Famous Last Words #24

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


 

Art teacher and occasional life model Sofie Dove wants to know what’s up with Brock Stewart. Everything about the ex SAS soldier turned police officer seems to scream passion—and it’s all for her—but he just won’t express it. All she knows is he has a past that still keeps him up some nights.

After a semi-trailer crashes through Sofie’s house and the driver disappears into thin air, Brock insists he’s the only one who can keep her safe—but can he, when they can’t seem to trust each other?

While Sofie works on figuring out why this man keeps giving her mixed messages, Brock is determined to find out who’s out to get her—as they both find out why falling in love is a bit like being hit by a truck in Tumble Creek.

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WWW Wednesdays (Aug 30)

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This is a weekly meme 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.


What are you currently reading?

cover85978-medium I was working this week to finish my audiobook before the end of August, and now I have more time to continue reading Treasured Dreams. This is the third book in the trilogy, and I’m hoping it stays a trilogy and this is the final book. Honestly, I don’t know how much more this plot can drag out. It’s become formulaic and a different treasure, different ocean kind of story. Plus, Nox just needs to die. He is literally Rasputin – he’s been shot, speared in the stomach and left in the ocean, kidnapped and held hostage by a couple of goons, and more and he STILL won’t die. The man is vile. I don’t understand why the cat, Shadow, likes him at all. Despite trying to make readers see some redeeming qualities in him, there aren’t any. The fact that she keeps circling back to ANYthing that will garner him sympathy makes me queasy. I do want to have this book finished by Friday night so I can start the new month with a fresh book.

 


 What did you just finish reading?

I finally made the last two long stretches through The Hiding Place. IPlease don’t get me wrong, it was not due to dull material. I listened to this one on audio, and it was simply timing on my part. On Monday on the way to work and back home, I decided to forgo the radio and listen to my audiobook. While I’m not one for religious texts, but the mixture of faith and forgiveness was reverently appropriate. I believe Corrie ten Boom is a better woman than I. While listening, I had to keep reminding myself that Corrie was later in life when these events occurred. I believe she was well into her 50s.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I am hoping I can fly through these three at the beginning of September and still get to two more books. We will see!

 


 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

My Favorite…Time To Blog

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.


Favorite Time To Blog

 

I enjoy early Saturday and Sunday morning blogging, whether it’s writing content or visiting and commenting around. It is so quiet and early. I feel I’m the only one in the world awake. In the cooler months, I like to sit out on the back porch while the dogs lay out. I like that time to myself.

When do you like to blog?

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gem Books in Historical Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday

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.


Hidden Gem Books in Historical Fiction

It seems each week I am piggybacking off of the previous week. While these ones didn’t quite fit in any of my categories last week or that I hadn’t yet discovered, I still think they are great finds in historical fiction.

What are some of your hidden gems?

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: Memories of May

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I am trying to catch up on my backlog of recent reads since I have been hiatus-ing. And it will let me catch up with my reading since I’m not reading as fast these days and it’s taking me longer to get through a book.

Synopsis ~ Memories of May

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, but in Tarrin’s Bay, she’s about to find that love is stronger than time…

By day, single mother Olivia Chevalier runs the family’s bookstore and raises her nine-year-old daughter. By night, she escapes into a world of fiction where there is excitement, romance, and happy endings.

Both of her roles are endlessly rewarding, but Olivia’s life has not been without challenges, hard work, and disappointment. So when enigmatic travel writer Joel Foster walks into her bookstore – and her life – with his mantras of trying new things and taking risks, Olivia knows that nothing will change.

But when a family dilemma surfaces, Olivia is compelled to enroll in Joel’s writing course to tell the story of her grandmother’s life. With each new day and each new page, Olivia discovers secrets about her family and truths about herself, and finds herself yearning to rewrite the story she has planned and seek a life as intriguing as fiction.

 

Chapter 1

If Olivia Chevalier’s head hadn’t been stuck in a book, she would have noticed a lookalike of the gorgeous fictional man she was reading about entering her bookstore. She also would have noticed him do a double take on spotting her seated behind the counter, and his hesitation as he picked up a random book from the display table and put it back down again. But the first she saw of him was his hand, on her counter, a pile of brochures grasped between the rugged, masculine fingers.

 


Teaser

But she held onto his hand gently and he gave it a small shake. “And you’re Joel Foster. My mum told me. She also told me I have to let you eat the caterpillar.” [Loc 1727]

 

“I’m right here with you. Don’t be afraid.”

People only ever said that when there was something to be afraid of. [Loc 1813]

Would you keep reading? 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.

