April 25, 2015

Read-a-Thon


I'm a reader at the 24-hour Read-a-Thon. My participation this year will not be the full 24 hours but I am committing to 8-10 hours starting at 8 a.m. today. My "Currently Reading" bookshelf above will be updated throughout the day. I will post updates via my Twitter @LiteraryMarie and my final progress report here.

My Read-a-Thon Plan:

  • Finish Reading For Your Love: A Blessings Novel by Beverly Jenkins
  • Start and finish All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Start Balm by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  • Catch up on eMags Entertainment Weekly, Essence, Ebony and Marie Claire
  • Read the latest issue of Hour Detroit magazine
  • Write book reviews and cheer other participants during breaks


 

April 22, 2015

Lit Pick: 32 Life Lessons for Living a Life You Love


Title: 32 Lessons for Living a Life You Love
Author: Kristin Denise Hemingway
Published: April 2015

Description:
We all go through phases in life that are just not that enjoyable. 32 Lessons for Living a Life You Love helps you to learn from someone that has been through the gamut and still come out with joy on the other side. Let this little bit of inspiration encourage you through your day and help you to maximize your potential for joy in your life!

I highly recommend this book for buddy reads, self-reflection and book clubs looking for an inspirational selection. Read this new release free with Kindle Unlimited or download the eBook Kindle version for only $4.99. The paperback is available for only $8.17 on Amazon or $8.99 at Barnes & Noble. It is well worth your coins.

About the Author:
Kristin Denise Hemingway and I have been friends for almost 25 years. From the moment we met in elementary school, Kristin had a goal to become a writer. I am so proud of her success and happy to see her dream come true in print. Not only is her debut book an inspiration, but Kristin is a living testimony to aspiring self-published authors. I encourage all of my bookhearts to support her. You may download the eBook or purchase the paperback by clicking the links above. In the meantime, keep writing and living the life you love!

 

April 21, 2015

The Truth and Other Lies


"Dig a hole and shit your secret into the hole. Then you'll be rid of it and not full of shit anymore." ~ pg. 32

To the public, Henry Hayden is a modest bestselling author. No one really knows he is a fraud, a liar and an unpredictable psychopath. Drastic difference, right? Well Henry is good at claiming and accepting praise for what is not his own. Only he and his wife know that she is the real bestseller. She's the one who actually wrote Henry's debut novel that made him famous. Their agreement worked; she has no desire for fame, he has no problem reaping the benefits of success. But their secret is threatened and the fa├žade crumbles when Henry's mistress becomes pregnant. His plan to fix his life goes from ingenious to terrible.

Almost immediately the action begins and almost immediately I pity the main character. I don't always have to agree with the choices fictional characters make but I need to have some type of strong opinion about them. Keeping the title in mind, I wasn't sure whether to trust the narrator. It was different reading a thriller from the point of view of the psychopath.

The author, German screenwriter Sascha Arango, somehow lost me in the middle of the book. Maybe it was too many random characters or pointless scenes but The Truth and Other Lies is not on par with must-read psychological thrillers like Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, The Dinner, and Silent Wife. It is not as sinister as these popular novels.

The Truth and Other Lies (translated from German to English version) will be released June 23, 2015. Add to your summer reading list if you're looking for an okay story.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: The Truth and Other Lies
Author: Sascha Arango
Published: June 2015
Pages: 206
Edition: Galley
Challenge: New Author; Popsugar Originally Written in a Different Language
Rating: ♥♥

April 19, 2015

Series Sunday: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

(Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the first book in the trilogy of same name by Laini Taylor. A supply of teeth is running low in a dark and dusty shop. Black handprints appear on doorways. A bright blue-haired tatted up young art student, Karou, is caught up in an otherworldly war. Her sketchbook is filled with creatures she'd been drawing since she was a little girl: Issa, the woman serpent with bare breasts and the face of an angel; the giraffe-necked Twiga with a squinted eye; parrot-beaked Yasri with orange curls; the bird-like Kishmish that flutters away as a messenger; and the grumpy Wishmonger/Resurrectionist Brimstone. Of course Karou's friends think her trademark characters are fantastical. Only Karou knows they may be real; the single word tattoos on each of her wrists are a hint in plain sight: true and story.

