Wednesday, June 21, 2017





THE REMAINS OF THE DAY – AN OPEN LETTER



Dearest James,

I know that introduction is a must, polite even, but on this one I do suggest that we skip that. It is you who matters, and no one else.

Foremost, how was the end of your motoring trip? Was it pleasant on your return? I do hope that none of the inconveniences you encountered on leaving crossed your path on the way home. It was a good thing Mr. Farraday suggested this motoring trip. You’ve been cooked up in that hall for a very long time. Different scenery gave you a new perspective, indeed. Suddenly you grew up in a span of one week.

Ah, yes, I did read your travelogue and musings. I am quite taken by them. It’s very difficult not to be. Although, I did notice that you often answer your own questions. I boldly assume that those are signs not of confusion but of hesitation to acknowledge the truth. It was a bit alarming -hesitation and an advancing age. Don’t make a good match, do they?

It was not difficult, as well, to notice the ever present topic of greatness and dignity throughout your entries. It is apparent that justification is what you seek. Then, yes James, you are a great and dignified butler. But does that account for all the mistakes you’ve made? No, of course not, old chap. Your dignity lies in your ability not to abandon your professional being (as a butler) during trying times. Always the epitome of restraint, calmness, and placidness. Thus by achieving your goal of greatness, and by withholding your inner feelings and belief, you have forgone a most vital aspect of life –relationships. For you see, dignity and greatness will lose its luster and usefulness, like your father before you. Great butlers will come and go, but a good friend, husband, or father will be cherished for all time.

Oh, but James, if only you had taken the leap… 

Alas and alack, regret is not something we should dwell in. It has already pervaded your thoughts for many years. Bless Ms. Kenton for choosing a different path merely to spite you; but fate has spoken, she’s happily married now. She did say all is well, right? Move on; for her sake, James. As for Lord Darlington, his folly is his; they are not yours to suffer. Loyalty is not measured by how much you've tolerated your employer, but by how well you’ve serve them. You should know that by now. Then let the case rest. Correcting the past is a miserable business, after all. I know you’ve already dwelled along this line for a day, since you made no entry on your fifth day on the road. 

The man at the marina was right, there’s nothing fruitful by dwelling in the past. The day is not yet over. There is much to be gained and done still. You are right, work on your bantering. Make light of life by humor. Women do enjoy men with humor. Well, in any case, humor will make you feel younger.

Farewell, James. Bless you on your new endeavor. Do send news of your improvements, if you can.


Yours,
Louize


PS: Just in case you are wondering, I am not someone older. Just someone who enjoys good bantering.



Book details:
Title:  The Remains of the Day
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Publication:  January 1, 2010; Vintage
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Rating:   ★★★★


Originally posted here.


THE REMAINS OF THE DAY by Kazuo Ishiguro

Monday, June 5, 2017


 EVERY LAST LIE by Mary Kubica     
June 27, 2017; Park Row Books

New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow's pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche. 

Grief-stricken and seriously stressed, Clara Solberg is not handling her husband’s death the way she wants to. Too many things are piling up while she is trying to compromise with her current state, along with a four-year old daughter and a new-born son. A few days later, details emerge and Clara starts to question whether Nick really had an accident or was he actually murdered.

EVERY LAST LIE is another suspenseful novel from Mary Kubica, a slow burn that kept me at the edge of my seat. Whenever I thought I had it all figured out, the clues will pull me in a different direction. With her customary technique, the narration is altered between Clara and Nick, giving me a chance to cross out every mistaken conjecture. The characters are all vividly rendered, they readily hooked this reader and before I knew it, I was totally invested on them.

I love how this book explored marriage and trust in the midst of a tragedy, and how these things ultimately affect how we perceive things. I do recommend this book.


Book details:
Author:  Mary Kubica
Publication:  June 27, 2017; Park Row Books
Genre:  Mystery / Fiction
Rating:  ★★★★


Book Review | EVERY LAST LIE by Mary Kubica

Monday, May 15, 2017



“When you really want something to happen,
the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true.”
 


El alquimista es una novela optimista; la clase que le dice que toda sea posible si usted trabaja difícilmente para él. Parecido simples, pero como Coelho indica las “cosas simples son más el objeto de valor y solamente la gente sabia las aprecia.”

