Thursday, October 26, 2017

House of Spies

House of Spies: A Novel (Gabriel Allon) by [Silva, Daniel]

Spy thrillers aren't my typical fare but my book club chose it, so I read it.

That being said, this isn't my first spy thriller read, though I hadn't read a Daniel Silva book before.

The writing is solid, well researched, and fairly clean in terms of language, though there are a few swear words. Spies, you know. There's violence and death, but I expected nothing different due to the genre. The deaths aren't gory.

Many in my book club had trouble keeping track of characters, which is understandable as several of them go by multiple names.

Though this is well into the series, it can be read as a stand alone and the reader won't be lost.

Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London’s glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread. 
The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team of operatives to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know that the true source of Martel’s enormous wealth is drugs. And Martel, likewise, turns a blind eye to the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel’s skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terror.
Written in seductive and elegant prose, the story moves swiftly from the glamour of Saint-Tropez to the grit of Casablanca and, finally, to an electrifying climax that will leave readers breathless long after they turn the final page.  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October a novel

For Emily Baxter, life is simple. Her world is made up completely of school, church, and the community
in the small farming town she calls home. All that changes one fateful Sunday, when a new girl shows up
at Pleasanton Baptist—a girl unlike anyone Emily has ever seen. A girl with long red hair, crystal green
eyes, and style and posture like royalty.
A girl named October.
The months that follow are filled with magic—the magic of ordinary things, of finding pictures in the
stars, of imagination and a new sense of beauty. But as time goes by, Emily begins to sense that her
enchanting new friend may have secrets that could break the spell. Is October really all she seems to be?
About the Author
J. Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them down since age five.
Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits. When she's not
writing she enjoys reading good books, having adventures with her husband, and looking up at the stars.
Grace has generously offered a paperback book of her new book as her giveaway prize. You can enter at
this link or the widget below.
<a class="rcptr" href="" rel="nofollow" data-
raflid="9912248025" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_zwvc03ab">a Rafflecopter
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Excerpt #1:
The first time I saw October Blake, I was sitting in the front right pew of the Pleasanton First
Baptist church, where we always sat, watching as people filed into the sanctuary. The rich organ tones of
'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus resonated through the chamber under the magic of Ms. Hendrix's wrinkled
fingers. Soft chatter and friendly greetings mingled with the tune. Stained-glass windows cast rainbows
across the scene.
October fit the setting better than anyone I had seen enter. She didn't walk in, she glided, moving
over the gray carpet with a grace that held the eye. Her thick red hair was piled up on her head like
something out of an Anne of Green Gables movie, her skin almost porcelain, her eyes a pale, crystal green
visible from across the sanctuary. A ruffled cream blouse left her arms bare, and a floor-length green skirt
swished as she slipped down the aisle.
I watched—stared is a better word—as she found her way to the third pew from the front center.
She laid a hand on the back of it, then turned to look at the people behind her. I hadn't noticed until then
that Mr. and Mrs. Rivers were there, shuffling to adjoining seats. She didn't seem to belong to them. But
then, she didn't seem to belong to anything about Pleasanton. Pleasanton consisted of farms, fields, and
stores reluctant to move into the twenty-first century, with a little brick high school and long, hot
summers. This girl seemed more fitted to lilac and lace and the smell of old books with long, beautiful
words in them.

Tour Schedule
October 25, 2017
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory post
God's Peculiar Treasure Rae – Character Spotlight
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Character Spotlight
Lisa Swinton - Queen of Random – Book Spotlight
Audrey Rich – Book Spotlight
October 26, 2017
Frances Hoelsema – Excerpt
Jaye L. Knight – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke – Review
October 27, 2017
Liv K. Fisher – Author Interview and Excerpt
Opinions, Thoughts, and General Rambling – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
Leila's Bookshelf – Book Spotlight
Britbear's Book Reviews – Guest Post
October 28, 2017
Rebekah Lyn Books – Excerpt
In the Bookcase – Review
Roxbury Books – Character Spotlight and Excerpt
J. Grace Pennington – Special author’s post
October 29, 2017
Bookish Orchestrations – Giveaway Winner

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Kiss Me in the Rain (Destined for Love: Mansions)

Kiss Me in the Rain (Destined for Love: Mansions) by [Armstrong, Lindzee]

I'm a fan of Ms. Armstrong and have been awhile. I look forward to each of her publications.

This one has all the bells, whistles, and strong writing I've come to expect from Ms. Armstrong. Along with steamy kisses, plot twists, and good old Southern charm.

