Midu Reads

 

http://phollo.me/miduhadi 

#9 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Midu Reads [Nominated]

Reblogged from BookLikes:

[Nominated by BLoggers]

Let's welcome Midu in Follow Friday talks!

 

Have a look what Midu Reads on BookLikes: http://miduhadi.booklikes.com/

 

 

On your About me page you write that it was Lorna Doone that made you passionate about books. Tell us more.

 

Lorna Doone - R.D. Blackmore  There was this book fair at my school and I wanted to buy all the flashy books at exorbitant costs. Back then, my mom used to teach there as well. We have never been rich but our financial situation was even tougher then. I asked my mom if I could buy some books and she said, she would pick out a few for me. The next day, she returned with this boring book with the least glamorous subject matter and the most unattractive cover. Lets just say, I didn't receive the gift with much grace. She sat me down and told me to give the book a try anyway. I did and as I read, I fell in love with the story. I have never stopped reading after that.  

 

What made you start book blogging?

 

I wanted to be able to say more than "I've read this book", "This book is world-rocking/meh", or "Read this one or I'm writing you out of my will".

 

Does blogging have an impact on your reading life?

 

I would say, it has. My reviews have gotten more reader-centric. They used to be about me, now I try to write reviews that will also help others decide if a book is right for them. Consequently while reading, I also focus on things that would clinch (or be a deal breaker) to others.

 

What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

 

I think I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Epic Fantasy. Yet now I find myself gravitating towards Sci-Fi. What makes it special is that I am able to relate with what I have read. It has given me a way to include science in my writing!

 

You’re an editor and a copywriter. You’re co-working with authors and other personalities from the publishing branch. How did that influence your reading life?

 

I think it has affected my writing life more. Before I ghost-wrote whole books, I didn't believe I would ever be able to write one for myself. Now, I have started thinking that might be...probably...is mostly possible lol

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I love all the covers in the series, House of Comarré and The Dinosaur Lords.

Blood Rights - Kristen PainterThe Dinosaur Lords - Victor Milán

 

You’ve published over 300 reviews here on BookLikes. How does you review process look like?

 

I have? Wow! I keep two things in mind while writing a review: a) the characters or their actions do not make the author b) I should be able to justify any claims that I make in it. I hope I have done well in those regards :-)

 

 

Any tips for the beginner reviewers and bloggers?

 

Keep reading!

 

You’re an author! Tell us more!

 

I have written several short stories. One of them was published by the Antarctica Journal while others can be found on Smashwords and Medium.

Life Of A 'prayer - Midu HadiMr. Bear - Midu Hadi

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers this fall?

 

I don't know how to do the seasonal thing or read the latest books. I read what I know I'd like reading at a particular time. The best I can do is name some good books that I have read recently include Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card, and Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson. I am also loving my current read, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

 

Binti - Nnedi OkoraforSpeaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal - G. Willow Wilson,Adrian AlphonaThe Invention of Wings: A Novel - Sue Monk Kidd

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

I usually read when I am in the van and on my way to work. So, no photos!

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Both. It just needs to be legible lol

 

 

Three titles for a dessert island?

 

I am going to mention my favorite authors, instead. So, anything by Mary Shelley, Georgette Heyer, and Steven Erikson.

 

Favorite quote?

 

They keep changing. I think this would be a good one to mention here:

That's the funny thing about old hurts- they just wait for new heartache to come along and then show up, just as sharp and horrible as the first day you woke up with the world changed all around you.

Lilith Saintcrow, Strange Angels

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?

 

I would be most interested in meeting Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights. She is all kinds of evil!

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

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Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

See you next Friday!

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd — A Story about Mothers, Sisters, and Slaves!

The Invention of Wings: A Novel - Sue Monk Kidd

 

 

Fifteen years before Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was wholly influenced by American Slavery As It Is, a pamphlet written by Sarah, Angelina, and Angelina’s husband, Theodore Weld, and published in 1839, the Grimké sisters were out crusading not only for the immediate emancipation of slaves, but for racial equality, an idea that was radical even among abolitionists. 

That is the kind of women this book is based on!

 

The first book that I read by Sue Monk Kidd was The Secret Life of Bees. It didn’t mince words when it came to the cruelties that slavery brought. While I loved the candor, what touched me, even more, is that the author didn’t mention those incidents in a salacious way. She included them in the story as the reality of that time. The focus remained on the characters who evolved as real people do.

 

This book wasn’t different in that regard either! Like always, I will try to review the story with quotes from the book. As I mention each quote, I will include the context it is taken from and what it signified to me.

 

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Another thing that I have always loved about Ms. Kidd’s novels is that she weaves humor into her stories. With the subject being as grim as slavery, it should be difficult to make the reader laugh. The best part is that the humor doesn’t detract or mock the theme of the story. It simply makes it possible to go on reading and with what is happening in it, this is a good thing.

 

The Sisters

 

This particular quote is taken from a scene where one of the Grimké sisters is receiving a suitor in her drawing room. The fear of carnality had been put into her very recently by a man of God in the very words that she mentions here! What’s funny is that it is the fact that the man smells of soap that is making her think carnal thoughts (or at least, what she thinks are carnal thoughts).

 

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This is how we are introduced to one of the main characters from this book, Handful. Born a slave, she was mouthy as heck and tough as nails. I loved right from the start, which was probably what the author intended. It is mentioned in the Author’s Notes (given at the end of the book) that while there is evidence of Handful having existed, she didn’t survive long enough to play an important role in the life of the Grimké sisters. I am glad that the author thought otherwise.

 

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More of Handful’s golden words for you. This is her pretending to be brave while she was about to be punished severely enough that it left her with a maimed foot.

 

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This is her description of the legalese that she had to muddle her way through before she could find out if she was being sold after her master’s death or retained for her services!

 

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A few pages later, we are introduced to the other main character, Sarah Grimké.While Handful mouthed off to people, Sarah had trouble getting out a whole sentence without stuttering. She had the same iron backbone though that Handful did, which soon became evident when she tried to emancipate Handful at the age of 11!

 

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This is how Sarah was indoctrinated to what was really happening around her. She was just a little girl then but the incident remained with her all her life. It was a defining moment in the life of her character. Consider the following quote to see how she arrived at the root of the problem of slavery. This is an excerpt from one of her letters to Nina, her sister and another important character in the book. She raised Nina like a mother on revolutionary ideas like equality and it paid off. Nina gave her strength and achieved things that even Sarah thought meant going too far.

 

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She changed her faith and left the safety of her house later in life, so she could be the kickass feminist that we know her to be. This is one of my favorite moments from the book. While it might come across as caustically feminazi, it wasn’t so in the book. That being said, I could see the point the men were trying to make. By taking up both the causes of slavery and feminism, the Grimké sisters caused their followers to split into two groups. However, the point lies in the fact that they even had to raise their voices for either cause.

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The Mothers

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Sarah’s mother is one of the important characters in the book. She terrorized her slaves and refused to relent even when she was close to death. I think this quote defines both hers and her husband’s characters perfectly.

 

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This is how we meet Handful’s mother, Charlotte. She shaped Sarah’s and Handful’s lives by being who she was. Even though she couldn’t do anything openly, she figured small ways to show her rebellion. She continued to do so, knowing the punishment would be too severe and there’d be hell to pay if she got caught! I think this quote would fit almost anyone who is living under an oppressive regime. Don’t you?

 

The Slaves

 

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Handful is much smarter than people gave her credit for. Sarah, whom she said these words to, used to think that being a woman was keeping her from making a difference. Handful knew otherwise. When the story begins, we think that Sarah would be the one protecting Handful but this quote and the next one shows us how the roles are reversed.

 

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I can’t wait to try out another Sue Monk Kidd book after having read and loved this one. Have you read it? How did you like it?

 

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Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com< on September 22, 2017.

