Wednesday, 29 June 2016

If You Like Memory Man...Try Collecting the Dead


COLLECTING THE DEAD 
Written by Spencer Kope
JUNE 28, 2016; 320 Pages
Genre: suspense, mystery, thriller


​​(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)
★★★★1/2
 
I was hooked from page one! I could not flip the pages fast enough on my eReader. I had the same sort of reaction when I read David Baldacci's Amos Decker series.  Right off the main character is not like other heroes which I am always a sucker for.

The main character in this book is Magnus "Steps" Craig.  He is always called Steps by everyone, and as Jimmy, his FBI partner, says, "Let him tell you the story behind Steps."  Steps is a human tracker, and works with Jimmy in the Special Tracking Unit of the FBI.  Steps is dubbed the "human bloodhound" because of his uncanny ability to find the victim or killer.  Only three people know his secret - his father, Jimmy and the Director of the FBI - he is can trace shine. Shine is the essence that people leave on things they touch and only Steps can see.  While he continues to chase the serial killer he has named Leonardo, (due to the way he poses his victims) another case of the Sad Face killer is heating up. Diane, their office agent, has linked eleven victims to the Sad Face killer due to his MO and they must figure out who is next to catch him.

DROP EVERYTHING AND READ!
Steps is like Decker in that he can be blunt and literal sometimes but also be like Myron Bolitar (Harlan Coben) with his sarcasm.  The fact he has to live with seeing people's shine he deals with guilt of not always being able to save people.  He's a lot like Decker who has to deal with his perfect memory.  Steps and his FBI partner, Agent Jimmy Donovan are are also friends as they spend time together outside  of work.  He is like an uncle to Jimmy's son and that side of him is interesting as it balances his life.  He also has a love interest with a journalist who keeps him on his toes.  While the cases are brutal there is a great balance of humour that keeps everyone, including the reader, sane.  If you like suspense I HIGHLY recommend this novel! And, I really hope this is just the beginning of a series!

Buy it here!


SPENCER KOPE: I started writing in the Navy. First it was just short stories, and then I started my first novel while aboard the USS LaSalle in the Persian Gulf in 1984. The Tanker War was underway between Iraq and Iran and despite 12-hour shifts I still found that I had plenty of time to scribble out my masterpiece on a yellow notepad.

The Cold War was still going strong and my story was about a surprise Soviet invasion of the U.S., no doubt influenced by the year and a half I just spent learning Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where most of my instructors were former Soviet citizens, and at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas.

I was well into the story, which followed the exploits of some high school buddies who were hiding out in the woods and conducting hit-and-run raids on the Soviet forces, when a new member of our small unit arrived from the U.S. When I eagerly explained the premise of the story to him, he told me it was exactly like a movie that just came out stateside called "Red Dawn."

I tore up my carefully crafted ream of yellow paper and pitched it into the trashcan.

k (My Novelesque Life)

If You Like Gone Girl...



ALL THE MISSING GIRLS
Written by Megan Miranda

JUNE 28, 2016; 384 Pages
Genre: suspense, mystery

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★1/2
 
Nicolette Farrell left her hometown of Cooley Ridge ten years ago when her best friend disappeared.  When Corrine had gone missing Nicolette's boyfriend, brother and Corrine's ex-boyfriend were all looked at and interrogated.  
Ten years later, Nicolette is living in Philadelphia, having gone to college and gained her masters she has a job at a school, and is engaged to a lawyer from a wealthy family. Then her brother, Daniel calls her home because they need to sell their family home to pay for their father's care.  Within days, another hometown girl goes missing and Nicolette's ex-boyfriend is again the suspect. Are these two cases, a decade apart, related and who's next?

First I have to give Miranda big kudos on writing this novel in reverse.  We start with day 15 and go through each day until we get to day 1.  Each day brings us closer to the what happened as clues take us through twists and turns.  I liked the way Miranda wrote but I wasn't too into the mystery itself.  For me, I felt like the novel never got me in a personal sense.  I did not feel for any of the characters or feel like anything was a big surprise.  Instead, it felt like a second hand account - like someone telling you something they read in a newspaper.  For this reason I would give this book 3.5 stars.  I would recommend it for the writing and mystery, but I just didn't think it was mind blowing as other people have raved about.  It could be that I also had greater expectations for this one.



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Forevermore Book Blog Tour!


I LOVE THIS SERIES!  It has everything a good book (and series) could ever want.  It has great characters that will have you rooting for them even after you finish the book.  And, villains that are dastardly clever that it makes you want to shake both fists at them.  These books are historical, romantic, suspenseful, paranormal and adventuress.  I dare you to read Firelight and not read further!

*Please Note: I would recommend you read the novella, Ember after book one, only because it does have spoilers for book one (and I find that it makes better sense after Firelight).


