Sunday, 18 March 2018

Carole's SUnday Review: Three cups of tea

Author: David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson

Title: Three Cups of Tea One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
Genre: Nonfiction
Pages: 349 
Published: 2006
Where I Got It: My shelf (Friend gave me copy)

The inspiring account of one man's campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia.

I have been dreading writing this review honestly. It’s not that this book is bad by any means, but it is bad. Read on and you will hopefully see what I mean.

The story follows Greg Mortenson who is pretty much a world hero and a self-proclaimed hero who has brought education to parts of the world that really need it, especially for the young girls. I say that with love. He is not humble in the work he has done. WHICH he shouldn’t be humble because he has done some amazing work, BUT an ounce of humble-pie is good for you when helping write your own book. 

Which brings me to my biggest issue of the book. This was written by two completely different authors. You can really tell. You get used to one format and style of writing and then BAM the other writer hops in mid-paragraph. *blinks* I swear I was getting whiplash. 

Not only did the writing style change, but the format of the text. The tense would change. It was like a documentary written down word for word. Things are going well and then the camera would change to an interview with the subject to get his opinion on a certain topic or event and then back to viewing the story. It was horribly distracting and made the flow as well as a choppy ocean during a hurricane. My poor brain. 

Besides for the terrible writing I had to endure, I really did like the story. Yes, yes. That sounds hard and impossible. I really did like seeing the people he ran into and the growth he had as a person as he filled the shoes of a World Hero. He really did do wonders for people who needed it. 

That is why I loathed writing this. I do not want to take away this story. I want people to experience the journey the man went on. Maybe watch his interviews and documentaries instead though. This? Gah. I can’t fully recommend it without a huge WARNING sign on the cover. 

Now…the 2nd thing I dread….the star stamp…errr…ummmmm….2 stars. Is that too low? Gah! I don’t know. I’ll stick with 2. 

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Saturday Movie. Darkest Hour

Hello everyone! This month Carole and I are reviewing, Darkest Hour. 

I am in blue and Carole in purple.

Title:  Darkest Hour

Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Running Time: 2 hr and 5 mins
Rating: PG-13
Released: 2017

During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.


My turn to pick a movie and, eh, maybe not the best pick. Not a lot to discuss, but I am sure we can find things! :) I honestly thought it was pretty good. NOT amazing, but pretty good. I can agree with that. It was good, but not amazing. But things to discuss! Eeek. Ok Gary Oldman! Damn. I did not even see it. You stole the words out of my mouth. I had that on my notes of what I wanted to talk about. Haha YES. Holy cow. He did wonderful in acting and in costume. You can’t even tell it is him. Fantastic. He seriously was Churchill! I still can’t see it even though I know it is him. It was amazing. Down to the not really understanding everything he was saying ;) He deserved an award for this role. Agreed. He had Churchill (or what I know of the man) down to a T. I think he was nominated for an Oscar...but I do not think he won. Who won….no idea! But Oldman should have. He really made the movie, but then the entire movie was about him so he better bring his A game. *does research* Oh! I think he did win! Good! He really deserved it in this film. *nods* Lol. SO went all why are you laughing??, but I had to laugh at that. Oh we know so little. But yes good! He so deserved it for this role. I used to be on top of that! But the last few years? Naw. Too lazy. That is what Google is for. Now! What did you think of the others? I liked his typist and his wife. They were fun. I always enjoy his wife. She is so funny! The typist was in Downton Abbey? Lily? Right? I liked her there if that was here and yes I liked her, but she did not really do much. I wish we had seen more of the wife, she sounded fun! From anything I see with Churchill and his wife, she doesn’t take his crap. I do wish we got more time with her. She is the only one who can truly handle that man. I think we need a movie from her POV! Bring it! :) Yesss! My next point. Why is everything about Churchill in the middle of the war? Yes, yes, he saved England and all, but I really want to watch something about young Churchill and his wife. I want to see them fall in love, get married, and watch them grow together. That would be fun. We can always start with his mother too to get the entire story. And yes it would be fun to see that. I have NO idea what Churchill did before the war. I mean, was he in WW1? He must have, I think. So much I do not know. Mhmmm I think he was? They mentioned, briefly, a mission he messed up. I wanted more info on that. I should google search one day. But yes, I want to learn more about the young man and his wife. I googled. He was involved with Gallipoli, and that was one big mess! Must have messed things up for years for him. So he resigned as an MP and joined the war in 1916 and went to the front. See, already interesting things we learn. Ah yes, I remember that name. They threw that in his face a few times. No details tho. Sighs. SO MUCH MATERIAL THEY COULD DO! So we have reached the conclusion the world needs more Churchill, lol. As for this one, I did not learn anything new. But it was interesting watching it from this side. When I watched Dunkirk everything was on that beach and the sea. Yes, it was interesting to see on this side. It frustrates me, because they wanted to make peace with the monster. NO. Insanity at that point. I did read a book that goes off and does a what-if Churchill caved and decided to make peace. A messed up world indeed. It was all of Europe vs America and Canada. But yes, I did enjoy seeing behind the scenes. Politicians are so crappy. Interesting. I like what ifs. But there would still be Russia. But maybe the Nazis took over? See, I am more interested in that book now. I have read a what if where Germany one and it was bleak, so bleak. Yes, the book was good. I can’t remember Russia. Maybe they kept to been so long. I wished they would’ve cut a little bit and showed more of the aftermaths and more time with him dealing with craziness of war. It was a short time for sure. But they ended on top so to say and that is what they wanted. Not a war that drags out. So do we have anything more to say? Oh oh, I liked when he talked to the people on the subway, that was fun. OMG that scene made me tear up. I’m such a baby. But such loyalty and love is amazing. I cheered. Beautiful scene.