Blog Tour: Releasing Henry by Sarah Hegger with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

Today’s stop is for Sarah Hegger’s Releasing Henry. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


A light in the darkness . . .     The youngest son of Anglesea, the once idealistic Henry has survived the Holy Pilgrimage, but lost all his deeply held beliefs in honor and nobility. Captured in battle, he is sold as a slave into the home of Alif Al-Rasheed, a wealthy Genovese merchant who has converted to Islam. Bereft of faith, imprisoned in a foreign land, Henry has lost hope in his ability to love again—until he lays eyes on his captor’s beguiling daughter.   A marriage of opposites . . .   To Henry, Alya is a beacon of beauty he cannot ignore. But the heart of this proud daughter of Cairo will not be won so easily. Divided by religion, language, and culture, Ayla has little in common with the disillusioned Englishman—and yet he has vowed to protect her life in exchange for his freedom. As they embark on a perilous journey to safety, their bond will grow—and be tested—in ways neither can anticipate. For their greatest challenges will arise where Henry least expects. With threats conspiring to divide them, will he find the strength to stand by Ayla—and together will they find a common ground on which to build a future?

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A mix of dust, goat, and spices of a hundred evening cook fires infused the air. Cumin, coriander, and cinnamon twined together and made English’s mouth water. Sunset splashed the sky above Cairo in burnt orange, growing brighter closer to the fiery ball sinking behind the soaring minaret. He tried to remember the name of that mosque, but his head didn’t work like it used to. After herding a small flock of goats into their pens for the night, he ended his working day with the soft click of the latch. From the city beyond the walls came the wail of a muezzin calling the faithful to prayer. “Allah is great; Allah is great.” The inner courtyard emptied as people sought their prayer mats. “I bear witness that there is no divinity but Allah.” English bore witness to no divinity, and he did not pray. At one time, in another land and to another god, he might have. Drawn to the heat the stones gathered during the day, he pressed his aching back to the wall and waited. Like him, she did not pray. The girl on the wall. He knew her name as Alya, had heard it called often enough, but to him she remained the girl on the wall. Curtains fluttered at the open doorway on the roof balcony. Here she came. For certain, she remained unaware of him concealed in the deepening shadows and watching. To be caught with his eyes on her now would mean Bahir and his whip. Still he waited, would not move from this spot until he saw her. There. A slim figure shrouded by her hijab.

The girl on the wall stopped at the parapet and faced the street. She pushed aside the niqab, which concealed all but her eyes. Then, she lifted her hijab and shook her hair free. It spilled down her back as she raised her face in a silent blessing to the day that passed. Dying sunlight rushed to pay tribute to her loveliness. Her hair dark and lustrous as the wood of the wild cherry that grew in a thicket he had once walked, her skin like crushed almonds. Not that he could see from this distance, but her eyes above her niqab were lighter than he would have expected. A mix of green and brown that he had only glimpsed in passing before she hastily lowered her head. He wouldn’t call her beautiful in the way of other women now hazy in his mind. Her chin held too firm a jut, her nose slightly hawk-like. The strong slash of her cheekbones bore testament to her mixed blood. She had a strong face, fascinating, and in her private moment on the rooftop her elemental fire drew him like a starving man to a feast. Her very essence called to that barely living part of him that remembered life in abundance. In her evening ritual, she discarded the modesty she showed during the day. She believed the rest of the household to be at prayer and in these forbidden moments before she would be called in, or admonished by the older woman who always accompanied her, English became a man again. * * * * “Come in, Alya.” Nasira beckoned from beyond the curtains. The old woman knew Alya well enough to end her prayers early and drag her back inside before anyone else saw her. Creases on Nasira’s craggy features meant another lecture on the way. As Alya reached the point on the rooftop garden where her hoarse whisper could be heard Nasira started. “You show your face like a street woman.” Nasira shook her head. “What will people think when they see you like so?” “Nobody sees me.” Alya pushed the gauzy curtains aside. A stiffening evening breeze sent them dancing around her. “I only do it when nobody else is about.” “Somebody is always about.” Grabbing a brush, Nasira motioned for Alya to sit. “Especially now.” “Why especially now?” Nasira’s tone gave Alya pause. She tried to turn and look at her. Nasira rapped her on the head with her brush. “Stay still. Your father has called for you to attend him after prayers.” “He did?” They always ate the evening meal together.

Huge frown creasing her brows, Nasira nodded. “There has been trouble, habibti. In the suq today.” Trouble in the suq hardly deserved the look of doom Nasira’s face. Trouble blew perpetually through the suq. One merchant squabbled with another, buyers quibbled over prices, and the constant thieves threaded through the place like snakes, always looking for the chance to strike. “What happened?” “I will let your father tell you, but it is bad. Bad.” Nasira lowered her head in obeisance. “Enna lillah wa enna elaihe Rajioun.” “Did someone die?” Alya swung about on the stool, wincing as Nasira’s hold on her hair tugged at the roots. “You ask too many questions.” Nasira grabbed her shoulders and turned her about again. “Your father will tell you all you need to know.” Her nurse should know better than to think she would leave it there. “But someone did die?” “Come.” Nasira bustled to her clothing and grabbed a fresh tunic. “I sent the boy for water, you must wash and attend your father.” A new tunic meant the news her father bore was weighty. She washed and dressed quickly, flinging her veil over her shoulder as she trotted out of her chamber and down the stairs to the small, inner courtyard shaded on one end, where her father and she shared their evening meals. The table lay set for their meal but her father sat beside a small pond, staring into the water. His skin was so darkened by the sun, a stranger could never tell he had not been born in this land, but had come from somewhere beyond the sea. “Alya.” Holding his hands out, he smiled and drew her forward for a kiss on both cheeks. “Nasira tells me you have been on the roof again.” “The sunset was particularly beautiful today.” She could always get around him with a bit of teasing. He smelled as he always did of silk and spices, and fruit tobacco from his hookah. Tonight, he turned from her and went back to his study of the pool. “You need to be careful, Alya.” “What happened in the suq?” Father dressed, ate, spoke, acted and even prayed as a son of this land, but he had raised her differently. Nasira warned his indulgence of her would come to no good, but Alya had always been encouraged to speak openly with her father. “A merchant was killed.” Father trailed his fingers through the water. Flashes of light glimmered beneath the surface as fish darted away from him. “A foreign merchant. He was murdered.”

“Why?” Alya sank to the low stone lip of the pond. Her father acted not as himself this evening. Dread prickled across her skin and sunk deep into her belly. “What are you not telling me?” “The tension between the local merchants and the foreigners grows worse.” With a sigh, he sat beside her and rubbed the back of his neck. “And the Sultan does nothing to aid the foreigners. What, with the same battle taking place in his palace, his hands are tied.” “But why?” “You know why?” Father looked up at her. She had her eyes from him, a mix of green and brown that marked them clearly as not from here. Alya nodded, she did know why. “The army of unbelievers.” Even now, years after the Nile had risen and forced the invaders to flee, the distrust lingered. “You must be more careful than ever.” Father captured her hand and squeezed. “Eyes are everywhere and looking for a way to discredit us.” When dripped with venom from the wrong tongue, her simple act of freedom on the walls at sunset could take on the worst of connotations. She nodded. “I will be more careful.” “Let us enjoy our dinner.” Father smiled but the worry lingered. “And then I must see Bahir.”    

 

Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble. Mimicking her globetrotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother. She currently lives in Colorado with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

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Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-releasing-henry-sarah-hegger-excerpt-giveaway

Blog Tour: The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

Today’s stop is for Erika Gardner’s The Dragon in the Garden. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.   It’s time to find out why she has this power.   Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.

