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review 2017-12-11 23:55
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 9 Reads (Winter Solstice / Yaldā Night and Yuletide)
The Poetry - David Shaw-Parker,Christina Rossetti,Ghizela Rowe
Goblin Market - Christina Rossetti
A Christmas Visitor - Anne Perry
Colour Scheme - Ngaio Marsh,Ric Jerrom
Colour Scheme - Ngaio Marsh

Book themes for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book of poetry.

Book themes for Yuletide: Read a book set in the midst of a snowy or icy winter.

 

Holiday Book Joker as Bonus Joker: A book set on Winter Solstice (or Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere)

 

  

 

Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night Read: Christina Rossetti: The Poetry

A wonderful reading of some of Christina Rossetti's best-known poems by David Shaw-Parker and Ghizela Rowe, including her long narrative The Goblin Market, which I also own (and reread, for the occasion) in a delightful hardcopy edition illustrated with images by Christina's elder brother, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Not holiday reading per se (and The Goblin Market is decidedly dark), but still very fitting poetic complementary material for the holiday season.  Highly recommended!

 

  

 

Yuletide Read: Anne Perry: A Christmas Visitor

Anne Perry's Christmas novellas are spin-offs of her major Victorian series (Thomas & Charlotte Pitt, and William Monk, respectively), featuring supporting characters from those series as their protagonists.  A Christmas Visitor is the second of those novellas, and its protagonist is Henry Stanhope, a mathematician friend of William Monk's.  Stanhope travels to the snow-laden Lake District to spend Christmas with the family of his longstanding friend Judah Dreghorn; only to discover that just prior to his arrival Judah has apparently slipped on a set of ice-sheeted stones crossing a brook on his estate.  What initially looked like an accident, at closer inspection is revealed to be murder, and while everybody's favorite and allegedly most likely suspect is soon found, it falls to Henry to find out what really happened.

 

Perry's writing is very atmospheric and captures the Lake District, 19th century rural society, and the Christmas spirit to perfection -- I loved this story right up until its very end, which (even for a Christmas book) struck me as overly moralizing and sentimental on the one hand, and just that decisive bit too neat on the other hand.  (Readers not enamored of mysteries hingeing on certain points of law might be turned off on those grounds)  Still, for a quick read to get into the spirit of the season (and be served up a nicely-plotted mystery into the bargain), I could hardly have done better -- and the stellar reading by Terrence Hardiman contributed greatly to my enjoyment.

 

  

 

Winter Solstice Book Joker Bonus Read: Ngaio Marsh: Colour Scheme

One of my favorite mysteries from Ngaio Marsh's Roderick Alleyn series, here served up in an unabridged reading by Ric Jerrom.  The story is set in Marsh's native New Zealand and begins on Summer Solstice, which is Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and thus makes the book eligible for this particular holiday's book joker.

 

The mystery is set at a spa hotel near a hot springs / mud pot / small version of Yellowstone National Park type of area, where a gentleman who has made one enemy too many (i.e., your classic Golden Age murder victim) one day is found to have fallen into a boiling hot mud pot.  (He may or may not also have been a German spy -- the story is set in the 1940s -- but this is one of the rare exceptions of a Golden Age mystery with that kind of angle that is blessedly devoid of "5th column" shenanigans, and where the war background is actually used skillfully to demonstrate how WWII affected daily life even in seemingly remote New Zealand.)  Also present at the spa is, inter alia, a star of the British stage and screen (unabashedly based on Sir Laurence Olivier) -- secretary in tow -- as well as, arriving on the day after the "accidental" death that very probably wasn't an accident, a Mr. Septimus Small, whom none of the other denizens of the spa manage to figure out, and who soon inspires the wildest conjectures as to his identity and occupation.

 

Upon revisiting the mystery -- thanks in no small part to Ric Jerrom's excellent narration and portrayal of the characters -- I found the story's inner logic (and the path to the solution) decidedly more obvious than when I first read it a few years ago, but then again, this time I knew where the whole thing was headed and, consequently, I was not as distracted by minutiae as the first time around.