I kept waiting for him to make his speech too, but it was not as good as the subway, cos that was real. I loved the speech he made right before the “big” one. That one was good. He was good at that ;) A real politician. We need another Churchill to wipe this world into shape. LOLLL The man was awesome. Scary, I can imagine, but he was good. I chuckled when the King was all honest with him, “ are kinda scary you know?” haha I like King George (it was him right? ;) He was real and not meant to be king so I guess that is why. Yes, he was lovely. The actor did well. I honestly didn’t know the two had beef at first. I had no idea Churchill supported the old King wanting to marry his American. So one fact I did not know! THey should have been able to marry and for him to be king, but then again, he seemed to have been nazi oriented so...go George Yes, it all worked out well. I liked George more. His brother was skeevy especially when those photos got out with him being all friendly with the Nazi Lord, Hitler. So England AND the world dodged a bullet. He would’ve SO not supported Churchill in wanting to fight back. Dodged a bullet there for sure. Anything more to add? Mhmmm no. I think that is it. Pretty good. The film was a little dry here and there. I want to see more Churchill movies and shows in the future featuring his young life. You? I agree with a bit dry in places. Still good and interesting, and yes we need young Churchill - the BBC mini series! ;) That would be fine with me. LOLL!!! The end! :=) The end! Back to work for meeeee

Friday, 16 March 2018

Audio: A perfect gentleman - Candace Camp

Forced to marry an American heiress to save his family, Graeme Parr, Earl of Montclair, vowed their marriage would be in name only. Abigail Price thought handsome, aristocratic Graeme was her knight in shining armor, rescuing her from her overbearing father. But when she was spurned by her husband on their wedding night, Abigail fled home to New York.

Now, years later, Abigail has returned. But this sophisticated, alluring woman is not the drab girl Graeme remembers. Appalled by her bold American ways but drawn to her beauty, Graeme follows her on a merry chase through London’s elegant ballrooms to its dockside taverns—why is his wife back? What could she want of him now?

Torn between desire and suspicion, Graeme fears that Abby, like her unprincipled father, has a devious plan to ruin him. But is Abigail’s true desire Graeme’s destruction...or winning his love at last? 

