Thursday, November 29, 2018

Weekly Coffee Chat - Top 5 favorite childhood books


Hi gang, sorry a bit behind, had the blog tour this week. Since this is the Holiday Season(for those of us in the States, at least), I got to thinking about past holidays.

When I was a child, I loved books. I was reading 3rd grade books in kindergarten, from what my parents told me. They wanted me to play sports, but I hated sports, I preferred hiding in the library and reading books. I loved series, even back then. I always considered books and the library as my safe haven, from an abusive situation.

There were so many books that I loved, but here are my favorite books that were series.  Not in any specific order.

1)Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys
2)Anne of Green Gables
3)Little House on the Prairie
4)Tales of Narnia(I was jealous of my Brother as he had the set, but I could not have one for some reason, luckily he let me borrow his.)
5)Agatha Christie

Yes, even then I was into mysteries. I've been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes for as long as I can remember, I think Nancy Drew was the book that started that tho.

What about you, did you have any favorite books as a child, what were they? I know I have a lot more, but I'd end up writing a book. haha

Have you ever thought of rereading them as an adult? I admit I thought about it, but haven't had a chance too yet.

Till next week!
Renee



Monday, November 26, 2018

My First Blog Tour-Sean Heary the Concordat



This is my first official blog tour. Sadly, I was not able to read the book, I had technicality issues.


This novel sounded really cool, maybe I'll be able to read it someday soon.

The Concordat by Sean Heary
  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Troubador Publishing (19 Jun. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1789013445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1789013443


BLURB Since his rise to power, Russian President Alexander Volkov has increasingly engaged in hostile activities as he attempts to rebuild the Russian Empire. In support of his tactics, the Russian FSB has forged a Concordat dated 1939 in which the Vatican supposedly agreed to cease all opposition to the Nazi government in return for being appointed the official state religion of the Third Reich.

Planting the counterfeit in a Berlin apartment, the FSB engineer a plan to blackmail the Vatican via the son of a murdered former East German Stasi colonel. The Vatican reluctantly agrees to acquire the counterfeit to prevent it falling into the hands of the Church's enemies, sending the head of the Vatican Police, Lorenzo Rossi, to Germany to negotiate with the blackmailer. But Rossi's flight is delayed and by the time he arrives the blackmailer is dead and the Concordat has vanished.

Rossi follows a deadly trail to Paris and onto Moscow, where he meets Cathy Doherty, a CIA Agent with a passion for all things Russian. Together they set out to establish the origins of the Concordat, and its intended purpose. Armed with information provided by a CIA informant, the forger is identified. Will Rossi be able to recover the Concordat and flee Russia with his life?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sean Heary lived for many years only a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he writes political thrillers. He also worked for several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.

Twitter @Sean_Heary

Goodreads :

My journey to The Concordat

I grew up in Perth, Western Australia where I spent most of my youth surfing. Although I did English Literature at school, I wasn’t a big reader. More into maths and physics.

It wasn’t until I was at university I read. I stumbled onto Jude the Obscure and I was hooked. I thought Thomas Hardy should write all books.  Then I saw a poster of great literary figures in an Irish pub. Discovered James Joyce. Started with his thin works before tackling Ulysses. I’ve read the first 400 pages twice. Still not sure how it ends.

At this point in my life, I figured only the English and Irish could write. That led me to Evelyn Waugh. I read them all with a smile on my face. Such humour.

Later I travelled. Lived in the former Soviet Union. I came of age during the Cold War. But it wasn't until my first winter in Moscow I comprehended the significance of the time and place. First thriller was Gorky Park. I loved it. Can you imagine how I felt when I stepped through the towering gates of the Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure into Martin Cruz Smith’s book.

Red square, Kremlin, Arbat, I lived them all. Murmansk, Norilsk, Magadan, Moscow, St Petersburg, Tashkent, Almaty, Kiev - a new city every month.

Then came John le CarrĂ©. And a move to A Small Town in Germany (Bonn for those who haven’t read the book). Walking the streets of the Spy Who Came in From the Cold, I’d found my calling.

