Monday, October 20, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week:

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J Mass
Currently Reading:
  • Compulsion by Martina Boone 
Up This Week: 
The Tudor Secret (The Spymaster Chronicles, #1)
  • The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth Book Tour

Displaying Bitter Greens_Blog Tour Banner_FINALv2.png
Title: Bitter Greens
Author: Kate Forsyth
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 496
Published: September 23rd 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
ISBN: 9781250047533
Source: Arranged Tour

 Description: French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens... After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.  Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does. 

I Give This ...

  I wanted to love this.  It had all the cards, but for some reason I could just not connect with it.  I have no idea why.

Maybe it's the time period.  It's always amazing to me how books about certain characters come in groups. I had never heard of Athénaïs de Montespan, and yet this is the second book I've read this year that contains her as an important figure.   While I  find the story of the Sun King and his court to be interesting, the people themselves are a little hard to relate to.  So much of this story is told from the Charlotte's point of view, and she seems so vain at times.  The part of the story that I thought I would enjoy the most I ended up dragging through.  

I actually really enjoyed the story of Margherita.  The way the author set up the traditional fairy tale of Rapunzel was fascinating.  I've never actually read the original version having always thought it was by the Brother's Grimm.  I need to seek out this tale.  I liked the witch and her part in the story and her own reformation in the end.

So, in the end, I wasn't sure how I felt about this book.  It was dreadfully slow in parts.  But, others were quite enjoyable.  I didn't find it as awesome as others seem to.

About the Author

Displaying Kate Forsyth 1.jpg
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling & award-winning author of thirty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both adults and children. She was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists, and has been called ‘one of the finest writers of this generation. She is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers, and has told stories to both children and adults all over the world.
Her most recent book for adults is a historical novel called ‘The Wild Girl’, which tells the true, untold love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most famous fairy tales. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, ‘The Wild Girl’ is a story of love, war, heartbreak, and the redemptive power of storytelling, and was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013.

She is probably most famous for ‘Bitter Greens’, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale interwoven with the dramatic life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. ‘Bitter Greens’ has been called ‘the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter’, and has been nominated for a Norma K. Hemming Award, the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Fiction, and a Ditmar Award.

Her most recent book for children is ‘Grumpy Grandpa’, a charming picture book that shows people are not always what they seem.

Since ‘The Witches of Eileanan’ was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with ‘The Gypsy Crown’ – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, ‘The Lightning Bolt’, was also a CBCA Notable Book.
Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, ‘A Mother’s Offering to her Children’. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books.

For more information please visit Kate Forsyth’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review - Lost in Time (Blue Bloods #6) by Melissa de la Cruz

Lost in Time (Blue Bloods, #6)Title: Lost in Time
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Published: September 27th 2011 by Hyperion 
ISBN: 9781423121299
Source: Library

Description: The stakes have never been higher for the young Blue Bloods of Manhattan. After their brief yet beautiful bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force depart for Egypt, desperate to find the elusive Gate of Promise before Jack must face his twin, Mimi, for a blood trial. A blood trial that only one of them can survive. But everything Schuyler thought she knew about the gate turns out to be a lie, and they soon find themselves ensnared in a deadly battle against the demon-born. Schuyler and Jack take up arms, only to realize that there is a much graver threat simmering in the Kingdom of the Dead.  Meanwhile, determined to save the only vampire she still loves, Mimi has followed Kingsley Martin into Hell. With the help of her new human Conduit, Oliver Hazard-Perry, Mimi makes a bargain with the Queen of the Dead that she may soon regret. When the time comes to choose between love and revenge, both Mimi and Oliver will learn the true meaning of sacrifice.   

 I Give This ...

Once again... I've let time get away from me.  School is back in session and with teaching, homework, and the kids' outside activities, blogging falls behind.  Since this one is not a review book, I'm going to make this short and sweet.

