Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

"Smoke stung my nose. I braced myself for fire. But, no- instead, a young man stepped out of the clouds onto the apron, and the audience gave a collective gasp."
"Good evening mesdames and messieurs," said the boy in an accent that sounded French and dangerous and deliciously sophisticated. "I am Monsieur Reverie." (p.6)
Thus begins the hypnotism show that Olivia Mead and her friends are attending on her birthday. Olivia proves to be a good subject for  hypnosis. Her father sees it as quite a boon. Now he can have the rebelliousness hypnotized out of her. But as so often happens with these sorts of things, the results are different from the intentions. With Henri's careful working, now Livie can see a person's true nature, good or bad, rather than coming to accept what role women should play in the world as men like her father would dictate to them.

The setting is turn of the century Oregon. Suffragists are trying to get women the vote. Olivia is a sort of suffragist herself. This is one of those things her father wants hypnotized out of her. When she realizes what has happened, she seeks help from the only person who can aid her, Henri. They are drawn together to solve her mesmerized problems and more.

This is a really well written book. The setting is perfect for the plot device of hypnotizing the rebellion out of Olivia. Details bring it further to life. It's easy to picture what's going on in your mind's eye. The main characters of Henri and Olivia are well drawn and sympathetic. The book really does a good job of providing a snapshot of what life was like at this particular time in history in Oregon. The plot slowly escalates as do Olivia's father's demands on Henri. The climax of the book provides quite a feat of mesmerization. It is easy enough to suspend disbelief to follow the plot and allow it to flow.

I would recommend this book especially to YA readers who like historical novels with a touch of adventure, romance, and the paranormal. I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. And all quotes come from the ARC and may appear slightly differently in the finished book.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #59: If You've Got It, Haunt It by Rose Pressey

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week is If You've Got it, Haunt It by Rose Pressey. This cozy mystery is set to come out December 2, 2014 from Kensington Books. This will be book #1 in the Haunted Vintage series.

From Goodreads:
Cookie Chanel has a passion for fashion--and a murder mystery to solve!

Cookie Chanel has opened her own vintage clothing boutique, "It's Vintage, Y'All," in the charming town of Sugar Creek, Georgia. Always on the lookout for stylish second-hand steals, she attends the estate sale of deceased socialite Charlotte Meadows. But she gets a lot more than she bargained for when Charlotte's ghost appears before her--offering fashion advice and begging Cookie to find out who murdered her.

As the persistent poltergeist tags along and a possibly psychic pussycat moves into the shop, Cookie sorts through racks of suspects to see who may be hiding some skeletons in the closet. Do a clothing store owner and a disembodied socialite have a ghost of a chance of collaring a killer--or will Cookie's life be the next one hanging by a thread?

The book sounds interesting and like it will have a sense of humor. It would have made good Halloween reading, but it's not being released until December. Perhaps the publisher is doing it so the series isn't associated with Halloween. I like the idea of the setting/occupation of the sleuth having to do with Vintage clothing and I'm surprised I hadn't seen one similar before.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share a link in the comments. And thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

My teaser this week is from No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty, founder of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). November is the month for the novel writing, so I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at his book before it starts. 

My teaser sentences come from p.90:
"Brainstorm, make lists, and give every silly idea that occurs to you a chance to make a case for why it should be in your book. After a week of mulling, massing, and discarding, you will have a few book ideas you love and a handful you can live with. And then the fun will begin. "

So, the idea is to have some ideas about your novel before you go into NaNoWriMo and start pounding away. Nothing written in stone, but some vague directions or an outline of some kind can help you when things get slow. I like the idea of brainstorming the ideas that you might want to include and giving them a try out. I am still at that stage. 

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Have you in the past? This will be a first for me. 

And where is your teaser from this week? Give us a taste or a link in the comments so we can check it out.
As always, thanks for coming by.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #58: We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.   

This week I am waiting on We Are Pirates - a Novel by Daniel Handler. I've not yet read anything he's written for adults. And this looks like it might be a good place to start. It's due out February 3, 2015 from Bloomsbury USA.
From the Publisher: 
Mega-bestselling author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) gives us his long-awaited and most ambitious novel yet: a dark, rollicking, stunningly entertaining human comedy.
A boat has gone missing. Goods have been stolen. There is blood in the water. It is the twenty-first century and a crew of pirates is terrorizing the San Francisco Bay.

Phil is a husband, a father, a struggling radio producer, and the owner of a large condo with a view of the water. But he'd like to be a rebel and a fortune hunter.

Gwen is his daughter. She's fourteen. She's a student, a swimmer, and a best friend. But she'd like to be an adventurer and an outlaw.

Phil teams up with his young, attractive assistant. They head for the open road, attending a conference to seal a deal.

Gwen teams up with a new, fierce friend and some restless souls. They head for the open sea, stealing a boat to hunt for treasure.

We Are Pirates is a novel about our desperate searches for happiness and freedom, about our wild journeys beyond the boundaries of our ordinary lives. 