 

Review: My One True Highlander

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: My One True Highlander
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: April 2017
Length: 320 pages
Series?: No Ordinary Hero #2
Genre: Historical Romance

Rugged highlander Graeme has one thing on his mind—take a stand against the horrible Englishman Lattimer and he will be rewarded with enough money to be set for life. But when his reckless younger brothers take it one step too far and kidnaps a young woman on her way to see Lattimer, Graeme has to intervene. He cannot send the lady back without his kin getting in trouble. And when a damsel this beautiful is dropped into your lap, it’s hard to let her go…

Marjorie should be terrified she’s been captured by Highland scoundrels, but it’s hard to live in terror when your captor is a devilishly handsome and sinfully tempting as Graeme is. She cannot stay by his side forever—no matter how her heart may pound at the thought—but Graeme seems to have other plans. This wicked Highlander is out to seduce her and doesn’t plan to stop until she’s in his arms…forever…

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

The Skinny

No one is more surprised than Marjorie Forrester when her older brother Gabriel, a soldier in the Royal military, is bequeathed a dukedom. Suddenly their whole lives change. Marjorie moves from the life of a servicewoman to the life of a lady in the London ton. Despite her new stature, she is not readily accepted – and if truth be told, not to be accepted at all. It takes it toll on Marjorie, who is also now suffering under the strict and nagging direction of her new lady’s companion, Mrs. Giswell. Hortensia has to set things right and clear her name; her previous charge suffered serious scandal that was irrecoverable. Stained by her failure, she is now determined that nothing shall go slightly astray with Lady Marjorie. When Marjorie receives word that her brother plans to marry soon, Marjorie resolutely decides to leave immediately for Scotland to surprise her brother for his nuptials.

What Marjorie didn’t know when Gabriel became a Duke and she set out on her journey is that she is traipsing around the Highlands right in the midst of a clan war – and her brother is embroiled in it to the hilt. When Lattimer came into the MacKitrrick property (a Maxwell chieftan), all of the tenants sided with the English Lattimer – and against the Maxwell, Duke of Dunncraigh. Thus they lost their presence in the Maxwell clan and claimed Lattimer as Laird MacKittrick, pledging allegiance to him.

When The Maxwell visits Graeme Maxwell, a viscount, it is not a pleasant visit. It is an ultimatum. Fix the Lattimer situation, or be fixed. Graeme is already working toward acquiring funds to build up his own clan, keep things running and keep himself out of Maxwell’s war with Lattimer. Graeme’s younger brothers overhear the threatening conversation and aim to save Garaidh nan Leomhann and their brother. When they discover Lady Marjorie Forrester, the Duke of Lattimer’s sister, traveling nearby, they kidnap her and bring her home to the Lion’s Den. Now Graeme has hell of a mess on his hands, and he only sees one solution to solve all of the potentially life-threatening problems surrounding Lady Marjorie’s presence in his home. Appearances are not as they would appear though. The rugged and rough Highlander has a lot more tenderness and compassion than meets the eye. Not long after being held captive, Marjorie finds

Not long after being held captive, Marjorie finds way to escape…right into the arms of Sir Hamish Paulk, the Maxwell’s lapdog. Explaining her way out of this unpredictable meeting earns Graeme’s trust and respect, but their acquaintance doesn’t end there. Soon Marjorie is also seeing things in a new light under the tenderness of her Highland captor. She must ultimately decide if she wants to spend her life returning to her miserable life in London, or remaining with the loving family in the Highlands.

Soon Marjorie is also seeing things in a new light under the tenderness of her Highland captor. She must ultimately decide if she wants to spend her life returning to her miserable life in London, or remaining with the loving family in the Highlands.

 

The Players

Lady Marjorie  Forrester – a ladies companion whose brother recently became a duke, skyrocketing her from servicewoman to nobility; now the Duke of Lattimer’s sister; she craves to be accepted by the harsh London society

Gabriel Forrester – Duke of Lattimer; Marjorie’s older brother; he is English (or Sassenach) and a former soldier

Mrs. Hortensia Giswell – Marjorie’s lady’s companion; she’s already had ruin with a previous charge; determined to redeem herself by keeping Marjorie in line

Graeme Maxton- Viscount Maxton; landowner of Garaidh nan Leomhann, also known as the Lion’s Den

Brendan – Graeme’s 16 year old brother; he is very hotheaded and intent on doing things his way

Dughlas – Graeme’s 14 year old brother; he is much more level-headed

Connell – Graeme’s 8 year old brother; often called duckling; sweet and kind

Raibeart Maxton – Graeme’s uncle

Artur Maxwell – aka the Maxwell; Duke of Dunncraigh and clan chief; he is displeased with losing tithes and tenants to the English Duke of Lattimer

Sir Hamish Paulk – The Maxwell’s henchman; a hateful and vengeful man

The Quotes

Marjorie didn’t feel at all triumphant or vindicated, though. She made a show of gathering the sheets around her and standing, anything to avoid his gaze. It didn’t matter a whit if she’d hurt his feelings; she wasn’t the villain of this piece. But it felt like it mattered, liked she’d…cheated or something.

