Sunday, 7 February 2016

Carole's Sunday Review: The wondrous kite - Jason Sandberg


Author: Jason Sandberg
Title: The Wondrous Kite
Genre: Picture book, child's book, & short story
Pages: ebook
First Published: December 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by publisher and/or author for my honest and unbiased opinion)

What would it be like to be a carefree kite? This rhyming picture book imagines the world as seen by “The Wondrous Kite.” Perfect as a bedtime story, this book also serves as an introduction to the pet dinosaurs, pixie wings, and resourceful heroines that populate Jason Sandberg's eBooks. 

This is the second children's book by this author that I have read. This one is a little shorter and I feel it is for a younger crowd then the last one. The story and art is simplistic, which I like, so I feel this would be a good one for 6 years and younger. It is a good book especially for that age group just starting to learn how to read. 


Again, I love the art in this one. It is simple and beautiful much like the books from my own youth. I love how vibrant the kite is compared to the background, so it really draws your eye to it. It is the star of the book, so it makes sense it would pop more. 


The story was simplistic as well. I liked the story, but I think I wanted more from it. It seemed super short, which yes it should be short, but I feel like more could have been done. 

Overall, this was a cute little storybook for kids. I highly recommend it for those who kids are 6 years old and younger. Its a nice story for kids who are just learning how to read and for those that just want to look at the pictures. I shall stamp this with 4 stars.





Saturday, 6 February 2016

Author Post and Giveaway: Hannah Fielding

 



 Delving into Spanish history
I have always been fascinated by history, and my favourite aspect of writing a new novel (aside from dreaming up a hero par excellence, of course!) is researching the era and setting for the story.

For my trilogy Andalusian Nights that meant a fantastic research trip to Spain, and immersing myself in books, films, music – even the cuisine. The challenge was to encapsulate the spirit and realities of different times in history. 

For Book 1, Indiscretion, that I enjoyed learning about what life was like in Andalusia in the 1950s. The story focuses on Alexandra, a half-English, half-Spanish girl who has grown up in England and comes to Spain to connect with her heritage. She steps into a world that is very different to that which she has known in England, more rustic, more impassioned and dramatic, and by far more steeped in customs and traditions. It is the latter which proves problematic for Alexandra: a woman in this time did not enjoy all the rights and freedoms we expect today – heaven forbid she commit an indiscretion. Machismo abounds, and Alexandra must struggle to assert herself as an independent woman in a society that demands women be good little wives and nothing more. 

Masquerade, Book 2, tells the story of the next generation, with Alexandra’s daughter Luz as the protagonist. The year is 1976, and a new and exciting climate has sprung up in Spain following the death of the dictator Franco. Luz is essentially a heroine of the sexual revolution that swept through Spain at this time, challenging long-accepted values, rules and behaviour with regard to sexuality and relationships. What had been taboo, like the use of contraception and sex outside of marriage, became more acceptable, and women discovered hugely important new freedoms: the right to work, to own property, to have a personal account, to travel, to divorce: in short, to carve their own destinies. Imagine how it feels to be Luz in the midst of this massive social change. She can build a career; she can live independently; she can explore her sexuality. And yet… change is not quick, and many prejudices remain. Spain may be breaking down barriers for women to be themselves and follow their passions, but the taboo about falling for a gypsy is still deeply entrenched. Can Luz follow her heart and be herself, or will she be locked in a masquerade?

The final book in the series, Legacy, shifts to the more recent generation, where Andalusia is once more transformed by the galloping pace of progress. But does a more modern heroine have any easier a time of it when it comes to matters of the heart? How does her legacy define her and the choices she makes?

In truth, no matter the historical era and no matter the conditions in which heroines and heroes fall in love, I think the foundations of the story are the same. Love is love, whenever it blossoms – it is timeless, the common experience with which we all identify. Adversities change form; love does not. It is the one beautiful, soulful constant across history. It is what drives us on, what lifts us up, what defines us… and what impels me to write romance novels!