Unfortunately, I was not able to read Forevermore before the release day as I am a couple of books behind.  June 28th turned out to be a big release day and as fast as I can read I still was not able to make it!  I will be doing a future post on ALL the books - a review for each one and the series as a whole.  I am about 4 books in and what I have read is AMAZING...Callihan writes incredibly well and her plots are so well done.  I am looking forward to do a binge read in August.  I hope you will try the first book and get swept away!



FOREVERMORE
(Darkest London: #7)

Written By Kristen Callihan 
JUNE 28, 2016; 336 Pages
Genre: historical romance, fiction, fantasy, paranormal, suspense

Isolated and alone, Sin Evernight is one of the most powerful supernatural creatures in heaven and on earth. As an angel of vengeance, he hunts down the darkest evil, but when his long-lost friend, Layla Starling, needs him, he vows to become her protector. Even though she will be horrified by the man he has become.

Now a famous singer and the toast of London, Layla believes that Sin is only here to guard her from rabid fans and ardent suitors. However, the truth is far more sinister. Desperate to avoid losing Layla a second time, Sin will face a test of all his powers to defeat an unstoppable foe - and win an eternity with the woman he loves. (From Amazon)


BUY THE BOOK HERE

THE FULL DARKEST LONDON SERIES:







Firelight, #1
Ember (novella)
Moonglow, #2
Winterblaze, #3
Entwined (novella)
Shadowdance, #4
Evernight, #5
Soulbound, #6
Forevermore, #7


Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she'd rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer's Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine's Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher's Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading. 


Author Website 
Twitter 
Facebook 
Goodreads



k (My Novelesque Life)

TWO Reviews for Toddlers, Tots and Teens Tuesday

EVERYWHERE AND ALL AROUND
Written by Primm Van Hest 
Illustrated by Sassafras De Bruyn
Summer 2016; 32 Pages
Genre: grieving, death, families, picture book, children

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★★

This beautifully written and illustrated book is a bit...sad to recommend as it is about a very young girl who has to come to terms with her mother dying.  Death is difficult to comprehend as an adult so imagine trying to explain it to a child - and not scare them for life.  This book helps, in my opinion, to explain what dying means to young children.  When the young girl asks people in her life where her mother is she learns that while she is not here physically she is everywhere and all around. 


NOT TODAY, CELESTE!: A DOG'S TALE ABOUT HER HUMAN'S DEPRESSION
Written and Illustrated by Liza Stevens
JUNE 21, 2016; 36 Pages
Genre: picture book, children, depression, mental illness

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★★

This was an interesting book.  I have anxiety and often times I find it hard to explain to anyone what I am going through.  This book is a great idea as as learning tool.  Other than the story there is a guide to help parents to teach their children about depression.  The illustrations were okay but I think the message behind the book is the bigger deal.



k (My Novelesque Life)



Sunday, 26 June 2016

Sunday Tea: Poetry





Another free flow poem...

My words strike out and flail around
like fists and arms...
Did I strike this time?
I cannot see,
cannot hear
and cannot feel.
I am just pouring out words
so I don't drown in the
dark pool of your undesired
feelings for me.

You coaxed me into the the thick forest
kept me in the black
mislead me with your heartbeat
so I came closer to you.
Shed any fears and gave it all
to follow you in the fog.

Now you won't carry me or
have your heart beat for me
so what do I do now to find my way?
How to put away the promises?
And wear the fear?
I saved all I had all for you
You took it
and now stamped it out like
a burning  cigarette.

k





Saturday, 25 June 2016

Quick Review: Mona Lisa


MONA LISA
Written by Alexander Lernet-Holenia

1937 (reissued JUNE 14, 2016); 96 Pages
Genre: fiction, art, novella, historical fiction

(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS in exchange for an honest review.)
​​

★★★★


This thin volume of 96 pages packs a lot of punch.  I have always liked Leonardo Da Vinci and been fascinated with his artwork and mind.  In fact, my mom says the first book I picked out all by myself was a big Da Vinci art book.  This story was first written in German, 1937.  Pushkin has released it this month translated into English.  The story is of a man who sees Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and falls for the women.  He is so infatuated he digs up a woman's grave to see if his dream woman is real and alive.  I really enjoyed this novella!  I would recommend this one to those who love classics.

k (My Novelesque Life)

Friday, 24 June 2016

Free Flow: Worth

While I never watched American Idol, I have loved Kelly Clarkson's personality and songs since her first album.  She has a beautiful voice and a talent for songwriting.  I watched the video of her performing for the last time on American Idol and the song she sang blew me away.  The song is Piece by Piece and it is about a woman coming to terms with her father not being there as she now sees how a good man, her husband, treats her and her daughter - like they are the most precious thing in the world.  Seeing her sing this song and tear up brought tears to my own eyes.  But for me this song had a different personal meaning (as I have not found what Kelly is luck to have). Sorry, Kelly if I am butchering your song...

