifestations of Nina’s telekinetic powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

Yet dazzling telekinetic performer and outsider Hector Auvray sees Nina’s powers as a gift, and he teaches her how to hone and control them. As they spend more and more time together, Nina falls in love and believes she’s found the great romance that she’s always dreamed of, but Hector’s courtship of Nina is deceptive.

The Beautiful Ones is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the Belle Époque.

“Truly one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. This sweeping tale of love lost and found is told with old-world elegance, grace, and just the right touch of magic.”
—M. J. ROSE, New York Times bestselling author

Why I can't wait for this one!

Well, I have to say that I don't think I've ever come across a novel quite like this one before! The time period involved, which is usually dated from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the beginning of World War I in 1914, is one I'm not very familiar with. According to the Wikipedia article about it, there was a lot of optimism, economic prosperity, and scientific innovation. It was also a time in which the arts gave the world many masterpieces in literature, music, theater, and visual art. This sounds like just the sort of world I'd enjoy reading about, ESPECIALLY if there's romance involved!! And, last but definitely NOT least, the author is Hispanic!! For me, that's a HUGE bonus, as I'm Hispanic myself!!

Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. Silvia Moreno-García's debut novel, Signal to Noise, about music, magic and Mexico City, won a Copper Cylinder Award and was nominated for the British Fantasy, Locus, Aurora and Sunburst awards. Her second novel, Certain Dark Things, is a noir with Mexicans vampires. She co-edited the anthology She Walks in Shadows (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and is an editor at the magazine The Dark.

What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tour Spotlight: Kinglet, by Donna Migliaccio

Welcome to the Kinglet Blog Tour,
sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

Be sure to enter the tour-hosted giveaway!!

(The Gemeta Stone, Book 1)
Donna Migliaccio
Trade Paperback, 265 pages
Digital Edition, 265 pages
Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC
August 1, 2017

Kristan Gemeta has lost everything: his crown, his kingdom, his courage - even his name.

In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he's known to the other outcasts as "Kinglet". As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Witchlord who killed his father and destroyed Kristan's life.

But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan's wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they're oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go. As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band's possession.

With the Stone's protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna. He could regain his birthright and his honor. But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left...his life.

Purchase Links
Barnes & Noble

 Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres. Kinglet, the first book in her fantasy series THE GEMETA STONE, was released in August, 2017 by Fiery Seas Publishing, with its sequel, Fiskur, to follow in November and the series' third installment, StoneKing, set for an early 2018 release.

Fiery Seas Publishing

You can access the complete 
tour schedule by
clicking on the button below!


Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 104: Books as 'Necessary' Decor

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

When you enter an unfamiliar
house or apartment for the
first time, do you feel disappointed
if you don't see any bookshelves,
or books on the coffee table?

(Submitted  by Maria @ 

My Answer

This question came to me after a visit to an acquaintance's house for the first time one afternoon, several months ago. This person was a fellow ESOL teacher at my school, whom I unfortunately didn't see again, as she has since moved out of the area. 

When I first walked into her living room, the first thing that caught my attention was a bookcase placed against a wall near one of the windows. Of course I immediately walked over to check out the books on the shelves. I'm sure any bookworm would do the same thing, right? Lol. 

After the visit, I remembered, some years back, also visiting a neighbor of mine. At the time, my husband and I were living in another part of the city. When I walked into this neighbor's living room, and looked around, a huge wave  of disappointment hit me. There was not a book in sight. There were no bookshelves at all. There was a coffee table, but no books sat on it, either. I don't recall much of that visit, except for that initial feeling when I stepped into that living room.

I realize this is probably an irrational feeling. Lol. Naturally, I understand that not everyone on the face of the earth adores books the way we bookworms do (especially those who, like me, are also bibliophiles, which I think most of us are). People have different hobbies and interests, after all. But I still feel that initial letdown if I don't see any books when I first walk into a living room for the first time. I guess I somehow expect to see books everywhere I go! Lol. Again, this is totally irrational, but there it is. It's how I feel.

