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review 2017-03-13 01:53
Book 5/100: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus - L. Frank Baum

When I was young, the toy-mation movie adaptation of this book was one of my favorite Christmas movies ever. It still is, although I don't watch it with the regularity of, say Muppet Christmas Carol. It was always a bit obscure -- it was not played every year like Rudolph or Frosty, and a lot of people had never seen it. I was thrilled to finally find it on VHS and later on DVD so that I can enjoy it for every Christmas and share it with my own kid(s) someday.

All of that preamble is to say that it was impossible for me to read this without my perception being clouded by nostalgia. Because the movie actually follows the book very well, reading the book was like seeing the movie in my mind once again -- and we've already established that I love the movie. Objectively speaking, if I read this without the context of my fondness for it, it may have felt a little like one of those books that was just one thing happening after the other without a really clear through-line. On the other hand, the prose was very often quite beautiful and it was easy to get swept away in the magic of the setting and the nostalgia of a Christmas origin story. I do think it's a pity that this is not as well known as Baum's Oz books, because I found it to be just as magical (although, like the Oz books, it did get a little clunky at the end.)

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text 2017-03-09 12:08
Paryska nieznajoma - Montefiore Santa

Większość pisarzy mówi, że trudno jest im myśleć o kolejnej książce, kiedy wciąż mocno przywiązani są do tej, którą właśnie skończyli. Uwierzcie, że nie jest łatwo podjąć następne wyzwanie i zacząć kreować nowych bohaterów oraz linię fabularną, gdy w głowie nadal uparcie tkwią postacie, które jeszcze tak niedawno stanowiły centrum życia autora. Santa Montefiore nie mogła i nie chciała umieszczać akcji swojej kolejnej powieści we Włoszech, ponieważ ta, którą właśnie ukończyła nierozerwalnie wiązała się ze słoneczną Italią. Postanowiła więc oddać w ręce czytelników coś zgoła odmiennego. Autorka mnóstwo czasu spędziła w Szwajcarii, gdzie mieszkała matka jej ojca. Tak więc praktycznie każdej zimy cała rodzina Santy Montefiore wyjeżdżała do malowniczej Szwajcarii. Choć jako dziecko Autorka bardzo lubiła spędzać wakacje w miejscach, gdzie mogła wygrzewać się w promieniach słońca, to jednak wykorzystywała każdą okazję, aby móc wyjechać na narty. Nigdy nie narzekała, że tak właśnie się dzieje i że musi zamienić słońce na śnieg. Uwielbiała jeździć na nartach i podziwiać piękno gór, które sprawiały jej równie dużo przyjemności, jak toskańskie morze.

 

Akcja powieści Paryska nieznajoma została umiejscowiona w angielskim hrabstwie Hampshire, zaś miasteczko, w którym żyją bohaterowie powstało na wzór Alresford. Jeden z przyjaciół Santy Montefiore posiada wspaniałą i malowniczą rezydencję na obrzeżach tegoż miasteczka, położoną w wiosce o nazwie Ropley. Tak więc pewnego dnia Autorka pomyślała sobie, że będzie to idealne miejsce do umieszczenia akcji powieści. Oczywiście wiele elementów związanych z powieściowym Fairfield Park zostało wymyślonych przez nią samą. A zatem farma fikcyjnych Framptonów to nic innego, jak połączenie dwóch posiadłości, czyli szwajcarskiej należącej do rodziny ojca Autorki oraz tej, której właścicielem jest jej przyjaciel. Przyznam, że to naprawdę wspaniałe, kiedy można tak bez ograniczeń żonglować wyobraźnią, aby ostatecznie wymyślić coś zupełnie nowego, lecz mimo to wciąż tkwiącego w prawdziwych realiach.

 

 

Przeczytaj całość

 

 

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review 2017-03-08 07:16
I'm on a blizzard streak!
Whiteout (Seasons of Love) (Volume 1) - Elyse Springer
4 HEARTS-- Before reading : Amnesia and a stranded trope?

*cackles wildly*

Want!

After reading : Damn, no matter how hard I try, I just can't escape the Santa jizz. ;P

Debut novel by Elyse Springer, Whiteout has more to offer than just Jizzmas (thankfully). I went in expecting a lot of snow, a guy with amnesia possibly regaining his memory, some romance and more snow.



And we do get that.
But it's more than just a standard amnesia trope. (Gah, do I enjoy the amnesia trope)

Noah Landers wakes up not remembering who his is after hitting his head while on his Christmas Colorado vacation. His older lover, Jason O'Reilly, attends to injured and memory lost Noah's every need as best as he can while they are stuck in their vacation cabin. Following medical orders from a doctor on the phone, Jason lets Noah work through his thoughts and see if his retrograde amnesia will sort itself out as Noah heals.