He simply wanted her, and that had nothing to do with what an alliance with her could do for his corner of clan Maxwell. He wanted to know that a lovely duke’s sister desired a near destitute Scottish clan chieftan who mended fences and sheared sheep and delivered calves with his own two damned hands.

The Highs and Lows

  • Pacing. It took a long while for me to become invested in the storyline due to the pacing and some confusion about who was who and relationships in the very beginning with all the clan business. I had to go back and restart this book. For the first quarter or so of the book, it was slow going and I wanted to set it aside, but quickly picked up once Marjorie is kidnapped.
  • Marjorie’s Struggles. Marjorie has been elevated from the capacity of a servicewoman all of a sudden into not only the nobility but the cream of the crop of nobility. Now she’s the sister of a duke. However, her sudden change and elevation in stature do not open doors to the gentry or the London ton. No matter how hard Marjorie tries to be kind and make friends, it is made very clear to hear that she is not wanted. Short of buying friends, Marjorie won’t be accepted in London society. She is miserable, downtrodden, and depressed. Which is why when she learns of her brother’s sudden impending marriage, she immediately makes arrangements to travel to the Highlands.
  • High Stakes Hierarchy. The contention among the Maxton clan is increasing. Tempers are high and time is short. As chieftan, Graeme has more responsibilities on his plate than just his brothers. Graeme is trying to do the upright and honorable thing in two aspects: not killing Lattimer, but also supporting and providing safety for the families residing on his land. By not killing Lattimer, Graeme risks his people starving – and the angry, terroristic wrath of the Maxwell and have a lot more issues to handle and overcome. Or he could be generously rewarded if Lattimer meets an untimely death. The root of The Maxwell’s anger is over the English Gabriel Forrester becoming the Duke of Lattimer and now possessing the clan’s ancestral land. The Maxwell had high hopes of retaining Lattimer’s tenants and also receiving tithes from them for providing protection. It is a significant loss of loyalty and money when Gabriel inherits the duchy.
  • Graeme. He is loyal to a fault and works hard to support his family. He has been the sole caretaker for his brothers since Connell was two days old. For a young man who should have just been going out to start his life, it was unfortunate timing. And unfortunate circumstances followed. Soon he became the Viscount and was responsible for more than just caring, educating and raising three young boys; he now had near a hundred cotters to provide for and protect, as well as the Garaidh nan Leomhann land known as the Lion’s Den.
  • The Plan. Graeme’s brothers overhear the Maxwell and Sir Hamish’s threats, the boys take matters into their own hands. After going into town, they discover the Duke of Lattimer’s sister is traveling. They hatch a plan using Connell to lure her to kidnap her. If Brendan cannot kill the Duke of Lattimer as Graeme specifically outlined, they can hand her off to the Maxwell to use in bringing the Sassenach Lattimer to his knees. They’ll save the day and save the clan! There are just a few problems with their plan, which Graeme points out after they’ve brought Marjorie to their home: she knows their names and the Maxwell could make Graeme ransom Marjorie to her brother, causing either a prison or death sentence for Graeme. Not to mention the fact that Marjorie – an innocent in all of this – would be ruined. Who would marry a woman who had been kidnapped and held hostage in a male-dominated Highlander home? She would be forever ruined and never accepted in Society again. No matter what, Marjorie’s trail would lead back to them and the ramifications could be costly.
  • Graeme’s Idea. As Marjorie points out to Graeme, he has to do something with her. When she dares ask his grand plan, Graeme has been debating with himself over his idea. His plan is simple and it resolves all of the possible ramifications of her kidnapping. He is terrified Marjorie will come to a fatal end in the care of the Maxwell, and he is worried he will meet the same fate at the hands of Lattimer in the vendetta. Graeme is the only person to have interactions with Marjorie, who he locks in a bedroom with boarded windows. After an attempt to call attention to her captivity, Graeme shackles her to the bed. It is during all of their brief and biting meetings that Marjorie discovers a sense of consideration and tenderness from Graeme. It is through their interactions that each begins to feel a measure of compassion – and guilt. Their relationship starts to bloom. When an unfortunate meeting with Raibeart and Sir Hamish occur following Marjorie’s escape, she pretends to be Marjorie Giswell, there to tutor Connell. While a quick cover – someone is not believing it.
  • Connell. At only eight years old, he is indeed a little duckling. I found the endearment cute and fitting. Connell is a curious little kid with a big heart. He is characterized by taking in stray animals, especially orphaned animals because he is also an orphan. The more the merrier. He even tries to hide some from Graeme in his room, and Graeme pretends like he doesn’t know the little zoo exists. His character brought charm and innocence to the story and helped soften some of big brother’s hard edges. He also becomes allies, friends rather, with Marjorie in secret.
  • Marjorie’s Growth. Throughout her stay in Graeme’s household, Marjorie slowly undergoes a transformation. Everything she found harsh and unrefined about her Highland captors she begins to see in a new light. Her journey of self-discovery and realization of her true wants in life were made possible with Graeme’s help. She maintained she wanted to return to London where no one wanted her – and where no one knew even knew she had disappeared. Graeme tries to make his case for his solution by showing that she’s cared for in the Highlands. While it may not be everything she’d dreamed of and what she envisioned for her life, there was happiness in the Highlands.