Also, it's about a teenage girl who pulls together a ragtag crew to commit mayhem in the San Francisco Bay, while her hapless father tries to get her home. 

It sounds offbeat and appealing to me. I'm hoping there is enough light humor to carry it and balance the dark comedy.

So, what are you waiting on this week? Tell me about it in the comments or leave a link to your WoW, Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Published October 14th 2014 by Amulet Books
My teaser comes from The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters which is being released today.

The scene is near the beginning of the book at the hypnotist's, Henri Reverie's, show. Olivia is attending with some friends on her birthday. Genevieve Reverie is playing a pipe organ.

Silence swallowed up the theater again, but before we could all lean back into the comfort of the calm, Genevieve lunged towards the keys and played a series of eerie notes that swelled into a passionate rendition of Camille Saint-Saens's "Danse Macabre." She hunched her shoulders and plowed her feet into the instrument's pedals, as if she were racing through the streets of the underworld on a tandem bicycle, on which we were all unwitting passengers. (p.7)

So far I am enjoying the book. I am about 25 pages in. 

So, what's your teaser this week? Give us a taste or a link in the comments. I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Review: Too Hot Four Hula by Jill Marie Landis

Published June 30, 2014
by Bell Bridge Books
Too Hot Four Hula by Jill Marie Landis is really a funny mystery with a touch of romance. And if you are familiar with Hawaii and Hawaiian culture or just like learning more about it, the book also provides for that in subtle ways. Bits of culture and words are sprinkled throughout and explained within context giving the book even more of a Hawaiian feel.

My synopsis:
Em's Uncle Louie, owner of the Tiki Goddess bar and master mixologist, has entered the Cocktail Shake Off Competition in Honolulu on Oahu. Em and the Hula Maidens have accompanied him from Kauai. Louie's "Booze Bible" was stolen. And to make things worse, Em's ex-husband was killed shortly after she met with him. Who has the drink bible? Em's alibi stinks for the murder. Will Roland, her lovely cop and part-time fire dancer from Kauai, be able to keep her out of jail? Will the Hula Maidens provide more help than hindrance as they take it upon themselves to solve the mysteries? Throw in a monkey and even more chaos ensues.

This is the fourth book in the Tiki Goddess Mystery series. Jill Marie Landis continues to write winners in this series. The characters that are most active are fleshed out. Both their virtues and their faults are visible and yet they are lovable. For example, the Hula Maidens wouldn't be the same without Kiki Godwin, who craves attention, to lead them and Pat, who is former military, but has no sense of rhythm, to keep them in line. The Hula Maidens also provide comic relief at times when the mystery is getting too heavy.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's a great addition to the series. All the characters act true to themselves. The book has mystery, humor, and a dash of romance - a wonderful combination. I would recommend it to people that like to read about the Hawaiian Islands and people who enjoy humorous cozies.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Few Halloween Reads - Adult Fiction

 There's less than a month to Halloween. So, I thought that I would mention a few good Halloween reads. These were not all published in  2014, but they are good reads.

The first 2 books are collections of short stories that have something to do with Halloween. Both books were edited by Paula Guran who does a great job. The picture on the left is the first anthology, the one on the right the second. The first collection has a variety of authors some current and some classics such as Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft. The second anthology is pretty much all current authors, but it is a good read as well. Halloween edited by Paula Guran was released September13, 2011. Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre edited by Paula Guran was released September 10, 2013.

Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor Lavalle is a kindle single that was released last year. It is definitely a creepy novella. Lucretia, or Loochie as her family calls her, remembers her brother Louis saying, "Horrors come for kids too. Being young doesn't protect anyone." Her friend Sunny has been away getting treatment and is weak from it and from the illness she has. Suddenly she disappears. A Kroon comes onto Loochie's fire escape and tells her with gestures that Sunny is up in apartment 6D. And the horror/adventure begins. If you click on the title, it will bring you to my review of the novella.

The Ocean and The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is a full length novel. I listened to on CD and didn't write a review of it.That doesn't mean it wasn't good. It was excellent. It's listed as a sort of adult fairy tale. The narrator drives back to his old neighborhood after attending a funeral and finds himself remembering all sorts of things from the year he was 7 years old. Some of them are nice things, like the 11 year old Hempstock girl. Other things are less pleasant, a malign force that follows him and Lettie home from another dimension and the consequences. It might not have set out to be horror, but it certainly gave me chills at times. It's well written and if I had reviewed it, I would have given it 4 stars. The audiobook is read by Neil himself.

If you are looking for something more classic, you might want to try something by Ray Bradbury like Something Wicked This Way Comes or The Halloween Tree. Dracula by Bram Stoker is also an interesting read if you haven't read it before. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is good too.

There are many more titles available than I've mentioned here. What's your favorite Halloween read? Or, is there a new one coming out that you're looking forward to? Please share with us in the comments. And thanks for stopping by!