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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Book Review: Into the Water: A Novel by Paula Hawkins-Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Hello dear Readers,

My book review of Into the Water: A Novel by Paula Hawkins.


Title: Into the Water: A Novel
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Language: English
Hardcover: 400 pages
Meet the Author: Paula Hawkins
Buy Me: Amazon

Book Description

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense. 

“Hawkins is at the forefront of a group of female authors – think Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott – who have reinvigorated the literary suspense novel by tapping a rich vein of psychological menace and social unease… there’s a certain solace to a dark escape, in the promise of submerged truths coming to light.” –Vogue

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.


My Thoughts

My most anticipated read of 2017. One word. Amazing. Is it true, like other people have expressed, at the beginning I had issues with all the different POV's, the large cast of characters, however, once I passed that and I was finally able to find the rhythm, it was an enjoyable, amazing, surprising read. 

Why I loved this book? Because part of me was expecting something similar to The Girl on the Train, and it wasn't and I am glad it was not. This was a total surprise and I think it is wonderful when an Author has the ability to surpass our expectations in a good way and bring something different, something unique. That is what reading Into the Water was for me, a very unique experience. 

As for the large number of characters? Well, after finishing the book, in my opinion, each character was necessary to make the story work, what each one brings to the table is a little something which put together gives the book that wow factor, all these different personalities that at the end are connected one way or the other. 

As for The Drowning Pool story in between, personally, it helped me understand a few details included in the story. I liked the suspense, the darkness, how all the secrets unraveled and the ending, a satisfying one but at the same time open which made me think beyond this story and what would have happened if...

Into the Water, a very unique, suspenseful, dark read which I totally recommend.

Wendy

Book Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han-Teens/Fiction

Hello dear Readers,

My book review of Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han.


Title: Always and Forever Lara Jean
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: Teens/Fiction
Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Language: English
Hardcover: 336 pages
Meet the Author: Jenny Han
Buy Me: Amazon

Book Description
Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?



My Thoughts

Words are not enough to express how thankful I am that I had the opportunity to read this trilogy. It will always be one of my favorites. 

Lara Jean and Peter, such wonderful characters and all the others as well. Lara Jean's father, Kitty, Margot, Ms. Rothschild. Without a doubt the perfect conclusion to the story. It was not easy knowing it was the end but very satisfied about it. All the feelings while reading this book. Happiness, sadness, nostalgia, laughter. I became very attached to the characters and invested in the story, in Lara Jean's world, which is not that difficult, with a beautiful writing style the Author makes you feel part of it all.  

Like I said before about the other two books, I like how we can relate to the characters and all they go through. When it comes to family relationships, love relationships, transitioning from that teenage period to a more young-adult phase, making decisions on your own, obstacles, taking ownership of your life. The Author does a great job in giving us this funny, cute, story/characters but at the same time making them real, Human. 

Overall, I loved this trilogy, I did not want it to end, I enjoyed each book and even though I know this was the end but we can always hope, maybe a new book from Peter's POV, maybe? Yes, please.

Wendy

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book Review: The Good Widow: A Novel by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke-Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Hello dear Readers,

My book review of The Good Widow: A Novel by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke.


Title: The Good Widow: A Novel
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
Language: English
Paperback: 300 pages
Meet the Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Buy Me: Amazon

Book Description
Bestselling authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke make their suspense debut in this twisty, emotional thriller.
Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.
For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiance. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.
Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

My Thoughts

I was beyond excited when I found out Liz and Lisa were publishing a book on this genre, one of my favorites, their suspense debut novel, another gem by the Authors, a Must-Read. One of my best reads this year.

In the Good Widow we meet Jacqueline "Jacks", and all the events following the news that her husband, James had a car accident in Hawaii. Devastating news for Jacks of course and not a very pleasant ones giving the fact that James was supposed to be on a work trip in another city and not in Hawaii and accompanied by another woman. We also get to know Jacks's husband James, the mysterious woman, Dylan, and her fiance Nick and how their lives come together throughout the pages. 

This read was a total emotional roller coaster for me, I couldn't put it down. Full of suspense, twists and with very interesting characters. My favorite, Jacks, a wife, a teacher, a woman who even though does not have the perfect marriage, the perfect life, she is determined to find the answers she needs to understand what happened to her marriage, to her husband, his death. For me Jacks is a brave character, she tries to make sense of everything happening to her, how her life changes in a matter of minutes, all that she thought was the truth no longer is, all the lies, all the questions, she desperately needs answers and she decides to go to Hawaii to find them.

