Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White's sleepy, seaside town... until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet's crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet's grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet's already so knee-deep in love, she can't see straight. And that's just how River likes it.

A gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald, set against a creepy summertime backdrop—a must-read for fans of Beautiful CreaturesThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and Anna Dressed in Blood.

REVIEW:  I purchased this book from Book Outlet since it was on sale and the summary seemed rather interesting upon first glance. The cover is striking, with the intricate scrollwork of the title. I was surprised when I skimmed through the beginning of the book and found that it was signed by the author. There are three initials, AGT, and the author inserted devil horns and a tail on the letter "A" in her initials. 

I like the gothic landscape that the author created, with the dilapidated mansion that resides on a cliff by the sea, as well as the rundown greenhouse, painting shed, the old town cemetery, etc. There were scenes that were intriguing, when the main character, Violet, visits the attic and rummages through her grandmother Freddie's trunk and discovers remnants from a secretive past.

Violet meets River, a stranger who comes to town and offers to rent the guesthouse for a while. Later in the story, the reader learns more about River and his "glow." For me, this was a unique concept but for some reason, after everything that happens, I wasn't that impressed with his gift or as it's unraveled, his curse really. The romance between him and Violet is unbelievable in the beginning. They just met each other and the next thing you know, she's sleeping beside him? It's very strange. 

Also, I know this is a YA novel, but I didn't care for the dialogue at times; it seemed childish to me. There was some lovely prose in the story as well but just not enough to keep my interest going. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Rosegiver - Available on Kindle for $1.99/Createspace for $6.78

~ Interested in reading The Rosegiver? The book is available on Kindle for the low price of $1.99. 

~ Want a print version instead? Purchase The Rosegiver on Createspace for $6.78 (not including shipping and tax), using discount code: LTM69DCF.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda

Charged with sensuality and passion, Pablo Neruda's love poems are the most celebrated of the Nobel Prize winner's oeuvre, captivating readers with earthbound images and reveling in a fiery re-imagining of the world. Mostly written on the island paradise of Capri (the idyllic setting of the Oscar-winning movie Il Postino), Love Poems embraces the seascapes surrounding the poet and his love Matilde Urrutia, their waves and shores saturated with a new, yearning eroticism.

And when you appear

all the rivers sound

in my body, bells

shake the sky,

and a hymn fills the world.


When I spotted Love Poems on Book Outlet, I knew I had to buy it. The book is what I consider a tiny book and I absolutely love those! Just think, you can carry this one around with you in your purse or bag and read it at any time. I think it would also make for a nice gift if you have friends who also enjoy reading poetry or are also big fans of Neruda. It's also designed in a lovely, feminine style with its pink cover and gold lettering and scrolling.

Beautiful collection of poems by my favorite poet, Neruda. I love the imagery and metaphor in the poems as well as the romance depicted here. My favorite poems: In You the Earth, Your Feet, Your Hands, Night on the Island, The Stolen Branch, If You Forget Me, Ode and Burgeonings, and Epithalamium, but all of the poems are so wonderful. This little book is a must read for poetry or Neruda fans, romantics, and dreamers.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

It's been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA's unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space--and change their lives forever. Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band's ticket to fame and fortune. Midori believes it's her way out of her restrained life in Japan. Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.

It's the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space... no one is coming to save them.

In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true.

REVIEW: This YA book was a fun, suspenseful read that was hard to put down. Besides being an avid horror fan, I also enjoy sci-fi stories and this made for a unique blend of both genres. I liked each of the three teen characters: Mia, Midori, and Antoine and thought the author did a great job of bringing out their personalities and telling their backstories.

There is this tension throughout the book that keeps you guessing as to what the real mystery on the moon is and why the moon base, named DARLAH 2 was kept secret for decades. The author also does a great job setting the dark mood and creepiness on the moon, once the teens and astronauts arrive and things begin to shut down with little explanation.

The ending was not was I was hoping for which made the story even more sinister, but this book was an enjoyable read and I would highly recommend it to fans of horror, suspense, and sci-fi.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Travel by Edna St. Vincent Millay

This is a quaint, lovely poem I read on's newsletter and it sums up the feeling of traveling by train pretty well:

The railroad track is miles away, 
    And the day is loud with voices speaking, 
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day 
    But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by, 
    Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming, 
But I see its cinders red on the sky, 
    And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make, 
    And better friends I’ll not be knowing; 
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take, 
    No matter where it’s going.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lemon Blossoms by Nina Romano

Angelica Domenico is born in a blossoming lemon grove, a prophetic fusion of sweet bloom and bitter fruit on an island governed by volcanoes and earthquakes.

In the continuation of Nina Romano s epic Wayfarer Trilogy, an early childhood accident propels Angelica to battle trials in a world where proof of virginity is paramount. She su ers the trauma of her aunt s death in childbirth and is catapulted on a voyage towards the nunnery to seek refuge from a fear of intimacy. Fate intervenes on the Feast of Cruci xion when Giacomo Scimenti enters the family shop, and Angelica feels herself rent by lightning the instant they come face to face.

"Lemon Blossoms" is the story of Angelica s struggle in pursuit of feminine identity and heritage while coping with the intricacies of loss, love, and yearning."

Review: Lemon Blossoms is the second book in Nina Romano's The Wayfarer Trilogy and I actually loved this book more than the first one. In this second installment, we are introduced to the main character, Angelica, who is Italian. We witness her many adventures and unfortunate tragedies through the years. She's a precocious, curious girl who has a penchant for getting into trouble but she's also very strong and stands up for herself and her beliefs. Angelica has the gift of "seeing" and these visions lead to future sorrows and insights. I don't want to give too much away, so I won't divulge anything further. 

This is truly a gorgeous read, with luscious imagery and storytelling that enchants from the very beginning. I can practically smell the lemon blossoms and imagine myself there in Italy, taking in the sights and smells. I would highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and romance.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Rosegiver Giveaway on Goodreads

~ I've moved my giveaway momentum over to Goodreads now. This time, I'm offering one print copy of The Rosegiver instead of e-copies. I hope to possibly do another giveaway shortly after this one ends, just in time for an October winner, close to Halloween. I hope this giveaway entices more folks to add the book to their to-read list. The giveaway ends on August 30th.