 

What set this Highland story apart was the depth and complexity of the plot. The concept of captive falling for captor is nothing new, but the way in which the Graeme and the boys are characterized and treat Marjorie during her stay in the Lion’s Den made this “prisoner of war” story so sweet and lent authenticity to the Highland home and setting. I found Graeme to be an interesting mix of a man, so rough and rugged on the exterior but very logical, loyal, compassionate and kind. Not all qualities one would associate with a Scottish Highlander, so it made his roaring and gentle character that much more delightful. Connell’s sweetness and innocence and Brendan’s flaring temper only add to the element of fear and danger over the current situation between Lattimer and the Maxwell. I enjoyed this well-crafted story and look forward to future books from Enoch.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne was born in Southern California sometime in the latter half of the 20th century. In the way that some people are born knowing they want to be astronauts or cellists, Suzanne always knew she wanted to be a writer. Early dreams of becoming a zoologist and writing true stories about her adventures in Africa were crushed, however, after she viewed a television special about the world’s most poisonous snakes; she did NOT want to write about how she’d been bitten and lost a limb to a cobra. Thankfully at the same time the movie “Star Wars” premiered, and she realized that she could make up adventures and write about them, and not be eaten by deadly predators while doing research.

She dabbled in romantic fantasy writing for a year or two after graduating with a degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, until her affection for traditional Regency romances led her to write one for fun. After several encouraging rejections from publishers, she snared the interest of the world’s best and most patient literary agent, who advised her to revise the manuscript. This ultimately led to the publication of her first book, The Black Duke’s Prize, from Avon Books in the Spring of 1995.

Suzanne is known for her humorous characters, sexy bad boys, and whip-sharp, witty dialogue. She currently resides in Placentia, California with several hundred guppies and various other tropical fish, and handful of very loud, spinach-loving finches. And her collection of action figures and statues from “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings”, “X-Men”, and “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Everybody needs some inspiration, after all.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sunday Post ~ The Week That Started An Eclipse and Ended a Hurricane

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.


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This week has been smooth sailing. I still have relatively small class sizes (except my two co-teach classes), and these kids are fairly well-behaved. *knock on wood* It’s been a good week except for the entire staying late thing. I was at school until 7:00 or later each night except Friday. Monday was the solar eclipse – the first across North America since 1979. Our district did not allow students out to see it, but I popped out at lunch and during my conference. It was pretty cool! We were not in the path of totality, we only saw about 70% coverage. It didn’t get dark, and the temperature only dropped to 89 degrees.

Friday Hurrican Harvey started rolling into the Texas coast. It was reported as a category 2, then upgraded to a category 3 and everyone started freaking out. The evacuation of the coastal areas turned the 4-hour drive into 8-9 hours to arrive inland. It is like the repeat of Allison that hit Houston in 2001. It was only a tropical storm, and it was the first to have its name retired. Harvey was expected to stall once hitting landfall, and that plus the intensification is why it is so bad. Friday night it was moving at 8 mph.  Right before hitting the coast it was upgraded to a category 4. Where I live, people were acting like we were getting the hurricane hit. We live 3 hours inland. We were being told to expect extensive flooding with 21″ of rain hitting the Austin area. My parents had a tornado watch in effect Saturday morning.

Louisiana already declared a state of emergency, and Texas was in a state of disaster. TXDOT sent crews to the coast starting on Friday. My brother’s group went down Saturday. The Task Forces were also activated.

I braved out Saturday morning to fill my car up. It was eery – no one was out and about. The gas prices had already jumped 30¢! As of 1 pm Saturday at The Man’s, we only had strong winds and rain, enough to fill the dogs’ pool a couple inches. The Man has strep so he’s grouchy and not feeling good, but he prepared us. I doubt we will lose power, he is convinced we will, but if we do there is plenty of water for us. Just to be safe, I ate waffles and drank most of my milk Saturday morning. 🙂

 

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@sissybearla

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  • Monday
    • Review ~ My One True Highlander
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ Hidden Gems in Historical Fiction
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ Memories of May
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite… ~ Time to Blog
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #24
  •  Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 9.1.17

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