Thursday, September 18, 2014

#Bloggiesta - Semi-formed plans


It's time for another Bloggiesta! Yay! Of course, not sure why I'm so excited, as I'm so busy with work right now, I'm not sure how much I'll get done. I do have a couple of for sure tasks and then I'll just leave some open spaces to add on to if/when I think I might be able to squeeze more in.

1. Add a Family Reading Project tab to pages tab and create a page to keep track of our progress.
2. Write a review for The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
3. Work on my Slideshare projects for my Banned Books Week posts
4. Come up with my list for the Travel the World in Books reading challenge (long overdue)
5. (Possibly) start working on my TBR Jar Project
6. Cleaned up sidebar - non-appearing images and non-working links, updated other linked badges
7. ???
8. ???

I will also try to attend a Twitter chat, or two...but that depends on work too.

Happy Bloggiesta!

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Cat Thursday - Alice and Arya Adventures


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

So, I got a new purse on Saturday and left the box on the kitchen table. This is what greeted me on Sunday morning...


Yup, Alice has claimed her new bed.

And here's Arya relaxing in her favorite spot...on my chest. lol




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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

HFVBT: Colin Falconer's East India -- Review and {Giveaway}


My thoughts
To me, few things are better than a great stand alone historical novel. I knew that the author had a talent for the historical fiction craft way back when I read, When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra, (in my pre-blogging days). And he does not disappoint with East India.

What the author does best in this novel is to really bring out the true grit of what travel by sea must have been like in the 17th century. I certainly can't imagine being on board a ship, in cramped and less than hygienic conditions, for seven to eight months at a time. And yet, this book had me feeling uncomfortable because it did make me imagine what it was like and I was thankful that when I was able to tear myself away from reading it, I was safely in my comfy home. And not only was there far from ideal comfort on board the ship, but there were constant undertones of danger and gossip. Mutiny seemed to always be a possibility among the ship's crew.

The main character, Cornelia, is a high ranking lady and beautiful as well. So, of course, she is admired by some and vilified by others, thinking she's haughty and high minded. What struck me about her was that she was just really unhappy. A loveless marriage and the thought of travelling to be with the man she did not love, coupled with the arduous sea journey could not have been a happy time for anyone. What befalls her only makes matters worse.

What we learn in East India is that a good portion of the seven deadly sins are very present aboard ship and this leads to a very tragic outcome. Not only is East India historically accurate (am I the only one who has never heard of a bosun or a provost?), but it also does an excellent job of showing us human nature through the vivid characterization and action. As I was reading, I could picture each character - what they looked like and what they were about. It was like watching a movie in my head.

The author has quite a back list of novels, some of which are sitting on my 'to be read/to be reviewed' stack, and after reading East India, I know I'm in for a treat in my future reading.

About the book
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Cool Gus Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction

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In any other circumstance but shipwreck, rape and murder, a man like Michiel van Texel would never have met a fine lady such as Cornelia Noorstrandt.

He was just a soldier, a sergeant in the Dutch East India company’s army, on his way from Amsterdam to the Indies to fight the Mataram. Such a woman was far above the likes of him.

But both their destinies intertwine far away from Holland, on some god-forsaken islands near the Great Southland. When their great ship, the Utrecht, founders far from home, surviving the Houtman Rocks is the least of their worries.

As they battle to survive and the bravest and the best reveal themselves for what they are, Cornelia’s only hope is a mercenary in a torn coat who shows her that a man is more than just manners and money.

He makes her one promise: ‘Even if God forsakes you, I will find you.’

But can he keep it?

Described by one critic as ‘Jack and Rose in the seventeenth century’, East India will keep you wondering until the final page.

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Buy the Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Google Play
iTunes
Kobo


About the Author
Born in London, Colin first trialed as a professional football player in England, and was eventually brought to Australia. He went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. He has published over twenty novels and his work has so far been translated into 23 languages.

He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz.