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Before I could run, Ian caught one of my arms with a painful twist. Unlike earlier, his expression exuded neither neutral nor curious. It had turned predatory. The hatred in his eyes, no longer veiled, burned. Something had changed. I swallowed hard. My mind raced. The conflicting kaleidoscope of images filled my vision. I struggled to move, but stayed immobile in his impossibly strong grip. Terror built then exploded inside me. Ian roughly grabbed my shoulders and spoke intently, “Haroa. I see you, Watcher.” “Lo, Innon!” I spun at the powerful shout, breaking Ian’s grasp and the visions’ hypnotic spell. The man I had helped yelled at Ian in fury. “No, Innon!” Ian stepped back. His face contorted with rage. “Turel, I found her. I see her. This is my right.” The dark-haired man folded his arms. He radiated authority. “No, for now I see her and there are laws that will not be broken. The human Haroa shall be present. She is in my Sight and in Our gaze. You will submit or pay forfeit, Innon.” The two men locked stares. I gasped as the man called Turel began to glow. The light, the sunshine in his eyes suffused his entire being. Shifting waves undulated above him. The area above his back and shoulders concealed a pocket in reality. As Daisy once hid her bulk from my five-year old self’s eyes in the garden, Turel masked his wings. Turel’s light grew brighter, more dazzling than a morning sunrise. He barked a command. “Hit’alem, Innon, I say begone.” Ian shot one more covetous glance at me and disappeared. “Holy shit.” Tim sat up and stared at us, his face dazed. I shielded my eyes with one hand as I stared at the glory of an angel revealed. Turel cupped one hand under my chin, tilting my face to meet his gaze. He kissed one of my cheeks and then the other. His expression softened as he regarded me. “Siobhan Isabella Orsini, my blessing is on you,” he intoned. How did he know my name? “My name is Turel. I am one of the Two Hundred Fallen. We are the Observers of this war. You have my blessing and my protection as foretold. May you always see true. Shalom.” He pressed his lips to my forehead. “I can offer my blessing and my protection over your home,” he offered. “Do you wish me to include your garden, too?” I opened my mouth, but for once, nothing came out of it. I tried again. “What?” “I say unto you, do you want me to include the garden?” Thinking of Ian in my yard earlier, I found my voice. “Yes, I need my garden protected.” Turel winked at me. “Good girl."

 

Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.   On a personal level she loves spicy food, twilight, dark chocolate (with sea salt-yum!) and nickel slots at Vegas. Erika lives for time with friends, a nice glass of red wine, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” & “Doctor Who” and good conversation. Her favorite things to do are running, cooking, reading, needlework, gardening… and of course, writing. Erika's music of choice is heavy metal. To pick her out in a lineup you should know that she is very short, fairly loud, and has dark eyebrows. The rest, as her hero Anne McCaffrey once said in her bio, “is subject to change without notice”.   Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World)

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 
 
Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-dragon-garden-erika-gardner-excerpt-giveaway

Blog Tour: Heel Lead by Dawn K. Henderson with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

Today’s stop is for Dawn K. Henderson’s Heel Lead. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

 

Because life is one big ballroom – and all we can do is dance… Former UK dance champion Caroline Elliott has two burning passions in her life: her sexy, young Spanish lover Antonio, and the weekly Ballroom dance class she teaches to a diverse group of enthusiastic locals in the small English town of Castleham where she lives. But Caroline has a problem. The numbers attending her class have dwindled, and unless she can somehow breathe new life into it, she will have no choice but to close it down. A dance display at the local Arts Festival might just be the perfect opportunity to showcase her students and pull in those much-needed new members. How difficult could it be? With the date of the display approaching, however, illness, affairs and relationship break-ups threaten to crush Caroline’s hopes. As she battles to keep rehearsals on track and soothe her students’ rampant nerves, she must also conquer the demons of a long-ago tragedy in her own life. Will she be able to let go of her fears and step into the spotlight once again? Heel Lead is an emotional, passionate and poignant story that entertains while it tugs at your heartstrings. In this short yet compelling novel, author Dawn K. Henderson presents a captivating tale of the power of love, dance and the ties that bind us.

 

 

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Chapter 1

The Dance Class

 

Two, three, cha-cha-cha. The music chirruped gaily, pumping out the familiar notes of an old pop song. ‘Ouch! For God’s sake, you clumsy idiot.’ Stuart had trodden on his wife’s toe again – the third time that evening already – and she was laying into him big time. Caroline winced in sympathy. Poor Stuart, she felt sorry for him. Angela could be a right harpy at times and was no elegant swan on the dance floor herself. And while it painfully true that her feet were often subjected to Stuart’s abuse, to be fair it wasn’t always his fault. Angela needed to move more quickly. Caroline shook her head. Angela and Stuart loved their dance classes, they had told her so often; it just never seemed like it with all the conflict it created between them. If only Angela would replace those open-toed sandals with a closed-in shoe, her feet wouldn’t suffer half as much from Stuart’s mis-steps. But she had pointedly ignored Caroline’s frequent suggestions that she do so, claiming she didn’t like the full shoe, and eventually Caroline had given up trying. Angela! Caroline had tried hard to like her, really she had. But, to be blunt, the woman really wasn’t very likeable. She was sharp-tongued, critical, and quick to take offence, with a physical appearance to match her character. Although she wasn’t old, only in her late thirties, her severe hairstyle – always pulled back into a tight bun – and permanently cheerless expression made her look considerably older. Caroline did her best not to judge; she had heard rumours of a tragedy in Angela’s past that the woman had been unable to move on from, and in an unguarded moment, Stuart had hinted at it too, a haunted look momentarily darkening his features. What the tragedy had been remained a mystery. Stuart bore the brunt of his wife’s constant ill-humour with endless tolerance, letting the verbal blows fall, rarely retaliating, and then only with the gentlest of reproaches. He was popular with the rest of the class, friendly and approachable with a smile for everyone in his warm eyes, and yet… In their depths drifted the unmistakeable shadow of an enduring sadness. Who knows what really lies beneath the faces and façades of anyone, even those we think we know well, Caroline pondered, watching them across the room. Angela’s complaining had fallen into a grumpy silence, though she was still looking daggers at her husband and limping exaggeratedly. The other couples were still cha-cha-ing around the room – four tonight, even less than usual. While at first sight, they seemed an unlikely bunch to be Ballroom dancing, after years of teaching, Caroline had learned not to judge by appearances. Take Trash and his wife Donna for instance. Of course, Trash wasn’t his real name but Reginald, the one given on his birth certificate, really didn’t suit the huge bulk of a man and he had been known as Trash for as long as he could remember. When he had first registered for her class, he had sworn Caroline to secrecy to never reveal his true identity. Of all the couples that came along to her class, Trash and Donna were perhaps the most incongruous and unlikely. Built like – to put it politely – the proverbial brick outhouse, Trash was a biker to his bones. Unruly sandy hair, now fading to the colour of washed-out nicotine and decidedly thin on top, reached below his shoulders, and had been pulled back into a rough ponytail for class. His face sported a beard of the same colour and length. He invariably wore tatty, faded blue jeans and an equally well-worn black T-shirt with the slogan ‘Ride or Die’ emblazoned across the front, the blood-dripping words entwined around a garish image of a scarlet skull from whose eye sockets heavily-fanged snakes stretched to breaking point over his impressive belly. His wife, Donna, barely reached his shoulder. Her dyed raven-black hair was chopped short, revealing heavily studded earlobes, and matching studs graced her eyebrows, nose and top lip. Caroline had never seen her in anything other than unrelieved black, usually jeans, T-shirt and a hefty leather belt. She was pretty, a little plump with curves that any woman would envy, in all the right places. The last bars of the Cha-cha faded. Next came a Waltz. Caroline revised the latest steps she had been teaching and started the music, returning to her study of Trash and Donna. She smiled as she watched them. They were probably the best dancers in the class. Despite his size, Trash was unexpectedly light-footed, and he floated across the floor, his huge bulk seemingly weightless as he guided Donna with a gentle but firm touch. Both of them felt, rather than heard, the music and its rhythm, and lost themselves in its magic; it was the secret ingredient essential to becoming a really good dancer that they both naturally possessed. Caroline had lost count of the times that technically able pupils of hers had failed to progress simply because they had been unable to get out of their heads and dance with their hearts. And of course, she thought with a touch of unwelcome envy, as she watched the couple glide around the room’s perimeter into a graceful Whisk, Wing and Telemark, Trash and Donna adored each other. The connection between them created a spark that was wonderful to watch, and forged an almost telepathic bond as they danced.

