It is the Friday Feature Follow!
If you could get an ARC of any book, already published, or not yet, what would it be? – via Words I Write Crazy
It is the Friday Feature Follow!
Doctors have no choice but to rebuild Jack’s face, and the result changes everything. Can Jack and Kinley overcome his transformation from geek to chic, a secret double life, and a horde of willing women who have discovered the new Jack Reeves? Will the frog ever become the prince and ride off with his princess to live happily ever after?
How do you organize your bookshelves?
Some of us dread this question. I am sometimes one of them. Especially if I have moved within the last year…which has been four times in the last three years. My bookcase is always one of the first things I unpack. Maybe because the boxes are so heavy…
I didn’t have
a bookcase a space reserved for books growing up. It wasn’t really until I was halfway through college that I really started my own collection of books and building up my personal library.
My shelves originally started out as stacks of books on and in my headboard. As I bought books, I tried grouping them by genre, but sometimes the different sizes of books got in the way of that. And then I just started getting so many books on my TBR that I just started stacking them up next to the lantern.
After I graduated college, I bought a bookcase. True, it’s not the best and
one day will fall apart on me has fallen apart on me, but for now it works. When I first bought it I had it organized the best, and I’m trying to get back to that. Despite the photos I took, I just couldn’t seem to replicate this organizational pattern after I moved…and then moved again 6 months later…and then again 7 months later. Erg.
I think I was avoiding my physical books because they are not organized how I know they were. And also I have so many books I need to review that it’s becoming ridiculous. I have even made a stack of books that need to go away next to my bookcase, and I don’t feel that I’ve gotten that many more books to throw off the balance so much.
So I finally sat down and did some serious book labor.
Top Shelf: anthologies, six copies of my college graduation booklet, some Story Plant books, recently acquired books, bookish things and bookmarks, my sign that needs to go to school and the temporary home to my vase (now permanently homed in my bedroom)
All these books are on my TBR.
First Shelf: DOUBLE STACKED random books
All these books are on my TBR.
Second Shelf: DOUBLE STACKED on the ends, home to my two favorite series (Bloody Jack and Outlander), my literary YA books, a few random books standing up on my TBR, and on the far right in the back my Kristin Hannah and Elin Hilderbrand books and some historical fiction about Edward Plantagenet and King Richard III
Bottom Shelf: (clockwise from back left) DOUBLE STACKED with the classics, some nonfiction and other oddities, partial Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection, Hunger Games, a few literary fiction and randoms, some romance novels
Most of the classics in that are hidden in the back left I have not read, and some of the ones standing up (like my Outlander Companion and flower book).
On the Right: The small stack of books I have weeded out are off the to side. I read all but one.
Top Shelf: (clockwise from back left) anthologies, all Story Plant Books, books I purchased for my classroom, immediately-next TBRs, YA books, the book of my name
All these books are on my TBR.
First Shelf: (clockwise from back left) romances, literary fiction, historical fiction, light and chicklit type reads…DOUBLE STACKED on the outside
All these books are on my TBR.
Second Shelf: This shelf didn’t change much. I added a few books in the middle to my literary YA stack and the standing books and removed some from the back right stack.
Bottom Shelf: This shelf also didn’t change much. It only received my hardback copy of Huck Finn and a few to add to my randoms pile on the front right.
On the Right: I added more to my go-away pile!!
(Fun Fact: I always thought it was Mr. De Vil…like Cruella De Vil…until I looked it up!)
Photo courtesy of KissinBlueKaren
Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.
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This is a weekly meme originally hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading, but is now hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.
OK. I just finished several books back to back and have a four-day training with an hour drive each way, so I’m not getting much reading done right now. I haven’t started this book, but it’s the book currently open on my Kindle that I’m going to read when I have any spare moments this week.
I’m going to give Striking Out a try. I’m not sure what to expect from this one. We’ll see!