Audio CD, 11 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Tantor Audio (first published March 28th 2017)
Montclair-de Vere #1
For review
Historical romance

My thoughts:
I really wanted to hit these two over the head, but yes yes I totally get it, still one should think they would understand that the other person liked them back. Alas no.

Abby ran away 10 years ago (and I totally get why). Now she is back to give him a second chance. And she is confident (at times), stronger and her own woman.

Graeme spent the last 10 years alone, and not that he cared. He never wanted a wife in the first place. 

Ok so yes their marriage started on such bad terms. He likes someone else. Her father blackmailed him and orchestrated the whole thing. Can you blame either of them?

And he is certainly no perfect gentleman! Shame on your Sir!

They have a lot work through. There is distrust on both sides and even when they enjoy spending time together they have second thoughts. Idiots! You clearly enjoy it!

But that is not all! There is danger and secrets to unravel too. I did guess it in the end, yes! I got one thing right for once.

Danger and drama.

Narrator. Gildart Jackson
His range was not the best. Of course I could still enjoy it, but I wished he had not forgotten her accent.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Audio: Highland Dragon Master - Isabel Cooper

Legend claims
When Scotland fell to English rule
The Highland dragons took a vow:
Freedom at any price.

The war for Scottish independence rages on, but it's only a matter of time before England is victorious. Exhausted and battle-weary, Highland dragon Erik MacAlasdair will face unknown seas to seek the Templar stronghold and claim a power so great it could free his beloved homeland forever.

If only that kind of power didn't come with such a terrible price.

Daughter of a mortal woman and an ancient dragon, Toinette has never forgotten the proud Scot who once stole her young heart—she'll gladly fight at his side. But when dark forces leave them stranded on a cursed island, it will take everything they have to defy their fate...and trust the passion that burns within the heart of every dragon. 

Audio CD, 9 h
Published March 6th 2018 by Tantor Audio
Dawn of the Highland Dragon #3
Historical paranormal romance
For review

My thoughs:
For a romance there was not a lot of romance. It's more historical romance, with romance or well, lust thrown in at the end.

Erik needs an old artifact that the Templars hid. So he hires a ship, and look the captain is his old friend Toinette. Friend and friend, they spent a few years together as teens and shared a kiss. Oh and they are both dragons.

For a Highland book it does not even take place in the Highlands! I was very sad, I mean only one Scot! Shame, shame. Most of the book takes place on this really creepy cursed island. I mean really creepy, when I listened in the dark all I thought was, I really hope this does not give me nightmares! It was one of those not shown, just speculation and then more and more. That was one freaky island! And there they are, stranded (and no, they can't just fly away.)

Most of the book is trying to get away, and these two growing closer and giving in to that passion that has been building.

Starting a book shakily it ended with a creepy bang. A good creepy bang.

Narrator Derek Perkins
Sure it worked, but, I honestly feel he would be better for straight up romance. Not this mostly pnr thing. I think I would enjoy it more in a proper setting, with balls and dinners. He does have the voice for that.

sexy dragon alert

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Audio: No Earls allowed - Shana Galen

Lady Juliana, daughter of the Earl of St. Maur, needs all the help she can get. She's running a ramshackle orphanage, London's worst slumlord has illicit designs on her, and her father has suddenly become determined to marry her off. Enter Major Neil Wraxall, bastard son of the Marquess of Kensington, sent to assist Lady Juliana in any way he can. Lucky for her, he's handy with repairs, knows how to keep her and the orphans safe, and is a natural leader of men. Unfortunately for both of them, the scandal that ensues from their mutual attraction is going to lead them a merry dance . . . 

Audio CD, 10 h
Published March 6th 2018 by Tantor Audio
The Survivors #2
Historical romance
For review

My thoughts
These poor war heroes. They certainly do not seem themselves as heroes, and the turn has come to Neil. The man who gave the orders and now he blames himself for the death of his men. Drinking himself to death and having nightmares. Luckily his dad sends him on a new mission (oh and yes he is a bastard so he has issues with that too.)

