Summer rereads and ramblings

This summer I had high hopes of reading only books from my summer reading list. But that all changed when my hubby asked to listen to one of my books. So I suggested the Rock Chick series. And then I got in the mood to listen as well. But when I started listening, I realized that I should probably go in order, according to Kristen’s website. See that HERE So that means if I listen/read the Rock Chicks, I need to read the Colorado Mountain series also. And if I read the Colorado Mountain series, then I have to read The ‘Burg ones as well. And since I’m reading The ‘Burg, I should probably just continue with the Magdalene series. which has the bonus factor that it will be fresh in my mind since the final book releases and the end of summer. So basically my summer should be themed “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” But at least there’s a method to my madness, right? ūüôā

The best part about rereading these books is that, besides the Rock Chicks, I don’t remember much of them. Well, at least not the finer points. I read so many books, everything get all jumbled up. I even went to Goodreads to try and refresh my memory and I really wanna smack myself. Let me give you an example. Here’s my review for Soaring. I’m cracking up cuz I have NO IDEA what’s going on!

I swear, for the first 25% or so, I thought I was gonna die from depression. So much emotion.

But then it all started to work out.

And then a BANG in the middle-ish made me super worried.

But then it all started to work out.

And then around 75% was making me nervous. I wasn’t sure what was happening.

But then it all worked out. Beautifully.

I love KA.

I mean, what am I supposed to do with that?!?! Unreal. I mean seriously!! Clear as mud. Who writes a review like that?! I’m rolling my eyes so hard over here.

Now if only the weather would cooperate, then I could at least relax as I read these books for the the “first time”, as I float in my pool.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer reads!!

~Melpomene

Review ~ The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn.

img_0335Wow, where do I even start? ¬† You know that moment where you have a genre, or even an idea of a genre, that you really fancy reading? ¬†Well, you finally find it and hope that it delivers, even if it is just a fluffy entertaining read… and it does… In fact, it more than delivers, it smacks you and brings you back for another smack! ¬† This is a bit like how I felt when I recently finished reading The Alice Network.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to read some good French Resistance/WWI/WWII fiction, and after many a “wasted” hour spent trawling Amazon, GoodReads, et al, I found this title and thought I’ll give it a go. ¬†I didn’t read any reviews (no, that’s not a hint that you should stop reading this one!), and I delved straight in.

Now, I am going to warn you that this story is split/dual narrative and timeline/setting.  I know some people find that really jarring, but here, it seems to work well.  We have Charlie in 1947, looking for her cousin who disappeared in WWII, and then we have Eve, in 1915, who is approached to become a spy for the French Resistance in German occupied France.

Charlie is given Eve’s name as someone who may be able to help her, and therefore goes to find the now older spy. ¬†From there begins a journey that neither character, or reader, could have predicted.

Now, I haven’t read any of Quinn’s previous novels (from what I’ve seen, Quinn seems to stick to Roman and medieval style Historical Fiction), so I had no expectations of her writing style, characterization, pace, etc etc… ¬†The writing in The Alice Network is stark, to the point and realistic. ¬†There is little unnecessary flowery language that tends to get used as filler. ¬†The characters, for the most part, are three dimensional, believable, and not cliched. ¬†I even really enjoyed the side characters, and each one could have easily warranted their own story in another book.

What I liked best about this book is that Quinn doesn’t patronize the reader; the actions of the characters are genuine and realistic. ¬†While there were a couple of times that I would have taken a particular story thread in a different direction, overall I was really satisfied with the eventual traveled path.

I would have no hesitation is giving this novel 5 stars, and/or recommending it (as I have been) to anyone that likes to read.   See for yourself and pick up a copy!

~ Pegasus.

The Alice Network

Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley

bottom-pieI just love little Flavia…so wish I could go back in time and read these as a 10 year old! I would have been mad for her then! Such a cheeky little bugger! But whom I kidding? I love her now as a 46 year old!

If you think this is a short review, well you’re wrong…You don’t need me to tell you what the book is about, you just need me to tell you to go out and read it…so I am telling you now…it doesn’t matter how young or old you are…go out and buy this book…we all need a little Flavia in our lives!

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

5 star alert!

If you love WWI/WWII/espionage/French Resistance/Mystery fiction, based upon true stories, then be sure to catch my review on Thursday for the brilliant The Alice Network by Kate Quinn! A must read (the book, not my review… although…)! 

Pegasus. 

Review: Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

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I love medical mysteries.  Some of my classic favorites are from Robin Cook, the master of the genre.  So when I read the description of this new one, I just knew it was for me.

When Dr. Alex Taylor wakes up on an operating table, she’s naturally confused. ¬†Did she suffer an accident that she can’t remember? ¬†Nope, it’s something much more sinister. ¬†Or at least that’s what she believes. ¬†But her story of abduction by a madman is so absurd that nobody believes her, even though she’s a highly respected surgeon. ¬†And then when strange things continue to happen, her credibility is further damaged. ¬†And her sanity is called into question. ¬†Can she get anybody to believe that her experience is somehow connected to a series of mysterious deaths? ¬†And will it be too late to save herself?

