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review 2015-12-04 06:35
Snow Crystal 3 - Brenna & Tyler
Weihnachtszauber wider Willen (New York Times Bestseller Autoren: Romance) - Sarah Morgan,Judith Heisig

Originaltitel:  Maybe This Christmas
Reihe:                Snow Crystal #3
Verlag:              mbt
Format:            Taschenbuch, EBook
Umfang:           384 Seiten
Erschienen:    09. Oktober 2015

Als Skifahrer war er unschlagbar – aber als Dad ist Taylor O’Neil weit von einer Goldmedaille entfernt. Um seiner 13-jährigen Tochter zu beweisen, wie sehr er sie liebt, will er ihr das schönste Weihnachtsfest aller Zeiten bereiten. Das Snow Crystal Skiresort seiner Familie bildet dafür schon mal die perfekte Postkartenidylle. Doch bei den restlichen Details braucht er Unterstützung. Wer könnte ihm besser beibringen, was zum Fest der Liebe gehört, als eine Lehrerin? Gut, seine alte Schulfreundin Brenna ist genau genommen Skilehrerin, dennoch scheint sie auch den Slalom weihnachtlicher Bräuche perfekt zu beherrschen. Der guten alten Tradition des Kusses unterm Mistelzweig kann Taylor jedenfalls schnell etwas abgewinnen … (Quelle: amazon.de)

Meine Meinung:
Es ist wieder Weihnachtszeit in Snow Crystal und dank Kayla, die seit einem Jahr ihren Verlobten Jackson bei der Leitung des Resorts unterstützt, kann die Familie O'Neill endlich etwas ausatmen. Auch Elise und Sean gehen in ihrer Beziehung auf. Doch so ganz ist die Welt noch nicht in Ordnung. Den Brenna liebt Tyler und Tyler? Tyler will alles richtig machen und macht doch alles falsch.

Und so werden Tyler und Brenna zum Spielball ihrer Freunde und Verwandten und schlittern in ihre persönlich Katastrophe. Während Brenna nicht mehr nur die Freundin von Tyler sein kann, kann Tyler seine Freundin nicht verlieren. Doch Jess, Kayla und Elise sehen das ganz anders: Weder darf Brenna Snow Crystal verlassen, noch kann Tyler weiter nur ein Freund von Brenna sein.

Und so kämpfen Brenna und Tyler mit ihren Gefühlen, Jess um ihre neue Familie und Snow Crystal weiter ums Überleben. Alle irgendwie mit ihrer Vergangenheit und um die Zukunft. Und das alles findest zu Weihnachten seinen Showdown.

Sicher das Buch hätte etwas spannender sein können. Viel an Überraschungen hat es nicht mehr hergegeben. Dafür aber viele humorvolle Dialoge, eine sexy Mann der versucht sich auf den Netz der liebe zu winden und viel Gefühl - Plus der romantischsten Weihnachtszene ever. Damit hat das Paket für mich auf jeden Fall gepasst und Platz für weitere Fortsetzungen, obwohl die 3 O'Neill-Brüder jetzt vergeben sind, wurde auch noch gelassen. Ich denke da an den Sheriff und die Wellness-Dame. Somit möchte ich wetten oder zu mindest hoffen, war dieses Buch kein Abschied für immer. Auch wenn es im Moment noch als Trilogie angelegt ist.

Fazit: Die fehlende Spannung wurde mit viel Gefühl, Romantik und Humor wett gemacht - so das eine sehr gelungene Liebesgeschichte herauskam, die uns nicht nur Weihnachten das Herz wärmen wird.

Source: schnuffelchensbuecher.blogspot.de/2015/12/sarah-morgan-weihnachtszauber-wider.html
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url 2015-10-28 13:46
Ted Cruz as Beowulf: Matching Candidates With the Books They Sound Like
Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Beowolf - Anonymous,Gummere
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Persuasion: Large Print Edition - Jane Austen
The Aeneid - Virgil,Robert Fitzgerald

A New York Times article matches the speech patterns of 13(!) American presidential candidates with the books they sound like. There's a fascinating graphic that puts candidates and books on a sort of coordinate plane grid based on where their language use falls from simple to complex (y axis) and negative to positive (x axis).


