August 24, 2016

Book Review (LIII) Wake-Robin Ridge August Reviews

"A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news. Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help."

On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.

My Review

There are so many things I loved about Wake-Robin Ridge. Once the plot gets rolling, it's a non-stop page turner all the way to the end. It’s the first book of Marcia Meara that I read, but absolutely, not the last.

The story has well developed, relatable characters. Let’s see who they are:

First, I must say that  Ruth’s heart-breaking story was my favorite part. Ruth who, “After a year of looking for love, or even the occasional tender word, any vague thoughts of a happy ending for herself had vanished, and a tired sense of resignation had settled over her,” makes the worst choice in her life – Loyd Carter.

Sarah Gray a thirty-five-year-old library cataloging and research assistant, fed up with her boring job, leaves her town and moves to a dream like cabin in Wake-Robin Ridge.  This is how the present day part of the story begins.

Lloyd Carter, a mean-eyed slab of a man with a well-earned reputation for violence and several run-ins with the law. If there was one thing Lloyd Carter loved in this life, it was his big, fire-engine red Impala

MacKenzie Cole, Tall, maybe 6’3”, with glossy black hair curling slightly over his ears. . . . he was strikingly good looking, with a sense of quiet strength about him. “Mysterious Mountain Man,” as Jenna called him.

Add to them Handsome the muddy, half-starved little mess, the kitten Sarah discovers the very first day she moves to the cabin, and Rosheen, Mac’s three-year-old Irish wolfhound. Even General Penny, Ruth’s dachshund who keeps her good company along her lonely years. Thus the distribution is complete.

The cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the channel connecting past and present;  Ruth with her pain, tragedy and love and compassionate Sarah with her dreams and newly found love.

There were chapters where I went back and read some paragraphs once again. It was like a kid with a candy. I savored every word, especially the vivid scenery description.

Will Sarah manage to find out what lies behind Mac’s odd change of behavior towards her? Will she discover who is Miz Winn and what does the ghost want? Read the book and you will be rewarded with a suspenseful romantic mystery.

Wake-Robin Ridge is a masterpiece of good storytelling with meticulous attention to detail, a well-plotted tale of romance and intrigue. Marcia’s writing and descriptions are brilliant and make you feel like you can actually picture  Wake-Robin Ridge and the characters in your head. You will feel as if you are watching a movie. This is definitely a "can’t put down" book.

Romance, suspense and some supernatural elements made it exactly this - a "couldn't put it down" book for me.

August 21, 2016

Book Review (CLIII) The Way We Live Now #AugustReviews

            The Way We Live Now,
  Trollope's longest novel  -100 chapters – is inspired by the financial scandals of the early 1870s.  Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings is at the center of the story. The author describes him as "something in the city.” But that  "something in the city” part is not always clear.  
 Within weeks of arriving in London, he announces a new company and promises instant fortune to those who join him in this scheme. Melmotte is surrounded by a circle of decadent aristocrats, scheming widows and nouveau riche businessmen, all trying to get a piece of the financial pie.  Doesn’t it all sound like what’s happening in present day times in many parts of the world?

The female characters are treated with sympathy, clearly struggling to make their way in a society where their scope for freedom of maneuver is highly restricted, though Henrietta Carbury and her innocent and longing trials with her suitor, Paul Montague, comes across as more elegant and refined than those of many modern heroines.

 It’s a powerful Victorian satire on greed and dishonesty  that pervaded the moral, political and intellectual life of that era, a novel in which each and everyone of his characters has a fault of some kind- the same as people are in real life.

Trollope's masterpiece, that enlightens as well as it entertains, is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it. His descriptive writing makes it rather easy for the reader to visualize characters, locals, country side and the various cities very well.
  Find my review here:

August 18, 2016

Book Review (LII) #AugustReviews

                        Beyond the Old Green Door

                            by Julie A. D'Arcy


 Beyond the Old Green Door is where Urban Fantasy, Steampunk Erotica meets re-incarnation with a twist of magic and those sexy little bits everyone loves.
Can the impossible really become possible? Or is it all just a whisper in the wind?
Sherry’s world falls to pieces when the honeymoon she had planned in Rio with her fiancĂ© turns to a tragedy with his death in a plane crash. Can a twist of fate, a wrong turn and a touch of magic find the love and passion she thought she had lost in the arms of another? Or will her love once again be torn apart?
Can a wish really turn back time?

My Review

I read it all at once as I could not wait to see what happened next. At the heart of the engaging  story is good old fashion hope and romance with the book having a HEA.  Sherry, the main character lives an unique adventure that will mark her whole existence. I can’t tell more as I don’t like spoilers. True happiness is like a warm breeze that touches your life when you least expect it, a strange old man tells Sherry.
 Beyond the Old Green Door is a great story even if a bit too sensual  for my taste. Perhaps the author will enlarge it and make it a novel.

August 17, 2016

Guest Promo (CLXXIII) Iris Blobel and her New Beginnings

You are already familiar with Australian fellow author Iris Blobel who tells us a couple of things about her latest release
                                         NEW  BEGINNINGS

The story is set in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, the most southern state in Australia. A most beautiful place. I went there a few years back and imagined how it would be to live in this city, how to adapt as a "non-local", and bit by bit I wrote the story of two sisters moving there.
Obviously, I added a little romance into the story as well – so I added Mark and Zach.
This is the second edition of NEW BEGINNINGS.
The story is now a bit sexier and has also received another edit.

Literary Chanteuse's review:  "This author has a way of endearing her characters and it is easy to fall in love with them. An intriguing story with emotion, love and hope."

Sharon's review:"This was a very enjoyable read and it left me wanting just a little bit more. I highly recommend it."

"Other people have to fight battles in their life as well.

~~  New Beginnings ~~

(2nd Edition)

by Iris Blobel

Buy links:
Amazon US
                                                                        Amazon UK
                                                                        Amazon AU

♥♦♥  Blurb ♥♦♥

The chance to start life all over with the help of a stranger.

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother's death a few years ago, and it hasn't been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don't know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it's all a mistake.

Mark O'Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it's not his casual lover Linda.

But then there's Zach, Sophie's sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara's.

Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark's promise of a future? 

 IRIS BLOBELwas born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.
Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

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