This is a classic thriller.  It has all the elements needed for a suspenseful who-dunnit.  A great summer read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: ¬†Don’t Wake Up

Review: The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

This book reminded me of First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen: magical! It’s not wand and wizard type magical, but more like “can you believe this is happening I think it’s a miracle” type magical. And I loved it. 

Sanna is a tough nut to crack. She’s the primary worker on her family farm, the sole apple orchard and cider person, and very focused on keeping her farm and family intact. Sanna is protective, territorial, and averse to visitors. 

When Isaac and his son Sebastian appear at the farm and endear themselves to Sanna’s pa, Sanna is more annoyed than anything else. But Sebastian’s presence softens her heart a little … just enough to let Isaac in, too. 

Sanna’s love for the apples and love for her family save the farm from external threats. It’s that love that saves Sanna from herself, too, and provides room for Isaac and Sebastian in her life. 

I just couldn’t get over the specialness of  Sanna’s abilities with the apple orchard. It was nice to see someone care that much about their land and what grows on it. And I appreciated her loyalty to her family and the land. 

This novel was a lot of twinkles and touches and glances and fairy lights. Not my usual fare, and I’m kind of glad about that. The Simplicity of Cider is a special book that will stay with me for a long time. 

-Calliope 

Buy THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER

Cover Reveal: The Time In Between by Kristen Ashley

Super excited to announce this! I’m actually doing a Kristen Ashley rereadathon this summer. The Magdelene series will be the finial one I read, so it’s fresh in my mind before the release of this gorgeous book. Check it out!

About THE TIME IN BETWEEN (The Magdalene Series #3):

After a painful loss, Cady Moreland is coming to Magdalene to start the next chapter of her life. A chapter that began eighteen years ago but had a heartbreaking ending. The time in between was full of family and friendship, but Cady could never get the man she fell in love with all those years ago out of her heart.

Coert Yeager has learned to live without the girl who entered his life right when she shouldn’t and exited delivering a crippling blow he never would have suspected. The time in between was full of failing to find what he was missing…and life-altering betrayal.

But when that girl shows up in Magdalene and buys the town’s beloved lighthouse, even if Coert wants to avoid her, he can’t. A fire in town sparks a different kind of flame that won’t be ignored.

As Cady and Coert question the actions of the two young adults they once were thrown into earth-shattering circumstances, can they learn from what came in between and find each other again?

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

Be sure and check out the other two book in this trilogy:
The Will~ http://amzn.to/2rC6IPv
Soaring~ http://amzn.to/2rULews

And while you’re there, preorder The Time In Between:
Amazon~ http://amzn.to/2tsMWXO
BN~ http://bit.ly/2tp41lA
KOBO~ http://bit.ly/2rRxYsj

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

 

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Urania Talks Book Lists…

So here is where I ramble on about a book list I ran across last week. It all started with an email I received from Off The Shelf containing this list (13 Books to Make You Ugly Cry)

Here are the books they listed. Watch the Vlog to hear my (RAMBLING) thoughts…

Buy Them Now
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
When Breath Become Air by Paul Kalanithi
Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik
Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Lucky by Alice Sebold
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Make sure to keep updated so you can see what I think of my two picks from this list…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review: Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

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What a tough read, this one was.  Still, compelling enough to keep me going.

June has it bad. ¬†Her mom’s been dead for years, which is tragic enough. ¬†But her stepmom makes it even worse. ¬†She’s an evil stepmom in the most horrible way. ¬†There’s abuse, both physical and emotional. ¬†The saddest part is that her dad is oblivious to everything. Through it all, June retreats inside herself to escape.

And then she meets Blister. ¬†On a walk through the woods one day, he’s just there. ¬†And he becomes the most important person in her life. ¬†His family becomes her safe haven as well. ¬†Still, she can’t share her deepest darkest secrets with them. ¬†Because if she had, maybe tragedy would have been averted…

A good story, both sad and hopeful at times.  Parts of it were hard to take, but it is what it is.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Paper Butterflies

 

Review: Any Day Now by Robyn Carr

Sierra shows up at Sullivan’s Crossing and finds more than just her brother and sister-in-law with welcoming arms. Sierra finds a father figure, some peace of mind, and Connie (Conrad) the firefighter. 

Carr did a wonderful job pacing the romance and the family dynamics, making the relationships realistic as they grew. I liked that Sierra and Connie had a support system, and that the people around them were part of the fabric of the story – not just background characters. 

I’m not exactly a fan of the “quirky drifters appearing at the campground” type setting of these Sullivan’s Crossing books … but the endearing characters make up for it. 

-Calliope 

Buy ANY DAY NOW