Most negative? Rand Paul, who's surrounded by the Aeneid and Oliver Twist.


Most simple? Donald Trump (surprised?), who's next to The Legends of King Arthur and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


Hillary's on the positive and complex side of the plane, and most closely matches Austen's Persuasion (which isn't on the grid but is mentioned at the bottom of the article). Ted Cruz is matched with Beowulf. 



Source: jaylia3.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/ted-cruz-as-beowulf-matching-candidates-with-the-books-they-sound-like
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review 2015-07-17 21:28
Review: My Life in Middlemarch
My Life in Middlemarch - Rebecca Mead

While I’ve read probably close to a dozen books that can be classified as bibliomemoir, this is the first I’ve encountered that focuses on a single book as opposed to a selection or progression of many. Rebecca Mead has both physical and emotional ties to Middlemarch, having grown up in the same sort of provincial English town that lies at the heart of George Eliot’s work. Like Eliot and her creation Dorothea Brooke, in her youth Mead was full of restless ambition and saw in Dorothea a mirror of herself. While this initial fellow feeling created a strong attachment to Middlemarch, Mead explores the way each fresh reading created new sensations, as age, experience, and circumstance brought different needs to the text and her own life.


Mead balances her examination of Eliot’s life and work with her own experience adroitly, mostly by placing the majority of her focus on Eliot. Mead is insightful and has a way of capturing Eliot’s defining work in a way that makes me want to read it again to see what she sees. Middlemarch, and Eliot’s work in general, was not a formative reading experience for me; that is reserved (cliché though it may be) for Jane Austen. But since I have experienced something similar in revisiting a great work at different times in my life, I appreciate Mead’s superior skill in conveying what is usually a fairly complicated tangle of literary and personal development, and especially admire her ability to show us aspects of her life without turning it into the sole focus.


While determining whether or not to pick up My Life in Middlemarch, I went back and read a few reviews from major literary outlets. I was excited to see Joyce Carol Oates wrote the review for The New York Times, and I thought much of what she had to say was intriguing enough that I ended up checking the book out from my library. However, having now read the book myself, I’m not so keen on Oates’ analysis. I don’t typically like to write a review that refutes another, but her words kept coming back to me as I began setting down my own impressions of Mead’s book. There is something ironic, maybe even a little bit meta about Oates writing about Mead writing about Eliot, especially as Oates focuses on Mead’s ability to forgo overshadowing the novel with her own experience, while in turn passing her own judgments on Mead and Eliot that carry a whiff of snobbery. I’m sure this adds yet another weird meta-layer; here I am, writing about Oates writing about Mead writing about Eliot. It’s enough to give you a headache, but I can’t seem to resist.


I respect Oates as an author and as a critic. I agree with many of Oates’ observations, like how “[t]here is no irony or postmodernist posturing in Mead’s forthright, unequivocal and unwavering endorsement of George Eliot as both a great novelist and a role model for bright, ambitious, provincially born girls like herself…” Perhaps it is this lack of irony in Mead’s work that prompted Oates to supply her own, as just a few paragraphs later we find her remarking on Mead’s choice of Middlemarch in tones that have more than a little “posturing” of superiority. She observes:


There is something self-limiting if not solipsistic about focusing so narrowly on a single novel through the course of one’s life, as if there were not countless other, perhaps more unsettling, more original, more turbulent, more astonishing, more aesthetically exciting and more intellectually challenging novels — James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” to name one; Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment,” to name another.