La novela narra la historia de Santiago, un muchacho pastor que tuvo el coraje de seguir sus sueños. Atrevió el viaje y vio la grandeza del mundo; y conocer personas que ayudaron a moldear sus decisiones.  Entre ellos está el vendedor cristalino que sabe que él puede alcanzar grandeza pero que niega el hacer así pues, y termina encima de vivir una vida vacía. Miedo al fracaso parece ser el mayor obstáculo para la felicidad, pero este condujo Santiago aún más para lograr su objetivo. Al final, Santiago descubrió que “tesoro mentiras donde pertenece tu corazón,” y que el tesoro era el viaje en sí mismo y la sabiduría adquirida a través de él.

Esto es una novela atractiva para todos, porque todos podemos identificar con Santiago: Todos tenemos sueños.

Esta obra maestra de Coelho dice que no debemos evitar nuestro destino para encontrar la felicidad definitiva. Una palabras hábilmente combinado, filosofía y lenguaje hicieron una novela maravillosa fuera Del Alquimista.



Book details:
Title:  The Alchemist
Author:  Paulo Coelho
Publication:   May 1st 1993 by HarperCollins
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  ★★★★



*Originally posted here in English.


THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

Friday, May 12, 2017




Hello. It’s been a while since my last entry and that got me thinking if any of you are still out there. 😅*crossing fingers The last few weeks had been very busy and, as you may know, moving into another country (another continent, really) is never easy. As of now, it’s acquainting with the new house, the new bed, the climate, and timeline for me. The most challenging, right now, is getting acquainted with the new church. Will I ever be acquainted? That is. I’ve always believed in the fact that to belong to a church I need to have a purpose. So, let’s see if I can identify my purpose here.

Did I say I was busy? Well, I’ve been busy touring around Alberta, Canada. Believe me, it’s not a posh endeavor. Don’t get me wrong, the places we’ve been are absolutely interesting and wonderful, but the drive was long and, well, long. Good thing we have Cindy Lauper to accompany us most of the time. 🎵 I drove all night to get to you.🎶

My hubby, being adorable as he’d always been, drove me to browse around CrossIron Mills Outlets Mall. I unashamedly bought boots, clothes, and food. Go ahead, judge me for being a girl.😜 But, even though, there’s an Indigo outlet, I didn’t get any book. I was busy looking what book people picked up, instead.

There was this one morning when we drove to see the beautiful frozen Lake Louise, which is absolutely pristine, but freakishly cold too. Hubby said that we should go back in the summer, and we really should. We also went to see the Banff Park Museum, which was very educational and startling. Although, it’s a place I’m sure my daughter would never enter by choice, because of the huge collection of taxidermy. She’s an animal person, you see. They have some really interesting shops in that town. Plenty of people, too. The line at Starbucks was ridiculous, I tell you; but it gave me enough time to observe people. I’ve been spending a lot of time observing people lately, hmmm.

We spent one Sunday afternoon walking around downtown Calgary –taking pictures and internalizing how to be tourists. This is followed by an even more interesting Monday, driving around looking into Calgary’s independent bookstores and chatting with their accommodating store clerks. I’m going to write a piece about that on a different post.

On our way to Saskatoon, we drove first into Drumheller. Dinosaurs walk that town. We went to see the Tyrell Museum, Homestead Museum, and the Hoodoos. The whole trip was wonderful. I literally want to take pictures of every hump and rock formations. It’s a warm place, where the sun sets a couple of hours before midnight. And it was funny and cool walking around wearing sunglasses in the middle of the night.😎

Here’s the thing, moving continent, I also need to move my files and whatnot. So I’m doing my best to move my book reviews into one place, where there’s actually a working chronological order. Be forewarned that I’ll be posting pre-Blogger book reviews I wrote in Shelfari, Goodreads, and Tumblr. Hopefully, they will not bore you.  You let me know, okay?

Before I forgot, I’ve been to concerts and had drinks, of course. Thank you to all the wonderful people who provided our tickets. So, yeah, I just want you guys to know that I still have a night life, despite the cold, here in the new continent.

Sorry for not writing sooner. I’ll sit again to write something actually book related, promise.



THIS IS NEW

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


The Unwanted by Jean Nicole Rivers


About the book:
In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.

Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.

The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.

Watch the book trailer.

You can get your copy of The Unwanted (Black Water Tales #2) via Amazon.