 

 

 

Dawn K. Henderson: Storyteller, poet & author   Goddess in training and ballroom diva (at least in her imagination)   12 years ago, Dawn walked into her first Ballroom dance class and the love affair began. Since then she has tango’d and quickstepped, waltzed and rumba’d through life. Although at the time of writing Heel Lead, she is without a permanent dance partner, she is fortunate enough to have good friends who lend her their men occasionally – she usually hands them back undamaged.   As D. K. Henderson, she is the author of The Skull Chronicles series of metaphysical adventure novels .   She lives and writes in the mystical, magical county of Wiltshire, England surrounded by crop circles, the ancient & mysterious stone monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, and her own family of crystal skulls. When she isn't wandering the ancient downlands that inspire her novels and poetry, you'll probably find her pottering in the garden, foraging in the hedgerows or attempting a nifty Cha cha or elegant Waltz on the dance floor.  

 

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Blog Tour: A Hero to Love by Gail Chianese with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

Today’s stop is for Gail Chianese’s A Hero to Love. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


A military police officer on the verge of a new beginning. A beautiful woman devoted to her career and her dream of putting down roots. The hardest thing they’ll ever do is to take a chance on love . . .   Navy Chief Master at Arms Jackson “Jax” Faraday is at a crossroads. He has to decide whether to reenlist or get out while he’s young enough to make a difference in the civilian world. Either choice could mean leaving behind his girl: his K-9 partner, Bella. But when she’s injured during a training session, Jax’s only concern is making sure she’s okay.   As the Navy base veterinarian, town local Risa Reynolds is right where she belongs: close to her parents in a farmhouse full of animals—with room to grow. She’s seen enough to put military men are on her “not happening” list, because they always leave.   But when a tall, hazel-eyed sailor arrives in her clinic with his dog in his arms, Risa finds herself falling hard. And all kinds of rules will get broken when Jax, a man who sticks to the straight and narrow, learns that there’s no predicting the twists and turns of the heart . . .

 

 

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Chapter 1

Jackson Faraday was worried about his girl. He should have been worried about his future. Time was running out for him to make a decision—stay in the Navy or get out—and the detailer was breathing down his neck. But the decision to throw away the past twelve years wasn’t easy. He wanted more. If NCIS—Naval Criminal Investigative Service—would make a decision on his application, that would be great. But what if they turned him down? Did he stay in for twenty years and retire? Then what? Start over at the bottom? Go home to a one-stoplight town with a police force that spent all its time dealing with bored teens wreaking havoc or frustrated couples fighting? Work security for one of the nearby casinos? All viable options, just not what he wanted. He wanted to make a difference. He shoved away the nagging questions. He had more pressing concerns. Like what was wrong with Bella, which was why he was at the base training center, even though his shift was officially over. “Come on, Bella. Give me your best for an hour, and then I’ve got a treat for you.” He wagged the Frisbee to get her attention. Instead, Bella whined and flicked her ear. “Hey, Jax. Heard we had a win in the courtroom today.” Chief Casey Thomas drove his Jeep up next to the chain-link fence. “Stone? Yeah, he’s going away for a good couple of years for that little video stunt of his. Not that it makes up for what he put Lieutenant Riley through, but it’s a start.” “Me and a couple of the guys are going to grab some grub and head out to the beach. Enjoy what’s left of summer. Come join us.” Casey drummed his fingers on the outside of the driver’s door, giving away he had more on his mind than a night’s celebration. “What’s up with you, man? You seem agitated.” He and Casey went back a ways; spent some time in the sandbox together. Normally the guy was as easygoing as cool beer slipping down your throat on a summer day. “Got my orders in today.” Casey slid out of the vehicle and walked through the gate. “I’m heading to Pensacola.” “Isn’t your ex-wife there?” “Near enough.” Casey squatted down and scratched Bella’s ears. “Did you hear back on your application yet?” “You know what they say: No news is good news.” At least he hoped that’s what it meant. “You know what you need? To find a nice lady who can take some of your stress away and make you forget your worries.” “The only lady I need in my life is Belladonna.” “She’s a little hairy and full of attitude.” “Aw, but you forget. She loves me unconditionally and always has my six.” “Not lately.” Casey stood and looked out at the obstacle course. “The new handler had her out this morning, running her through basic commands, and she ignored them all. I know you two have a tight bond, especially after two tours, but you’re leaving soon. She’s got to get used to new people.” Bella had been more than his partner while deployed; she’d been his anchor, his pillar of strength, his confidant, and his hope when all seemed lost. She wasn’t just his K-9 partner. She was his family, and the idea of leaving her was ripping him apart inside. Chances were she could sense his mood and the turmoil going on inside. “Which is why I’m passing on your offer.” Jax released the German shepherd’s leash. “Thought I’d do some special one-on-one training with her and see how it goes. Find out if it’s the new guy or her.” “She wouldn’t be the first dog to burn out.” Casey looked down at the dog, who hadn’t moved. “Of course, if she’s declared unfit for duty, you could adopt her. But then, what would you do with her while you’re in Glynco for NCIS training?” Jax dropped the leash and Frisbee on top of his backpack and looked into the brilliant blue sky. He’d been playing the “what if” game for two months now with no answers in sight. “Let’s deal with one problem at a time.” “If you change your mind about tonight, you know where to find us.” Casey waved as he hopped back into his Jeep and drove off. Jax squatted down and ran his hand down Bella’s back. “Okay girl,let’s get the work over so we can play.” Truthfully, everything they did was work. The game of Frisbee honed the dog’s speed, agility, and tracking ability just as much as anything else they did. She simply liked it better than the obstacle course. Not that Jax blamed her. Jax stood up and gave the hand signal for sit. The dog looked at him, then closed her eyes with a deep sigh. “Bella, sit,” he commanded. She rolled over onto her side and laid her paw across her nose. Casey really nailed it with his description. The dog was full of attitude—bad attitude—and a military working dog that didn’t follow orders was of no use to the service. Jax went through the commands again and again, getting no response. The two of them had worked together for almost six years, since Bella’s first assignment, and she’d transferred with him from the Middle East to the Sub base. In all that time, she’d never ignored an order from him. He bent back down and gave her a cursory inspection, but he didn’t find any obvious reason for the dog to balk. Concerned, Jax sat down on the ground next to his partner. “Bella girl, talk to me. What’s going on in that brain of yours? Is it the heat? Don’t you like the new guy? Tired of the same old routine? Trust me, I’d understand if that was the problem. Maybe we should call it a night, and tomorrow go see Doc and make sure you’re okay.” Bella scooted closer and laid her head on Jax’s lap, her tail thumping in the grass. “You gotta be okay, girl.” Absently, he scratched behind her ears as he thought of the past six years. “I don’t think I could handle it if we’d come this far and something happened to you.” Jax leaned forward and picked up the Frisbee. As he talked about nothing to the dog, he tossed the toy up and caught it, making no demands on Bella. Pretty soon she was sitting, her gaze following the disc. “Ah ha. Okay, I get it. There are times when I don’t feel like working either. I’ll make a deal with you. Five minutes of play and then a lap around the course. Deal?” Bella barked in response. Jax laughed and jumped to his feet, relieved to see her respond like her old self. He threw the Frisbee, and Bella took off at the speed of light. She caught the disc and returned it. They repeated it again and again. “Okay, last one and then we work.” Jax threw it with all his strength. The disc flew up. Bella chased, but instead of running straight across the lawn, she ran up the stairs of the dog walk. When she got to the top, she jumped and caught the disc in her mouth. But as she came down, she twisted. The scene before him unfolded in slow motion. He ran, reaching for Bella. Almost there. He dove to catch her but it was too late. Bella crashed to the ground a couple of feet in front of him, letting out a yelp that made Jax’s stomach cramp. He crawled to her side. Thank God she was breathing. He ran his hands over her body. Nothing protruded and there was no blood, but she was crying. Carefully, Jax scooped her up and ran for his truck. “Hang on, baby. Everything’s going to be okay.” And he prayed like he hadn’t done since his last night in the desert. Just like now, Bella had been at his side and they’d been pinned down by enemy fire. He’d prayed that night that they’d make it home alive and in one piece. He prayed now that his dog would live, because even though she technically belonged to the U.S. Navy, she was the love of his life.