He currently lives in Barcelona.

For more information please visit Colin Falconer’s website. You can also find him on Facebook or follow on Twitter.


Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: 
#EastIndiaBlogTour #HistFic #HistNov
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @colin_falconer @CoolGusPub

Four copies of East India are up for grabs! Two (2) print (U.S. only) and two (2) eBook (International). Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!

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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Victoria Strauss' Color Song - Book Blast and {Giveaway}

02_Color Song 
Publication Date: September 16, 2014 | Skyscape (Amazon Children’s Publishing) | Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Genre: YA Historical

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By the author of the acclaimed Passion Blue, a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2012 and “a rare, rewarding, sumptuous exploration of artistic passion,” comes a fascinating companion novel. Artistically brilliant, Giulia is blessed – or cursed – with a spirit’s gift: she can hear the mysterious singing of the colors she creates in the convent workshop of Maestra Humilità. It’s here that Giulia, forced into the convent against her will, has found unexpected happiness, and rekindled her passion to become a painter – an impossible dream for any woman in 15th century Italy. But when a dying Humilità bequeaths Giulia her most prized possession – the secret formula for the luminously beautiful paint called Passion blue – Giulia realizes she’s in danger from those who have long coveted the famous color for themselves. Faced with the prospect of lifelong imprisonment in the convent, forever barred from painting as a punishment for keeping Humilita’s secret, Giulia is struck by a desperate idea: What if she disguises herself as a boy? Could she make her way to Venice and find work as an artist’s apprentice? Along with the truth of who she is, Giulia carries more dangerous secrets: the exquisite voices of her paint colors and the formula for Humilità’s precious blue. And Venice, with its graceful gondolas and twisting canals, its gilded palazzi and masked balls, has secrets of its own. Trapped in her false identity in this dream-like place where reality and reflection are easily confused, where art and ambition, love and deception hover like dense fog, can Giulia find her way? This compelling novel explores timeless themes of love and illusion, gender and identity as it asks the question: what does it mean to risk everything to follow your true passion?

Praise for the Novels of Victoria Strauss

"Fantasy elements and a historical setting rich with sensuous detail are satisfying, but it’s Giulia’s achingly real search for her heart’s desire that resonates most today, when millions of girls still have limited choices. A rare, rewarding, sumptuous exploration of artistic passion." - Kirkus Reviews on PASSION BLUE (Starred Review, a Best Teen Book of 2012)

"Compelling…absorbing…An intriguing historical novel inspired by accounts of women artists in the Italian Renaissance." - Booklist on PASSION BLUE

"Mysterious dreams, suspense-filled legends, the terror that unfolds as the dig ensues, and the fine characterizations weave together beautifully to make this adventure fantasy a winner." - Booklist on GUARDIAN OF THE HILLS (Starred Review) 

"A rich story about human nature, this fantasy is a thought-provoking page-turner. The characters are deeply etched, and the plot turns are credible yet arresting…A thoroughly enjoyable read." - Kliatt on THE ARM OF THE STONE 

"The plot is complex yet convincing, and the abundant, well-chosen details of the settings–as well as the carefully developed characters–make this high fantasy a superior and original novel." - Publishers Weekly on THE GARDEN OF THE STONE (Starred Review)

Buy the Book
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound

03_Victoria StraussAbout the Author

Victoria Strauss is the author of nine novels for adults and young adults, including the STONE duology (THE ARM OF THE STONE and THE GARDEN OF THE STONE), and a historical novel for teens, PASSION BLUE. She has written hundreds of book reviews for magazines and ezines, including SF Site, and her articles on writing have appeared in Writer's Digest and elsewhere. In 2006, she served as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards. An active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), she's co-founder, with Ann Crispin, of Writer Beware, a publishing industry watchdog group that tracks and warns about literary fraud. She maintains the popular Writer Beware website, Facebook page, and blog, for which she was a 2012 winner of an Independent Book Blogger Award. She was honored with the SFWA Service Award in 2009. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