I finally finished The Banished Craft. It seemed to drag in the middle and then picked back up toward the end. I love the library on the cover, but Cor is not supposed to be there…hence the running and looking worriedly over her shoulder.
I didn’t particularly care for the synopsis after reading the book. It doesn’t even begin to cover what the book is about. There is so much more, it’s like a macrocosm of Cor and Atesh’s worlds. I was also intrigued that the author incorporated so many contemporary social issues into the storylines. I talk about those in my review, but I’m sure I’ve missed a few things. Look for my review mid-August.
I also quickly finished Angela Carling’s new book, The Secret Keeper. I didn’t realize at first that this is the beginning of a new series.
Winter was an interesting character, as was her dealing with the mysterious Secret Keeper.
Look for this review in late August.
Aaand I finished Ella, the Slayer early yesterday morning before the training. I will admit that I once again was seduced by cover love. I’m starting to think it is like an affliction, or addiction, and I cannot kick it. Is that something to complain about? 🙂
It will also admit this book did have an element that is listed under my “banned” section for my review policy, but this was a self-selected book and I found the zombie part was very tame until the last bit toward the end. It made me squeamish and grossed me out, but not to the degree it could have.
Did I mention this is my last review book for August? I am already on to September! Whoot whoot!
Y’all! I will say I am impressed with myself. My next two reads are for September reviews! I am hoping to keep ahead like this. I picked out Sucking in San Francisco because it looked like a fun read and I need something a little light after such heavy reading this past month.
How about you? What are you reading this week?
Welcome to my stop for The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak. This is the first book in her Fairham Island series. It is a women’s fiction novel that releases July 28th. The tour runs July 27- Aug. 7 with mostly reviews and a few interviews and guest posts. I’m just one of the many stops for the tour, so be sure to check out the tour page.
Did she once have a sister? Has her mother lied all these years? Why?
After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who’s asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.
Instead, she finds herself living next door to someone else she’d prefer to avoid—Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at sixteen. He’s back on the island, and to her surprise, he’s raising a young daughter alone. Maisey’s still attracted to him, but her heart’s too broken to risk…
Then something even more disturbing happens. She discovers a box of photographs that evoke distant memories of a little girl, a child Keith remembers, too. Maisey believes the girl must’ve been their sister, but their mother claims there was no sister.
Maisey’s convinced that child existed. So where is she now?
Maisey returns home to Fairham Island to lick her wounds after her divorce. She also comes to help her troubled brother, Keith, keep it together. But she makes a grievous mistake by not staying with her elitist mother at Coldiron House and suffers through the wrath of her mother and added strain with her brother. Instead, she stays in the one place on the island where she feels a connection to her father, Smuggler’s Cove. The nine bungalows will be her inheritance, and they are in serious need of repair after a recent hurricane. Only problem is Rafe Romero now owns one and is constantly around. As Rafe repairs the bungalows, he finds a metal box filled with photos that rock Maisey’s world. Has there been a lie hidden in Coldiron House all these years? Who could help her uncover the truth that her mother and brother don’t want her to find?
Maisey Lazarow – daughter of Josephine Coldiron and Malcolm Lazarow, younger sister of Keith, famous children’s book author and illustrator, retreating to start over after the failure of her marriage, she is strong and a very private person
Keith took advantage of people and then moved on. It wasn’t intention as much as it was a matter of convenience. He’d never had to try very hard to get what he wanted, so it never meant a lot to him. He took the generosity of others for granted – and expected anyone he tossed aside to still be there if he decided to return.
Keith Lazarow -Maisey’s older brother, has always had problems, uses and abuses people for his own gain, has always been protective of Maisey
Josephine had always been a harsh disciplinarian, extremely self-centered and absolutely convinced that her opinion was the only one that mattered. She demanded absolute control of everyone and everything around her.
