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text 2018-03-23 15:13
Dear Abby

I started a new "Dear Abby" blog post section from readers, answered by one of my readers!


Dear Mia & Sugar,
I want to attend a book signing(s), but there are SO many types to choose from. I must admit—I am overwhelmed and am in need of book signing advice.

Keep reading here http://cristinharber.com/archive/dear-mia-and-sugar/dear-mia-and-sugar-seeking-book-signing-advice/


Source: cristinharber.com/archive/dear-mia-and-sugar/dear-mia-and-sugar-seeking-book-signing-advice
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review 2018-03-20 07:28
not for me
Eloping With The Princess (Brotherhood of the Sword) - Robyn DeHart

Isabel’s only family was her uncle Thornton who had kept her in school. At Saint Bartholomew's School For Girls and he was too busy to have isabel come home even on holidays.  Now he was dead and Lilith her aunt by marriage was to come for her but before she can someone tries to take her. Gabriel was there and suggested she stay with his friend Jason Ellis who is a fellow member of the brotherhood Of The Sword and could keep her safe. Then they could into who is trying to take Later they learn Isabel is the last royal family member from the island nation of Saldania. To keep Isabel safe Jason agrees to marry Isabel in name only. Jason learned early in his youth he was a bastard and his father was the stable manager. So viscount Jason planned never to have his own kids and let his nephew inherit the title. But Jason and Isabel have a growing attraction. Isabel was to be used in a plot to usurp the throne from Victoria that is why someone os trying to take her. That was when Isabel realized the easiest way to stop the problem was to marry and Jason agreed..

I just couldn’t get into this book. I did finish it but i didn’t really care for it. I felt the ending was rushed. The plot seemed to be all over the place and not consistent as far as I am concerned. I also didn’t connect with the characters. I am sure someone else will like this book a lot more. It just wasn’t for me.

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review 2018-03-19 17:04
Basically, sisters suck . . . plus magic~
Daughters Of The Storm - Kim Wilkins

Disclaimer: Reviewing pre-publication paperback ARC/proof copy.


This wasn't the right fit for me, but the quality of writing and storytelling was excellent, so I'll try to give some detail so you can figure out if it's a match for your own tastes.


This is the story of five sisters as they try to save their father (the king) from a magical curse. Only, being as how they're sisters, they mostly fall prey to rivalries and selfishness and do more harm than good. It wasn't clear from the copy I had, but this looks like the first in a series, which makes a lot more sense. I found it pretty depressing, as it seems to be an excellent argument for sticking to one child per family, and it also delves into the sex lives (and terrible choices) of each sister, and as a general rule I find a person's sexuality to be the least interesting part of them. But, y'know, tastes differ and all that. It's adult fantasy, not really romance, so the scenes don't get excessively explicit or drawn out. Somewhere from 1-3 of the sisters have some level of spiritual/magical powers that get tangled with some potential psychosis, so that part was interesting and has potential. It was a surprisingly fast read considering its size.


I'm not terribly knowledgeable when it comes to high fantasy subgenres - this might be considered grimdark? Or crossover literary-fantasy? Not really to my tastes, but the writing was very well done and the storytelling was smooth, if a little slow at the start. It switches perspectives between all five daughters, their stepmother, their stepbrother, and maybe a couple more, I don't really remember, so that does make it hard to get into the story and build attachment to the characters up front. It was a fascinating choice in terms of storytelling and suspense, though, since it really lends itself to exploring the moral ambiguity and deceitfulness of characters. They each portray themselves as sympathetic and make observations on the others, and then you switch POV and get a different look at the same people and actions. So I think this would be an excellent book for the right reader (review: 3/5 for taste, 5/5 for quality), but just not right for me.

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review 2018-03-11 23:05
Superstar Barbie: The Fairy Princess (Little Golden Book) - Anne Foster,Jim Robinson,Fred Irvin

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is a nice, happy read. It's not very well-developed plot-wise, but it's a nice, simple story with an easy happy ending. 

