Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cover Crush: Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. I've decided to join in this year and will link to their posts down below.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
I adore the bright, vibrant colors in this cover! The purple background is gorgeous and makes a stunning backdrop for the vivid pinks, greens, and blues of the flowers flowing around the title. The white title and butterfly add beautiful contrast and ends up standing out amongst the stunning bright colors. It's just so pretty!!
 
Let's read the synopsis to see what we can expect from the story....
 

All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?  
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New Release Spotlight on DIY RULES FOR A WTF WORLD by Krista Suh

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub. Date: January 16th, 2018
Pages: 256


From the creator of the Pussyhat Project comes a manifesto for every woman to create her own distinct and original path to joy, success, and impact.


On January 21, 2017, millions of protestors took part in the Women's March, and many of them created a "sea of pink" when they wore knitted pink "pussyhats" in record numbers. The pussyhat swiftly found its place on the cover of TIME and the New Yorker, and it ultimately came to symbolize resistance culture. Creator of the Pussyhat Project, Krista Suh, took an idea and built a worldwide movement and symbol in just two months. But like so many women, Krista spent years letting her fears stop her from learning to live by her own rules.


Now in DIY RULES FOR A WTF WORLD, Krista Suh shares the tools, tips, experiences, "rules," and knitting patterns she uses to get creative, get bold, and change the world. From learning how to use your own intuition to decide which rules are right for you to finding your inner-courage to speak up fearlessly; from finding what your passions are (this might surprise you!) to dealing with the squelchers out there, DIY RULES FOR THE WTF WORLD not only inspires you to demolish the patriarchy, but also enables you to create your own rules for living, and even a movement of your own, all with gusto, purpose, and joy.


Early Praise for DIY Rules for a WTF World



"Creativity is a key component of the resistance, and Krista Suh's singular vision launched a nationwide community of women to craft arguably the most iconic visual of the Women's March. Watching the waves of pink hats spill over Independence Avenue as women, femmes and allies came together in numbers too big to ignore was an unforgettable experience. The future is female, and it is also DIY!" -- Bob Bland, National Co-Chair of Women's March on Washington


"Krista Suh wrote your best friend in book form - this book inspires and guides you to get to know yourself better so you're empowered to take on the world." -- Ann Shen, author of Bad Girls Throughout History


"Krista Suh is pure cosmic magic. Your own inner cosmology cannot help but become wilder, bolder, limitless, more abundant, more expansive, and more joyful in seeing the world through her unconventional wisdom." -- Yumi Sakugawa, author of The Little Book of Life Hacks

"Krista Suh is in the business of unleashing the modern day women from the invisible chains of an outdated patriarchy, towards a society that values the intuition, healing, and communal vibes of the feminine divine. This book encapsulates so many of Krista's ingenious philosophies and tips to a life filled with self-care, confidence, and, eventually, global impact." -- MILCK, singer-songwriter of "I Can't Keep Quiet", the unofficial anthem of the Women's March


Buy the Book




About the Author


Krista Suh is a feminist, artist, Hollywood screenwriter, and creator of The Pussyhat Project. She's based in Los Angeles. She wants to make the world a safer place for women and to help everyone validate their own creativity, femininity, and intuition.

Find out more about Krista on her website and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

HFVBT Book Blast: The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

Pub. Date: January 30th, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union
Pages: 348

Genre: Historical Fiction



San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.


As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.


Praise for The Secret Life of Mrs. London



“The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a heart-wrenching portrait of a marriage between two people who utterly depend on one another, but ultimately aren’t enough for each other. With skillful precision of language, Rosenberg weaves a narrative that defines the complexities of love, passion, and art. This is a perceptive, deeply moving novel by a great new talent about a couple who has gone unnoticed in historical fiction until now. Anyone who has ever loved another person will want to read this book.” —Victoria Kelly, author of Mrs. Houdini: A Novel


“One of Houdini’s best kept secrets was his affair with Charmian London in 1918. Now Rebecca Rosenberg tells the story using an elegant blend of fact and fiction, creating a Houdini book like no other. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a true peek behind the curtain and a page-turner.” —John Cox, Wild about Harry


Buy the Book


Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


About the Author



A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the
Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel.