In terms of the story, I enjoyed it a lot, I liked that it kept me engaged, interested, all the twists, and the ending, unexpected and satisfying. A very good job by the Authors, you can see they took the time to do their research, how we not only get to know the characters but also the places, how they describe those. I love Liz and Lisa's writing style, the way they present the story, something about the way they write, makes this book a different one from all the others I have read on the same genre. Different in a very good way.

I loved the book, one I totally recommend. Thank you to the Authors for sharing this story, for exploring this genre and I can hardly wait for more new books to be published.

Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union for sending an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Wendy

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Book Review: Seat 2A by Author Dela-New Adult Romance

Hello dear Readers,

Happy Book Birthday to Seat 2A, a New Adult Romance by the Author of The 52nd Saga, Dela.





Title: Seat 2A
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Dela
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Publication Date: March 27, 2017
Language: English
Kindle: 335 pages
Meet the Author: Dela
Buy Me: Amazon

Book Description

When Jessie Evans, a Georgia Southern University cheerleader, leaves for her best friend’s wedding the last thing she expects is for the seat next to her to be taken. After all, she’d only canceled Seat 2A hours prior after catching her boyfriend cheating. 

Kendal Vargas, son of a Spanish emigrant fashion guru, is on his way to Whistler for a “mancation”. Running to buy a neck pillow before his flight, Kendal bumps into Jessie Evans. Kendal is in a hurry. Kendal does not stop to help her. Kendal forgot his neck pillow and the plane is about to leave and hey—who could travel without a neck pillow?


Charmed by Jessie’s beauty, and watching her board his very plane, Kendal takes a whim and changes his seat to one he hopes would be next to her. Jessie ignores Kendal’s attempt to be chatty but when their connecting flight gets canceled overnight, the pair has a chance to make a real connection.

Seven years later, Jessie bumps into Kendal in the produce aisle of a Portland grocery store. No neck pillow is involved, except there is a beautiful little girl who looks just like him. Fate has given them another shot but will Kendal’s whims keep them apart?

My Thoughts

I read Dela's previous work, The 52nd and I loved it. 

Unfortunately, Seat 2A, her debut contemporary, did not do the job for me. The first three chapters were very promising and I was liking the story a lot, the way Kendall and Jessie meet it's so original, a very strong connection between them when they first meet but after this event it all went down for me. The story became very predictable, the dialogues cheesy at times, some scenes felt forced and towards the end it felt almost like everything was being rushed. I did not see a real character development and the attitude of both main characters, Jessie and Kendall, became annoying. All these different situations made me lost interest, kept reading hoping that something I was missing would happen but unfortunately never did. 

Seat 2A is a story with a very good potential but in need of more character development and not to rush the story, so many things happening so fast that it did not allow me to really connect with the story, neither the characters.


Thanks to the Author for sending an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.


Wendy

Book Review: The Animal Under the Fur by E.J. Mellow-New Adult/Romance

Hello dear Readers,

My Book Review of The Animal Under the Fur, a New Adult Romance by the Author of The Dreamland Series, E.J. Mellow.



Title: The Animal Under the Fur
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: E.J. Mellow
Publisher: Four Eyed Owl
Publication Date: March 30, 2017
Paperback: 452 pages
Language: English
Meet the Author: E.J. Mellow
Buy Me: Amazon

Book Description

From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.

Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.

The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.
Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.

The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.
But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.

The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.

My Thoughts 

First of all, the cover, what a gorgeous one, and then, that opening line, enough for me to want to read the book. 

A very different and refreshing New Adult/Romance, which introduces these two unforgettable characters, Carter and Nashville. 

A story with action packed scenes, funny, captivating and as I mentioned, refreshing, not the typical take on Romance which makes the story a different one. Fast paced, unexpected turns and a story where we really get to know the characters and all the go through. A very different story from the Author's previous work, The Dreamland Series but still love the writing style and how well-developed the characters are. 

Thank you to the Author for sending an Advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wendy

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas-Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Hello dear Readers,

My book review for A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.


Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Language: English
Paperback: 448 pages
Meet the Author: Sarah J. Maas
Buy Me: Amazon 

Book Description
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R.R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin--one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin--and his world--forever.

My Thoughts

This was our Novels at Night IG Book Club pick of the month for March and I liked it and enjoyed it a lot. The secon re telling I read and this one did not dissapoint. I now understand why lots of people love these series so much. I do not read much fantasy and this one was a great reading experience for me. The writing style is amazing, character development and world building on point, and action packed scenes. I will definitely be reading A Court of Mist and Fury and totally recommend A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Wendy

Book Review: To Nurture and Kill (An Ellderet Tale) by E.M. Markoff-Epic Dark Fantasy

Hello dear Readers,

Below my Book Review of To Nurture and Kill (An Ellderet Tale) by Author E.M. Markoff.


Title: To Nurture and Kill (An Ellderet Tale)
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy
Author: E.M. Markoff
Publisher: Tomes & Coffee Press 
Publication Date: April 22, 2017 
Language: English
Paperback: 198 pages
Meet the Author: E.M. Markoff
Buy Me: Amazon

Book Description

Eutau Vidal owed nothing to anyone and lived his life as he wanted. But then his sister died, leaving her newborn son Kira in his care, and everything changed. The Purging sweeps on, spreading misery across the Land of Moenda as the Ascendancy wages its war of extermination against the Deadbringers. Now, torn between a promise to his dying sister and the desire to regain his freedom, Eutau struggles to care for his young nephew even as the babe begins to manifest dark powers of the most dangerous kind.

To Nurture & Kill is a tale of love and loss, the story of one man's search for meaning amid the ashes of war. It is a standalone prequel to The Deadbringer, the first book in The Ellderet Series.


My Thoughts

I had the opportunity to Beta Read To Nurture and Kill and I was very happy to be back in this world and characters that I got t to know in The Deadbringer, which To Nurture and Kill is the prequel to that story.

In To Nurture and Kill we meet a younger Eutau and a very, very young Kira, precisely, when Eutau's sister dies, leaving Kira to his care and how this event changes his life forever. Other characters are introduced and new situations unfold as well. 

I loved the story. Markoff's wrting style is so unique, it is just something about it, the way the story is told. The author really cares for her readers to understand the characters, to be invested in the story, it did it for me, I just wanted to keep reading it. A beautifully written book, a fantastic character development, the world described, dark and intriguing and unexpected turns which made my interest in the story grow more.

I also loved  how through the pages, the words, we get to see in depth this strong, beautiful and loving relationship between Eutau and Kira. How sincere, honest, real and transparent it is. I think it is amazing the way Eutau loves Kira and how much he cares for him, the feeling that he would do anything to protect him despite Eutau having all these other feelings, regret, sadness, anger at times but the love for Kira is always there. They have a strong connection which is one element that makes this story so deep and beautiful. Something else I like is how original and cool the character's names are and of course, we cannot forget the Art, the cover of To Nurture and Kill is gorgeous.

Overall, I enjoyed and loved the book a lot. I recommend a 100% both stories, The Deadbringer and To Nurture and Kill, and I cannot wait for the next book and see what else is in store for Eutau and Kira.


Wendy

Saturday, April 22, 2017

New Release: To Nurture and Kill (An Ellderet Tale) by Author E.M. Markoff

Hello dear Readers,

Happy Book Birthday to To Nurture and Kill (An Ellderet Tale) by Author E.M. Markoff.




Title: To Nurture & Kill

Series: Ellderet Tale, #1

Author: E.M. Markoff

Audience: Adult

Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy

Formarts: E-Book and Paperback

Cover Artwork: Pink Pigeon Studio

Release Date: April 22, 2017


To Nurture & Kill Synopsis:



Eutau Vidal owed nothing to anyone and lived his life as he wanted. But then his sister died, leaving her newborn son Kira in his care, and everything changed. The Purging sweeps on, spreading misery across the Land of Moenda as the Ascendancy wages its war of extermination against the Deadbringers. Now, torn between a promise to his dying sister and the desire to regain his freedom, Eutau struggles to care for his young nephew even as the babe begins to manifest dark powers of the most dangerous kind.

