Friday, October 31, 2014

Visit the Circus of Your Dreams!



Who has enjoyed visiting the circus?  I enjoyed visiting the circus when I was a kid.  I haven’t really seen one recently, but I did read about one The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  This circus is supposed to be the circus of dreams, but is it?

Synopsis: 

Celia and Marco are given rings when they are little by their instructors.  These rings bind the two together in a game.  The instructors know the rules but they are not forthcoming with sharing them with their pupils.  Such as how does the game end?  What will happen when Celia and Marco meet for the first time? They meet when Celia applies to be an illusionist for the night circus.   She gets the job and somehow ends up collaborating on this circus with Marco to make it a success.  What happens when they fall for one another will they be able to finish the game?

My Thoughts: 

This novel was recommended to me by a colleague at work.  I love historical fiction.  This story is set back in the late 1800s.   I just didn’t enjoy how much I was in the dark about what would happen next.  I felt that the story jumped all over the place.  I found myself losing interest in the story. 

The setting is London England and various countries such as France, Germany, Austria, and United States.   She did have some interesting characters in this story.
I hope that I will enjoy her next novel more!

Rating: 

3/5

Please visit Erin on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Friendship that Should Last a Lifetime



The final selection in the Read for Pink that Writer’s Corner will cover is Jennifer Chiaverini’s Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.  This novel came out a couple of years ago and is published by Penguin Random House.  I found this novel to be very interesting!  I did not know about this friendship of Mrs. Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley and its history.

Synopsis: 

Elizabeth Keckley is the most sought after dressmaker (modiste) in Washington DC area.  She is begins by working with Mrs. Jefferson Davis and ends by working for Mrs. Lincoln.   Elizabeth bought her freedom for herself and her son prior to the Civil War.  So Washington is a place to start over while her son goes to school in Ohio.  Little did she know that the new president would have such an impact on her life.  Her services are sought by the first lady.  Will she be satisfied with Elizabeth’s work?  Does anything else come as a result of their relationship?

My Thoughts: 

I found this novel very interesting!  I didn’t know anything about the relationship between Mrs. Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley.   I did not know how successful  Elizabeth would be back  in the late 1850s as a dressmaker.   I found it fascinating to find out what it was truly like to work in the Whitehouse and see the upcoming relationship between herself and  the Lincolns.  I was disappointed  by the ending. 

Much of the novel discusses the successes of the African Americans.   We learn about the programs for the new freedmen and women.   The perception of   Americans towards African Americans  disappointed me but was accurate for the time period.
I look forward to reading more from this author!

Rating:

3.75/5

Please contact Jennifer on her Facebook page, Twitter, or Website.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wendy Wax and I Discuss Read Pink



I have been a fan of Wendy’s writing since I read The Accidental Bestseller.  If you have not read any of Wendy’s novels then you must check them out!  Today we are getting together to share a topic that is prominent in women’s’ health, breast cancer.  Her novel While We Were Watching Downton Abbey has been chosen as one of twelve titles in Penguin Group USA’s 2014 Read Pink campaign to promote public awareness of breast cancer, breast cancer research and the work of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  This is Wendy’s second opportunity to be part of this endeavor. Her novel Ten Beach Road was part of the 2012 campaign.

How do you feel about having been featured in the Read for Pink campaign?

I’m very happy to be part of this effort again. It’s a good feeling to know that readers drawn to my and the other authors’ Read Pink titles will also share the message about the importance of ongoing research to find a cure for breast cancer—a reminder to us all that despite amazing advances there is still much to be done.

Has anyone in your life been impacted by breast cancer recently?

Breast cancer touches all of us and I haven’t been exempt. Sadly it seems everyone has a family member, friend or friend of a friend who’s been faced with this diagnosis.

Do you feel that this experience might impact your writing in some way?

I think what it’s doing in terms of my writing is reinforcing my choice to emphasize the importance of the nurturing and supportive aspects of women’s friendships in my stories. I think it’s when we face these kinds of challenges that we most appreciate the other women who are a part of our lives.

If you could give one message to the readers of Writer’s Corner about the cause of breast cancer what would it be? 