The Concordat took three years to write because I didn’t know what I was doing. Had spent a lifetime writing business reports, so I knew where to put a comma, but writing a thriller required a complete retooling.

I hope you agree the outcome is excellent and augurs well for the sequel which I am halfway through. I’m aiming for a publishing date around the first anniversary of The Concordat (August 2019).






Thursday, November 22, 2018

Weekly Coffee Chat-#HappyThanksgiving


Hi gang, sorry I am still playing catch up. I am just really tired all the time. I think part of the problem is the weather. We don't get much sunshine in this city. Mostly lake effect rain or snow. Not enough natural Vitamin D.
Do you guys have this problem? If so how do you handle it?

For those in the States, I hope you are having a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day! How are you celebrating it? Do you have any specific traditions?


It's just me these days. But I came up with a new tradition. I read or should I say listen to Janet Evanovich's Visions of SugarPlums. She is one of my favorite authors, and I never get tired of rereading her books. This novel is pretty cool as she puts Diesel(from the Charmed series) with Stephanie Plum(from the Plum series) together. Diesel is an "unmentionable", meaning he has special talents. In his case, he can pop into a place and unlock doors. He pops into Stephanie's kitchen one day. She is a bounty hunter, who happens to be going after a guy named Sandy Claus, who has a toy store in town. The guy that Diesel is after, is Sandy's enemy, so things get interesting. Also, Diesel tries to flirt with Stephanie, but she's dating a cop named Joe Morelli, he also has a case.
Now, I 've read this book many times, and I just realized today that we never figured out who's the murderer in Morelli's case that he was working on. I hate unsolved murders. lol
The reading isn't bad, the lady has a bit of trouble with male voices tho, especially Diesel's. And some odd reason they put Christmas music every couple of chapters over the reading, making it hard to hear. But the story is such a hoot. I never get tired of reading it.

So that was what I did today. Now, I'm just about to make pumpkin spice coffee with reddi whip. So much better than pumpkin pie. lol


So here are my questions for you today..and I promise I'll reply this time.
1)If your in the States do you celebrate Thanksgiving? If so, how?
2)Do you have any novels that you like to read over and over again? Please share it if you do.
3) Do you know any Thanksgiving themed novels? I can only think of the one that Janet Evanovich did, called Thanksgiving. It was so long ago when I read it, I am afraid I don't remember it. I'll have to reread it again.

Cheers!
Renee

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Weekly Coffee Chat-Tribute for Mr. #StanLee


Hi gang, I had another idea for this week's chat, but since I heard the news of Mr. Stan Lee, I had to do a tribute post for him. May he RIP.

I admit I never read comics, but I had watched the Avenger movies, at least some. It was one of the few things my son and I had in common. He loves Captain America, I love Iron Man and the Black Widow(she should have had her own movie, imo). I haven't gotten to watch a lot of them in recent years, too broke to afford movies. But, I thought it was so cool when I realized that Captain America II was set in my city of Cleveland. There is a scene that is in the store I shop at, but at that time it was a bank. And the famous Captain America and the Black Widow kiss was at the mall I shop at, right down the street from me. I had kind of hoped those two would end up together. ah well. lol



"Comics are stories. They're like novels or anything else. So the first thing you have to do is become a good storyteller." Stan Lee

I though those were wise words. Not only was he good, he was the best of the best, at least in my opinion. I could only hope to be half as good as he was.

So, how about you, are you a comic book fan? Do you have any recommendations for me as to where to start?
And are you a fan of Mr. Lee? I know he's not everyone's cup of tea.  If you are, what is your favorite movie of his?

A prayer to the stars for his family.
Renee

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fairy Tales can Come True......


I was lucky enough to win a signed copy for an honest review.

Murder by the Book-Lauren Elliott
Publisher: Kensingtonbooks.com
5 Star rating

Murder by the Book is about a woman named Addison, who inherits her Aunt's home and apparently a secret. Thanks to her Aunt's money and attic treasures, for example, antique books.Addie was able to open a book store. Lots of odd things happen, like murders and break-ins. Her new best friend's brother happens to be the Chief of Police and helps her finds out what is going on with the murders and break-ins. Thanks to a few twists they learn what secret her Aunt had.


