Throwback THURSDAY!


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The idea for this meme is to think back to memorable books from our childhood and to tell us why you loved them and you can even review them now.

If you would like to add your TT, please leave us a comment with your link and we will head on over to your blog and check it out!

Mal’s Throwback Thursday!

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Charlotte’s Web
E.B. White
Published October 1st 2001 by HarperCollinsPublishers (first published 1952)
Pages 18
4

The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.

An affectionate pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, White reminds readers to open their eyes to the wonder and miracle found in the simplest of things.

I loved this story. What a affecting story of friendship, loyalty and life in general. After reading this book I became a vegan – 20+ years later I still am. An animal lover, this story really hits home as far as the fate and treatment of animals period. The relationship between Wilbur and Charlotte set the bar high in regards to the friendship department. Every thing about this book was beautiful, def changed my life. Wonderful  story for all enjoy. 

What is your Throwback Thursday?

mal

BOOK TOUR: The Yankee Club by Michael Murphy w/ GIVEAWAY


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cover-1The Yankee Club
Michael Murphy
Published August 12th 2014 by Alibi
Pages 280
ISBN13: 9780804179317

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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“Gino refilled my glass. “What a night. Booze, broads, and a barroom brawl.”

Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.

I had a suspicion this was going to be an exciting read and you know what! I was right!! Set in the 1930’s fulfilling its genre of Historical Fiction, Mystery, yes doll, it honored its billing and MORE!

Murphy scores points in setting, element of mystery, characters, writing style.

Give me anything during the Prohibition era and I am hooked. The 1930’s was described perfectly, everything presented snagged the reader by the hand to the past, great introduction setting the feel for the era.

Murphy provided mystery sans predictability scoring high praise from this reader. I had no idea what the final outcome would be, needless to say, this is a rare occurrence and welcomed. Kudos to Murphy!

Plenty of characters and Murphy managed to combine both quantity with quality. Each player served a purpose and supplemented the narrative. Whatever the role the character supplied, be it a short staggered appearance or one of the man revisiting characters it worked very well. Kudos again to Murphy!

Murphy’s writing style is straight to the point holding plenty of colorfulness to tug the peruser into the ambiance. You clearly feel part of the 1930’s scene. Language, environment, description all united tying the narrative et al. Again Murphy scores!!

The Yankee Club provides plenty of mystery with the questionable characters the era held. Loads of suspense sharing space with corruption, romance, during a shady and thrill ride era. I cannot wait until the next book in this series is available. I highly recommend this first installment in the Jake and Laura Mystery series. Excellent stuff doll!

4-stars

About Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy is a full time author and part time urban chicken rancher in Arizona. He lives in Arizona with his wife of forty-one years and the four children they adopted this past year. In August, Random House Alibi will publish his ninth novel, a historical mystery set in the prohibition era, The Yankee Club.

GIVEAWAYS: Here is the rafflecopter for THE YANKEE CLUB blog tour:
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Michael Murphy’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, August 4th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, August 5th: 5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, August 6th: Bibliotica
Friday, August 8th: ImaginativeMinds*
Monday, August 11th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Tuesday, August 12th: Read a Latte
Wednesday, August 13th: “I Think I’m Obsessed!” Book Reviews
Thursday, August 14th: The Reader’s Hollow
Friday, August 15th: Mystery Playground – Author Guest Post “Drinks with Reads”
Monday, August 18th: Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, August 19th: Life by Kristen
Tuesday, August 19th: Dwell in Possibility
Wednesday, August 20th: Nightly Reading
Thursday, August 21st: A Book Geek
Friday, August 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Friday, August 29th: Harlie’s Books

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mal

BOOK TOUR: Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes


tlc tour host

Sinful FolkSinful Folk
Ned Hayes
Published January 22nd 2014 by Campanile Books
Pages 400
ISBN13: 9780985239305

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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In December of the year 1377, five children were burned to death in a suspicious house fire. A small band of villagers traveled 200 miles across England in midwinter to demand justice for their children’s deaths.