Quite simply, it’s the same as that of the Read Pink campaign.  Spread the word. Remind others of the importance of supporting ongoing research to find a cure.   




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Journey to England for One of the Most Popular Shows Downton Abbey!



It is always a privilege each year to see Wendy and see what her newest novel is that year.  She has also been featured in Read for Pink each of the last three years.  I shared Ten Beach Road last year and this year I am featuring While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.

Synopsis: 

Claire has just moved into the Alexander a building located in midtown Atlanta.  Her goal is to work on her writing of her next novel. Samantha is a board member and has lived at the Alexander with her husband for a while.  Then there is Brook who is recently divorced and still resides at the Alexander with her two daughters.  None of these ladies know one another until one night they are invited by the Concierge Edward to view a screening of Downton Abbey.  They find that they enjoy this considerably and a friendship develops.  Will it be able to survive any conflicts?

My Thoughts: 

I am a fan of Wendy’s work.  I had heard about Downton Abbey the television show, but had never watched it.  You don’t need to watch it to read the novel.  I have started  watching season one, and am about through season one.

 It took me a while to become more interested in the characters and their conflicts.  I was hooked by end of the novel.  The setting is a fictious building in downtown Atlanta located near the Buckhead area named The Alexander.  Everything in the story revolved around this building.  To me the one character that is most closely associated with the building is Edward the Concierge although Claire, Brook, and Samantha reside there as well. 

My favorite character in the book ended up being Claire.  I think because she is a writer. I also loved those critique partners of Karen and Susie.  Karen seemed so real to me!  I could actually picture her sending those messages.  

My favorite line in the novel is where Claire describes 285 as the ring of fire and no 
one outside the perimeter would dare try to go through.  This humorous statement refers to those who live in the Atlanta area.

Rating: 

4/5

Please visit Wendy on her Facebook Page, Twitter, and her Website.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

In My Mailbox October 26, 2014

Welcome to In My Mailbox the weekly memes that let's you know what is new at Writer's Corner.  Just to let you know the Spooktacular Giveaway is still going on but ends on October 31, 2014.  So don't miss your chance to enter.   We will wrap up Read for Pink this week.

I had a great visit with author Jodi Picoult!  I am looking forward to sharing Leaving Time!













Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult













The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson from St. Martins Press













A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale













A November Bride by Beth K. Vogt














Full of Grace by Dorothea Benton Frank

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Are You Ready for a Fun Ride?



I had a lot of fun with Fire and Ice.  I happened to get the audiobook to listen to this novel.  You can always count on  that they are really well done!    Fire and Ice introduces us to FBI agent Jack MacAlister and reintroduces us to Sophie Rose, Alex Buchanan, Reagan Buchanan, Bobby Rose, and others.

Synopsis: 

Sophie is busy at her desk writing an article for the Chicago Chronicle.  She wonders what the next assignment might be.  Mr. Bitterman her boss soon let’s her know that she needs to interview a man who called the newspaper for an interview.  Sophie contacts and meets with William Harrington who called the paper.   When they met he talks for three hours on his favorite topic himself and his upcoming races and lets slip about the Alpha Project.  Sophie barely pays attention until he shows up dead a couple of days later.  Well naturally she’s curious!  There is one major problem someone has made a threat on her life.  Will she accept help from Jack and her friends?  Will she be able to find out what happened to William Harrington?

My Thoughts:

Remember I said fun right!  What makes Julie Garwood’s characters so interesting is how unique she makes them.  We met Sophie in another of Julie’s novel The Murder List.  I am glad that we got to know her a little better in her own novel. What would you do if you had a father who is wanted by the authorities on a regular basis?  You are constantly called in by the cops for questioning.  You are used to having your life threatened.  How does the author make the pairing of Jack and Sophie so relatable?    

The other concepts of the story are well done.  The plot is predictable but an entertaining ride.  I am always very entertained by Julie’s novels.  Humor makes it all that much more entertaining!  

Rating:

5/5

Please visit Julie on her Facebook Page, Twitter, and Her Website.