Josephine Lazarow – mother of Keith and Maisey, she is haughty and cold, used to getting her way, has had multiple husbands, owns nearly all of Fairham Island
Other than his five-o’clock shadow, his skin was smooth and clear and almost as golden as his eyes. He’d also added quite a bit of muscle, mainly in the arms and shoulders, which made him look powerful. His dark hair, although shorter, retained a bit of curl at the ends, and thick black lashes framed his eyes.
Rafe Romero – single father, moved back to the island to run his contracting business and care for his mother, reformed local bad boy, he is helpful and caring, wants a woman who wants him and his daughter,
Laney Romero – a delightful and inquisitive girl of five and three-quarters, Rafe’s only child, she requires special care and stays with her grandmother during the day
I can definitely see the realism in Josephine’s relationships with her children, and how it can manifest into Keith’s less-than-stellar choices and Maisey’s need to be away and alone. Rafe was an interesting character, like bad-boy turned modest husband. Laney, though, was my favorite character. She is incredibly cute and knows how to work her dad in the sweetest and most unspoiled of ways.
What Maisey needed most was her father, she realized as she stood at the railing, peering through the passengers crowding the gangway. Breathing in the island air, smelling the salty ocean and wet wood of the wharf, it all reminded her of him.
The novel opens with Maisey returning to Fairham Island to rest, recoup and regroup. It holds the best memories of her life with her father, and the worst with her mother. I foresaw some really ugly scenes between the two Lazarow women.
The idea of walking into Coldiron House – named after Josephine’s father, Henry Coldiron, who’d owned most of the island before Josephine inherited it – brought back a hint of her old defiance.
The relationship between Maisey and her brother runs so deep. It is a relationship I understand well, and it has its own complexities that are sometimes unknown to both Maisey and Keith. Maisey has always been Keith’s support when he’s been at his lowest, and even his ugliest. She has faith in him when everyone else has turned their backs on him and given up, but it is hard to continue to provide support and love when it is such a hard and draining relationship.
He seemed to forget his own mistakes almost as soon as he made them, seemed to expect everyone else to disregard the damage he caused. Because of that, and all his other problems, it was impossible to know how to be a good sister to him.
Keith is an interesting character. He has his own set of problems that he has carried with him his entire life, and he is harder to deal with than Josephine sometimes because of his unpredictability. It makes it really hard and puts even more strain on Maisey during her retreat to a safe haven.
She couldn’t even admit how close to despair she really was. She had to stand tall and lead the way, set an example for him.
At least with Josephine it is easy to predict her motivations and reactions. Maisey has nothing to worry about there until she finds the metal box filled with pictures. Then it’s an entirely different ball game and Maisey isn’t sure of anything anymore. She’s left reeling.
How could she tell anyone the dark suspicions that were creeping to the forefront of her brain? Or that she couldn’t shake various memories of the terrible beatings her brother had received? She could’t say any of that. What she feared was too vile. She’d been shaking on the inside since she’d pried the lid off that metal box.
In all the madness with Josephine and Keith, Maisey is also trying unsuccessfully to avoid Rafe and any of the help he offers her. It comes as a shock to discover he is raising his daughter alone, and he’s doing a pretty good job of it. Rafe is the last person Maisey wants to deal with, besides her mother, but she came to Fairham for a safe haven, and he’s providing it.
Rafe’s relationship with his daughter, Laney, brings all the good things out in him. Laney is a very special little girl, and she requires more care than most, but she is so full of warmth and love that it is impossible not to fall in love with her. She adores her dad and grandma, and takes an immediate liking to Maisey.
Although Josephine and Keith try to put a stop to Maisey’s meddling in the past, afraid of what it might reveal, what she finds is nothing like what they expected.
I loved the relationships of each of the characters with the others, especially at the end of the novel. Laney is the sweetest little girl that captures more than one heart. Rafe is a man who’s made something of his life and is ready to share it with someone special. Keith is at the breaking point in his life and has nothing else to lose. Josephine has a heart under her pristine and collected image. Maisey finds the answers she’s needed to know all along.