To Nurture & Kill is a tale of love and loss, the story of one man's search for meaning amid the ashes of war. It is a standalone prequel to The Deadbringer, the first book in The Ellderet Series.





Goodreads: [Goodreads]


Purchase: [Amazon]




To Nurture & Kill YouTube Playlist:




(A note from the author) Music is dear to me. Just like I can't imagine a life without books, I can't imagine a life without music. It motivates me in so many ways, and it is vital to my writing since it helps set the mood and excites the writing muse. The songs chosen for the To Nurture & Kill playlist were what I listened to over and over again as I wrote. The songs are in order and can be played while reading. Or read the book first and then listen to the playlist and have fun assigning the song to the story ;) 

To Nurture & Kill Playlist [YouTube]


Author Bio:



E.M. Markoff is a Latina writer who was raised on a steady diet of Mexican folklore, anime, Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe films, and unrestricted access to comics and books. Growing up, she spent many days exploring her hometown cemetery, where her love of all things dark began.

Upon coming of age, she decided to pursue a career as a microbiologist, where she spent a few years channeling her inner mad scientist. Despite enjoying her time in a lab coat, she always had a love of writing short stories and so, one day, she set the first word to paper and never looked back.

Currently, with the aid of her feline companion, she is working on the second novel in The Ellderet Series.

Send coffee.


Social Links:


Wendy

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Perfect Panel of Authors

Hello dear Readers,

Recently, I was inspired by Eventbrite to share with you all what would be my Perfect Panel of Authors. I was thrilled about the email because I never thought about it before. I think of my favorite Authors but never of having them all together in one place. 

Thanks Eventbrite for the opportunity and if you are interested and/or looking for help and resources to find, register or plan conferences close to you on in your local area, check the Eventbrite Page. I have used Eventbrite to buy tickets for Writing and Bookish events and I love it. You can download their App on your phone.

My panel consists in a very diverse group of Authors, not only diverse in the genre they write but also where they come from, in the period of time they live (lived) and life background. 

Any of the cities where Dan Brown develops his books would be ideal for the the Panel to take place.

The questions would be a mix of writing related questions and life questions, such as what inspires their writing, favorite books, writing advice for inspiring  Authors, family, hobbies, their latest work if there was one.


My Dream Moderator

That would definitely be Dan Brown. Why? There is something so special and unique about his writing and I think it would be very interesting to see him interacting with other Authors and transmit that energy I get with his books and writing through the spoken word. I see him as a very intellectual, smart and well educated person who I would love to see guiding and building a great conversation with the panelists.



The Great Poet

Pablo Neruda. The Genius when it comes to Poetry. One of my favorite writers. I wish he was still alive, see him in person talking about his experiences in life, about his writing process, where all the inspiration came from, how all the political and social environment he lived in pretty much his whole life affected him not only as a Poet which we can see on his Poetry but also as a person. What questions he would have for the writers now, not only Poets but in general. 



The Little House on the Prairie

Another one who sadly is not with us anymore but who's writing will always be one of my all time favorites. Laura Ingalls Wilder, not only opened the way for many other writers but also who's books inspired one of my favorite TV shows. Every time I read this book her beautiful writing, her voice transports me to that period of time where things seemed to be less complicated.



El Mago (The Magician)

Paulo Coelho. My favorite writer. The Alchemist, my favorite book. Paulo Coelho is such an inspiration, a writer who has shown that sometimes in writing, and in life it is just a matter of keep trying, of not giving up. His persistence translated in writing one of the most influential books in modern history, one that every time I read it, I find something new, learn something new, that right there is pure magic. 



The One and Only

Anthony Doerr. Where do I start? I guess, by saying that I absolutely loved reading All the Light We Cannot See. He is one of these writers that has inspired me to want to be a better writer and a better reader as well. I feel so much appreciation and respect for his books, his writing. So thankful for Authors like him and of course would love for him to be on my perfect panel so others could have the chance to be inspired as well.



Picture Credits: all pictures taken from Google.


Wendy


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Release Tuesday #13: April 04, 2017

Hello dear Readers,

Today is the Paperback release of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


Title: All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Anthony Doerr
Publisher: Scribner, Reprint Edition
Publication Date: April 04, 2017
Language: English
Paperback: 544 pages
Meet the Author: Anthony Doerr
Buy Me: Amazon

Book Description

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).


Wendy