This is where I began to lose patience. Perhaps there are “better” books, “more original” writers than Eliot that Mead could have chosen, but this isn’t a work concerned with pure literary criticism, or of taking the usual tactics of bibliomemoir and doing a multi-title reading history of the author. It is true that, as Oates observes, Mead does not supply any “surprises…that have not been uncovered by Eliot biographers,” but she isn’t writing Eliot’s biography. Perhaps Oates would have done well to take another look at the title of the book itself: MY LIFE in Middlemarch. Not “Eliot’s Life in Middlemarch,” or “George Eliot and Middlemarch,” or “Middlemarch is the Best Book Ever and Here’s Why.” This is a book that seeks to explore the personal, often inexplicable connection Mead has experienced with Eliot’s (perhaps greatest) work. The most frustrating part of this is that Oates closes her review on this sour note, suggesting that the book is passably good, but would have been better if Mead had somehow managed to forge a lifelong emotional connection with a better book. Then again, maybe it is also ironic, for me personally, that Oates compares Eliot to Austen (my most influential writer), both being in her words “genteel” and “oblivious to the physical…lives of women.” It would seem she would judge my reading experience in the same light as she does Mead’s, though I will never be able to articulate it half so well, and deep down maybe I feel it as a personal insult of my own reading choices.


This, I think, brings us finally to the point. My Life in Middlemarch seeks to do something difficult, something that involves putting into words an elemental attachment to a work of literature produced over a century and a half ago. She gives us something unequivocally a matter of personal taste and experience. How do we explain those works that have spoken to us most powerfully? Should we apologize when those works don’t meet a certain literary standard? Or be embarrassed if the thing we love somehow falls short of others’ expectations of merit? Mead does a beautiful job of taking something rooted in emotion and shaping it into a narrative that is enlightening (about Eliot, but also about reading, and living) and quietly touching; Mead’s enthusiasm never founders, but neither does it gush. Perhaps it is the lack of histrionics that make it seem easy to dismiss as not “surprising” enough for certain readers, but it is Mead’s measured study of two lives, hers and Eliot’s, combined with a deep and abiding appreciation for Eliot’s work, that gives it resonance. Every reader has a book in which they’ve lived a life and felt an almost sublime connection, and sometimes that book really is merely a “mundane, grand domestic adventure.” But it is our adventure.


Cross-posted on Goodreads: My Life in Middlemarch

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review 2015-06-24 21:39
Review Giveaway & Excerpt: The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M J Rose
The Witch of Painted Sorrows - M.J. Rose






First off, I don’t do much erotica. But, I hate to miss something good, so every once in a while I will give one a try. :-) The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M J Rose is just such a book. I feel this isn’t hard core erotica, but most definitely an adult book. I think it is more about the horror. I was very surprised at how much I loved this dark supernatural story of possession.


Sandrine has left her husband and is hiding at her grandmothers place in Paris. These women characters are not your typical ladies of the 1800s. They refuse to accept the status quo and want more.


Paris is not good for Sandrine, especially after she sees Maison de la Lune, her grandmothers home. Sandrine cannot stay away and proceeds to defy her grandmothers request that she stay away.


As M J Rose describes Sandrine observing her surroundings as if to paint them, it made me think of myself doing the same thing, only as a photographic opportunity – forms, shapes, light and dark. When M J describes Monsieur Duplessi talking about studying a tree for inspiration for designing a house, I couldn’t help but let my smile over Sandrine turn into a big grin. I felt I was destined to read The Witch of Painted Sorrows. I have a passion for trees and believe if I look long enough I will see so much more than leaves, branches and roots, like looking at a cloud and deciphering what shape is hidden inside. Again, I can relate to looking for design, form and lines, light, dark and shadows.


Gothic novels can be hit or miss with me and I was surprised at how involved I became with the story. The Witch of Painted Sorrows has so many elements that interest me. Back in the day, women were expected to be and act a certain way. Sandrine loved dressing like a man, being her own person and having freedom to do what she likes.

Witches. Ghosts. The Grimoire. Evil. Possession. Keeps getting better and better. The historical elements are detailed and the vivid, well developed characters had me so involved in their lives, that I read The Witch of Painted Sorrows from beginning to end in one sitting, even though the beginning was a bit slow. The steady pacing kept me curious, but I didn’t feel that sense of urgency that makes me race through the pages. The story is wrapped up neatly and there is no cliffhanger.


