Friday, July 22, 2016

Did You Hear About the Most Recent Novel By Cecelia Ahern? by Josephine Mattia

 Thank you to William Morrow and Library Thing for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The New York Times bestselling author Cecelia Ahern returns with, One Hundred Names.

Synopsis:

Irish Reporter Kitty Logan has been in turmoil lately over a recent story. This story created a scandal when investigation physical education teacher Colin Maguire.  The charge sexually abusing two of his students.  He might have also fathering one child, on the show Thirty Minutes. The results of the story leaving both of their careers in jeopardy. Her Boss convinces Kitty to write a different kind of story.  One that she is inspired to write the one story that she has always wanted to write. She discovers a brown envelope with the list of one hundred names.  Who could Kitty possibly meet?  What do these names link to? Will Colin ever forgive Kitty for the damage she’s caused?

My Thoughts:

One Hundred Names is a novel that I found enjoyable from beginning to end.  The conflict between the two main characters Kitty and Colin is heart breaking. The tone is delivered with honesty and dramatic flair to keep the reader interested in the story. The use of the names propels the readers to want to read more of Kitty’s story.  The reader will be satisfied at the conclusion of the story. 

 A big thank you to Cecelia Ahern for presenting such a wonderful novel!

Rating:

 5/5


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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Did You Know About Mitza Einstein?

Thank you to Library Reads and Source Books for a copy of The Other Einstein in exchange for an honest review.
Mileva (Mitza) Maric Einstein was the first wife of Albert Einstein.   Did you know about her contributions towards his early work?  What was their relationship like?  Is there room for two geniuses in one marriage?

Synopsis:

Mitza Maric is not your typical student at university in Zurich Switzerland.  She is from the Serbia area of the Austrian Hungry Empire.  She has one major flaw and that is her limp.  In her culture it means that she cannot marry. Will her experiences at the university change give her different opportunities?   Life seems different once school starts.  Makes friends with her roommates at the pension.  She also meets Albert Einstein a classmate from many of her classes.   He knows that Mitza has something special. Their relationship becomes special and they begin working together in and outside of school.  But will their relationship flourish once school ends?

My Thoughts:

This novel is easy to read.  The pages are easy to turn as you discover more about Mitza Einstein. The story slowed for me once she graduated from the university.  Then she began married life with Albert. The character development is great because I found myself caring for Mitza Einstein.  I could not believe the way Albert treated her. The research contributed to the character development of the main characters in this novel.
This book is short and told in much the same as the Paris Wife.  The readers see it all from Mitza’s point of view.  My heart ended up breaking for her and the way that her life played out.  I hope that she was able to find some happiness in the end.


Rating: 

4.75/5

Please visit Marie Benedict on her Facebook page.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Is Envy a Women’s Best Friend?

Welcome back to the early 1900s New York City.  Envy by Anna Godbersen explores the relationships of the elite in this series about the Luxe.  If you are familiar with Gossip Girl or Beverly Hills 90210 then this maybe the series for you.

Synopsis:
Penelope Schoonmaker just married the man she has most desired with a lie.  The former fiancĂ©e Diana Holland is now trying to decide what her future will be.  Her former FiancĂ© Henry wants nothing to do with his new wife.  What will Laura do to hold onto to him?  Will any of her plans work?  In the meantime Diana’s sister is recovering from the death of her husband.  What will the future bring for her?  When a trip to Florida opens up will this trip keep Henry loyal or will he find a way to tell Diana the truth?

My Thoughts:

Anna Godbersen has great art work of her covers of her novels.  There was a copy available at the library of one of her other books in the series.  The novel in series that I began reading felt like the words flowed came off the page.  So I eagerly picked up Envy but listened to the book on audio.  I did not enjoy it as much.  It could also be because this is the third novel in the series.  Readers can read this series out of order.  I just found that the story did not appeal as much as I would have liked.

Rating:

3.5/5

Please visit Anna on her Facebook page and Twitter.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Would You Like a Side of Wisdom With Your Meal?

Thank you to St. Martins Press for a copy of The Glass Kitchen.  This copy was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

I have always loved cooking.  I consider myself pretty good cook.  I just don’t feel that I can hold a candle to Portia.  I do not carry the wisdom of the knowing. Pull up a chair and get ready for a tasty read and you might find more than just a great read!

Synopsis:

Portia has just divorced her husband a senator from Texas.  She is planning to start over in New York near her sisters.  Their aunt had property there and Portia feels that this is the perfect place to start over.  So what will she do?  In Texas her family  came to fame for their restaurant the Glass Kitchen.  Portia also has the gift of being able to serve the right food to the right person.  The food also has symbolism. Now her neighbor Gabriel has bought the upper floors of her aunt’s townhouse.  But does he own it all?   Will he appreciate Portia’s wisdom?

My Thoughts:

Loved this novel!  Ms. Lee created interesting characters that keeps the reader interested to the end.  She added a unique touch to Portia with “the Knowing.”    The author creates a character with a unique character trait.  This makes for a more interesting read.  What is the knowing? It is a sixth sense that Portia has about food.  Gabriel was not someone I liked in the beginning as a character, but grew to appreciate him as time went on.   This story is narrated from three different viewpoints Portia, Gabriel, and his daughter Areil.  She adds an interesting prospective on the story.   The only issue was the slow the start to the novel.

 Rating:

4.75

Please visit Linda Francis Lee on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

What Does the Lady Want?

Renee Rosen in her novel What The Lady Wants introduces us to Marshall Fields and Delia. How many of you remember Marshall Fields and his store in Chicago?  Harry Selfridges’ store in London?  The readers will learn much about Marshall Fields and his philosophies.