Jack and Schulyer kind of drove me crazy in this book.  I don't think they really mean to bury their heads in the sand, but that's what it felt like they were doing.  I think they were enjoying their honeymoon time together.  It was almost like they didn't want to face the reality of the world around them.  As long as the convinced themselves that they were looking for the gate, it didn't matter how much time passed.  I was glad to see push come to shove and they were forced to deal with the matters at hand.  Jack needed to face Mimi, and Schuyler needed to find the gate.

Mimi Forces really grew on me in this book.  She knows she has to face Jack, but she's willing to let him stall as long as possible.  In the mean time, she's going to Hell back for Kingsley.  Her trip through the land of the dead was my favorite part of the story.  It reminded me a great deal of other stories I've read in the past that deal with world of the dead.  I do have to admit that I was a little nervous if the old Mimi would emerge in order to fully extract Kingsley from Hell's grasp.

It was a little slow at parts, but the ending just shows how evenly matched Jack and Mimi are.  And it also shows how much they truly love their significant others but respect their bonds.  I'm looking forward to the next one to see how this all ends.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week:

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)
  • Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M Lee
Currently Reading:

  • Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
 Up This Week:
Sisters of Treason
  • Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Madame Picasso by Anne Girard Virtual Book Tour

 photo ff7bfbdc-32bd-45e3-913c-b7143f67952f.png

9780778316350.inddTitle: Madame Picasso
Author: Anne Girard
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 432
August 26th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
Source: Arranged tour for honest review

When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.  A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can't help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso's life.  With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.

 I Give This ...
I must admit that I know next to nothing about Picasso.  I know he's a famous painter, and that's it.  Art is not really my strong point, so it's almost embarrassing to say that I didn't know were or when he lived, or could even name a painting.   But, I really enjoyed this book.

I enjoyed Eva's character right from the start.  This was a period of great change for the world.  War was on their front door step, women were finding their place in the world, and their was an explosion of knowledge going on.  It's not wonder that Eva wanted a piece of all that.  She wasn't content to an arranged marriage and living her life exactly like all the women before her had.  While I wish she wouldn't have just run off to Paris, I understood why she did.  I think what made her even more refreshing is that she wasn't looking for love.  It almost seemed like she was desperately trying to avoid it.  She may have worked at the Moulin Rouge, but she was in charge of her own love life.

Picasso was very interesting to read about.  He seemed to tackle love just like he did everything else in life...with reckless passion.  He had no problem with entering into numerous affairs despite his long term commitment to Fernande.  Perhaps it's the very issue that makes Eva that much more attractive to him.  She's not easily persuaded into becoming the mistress on the side.  In his game to pursue her, he realizes that she might just be the muse he needs both for his soul and for his art.  But, how do you untangle the web you've already woven?
I found their whole love story to be extremely interesting.  I never felt Eva caved into Picasso, instead she pushed him to be a better person.  It must have been so hard for him to choose her over Fernande and disrupt his entire life.   He was completely committed to her once he choose to marry her, eventually choosing her over long term friends.  Sadly, their story would not last long.   Strange to think Picasso had such a fear of death, that it almost contributed to Eva's own death.  I seriously wonder if she would have been willing to go to the doctor sooner if she might have lived.

A wonderful story that introduced me to a figure in history that I knew nothing about.  I always enjoy that experience.  I love this author's works!

Add to GR Button

Watch the Book Trailer

Praise for Madame Picasso

"Early twentieth century Paris and Picasso's lost love come to enchanted, vivid life in Madame Picasso. With a deft eye for detail and deep understanding for her protagonists, Anne Girard captures the earnest young woman who enthralled the famous artist and became his unsung muse." - C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of THE QUEEN'S VOW

Buy the Book

About the Author

03_Anne Girard

Anne Girard was born with writing in her blood. The daughter of a hard-driving Chicago newsman, she has always had the same passion for storytelling that fueled his lifelong career. She hand-wrote her first novel (admittedly, not a very good one) at the age of fourteen, and never stopped imagining characters and their stories. Writing only ever took a backseat to her love of reading.