I received an ARC of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M J Rose in return for an honest review.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars




THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS (Daughters of La Lune #1)


by M.J. Rose

Gothic Historical Fantasy

Published by Atria Books on March 17th, 2015

Cover: Alan Dingman


Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.


Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.


Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul”, her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.


Praise for The Witch of Painted Sorrows


This bell époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions.” —People Magazine

Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting…will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover….a ‘must-have’ novel.” —Suspense Magazine


A haunting tale of erotic love…. M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end.” —Examiner.com


Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page.” —Associated Press

Haunting tale of possession.” —Publishers Weekly


Rose’s new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” —Kirkus


Mixes reality and illusion, darkness and light, mystery and romance into an adult fairy tale. [Rose] stirs her readers curiosities and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Unforgettable, full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will be long savored.” —Library Journal (Starred Review)


An elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told….melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.” —Providence Journal

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Paris, France April 1894


I did not cause the madness, the deaths, or the rest of the tragedies any more than I painted the paintings. I had help, her help. Or perhaps I should say she forced her help on me. And so this story—which began with me fleeing my home in order to escape my husband and might very well end tomorrow, in a duel, in the Bois de Boulogne at dawn—is as much hers as mine. Or in fact more hers than mine. For she is the fountainhead. The fascination. She is La Lune. Woman of moon dreams, of legends and of nightmares. Who took me from the light and into the darkness. Who imprisoned me and set me free.


Or is it the other way around?


“Your questions,” my father always said to me, “will be your saving grace. A curious mind is the most important attribute any man or woman can possess. Now if you can just temper your impulsiveness…”


If I had a curious mind, I’d inherited it from him. And he’d nurtured it. Philippe Salome was on the board of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and helped found the American Museum of Natural History, whose cornerstone was laid on my fifth birthday.

I remember sitting atop my father’s shoulders that day, watching the groundbreaking ceremony and thinking the whole celebration was for me. He called it “our museum,” didn’t he? And for much of my life I thought it actually did belong to us, along with our mansion on Fifth Avenue and our summerhouse in Newport. Until it was gone, I understood so little about wealth and the price you pay for it. But isn’t that always the way?


Our museum’s vast halls and endless exhibit rooms fascinated me as much as they did my father—which pleased him, I could tell. We’d meander through exhibits, my small hand in his large one, and he’d keep me spellbound with stories about items on display. I’d ask for more, always just one more, and he’d laugh and tease: “My Sandrine, does your capacity for stories know no bounds?”


But it pleased him, and he’d always tell me another.


I especially loved the stories he told me about the gems and fate and destiny always ending them by saying: “You will make your own fate, Sandrine, I’m sure of it.”


Was my father right? Do we make our own destiny? I think back now to the stepping-stones that I’ve walked to reach this moment in time.


Were the incidents of my making? Or were they my fate?


The most difficult steps I took were after certain people died. No deaths were caused by me, but at the same time, none would have occurred were it not for me.


So many deaths. The first was on the morning of my fifteenth birthday, when I saw a boy beaten and tragically die because of our harmless kisses. The next was the night almost ten years later, when I heard the prelude to my father’s death and learned the truth about Benjamin, my husband. And then there were more. Each was an end-ing that, ironically, became a new beginning for me.


The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I’ve even seen it. I’ve been bathed in it. I’ve been changed by it.





New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president. Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.







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Source: www.fundinmental.com/review-giveaway-excerpt-the-witch-of-painted-sorrows-by-m-j-rose
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review 2015-03-10 21:12
The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
The Butter Battle Book: (New York Times Notable Book of the Year) (Classic Seuss) - Dr. Seuss

I did not read this book until high school, a good time to be introduced to the ideas behind the Butter Battle. Like You're Only Old Once!, this book is more for adults than children. I use to think they were outliers but after reading Dr. Seuss Goes to War, I learned he had a history of political comics and humor. That comes out quite a bit here.


A man is telling his grandson why the Yooks and Zooks are in conflict. The former eat butter side up bread while the later eat it with the butter side down. The tale goes on to show the escalation of the war as uniforms grow grander and weapons grow deadlier. The last weapon threatens all life and each side has one, waiting to drop it...

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