 

 

 

 

 

Gail Chianese's love of reading began at the tender age of three, when she'd make her grandpa read Fourteen Country Rabbits over and over and over again (and correct him when he skipped parts). While she's branched out over the years by reading mystery, women’s fiction, and urban fantasy, she always circles back to romance in the end. That's probably because she's married to her real life hero. Her wonderful hubby has served in the US Navy for the past twenty two years and he’s done things he can’t tell her about. But it doesn’t stop her from being extremely proud of him and the sacrifices he makes for her, his family, and his country. He’s also uber-supportive of her dreams and of their three children. Living in Mystic, CT and a member of Connecticut Romance Writers of America, Gail loves to hear from readers.

 

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Blog Tour: Love Is Death by L.P. Masters with Excerpt and Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

Today’s stop is for  L.P. Masters’s Love Is Death. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

Gina’s plan for her afterlife is simple: survive as long as possible. The afterlife is a ghost-kill-ghost kind of place. When she meets newly-dead Alec, she can’t help her desire to protect him. Before she knows it, she finds herself falling for him, despite the little voice in her head telling her it’s a bad idea. Alec’s goals don’t mesh well with Gina’s plans. Determined to save his living sister from a murderer, he’s willing to disobey the laws of a well-established cult in the afterlife. If the cult finds out, they’ll kill him. Again. He’s hesitant to accept Gina’s help and threaten her afterlife, but he’s guaranteed to fail without her. Together they embark on a perilous mission, but the most dangerous aspect of all is the threat of falling in love. Because in the afterlife... love is death.

 

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"Why are you doing this?" Alec asked abruptly. My breath hitched. I didn't know how to answer. The same question had plagued me since we'd left the Chinaman's warehouse. Why was I doing this? I knew the answer in my gut, but I didn't want to say it. I did anyway. "Because I don't want to see you get hurt ag…" I barely stopped myself before I said again, then wondered if he'd noticed. I frowned when it became obvious that he had, but thankfully I was turned away from him looking out the windshield. "What was that?" "I said I don't want to see you get hurt." He was quiet for a moment. "Did you say again?" The wiper blades must have swished water off the windshield at least ten times before I said anything. I tried to come up with an excuse, but I finally decided the truth would be the best option. "Yes. Again." I looked out the window. I couldn't bear to see him. "I was there when you got shot." "Yes!" His response surprised me, so I turned around in my seat to look at him. "I knew I wasn't crazy." I shrugged. "I'm not so sure about that. But how does my being there mean you're sane?" "I told Gary that I saw you before I died, and he told me it was impossible. I swore when I first met you that I'd…" His eyes glazed over as if remembering what he'd done. "I asked you for help." I forced a smile even though I desperately wanted to cry. "Begged was more like it." "But you left." I faced forward again. This was precisely the reason I hadn't wanted to tell him I was there. He didn't even realize what I'd done for him, the danger I'd put myself in to try to save him. I could have told him but I was filled with rage that I'd even tried, and filled with guilt that I had failed. "I'm sorry." Alec sat forward and placed a hand on my shoulder. Like every time he touched me, I felt that incredible heat rushing down my arm and into my core. He shook his head. "I'm not mad at you. In fact, knowing what I know now, I'm glad you left." I held my breath to keep myself from saying anything. I wanted to tell him I hadn't left, but at the same time, I was determined not to.

 

 

 

 

 

Born and raised in the rainy streets of the Seattle Area, L.P. Masters spent her fair share of time staring out rain-streaked windows and writing books. Masters has always had extremely vivid dreams, which often spark inspiration for her novels. In 1999, after one such dream, Masters began her first writing project. She has participated in National Novel Writer's Month every November since 2010. Writing isn't the only thing she can do with a pen in her hand, she also enjoys sketching and drawing—with varying degrees of success. Masters now lives in the slightly-less-dreary city of Spokane Washington with her husband and two wonderful daughters.

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SPOILER ALERT!

Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles–September Edition

 

 

 

 

These are the books that I read in different Septembers throughout my reading life and have left an impression on me.

 

2016

 

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I think I have said a lot on this topic and will be saying more in the future. To read what I have been saying, check out Project Frankenstein.

 

2015

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I have been known to express my love for this guy every now and then.

 

2014

 

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I think is one of the very few stories that I have read more than once. Both times, it has affected me in the same way. Even when I knew who the bad guy was the second time around, I was still sad at the futility of it all!

 

2013

 

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If you love reading about iffy characters who can never really be called protags and yet worm their way into your heart, then this series is for you! Plus, the author cares about his readers enough to respond to their tweets:

 

 

 

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The Queen of Mystery was born this month. While Miss Marple stories are always fun to read. I recently read Murder on the Orient Express (MotOE) and reviewed it. It is a pity that I didn’t read the entirety of A.C.’s works at a younger age. I am sure I would have appreciated them more. Back then, the twist in the Orient Express would have left me wowed!

 

I started watching Dr. Who recently and while Matt Smith will always be my favorite Doctor since he was also my first, I am enjoying the Peter Capaldi seasons as well. There is an even an episode inspired by MotOE that I wanted to share here. Of course, it has a Whovian twist to it but it was fun to watch!

 

 

 

2012

 

I don’t know what I expected these books to be like. I do know that I was pleasantly surprised by them. They were different and I found that refreshing. The second book also reminds me of the Billy & Mandy episode based on the myth:

 

 

 

 

 

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A book that starts off with an eerie atmosphere but becomes something different by the time you’ve read half of it. I liked the story and the characters even if I couldn’t connect to them. The movie is supposedly a letdown but I will have to watch it before I can comment on that. Eva Green can do all sorts of creepy roles. I enjoyed watching her in Penny Dreadful, which is yet another series that I have to complete both on the TV screen and paper!

 

 

 

 

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I loved Tigana for the oddest reason: I appreciated the patriotism that one of the characters displayed. I also liked the fact that it is a different shade of epic fantasy — a genre that will always have a special place in my heart.

 

2011

 

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Every reader has feel-good books. This series is one of mine. When I want to read something that wouldn’t make me think much and where family is always there for you (like mine is), I pick up the next book in this series. So far, the series has continued to be written. I read and reviewed the latest quite recently.

 

 

If creeptastic books are your thing, then you might wanna check these two out. The ominous way they are written is much scarier than if the horrors were laid out in front of us. Janni Lee Summer managed to do that in a more subtle way, which is why I went ahead and completed the series. I would love to see movies based on both of these!

 

2003

 

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I have read other works by J.S. but this one just pierced my heart. I mean, you continue reading a book, thinking that things will get better soon. They didn’t! Then you tell yourself, at least it might have a happy ending. It didn’t!

 

Which books did you read in September that left their mark on you?

12 September new releases and bloggers' book reviews

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Are you reading the right September books? Make sure the following titles find their way to your September reading schedule, and if you're in doubt check out the reviews from BookLikes bloggers below.

 

Happy reading!