Juliana was, oh well, yes girl power and all that, but omg woman, you are taking over an orphanage in the slums, please have some backup! I would be scared. While she was all, I can do that! Kudos for that, but scary! And yes there is this guy after her too. But then again, she cares not for reputation or anything else. All she wants to do is take care of these orphans and try and get some order. I did like her, even if I did want her to take Neil's help and not be so stubborn ;)

Oh and why are there always boys? I never come across any orphanages with girls. But the boys were fun and I liked how the interacted with Neil.

The house is falling apart. The boys are running wild. There is no one except for Julia there. There is a creepy crimelord around. Neil has his hands full. And they also have time to fall in love (and they are both virgins ;) I just had to add that.)

Sweet with danger and rats!

Victoria Aston
I like her voices for everyone. She works excellent for historical romance and it's fun listening to.
I am there in the moment and it sure makes for fun audio. Romance was made for it.

Cover thoughts.
Makes no sense. A country estate? A ball gown? Sure she attends like 3 functions but most of the book takes place in the orphanage

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The girl in the tower - Katherine Arden

For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark: marriage or a life in a convent. Vasya will choose a third way: magic...

The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.

Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior's training, recognises this 'boy' as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical... 

Hardcover, UK edition, 364 pages
Published January 25th 2018 by Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing (first published December 5th 2017)
Winternight Trilogy #2
YA, Historical fantasy

My thoughts:
I liked it, it was an interesting story, BUT, no, it did not live up to book 1. That one was more magical and at the same time now. That one was a fairytale. This one was not.

Vasya is on the run. First, omg, I haaaate people who is all witch witch!! I am certain I was a burned at the stake in a previous life because if anyone accuses anyone of being a witch and when the priest preaches hellfire I breathe fire. SO yes Vasya left her home and is heading to her sister.

Thought break:
I found it fascinating how the Muscovites put highborn women in towers. And only let them out to church. They lived their entire lives in those towers. And that is where Olga now is. She might be married to a prince, but she is still stuck in that tower.


Bandits are burning and killing and soon Vasya has the eye of the prince of Moscow. This girl does not think ahead, instead she rushes into things. So strike  one for her there, please, think about things! 
ALso, everyone thinks she is a boy....we all know that will bring drama.

I really like the winter spirit, Morzorko, I forgot how to spell it already. In this one he really shows more of himself.

There is this other person that comes into the novel and I really did not get his story at the end. It stopped making sense.

Arghhhh priests!!!!

All in all, it is still a good story. It did loose some magic, which is weird since there is more magic now. 
I am looking forward to more and I hope that one will be back on track to awesomeness. I have no idea how it all will end

I did not like the previous one, it felt so MG, but this one looks kind of cool

Monday, 12 March 2018

Audio: No good dragon goes unpunished - Rachel Aaron

To keep his clan together and his skin intact, Julius is going to have to find a way to make his bloodthirsty siblings play fair. But there's more going on in Heartstriker Mountain than politics. Every family has its secrets, but the skeletons in Bethesda's closet are dragon sized, and with Algonquin's war looming over them all, breaking his clan wide open might just be the only hope Julius has of saving it. 

Audio CD, 19 h
Published December 27th 2016 by Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio (first published August 5th 2016)
Heartstrikers #3
Urban fantasy

My thoughts:

Like OMG





Can that be my review cos WOW. First Chelsea! OMG, I totally did not see that coming.
And the XXXXXXXXXXXXX omg did not see that coming.
Dang, the revelations kept on coming and I was on the edge of my seat. I think I managed 6 hours today cos I COULD NOT STOP.

I sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo want the next book but it is freaking sold out. Wtf? That is beyond cruel. OMG the thing happening in the next one. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEk.
Poor Chelsea.

I think I have to give this another 5. I told SO that I will NOT speak to him and then I put headphones on. Hehe.

Love Love love this series.

Did I say OMG?


LOve love Julius!


Ahhh Bob and his Pigeon.