About the Author:

Jean Nicole Rivers is a great lover of reading and writing. Although she loves varied genres, the horror/thriller genre is her favorite. Jean Nicole has been writing poetry and short stories since she was a child, but has always aspired to master the art of storytelling through novels. The Unwanted is the second story in her series of Black Water Tales, following The Secret Keepers. Jean Nicole was awarded 3rd place in the National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author competition and she enjoys the honor of having written featured articles for popular reader websites and blogs, such as Digital Book Today and The Masquerade Crew. Jean Nicole Rivers graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor of arts in philosophy, and she lives in Houston, Texas. Become friends with her at www.facebook.com/JNicolerivers. Follow her on Twitter @Jeannicole19. Check out her Instagram @Jeannicole19 or visit her at www.jeannicolerivers.com.


*Content sent by the author for this blog's publication.


Wednesday Spotlight | The Unwanted by Jean Nicole Rivers

Thursday, April 6, 2017


      RISE AND SHINE, BENEDICT STONE by Phaedra Patrick
May 16th 2017 by MIRA

Moonstone for empathy. Azurite for memories. Lapis lazuli for truth… In the quiet village of Noon Sun, Benedict Stone has settled into a complacent and predictable routine. Business at his jewelry shop has dried up; his marriage is on the rocks. His life is in desperate need of a jump start…
And then a surprise arrives at his door. ~ Goodreads

Very much like her first book, Ms. Patrick created characters that are simply charming and attachable. I was instantly charmed by Benedict Stone, so, I was hooked into the story straightaway and read the whole thing in less than a day.

RISE AND SHINE, BENEDICT STONE follows the story of a local jeweler. Orphaned at eighteen, Benedict was left to raise his younger brother, Charlie, and run the shop. However, events estranged the brothers apart for many years. Until, his niece, whom he never met before, knocked on his door one rainy evening. Although unprepared and a bit overwhelmed, Benedict finds that Gemma’s presence brings him a certain awakening.

This is one delightful read. It tackles family and communal issues, childlessness, and one's sense of self-efficacy with a good sense of honesty and depth. It’s a bit magical, too, in some sense, but totally works for the whole premise. Maybe some parts happened a bit opportunely or sappy, but I find them all part of the charm that hooked me. I think it’s this kind of simple, but sparkling read, that this troubled world needs to have more.

I do recommend that you, guys, get a copy soon.


Book details:
Author:  Phaedra Patrick
Publication:  May 16th 2017 by MIRA
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  ★★★★★



*Thanks to MIRA and Netgalley for the DRC in exchange for this honest review.



Book Review | RISE AND SHINE, BENEDICT STONE by Phaedra Patrick

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


TIAGO by Cátia Skye

About the Book:

Two shattered hearts. One unstoppable love.

New York, USA
Kezra, sixteen, dumped by her boyfriend of six months after he took her virginity, shocked by revelations about her father, falls into an abyss of panic and anxiety. On doctor’s orders, she is sent on a vacation to get away from pressures.

Lisbon, Portugal
Tiago, seventeen, has lost more than most lose in a lifetime, believes implicitly in the inevitable Portuguese Tragedy, has left the thug-life, has left school, is just trying to survive each new day.

Neither of them is looking for love…


Categories:
  • Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary
  • Romance > Series
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Coming of Age
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe


About the Author:

Cátia Skye is a New-York-born, Portuguese-American gal who now resides in the romantic heart of Lisbon, Portugal. She is the single mother of one rambunctious little boy, and pens romance novels between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each night when her boy finally falls asleep.

Visit Cátia's website. 






Enter $25 Amazon Giveaway



*Contents were sent by the publicist for this blog's publication.





Wednesday Spotlight | TIAGO by Cátia Skye

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Last Year's Resolution by Robert Lampros


About the book:
Last Year’s Resolution is a novel about Edmund Stovender, a famous author who falls in love with Marie, a journalist who calls him for an interview just before the performance of his hit play.  Their lives accelerate through an epic adventure testing their faith, strength, and love for each other, as they discover that their story might pivotally influence the fate of the world.

You can get your copy of Last Year's Resolution via Amazon.


About the Author:
Robert Lampros is an author of Christian poetry, essays, and fiction who lives in St. Louis.  He earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.  His books include Fits of Tranquility, Illuminating Sidewalks, Om-Bork, Afternoon, Eleven Floors, and What Is Sacred.  His latest novel, Last Year's Resolution, is currently available as an e-book and is set to be released in paperback in Summer 2016.

Follow Robert’s blog and on Twitter.



*Contents were sent by the author for this blog's publication.



Wednesday Spotlight | Last Year's Resolution by Robert Lampros