 

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text 2015-03-05 07:54
TBR Thursday #30 - Part 2
Secondhand Memories - Takatsu
The Summer Solstice: Enchanted - K.K. Allen
The Venus Trap - Louise Voss
Ugly Young Thing - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes
The One That Got Away - Simon Wood
Edward Scissorhands Volume 1: Parts Unknown - Kate Leth,Drew Rausch
Woodstock: Master of Disguise: A Peanuts Collection - Charles M. Schulz

Secondhand Memories

 

Originally serialized and made popular online in 2008 (Textnovel), with a readership of over 90,000, Secondhand Memories pioneered the Japanese cell phone novel phenomenon in the English-speaking world, marking a moment in history of a new literary movement among thousands of young writers and readers globally. The remarkably unique fusion of simple haiku-like poetic technique and prose narrative has re-envisioned technology, youth culture, community and literature. - Seiji and Aoi have been inseparable childhood friends and eventually, high school sweethearts. Believing in naive dreams and love, all seems well until a tragedy separates them with a chasm of frozen time. As one struggles with the aftermath, the world moves on, while the other remains still. Battered by temptation and the pressure to grow up, he discovers that life is more complicated than he thought – and that the heart and mind is quite vulnerable to change. Secondhand Memories is an emotional young adult coming-of-age story: a journey about the meaning of growing up, love, loss and sacrifice.

 

The Summer Solstice: Enchanted

 

After Katrina "Kat" Summer’s mother dies a mysterious and tragic death, Kat is hurtled into life at Apollo Beach. Her estranged and cryptic grandmother Rose fills Kat with legends of her Ancient Greek Ancestors from which the Summer family descends. Kat’s world begins to unravel as secrets from her heritage are exposed – secrets that her mother purposefully concealed. Leading to her birthday, the day of the Summer Solstice, Kat becomes frightened when enigmatic visions and disturbing dreams haunt her. When her visions become reality, her fear turns to terror as powerful forces threaten the lives of those around her. Amidst the turmoil, Kat meets Alec Stone, her gorgeous neighbor, who becomes her sole solace in an evocative world of mythological enchantment and evil prophecies that lurk around every corner…

 

The Venus Trap

 

Jo Atkins’ sixteenth year was disastrous: she lost her dad, was assaulted by a stranger, and then had her heart broken. For the last twenty-five years, she’s believed that nothing could ever be as bad again. She was wrong. Now, still smarting from her recent divorce, pretty, self-effacing Jo finally gathers the courage to enter the dating scene. She meets Claudio, whom she vaguely remembers from her youth, but after a few dates decides he’s creepy and politely tells him ‘thanks but no thanks’. But Claudio has no intention of letting her go. Instead of never seeing him again, Jo wakes up sick and terrified, handcuffed to her own bed. She is given a week to prove her love for Claudio—or he will kill her. Claudio, it turns out, is a man with nothing left to lose. The Venus Trap tackles the emotional impact of divorce, the perils of modern dating and the age-old powers of lust and obsession.

 

Ugly Young Thing

 

Sixteen-year-old Allie has already experienced a lifetime of horror, having lost her mother and serial killer brother to mental illness. Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana, Allie ends up in foster care and is placed with Miss Bitty, an eccentric but kindly older woman who shows her a new direction and brighter future. But Allie’s new life takes a devastating turn when young women in the area start turning up dead, and she begins to see shadowy figures outside her bedroom. As Miss Bitty grows inexplicably distant, a nagging voice makes Allie wonder if death has found her yet again…or if it never really left her at all.

 

 

The One That Got Away

 

Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.With an unforgettable heroine, a chillingly disturbed psychopath, and a story that moves at breakneck speed, The One That Got Away is thriller writer Simon Wood at his finest.

 

Edward Scissorhands

 

An all-new adventure revisiting Edward Scissorhands' two decades after the end of the fan-favorite movie! In a castle just outside a sleepy suburban town, a brilliant inventor created Edward Scissorhands... but left him tragically unfinished. Two generations of exile have left Edward digging through abandoned experiments, but once he wakes up a creature left buried, he discovers he isn't the only one missing a vital piece. As Edward tries to fix a grave mistake, he comes face-to-face with a teenage girl who was sure he was only myth... despite the stories her grandmother told her about the man she could never touch.