For more information please visit Victoria's Strauss's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Color Song Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, September 16
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Book Blast at The True Book Addict
Tuesday, September 17
Review at Oh the Books
Book Blast at The Maiden's Court
Wednesday, September 18
Review at Casual Readers
Review at Leeanna.com (Passion Blue)
Thursday, September 19
Review at Leeanna.com
Monday, September 22
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Feature at Oh the Books
Tuesday, September 23
Book Blast at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, September 24
Review at History from a Woman's Perspective
Interview at Bibliophilia, Please
Book Blast at Reading Lark
Thursday, September 25
Book Blast at A Book Geek
Friday, September 26
Review at Reading Room Book Reviews
Book Blast at Just One More Chapter
Monday, September 29
Review at Tribute Books Mama
Interview at Math, Science & Social Studies...Oh My!
Tuesday, September 30
Review at Book Babe
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection
Wednesday, October 1
Review & Interview at Bookish
Book Blast at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, October 2
Review at Brooke Blogs
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Friday, October 3
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Book Blast at The Lit Bitch
Saturday, October 4
Book Blast at Susan Heim on Writing
Monday, October 6
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, October 7
Review at A Leisure Moment
Wednesday, October 8
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, October 10
Review at A Bookish Affair

Giveaways

To enter to win any of the following prizes please complete the form below:

2 Grand Prizes Winners: One Kindle Paperwhite with custom Color Song cover with Color Song and Passion Blue ebooks pre-loaded, plus swag (postcards, bookmarks), and signed paperback editions of Strauss's Stone duology (The Arm of the Stone and The Garden of the Stone) (US only) 2 winners: Signed hardcovers of Color Song and Passion Blue, plus swag (postcards, bookmarks) (US and Canada) 5 winners: Signed paperbacks of Color Song and Passion Blue, plus swag (postcards, bookmarks) (US and Canada)
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on October 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on October 11th and notified via email. Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cat Thursday - Authors and Cats (36)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author and their cat(s).

Once again, I'm behind due to work constraints. I still owe you all a visit from last week and I promise I will be by. 

I like to honor authors with birthdays during the week when I do these posts, but had a difficult time finding an image of an author with a cat who also had a birthday in September. But I did come across something interesting and so I'm taking a bit of a different approach this month. Hope you like it!

T.S. Eliot has a birthday in September (the 26th in 1888). We all know what he's famous for, but did you know that he also wrote cat poems? Actually, I did know this because I had read some of his book, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. I think I may even have it on my shelf. Hmm. Anyway, I came across this site that was featuring a book of cat stories, Best Cat Stories, an anthology published in 1953. According to the post, the book has some wonderful illustrations and among it's literary offering is a poem by T.S. Eliot with a featured illustration of him with a cat. And so, I share it here! 




THE AD-DRESSING OF CATS
You’ve read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind.
For some are sane and some are mad
And some are good and some are bad
And some are better, some are worse –
But all may be described in verse.
You’ve seen them both at work and games,
And learnt about their proper names,
Their habits and their habitat:
But
How would you ad-dress a Cat?
So first, your memory I’ll jog,
And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.
Now Dogs pretend they like to fight;
They often bark, more seldom bite;
But yet a Dog is, on the whole,
What you would call a simple soul.
Of course I’m not including Pekes,
And such fantastic canine freaks.
The usual Dog about the Town
Is much inclined to play the clown,
And far from showing too much pride
Is frequently undignified.
He’s very easily taken in –
Just chuck him underneath the chin
Or slap his back or shake his paw,
And he will gambol and guffaw.
He’s such an easy-going lout,
He’ll answer any hail or shout.
Again I must remind you that
A Dog’s a Dog — A CAT’S A CAT.
With Cats, some say, one rule is true:
Don’t speak till you are spoken to.
Myself, I do not hold with that -
I say, you should ad-dress a Cat.
But always keep in mind that he
Resents familiarity.
I bow, and taking off my hat,
Ad-dress him in this form: O CAT!
But if he is the Cat next door,
Whom I have often met before
(He comes to see me in my flat)
I greet him with an OOPSA CAT!
I’ve heard them call him James Buz-James –
But we’ve not got so far as names.
Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste –
He’s sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his NAME.
So this is this, and that is that:
And there’s how you AD-DRESS A CAT.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cat Thursday - Cat Thievery