I absolutely loved this book! I couldn't put it down. The characters were so fun. I especially liked Marc, the police chief, and was happy that he and Addie had some flirtations going on. There was such an amazing twist, that I did not see coming, was such a cool idea. I usually can guess the mystery early on, but not this time, especially when the twist showed up. Not only was there a mystery about Addie's past, but it somehow coincided with the mystery going on in the small town she moved too. The ending was awesome, I love it when the main character kicks booty(can I say that?).lol

If you love books, antiques and a mystery, then I highly recommend this one.
Also, I am not the only one. She is #3 in the best sellers list for her local city, which has over 1 million people. I say that is pretty cool, congrats to Lauren Elliott on that achievement!


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Weekly Coffee Chat-Christmas


Hi gang,
Sorry for the delay, thanks to my health I have gotten behind on my blogging.
One of these days, I will get a set schedule, maybe. Luckily, I'll see an eye doctor and a doctor within the next two weeks.

This week's topic is Christmas. I noticed over the years that the holiday season tends to start earlier and earlier. Next thing we'll see is Halloween will be taken over by Christmas. lol

I admit, I listen to Christmas music starting on Labor Day weekend. Weird thing is, I don't believe in God, but I still like to celebrate the holiday.
My take on Christmas is this:
Most people believe that Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
I believe that Christmas is to celebrate peace and love for all of us.

I was craving a good Christmas story, but not the kind about finding God.
Then, I got lucky and won an arc copy of Six Cats a Slayin by Miranda James.

You can read my review of it here. If you want a heart warming story with an amazing twist, then I highly recommend it.

So, now I am completely hooked on these kinds of stories. It was just what I needed.

So, my questions for all of you is, when do you start reading Christmas themed stories? And how soon do you start getting into the holiday season? Do you have a favorite novel you'd like to share? Please post the answers in the comments thanks!

Oh and if you are an author or know of one, who writes these kinds of stories, and are willing to give a free book for a review, please check my book review info page. I'd love to share yours to all my social media. Thanks bunches!

Happy Holidays!
Renee

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James


I was lucky enough to win this Arc for review copy. Isn't that the most adorable cover ever? I just love it. I was in the mood for a Christmas theme book and this was just perfect.

This book is about a man named Charlie Harris and his Main Coon cat Diesel. Charlie works for the Library and has two boarders at his house as well as a housekeeper. He also has a partner who owns a bistro. One day he finds a box of 5 kittens on his porch and he takes care of them, while trying to find their owners. He also has a new neighbor who seems suspicious. Later that neighbor is murdered at their Christmas party, that Charlie had attended. He helps the police find the murderer, since he's helped them in the past.

This is actually book 6 in the series. I never read the others, and didn't feel totally lost. I like that, when I can read a series out of order. Tho, I do want to read the rest, especially to learn more about his boarders Stewart and Haskell. 
Charlie's best friend, Melba, is a hoot, she's the one who figured out something was fishy with Charlie's new neighbor. The only thing I didn't like about this book, was there were some words that I didn't understand(which doesn't happen very often). I am guessing they are Southern words?
Charlie kept himself busy with the mysteries of the kitten's owner and the new neighbor. After the death of the neighbor, he and Kanesha(one of the cops) learns something about the neighbor. I swear I had not seen that twist coming. I was blown away. Now mind you, I'm pretty good at guessing the mystery early on, but I was pleasantly surprised. I just love a good twist. I admit I guessed the suspect wrong too, and was surprised how they found out. There was also a heartwarming ending, the kind you see in the Hallmark Christmas movies. Btw, this would be great as one, just saying. 
It was also refreshing to read about a main male character for a change. All the other cozies I've read have had female ones. He'd also be the type I'd date, tho maybe a bit older, another reason why I liked him. Most of the books I read are about younger people and they are hard to relate sometimes.

So, if you are in a mood for a good heart warming Christmas story with a good twist and fun characters, then I definitely recommend this one.
I am hoping to be able to read the rest of hers now, as I'm hooked.