Introducing… Hannah Fielding
Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.  

To date, Hannah has published four passionate, evocative novels: Burning Embers, a ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalusian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade. She is currently working on her fifth book, Legacy, which will publish this spring.



 
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Friday, 5 February 2016

#FitReaders: Weekly Check-In Feb 5 2016 and A Crown for cold silver

#FitReaders is hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog  and That’s What I’m Talking About.

Join in 

Sat 1 h walk
Sun 7 km bike
Mon 1 h walk. 4 km bike
Tue 1 h yoga. 8 km bike. 1,5 h workout class
Wed 4 km bike. 1 h zumba
Thu 8 km bike, 45min  zumba toning
Fri 4 km bike, 30 min walk

I haven't taken any pics, I have been bad  :/



........................................

Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history.

Now the peace she carved for herself has been shattered by the unprovoked slaughter of her village. Seeking bloody vengeance, Zosia heads for battle once more, but to find justice she must confront grudge-bearing enemies, once-loyal allies, and an unknown army that marches under a familiar banner.

My thoughts:
An older woman as one of the main POVs, I did like that. Older women can kick ass in fantasy too, and with older I do mean oooolder. Not not 30s, oooolder. A former rebel, villain, general, queen..hey now I am thinking of Xena, if she has stopped while she was on top and faked her death. And married and lived the small village life.

But for all those cool things I did not particularly like Zosia, because, well I just did not. I did not dislike her either

Then there was this princess who went all this land is mine. Well kudos to you, bring them down. 
But I never felt like I knew her or cared.

The church just seemed evil for the sake of being a church.
The queen, why was she bad? Maybe I missed that while skimming.

There was some kind of horned wolf guy, never got that or why he was there.

I really tried, I thought of my rules, but this was a NG book, and it was fantasy, and I really wanted it to work for me. But...I felt nothing, I was bored, nothing happened, maybe it tried too much. It was not for me, so I skimmed the rest cos I had no other book anyway where I was.

Kindle Edition, 656 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Orbit
The Crimson Empire #1
Fantasy
Own


Thursday, 4 February 2016

The book of speculation - Erica Swyler

A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who discovers that his family labours under a terrible curse - for generations, the women in his family have died on the same date in July. Simon must set out to unravel the mystery of this curse, before his beloved sister suffers the same fate. 

Simon Watson lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, works for a travelling carnival and seldom calls.

On a day in late June, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon's grandmother. The book tells the story of two doomed lovers who were part of a travelling circus more than two hundred years ago. The paper crackles with age as Simon turns the yellowed pages filled with notes and sketches. He is fascinated, yet as he reads Simon becomes increasingly unnerved. Why do so many women in his family drown on 24th July? And could Enola, who has suddenly turned up at home for the first time in years, risk the same terrible fate?

As 24th July draws ever closer, Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before it's too late. 

My thoughts:
I do love magical realism, in all shapes and forms. Here at times I was convinced that magic was real, but then, maybe it all had a logical explanation after all. And hey that is what magical realism is all about.

It's story of Simon, who works at a library. Who lives in a house that is falling down a cliff. Who loves the water. Whose family life was not that happy since his mum drowned and his father never cared for anything else after that. I liked Simon and his need for knowing more. His relentlessness in finding the truth.

See the truth is that all women in his family drown, and on the same date. Why? Is there a curse? Something else? And he hunts for the truth when he gets a book where this becomes clear, and all to save his sister. It's July after all.

We also get to follow the first "mermaid" in the family 200 years back, their life at the circus, and why they know tarot cards. And there lies the magic. What happened? Magic my heart said, no there is something else to it said my brain. But I think I will leave it at magic. That one always win. And I love how it can be both and be believable. 

It is a wonderfully crafted tale, set in the past and present. Water is a powerful theme and flows through out the book. It is magical, sad and beautiful. 

Conclusion:
A great book, and a good mystery. Recommended.

Cover
nice and simple

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2016 by Corvus (first published June 23rd 2015)
Magical realism /fiction
For review


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