 

 

Girls Made of Snow and Glass - Melissa Bashardoust Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust 

Out: September 5, 2017

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale. At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone―has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother... more

 

Review: 

Pitched as a feminist retelling, "Girls Made of Snow and Glass", doesn't disappoint in the least. Told in the alternative pov's of Mina, the stepmother Queen and Lynet, the snow Princess, this is a story that most surely will stay with the reader long after its read... What if there was more to the "tale" of the "evil" stepmother and her "naive" stepdaughter? What if there was a story of trying to break with one's past and one's sorrow? What if you only wanted to be loved, but never quite achieved that? How would you turn out with people trying to make a puppet out of you? This is the story of two women both trying to find out their true natures in a grey world . A world of snow and cold. And of bitter family ties... continue reading on the Susana "Lost in Fantasy Land" blog

 

 

The Golden House: A Novel - Salman Rushdie The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Out: September 5, 2017

A modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture—a hurtling, page-turning mystery that is equal parts The Great Gatsby and The Bonfire of the Vanities.

On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of “the Gardens,” a cloistered community in New York’s Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is a bubble within a bubble, and the residents are immediately intrigued by the eccentric newcomer and his family. Along with his improbable name, untraceable accent, and unmistakable whiff of danger, Nero Golden has brought along his three adult sons... more

 

Review:   

This is some serious, epic Greek tragedy. At its heart is the question of “Can a man be both good and evil?” and yet it is also about the role of the storyteller and the unmasking of America. As always, his wordplay is a twisty, tangled delight, filled with a myriad of literary and cinematic references that gladdened the heart of this lifelong reader girl and degree holder of a Masters in Film Theory.

This is a long book, over the top in many ways, but so so clever. I was totally caught up in the lives of the Golden family – Nero and his three sons all cloaked in mystery that the intrepid Réné is hellbent on unraveling for his own artistic pursuits. And so, the narrator becomes part of the story... read more on the author Tellulah Darling's blog ->

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward  

Out: September 5, 2017

Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise... more

 

 

A Legacy of Spies: A Novel - John le Carré A Legacy of Spies: A Novel - John le Carré  

Out: September 5, 2017

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications... more

 

Review:

What surprised me most about the book was how beautiful the language is. Le Carré writes with clarity and precision, capturing nuances of speech, thought and culture with deft touches that are evocative without being obtrusive. He moves skillfully from past to present, from lie to truth, from regret to rage, in a way that fully engaged my mind and my emotions. The premise of the book is a present day investigation into British security operations during the Cold War. It is told through contemporary interrogations by a rather loathsome lawyer, extracts from official, secret but not necessarily truthful records and intensely intimate memories of the retired spy from whose point of view the story is told. This is a strong spy story, full of intrigue and deception and betrayal but those are really just the vehicle for the true heart of the novel... continue reading on the Audio Book Junkie blog ->

 

 

Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation - Teri Schnaubelt,John Freeman (Editor),Tantor Audio,Corey M. Snow Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation by Teri Schnaubelt, John Freeman...

Out: September 5, 2017

Thirty-six major contemporary writers examine life in a deeply divided America—including Anthony Doerr, Ann Patchett, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, Hector Tobar, Joyce Carol Oates, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Russo, Eula Bliss, Karen Russell, and many more.
America is broken. You don’t need a fistful of statistics to know this. Visit any city, and evidence of our shattered social compact will present itself. From Appalachia to the Rust Belt and down to rural Texas, the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest stretches to unimaginable chasms. Whether the cause of this inequality is systemic injustice, the entrenchment of racism in our culture, the long war on drugs, or immigration policies, it endangers not only the American Dream but our very lives... more

 

 

Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Out: September 12, 2017

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community... more

 

Review:

Celeste Ng just raised the bar for everyone else. Litte Fires Everywhere upended my expectations - not with a plot twist or anything so flashy, but about halfway through the story she's writing suddenly becomes clear. In talking about books with friends, or with people at the store, I realize I can be overly critical about the things that I read. Even with a book I enjoyed I'll find a nagging fault, whether its overuse of certain words, a clunky character, convenient plot devices, a problem with pacing - something - to the extent that I wonder if I can even find a book that is simply a pleasure to read. Reading Little Fires Everywhere was like finally getting a good night's rest. The perfect read does exist, for me this was it.... continue reading on the Books Read, Not Necessarily Well blog ->

 

 

A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge) - Ken Follett A Column of Fire by Ken Follett  

Out: September 12, 2017

International bestselling author Ken Follett has enthralled millions of readers with The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, two stories of the Middle Ages set in the fictional city of Kingsbridge. The saga now continues with Follett’s magnificent new epic, A Column of Fire.
In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England...more

 

 

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad) - Scott ReintgenNyxia by Scott Reintgen  

Out: September 12, 2017

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. Forever. Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden... more

 

Review:

OHMYGOODNESS this book was 10/10 and I am so in love and I need the sequel now and you need to read it now. It's kind of like Divergent meets Ender's Game, and if anyone loved the Remnants series as much as I did, I have a feeling the sequels could have the same amount of philosophy.

And I could not put it down.

So nyxia is a substance found on another planet that can be manipulated in many ways, and that gives this book a fantastical element. But a realistically fantastical element. Like sci-fi with a bit of magical realism thrown in. It makes for a really unique plot that, though it incorporated elements of other books I've loved, was different to anything I've read before in many ways... continue reading on The Dilemma of Reading blog ->

 

 

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye - George Goulding,David Lagercrantz

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz 

Out: September 12, 2017

Lisbeth Salander is an unstoppable force: Sentenced to two months in Flodberga women's prison for saving a young boy's life by any means necessary, Salander refuses to say anything in her own defence. She has more important things on her mind.

Mikael Blomkvist makes the long trip to visit every week - and receives a lead to follow for his pains. For him, it looks to be an important expose for Millennium. For her, it could unlock the facts of her childhood.

Even from a corrupt prison system run largely by the inmates, Salander will stand up for what she believes in, whatever the cost. And she will seek the truth that is somehow connected with her childhood memory, of a woman with a blazing birthmark on her neck... more

 

 

Warcross - Marie Lu Warcross by Marie Lu  

Out: September 12, 2017

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy... more

 

Review:

A sci-fi book about a game that is part of everyday life AND written by Marie Lu, sign me in! I was way too excited about this book and I almost broke my phone when I get the e-mail saying I got the galley. Warcross is more than just a game, it is a way of live and is part of everyone's daily life. Emika Chen is an orphan with rainbow hair (that detail was too cool not to be mentioned) who is trying to earn some money by tracking down illegal players. But her life is about to change completely. The idea of Warcross is amazing, not that it has never been done before, but I liked how it was handled. I am almost sure that this kind of game will happen someday and we may be closer to it than we think... continue reading on the Line Bookaholic blog ->

 

 

Autonomous - Annalee Newitz Autonomous by Annalee Newitz  

Out: September 19, 2017

When anything can be owned, how can we be free. Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane. Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understand... more

 

 

Release - Patrick Ness Release by Patrick Ness  

Out: September 19, 2017

Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life. Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart.  At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela. But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos... more

 

Review:

Once upon a time I read a Patrick Ness book, and it pissed me off so much I threw it across the room. In the years that have followed he has since published numerous books that have sparked my interest, but I always ended up giving them a pass - first impressions matter. When I managed to get my hands on an advance copy of this book (Thank you, Harper!) I was dubious, but curious. I'm so glad my curiosity won out - this is one of my favorite reads so far this year... continue reading on the Folding Paper & Spilling Ink blog ->

 

 

And what are you September picks?

SPOILER ALERT!

