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review 2017-11-14 22:08
All At Sea
All at Sea: A Memoir - Decca Aitkenhead

This book is a step-by-step in how not to behave like an adult. This woman did nothing a rational grown up would, and so I had no ability to connect with her. She left her marriage, which is fine, but she left it for a coke dealing crack smoker. And then she wants you to believe that being a dealer is boring and not all that dangerous. They play house, have 2 children and never marry (because marriage is only a piece of paper). And then it turns out he's still married to another woman. When he dies, she seems genuinely shocked she has a nightmare of logistics on her hands. Yes, honey, that's what happens when you don't marry a man but instead just intertwine your lives. His will left everything to his legal wife.

 

Plus, most of this book was just circling the drain of her constant sorrow. With pretty words. Lots and lots of pretty words. Over 200 pages, and there wasn't much substance. Just "my love died and my life is over and my kids are out of control". She had a down-her-nose view of anyone of faith, she wouldn't let the kids call her Mum, and she epitomized the idea you can be educated and still be dumb.

 

I'm proud of myself for finishing this.

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review 2017-11-11 12:17
Between Two Fires - An Enjoyable Re-read
Between Two Fires: A Novel - Mark Noce

Author: Mark Noce

Series: Queen Branwen #1

Rating: 4 stars

 

Book Blurb: Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales' last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King. But the fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen becomes the target of assassination attempts and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan, her world threatens to tear itself apart.

Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

 

This was an enjoyable re-read in preparation for the release of  Dark Wind Rising, the sequel. 

 

This book, again,  proves I'm a moody reader. Reading this book last year I felt "meh" about it. This time around I couldn't put it down. I really got into the mystery and although I remembered most of the twist I had forgotten bits and pieces.

 

Branwen is a good character- young and immature at first, making impulsive far-reaching decisions without thinking things through. But she comes into her own nicely. 

As with the first reading, I felt that first person present tense is not my cup of tea- BUT, and this is a big "but",  the story is strong. This book could be a tv show, a good one in my opinion. The mystery arc is this book's strength.  And the political intrigue is handled quite well. It also deals with a time that is not done to death but is still popular. The "tense" issue still dings the book for me- that and the overuse of the word azure to describe characters'  eyes. After a while, I was like "BLUE just say BLUE already!" But I'm being picky.

I look forward to reading the next in this series. A side note: if you wanted to read this as a standalone you can, the story wraps up nicely. It actually took me by surprise when I found out there was another book.  

 

Recommend.

 

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review 2017-11-07 06:01
Jillian
Jillian (Women of the Fellowship) - Julia A. Royston,Claude R. Royston

 

Title: Jullian
Author: Julia A. Royston
Publisher: Royston Publishing
Series: Women of the Fellowship Book 1
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Jillian" by Julia A. Royston

My Thoughts.....

I felt this was a beautifully written romance that will give you food for thought long after the read. I really enjoyed how this author was able to give the reader such a good read that answered the questions for Jullian Forrester and that was ...'Where was her love?... When will it be her turn?...Will all be happy for you when the right man comes?' Well, all I will say all of the questions and a lots more will be answered as you pick up "Jillian" to see what all will go on in Jillian's life. As one will clearing see that she only wants what a lots of us wants and that is be be truly happy with the one you love. All of the characters were simply well developed, portrayed and just plain interesting helping make this story quite interesting where one will find it hard to put down until the end.

I will say this story even though was somewhat predictable in some areas it was still a good read and I liked how this author brought a Christian aspect into this story. I will say the ending did caught me by surprise ...just when you think you know someone do you really? I will say I had wished for a epilogue because there were some areas that I though may have needed to be addressed and I definitely wanted to learn more about the upcoming wedding. However, I think the readers will enjoy "Jullian" because I certainly did. Wow, if only one call find a Byron! Would I recommend this series? YES! I am also looking forward to reading the second and third books in 'The Women of Fellowship.'


 

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text 2017-11-06 00:46
Reading progress update: I've read 192 out of 393 pages.
The Lady in the Tower - Jean Plaidy

I have been in a little bit of a reading rut lately. I've been going back to "comfort" book in hopes of digging myself out. I started re-reading the Harry Potter novels but that's not helping. 

 

I have turned to Jean Plaidy to help me out. So far it seems to be working. There is just something about these books that instantly makes me feel better. Maybe it's because they bring me back to my ultimate comfort zone. These books instantly remind me of being 15, curled up in corner of my grandma's sewing room devouring book after book. My grandmother had shelves full of Jean Plaidy books. Even today, reading Plaidy instantly brings me back to that place. 

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review 2017-11-03 00:38
My American Nightmare
My American Nightmare: Women In Horror Anthology - Azzurra Nox,Nicky Peacock

I'm late, as usual, reporting the rest of my Halloween Bingo squares...but this one was for Terrifying Women!

 

Ghosts, zombies, slashers, abductions, creepy dolls, and of course witches are included in this selection of creepy short stories. All written by women  My American Nightmare  contains everything from macabre to disturbing, perfect for Halloween time reading. With all stories set in the United States of America, some stories are historically set, some are current, the stories range from new horror to familiar retellings.    With all short story collections I enjoyed some stories more than others, however with Halloween right around the corner I gobbled up all the stories and appreciated the atmosphere that they gave to this time of year.  

One of my favorite stories was the Ballad of Sorrow and Lila which shows the power of strong feelings and why a bully never wins.

I also enjoyed The Pickman Sisters of Salem which will reverberate with any who loves Hocus Pocus.  

The last story in the grouping was a perfect send-off.  Mr. Button's Tea Party had a lot of elements, abductions, dolls and disfigurement; however, the creepiest part was that it felt like something that might actually happen to a person or a story you might hear about on the news.  This is one that I would have loved to see expanded upon. 


Overall, these short stories show that women in horror makes for a wonderfully spooky mix. 

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