OMG just listen to it. NOW!

Narrator Vikas Adam
He is a god!

SO good.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Carole's Sunday: The dress of the season - Kate Noble

Author: Kate Noble

Title: The Dress of the Season (The Blue Raven #4.5)
Genre: Historical Romance, short story
Pages: ebook
Published: April 3rd 2012
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

Harris Dane, Viscount Osterley, orders a very fine and scandalously cut dress to be made for a certain lady he wishes to woo. While with the dress designer, he also orders a pair of gloves to be sent to his ward, Miss Felicity Grove, to wish her well for the new Season. But when Felicity accidentally receives the dress, along with Osterley’s affectionate note, it sets into motion a tale of scandalous misunderstandings and love in the last place you look.

Gah! I was doing so well with not jumping into the middle of a book series. Whoops! Luckily this does well as a standalone since it is just a short story in-between the other books. 

Now...first....I must say....I AM UTTERLY IN LOVE WITH THIS COVER! Look at that beautiful dress! The flowers!? The colors?! So beautiful!


Now, this story follows Felicity and her guardian Harris. Harris has been her guardian for the last 4 years since Felicity lost her parents and her brother which happened to be Harris' bestie. Harris has pretty much kept his distance from Felicity for many reasons that are not 100% clear to Felicity since they used to be friends in their youth. Things happen and Felicity accidentally receives a dress that Harris meant to send to his wannabe mistress. This dress, of course, causes a scandal because it is so beautiful and risky. 

This was a fun little story. I enjoyed how complex the author made this story and the characters. It is a rare day a short story can do this. I did not feel this was too short or missing anything. I really enjoyed the characters and their journey to find themselves, work past the past, and find the love inside their hearts for each other. 

The ending was very unlikely and made me roll my eyes...but it was bearable I suppose since I enjoyed everything else. 

I do want to go back to the beginning of the series and read book 1. The author's short story was good...I wonder what a full novel will be like. 

Besides for the unlikely ending, this was a good one. I swear! It is 50/50 with these Amazon freebies. It is either really good oorrrrrrr super meh. This falls under really good. I'll give this 4 stars. 

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Saturday Movie: Victoria and Abdul

Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Director: Stephen Frears
Writers: Lee Hall (screenplay by), Shrabani Basu (based on the book by)
Stars: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith

Biography, Drama, History

1h 51 min / 2017

My thoughts:
Oh I actually enjoyed this one! Haha, I knew it would happen one day. I always pick the most boring movies based on a book. But this one worked.

Judi Dench was great as Victoria. So sassy and tired. Poor Queen Victoria!
Ali Fazal was great as Abdul Karim and well he sure was fine to look at like good old Vicky said ;)
Eddie Izzard, oh I totally saw him as Bertie, honestly applauds there.

So yes great cast! And I even laughed a few times.

The story is about how Victoria develops a friendship with a clerk from India. He teachers her Urdu and more. And she confides in him. Because he real, and not like the rest.

This one I can actually recommend.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Audio: A Kiss in the Dark - Gina Giocca

When the lights go out at a Georgia high school football game, senior Macy Atwood finds herself in the arms of a boy who kisses her senseless-but he's gone by the time the lights come back on. All she knows is that there was something special-and oddly familiar-about her mystery kisser. Noah Granger, Ridgedale's resident bad boy and newest transfer student, has no problem taking credit for the kiss, but Macy can't shake the feeling that he's lying. Especially since a photograph of Macy and former star football player Joel Hargrove resurfaced online moments before the blackout, a not-so-random reminder of how hard she fell for Joel last year. And how doing so ultimately sent her lifelong friendships with Meredith Kopala and Ben Collins up in literal smoke. Soon last year's wounds begin to reopen as Macy realizes the events that unfolded during junior year are somehow tied to her mystery kisser. But the closer Macy gets to figuring it all out, the more she starts to worry that the boy who kissed her in the dark and the boy who is stealing her heart might be two very different people. 