 

Woodstock: Master of Disguise

 

Do a happy dance for another AMP! Comics for Kids Peanuts collection!Woodstock might be the smallest of all the Peanuts gang, but he's got a lot to say, even if Snoopy is the only one who understands him. That's because Snoopy is Woodstock's;Friend of Friends; and together they write masterpieces, fly airplanes, find the perfect place to nap, and win over the hearts of readers all over the world. Whether he's falling in love with a snowflake or crash-landing on the tip of Snoopy's nose, Woodstock is the little yellow bird with a big personality. It takes more than a strong wind to ruffle Woodstock's feathers, although it's a good thing he has Snoopy to keep his little yellow feet on the ground. Don't miss out on the newest AMP! Peanuts collection featuring Woodstock, the most recognizable yellow bird in the world: even in disguise! Charles Schulz's Peanuts is one of the most timeless and beloved comic strips ever. Now AMP! is carrying on that legacy with new collections of Peanuts classics for middle-grade readers. First published in 1950, the classic Peanuts strip now appears in more than 2,200 newspapers in 75 countries in 25 languages. Phrases such as security blanket, and good grief, which originated in the Peanuts world, are now part of the global vernacular, and images of Charles Schulz's classic characters--Charlie Brown kicking the football, Lucy leaning over Schroeder's piano--are now universally recognized. Together these books will introduce a new generation of kids to the lovable cast in time for the new animated Peanuts movie, which hits theaters in 2015

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review 2015-01-05 07:01
The Summer Solstice: Enchanted - K.K. Allen

The story was satisfying and written well (although not as lyrical as many reviewers have claimed), but not groundbreaking in the least. The characters were well developed and very likeable. The pacing was nice, no lagging or rushed scenes. The magic wasn't revealed right away and Kat doesn't have instant mastery over her abilities which made it feel authentic. This is the writer's debut novel which happens to be a lot better than many first timers I have read but as I said, there wasn't anything groundbreaking about the story. It kept my attention throughout and the budding romance was not too sugary sweet or insta- love. The book was just getting into the juicy bits when it ended rather abruptly, a good tactic to ensure you will seek out the next in the series (which I will most likely check out). All in all Summer Solstice was an easygoing, light, enjoyable read. 

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text 2014-07-11 12:27
Best Paranormal Romances Set in Summer
Summer Heat - Jaci Burton
Summer Pleasures - Anya Bast
Summer of the Unicorn - Kay Hooper
Summer Romance - Traci Mitchell,K. Abell
My Vampire Summer - Elle Casey
Fae High Summer Hunt - Renee Michaels
The Forever Summer - Suzanne Macpherson
A Late Summer Bloom - Cherrie Mack
The Summer Solstice: Enchanted - K.K. Allen
Suddenly One Summer - Barbara Freethy

This list is for you challenge addicted folks who need a book set in Summer or with Summer in the title. 

 

If you are a Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction Romance, and Fantasy Romance fan, it seems that for these  Reading Challenges you have to wander away from your favorite genre into Contemporary and Historical to meet the requirements.

 

Here are some lovely PNR Romance ranging from Young Adult to the Erotic  Romance set in the season of lemonade and heat.

 

Enjoy! 

 

1. Summer Heat by Jaci Burton 

2. Summer of Unicorn by Kay Hooper 

3. My Vampire Summer by Elle Casey

4. The Forever Summer by Suzanne Macpherson 

5. The Summer Solstice: Enchanted by K.K. Allen 

6. Suddenly One Summer  by Barbara Freethy

7. A Late Summer Bloom by Cherrie Mack

8. Fae High Summer Hunt by Renee Michaels 

9. Summer Romance by Traci Mitchell 

10. Summer Pleasures by Anya Bast 

 

Do you have a Summer Set PNR, SFR, or Fantasy Romance to recommend? Please do! 

 

To vote for the best of the best, go to the Goodreads list: Best Paranormal Romances Set in Summer.

 

Also, be sure to indulge yourself in my Pinterest Board.: Summer Reads: Romance Set in the Summertime which is full of recommendations and scene of Summer love. 

 

If you missed any of the lists in this series,  be sure to check out my other recommended reads of Summertime Romance!

 

Great Summertime Contemporary Romances

Best Historical Romances Set in Summer

 

 

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text 2014-06-21 12:50
Magic times...

Happy Midsummer and Summer Solstice, everyone!

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