I highly recommend this book because of the complexity of the relationships and the story that brings them all together. Since this is the first in a new series, I will definitely be continuing to read about Fairham Island and its goings on.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she’s won The National Reader’s Choice, The Bookseller’s Best, The Bookbuyer’s Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com. To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.
Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.
I struggled finding material for this topic! As much as we love to read, it was hard to find books featuring bookwormy characters.
The first day of school – in a hated Crutchfield school, built on Crutchfield land – her mother prompts her to not spend all of her free time with her nose stuck in her journal. She’s not a reader bookworm, but she’s a writer bookworm, and it grates on her younger sister’s nerves as they both start a new school year (Kaitlin’s senior year) under the guise of their mother’s maiden names so as not to draw unwanted attention. Being a Malone in the Crutchfield world is just asking for a death sentence.
“I have no intention of keeping an eye on you. I have better things to do.”
“Like what? Scribble in your stupid journal? I don’t want the whole world to think my sister is some kind of loser.”
“Well, I certainly would’t want to damage your reputation by acting halfway literate – oh, excuse me. That’s too big of a word for you to understand, isn’t it?”
Julie was showered with love and devotion by her adopted family, and she is set to doing the same thing with the young children that enter her classroom each year. She is a respected teacher in her small Texas town, and she passionately lived her ideals. She is constantly thinking and riddling things out in her mind – especially after being abducted by a convicted murderer.
Julie is smart – very smart – but she is also naive with a heart left wide open. Never a good mix. Julie uses something she learned during some plotting of her own. She didn’t want to leave a trace of behind for the police to get their hands on: instead of writing a very telling note on a writing tablet, which would leave imprints of her note on the subsequent pages to be found by someone else after she ripped off the top page, she takes the entire tablet with her. Smart, no?
Seventeen year-old Cassie is preparing for her dreams of college and law school. She’s reading books most don’t until they are in law school, and only then because it’s required. She is serious about her schooling and everyone knows it, especially her friend Moe, who wants nothing more than to help her achieve her dream. Everyone knows Cassie is going somewhere, and I think that adds a layer of pressure to her life, but she’s determined to go to school, learn, and get a degree.
Gibby McGraw is brain damaged after a tragic car accident that took both her parents. Gibby is now NQR (Not Quite Right), a real challenge for a fledgling newspaper reporter. Especially when she stumbles upon the dead body of the next governor of Kentucky, Buster Malloy. Armed with her trusty blue spiral note-book, Gibby figures that solving the murder might be her best chance to prove to everyone that she can become Quite Right again. She’s about to discover that some things are far more important than all the brains in the world.
After suffering the greatest of tragedies, Portia takes a tutoring position at the Stanford household. Prior to taking up domestic life, she taught for several years. She is adamant about education – and everyone having the right to one. She takes her job and her pupil very seriously, and incorporates the natural world into their studies.
George doesn’t do too much reading or bookwormish things in the book, but he has to have spent a great deal of time studying his craft of engineering. He has one shot to keep his daughter’s belief in Santa intact when she tells him the only way she will believe in Santa is if she can videotape him… and then tells her fourth grade class she will prove Santa exists by posting her video to YouTube. George devises a plan to land nine reindeer on his roof and go down his chimney, hiring a broken down movie director who eventually has him funding a full scale production that bankrupts him and and threatens his marriage.
Jayne is an interesting duck. 🙂
She works at a newspaper writing obituaries and garage sale ads by day and secretly scribing adventures in distant galaxies by night. After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet.
Ahmed has a prodigal intellect that gets him accepted into one of the best American schools and out of the war zone that is Israel…even if it means turning his back on his family in order to do so.
Gifted with a mind that can solve mathematical equations, he uses his intellect to take an inspiring journey that will lead him to a life in America he could never have imagined for himself.
She’s up to her eyeballs in books, literally! Kate is a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house. She finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often as big as the island of Manhattan.
As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.