Audio CD, 9 h
Published March 6th 2018 by Tantor Audio
Narrator: Amy Melissa Bentley
YA /romance
For review

MY thoughts:
The book alternates between junior and senior year. And I lost my train of thought. You know what, YA really works for me when it is like this. First audio, obviously, and second, normal YA with normal people. No angst. Drama, yes, they are teens after all. And romance of course.

Macy loves to take photos (this author seems to have a type),  she is nice and normal. I'd love to have had a friend like that in HS.
And then someone kisses her, in the dark. Let the drama begin. 

There is Joel who she got close to last year. And as the book alternates we get to see them meeting and becoming friend. But something obviously happened.

There is Noah, the new guy in school, hot and wanting to get to know her better. He is not around in the previous year though. But it could be him.

I wanted to know what happened. Why did she looser her bestie Meredith? And her friend Ben? Why is she not talking with Joel anymore? I did like how it all came together. Oh and kids can sure hold grudges!

I spotted the mysterious kisser when all the players were introduced, so yes that was easy and I was happy.

I spotted the other secret before the first real hint was out. But I did wonder about that when nothing happened (before the end). Juicy secrets.

A nice YA fiction.

I think this is my 5th? book by Amy Melissa Bentley and I so like her voice. When she started talking I was all, yay, it is Amy! I like her soothing voice and her different characters. She is also really good at YA


Thursday, 8 March 2018

Audio: Home with you - Shirlee McCoy

The Bradshaw brothers never dreamed they'd return to their hometown. But tragedy has brought them back together in Benevolence, Washington, where they're finding generosity, surprising revelations-and unexpected love . . . Sullivan Bradshaw is in way over his head. A car crash killed his brother, Matthias, and critically injured his sister-in-law. It's Sullivan's turn to care for the couple's six children and the ancestral farm, but the die-hard bachelor and art professor is hardly family-man material. What he needs is the perfect nanny-miracle worker-saint. What he gets is pretty Rumer Truehart, a free spirit who will change everything he ever thought he wanted . . . Rumer learned the hard way that nothing is for sure, much less forever. And she certainly understands why Sullivan's unhappy childhood makes him a strictly no-commitments kind of guy. But she can't help being drawn to this thoughtful, gentle man. And when trouble strikes, she's determined to win his trust-and show him love can be a promise for keeps. 

Audio CD, 9 h
Published February 27th 2018 by Tantor Audio
The Bradshaws #1
Contemporary romance /Romantic fiction
For review

My thoughts:
I wonder what I should file this under? Sure there is romance, but not a lot. It is more something between romantic fiction and contemporary romance. So I shall call it contemporary romance drama.

Sullivan has to take care of his brother's 6 kids when his brother dies and the wife is in a coma. And the kids are obviously distraught and they have their own baggage too. Like the oldest who has been in too many foster homes. Or their adoptive daughter who thinks she has to be calm and strong for everyone. I loved those kids. I know some do not want to read books with kids in them, but this book needed the kids. 
As for Sullivan, he is a good man. A bit overwhelmed though.

To help comes Rumer. She was sweet, sensible and so good for them all. Though I must say, yes yes, I know you studied and know kids, but even if she said it the nicest way possible, I would have taken offense at times. Sully does not, but still not everything can be solved with her ways, even if they are solved here. Oh and I wanted to smack her over the head cos she had this idea about how her family is "cursed" to only fall for bad men, omg girl! Are you listening to yourself!?

Friends and slowly falling in love, but not acting on it. They both have their things to work through, and with 6 kids around to do not get a lot of alone time.

And the small town is so nice. Hey, everyone is nice in this one. A good family oriented romance.

Narrator.Vanessa Daniels
I liked her voice and range. I liked her kid voices. A good impression

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Kin - Snorri Kristjansson

He can deny it all he likes, but everyone knows Viking warlord Unnthor Reginsson brought home a great chest of gold when he retired from the longboats and settled down with Hildigunnur in a remote valley. Now, in the summer of 970, adopted daughter Helga is awaiting the arrival of her unknown siblings: dark, dangerous Karl, lithe, clever Jorunn, gentle Aslak, henpecked by his shrewish wife, and the giant Bjorn, made bitter by Volund, his idiot son.