Synopsis:

Delia Spencer attends a party the evening of 1871 when the Chicago Fire begins.  She also meets Marshall Fields.  Her family takes refuge north of the city.  What is left? She later marries Percy an old friend.  The marriage does not give her what she most desires a child.  Delia starts to run into Marshall Field again at various gatherings in social set.  She also finds her feelings for Marshall Fields growing.  When Fields decides to deepen his relationship with Delia will the respective spouses agree?   Will Fields be able to give Delia what she most desires?  Does his business operation continue to grow?  What will the future bring?

My Thoughts:

I loved this novel!  The story telling is so fluid in bringing the reader to one event after another.  Ms. Rosen is a great storyteller!  This novel was well researched and executed.  She explains the purpose for why the characters are and the setting of the novel.  Please check out this section of the novel in the back for more information. I also enjoyed learning about the Chicago fire.    She also explores the culture of the gilded age.  My heart went out to Delia and her situation.  I found her husband to be selfish and spoiled and wish that Delia could have been more vocal to way he treated her.

Rating:

4.75/5


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

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mary Hogan stops by to share about her latest story THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTO

What’s the story behind THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTO?  How did the book come to be?

I first had the idea for this book 24 years ago! I’m not kidding. In 1992, my husband, actor Robert Hogan, was in an off-Broadway play called On the Bum, also starring Cynthia Nixon and Campbell Scott. The play was set in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, several years after the epic flood. The characters talked about a “lake in the sky” which piqued my curiosity. A few days later, I went to the library to read about such strange geography. That’s when I read the real story of the Johnstown disaster. Wow. I was blown away. What a great story! I held my breath for 24 years worrying that someone would write my book before I got a chance to. There are other books out there about the flood, but nothing like mine. 

How did you conduct your research for the book?  Are any of the characters in the book inspired by real-life people?

While on book tour in Pittsburgh for my first young adult novel, The Serious Kiss, I had a free afternoon. So, I rented a car and drove two hours to Johnstown to see it for myself. I could have stayed there for two weeks. There was so much of interest for this Californian girl. Over the years, I would visit twice more. Generously, the President of the Johnstown Heritage Association gave me a day-long tour of everything I needed to tell a compelling tale, including access to the inside of the private Clubhouse which is still standing! Aside from the very real members of the exclusive club: steel titans Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, bankers like Andrew Mellon, U.S. Senator and Attorney General Philander Knox, all the characters are fiction. 

How was the writing experience for THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTO different from your experience writing your previous novel, TWO SISTERS?

Two Sisters was a process of opening up my heart and spilling its contents onto the page. Inspired by the early death of my older sister, I told a tale of family secrets that I knew all too well.  Writing The Woman in the Photo was a completely different experience. First, I read a gazillion historical novels. Then, I read every book I could find about Johnstown. I even read a novel called, Annie Kilburn that was written in 1889 to get a feel for the language of the day. Research, research, research. I was told that women who read historical fiction are fiends about accurate detail. So, my biggest fear about creating a main character who was an upper class woman of the nineteenth century was getting her many corsets right.

 Both THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTO and TWO SISTERS center around female relationships.  Why do you think readers are so fascinated by the bonds between female family members?

Ah, yes. Those bonds are complicated, indeed. I have yet to meet a woman who didn’t have a knotty relationship with her sister or her mother. Even when they are smooth, they are bumpy. In my case, my mother and I were very much alike, and my sister and I were very different. So there were a lot of crossed wires. We hurt each other even when we didn’t know it. My dad and my brothers sort of kept their heads down and watched sports :)

For me, the best characters are flawed, striving, loving, selfish, feeling, reacting, deep, curious, furious, and worried—mostly—about their hair. In other words: women.

Is there a particular message you hope readers will take away from THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTO? 

One of the themes of this novel is: Is DNA your destiny? Are you born to be who you are? Or, can life itself mold you? I would love for readers to finish The Woman in the Photo with the sense that we are all on this earth to be kind to one another. To live together. Even on bad hair days. 

About the Author:

Nappa Award-winning author of seven Young Adult novels, Mary’s first adult novel TWO SISTERS tells the gripping, emotional story of a family, sisters and secrets. Mary lives in New York City with her husband Bob and their dog, Lucy.

Please visit Mary Hogan on her  Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.




To purchase her novel  you can go to these fine retailers.













Tuesday, July 5, 2016

May We Have Your Assistance?

Thank you to Reading with Robin for a copy of The Assistants by Camille Perri.  This novel is one of the best of the summer of 2016.  But is it a top beach read?  

Synopsis:

Tina Fontana is the assistant to Robert the CEO of Titan.   She often has to pay out of her own pocket for what he considers business expenses.  Tina books an airline reservation and has to use her credit card. Then she files an expense report with the company.  The airline decides to reimburse her anyway after she complained about their customer service.  Should Tina give the money back to Titan or keep it for herself?  When all that Tina can think about is that student loan debt that  just won’t go away.  The tidy sum of $20,000 will take care of the entire balance.  So what happens when another assistant from Titan gets wind of what she has done?  Can Tina help her too?  Will she be helping others?  Is it legal?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this novel.  I think this is a debut novel for Camille Perri.  If it is it is definitely worth your time!  This novel capitalizes on a struggle that all can identify with which is student loan debt.  Then trying to find a job that pays enough to live on and afford the debt.  I had to admit that I wondered where the author was taking the story but it was so worth it!  Should I mention that this is fiction! 

The story is set in New York at a fictional company Titan.  There is some humor.  The reader will often want to ask what will happen next.  Will Tina be successful and stay out of jail?

Rating:

4.5/5


Please visit Camille on Twitter.