After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature from UCLA and a Master's degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, a chance meeting with the acclaimed author, Irving Stone, sharply focused her ambition onto telling great stories from history with detailed research. "Live where your characters lived, see the things they saw," he said, "only then can you truly bring them to life for your readers." Anne took that advice to heart. After Stone's encouragement twenty years ago, she sold her first novel. When she is not traveling the world researching her stories, Anne and her family make their home in Southern California. When she is not traveling or writing, she is reading fiction.

Anne also writes historical fiction under the name Diane Haeger. For more information, visit You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Madame Picasso Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25

Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, August 26

Review at Historical Fiction Notebook

Interview & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, August 27

Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Notebook

Thursday, August 28

Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Review & Giveaway at Kinx's Book Nook

Friday, August 29

Review at Scandalous Women

Review at Curling Up by the Fire

Monday, September 1

Review at A Bookish Affair

Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 2

Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, September 3

Review at Gobs and Gobs of Books

Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Thursday, September 4

Review & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court

Friday, September 5

Review at To Read or Not to Read

Monday, September 8

Review at Book of Secrets

Review & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, September 9

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, September 10

Review at Books in the Burbs

Thursday, September 11

Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, September 12

Review at Caroline Wilson Writes

Review at The Book Binder's Daughter

Monday, September 15

Review at Layered Pages

Review at Carole's Ramblings

Tuesday, September 16

Review at She is Too Fond of Books

Wednesday, September 17

Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, September 18

Review at One Book of a Time

Friday, September 19

Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Monday, September 22

Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, September 23

Review at The Librarian Fatale

Wednesday, September 24

Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Thursday, September 25

Review at Kincavel Korner

Friday, September 26

Interview at Kincavel Korner

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week:
Madame PicassoChampion (Legend, #3)
  • Madame Picasso by Anne Girard 
  • Champion by Marie Lu
Currently Reading:
Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)
  • Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M Lee
Up This Week: 

Salt & Storm
  • Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review - The Immortal Crown (Age of X #2) by Richelle Mead

The Immortal Crown (Age of X, #2)Title: The Immortal Crown
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: 2nd (Gameboard of the Gods)
Pages: 432
Published: May 29th 2014 by Dutton Adult
ISBN: 9780525953692
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion. Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity. Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret. 

I Give This ...

  I wasn't completely sold on Gameboard of the Gods, so I'm not entirely sure why I picked the second in the series up for review.  Perhaps it simply because I'm draw to Gods and Goddesses and it still had some potential.  In this case, I'm glad I didn't give up because it was better than the first one.

I think I liked Justin and May's interactions more.  They are trying so hard to pretend they aren't completely head over heals for each other, that sometime a lot of it just gets in the way.  But this time around, they are required to pose as a couple.  I think it forces them to think and act in ways that they've spend forever repressing.  Plus, it was interesting to learn about their personal God and Goddess and how they related to each other.  The big picture is much more intertwined than I thought.

I'm curious as to Lucian's involvement in this whole thing.  For most of the first book I wrote him off as just a person in the background.  But, I think he is a far bigger player than anyone knows.  He's way to subtle, but he may have tipped his hat when it came to this big trip into Arcadia.  He's looking for more than just an age to push over the top in politics.  I have not quite pegged if he's going to work out to be the bad guy.  I hope not, because I think he's far more useful in Justin's corner.

I liked the drama with Tessa.  I knew that getting mixed up with the reporter was a bad idea.  I think she knew it deep down as well.  But, she was determined to prove her worth and couldn't possibly imagine what Justin could be mixed up in that would be beneficial.  But, most of the time it's always about who you know.    

I'm hooked now, so I am eagerly awaiting book 3.  There is something big in the works and the gods and goddesses aren't done playing games yet.  They have been so subtly through most of the series, that I'm waiting for that big moment!



Related Posts with Thumbnails