And they're coming with darkness in their hearts.

The siblings gather, bad blood simmers and old feuds resurface as Unnthor's heirs make their moves on the old man's treasure - until one morning Helga is awakened by screams. Blood has been shed: kin has been slain.

No one confesses, but all the clues point to one person - who cannot possibly be the murderer, at least in Helga's eyes. But if she's going to save the innocent from the axe and prevent more bloodshed, she's got to solve the mystery - fast . . . 

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: March 8th 2018 by Jo Fletcher Books Historical fiction /crime Helga Finnsdottir #1
For review

My thoughts:
It has been a very long time since I finished a book in a day. Not that I have not wanted to. But a baby makes it harder. But today everything came together, and it also helped that I could not put the book down and that it was so light and it flowed so well. Suddenly I was on page 150 and it felt like a blink of an eye. Who knew Viking crime drama could feel so light! In writing that it. In tone, eh, not so much. There will be blood as kin slay kin. Though dark it is not.

Helga is our heroine and she was awesome. She is the adoptive daughter in the house. Calm, patient and with a good eye for things. As she will soon learn.

Her foster parents have 3 sons and 1 daughter. And they all gather now. They all believe their father have hid a Viking treasure somewhere. They all have their own hidden agendas. This is a very dysfunctional family. Helga seems to be the only normal one.

Obviously there will be blood, and Helga is on the case.

Viking crime drama. Yes, honestly that truly says it all. Iceland, desolate, kin. Murder.

So if you like crime read it. If you are a historical fan, read it. If you just like a good story (like we all do!) then well duh, this is a must read.

Oh it was just so good! I truly enjoyed this one. Writing that just flows. And a murder I could not figure out (but then I never can.)

Can I say amazing!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Audio: To catch a stolen soul - RL Naquin and TMST

Kam is a soul chaser for the Hidden Government, a much harder job now that the Hidden look like everyone else. Broke, out of magic and sick of playing waitress in a pirate-themed dive bar, Kam jumps at a chance for an out-of-town mission. 

A reaper—and his loaded soul stone—have gone missing. The stone contains souls that might get permanently stuck if Kam doesn't find it, like, yesterday. She tracks the reaper down to a food truck outside Kansas City, only to find a dead reaper and no soul stone in sight. Which means that someone who should be dead killed the reaper and is running around with a powerful magic item. Not good. 

And apparently the killer is targeting food-truck owners that also happen to be Hidden. So the only thing to do is open her own truck and go undercover—goodbye Kam the Djinn, hello Mobile Food Entrepreneur—and hope that she and her new runaway friend won't be the next targets… 

Audio CD, 7 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Tantor Audio (first published January 9th 2017)
Djinn Haven #1
Urban fantasy
For review

My thoughts:
Kam is a Djinn down on her luck.  A piece of her magic was stolen. She has lost her partner (in chasing souls), and she works at a crappy bar to earn some money. What she has is a car that still runs for some reason, and a will do live her own life, on her terms. I liked her. She was so friendly! To everyone, strangers, homeless, she did not care. All were equal in her eyes. The world need happy people like her. Or happy Djinns.

But that is not this story. She gets an assignment that takes her into the food-truck posse. I liked the food truck people, and I want to try their food. It was a nice scenery and it worked for this. Solving a murder. It was kind of like a UF cozy mystery in that way. Maybe totally like a UF Cozy mystery when I think of it. Humour, a tiny bit of romantic feelings (no romance, just the hots), friendship and a murder to solve. And food, of course.

Murder, toast (I totally made grilled cheese after listening) and lots of "monsters". Fun times to be had.

Narrator: Chandra Skyee
Her Kam voice was perfect and I wanted to be friends with her. Her voice for this other person was sort of similar. But it did not matter. She made the whole book sound fun.