In contrast, when I walked into that teacher's living room and saw her bookcase, the immediate sense of euphoria -- yes, this is the EXACT feeling that suddenly washed over me -- was unmistakable. I immediately felt COMFORTABLE in that living room, as opposed to the neighbor's, where I actually felt as if I had stepped onto a barren land..... It was like totally alien territory, where I actually felt that something very important was missing.

Again, this is irrational. I would NEVER want to impose my likes and dislikes on others. This is not a matter of JUDGING people for not having books in their living room. It's just a feeling I get. I do NOT mention this feeling to the person I'm visiting, of course, as that would be VERY rude. I simply go along with the flow, and chat about whatever comes up.

So some people are simply not into books. So what? However, I guess it's simply not easy for me to understand how someone can just NOT be interested in books. This despite the fact that my family members are not into books. My parents used to read years ago, but now, not that much. Ironically, it was my mom who first exposed me to books, and kept buying them for me as I was growing up, as soon as she saw that I loved them. One day, she realized that she had unleashed a monster. Lol. I just couldn't stop reading, even when she wanted me to help around the house! 

The rest of my family is completely indifferent to these precious objects, and they think I'm a bit "looney tunes" because of my bookish obsession. My husband is not into books, either, and he thinks I already have plenty of them, too. Ha, ha! So I wonder if perhaps I am unconsciously looking for validation when entering the houses or apartments of new acquaintances for the first time. 

Perhaps it's just a matter of wanting to make real-life friends who share my obsession. (Thankfully, I do have online friends who are DEFINITELY into books!) When I don't see any books in someone's living room, I know I might not become friends with that person. Since books are such a HUGE part of my life, I would naturally want to discuss them with others as much as possible. So, when I see none in sight, my hopes are suddenly dashed. I know I will have to talk about other things with that person, and I might not be into what THEY are into.

So there it is. This is my little irrational, quirky character trait, this intense longing for the sight of BOOKS wherever I go. Maybe I AM a bit "looney tunes". This is the way my brain is wired, though. Lol.

Here is what you will see when you walk into MY living room! (Yes, I know I've posted these pics before, but I just could NOT resist....)

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tour Book Review: The Writing Desk, by Rachel Hauck

The Writing Desk
Rachel Hauck
Hardcover, 352 pages
July 10, 2017
Christian Fiction, Contemporary Fiction,
Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction,
Historical romance

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a new, captivating novel of secrets, romance, and two women bound together across time by a shared dream.

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?

With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.

Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

I received a complimentary ARC from
the author in exchange for an honest review.

This most unusual plot, in which two women from very different eras are somehow tied to each other through the process of writing, was a delightful read, in spite of its rather bittersweet ending.

Birdie Shehorn and Tenley Roth are both strong women, both New Yorkers, both writers, both dealing with personal issues related to romance. And they also share the same writing desk, although years apart.

I was immediately drawn to this story, thanks to the vividness of the characters, their dilemmas, and their individual settings. Birdie, who lived at a time in which women were still expected to conform to their families' and society's expectations, yearned to write, to have her work published. Tenley, who lives in the present, with its more improved opportunities for women, must still struggle with her identity as a writer. Ironically, she finds it harder to follow up her initial success with a second one, whereas Birdie, struggling with the limitations of her time, somehow finds it much easier to write.

The narrative switches back and forth from one timeline to the other, and I wondered at first what the exact connection was between Birdie and Tenley. Only toward the end of the novel does the author reveal just what this connection is, and it's a rather poignant, as well as ironic, one. 

I enjoyed going back and forth in time, and seeing the differences in the way these two women lived. Birdie's life was a very sheltered one, and she was totally controlled by her mother, who wanted to force her into a marriage that would be advantageous to their family, even if Birdie was not in love with the man selected for her. In contrast, Tenley is living with her boyfriend, Holt, who is a screenwriter. She was abandoned by her mother at the age of 9, and her father, a famous writer, has recently died.

