Book Blogger Hop ~ 9.22.17

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The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


In regards of Banned Books Week (www.bannedbooksweek.org/), what are your favorite books that have been banned or challenged? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

Oh, geez. I don’t even know all of them.

One of my favorites is at the top of the list: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Other favorites that made the ban were A Streetcar Named Desire, the Harry Potter series, and Looking for Alaska (#1 in 2015). Like, really? Sexual exploration was your take-away for Looking for Alaska?! Jesus H.

The thing is, people who report and want books banned are afraid. It is fear that rules them. It’s like southern Christians and teaching about sex ed and evolution in schools. The concept of “It’s not true because I don’t like it” and “I know nothing about that so it is wrong” and fear prevail and drive everything. This year my students watched a program about the Civil Rights Movement, and the hate spewed by white people that they watched (real footage) showed that very fear in the words they used and the vehemence behind them. So whenever something that is different and not your way arises, the instinct is to shut it down and suppress it.

It’s psychology. The more you try to remove something, the greater the interest in it. People will find a way to read it, watch it, whatever the more it is slandered or rebuffed. It’s like keeping a teenage girl from their boyfriend. They’ll do all kinds of things in secret to see them…or they’ll just outright defy and run away like a relative of mine did. It’s human nature.

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Famous Last Words #26

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.


 

For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend’s older brother, who’s much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.

Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.

As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another in Without Borders.

WWW Wednesdays (Sep 20)

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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?

I am choosing to move on with a new book on my list, The Master of Strathburn. It is set in the Highlands, so what could go wrong?

Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene…

Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realises that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon…

Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both…

cover85978-mediumI am putting Treasured Dreams on the backburner in lieu of DNFing it. I thought I was a fifth of the way through the book, struggling as it was, only to realize I was only a tenth of the way in. So I’m moving on and hopefully when I come back to it I will be able to finish getting through it. I feel like I’ve wasted way too much time on it as it is.


 What did you just finish reading?

Pah! I haven’t read in three weeks, let alone finished anything.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I am hoping I can fly through these three at the beginning of October 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…Restaurant

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 Restaurant

I think my all time favorite restaurant is Olive Garden. I don’t care that it’s a chain. I LOVE their breadsticks and salad. I’ll eat that as my meal and when my food does come, I usually only eat a little and take the rest home….with more breadsticks. 🙂

 

Which is your favorite restaurant?

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: On Lone Star Trail

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I really enjoyed this one. It was set in the Hill Country of Central Texas, so right in my backyard. I enjoyed the cast of characters very much, although I think the entire notion of the resort being entirely Biblical-themed was a little far-fetched.

 

Synopsis ~ On Lone Star Trail

If there’s one thing Gillian Hodge never wants to see again, it’s a man on a motorcycle. Her last encounter with one left her right hand crushed, ending her promising career as a concert pianist. But as she heads to Rainbow’s End Resort, a sudden thunderstorm causes a motorcycle to crash in front of her.

When TJ Benjamin’s wife died, he lost more than his best friend; he lost his faith. He’s spent the past year wandering the country on a motorcycle, trying not to think about his future. When he finds himself stranded with a busted bike and a reluctant rescuer, he has to wonder about God’s sense of humor.

Can this woman without a future and this man running from his past find romance in the present? Or are they too tied to the way life used to be?

 

Chapter 1

Relax. Gillian Hodge forced her fingers to stop gripping the steering wheel as if it were a lifeline. This wasn’t her Carnegie Hall debut or the finals of the Brooks competition when so much was riding on the outcome. This was a vacation, for Pete’s sake. A week with her best friend and the woman who’d been a surrogate grandmother. She should be filled with anticipation, counting the minutes until she arrived, not wound as tightly as a metronome.

 


Teaser

There was a definite irony in a man who used to be called the RV Reverand being stranded at a Christian resort within walking distance of two dozen RVs.  [Loc 394]

 

“Are you always this devious?”

“I prefer the word crafty.”  [Loc 1524]

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.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List

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.


Books On My Fall TBR List

I already have reviews booked up through nearly the end of November, so please don’t pull the “Halloween isn’t even here yet!” on me. I know. I’ve purposefully picked my next batch of reads to coincide time-wise with where I’m picking up at in terms of scheduled posts and also to focus on my Alphabet Soup and NetGalley challenges.

 

What’s on your fall TBR?

Review: The Unwanted Heiress

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Unwanted Heiress
Author: Amy Corwin
Publisher: Createspace
Release Date: July 2013
Length: 328 pages
Series?: The Archer Family #1
Genre: Historical Romance

An American heiress nobody wants; a Duke every woman is after, and a murder no one expects. 

When Nathaniel, Duke of Peckham, meets Charlotte, he’s suspicious of her indifference. Too many women have sought—and failed—to catch him. However, Charlotte is more interested in dead pharaohs than English dukes.

Unfortunately, a debutante seeking to entrap Nathaniel gets murdered, and his reputation as a misogynist makes him a suspect. On impulse, Charlotte comes to his aid, not realizing that her actions may place her in danger, too.

Both are unaware that a highwayman interested in rich heiresses is following Charlotte, and that another debutante lies dead in Nathaniel’s carriage.

Some nights just don’t go as planned.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

The Skinny

Charlotte Haywood is an unfortunate American in England. She has bounced from relative to relative who have cast her off, waiting until she is of age to take control of her inheritance and properties. She is extremely intelligent, a bluestocking, and she is outlandishly out of place in England as a tall, red-headed woman who stands out and above the crowd. She is passed over time and time again. It is a lonely, dejected life of misery for Charlotte, knowing her relatives don’t want her – despite her wealth. Her guardian, Westover, uses her heiress and wealth factor to use as ante in a card game, and when John Archer wins the pot with all aces (despite his nephew holding an ace in his hand). When Charlotte arrives, she is sure she will be sent away.