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

March 6th: Spring picks for 2018
I am honestly reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally bad with these. I have NO idea when books are out. I always go all wtf? when I see something I want is out. So spring picks? Well when is spring?

Monday, 5 March 2018

Shooting Star - Jeffe Kennedy

Not all desires are shiny and sweet—and the dark ones might change you forever… 

It’s not the kind of obsession a tough Army guy can admit to—a jones for Ava, the pretty-princess pop star. Not just her body, the perfect product that sells all those magazines. Her music. 

The critics call her human lip gloss, all style and no substance. To Joe Ivanchan, Ava is the exact blend of reality and fantasy that he can tolerate, the closest he’s willing to get to giving his heart after the injury and breakdown that got him out of the service. 
But Ava is real. She’s a flesh and blood woman with a publicity machine and an album deadline, along with a whole team of handlers paid to shellac a pristine sheen over a damaged, desperate soul. A woman with fears, with secrets, with desires. 

When Joe finds himself in an interview to join her security team as her driver, his instinct is to get away. But the woman behind Ava’s carefully focus-grouped image is even harder to walk away from. The angry needs tormenting her speak to something within Joe. Something empathetic, protective—and primal… 

Besides, even a falling star can light up the darkest night. 

Ebook, 260
Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Brightlynx
Dark Contemporary romance
For review

My thoughts:
This is actually the first book by her that did not work for me. Yes I get it was darker and for me that was one issue. There was nothing wrong with the story or writing. How wonderful that two damaged souls can find solace in each other, but....but it was the characters.

Joe creeped me out! I get that her music saved him when he came home and was in the hospital. But it was just too creepy. How he was all yay she is over 18 now and has done a center fold. And he was so obsessed that he watched the things she did as a kid too. Too far, too far. I never got over that first creepy impression.

Ava was human lipgloss. Sure I get that she portrayed that because she was broken inside after years getting told what to do and having a raving B as her mom. But she was just too handsy, mouthy and I did not like her.

I know that some can still enjoy the story, but I guess that characters really break or make a book for me. So these two can have each other then.

Two broken people find something they are missing in each other. And get some hot passion out of it too.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Carole'sAudio Review: The Japanese Lover

Author: Isabel Allende; Narrator: Joanna Gleason

Title: The Japanese Lover
Genre: Historical Fiction & Romance
Pages: Audiobook
Published: May 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco's parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family's Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family, like thousands of other Japanese Americans are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world.

Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco's charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.

Yayy third audiobook of the year. Blodeuedd will be proud! 

This was a freebie Audible gave me for becoming a member. Which is exciting because I have been wanting to read this for a while now! 

First, the narrator was okay. I liked her voice. She had a way to make you feel. However, I feel that even in the happy moments I was sad and never felt truly happy. Plus, I feel her voice never really changed when she was doing other POVs. Slight changes, but nothing really different. You really had to listen to get when things changed. 

This story was sad. Very sad. There was hope and happiness and this was a reminder to live life to the fullest. By the end of the book, I was depressed. It made me sad. I wanted more for Alma and Ichimei. I wanted more for Irina and Seth. It made me dread getting old. Being an old person sucks. 

The story was intriguing to listen to. You know what happens, but at the same time, you don't. We constantly learn more about Alma and the other characters. When you think you know something, you suddenly learn a secret or you learn of something they did. I loved Alma, but there were things she did that made me shake my head at her.

I do wish the format was different. Maybe if I read the book I would've felt different, but it jumped around a lot and there were a lot of POVs running around. Maybe reading it would've been different. Who knows.  

This was a sad book and I cried a lot. It makes you think. Makes you feel. The author really did a wonderful job showing people. I do want to read more of her work. I recommend either reading or listening. It is a good story, but be warned you will feel and think. 

In the end, I'll stamp this with...mhmmm...3 stars. Nearly a 4, but the format and the narration lowered it a bit. Overall, worth it. I recommend it. Maybe I'll attempt reading it someday. 


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