The thing is, something is off to Noah. In the back of his consciousness, something is ringing false. Who can he trust while he is stuck in the woods, and has rely on a man he feels a connection to but isn't sure if he can trust.

Springer creates a mystery, slowly piecing along the puzzle of Noah Landers. Can we trust Jason with the crumbs of info Noah gets out of him? Can we trust Noah? With all these questions, the lovers have a shared chemistry that can't be faked. The author doesn't have her men jump directly into the sack for the couple of days of being stranded. The sexual tension builds as well as the intrigue.




Whiteout is separated in two parts, Part 1 set in a small Colorado cabin - 60% and Part 2 is back in NYC. Part 1 is the entire mystery of Noah, which I solved somewhere around 25% of the story. But I couldn't stop from reading to see their individual reactions. Even with the sugar and Jizzmas feels that Jason slathered in that cabin. I know there are Christmas tradition people out there, but I was leery along with Noah with some of the demonstrations.

Expect sweet romance that got to be borderline sugar coma for parts of Part 1.

And when it ends, well that's when the true work begins for Noah. (You can kinda guess how part 1 closes out)

Part 2 was well matched for part 1, despite being slightly shorter in length. It made me appreciate and adore the schoompy sugar of part 1. No more mystery. Now we get to read the men in their habitat. Kudos to the author writing a great portrayal of NYC (including Brooklyn). It definitely read like winter in NYC.

What I didn't except was the love affair with Broadway.




That passion along with the hurt/comfort aspect, second chances and learning who the real Noah is with him for the second time around was exciting to read. The author had a great balance with main and secondary characters (glad to see Noah's friends will lead in the other three books in the series) They were really great friends. And flashbacks go either way for me when I read a flashback heavy romance. Springer did a great job with using them without the main plot getting lost.

This was definitely plot heavy without making the story too angsty to read. With solid characters, realistic angst (part 2) and reading how a certain someone redeems himself...how could I not be hooked. I don't have much issues with Whiteout, the editing, pacing were great. The sugar was a tad heavy but after reflecting back, it's just the kind of guy Jason is. The revenge angle...personally I could have done without it but it's necessary for the plot.

When you read the novel, you'll see. ;)

Great couple, great characters and a sweet plot with droplets of hurt/comfort to break it up.

Recommended for fans of second chances with a side helping of amnesia.

I'll be reading more from this author for sure.




A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.
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review 2017-03-06 06:35
Laissez les bons temps rouler, bebe!
Lagniappe: An Iron Lace Story - Mercy Celeste

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler, bebe!



Whoo boy, was this an unexpected surprise from MC.
A Jizzmas gift from a fave MC couple, Darcy and Caleb (Remy)!

Mercy Celeste is my kinda comfort read: hot times between passionate guys and dramatics to keep the page turning.

And for less than 100 pgs, we get just that.

Lagniappe starts months later from the ending of Behind Iron Lace. The couple is going strong in Oregon. But Darcy is Darcy, clueless and trying to help everyone. And Caleb's new restaurant & bar is almost open.

But their exes won't let the lovebirds be great. Jealousies, light OTT antics and a plot twist that you could see a mile coming happens in this Jizzmas tale. Throw in insatiable sex and chemistry when their exes aren't testing Darcy and Caleb's limits.

The ending isn't one I saw coming (for a pair of secondary characters). I'm kinda happy with it. Expect twists

a baby!

(spoiler show)



This is an erotic glimpse in the future. The Cajun is just as hot and volatile. *grins*

There were a few editing issues but I didn't care. I came for Darcy and Caleb and their hot loving.

And it's what I got.

Also, I'd like to thank my secret Jizzmas Santa for getting me this. You're A++++!

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review 2017-03-04 23:06
Children's Review: Santa's First Vegan Christmas
Santa's First Vegan Christmas - Robin Raven

We received this book to give an honest review. 

 

The pictures were cute though my daughter pointed out that Santa really needed to eat a lot of cookies because she didn't see his belly. I had to explain that some people have different views of Santa. She also was very sad to see Santa get upset as he isn't suppose to. So for the little ones you may have to explain why exactly he is huffing and puffing. 

In this story we see how one little reindeer steps up to help Santa not follow the normal route of Christmas. Instead of using reindeer to pull the sleigh she has a different idea on how he can deliver all the presents. 

Very cute story that is not only good around Christmas time but for bedtime as well.

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