Review: Claiming Noah by Amanda Orlepp

23587678

What would you do if you desperately wanted a child but were unable to have one? What lengths would you go to and where would you draw the line?

Catriona and James badly want a baby, James a bit more so. After trying unsuccessfully, they agree to try IVF. And it works. They soon find themselves the parents of a healthy baby boy. Diana and Liam are in the same predicament. They explore many options before eventually settling on embryo donation. And they, too, are successful. Another healthy baby boy.

But Catriona doesn’t find herself easily settling into motherhood. She’s soon in a downward spiral, deep in the throes of postpartum depression. Diana, on the other hand, quickly adjusts to being a mom. All is going well until the day her baby is taken right out from under her.

This story was completely different from what I expected. For that, I give props to whoever wrote the description. There’s not much worse than a book blurb that gives too much away. No such worries with this one. And I’m not going to give anything else away, either, other than to say that there are several juicy little twists and turns on the path to the final conclusion of this story.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Claiming Noah

Review: The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson

This is a charming story of five book club friends whose main connection is friend Abby. When Abby dies, the remaining four need to find a way to carry on. Abby provides that guidance from some angel gifts she’s left for them. 

I was disappointed in the beginning of this book because I could sense the “setting up” of the plot… a little contrived or overplanned. However, by the middle, I loved the direction Carlson took the four women – it seemed natural and authentic. Seeing the women use Abby’s Angels to help them grieve and then use their talents to help others warmed my heart, and it will warm yours, too. 

-calliope

Buy THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL PROJECT

Review: Letters from Paris by Juliet Blackwell

When Claire Broussard finds mysterious letters and a plaster death mask in her Louisiana grandmother’s attic, she takes it as a sign she needs to leave her directionless life and head for Paris. 

I was fascinated by the flashbacks to historical Paris, when artists “hired” models to live with them and be their subjects. It was fun to learn this bit of history and have it come to life in a work of fiction. Since I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction, even better was reading how it intersected with Claire’s life in modern times. I liked seeing the new excitement in Claire. Blackwell developed Claire’s character well, illustrating how being ultra focused on the mystery of the death mask was part of her grieving process… and proved to be cathartic. 

I loved the ending – maybe predictable for some, but I didn’t guess it ahead of time. I was too enamored with Claire’s new Parisian life – a testament to Blackwell’s ability to draw me in to every facet of the story and keep me there until the next chapter came along. 

-calliope

Buy LETTERS FROM PARIS

Review: Torn by Carian Cole

torn OH MY GOSH!! This book almost didn’t get read. Not that it was bad, but it was very taboo. Hang with me here. Last week I saw this picture on Facebook. It was a sponsored ad. I’ve never heard of this author. Heck, I didn’t even know what the book was about, but I thought the picture was just lovely. I posted it in one of my book clubs and then I found out what it was about. And I gotta be honest, I wasn’t going to read it after that. That was a little too taboo for me. I have certain things I won’t read about, while this wasn’t on my list, it was just something a bit too different for me.

Well, two of my friends decided to give it a shot and they loved it. They know what I like and they both told me to try it. They said it was tastefully done and quite romantic. *sigh* I love romance, and I’m a follower not a leader, so I did what they said. I bought it and read it. And let me tell you, I was sucked in from the very beginning. Here’s the picture I saw. Isn’t it beautiful? There’s something about boots and little shoes that’s just so sweet.
14095849_569270823257387_7916784042521933033_n

This book was exactly like they said. It was beautiful. It was romantic. And it was written in a way they wasn’t creepy or gross. Even in the synopsis, it even says no underage sex. Once you read the synopsis, you’ll see why THAT was my biggest fear. I like my sexy scenes with people who are old enough to vote, thankyouverymuch.

I fell in love with all of these characters. Family was the main theme and everyone was so different, but in the end, it was all about love. The love of two people who were there for each other, all their lives. It was beautiful. And it was right.

So if you’re in the mood to try something new and different, read Torn.