Rebecca and her husband, Gary, own the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores. The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home.

For more information, please visit Rebecca’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads. Visit the Facebook page for The Secret Life of Mrs. London.


HFVBT Book Blast Schedule



Tuesday, January 2

Passages to the Past

Friday, January 5

Creating Herstory (Fierce Femme Friday)

Monday, January 8

Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, January 9

Suzy Approved Book Reviews

Friday, January 12

Bibliotica

Monday, January 15

Donna’s Book Blog

Tuesday, January 16

A Literary Vacation

Friday, January 19

I Heart Reading

Monday, January 22

Cup of Sensibility

Tuesday, January 23

The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, January 25

Pursuing Stacie

Monday, January 29

What Cathy Read Next






Friday, January 12, 2018

Review: Mr. Dickens and his Carol by Samantha Silva

Pub. Date: October 31st, 2017
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Pages: 320

Genres: Fiction / Historical / Biographical / Holidays


Synopsis



Charles Dickens should be looking forward to Christmas. But when his latest book, Martin Chuzzlewit, is a flop, his publishers give him an ultimatum. Either he writes a Christmas book in a month or they will call in his debts and he could lose everything. Dickens has no choice but to grudgingly accept...


What Did I Think About the Story?



Confession time: I am a huge Christmas nerd. This is not an exaggeration....I literally make myself wait until Thanksgiving day to start watching and listening to all things Christmas and, once that day arrives, all bets are off! I watch everything I can find Christmas related and will listen to Christmas music all day long in my office and on my commute. It drives my husband crazy but there you have it. With this being said, I was over the moon when I read about this book coming out and snapped it up as soon as I could. I am so glad I did because this was the absolute perfect book to read over my holiday break!

Mr. Dickens and his Carol is a complete immersion into the world of Charles Dickens and his novels. Samantha Silva creates such a vivid world for those that love Dickens and his quintessential Christmas tale. Dickens is a frenetic, quirky, big-headed and big-hearted dandy who travels the many streets of London to not only calm his always racing mind and soul but to collect characters and worlds for his stories. All of the characters - not only Dickens but his befuddled publishers, his delightful children and wife, his kooky set of friends and colleagues, the plentiful and always interesting people of London - are brought to wonderful life. Even the streets of London themselves seem to take on a life of their own! It was so exciting getting a peek into this world filled with love, happiness, the lows of poverty and the highs of excess. And how the Dickens family loved their excess! To be honest, I think I would have really disliked Dickens given his need for all things if he wasn't so charitable and kind at the same time!

I had no idea that A Christmas Carol was written as a demand - on an incredibly tight deadline to boot - by his publishers after his newest installment of Chuzzlewit was bombing. It was remarkable watching Dickens struggle to get this story written. With an incredible case of writer's block, those closest to him abandoning him or letting him down in various forms, and an ever-shortening timeline ticking away, Dickens has to face the ghosts - both good and bad - of his own past in order to find this story within himself. The way Samantha Silva writes the narrative I can't imagine Dickens being able to write the story any other way as so much of his own experiences and interactions are intertwined with his fictional characters. This adventure also brings him into contact with a literal ghost as well, one that helps him find his way back to his writing and, in turn, himself. 

Something else I found delightful was just how varied the emotions could be throughout the story. Dickens and his motley crew of family, friends, and associates give so much for the reader to giggle about mixed in with quite a few tender and sweet moments, as well as some pretty gut-wrenchingly sad ones as well. If you've got a soft spot for A Christmas Carol and the sort of world it inhabits your emotions will run the gamut when reading Mr. Dickens and his Carol.

The book's author's note describes this story as a reimagining of how A Christmas Carol came to be, relying on real facts and people to lead the narrative. It's full of love, whimsy, heart, hope, and admiration for a man who changed so many of our views on Christmas and the spirit it evokes with his words. Highly recommended to anyone who lives for the spirit of Christas all year long as I do! 


What Did I Think About the Cover?