Inside the “Outsiders” — An Anthology with stories by Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Joe Landsale, & Poppy Brite

Outsiders: 22 All-New Stories From the Edge - Brian Hodge, Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Bentley Little, Lea Silhol, Michael Marano, Jack Ketchum, Freda Warrington, Elizabeth Massie, Brett Alexander Savory, Melanie Tem, Yvonne Navarro, Steve Rasnic Tem, David J. Schow, Katherine Ramsland, Elizabeth Engstrom, Thomas S. Ro

 

 

Below, I mention how I liked each story and include a favorite quote:

 

The Empty Chambers by Neil Gaiman

A poem. Very creepy but I’d rather have read a Gaiman story.

 

The Company You Keep by Steve Resnic Tem

Walking among us are the members of a secret company. I don’t know what I took away from this story if anything.

 

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Scarabesque: The Girl Who Broke Dracula by Tanith Lee

This was actually an excerpt from one of Tanith Lee’s novels. It was also the first time I read anything by her. I liked the imagery that her words created. For instance:

 

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Under the Needle by Lea Silhol

You’d appreciate this story more if you focused on how it was written rather than the plot. I did and I ended up liking it!

 

Expanding Your Capabilities Using Frame/Shift(TM) Mode by David J. Schow

A literally visceral story about a man who discovers his remote can do much more than change channels!

 

Cat and the Cold Prince by Freda Warrington

A story that brings to mind dictatorships and restrictive regimes, such as the Prohibition in the Cromwell era. Oh, and a girl falls in love with a tiger!

 

Faces in Revolving Souls by Caitlin R. Kiernan

This one was about a splinter group of people who left their human status behind by choice fighting for their rights.

 

Lighten Up by Jack Ketchum

Smoking is banned. Smokers decided to retaliate.

 

Pit Boy by Elizabeth Massie

The beginning of the story is set up to deceive the reader. The end is one of the saddest endings I have ever read!

 

The Country of the Blind by Melanie Tem

A blind girl will accept you into her family but she needs a sacrifice first.

 

Ruby Tuesday by Kathe Koja

A hidden cult in the midst of the society and a boy with a dying mother looking for a place to fit in.

 

Running Beneath the Skin by Brett Alexander Savory

Can you even said to be alive, if your insides have been replaced with metal? No, this isn’t about Wolverine!

 

Grim Peeper by Katherine Ramsland

There’s necrophilia and there are grim peepers. Read this story, if you love being grossed out.

 

Craving by Yvonne Navarro

This story is based on a certain type of “outsiders” who like to watch accidents.

 

Violent Angel by Thomas S. Roche

A planned hit where the hitman isn’t on the complete plan.

 

…And the Damage Done by Michael Marano

Beautiful imagery is one of the characteristics of this story. The other is heartbreak!

 

Pop Star in the Ugly Bar by Bentley Little

Simply gross but a fitting addition to this collection. A wannabe pop star ends up in a gore-hardcore bar. She doesn’t make it out.

 

Miss Singularity by John Shirley

A teenager’s depression comes out to play!

 

The Working Slob’s Prayer by Poppy Z. Brite

The going ons in a restaurant with some very interesting characters thrown in!

 

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If I Should Wake Before I Die by Brian Hodge

Expectant mothers miscarry all around the world. No one knows why until we reach the end of the story…*shudder*

 

Honing Sebastian by Elizabeth Engstrom

A sad story about the dreams of those below being crushed by the powers that be. This line from the story says it all:

 

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Another favorite quote:

 

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The Shadows, Kith and Kin by Joe R. Landsale

A broken man tired of being put down by the whole world makes friends…with shadows…who talk to him…

 

My Favourites

Lighten Up by Jack Ketchum

Pit Boy by Elizabeth Massie

Miss Singularity by John Shirley

The Working Slob’s Prayer by Poppy Z. Brite

 

Have you read this anthology? Which ones are your favorites?

 

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Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on September 13, 2017.

Spooktacular Author Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for halloween pics  

~These Are The Gh'oul Times.~

 We want you to

come and join us again for another

great multi author Giveaway.

Running now through October 31,2017

Over 50 Authors and Bloggers

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want to say

 

Thank You 

With this awesome giveaway that has tons of awesome prizes :)

Books, gift cards,  other gifts

and lets not forget the grand prize

of $150 PayPal cash.

Make sure to fill all entries to increase your chances of winning,

 don't forget some entries can be done every day :) 

And here is the Raffelcopter

Good Luck and as always Happy Reading :) 

Giveaway

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Farewell, Summer! Your August Reads

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Let's say "bye bye" to Summer with some great read wrap ups from your blogs! Eight months checked, four still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers August reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge. Click the blogs' headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers.

 

Scroll down to view more August reading reviews from book bloggers.

Happy reading!

 

 

Ash and Quill - Rachel CaineBoundary Problems - Greg Bechtel
For my taste, Ash and Quill was the best book that I read during the month of August.  No surprise, it features a library, the Library of Alexandria to be exact, in a dystopian world with library scholars as the heroes (and villains)... continue reading
 
 

A Plague of Angels - Sheri S. TepperGotham Academy: Endgame (2015-) #1 - Becky Cloonan,Brenden Fletcher,Karl KerschlRaptor Red - Robert T. Bakker

The previous month was all about graphic novels and comics. Here is what I read in August and what I thought about it... continue reading

 

 

Russian Hill - Ty HutchinsonThe Rules of Magic - Alice HoffmanShiver - Maggie StiefvaterThe Green Mile - Stephen King 

6 books read, plus a sampler that I'm not really counting. Three of these Netgalley, but that dance card is clear in anticipation of Halloween Bingo reads. Two surprisingly enjoyable reads from genres I don't often peruse were Russian Hill (Crime drama) and Shiver (YA Romance)... continue reading

 

 

 

Hello Everyone, I hope you had an awesome August, I know mine was pretty good. We had some summer fun and now the kids went back to school a bit ago. As always in a way the summer went by way to quickly in others not quick enough.  When it comes to reading I did get my five book goal in but just barely, but also most of them were ARCs. Actually all of them excerpt one, that I won on Facebook .  I got a pretty good seized books full of ARCs in the beginning of August, plus some on kindle. So I been trying to knock the pile down as fast as I can... continue reading

 

 

Berserker - Emmy LaybourneOur Dark Duet - Victoria SchwabDaughter of the Pirate King - Tricia LevensellerThe Animal Under The Fur - E.J. Mellow, Dori Harrell

August has been an awesome month for me book wise I read 3 new favorites, including I'll Meet You There (phenomenal btw), Gemina and Daughter of the Pirate King. I also listened (re-read but on audio) to a fav from a while ago with Angelfall... continue reading

 

*

If you've missed August wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, and feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

BookLikes book bloggers' previous 2017 reading challenge posts:

Blog Tour: In This Breeze by Kathleen Maree with Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :
 
Today’s stop is for Kathleen Maree’s In This Breeze. We will have info about the book and author, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway. Happy Reading :) 

 
A nerd. A quiet art student. A nobody.   Or perhaps, just some girl.   These are the non-spoken titles I was known as since I started at Lake Shore Uni almost two years ago now. When given the chance to leave my horrific childhood behind - I didn’t hesitate. In fact, I was ecstatic to have the door hit me on the ass on my way out of town; because the only two things I actually loved in my traumatic life…   Were coming with me.   And whilst the three of us shared the same beat-up truck when we moved here – that’s where the similarities unfortunately end.   Ethan ‘The Mule’ Jones, is kind of a super star on campus. Everywhere he goes he seems to draw attention. I guess that’s what happens when you’re headlining papers as the star basketballer for the LS Eagles. But to me, he’s just Eth. A boy who still spends his Friday nights snuggled up watching movies with me, and who walks me to classes just to make sure I get there okay. He is my best friend in every way, and I can’t imagine my life without him in it.   And then there’s Jase.   The truth is I knew from the moment I met Jase at the local skate park, when he was smoking a cigarette and teasing Eth for his poor skating ability, of how fiercely protective he was about those he cared for. From the time he blew his warm breath over my injured knee, to when he thankfully intervened on the most horrific day of my life. A day, that still haunts me when I am alone in the dark.   He saved me.   But Jase has his own demons too. Even if he doesn’t go looking for it, trouble always seems to find him. Which is why he has been absent from our lives for the past two years.   Sometimes I wonder what he’s doing. Quite often I worry if he’s okay. And I always, always, think about him. Even though I shouldn’t. 
 