John Archer and his wife are an adorable couple, but he seems to have a little meddling on his hands when it comes to his nephew, Nathaniel, who recently came into a dukedom. They hatch some incredible schemes together. The Duke has so many women throwing themselves at him, hiding in his bedchamber or coach, that he is at risk for being roped into an unwanted marriage. He is dodging and hiding out from women. Then debutantes start dropping like flies around the Duke – and a murderer is on the loose.

 

The Players

Miss Charlotte Haywood – an American colonial heiress who requires a guardian until she is of-age

Lord Nathaniel Archer – the Duke of Peckham, recently inherited; Archer’s nephew

John Archer – Nathaniel’s uncle; aka Archer

Lady Victoria Archer – John’s husband

 

The Quote

“Then let me clarify my position, Your Grace. I would rather get down on my hands and knees and scrub the floors for eternity in Hades than marry you.”

The Highs and Lows

  • Charlotte. Poor girl. Her physical characteristics make her off-putting and overlooked in London society. She is a tall woman with red hair. Not what a man is seeking in a darling debutante. She is a bluestocking and wants to pursue an Egyptian excavation – not just fund it, either. She wants to be on site! Charlotte is a woman out of depth in her time, but she is extremely wealthy. Unfortunately for her in London society, she’s an American colonial heiress. It’s a blackmark against her already, in addition to her features and intelligence. The stark contrast only furthers the notion of how alone Charlotte is in the world as an orphan. She has been booted from family member to family member as her guardians until the time comes when she is eligible to take hold of her inheritance.
  • The Archers. The couple is adorable! They obviously love one another, and wife is looking out for her husband. I could see why with some of his hair-brained schemes! Archer has a gambling problem and apparently cheats at cards, so it brings into question the state of the Archer finances if he has to resort to cheating.
  • The Winnings. Charlotte’s current guardian has had enough of her, so he includes her in his ante. He will be rid of her and her disreputable antics and someone else will be left to manage her property and finances. While her wealth seems like a coup, her manners will have Londoners seeing red. The Archers gain Charlotte by “winning” a game of cards. Unexpected, but they are determined she not find out how she came under their guardianship. It would be humiliating and devastating. Not to mention they’re not even related.
  • The Murders. London ladies start popping up expired in the most unusual circumstances – and the Duke of Peckham is always around. He is a self-proclaimed misogynist and hates women. He has not interested in marrying, despite the dozens of women throwing themselves at him, hiding in his bedchamber to compromise her, forcing a marriage. When the first woman is found dead in the gardens, there are a few who staunchly point fingers at the Duke and continue to do so when the second lady is found murdered in his own coach. While the murders themselves are gruesome and sad, there was something odd about them. As I said, it seemed only a finger pointing game. One individual kept dogging Scotland Yard and the scandal sheets, who didn’t seem to have any real evidence besides witness testimonies and hearsay. There didn’t seem to be much of a true investigation, but I suppose they were different in the days of nobility. The Duke repeatedly commented that SY would not dare arrest a duke. Once was enough, but the repetition only brought out the disconnect he had with the gravity of the murders and highlighted how his sudden dukedom had gone to his head. It didn’t seem anyone was really taking the murdered women seriously aside from their families. The murders do motivate the Duke to become engaged, though. If he’s engaged, he can’t be a misogynist and therefore not the murderer.
  • Lady Beatrice. When Charlotte was sent to boarding school, she met Lady Beatrice, who was the ugliest person ever. She makes a wonderful villain. She is evil to her core, stamping a footman’s hand into broken glass, and as a child throwing ice water out the window onto Charlotte in the freezing cold. She has her sights set on the Duke and has an unnatural hatred for Charlotte.
  • Downfall. After doing his job as guardian, Archer discovers some major discrepancies with Charlotte’s inheritance and colonial property. What was once a lucrative inheritance and holdings, over the years gross oversight and impropriety and sticky fingers have left Charlotte with only a third or so of what her inheritance and holdings were. It is a devastating blow that cripples her dreams of an Egyptian archaeological dig. She is also kidnapped and held for ransom. After it is all over, it seemed very staged – as the investigator thought as well. Where she was held was very interesting. That idea backfired and had the opposite result of what was desired.

I found this to be an odd mix of character and plot lines. It seemed like things were off to a good start and then the tracks were secretly switched. Things started spiraling in too many directions at times. I thought Charlotte’s character was unique and fresh. Her feeling of displacement is a little heartbreaking. I’d want to go on an Egyptian dig, too! Nathaniel, on the other hand, was a narcissistic snob. An eligible duke is always going to garner more attention than the lower gentry, but I found it highly out of place that young women of the ton would be hiding in his bedroom. Perhaps once it could happen with a brazen and bold lady, but not every night. There were some inconsistencies that caused a bit of confusion as I read, and I would have liked to have seen the kidnapping more fleshed out. Archer intrigued me, though. He could have his own book! I can’t imagine what else he could get up to without supervision.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Corwin is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America and recently joined Mystery Writers of America. She has been writing for the last ten years and managing a career as an enterprise systems administrator in the computer industry. She writes Regencies/historicals, mysteries, and contemporary paranormals. To be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she discovered that killing off at least one character is a highly effective way to make the remaining ones toe the plot line.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads