Thursday – I spy Regular Fiction Books

Check these books out….
I might put these in my to read pile.
Which one looks good to you?

Paris, 1925: To enter the Secret Circus is to enter a world of wonder—a world where women weave illusions of magnificent beasts, carousels take you back in time, and trapeze artists float across the sky. Bound to her family’s circus, it’s the only world Cecile Cabot knows until she meets a charismatic young painter and embarks on a passionate affair that could cost her everything.

Virginia, 2004:Lara Barnes is on top of the world, until her fiancé disappears on their wedding day. When her desperate search for answers unexpectedly leads to her great-grandmother’s journals, Lara is swept into a story of a dark circus and ill-fated love.

Soon secrets about Lara’s family history begin to come to light, revealing a curse that has been claiming payment from the women in her family for generations. A curse that might be tied to her fiancé’s mysterious disappearance

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought. 

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne. 

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

After another all-night bender, one more failed stint at rehab, and a parole violation, self-destructive actress Chase London has to deal with her demons. She’s been written off as a Hollywood casualty by almost everyone, including her own mother. But handsome superstar Spencer Rome has her back. So does an uncompromising stranger determined to start Chase at square one and help her pull her future into focus. If Chase is willing.

Life coach Olivia Han is devoted to “adulting” boot camp therapy. It’s not just her professional specialty, though—it’s also one way to avoid focusing on building a life of her own. To escape the pressures of Tinseltown, the two women head to Olivia’s cabin in the wilds of Northern California. There they discover a place in need of TLC. As they work together to rehab the once-charming cabin, they create a refuge where Chase can come to terms with her unsettled past, and where Olivia has an unexpected reckoning with her own troubling history.

For two women doing damage control, this is a time for second chances—in life, in finding love, in forgiving family, and in an emerging friendship that might be exactly what each of them needs to heal.

The desolate canyons of Alcoro—and the people desperate enough to hide there—couldn’t be more different from the opulent glass palace and lush forests of Moquoia. But the harsh desert and gleaming court are linked through their past, present, and future: a history of abductions in the desert to power Moquoia’s quarries and factories, and a bleak, inhumane future built on the sweat and sacrifice of these bond laborers.

But events unfolding in the present could change everything. In the desert, outlaw Lark—known to most as the Sunshield Bandit—has built a name for herself attacking slavers’ wagons and freeing the captives inside. But while she shakes the foundation of Moquoia’s stratified society, she also has to fight to protect her rescuees—and herself—from the unforgiving world around them.

In the Moquoian court, young ambassador Veran hopes to finally make his mark by dismantling the unjust labor system, if he can navigate the strict hierarchy and inexplicable hostility of the prince.

And caught in the middle of it all, Tamsin is trapped within four walls, the epicenter of a secret political coup to overthrow the Moquoian monarchy and perpetuate the age-old system of injustice.

Separated by seas of trees and sand, the outlaw, the diplomat, and the prisoner are more connected than anyone realizes. Their personal fates might just tip the balance of power in the Eastern World—if that very power doesn’t destroy them first. 

When their hopes for ending Moquoia’s brutal system of bondage are crushed, unlikely allies Lark and Veran are forced to flee into the harsh desert. With no weapons or horses, they must make their way to safety across the 50-mile expanse of waterless plains known as the water scrape. It is an odyssey filled with unexpected dangers that challenge even a skilled outlaw like Lark—though the farther they travel, the more she wonders if she even fits the fearsome title of the Sunshield Bandit anymore.

Injured in the coup to overthrow the Moquoian monarchy, Tamsin, accompanied by Iano, retreat to a safe house, where they await the return of Lark and Veran. Determined to uncover the traitor in the court, they devise a plan to confront the new palace ashoki, Kimela.

Imperiled by wilderness and their own tenuous alliances, Lark, Tamsin, and Veran each face massive risks to uncover the truth. But even if they find it, will their combined forces be strong enough to stop the evil infecting their beautiful land . . . and transform it into a fairer society for all? 

Story of Our Lives

UN6

  • Helen Warner
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Graydon House
  • (February 13, 2018)

What is it about:

They think nothing can tear their bond apart, until a long-buried secret threatens to destroy everything.

Every year they have met up for a vacation, but their time away is much more than just a bit of fun. Over time, it has become a lifesaver, as each of them struggles with life’s triumphs and tragedies.

Sophie, Emily, Amy and Melissa have been best friends since they were girls. They have seen each other through everything—from Sophie’s private fear that she doesn’t actually want to be a mother despite having two kids, to Amy’s perfect-on-the-outside marriage that starts to reveal troubling warning signs, to Melissa’s spiraling alcoholism, to questions that are suddenly bubbling up around the paternity of Emily’s son. But could a lie that spans just as long as their friendship be the thing that tears them apart?

Are you going to read this?  It looks like an interesting book to read!  I saw the cover and I knew I had to put it on my blog.  It is not my usual cup of tea but once in a while I will read something totally different.    Check out the author’s website when you get a chance.  Click on her name up above to learn more about her and her other books too!

 

I spy some Fiction

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The Library of Light and Shadow
by M.J. Rose  (Adult Fiction)

In this riveting and richly drawn novel from “one of the master storytellers of historical fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams), a talented young artist flees New York for the South of France after one of her scandalous drawings reveals a dark secret—and triggers a terrible tragedy.

In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École des Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment — a party trick — for the fashionable crowd.

Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine renounces her gift and returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian who attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the writings of the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.

Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions everything and everyone she loves the most — her art, her magick, her family, and Mathieu — in an effort to accept them as the gifts they are. Only there can she shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open.

 

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Refuge: A Novel
by Dina Nayeri  (Adult Fiction)

The moving lifetime relationship between a father and a daughter, seen through the prism of global immigration and the contemporary refugee experience.

An Iranian girl escapes to America as a child, but her father stays behind. Over twenty years, as she transforms from confused immigrant to overachieving Westerner to sophisticated European transplant, daughter and father know each other only from their visits: four crucial visits over two decades, each in a different international city. The longer they are apart, the more their lives diverge, but also the more each comes to need the other’s wisdom and, ultimately, rescue. Meanwhile, refugees of all nationalities are flowing into Europe under troubling conditions. Wanting to help, but also looking for a lost sense of home, our grown-up transplant finds herself quickly entranced by a world that is at once everything she has missed and nothing that she has ever known. Will her immersion in the lives of these new refugees allow her the grace to save her father?

Refuge charts the deeply moving lifetime relationship between a father and a daughter, seen through the prism of global immigration. Beautifully written, full of insight, charm, and humor, the novel subtly exposes the parts of ourselves that get left behind in the wake of diaspora and ultimately asks: Must home always be a physical place, or can we find it in another person?

 

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Fitness Junkie: A Novel
by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza (Adult Fiction)

From the bestselling authors of The Knockoff, an outrageously funny novel about one woman’s attempt—through clay diets, naked yoga, green juice, and cultish workout classes—to win back her career, save her best friend, and lose thirty pounds.

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin—the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin—her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don’t fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman’s tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place? A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture.

Non Fiction and a Biography!

These two books caught my eye.  Check them out today.  Perhaps they will help you or open your eyes more to see what how the world can at times.

PLAN

THE JOY PLAN
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks (July 11, 2017)

As a mother, a wife, and a businesswoman, Kaia Roman always had a plan. But when her biggest plan, the business she cofounded, collapsed, Kaia found herself crushed by depression. And what felt even worse was that, with a husband and two kids relying on her to get out of bed, she didn’t have a plan to move forward.

Determined to turn her life around and put her ingrained habits of stress and anxiety behind her, Kaia decided to put everything else on hold and dedicate thirty days to the singular pursuit of joy. The results were astonishing-and lasted much longer than the initial monthlong project.

In this uplifting and eye-opening memoir, Kaia uses her business savvy to create a concrete Joy Plan to get back on her feet fast. Using scientific research on hormones, neurotransmitters, and mindfulness, along with the daily dedication to creating a more joyful existence, Kaia teaches readers how to move past temporary happiness and succeed in creating joy that lasts.

Complete with advice, exercises, and key takeaways, The Joy Plan is Kaia’s step-by-step guide to how she, and everyone else, can ditch the negative and plan for the joy in their lives.

Plan2

A Beautiful Terrible Thing
by Jen Waite
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Plume (July 11, 2017)

These are the questions facing Jen Waite when she begins to realize that her loving husband—the father of her infant daughter, her best friend, the love of her life—fits the textbook definition of psychopath. In a raw, first-person account, Waite recounts each heartbreaking discovery, every life-destroying lie, and reveals what happens once the dust finally settles on her demolished marriage.

After a disturbing email sparks Waite’s suspicion that her husband is having an affair, she tries to uncover the truth and rebuild trust in her marriage. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment from the last five years that isn’t part of the long-con of lies and manipulation. With a dual-timeline narrative structure, we see Waite’s romance bud, bloom, and wither simultaneously, making the heartbreak and disbelief even more affecting.

Review of Roaring Midnight by Colleen Gleason

Disclaimer: I bought this book to read for myself and to give it an honest opinion.



Roaring Midnight
(Macey #1: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles)


Author: Colleen Gleason
Paperback
240 Pages
June 7, 2013
Avid Press

Overview
Macey Gardella is a typical young woman of the Roaring Twenties: she works a job, has her own flat, and loves to dance the Charleston. But when a mysterious man named Sebastian Vioget informs her she belongs to a family of vampire hunters, Macey is stunned and disbelieving.

Yet, strange and frightening things begin to happen, and when Macey comes face-to-face with one of the fanged creatures, she has no choice but to believe Sebastian. And when she learns his own soul depends on her willingness to carry forth the family legacy and hunt the undead, Macey capitulates and joins the fight.

As she begins to learn about her new life, Macey meets the handsome newspaper reporter known as Grady–who seems to know more about vampires than he should. When he begins to ask too many questions, she has to juggle her strong attraction to him with the need for secrecy.

Slipping into speakeasies and sampling bootlegged whiskeys, dodging gangster gunfire and trying to keep her nosy landlady from finding the stakes in her flat, Macey Gardella must navigate through a world of stunning violence, passionate romance, and dark betrayal.

My Take
Oh my gosh! I read this amazing line that I found in the book ~ “I’m not making any promises,” she said blithely, trying to regain her senses. She’d kissed boys before, but Grady was definitely not a boy and this was definitely not the same. page 81

Does that catch your attention? When Colleen Gleason announced she was writing another series of the Vampire Gardella, I had to get it, no matter what. I’m a huge fan of hers. I have read the first five books of the Vampire Gardella series which I absolutely adore! You do not need to read the first five to be knowledgeable for Roaring Midnight. It gives you a feel for a spin off from the first five books by Colleen Gleason. It’s almost like a mini series. For some reason, the entire Vampire Gardella series fascinate me due to the fact I’m a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So I get a image of a woman who can kick butt and still be beautiful in her own right. Onwards to the review…

Macey is the main character who has had some knowledge of who her parents were. Although she did not know everything! She knew they died but how remained a question for her. When she finds out how they died, she was shocked! It took her time to realize her true heritage of being a vampire slayer. I felt Macey had the right reaction of shock in learning everything but at the same time I somewhat had a hunch she knew a little bit about this. After all she was having dreams of being a vampire hunter! She takes her time on deciding whether or not to accept her fate as a vampire hunter. Macey is a strong female character in this book with a stubborn mind. I loved, loved, loved that Macey works in a library. (I love libraries!!!) Her goal is to become a head librarian which I hope she succeeds down the road.

Colleen hits the spot with the terminology and feel for the 1920s in Roaring Midnight. You will not be able to put it down. It also takes place in Chicago which is a favorite city of mine. Al Capone is mentioned in the book which was quite interesting and caught my attention. I wonder what made Colleen to include Al Capone. I look forward to the next book on him and Macey’s adventure!

Sebastian is mentioned! He is a character from the previous Gardella books which I enjoyed. It was nice to see him pop up in this series. I always thought Sebastian was mysterious and still is to me. Other than Sebasation, we also have a character named Chas. Chas seems to have his own baggage which makes me wonder of him. Hopefully I will find out more about him! All the characters have a role to play in this story and you will see Macey trying to figure out who to trust.

The cover is awesome! I have always loved Colleen Gleason’s covers of her books. This cover fits right in with the Vampire Gardella series of 1920s! I want more soon. I look forward from seeing more from Colleen Gleason in these series. If you have read her previous Gardella series, then you need to add these to your collection! If you like vampires, then you need to read this as well. So go find your copy today.

Cover: A
Story: B


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