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I'm sure we've all learned at one time or other that cats are great thieves. Here are some epic examples (the first one is a bit photoshopped, but still funny). 







Caught...red-handed!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Robert Stephen Parry's Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen and the Men who Loved Her - Review and {Giveaway}


My thoughts
There are a few authors that I count among my favorites in the historical fiction genre and this author is one of them. He has a unique voice in the genre and his books always tell their stories in an interesting and engaging way. In this slim volume, he incorporates fiction alongside non-fiction seamlessly. And he has brought us full circle back to the subject of his excellent novel, Virgin and the Crab...his beloved Elizabeth I.

I think I hearken a kind of kinship with this author due to our mutual love for Elizabeth I. And he really brings what I believe to be her true character to the forefront in this book. Elizabeth loved her men and here we are given biographical accounts of each of these men, followed by a vignette of Elizabeth and each man (and one of the man's wives) interacting. These are short sketches and yet they really bring forward in authenticity what these intimate interactions must have truly been like. Perhaps the genuine article of Elizabeth is best captured in various quotes and passages throughout the book. There were several that I really enjoyed. I will share one of them here:

"Well, I also have a formula of my own, Bess - a very special one concerning how the court of England might survive and function under its present climate. For yes, it is true, inevitably I have about me men who also subdue each day their scheming for my approbation. That is how I have kept the gift of peace for the people of this nation for so many decades. That is my formula. And do you think I do not contemplate the weakness of the argument from time to time, as well? Do you think I do not weigh each day in the balance those forces of right and wrong - of tolerance on the one hand for those who are virtuous, and retribution on the other for those who are evil? Every day I must seek that balance. A thousand eyes see everything I do and judge me. I have no life, no privacy, no joy. And yet because I am a woman, when they come to me, even the most powerful men are tamed. They seek for a moment, instead of gold and riches, the approval of their Gloriana, their Virgin Queen. They wait for a smile or touch of my hand as I pass, and live here in a place where the poet is as worthy as the soldier; where a master of music is as treasured as he who would forge a cannon - and they must lift their snouts from the trough occasionally in order to do so. That is how it works, Bess - the charade and the festival of the Virgin Queen."

This quote completely captures what Elizabeth's reign must truly have been like. It is obvious that Elizabeth held the happiness of her people and the peace of the land in the highest regard over everything else. I always feel that Elizabeth was a keen observer of her father's rule, and the history of his reign. How he jeopardized so much for his personal predilections in the guise of seeking an heir must have appeared to her keen mind a mistake she did not want to make in her own reign. Again, it is these determinations and conclusions the reader is able to make of Elizabeth's mind from reading this excellent volume.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in history and historical fiction.

Read my reviews of Robert Stephen Parry's Virgin and the Crab and The Arrow Chest.

About the book
The Elizabethan golden age was peopled by a court of flamboyant and devoted men - each one unique, ambitious and talented. At its centre was a woman, Elizabeth, the Tudor princess who succeeded to the throne of England in 1558 and who vowed to her Parliament to remain unwed and a Virgin Queen for the rest of her life. How did such a diverse group of red-blooded men view their ?Gloriana?? What were their aims and intentions? What were their dreams? And just how did Elizabeth manage to control and manipulate them? A unique blend of fact and fiction brings the Elizabethan court and its inhabitants to life in an evocative series of biographical sketches that will inform and entertain in equal measure.


About the author
Robert Stephen Parry is a UK writer of historical fiction with special interests in Tudor, Elizabethan and Georgian England; Victorian Gothic and Pre-Raphaelite art. A fresh and original voice in historical fiction, his work combines reality, mystery and imagination within a well-researched and vivid historical setting. Publications to date include:

2014 'ELIZABETH - The Virgin Queen and the Men who Loved Her.'
2013 'WILDISH - A Story Concerning Different Kinds of Love'
2011 'THE ARROW CHEST - A Victorian Mystery'
2009 'VIRGIN AND THE CRAB - Sketches, Fables and Mysteries from the Early Life of John Dee and Elizabeth Tudor'


Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a copy of Elizabeth - Kindle or Print, winner's choice. Open internationally!

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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

A Reading Life (34) -- Fall is Here (sort of)!!!


It's Fall, it's Fall! Well, it is for me. I know the official date isn't until September 23, but as soon as September 1st rolls around, my Fall kicks off. Who else is excited for everything Autumn?

Currently reading:
March, Geraldine Brooks
The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd (almost finished!)
People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
The Ancestor's Tale, Richard Dawkins
The House of Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy

Audio:
The Essential Edgar Allan Poe (Stories, Poems, Biography)

Family Reading Project (20 minutes daily, alternating titles):
The Crystal CaveMary Stewart (on page 196)
Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton (on page 131)

One movie/One TV show I like right now:
I saw As Above So Below on Sunday. The kick off to my horror film season. Another reason why this time of the year is my favorite. With Halloween not far off, the horror movies are coming out in droves! Anyway, this was an excellently scary movie. 
New show last week on BBC America, Intruders. Kind of has an X Files feel to it so I'm loving it. And, of course, Doctor Who! I'm loving the new Doctor. Peter Capaldi has edge. Who knew!? (I know. This is two shows. Couldn't help it!)

Life:
So, turns out Gabe did not make the Donelson Middle football team, but he got on our local team, the Donelson-Hermitage Warriors. Yay! His first game was Saturday and it was a rainy game. He's jumping right in and getting his feet wet...and loving it. I'm so proud! Here's a pic of him in his uniform...


On a personal note, I've been out to sing karaoke two weekends in a row! Last weekend was my cousin Carmen's birthday and then this week, my cousin Kelsey was visiting from Memphis. I love to sing so it was a lot of fun. I didn't know how to act, going out two weekends back to back. Great times!

Read-a-Longs: 
The read-a-long for The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne kicked off today, in conjunction with Gothic September at Castle Macabre. You can find out all the details HERE.

I'm thinking about hosting a read-a-long of either Memnoch the Devil or The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice in October at Castle Macabre, in conjunction with The Never-Ending Anne Rice Challenge. Still deciding!

TuesBookTalk - We are reading two non-fiction books in September. Group members can read either/or...or both. Unbroken by Laura Hilenbrand and The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins. As you can see above, I'm reading Ancestor's Tale. We are currently voting on our horror read for October. I picked some good and scary ones this time. 

Lit Collective - we are reading and discussing the works of Geraldine Brooks in August ...I extended this through September. Everyone is behind on the reading.
March
Caleb's Crossing
People of the Book

Nominations will soon be open for our theme read in March.

Reading Challenges:

R.I.P. IX!!! Who else looks forward to this every year? And the artwork for the challenge is off the hook! Click here to visit my sign up post at my challenge blog.