"Over the years she'd found that that was all it took, that lazy smile, and she could tell the truth without risk of being believed. It was easier than keeping track of lies, and so it became part of who she was: Karou with her wry smile and crazy imagination." ~ pg. 9

Yes, you are on www.LiteraryMarie.com and read the book description right. Bookhearts know that I am not a paranormal fiction reader (with the exception of the Twilight series). Yet I still chose to start the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy based on the eye-catching cover, 150,000+ positive book reviews, and rave ratings from over half of my Goodreads friends. I finally borrowed the hardcover from the local library when my bookheart Steph highly recommended this series. I always trust her judgment on books. So here I am reviewing a fantasy/magic/nonhuman novel.

"Was there any fate more bitter than to get what you long for most, when it's too late?" ~ pg. 251

Was Daughter of Smoke & Bone worth stepping out of my comfort zone? YASSSS!!! One of the best bookish feelings is when a book turns out to be better than expected. Karou is such a strong, mature and smart heroine. The descriptions create vivid imagery and made me forget it was fantasy. The setting is in a place called Elsewhere. Oh, Laini Taylor, what an intriguing world you built about seraph and chimaera through beautiful narration. I will stop here; it is impossible to go into further detail without writing spoilers.

Trust when I say Daughter of Smoke & Bone lives up to the hype. I encourage those like me to put aside your reservations or dislikes of this genre and give this trilogy a try. Check out the book trailer tease below then add it to your bookshelf if you haven't already. If you are one of the bookhearts that already rode the Daughter of Smoke & Bone train, share your thoughts. I already love this trilogy. Do you?

"Love is a luxury. No. Love is an element." ~ pg. 363


Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Published: September 2011
Pages: 418
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: New Authors; Popsugar Nonhuman Characters; Popsugar Magic
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

 

April 17, 2015

First Lines Friday



First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"It's a dark stage, and at first all you hear are murmurs, a heartbeat, and heavy breathing. Like, serious Lamaze."


SideNote: Why I picked this book, I don't know. I do not like musicals, let alone a musical novel. It is not passing my 50-page rule.


 

April 14, 2015

Things You Won't Say


Sarah Pekkanen is always good for a novel about a family or marriage crisis. Things You Won't Say is no different. I cannot imagine how a spouse feels when their husband/wife straps on a service weapon and leaves home for a day of duty. For Jamie Anderson, she tenses up every morning. Will he be okay? Will he come back home safely? Then came the call she always dreaded. There was a shooting at the police headquarters. Her husband Mike isn't hurt but his partner is injured.

Mike may not have been the officer injured but he is an invisible casualty. Mike seems disconnected, paranoid, has insomnia and overly cautious. A slightly ajar door means an intruder when in reality the dog slipped outside. Mike is obviously affected and Jamie is unsure how to help him. Unfortunately Jamie gets another call. There has been another shooting. This time, Mike pulled the trigger. It alters their world and Jamie tries to hold the family together.

Things You Won't Say is closer to current events than the average women's fiction novel. Sarah Pekkanen has a way of writing realistic stories. This book may be fiction but is a reminder how one incident affects more than the immediate lives involved.

Things You Won't Say will be released next week on April 21, 2015. It is not Sarah Pekkanen's best book in my opinion but worth reading if you are a women's lit fan.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: Things You Won't Say
Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Published: April 2015
Pages: 270
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥♡

 

April 12, 2015

Series Sunday: Seeds of Yesterday

(Dollanganger #4)


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Reviews. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read (or watch) an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.


My Series Sunday pick is Seeds of Yesterday, the final book/movie in the Dollanganger series by V.C. Andrews. Lifetime TV will premiere the movie adaptation tonight at 8/7c. Click here to watch the previous three movies in the Dollanganger movies: Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind and If There Be Thorns. Watch the trailer above then join me and Lifetime TV for a live tweeting using hashtag #SeedsOfYesterday.

Title: Seeds of Yesterday
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: Book 1984, Movie 2015
Edition: Movie
Movie Rating: TBD