This cover is absolutely gorgeous, even more so in person! I bought the UK edition from the Book Depository and nearly squealed with delight when it arrived. The images are printed directly onto the hardcover backing - no dust jacket - and for me this gives it a classic, treasured feeling. The yellowed light coming through the windows nearly glow and the sprinkling of snow gives it a beautiful wintery feel. Absolutely magical cover!


My Rating: 5.0/5.0


I purchased a copy of Mr. Dickens and his Carol for my own library. All opinions are mine alone. To find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase your own copy, see Goodreads HERE.



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cover Crush: A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. I've decided to join in this year and will link to their posts down below.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
Seriously, just look at this cover for a minute! It's gorgeous, right?! There's so much to see! Taking your eye around the tree you've got animals and hands with what I believe are quills and fireballs and a key right at the top. What could it all mean??? I have no idea and I really don't care...I just want to stare at the picture some more! And I love the black background as it really makes all of the images pop and the colors vibrant.
 
Let's read what the story is about....
 

This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .

Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide.
Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding.

Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard.

And now there's a spirit inside her.

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father's rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret.

But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death."
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Blast: The Langsford Series by A.E. Wasserman + Tour-Wide Giveaway!!

1884 No Boundaries: A Story of Espionage, and International Intrigue by A.E. Wasserman


Publication Date: April 29, 2015
Archway Publishing
382 Pages

Series: Langford Series, Book #1
Genre: Historical Fiction



Love, murder, sex, and terrorism swirl within a collapsed world economy.

No, it’s not today.

It’s London, 1884.

Recently married Langsford, born of wealth and privilege, is bound by the restrictions of Victorian society. Dynamite has been invented, but the term “homosexuality” has not and men can be arrested for either.

Langsford accompanies his visiting friend, HEINRICH, eighteen, who innocently flirts with young ANNA at London’s Leadenhall Market.

What should be the end of the story becomes the beginning, for Heinrich falls in love with her, never part of the plan. Instead it becomes the catalyst for everything that follows when he flees Germany to return to her. Events unfold that expose terrorists, espionage and international intrigue.

Langsford walks a fine line as he crosses boundaries he never imagined, rubbing elbows with spies, killers and would-be assassins to save his friend, stop an assassination, and prevent a war.


“Wasserman’s writing is atmospherically rich. Very strongly recommended.” – Historical Novel Society, London, critical review of 1884 No Boundaries
 
 

Buy the Book

 



1886 Ties That Bind: A Story of Politics, Graft, and Greed by A.E. Wasserman

 
Publication Date: November 3, 2016
Archway Publishing
320 Pages

Series: Langford Series, Book #2
Genre: Historical Fiction



It is 1886 as Englishman Lord Langsford travels by train to San Francisco. Newly widowed, Langsford is desperate to escape his grief, demons, and life in England. As Langsford completes the last leg of his transcontinental journey, his life unexpectedly changes once again when he crosses paths with Miss Sally Baxter, a beautiful rancher who packs a pistol in her purse.

Sally has made it her mission to find the men who robbed a train and killed her brother. Unfortunately, no one—not even the owners of the Southern Pacific Railroad—seem to care. Unable to resist her pleas, Langsford offers to help Sally and soon becomes entangled in a web of politics, corruption, and greed. As murder, threats, and attacks ensue that endanger both Sally and Langsford, influential men in both California and Washington, D.C. jockey for positions of power. Langsford, who finds himself oddly attracted to Sally, now must sort through criminals and politicians alike to discover the truth behind her brother’s death and prevent his own murder.


“The author has woven a complex net of intrigue and background to the murder that makes the entire book so much more than just a mystery. As the title appropriately states, this deals with issues of politics, corruption and greed in a very accomplished way. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended.” – Christoph Fischer, UK Reviewer Discovering Diamonds
 
 

Buy the Book

 
 
 

1885: Crossingsby A.E. Wasserman



Publication Date: October 5, 2017
Archway Publishing

142 Pages

Series: Langford Series, Book #3
Genre: Historical Fiction



Anna’s hand holding the letter trembled as her vision rocked, going in and out of focus. She felt as though she was falling backward and at the same time rolling forward, expecting to land face first on the floor. She put her hand on the table to brace herself. She no longer heard the song birds in the buckeye tree outside the window, or the hoof beats on the cobblestones passing the front door, or any sound at all.