Piece By Piece


And all I remember is your back
Walking towards your car, leaving us all in your past
I traveled fifteen hundred miles to see you
BEGGED you to want me, but you didn't want to

But piece by piece she collected me
Up off the ground where you abandoned things, yeah
Piece by piece she filled the holes
That you burned in me at seven years old
And you know,
She never walks away
She never asks for money,
She takes care of me
She loves me
Piece by piece she restored my faith
That a woman can be kind and a grandma could... stay

And all of your words fall flat
You lost all of your stuff and now you wanna come back
But your love—it isn't free, it has to be earned
Back then I didn't have anything you needed so I was WORTHLESS

But piece by piece she collected me
Up off the ground, where you abandoned things, yeah
Piece by piece she filled the holes
That you burned in me at seven years old
And you know,
She never walks away
She never asks for money,
She takes care of me
'Cause she loves me
Piece by piece she restored my faith
That a woman can be kind and a grandma could stay

Piece by piece [6x]

Piece by piece I fell far from the tree
I will never leave her like you left me
And she will never have to wonder her worth
Because unlike you I'm going to put her first
And you know,
She never walked away,
She never broke her heart
She took care of things,
She loved me
And piece by piece she's still restoring my faith
That a woman can be kind and a grandma should be great
 
 
What only close people know about me is...I have two grandmothers.  One is my beautiful generous maternal grandmother, Bibi and the other is my paternal grandmother, Granny.  I was closest to Granny in my earliest years.  I want to be just like her and saw her most weekends...until I never saw her again (willingly on her part).  For over 20 plus years I wondered what I did wrong and how I became so unlovable to her?  Was it because I wasn't pretty, or smart enough? Was it because I didn't pray hard enough for a brother? Or, was it just me?  Then my Bibi got dementia and that's a killer to your heart.  She's there physically but no matter how hard she tries - and she tried - she could not always remember me.  She didn't see me and light up because she was happy to see me.  She didn't give me bear hugs and push my hair back.  She didn't laugh or hold my hand.  THAT THERE IS LOSS.  HEARTBREAK.  TOTAL DEVASTATION.  With Granny I was missing something that wasn't there.  It wasn't about me but what I could give her.  I was not worth anything to her and that is fine.  It's her life and decision.  It is only months before my 36th birthday and I realize that.  I didn't lose anything with losing Granny...I lost everything when I lost Bibi.  So don't cry out of sadness because I never had my Granny's love...cry out happiness because I was so unconditionally loved by Bibi.

Thanks Kelly Clarkson for this amazing song that reminded me what I had...and will always have.

k

In My Own Words

Untitled - To you

When your hard words hit me
I feel the sting - as intended -
I kept my own case of words
to shield that pain;
now I keep those words
as weapons, to fling
before you can sting.  

I no longer feel your hate
as my guard is up and I
too am getting to your level.
When did you start to hate me
when did you start to love me
did either happen?
Did I dream your lies with you?
Did I let myself down
by staying by
for
with
you?
Did I let you down
by
being me?

k

Poetry Reviews!


I have been in a bit of a reading funk.  Reading funk is more of a state of mind for me.  It is when other things in my life are happening and I cannot focus on reading for very long.  I have never not read something every day.  SO when I have these reading funks, I turn to poetry.  Poetry is my form of prayer and meditation.  I like to daydream a little with poetry so it is the perfect cure for my reading funks.  Here are some I have read over the month...I have been requesting more poetry recently as I really have come to love the genre.

19th Century

WAR IS KIND AND OTHER POEMS
Written by Stephen Crane
1899 (reissue JUNE 1, 2016); 64 Pages
Genre: poetry

1/2

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest 

War is Kind and Other Poems is a beautiful collection.  I have wanted to read Crane's The Red Badge of Courage for quite awhile.  I took many history courses in University (an unofficial third major) and I remember a few professors describing this book as a war novel. Seeing this collecting with the word "war" I thought I would try this one first.  The title poem, War is Kind is short but captures so much emotion.  When you read Crane's words you can almost see the image of it in your head.  This is one I left on my eReader for when I need a poem!

BEST POEMS OF THE BRONTE SISTERS
Written by Charlotte, Anne and Emily Bronte
Edited by Candace Ward
1899 (reissue January, 2016); 64 Pages
Genre: poetry



(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

 I have read the Bronte sisters' poetry for a few years now - in collections and online - and have enjoyed it.  Now that I have read some of the Brontes' novels I can see more of the individual style they had.  The one thing they all have in common is that their poetry has little stories.  Another collection living in my eReader.


 20th Century

WAIT TILL I'M DEAD: UNCOLLECTED POEMS
Written by Allen Ginsberg
Edited by Bill Morgan
February 2016; 256 Pages
Genre: poetry

★★★★

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Other than Howl I have not read anything else by Ginsberg, and it appears I am missing out on a lot!  I really enjoyed his uncollected poems. The poems are grouped by decades (1940s-1990s) and I have to say I enjoyed his earlier poems a lot better.  I am not sure if it is the time or how Ginsberg was in that time - or both - but they seemed more open.  I recommend this collection to anyone who likes to read poetry.  I am looking forward to find more of his work.



21th Century

SHALER'S FISH
Written by Helen Macdonald
2001 (reissue: February 2016); 62 Pages
Genre: poetry

★★★

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

With the success of Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk, her 2001 poetry collection has been reissued. Unfortunately, I did not really feel anything for the poems. I think it is her style that turns me off a bit.  I found myself skipping about a quarter of them.  I am still looking forward to reading H is for Hawk.

FELICITY
Written by Mary Oliver
2015; 96 Pages
Genre: poetry

★★★★

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

I heart Mary Oliver! I discovered this poet last year and I have loved every poem she has written.  There is something so innocent yet realistic.  I enjoy reading the poetry out loud as the words are so beautifully put together.  She has become not just a favourite writer but someone I look to for inspiration in my own writing.


k (My Novelesque Life)

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Upcoming Posts!

In the next few days I will be having some great new posts for you all.  One will be reviews for some poetry collections, a short story from 1937 and a thriller set in Vancouver, BC (where I am residing).  I will also have a few of my own fiction pieces and another free flow essays.  I really hope people are enjoying this blog and I thank everyone that reads it :) Please share with anyone who you think will like it too.

k

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Wooing Wednesday: Romantic Suspense


BREATH OF MALICE
Written by Karen Fenech
JUNE 14, 2016; 240 Pages
Genre: suspense, romance, mystery

★★★1/2

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

When Agent Paige Carson makes a mistake her F.B.I. colleagues start to freeze her out hoping she will leave.  It is when a serial killer sends a postcard to her new home that she packs up her life and younger sister and heads to a small town. Paige's boss and team accept her quickly but know she has some secret that makes her skittish.  When a wealthy well-known woman is killed and there is a postcard by the body, Paige knows the killer has found her again! She can either rely on her boss, and love interest, or go at it alone with everyone's life on the line.

I really liked this novel and felt that it had everything a romantic suspense book should have,  BUT I did a few problems with it that made me rate it 3.5 stars.  I felt the romance moved too fast and became too intense without any background or motivation for it.  Then the romance started to take away from the suspense.  This seems to be Karen Fenech's first standalone romantic suspense book so I think her books will only get better.  I am curious to read her romantic suspense series to see if they are more drawn out.  I do recommend this book as it is enjoyable - full of suspense and a crazy villain. 

k (My Novelesque Life)

 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Monday Musings


To JA and MB - my squad for life!


I hate confrontations so many times I will sweep a lot things past me, and outwardly agree when I really do not think it is right.  I want to please people and have them like me...even those people I don't like so well.  Then my relationship with my boyfriend got me thinking.  And, when I was sexually harassed at a job I was thinking of taking, I left that situation, but I didn't do anything about it.  When people make negative remarks about race, gender, sexual orientation I change the subject.  I don't address my feelings.  I am so busy making sure others are feeling comfortable that I put my own self in turmoil.  I let my values, and essentially my worth aside.  My boyfriends says I try and save the world but can't save myself...why can't I save us all?  What I got thinking was I do need to save myself first.  I need to stand up for what I believe in and not have the worst thing about me be the thing that holds me back.  And, not let what others think of me hold me back.

The worst thing about me - now here is an invitation to tear me down - is something I keep a secret from most outside my circle.  Maybe revealing it will bite me in the ass, but I can't let it hold me back anymore.  So here is the truth some will judge me harsh for revealing...something I should be ashamed about and I'm not.   To hold it as a secret only gives it power in a negative form.  Those who think I should keep it hidden are worried for themselves and what it means that they associated with someone like me.  I have a mental illness...I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder with a mild form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I can talk to a roomful of people without a script or notes and not have stage fright, but thinking of making small talk with people, I don't want to have small talk with, makes me want to vomit.  I don't like major changes and I cannot stand incompetency and laziness in myself or in others. I like things cleaned my way and the thought of pet hair freaks me out a bit.  As much as you may ask I will always say no to staying at your house (in a very polite way, of course), because I have an irrational fear you will run out of toilet paper while in the bathroom, I also wonder how you clean your towels and sheets, and if I see a wash cloth half in the sink, damp (this is a real life situation I was in) I can't be anywhere near it.  And, do not get me started on the tub/shower.  Yet, I will never actually judge you on it, personally.   I overthink everything, have a plan for almost everything, and have useless and useful trivia about random shit.  I can tell when my stuff has been moved...and I will move it right back.  Some days I find it hard to leave my house because I don't want to be around strangers.  Unless I have hugged you, I don't like to be touched. Reading calms my mind.  My Bibi calmed my mind.  My boyfriend calmed my mind. And my cousin soothes my mind and makes me feel normal.  A few close friend make it easier to breathe and still think I am normal. I have mild panic attacks that you won't see because I have myself trained to suffer them internally.  I take a mild dose of anti-anxiety pills that clear my mind and make me deal with my problems.  I used to take it all in and handle it all until I couldn't anymore.   I physically broke and thought I was really sick.  It was my mind making me deal with everything at once.  Apparently, I am so OCD I can't even fall apart properly and feel to lazy to be depressed. 

It can make me a hard person to be friends with.  I can't always be there physically for you. I sometimes need to hide out that has no bearing on you.  I am a difficult person to love - romantically and non-romantically. I sometime lose myself sometimes.  When I get frustrated I take it out on you.  But I have a lot of empathy and will do anything and everything I can to make sure you know you are an important person in my heart.

I find that in my thirties I am doing a lot of soul searching.  Trying to find the good in me.  2007-2009 were years I broke down a bit and the following 5 years were great years as I began to open up a lot more.  Then my grandma got dementia and soon passed away, I left a job I loved because I could not move any further, and was laid off from a job that was making me wonder my worth.  I am in a job I care about and know so well, but it's not a living wage.  BUT this year I really stood up for myself and beliefs.  I am reading and reviewing what I want and engaging with like-minded people.  I have this core circle of people that won't let me quit even if I wanted to...and a poor boyfriend who has to let me fly and see if he's ready to be stronger or if he needs a new path.  I have not found my calling but I am also not dealing out.  I have a LOT of baggage with me...I am a lot to take on...but no one works hard or to the degree I do when I am passionate about something. It's been six months into this project called me and it's going to take a lot more work than I thought but don't all renovations and repairs.  Fail or succeed, I always survive and get back at it.

k

Friday, 17 June 2016

Flashback Friday: Classics Summer List!


CLASSICS - Modern:

1. BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA by Dorothy Allison
I read this in a Women's Studies course and the story has always stayed with me.  I remember after I finished reading the book I sat there just thinking about it all.  It's a moving novel.
2. A JEST OF GOD by Margaret Laurence 
Technically, ALL of Margaret Laurence's novels are modern classics BUT if I had to pick one it would be this one.  I saw this movie Rachel, Rachel starring Joanne Woodward and directed by Paul Newman and learned it was based on a novel written by a Canadian.  It is an amazing novel because it is so realistic and powerful.
3. THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker
I saw this movie and I was outraged on Celie's behalf and then I read the book and I was just heartbroken. It is a difficult book to get through because it is so intense in emotions but I swear it is WELL WORTH the effort.
4. SHE'S COME UNDONE by Wally Lamb
I read this book when I just turned 18, and had started college.  I read it again 5 years later and it always gets me how great this novel is written and how well a man can write a female character.
5. CLARA CALLAN by Richard B. Wright
Another book written by a Canadian in Canada.  This is a historical fiction written in the early 2000s but I think will be a classic some day. 

 CLASSICS:

1. FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley
It blew my mind when I read this book and realized that Frankenstein was the scientist NOT the creature! I really enjoyed this creepy novel.
2. JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre was an interesting book in that she is not like many heroines at that time - or at least as I read it.  And, who doesn't like the drama of a mad woman in the attic?
3. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
Wharton captures her era so well in her writings I think it was be read for historical purposes as well as entertainment.  I just finished her novella, Summer which I enjoyed as well.
4. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austen
While most people love the Bennets, Bingleys and Darcys...I enjoy the Dashwoods! One of favourite Austen books - so far. I think this novel would have been a beach read even back then.
5. MRS. DALLOWAY by Virginity Woolf
I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone as it takes awhile to get used to Woolf's style.  It is a slower pace writing style, with lyrical observations.

  CLASSICS - Plays:

1. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST by Oscar Wilde
A romantic comedy with tons of wit and snarkyness!
2. A DOLL'S HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen
A moving and haunting play about roles of men and women - I want to see a live version of this some day.
3. PYGMALION by George Bernard Shaw
The original play is genius!
4. MACBETH by William Shakespeare 
A play with Scots, history, true crime, murder, love, passion, insanity...