 
 
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Buy Link 
 
 
 
From the earliest age I was a born storyteller.
 
Ask my parents and they will tell you I had a gift for making a simple event seem like an elaborate one. Purposely? No. Innocently? Yes. It was my imaginary world that initially led me to believe I wanted to be an actor. All of that role playing and living in fantasy... it was an obvious direction for me. However, becoming quite uncomfortable with the limelight quickly saw that dream diminish.
 
Over the years I turned my world of fantasy into stories, and eventually began writing them down. Before I knew it, 'Cut' had been completed.
 
When I am not busy writing my next story, I am a working mum, housewife and sometimes hockey wag :) In other words, probably some kind of circus act who specialises in juggling ;)
 
I hope you enjoy my blog, where I will be posting thoughts, other books I am currently reading and even sneak peeks of my novels. I encourage any feedback, comments or direct messages via my contact page should anyone wish to get in touch.
 
I am so thrilled to be sharing my journey and hope you enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.
 
Dream often. Believe always.
 
Links
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

 

Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-breeze-kathleen-maree-giveaway

Blog Tour: Prepared by Courtney Konstantin with Giveaway

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

Today’s stop is for Courtney Konstantin’s Prepared. We will have info about the book and author, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

 

She thought she was prepared for the end of the world… until it actually came. Alex Duncan is a mother, a sister— and the daughter of a doomsday prepper. She always thought her father was insane, raving about an apocalypse she never believed in, but when a plague hits the United States and the dead no longer stay dead, Alex discovers heeding her deceased father’s advice is what will keep her family alive. Before he died, Alex’s father created a compound in Montana just in case situations like this arose. Hell has arrived on earth. The dead walk, hungry for human flesh. Living in a highly populated city like Las Vegas makes the reality of the plague imminent to Alex. With little time to spare, Alex must make split-second decisions to prevent her family from being devoured. Facing the end, Alex has three goals. Escape Las Vegas. Get to the compound. Survive. As the outside world crumbles and grows darker, Alex faces adversity from not just the infected, but the uninfected as well. Government assistance is nowhere in sight, and rumors fly that the nation’s only solution to the growing plague is execution. Not everyone will outlast the plague. Doomsday is here. Will Alex be up to the challenge, or fall, and rise again as one of the undead?   An exciting apocalyptic thriller that’s intriguing, mysterious, and horrific, Prepared is the debut novel of upcoming author Courtney Konstantin. Stay up all night to read this terrifying tale of pandemics, zombies, and government secrets by one-clicking today!

 

 

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Buy Link

 

Amazon 

 

 

 

 

As a child, Courtney always had aspirations of being a writer. She participated in journalism in school. At home, she wrote short stories, poetry and filled diary pages. Somewhere along the line becoming an adult took priority over her writing and she went to work in business operations.   Now as a mother to three beautiful children, she tells them all the time to follow their dreams, be whatever they want. Those lessons reminded her how much she loved writing. She finally opened the door to making writing a real priority in her life.   Living outside of Portland, Oregon she loves the green and beauty Oregon offers. When she’s not matching wits with her children, her crazy Siberian Husky or her bi-polar cats, she enjoys binge reading, hikes and touring wineries. Courtney and her husband, the love of her life, enjoy traveling the world whenever they can get a free moment. And cruises….she loves cruising. She’s especially fond of life, laughter and sarcasm – and she’s excited to share all of that and more with her readers!

 

 Links

Facebook *** Amazon

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-prepared-courtney-konstantin-giveaway

Happy 1st FrankenDay from Midu Reads! Come, Celebrate by Putting Together an Undead Hybrid Creature & then Forgetting All About It!

 

 

It was a year ago today that I embarked on the journey to finish over a dozen books. Mary Shelley’s birthday had just come and gone, making me realize that I didn’t know much about her.

 

I hadn’t read Frankenstein, which I remedied instantly. Neither had I known anything about the teenager who might have birthed a whole new genre. As I continued the project, I realized the hold that her literary creature still had on us. I saw the extent to which the eponymous inventor and his experiment from Mary’s book have penetrated the media.

 

Whether it is a movie or an offhand reference on a show, Frankenstein and his monster refuse to leave our collective imaginations.

 

Project Frankenstein continues.

 

list

 

The current status of the project stands thus:

 

list 2

 

Even when I come across other books inspired by the classic, I don’t add it to my list. I have decided to stick to the original.

 

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A Happy FrankenDay to you all!

 

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Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on September 4, 2017.

Save

Really Last Chance Giveaways, and how to win more books

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Have you checked the BookLikes Giveaways recently? The following 6 books are looking for new readers but hurry up, they are coming to an end any minute now! Here's what to do to win them today!

 

If you're already a BookLikes member with a bookshelf filled with your read and rated titles, and a BookLikes blog with some posts and reviews, that's awesome! You're all set to enter any giveaway presented on the Giveaways page (menu->Giveaways). Please read on and follow the steps below.

 

If you're a new BookLikes member, remember to fill up your details in the Settings: blog name and a short bio, and your photo avatar, then fill up your bookshelf with at least 11 books and publish some reviews and posts on your BookLikes blog.

 

When you're all set, visit the main Giveaways page (menu-> Giveaways), find an interesting read and hit "Enter to win".

 

 

Please do check some crucial details, like the book language and which countries it is available for (in case it's a paper book you ought to insert your postal address). Also, due to the international audience on BookLikes the finish time of the giveaway may vary with the accordance to your time zone.

 

Then press I want this book.

 

 

Once you do that you'll see one of the following views:

 

1.

 

When you see a text box, please write why do you want to read this book. The author of the giveaway will receive the answers and will pick the book winners manually based on your replies so be charming ;-)

Check if your e-mail address is correct and hit Request.

 

OR

 

2.

 

This view means that the winners will be picked by the BookLikes algorithm, so all you should do is to check if your e-mail address is correct and hit Request.

 

Ready? Set? Win!

 

SHOW DETAILS AND ENTER TO WIN ->

 

SHOW DETAILS AND ENTER TO WIN ->

 

SHOW DETAILS AND ENTER TO WIN ->

 

SHOW DETAILS AND ENTER TO WIN ->

 

SHOW DETAILS AND ENTER TO WIN ->

 

SHOW DETAILS AND ENTER TO WIN->

 

Happy reading!

Currently reading

Best SF Stories of Brian W Aldiss
Audible Studios, Henry Arthur Blake, Brian W. Aldiss
Progress: 77/250pages
My Cousin Rachel
Daphne du Maurier
Progress: 36%
Frankenstein and Philosophy: The Shocking Truth (Popular Culture and Philosophy)
Nicolas Michaud
Progress: 62%
Shōgun
James Clavell
Dracula Audiobook (Timeless Classics)
Bram Stoker
Hellblazer n. 3
Jamie Delano, John Ridgway
Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show (Smart Pop series)
Yellow Blue Tibia
Adam Roberts
Her Fearful Symmetry
Audrey Niffenegger

Midu’s quotes


Goodreads Quotes

Midu's bookshelf: read

Kingdom Come
3 of 5 stars
tagged: graphic-novel, read-in-2015, and 1997
A Mere Formality
4 of 5 stars
tagged: missing-shelf, read-in-2015, shorts, singles, and 2008
Chickenfeed
3 of 5 stars
tagged: premissing, uk-author, 2006, read-in-2015, serial-killers-and-other...
Dark Blood
1 of 5 stars
tagged: missing-shelf, 2014, abuse, read-in-2015, series, and middlers

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