Hayes exploits an event in history during one of the harshest periods in history to create one riveting read. The Middle Ages was brutal, disease, famine, environment and its demands took their toll on the population. Every day was a challenge with survival being the ultimate goal at the end of the day. Hayes masterfully sets the setting to captivate the readers focus exposing the challenges faced by one group as they embark on a treacherous road trip. The group battles savage events, bitter cold weather, continual peril. The hardships faced by this group requires strength and determination which through Hayes’ lens they manage. Leaving you totally submerged during the events faced along with the brutal and absorbing setting this is a thriller of a read. Mystery, secrets revealed, a horrific historical event all blend to create a narrative offering much through solid writing. Medieval fans will adore the perfect setting along with mystery and thrills and affecting characters. A page turner transporting the reader to an age where existing was a minute to minute task. Highly recommend Sinful Folk. Hayes is an author worthy of praise and your undivided attention.

4-stars

 

About Ned HayesNed Hayes
Ned Hayes first read Chaucer in graduate school, where he worked under noted medieval scholar Richard Emmerson. He has studied at Stanford University, Western Washington University, the Rainier Writing Workshop and the Graduate Theological Union at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife and two children. Sinful Folk is his first story set in the medieval era. He is now at work on a new novel set in the 1300s.

Find out more about Ned at his website, follow him on Twitter, and see what he’s pinning on Pinterest. You can also read more about the book at its website, follow news of the book on Facebook, get quotes from the book on Pinterest.

Here’s the tour schedule:

Sunday, August 3rd: You’ve GOTTA Read This!
Monday, August 4th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book
Tuesday, August 5th: Words for Worms
Wednesday, August 6th: What She Read
Thursday, August 7th: M. Denise C.
Monday, August 11th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, August 12th: Kimberly’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, August 13th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 14th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, August 18th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, August 19th: nightly reading
Wednesday, August 20th: Unabridged Chick
Thursday, August 21st: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, August 25th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Wednesday, August 27th: BoundbyWords
Thursday, August 28th: Passages to the Past
Friday, August 29th: West Metro Mommy

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mal

Blog Tour: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin


The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

by Adele Griffin

Music: Recovery by Frank Turner

I wracked my brain trying to come up with something different that I could do for this tour. I decided to focus on Addison and her best friend, Lucy Lim. When I was in high school, my best friend had some depression problems and this book made me grateful that she received the help she needed. I can not imagine life without her now.

Here is to Addison and Lulu!

A few excerpts of Addison’s emails to Lucy:

National Book Award-finalist Adele Griffin tells the fully illustrated story of a brilliant young artist, her mysterious death, and the fandom that won’t let her go.

From the moment she stepped foot in NYC, Addison Stone’s subversive street art made her someone to watch, and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more. I conducted interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—and retraced the tumultuous path of Addison’s life. I hope I can shed new light on what really happened the night of July 28.
—Adele Griffin

Released by Soho Teen on August 12, 2014

Source: ARC for tour

*Thanks Soho Teen

My Thoughts

I was initially intrigued by the blurb of this book and was interested to learn all about Miss Addison Stone. What I learned was that this young girl, so full of life, had her share of problems just like the rest of us.

Addison was an up and coming brilliant artist. One to watch and boy did people watch. When she walked in the room, every eye was on her. It wasn’t that she was beautiful, which she was, but the way that she carried herself with confidence that not a single person was better than her.

This book is chalked full of interviews from every person that had a hand in Addison’s life, trying to piece the time she spent here back together and let the world know whom she really was.

I thought the way the book was written was BRILLIANT!!! I loved every second of it and found myself reading every chance that I could get to find out more about this mysterious girl.