~Melpomene

Buy Torn HERE

Review ~ Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Phewf! Well, that was an intense week of listening! I’m going to hold my hands up shamefully admit that I’d held off from reading anything by the super popular author Liane Moriarty, simply because her fiction was so often labeled as chic lit. I conjured up aspersions of a bodice ripper type novel, empty angst or some other unfair generalization. Well, if this novel is classed as chic lit, then sign me the hell up! 

Big Little Lies follows a group of parents in a seaside Australian town. They have their rituals, meet at the school drop-offs, and have their cliques and issues. A new parent moves to town and soon makes fast friends, and indeed enemies. 

The novel starts off in an interview type manner, and we soon learn that something has happened at a school PTA quiz night. As we hear witness accounts of may or may not have happened that night, we are taken back to when Jane first arrives on the scene. 

What makes Moriarty’s novel such a hit, is not the plot; the plot, while good, is not one so unique that you wouldn’t ever see in a novel. No. Where Moriarty excels, is in her characters and their interaction. There is such razor sharp authenticity in how these parents and friends talk and act, that you really feel like you know them, and are there living with them. 

This is a brilliant novel that will keep you glued until the very end. If you’ve yet to start reading Moriarty, then Big Little Lies is a great place to start. 

~ Pegasus 

Big Little Lies

Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

26114135I haven’t added a book to “my-best-reads-ever” in over 2 years…This book deserves to be there. I still don’t know what to think about it. I just know I couldn’t stop feeling whilst reading this book. My heart broke over and over again. The parts that I had trouble with coming to terms with morally are the very same parts I am most thankful for. For without those parts this would have been a very different story. It would have been a story of a young girl and her brother with no hope at all in a very violent world. It would have been a story that had no stars to guide Wavy in the darkest hours to find a better life.

Greenwood has done an amazing job of simply telling a story. She doesn’t try to make the reader take a moral high road. Nor does she warn us to stay off a path of despair. Instead, the reader is left to find their own way and to struggle with the road signs that we can easily read, but which are so difficult to understand.

Don’t read this book looking for some sappy love story….this novel will punch you over and over again in your guts. It is brutal. It will take your breath away…yet, once you finish the last page, you’ll marvel at the wonder that can be found in the world. It is both an ugly world….but more importantly, it is a wonderful world…There are so many wrongs in this novel and yet somehow, at the end, Greenwood has made it all right…

Wow…I’m so feeling this book…really….so thankful to have read this novel…

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy your copy now All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Byrn Greenwood

Remembering a Friend….Musings of a Muse

fullsizerenderSome people come into your life and you don’t even realise it. You see them around day after day and suddenly realise that you can’t remember a time that they weren’t around. You can’t even remember why they are there every time you turn around. You even take them for granted perhaps.

Of course, no one wants to admit that. That you can take a giving and caring person for granted…but there you have it…

I do want to confess that to anyone that is reading this. I never expected Rich to leave so soon. He always made time for everyone…and I perhaps should have let him know a bit more often what his candor and his posts meant to me…

I just figured that as long as there was a WWW that my mate, Rich would be around to harass me. By harass, I mean that Rich ALWAYS had a moment to comment on your latest FB picture or status. You were sure to always wake up to one of his posts that was either going to make you laugh out loud, be outraged, or just piss you off. Rich took no prisoners when it came to anything he saw as an injustice.

Hell, I can’t go into all he has meant to so many people…there’s just no way…but that is it…right there…Rich made everyone he cared about feel special. He made everyone take him for granted. If there is anything all of his mates are sharing right now besides grief, it is disbelief. No one can believe that such a life force is gone. No one expected someone so full of life to pass away so suddenly…

He will so be missed. By me…and others…I am outraged that the small and the large injustices of the world have lost a superhero that was always ready and willing to fight for their causes…

There now resides a massive black hole in the cybersphere…as there is now also in my heart…

Amazing how people you’ve never met outside of cyberspace can change how you view the world…and how you can start to expect better from those that you actually do know in the *real world*…

RIP Mr Meyer…my heart goes out to your wife and to your furbabies…

I hope Raptor Jesus is there to great you with open arms full of comic books and b movies…

you are so very missed my friend…xx

Until we meet again,
Urania xx