CLASSICS - I want to read this summer:

1. NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austen
I am always afraid I will run of Jane Austen so I am taking forever to read them all.  This summer it's time to read her novella.
2. THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL by Anne Bronte
I am reading this one for a group on Goodreads and will try and finish this month.  I am enjoying Charlotte and Anne's writing.
3. THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins
As a fan of mysteries I really need to read some Collins.
4. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark
This has been on my list FOREVER and I really do want to read it so am making this in writing, lol. 
5. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde
1. it's written by Oscar Wilde! 2. This character is portrayed in Penny Dreadful and I want to get all the inside details 3. It's been on the list since high school.

k (My Novelesque Life)
 

Throwback Thursday: Historical Summer Reads!


HISTORICAL FICTION:

1. INTO THE WILDERNESS (#1) Sara Donati
Set in late 18th century America - the historical research is great and the story is even better.  Donati borrows a little from James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. The hero in Into the Wilderness story is the son of Hawkeye (the main character from The Last of the Mohicans). I have read the first novel several times and is a favourite.
 2. COLD MOUNTAIN by Charles Frazier
Set in the South during the Civil War - it is a love story but also about quests and getting through the worst of times.  I really liked the movie as well.
 3. FALLING ANGELS by Tracy Chevalier
Set in Britain, early twentieth century - a look at women and equality - a great book that takes you into the suffragette movement.
 4. WE ARE ALL WELCOME HERE by Elizabeth Berg
This one is set in Mississippi, 1964 - and the story of three women trying to live in a time of change.  One of my favourite novels by Berg - who is a must read for me.  
 5. ALIAS GRACE by Margaret Atwood
Set in the 1840 in Upper Canada, this is based on true events.  What I found intriguing about this novel was trying to figure out if Grace was a victim or the mastermind.  

HISTORICAL MYSTERIES (SERIES):

1. THE WAR AGAINST MISS. WINTER (#1) Kathryn Miller Haines
Set in 1943, New York City - in the thick of WWII, a struggling actress finds herself solving murders. It reminds me of the movie Stage Door and I enjoy Rosie's humour.
2. COCAINE BLUES (#1) Kerry Greenwood
1920s, Melbourne, Australia - a wealthy woman becomes involved in solving murders - I love this series as it witty and entertaining.  The cast of secondary characters really make this series a favourite for me.  
3. AND ONLY TO DECEIVE (#1) Tasha Alexander
Set in Victorian, England where the newly widowed, Emily is ready to shed societal norms and stand on her own.  As soon as I open one of the books in this series I get transported right into the novel.
4. MAISIE DOBBS (#1) Jacqueline Winspear
Set in post-WWI, England - a young nurse turned psychological detective is trying to get on with her life after all she experienced in the Great War.
5. RULES OF MURDER (#1) Julianna Deering
Set in 1930s, England - a mystery series that reminds me of Agatha Christie meets Dashiell Hammett.  

 HISTORICAL FICTION I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THIS SUMMER:

1. THE DARKNESS KNOWS (#1) Cheryl Honigford
Takes place in Chicago, 1938 - a new historical mystery series!
2. A DEADLY AFFECTION by Cuyler Overholt
Takes place in New York, 1907 - first book by Overholt and is a historical mystery - unsure if it will a series.
3. THE ATOMIC WEIGHT OF LOVE by Elizabeth J. Church
Set from WWII to 1970s, United States - a historical fiction novel about the roles of women.
4. THE KITCHEN HOUSE (#1) Kathleen Grissom
Set in the South in the late 1700s - a bit of an older book but have been hearing great things about it from friends and the sequel has just been released this year (Glory Over Everything Else)
5. MARLENE by C.W. Gortner
Set in the 20th century, Europe and USA - a fictionalize look at Marlene Dietrich - I love books that reimagine a person's life.

k (My Novelesque Life)

Wooing Wednesday: Romance I am Looking Forward to in the Summer!


Romance I am Looking Forward to in the Summer!

1. FOREVERMORE (#7) Kristen Callihan
This is the final book in the Darkest London series and I am excited and sad to finish it!
2. DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE by Susan Mallery
I am looking forward to this standalone by Susan Mallery.
3. FORGOTTEN SECRETS by Robin Perini
This will be my first book by Pererini but it is about the FBI so I am
excited for this romantic suspense.
4. FIREFLY SUMMER by Nan Rossiter
This is another new-to-me author but I am looking forward to this contemporary romance.  It seems to remind me of Susan Wiggs and Luanne Rice.
5. HIGHLAND TEMPTATION (#3) Jennifer Haymore
 Historical highlands...sigh...summer read!

k (My Novelesque Life)

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Wooing Wednesday: Romance Book List!



For ROMANCE  we have historical, paranormal, contemporary and my absolute favourite, suspense.


HISTORICAL ROMANCE SERIES:

1. THE WALLFLOWER Series by Lisa Kleypas
This series is the main reason I gave historical romance a shot (not historical fiction with romance but straight up historical romance).  This series is a throwback to Jane Austen's wit and humour.  I loved the characters and plots in each book. There are 4 books and 2 novellas in this series.
2. MCCABE Trilogy by Maya Banks
A historical romance in the highlands? Sign me up! A great mix of steamy romance with Scottish history.  PLEASE NOTE: do not start the other Highland trilogy by Banks as it is still incomplete years later.
3. JAMES FAMILY Trilogy by Jennifer Haymore
Steamy romance, wit and great realistic storylines - a must read! I read the first books for two other series by Haymore, and they are just as great - I have collected all her books.
4. WYLDER SISTERS Trilogy by Isabella Bradford
A fun trilogy much like Kleypas and Haymore's writing - balanced between romance, history and wit.
5. HONEYCOTE Series by Anne Barton
This series so far has 4 books and one novella.  I was hooked from the first book as it is like Klepas's writing.



HISTORICAL ROMANCE STANDALONE:

1. TUMBLING THROUGH TIME by Gwyn Cready
Cready's debut novel is a fun time traveling romance - more emphasis on humour and romance than historical background.
2. SUDDENLY YOU by Lisa Kleypas
Kleypas is the queen of historical romance, in my opinion! I love her writing and with this standalone novel I totally related to the main character.  
3. THE BRIDE SALE by Candice Hearn
Bride Sale is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast story (but loosely) which is one of my favourite "fairytales". 

PARANORMAL HISTORICAL ROMANCE:

1. DARKEST LONDON Series by Kristen Callihan
Darkest London has everything...romance, history, gothic, paranormal, suspense and mystery.  The first book just takes a hold of you and takes you back to your first reading experience.  The moment you discover what reading can do for you.  PLEASE NOTE: I highly suggest you read the novella, Ember (the prequel) after Firelight(as there is spoilers).
2. SCANDALS WITH BITE Series by Brooklyn Ann
LOVE this series! I like how Ann uses history and historical characters to blend a richer story with Vampires and suspense!
3. WESTFIELD WOLVES & GENTLEMEN VAMPYRE Series by Lydia Dare
 A fun historical romance with Sottish and English folklore, oh and werewolves, vampires and witches! PLEASE NOTE: Westfield Wolves and Gentlemen Vampyre are really one series in my opinion.  The characters from all the books are reoccurring characters in other books.  I would suggest you read the first 4 books from WW then the 3 books in GV and then the last 2 WW books.

PARANORMAL SUSPENSE ROMANCE:
1. WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD Series by Kelley Armstrong
I really enjoy this paranormal suspense with a little romance series.  PLEASE NOTE: This series is different than the TV show. Also, the first book, Bitten is not really representative of the series so if it is not your cup of tea please give book 2 a try.
2. MERCY THOMPSON Series & ALPHA AND OMEGA Series by Patricia Briggs
I cannot choose between these two series AND they are connected in the same world so I would say read both! Both series have kick-ass heroines with supportive men.

3. WARRIORS OF THE RIFT Series by Cynthia Garner
I blindly picked up this series and just enjoyed it! It starts off more like a romantic suspense but the crimes are more paranormal...and slowly Garner introduces you to a new world you don't want to leave.
4. CAFFERTY AND QUINN Series by Heather Graham
I would say this story is more of a supernatural romantic suspense but am adding it into this category.  I love the chemistry between Cafferty and Quinn and the odd cases they get involved in.

5. THE HOLLOWS Series by Kim Harrison
I have only read a few books in the series so far but it is becoming a favourite.  Another series where the first book falls a bit flat.  It is fun and adventurous!

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE SERIES:

1. LAKESHORE CHRONICLES Series by Susan Wiggs
For me this series is summer reading! It is set in a small town that sounds lovely to vacation in - all year around.  Each book has a different heroine and hero but it is best to read in order as characters will pop up in different books (many are related in some fashion).  There may be spoilers if you decide to read out of order ;)
2. CHESAPEAKE BAY Series by Nora Roberts
I enjoyed this series for it's simplicity and predictability.  You get exactly what you hope for and this series was perfect for when I needed a break from the gruesome murder mysteries.  The characters are lovely and the stories are sweet.
3. LUCKY HARBOR Series by Jill Shalvis
 Based on the first three books, in this series, I am hooked on Jill Shalvis' novels.  They have the realistic sassy heroines and heroes that can keep up with them!
4. FRIDAY HARBOR Series by Lisa Kleypas
Looks like Kleypas can also write contemporary romance! It is as if her HR characters have been transplanted in modern times with a modern storyline.  The writing is great and entertaining - much like Nora Roberts contemporary romances - sweet. 
5. WHISKEY CREEK Series by Brenda Novak
I started reading Novak as a romantic suspense novel (Last Stand series) but Novak started off writing contemporary romances.  While some novels have been a miss with me, on the whole, I enjoy this series. 