The story itself is very sad and it is kind of a wake up call to all of us to keep an eye on our children, friends and family at all times. you never know when we could lose them and to cherish the moments that we have together.

h.lee

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare


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City of Heavenly Fire

Cassandra Clare

725 Pages

Published May 27th, 2014 by Simon and Schuster

Read June – July 2014

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

WARNING: This review is not a spoiler-free zone.

Synopsis

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

My Thoughts

Wow. I can’t believe I’ve finished the entire Mortal Instruments series. I had a every emotional ride with all the characters, and this book is the best conclusion to a series I have ever read. It was a befitting finale of an epic story.

First of all, I loved reading about how Emma Carstair’s story began. Her character warmed my heart from the very beginning, and I can’t wait to see how her own story unfurls. Meeting her and the Blackthorn kids was very interesting was interesting in that they are so different from anything we’ve seen from Cassandra Clare before. Their story line was very refreshing and like a breath of fresh air. Emma’s relationship with Julian Blackthorn took center stage in her story, and their closeness was a joy to read.

Ms. Clare took her sweet time getting to the actual war part of the story, but the set-up was exquisite. The journey to the Dark War was thoroughly well-written, through various points of views, so that I could see different characters roles in the upcoming war, making the story very well-rounded.

The romances were delicious. We finally get to see how everyone stands, from Clary and Jace, to Magnus and Alec, to Simon and Izzy, to Maia and Jordan (and then Bat). It took the whole entire book to finally get to see what becomes of Magnus and Alec, but it’s well worth it. Clary and Jace finally got very intimate, in what was a very beautifully-written scene that makes me swoon just thinking about it. Simon and Izzy actually become a couple at long last. Maia’s romance is met with tragedy, but she unveils a budding new one after.

I really liked the new characters introduced, as well as old characters becoming more in-depth in the story. I thought Lily was really cool, and I enjoyed getting to know more about Raphael.

Sebastian Morgenstern is hands down the best villain ever written to me. He was downright terrifying. There was no doubt that he was a completely evil being, and he was pretty easy to hate and despise.  He was also extremely clever and actually really brilliant, so that he was a formidable foe that wouldn’t be easy at all to defeat.

I liked how Clary got to really tap into her shadowhunterness, at long last, equipping herself and taking up her family sword. She became stronger, not only in fighting, but also in her special power: rune-making. It was impressive to read how she saved herself and her friends by simply producing runes out of thin air.

The twist that led to the final defeat of Sebastian was amazing. Jace’s heavenly fire took center stage, and Clary figured out how to use her gift for runes to trick Sebastian and save the day. It was all really clever of Ms. Clare.

One thing that was really tragic, however, was how Clary lost the brother she never got to have. We only got a glimpse of what Jonathan would have been like without the demon blood, and it was heartbreaking to lose him immediately after.

The ending was loaded. There was a shocking twist, that a solution was eventually found for, which would completely change everything, but not in totally a bad way. The premise for the next series (The Dark Artifices) was set up, which I really cannot wait for. What would become of Mark Blackthorn? How would the Fey retaliate against the injustice against them by the Clave? What will Emma find out about her parents’ demise? How will Emma and Julian’s lives be like in the Los Angeles institute (as Parabatai)? How will Helen Blackthorn and Aline Penhallow fare?

My favorite part of this book is how the past, present, and future collided. We got to see Jem again!!!! He and Tessa reunite!!!! Emma meets Clary, and they develop a mutual like  and admiration for eachother!!!! Emma gets to meet her ancestor Jem!!!! Clary gets to meet Tessa and have an actual conversation with her (which included their shared experience with Herondale boys)!!!!

It was basically the perfect ending.

An easy 5 stars for me.

5/5

End Note: It’s funny how Cassandra Clare kept on stressing how lives will be lost and keeping us all tense, when the deaths weren’t even as heavy as she was hinting at. She said six people we know by name would die, instantly driving all her readers crazy with trepidation, yet those six people were as follows: someone who’s near sole purpose was to be the love interest of someone who actually didn’t really love him and got a new love interest, a psychotic villain, another clear villain, someone who’s death was a tragedy to make his character more interesting/likeable, the actual bad guy who needed to be defeated, and someone who I can’t even remember.