The world around her ceased to exist—only the paper with Henry’s written words: his own account of what happened during the past year.

The entire time, she’d known he wasn’t telling her everything—but this—she could never have imagined any of it. The hard fact was, Henry will never escape the truth.


“1885 Crossings gives us another opportunity to return to the world of Henry, Anna, and Langsford. A.E. Wasserman’s writing is beautifully done—tense and uncomfortable. The ending gave me a chill.” -Chuck Sambuchino, Bestselling Author
 
 
Buy the Book
 
 
 

About the Author



The daughter of a newspaperman, A.E. Wasserman grew up in a household filled with books and stories. At age 14, she wrote her first novella and never stopped writing.

She is the author of a new mystery/thrillers series, the first of which takes place in London: 1884 No Boundaries, A Story of Espionage and International Intrigue. The second in the Langsford Series, 1886 Ties That Bind, A Story of Politics, Graft and Greed, has just been released.

Her work, critically acclaimed as “richly atmospheric,” is being noticed by readers and critics alike, and has garnered international attention, not only in the U.S., but Europe and the U.K. as well. She recently received top honors from Writer’s Digest for her work.

After graduating from The Ohio State University, she lived in London, then San Francisco. Currently she resides in Southern California with her family and her muse, a Border Collie named Topper.

For more information, please Visit the author’s web site at www.aewasserman.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter

 

It's Giveaway Time!!

 

During the Book Blast we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form HERE.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
 
Good Luck!!
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Release Day Review of The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Pub. Date: January 9th, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352

Genres: Fiction / Suspense / Contemporary Fiction / Mystery


Synopsis



A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.


When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.

You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.

You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.


Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.


What Did I Think About the Story?



As you will notice in the synopsis above, not much is given away regarding this story. You are warned not to assume anything, which instantly piques your interest. You're told to "get ready for the read of your life". How can a book lover resist?! Well, if you enjoy a good, twisty mystery, then resistance is unnecessary as The Wife Between Us will give you much to enjoy when reading.

Because of the many twists and turns within this story it's nearly impossible to tell you much of anything without possibly giving away clues that could ruin some of those revelations. I will tell you that the main character is a recently divorced woman who, for reasons you will discover, cannot stop thinking about her ex-husband or his soon-to-be new wife. That's about all I can say (see, told you I couldn't say much). From that one nugget of information these two authors spin a complicated web of obsession, betrayal, pain, and revenge that would be nearly impossible to fully guess when starting. I will admit that I did guess one of the bigger revelations pretty early on, however I still enjoyed seeing how that revelation would come to pass as well as seeing how the many other surprises would unfold. There were a few instances of those awesome moments when I stopped and said "oh wow, THAT'S what was happening there!". I love when that happens and it happened quite often when reading The Wife Between Us.

Something else I quite enjoyed about the story was the fact that the writing flowed seamlessly even though there were two separate authors writing it. I cannot determine which author wrote which portions, which is great and always surprising to me in these sorts of situations. I've been a fan of Sarah Pekkanen's writing for a long time now and I'm so excited that I've discovered a new novelist to follow in Greer Hendricks!

The Wife Between Us is full of complicated characters, none of which are who they appear to be initially.  There are so many dropped clues throughout the story and hanging threads of narrative that all come together and make sense by the end. The wrap-up feels neat and ordered, which I love as I hate when there are still tons of questions left unanswered at the end of the story. While I will say that there are sections of the story that dragged somewhat, making the pacing not quite as "thrilling" as I would have liked, overall this is a great mystery that will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in complicated characters and well thought out and developed plots.


What Did I Think About the Cover?



I think it's pretty cool! If you sort of squint at the two faces they kind of look like they're melding into one, which is a great representation of how you feel when reading the book...everything seems to meld/shift/twist together.  The brighter yellow letters also make the title stand out, which I love. Nice contemporary cover.


My Rating: 4.0/5.0


I won an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of The Wife Between Us from Shelf Awareness...thank you Shelf Awareness and St. Martin's Press for my copy! All opinions are mine alone. To find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, see Goodreads HERE.