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE STANDALONE:

1. LAKESIDE COTTAGE by Susan Wiggs
A perfect beach read! A sweet romance - a single mother and her son are both intrigued by their new neighbour. 
2. A SUMMER IN SONOMA by Robyn Carr
This novel is a five star book for me.  There was nothing I did not like about this story or characters.  This is when I knew I would be a Carr fan for life.
3. TRUE BLUE by Luanne Rice
I used to watch TV movies with my mom (and would still watch them if they aired them as they used to) and saw True Blue was based on a book (by the same name).  Rice is more contemporary fiction with some romance.
4. P.S. I LOVE YOU by Cecelia Ahern
Another five star novel for me...I read the book before I saw the movie and love both versions as the movie caught the spirit of the book.  Warning: have tissues handy!
5. CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? by Sophie Kinsella
A romantic comedy to the tee.  I am not a huge fan of the Shopaholic series (as Becky's spending gives me high anxiety) but love this book...I think it is time for a re-read!
And now my favourite...
 
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE SERIES:

1. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE Series by Karen Rose
Rose is so great at making the "killer(s)" chilling.  The suspense is always at the high end that I usually have to finish the book in one sitting.  And to balance it all out there is a realistic love story that makes the world okay again.
2. F.B.I. Series by Allison Brennan
Brennan's series all have different names but there are some connections with each one so I am calling it as F.B.I. for our purposes.  Like Rose, Brennan is great at creating villains and heros!
3. JOHN MANCINI Series by Mariah Stewart
I binge read this series and loved each book.  I really enjoy this series.
4. ROGUE Series by Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot
If you are looking for a shorter read this is the series for you.  The first part of the series has 4 novellas (all one story) and the second part has 2 novellas.  Leigh and Elliot write romantic suspense on their own and this is their joint project.  
5. WILDFIRE Trilogy by Ella Grace
Ella Grace is the pseudonym for Christy Reece - I really liked this trilogy as it was more than just the standard romantic suspense as it is about three sisters reconnecting. 
6. FOR ME Trilogy by Cynthia Eden
Cynthia Eden writes many types of romances and this one is more romance than suspense...I mean in the steamy sense as there still is enough suspense to keep a mystery fan reading.
7. FORENSIC INSTINCTS Series by Andrea Kane
First thing I love about this series is the cases, second is the characters.  Each has their own talent to lend to the agency but they also seem so realistic.  I can totally see this series being turned into a TV show (hint hint).  There is a bit of humour that keeps the characters sane and lovable.  
8. BUCHANAN-RENARD Series by Julie Garwood
The first several novels in this series were amazing! Again this series is more romance than suspense but there are still thrilling suspense moments.
9. LAST CHANCE Series by Christy Reece
 One author made two entries on this list! Last Chance series is more gritty than her Wildfire series.  The cases are often heartbreaking but the steamy romances balances out the bad stuff...well, a bit, as some of the stories are still stuck in my mind.
10. IN DEATH Series by JD Robb
Just read!


ROMANTIC SUSPENSE STANDALONE:

1. ONE FALSE MOVE by Alex Kava
I like Kava's suspense series, Maggie O'Dell, and this a perfect introduction to see if you like her writing.  A standalone novel is less of a commitment. This novel is more on the suspense thriller side.  
2. THE OTHER DAUGHTER by Lisa Gardner
This is one of Gardner's few standalone novels and I really enjoyed it.  I usually am not a fan of lost memories but this book had me from the beginning.
3. I'LL BE WATCHING YOU by Andrea Kane
This was my first novel by Andrea Kane, based on a friend's recommendation.  I loved this thrilling romantic suspense.  It is a bit like Karen Rose just not as "chilling".
4. MOST LIKELY TO DIE by Lisa Jackson, Wendy Corsi Staub and Beverly Barton
This is one novel written by three different authors and yet the writing is seamless.  This is also the first time I read anything by these author.
5. ALL SHE EVER WANTED by Barbara Freethy
 This novel is more romance than suspense...reminds me of an early Nora Roberts romantic suspense.  It is a light read for the beach.
6. PLAY DIRTY by Sandra Brown
A classic Sandra Brown romantic suspense...another good read for the beach.
7. LAST SEEN ALIVE by Carlene Thompson
I enjoy most of Thompson's books - that I have read - as I like these quick easy reads. 
8. THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER by Mariah Stewart
It has been a long time since I read this book but that just means I can reread it soon!
9. DON'T SCREAM by Wendy Corsi Staub
I would say this is more of stay in your hotel and read, because there are moments you will forget the world around you and make some interesting faces as you go through the suspense.
10. CAROLINA MOON by Nora Roberts
I have to end this blog post on romance with a Nora Roberts book! It's hard to pick the best one so I am picking one that has always been in my top 5!

k (My Novelesque Life)