You'll love the chemistry between Layla and Tyler, and it's clean too.

Set yourself up with some Southern tea and a beignet, and curl up in your cozy chair. You won't want to put this down.


Will she risk the home she treasures for the man she loves?

Cypress Grove has always been a treasured constant in Layla's perfect life. Now the mansion will be sold to the highest bidder if she doesn’t date an investor's son. The problem? The man she really wants just rolled into town.

Tyler is done being responsible and never going after what he wants. Layla's finally given him the courage to quit grad school and use his student loans to flip houses. And he's decided to move near Cypress Grove to do it.

When Layla happens upon suspicious ledgers at the mansion, her family's financial woes take a sinister turn. As Tyler and Layla work together to find the culprit, the attraction between them threatens to burst into flames. But admitting their feelings could spell disaster for Cypress Grove.

Devour this thrilling romance today!

Books in the Destined for Love: Mansions Collection
—Kiss Me in the Rain by Lindzee Armstrong
—Roping His Heart by Jaclyn Hardy
—The Princess and the Pizza Man by Cassie Mae
—Mending Fences by Lorin Grace
—Love Me at Sunset by Lucinda Whitney
—Saving Her Plantation by Cami Checketts

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fairest One

Fairest One: A Snow White Retelling (The Fairytale Prophecies Book 2) by [Linnabary, Amy]

This is my first read by Amy Linnabary and it won't be my last, especially as this is book two in the series. That means I have the pleasure of going back and reading book one. And now you know that the books can be read as stand alones and be perfectly enjoyable reads.

Think you know fairytales? Not like this one.

Ms. Linnabary gives a refreshing take on the classic princess fairytales by turning them modern and giving a girlssuper powers. How awesome is that?

The writing is strong. The pacing is consistent. The characters are deep.
Romance is in the air, 'cause what's a princess without a prince? Even if they both aren't royalty. There are some satisfying teen kisses in the mix, along with fun side characters (Jamie!).

Can't wait for the next in the series and how the princesses will conquer the evil, wand carrying  mystery woman.

What if fairytales weren't just stories, but modern-day prophecies?

My name is Rosa.
My parents abandoned me as a baby and left me to rot in the foster system. 
I live with seven foster brothers. 
I just wanted to disappear. 
I am Snow White.

Oh, and I have superpowers. 

I had accepted my life until my stepmom showed up and asked me to live with her. Now I can’t help but wonder what having a family might be like. Even if it means abandoning the boys that I care for. But when visions I've had start to come true, I can’t justify leaving. 

Just when I think I’m alone, a strange girl from California shows up and tells me I’m the princess prophesied about in the fairytale, Snow White.

Now I must decide to either trust these strangers to save my loved ones, or keep my secrets hidden so no one can hurt me again. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Lady Helen Finds Her Song

Lady Helen Finds Her Song by [Moore, Jennifer]

I’ve long been a fan of Ms. Moore. Her books are both swoon and sigh worthy while also being well researched and impeccably written. 

This time she weaves her descriptions of India so seamlessly that you’d almost believe you were there walking in Helen’s shoes or Michael’s boot. The development of the individual characters coupled with the growing romance makes you want to savor every word, every page, to make the tale last as long as possible. There is beauty and ugliness found in India, as there are in all nations of the world. Helen’s reactions to them and the choices she makes in response are what set her apart from so many other heroines. By the end, you’ll hope you can see your own life through Helen’s eyes, but more especially with her generous heart. 

Spring 1813 --The exotic splendors of India are legendary, and the colorful sights of her new home in Calcutta immediately captivate eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Poulter. Whereas many of her fellow British expatriates despise the culture they see as barbaric, Helen sees excitement in the unusual locale. It is in this vibrant, bustling city that she finds a kindred soul in Captain Michael Rhodes, an Englishman whose lifelong love of India runs deep. Their friendship quickly grows, yet despite their undeniable connection, she could never think of Captain Rhodes as more than a dear friend. Her love, in truth, has been captured by dashing British Lieutenant Arthur Bancroft. This handsome soldier represents the embodiment of all she’s dreamed of in a husband. Preoccupied by her growing affections, Helen never dreams that beneath the glamor of the city, hostilities are reaching a boiling point. When battle ultimately threatens both of the men in her life, she must make a choice: pursue the man who symbolizes her British past, or let herself love a man who promises an unknown future in the land she loves. But amid the casualties of war, will her declaration of love come too late?