5-stars

kele

Blog Tour: The Horde Without End by Nazarea Andrews


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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00034]The Horde Without End by Nazarea Andrews

Published July 24, 2014

It was supposed to be over…

Returning from Haven 18 was supposed to be the end. But nothing is ever easy—and in a world full of zombies, finding the missing is next to impossible. There are breadcrumbs. Tiny clues. But what are a few tiny clues in a world of the dead?

Nurrin is desperate to find her brother, but that will mean trusting Finn O’Malley. A man shrouded in secrets, who kills as easily as breathing. And the more she learns about him, the more questions she has. But she has learned one thing—the zombies are changing. Adapting. And this time, the Haven walls won’t keep them out.

My Thoughts

I didn’t think that I would enjoy this book more than the first, but I was wrong!!! The book picks up right where the first left off. Nurrin is still on the hunt for her brother with Finn at her side. We get a little more sexual tension in this installment with barely any relief but it was enough to keep my heart sputtering and reading on.

I am still very much enjoying these two characters and the relationship, or lack there of, that they share. There are some shared tender moments and I tried to keep hold onto those while Finn had become a little of a douchebag. Which is totally expected! Nurrin is stronger than ever and I love her character’s fierce, bold, “I am woman” and I can do whatever you do approach to so many different scenarios.

Of course, the book would not be complete without a cliffhanger ending which literally made me growl….grrrrrrr!!! But if you enjoy zombie reads! This one is a definite MUST READ!!!!

Horde CR graphic 2

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Find Nazarea

Blog: www.nazarea-andrews.blogspot.com

Website: www.nazareaandrews.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/NazareaAndrews

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nazarea-Andrews/43623123516?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark

Nazarea’s Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/MtHwj

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/344967512321158/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3486225.Nazarea_Andrews

The Horde Without End Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22292967-the-horde-without-end

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nazarea/

Instagram: @Nazarea_Andrews

Giveaway

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h.lee

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


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The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman

Published June 18th 2013 by William Morrow Books

181 Pages

Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Nobles

Synopsis:

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

My Thoughts:

This book was, strange and bizarre, and often times quite horrifying to listen to. But it was one of the best books I’ve read this year.

I remember when this book came out, and all the hype that surrounded it, I remember being excited, reading the synopsis and immediately added to my TBR. But In the end I forgot about it, it got pushed to the side when I found more books to be excited about. It wasn’t until I had started the audiobook that I realized I had no idea what this book was about. I didn’t know what I was expecting but it certainly was not what Gaiman gave me.

Our main character who remains nameless, is back in his childhood town for a funeral when, he finds himself yet again on the Hempstock Farm a place he swears he hasn’t been since he was seven. As he sits in front of the pond or what Lettie calls the Ocean, he remembers when he was seven and when Lettie promised to protect him. And That’s all I can say without spoiling you.

While I loved this book, I had a couple of problems. I wish things were more explained, I still have so many questions that I will never get an answer for and that frustrates me.  Another thing that bothered me, which admittedly isn’t that big of deal, is that our main character is nameless. I hate when that happens, because it feels like I can’t connect to the character.  I also disliked that I couldn’t listen to this book at night on account that I’m a scaredy cat; there is a scene that involves a worm, that was unbelievably horrifying to listen to. Other than those things, I was pretty satisfied with this book.

 Gaiman’s writing was imaginative and memorizing, but also dark and terrifying. I personally would recommend getting the audiobook, Gaiman also narrates it and he does an amazing job at pulling the reader. I really have nothing more to say other than how amazing this book is!

I recommend this book to everyone, but if you have read and enjoyed the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this on as well.

Favorite Quote:

Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.

4-stars

sam