My upcoming events (challenges, read-a-thons, other reading events):

Banned Books Week commentary on this blog in September (possibly)
Gothic September at Castle Macabre
FrightFall Read-a-Thon at Seasons of Reading (end Sept/early Oct)
Season of the Witch at Castle Macabre (Oct)

Recent Book Acquisitions (including library check-outs):

For review:
The Tiger Queens, Stephanie Thornton
Inglorious Royal Marriages, Leslie Carroll

From friends:
The Firebird, Susanna Kearsley
We Were Liars, E. Lockhart

Won:
China Dolls, Lisa See (???)
When The United States Spoke French, Francois Furstenberg (from Wonders & Marvels)

Library Sale:
Black Coffee, Agatha Christie (adapted by Charles Osborne)
Gad's Hall and The Haunting of Gad's Hall (2 in 1), Norah Lofts
The Concubine, Norah Lofts
Postcards, E. Annie Proulx
The House at Riverton, Kate Morton
Girl in a Blue Dress, Gaynor Arnold


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Friday, August 29, 2014

HFVBT: Alison Atlee's The Typewriter Girl -- Audio Book Review


My thoughts
I have mixed feelings about this book. While I really enjoyed the narration by noted narrator, Rosalyn Landor, I found some of the themes in this book to be lacking. For one thing, the main character, Betsey, is trying to make a new start in life, but her past comes back to haunt her. And what is that past? A man...a bad relationship. So what does she do? She gets involved with another man who "rescues her" from said man from the past. It's all very pat. And far be it for me to object to foul language when I have the mouth of a sailor, but I just could not get beside the constant use of the f-bomb. Did they really say it that much during the Victorian era? It just rang false to me. 

However, I'm not going to be completely negative in my review. Despite the false feel of the foul language, I do feel that the author captured the era very well. And I do believe that one does not have to be completely in love with the characters to like the book. I was a bit reminded of Michel Faber's Crimson Petal and the White. The characters in that book are not likable, yet it's a terrific book. But in Faber's book, we know why the characters are the way they are. We know what motivates them. In this book, the motivation behind the characters was not so obvious. 

I've seen mixed reviews about this book so I'm not going to say don't read it. You just might be one of the people that really likes it. 

About the book
Audible Audio Book Edition: Audible.com
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Listening Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English
ASIN: B00JH0L9HW
Genre: Historical Fiction

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A Pub­lish­ers Weekly Best Books of the Year pick: The Type­writer Girl is a “spec­tac­u­lar debut, set in a per­fectly real­ized Vic­to­rian England.”

When Bet­sey Dob­son dis­em­barks from the Lon­don train in the sea­side resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After an attempt to forge a let­ter of ref­er­ence she knew would be denied her, Bet­sey has been fired from the typ­ing pool of her pre­vi­ous employer. Her vig­or­ous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her char­ac­ter per­ma­nently besmirched.

Now, with­out money or a ref­er­ence for a new job, the future looks even bleaker than the deba­cle she left behind her.

But her life is about to change … because a young Welsh­man on the rail­road quay, wait­ing for another woman, is the one finally will­ing to believe in her.

Mr. Jones is inept in mat­ters of love, but a genius at things mechan­i­cal. In Idensea, he has con­structed a glit­ter­ing pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And in Bet­sey, he rec­og­nizes the ideal tour man­ager for the Idensea Pier & Plea­sure Build­ing Company.

After a life­time of guard­ing her secrets and break­ing the rules, Bet­sey becomes a force to be reck­oned with. Together, she and Mr. Jones must find a way for her to suc­ceed in a soci­ety that would reject her, and fig­ure the price of sur­ren­der­ing to the tides of love.

Praise for The Typewriter Girl

“Atlee’s out¬standing debut unflinchingly explores … the unforgiving man’s world of Victorian England.” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

“Easily one of the most romantic books I’ll read all year … John and Betsey are compelling and worth rooting for.” –DEAR AUTHOR (a Recommended Read)

“Sweeps readers to a satisfying conclusion.” –LIBRARY JOURNAL

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About the Author
Alison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion nineteenth century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky. For more information please visit Alison Atlee's website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Goodreads and Pinterest.


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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cat Thursday: Cats in Art (4)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the beauty, wonder and hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

Short and sweet this week, but this painting well deserves a spotlight. Don't you think?

Gustave Courbet (French artist, 1819-1877). Woman with a Cat 1864

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