Not necessarily a realistic story, but hey, it's Barbie, so whatever. 

An okay read.

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review 2018-03-11 18:28
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals - Alyssa Cole

Naledi (Ledi) Smith has been on her own for most of her life, bounced around in foster care after her parents were killed in a car crash. Now she's a grad student with multiple jobs and a supposedly upcoming epidemiology internship that she still hasn't been contacted about. The spam emails she keeps getting that say she's betrothed to a Prince Thabiso from some country called Thesolo do not amuse her.

As it turns out, the emails aren't spam. Prince Thabiso has been looking for his betrothed for years. He hopes to find her and either bring her back to Thesolo or finally convince himself that they aren't soulmates the way he'd been told as a child they were. His assistant, Likotsi, tracks her down, but their first meeting doesn't go anything like Thabiso expected it would. Ledi mistakes him for a new waiter named Jamal, and rather than clear up the misunderstanding, Thabiso decides to just go with it. He'll get to see how Ledi behaves around him when she's unaware that he's royalty, and being a waiter can't be that hard, right? (Ha!)

I pre-ordered this because both the cover and publisher's description made it look cute and fun. A contemporary romance in which an ordinary woman learns she's actually a princess sounded like it'd be right up my alley.

The setup was excellent, and the sample "spam" emails made me laugh. I loved Ledi, who was afraid to let her guard down and who worked so hard and was still worried that none of it would be enough. She relaxed her guard around Thabiso a bit more quickly than I would have expected, although that could have been due to the way he subconsciously reminded her of things from her childhood.

Plus, Thabiso had some great moments. He listened to and remembered the things she said. Because he knew she was always taking care of herself and everyone else, he tried to set up times that were solely about her and taking care of her. The bit with the grilled cheese sandwiches was cute (although the way the next chapter started made me think he'd accidentally burned the apartment down).

I winced every time he put off telling Ledi the truth, although I could usually understand his reasons for doing so. There was one scene that really bothered me, though. He arrived at Ledi's apartment, fully intending to tell her the truth, only to have her start kissing him. He wasn't so overwhelmed by her kisses that he couldn't think - he actually did slow things down enough that he could have stopped everything and told her right then. Instead, they had sex, he worried that she'd call him Jamal, and he figured he'd tell her sometime after they were done. It made it seem like he cared more about having sex than he did about Ledi.

This part upset me so much that I spent the rest of the book mentally rewriting it. I came up with a couple alternatives that would have still led to Ledi being hurt and angry enough for the rest of the book to happen, but would have made Thabiso a little less horrible. Unfortunately, the scene happened the way it happened. Cole dealt with it by having Thabiso make Ledi an offer she couldn't refuse, something that would force her to spend enough time with him that she'd eventually soften towards him and forgive him. She did, of course, and I could understand why, for the most part. Unfortunately, I never quite forgave him.

Although I was upset with Thabiso in the second half of the book, I still really loved the "royal life" scenes. Ledi's trip to the airport, in particular, was great. I loved her meetings with family members - I wonder if Nya will ever get her own book? - and I was glad that Thabiso defended Ledi whenever his mother started to act horrible.

For the most part, this was a really good book. It would have been an excellent one if it hadn't been for the last "trying (but not really) to tell her the truth" scene, which unfortunately slightly soured the rest of the book. Oh, and one little slightly spoiler-y complaint: why did Ledi, who should have known better,

keep taking pills without ever once asking (or even wondering) what was in them?

(spoiler show)

I'm going to wait and see what reviews say about the next book before deciding whether to get it. I'm iffy about Portia, Ledi's friend and the next book's heroine. Almost every time Portia was mentioned, Ledi worried about the amount she drank and whether spending time with her would mean more work and anxiety than relaxation. A Princess in Theory ended with her in therapy and hopefully drinking less, but I'm still wary. Meanwhile, I'm crossing my fingers for a future book starring Likotsi, Thabiso's well-dressed lesbian assistant.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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