Eli is Birdie's true love. His inner strength of character is revealed through his unfailing support of Birdie's writing. In contrast, Holt fails to support Tenley's decision to fly down to Florida to help her mother as she undergoes chemotherapy. Not only that, but he goes off by himself to Paris, instead of accompanying Tenley to Florida. Although he's apparently supportive of Tenley's writing, he doesn't stay the course with her. If she's not at the top of the literary world, he's no longer interested in her.

Jonas, the man Tenley meets in Florida, is totally different. Like Eli, he appreciates Tenley's talent, and in addition, cares about helping her mother right along with Tenley. He has the same quiet strength possessed by Eli, the same passionate love for a woman whom he also admires. Holt, in contrast, is very shallow, easily seduced by fame, and therefore, fickle. Of course, I totally adored both Eli and Jonas!

Secondary characters are always important in a novel. Sometimes they can either make or break the book. In this particular instance, I especially loved Blanche, Tenley's mother. She was the principal secondary character in the plot. I was totally prepared to dislike her, since she had abandoned Tenley and her dad years before. However, Hauck actually made me love her, and I grew to appreciate her just as much as Tenley eventually did. In fact, I ended up forgiving her, just as Tenley did, too. To her credit, Blanche made up for lost time with her daughter, and a beautiful relationship developed between the two of them, one that was very touching, as well.

Although he had already passed on when the narrative opened, Conrad Roth, Tenley's dad, was another great secondary character. He was in the same category as Eli and Jonas, and was a wonderful role model for Tenley. He never spoke a word against his errant wife, fully forgiving her for her abandonment. And, he never stopped loving her, either. His influence on Tenley was enormous, and enormously positive.

I really liked the interweaving of a Christian world view throughout the novel. It's a gentle interweaving, too; one that is never judgmental, never rigidly righteous. For example, not once does Jonas bash Tenley over the head with his beliefs. He very simply and lovingly lives them, and they are actually part of the reason she falls so deeply in love with him.

Although I've lived in Florida myself for many years, I had never heard of Cocoa Beach before reading this novel. The passages dealing with this city were wonderful, evoking that mellow, although very hot, summer mood. Jonas and his family lived very close to the beach, and it was actually relaxing to read about their family get-togethers and games, right on the beach. Blanche's house, which was located not far from the Sullivan house, evoked the same mellow mood, and I suddenly began to appreciate the life here in Miami, in spite of the heat!

While I did love and enjoy this novel, there were a couple of things that bothered me. For instance, I didn't like the way Tenley ultimately handled her writer's block; her actions just seemed completely out of character to me. 

Another problem I had concerned Blanche herself. I won't say more so as to avoid spoilers, but will say that something related to her was not resolved satisfactorily. I wasn't expecting this, either, and it totally floored me. 

Because of these objections, I have given this novel four instead of five stars. However, I still enjoyed it tremendously, and would definitely recommend it to all readers who love compelling stories whose female protagonists courageously face personal and societal obstacles. 

This was my first Rachel Hauck novel, and I am definitely interested in reading more of her books! 


Purchase Links

New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.
A RITA finalist and winner of the Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues.
She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and sits on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers.
A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Urban Meyer.
An avid Diet Coke fan, she is caffeine free. Sometimes you just have to compromise.
She's never skied or jumped out of an airplane. She leaves such hijinks to Jason Bourne.

To access the complete tour schedule, just click on the button below!

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 29: Speak Easy, Speak Love, by McKelle George

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!
This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and inspired by "Waiting On Wednesday", which used to be hosted by
 Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

For more information, please click HERE.

As in the previous meme, this one showcases future releases  we book  bloggers 
are eagerly anticipating!!
There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 Speak Easy, Speak Love
McKelle George
Hardcover,  432 pages
Greenwillo Books
September 19, 2017    
Historical Fiction, Retellings,
Romance, Young Adult Fiction

Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.

Why I can't wait for this one!

OMG!!  A Shakespeare retelling?! I DEFINITELY need to get this book!! Not only is that cover STUNNING, but the plot sounds SO cute, funny, and romantic!! Plus, I LOVE the 1920s setting and quirky characters! There's NO way I'm passing this one up!!

McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and associate librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books.

What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!