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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

May 13, 2017

A Fascinating Book ~ The Wolves of Paris by Michael Wallace

by MK French
November 2013; Balsalom Publishing; 9781493737376
ebook, audio, print (356 pages; historical fantasy

In winter 1450, two Florentine brothers travel to Paris to find out what happened to the factor supervising their estate. They discover a panic about werewolves, and that the woman they both had loved, Lady Lucrezia d'Lisle, is at the center of it. The werewolves are following her through the countryside, and the church is suspicious of the supernatural activity. Both brothers, uneasy with each other for a number of other reasons, agree to work together to prevent the Dominican inquisitor of accusing Lucrezia of heresy - a crime punishable by death.

May 12, 2017

Three Great Books by Female Authors

by Susan Roberts

I admit that I read way more books by female authors than male authors.  Today I am bringing you reviews from three books that I've recently read - two of which are by new-to-me authors.

May 11, 2017

Tangled In Sin by Lavinia Kent

by MK French

April 2017; Loveswept; ebook (262 pages)
regency romance
Cynthia Westhope went looking for her childhood friend Jasmine, who is rumored to be the new madam of a brothel. It's true, and when leaving from one of her visits, she's kidnapped by Jasmine's brother, who had hoped to change Jasmine's mind about remaining a madam. He doesn't recognize her until it's far too late, and she's compromised. The problem is, Cynthia refuses to let him marry her out of duty.

May 10, 2017

13 Reason Why or Why Not: A Parent's Dilemma

by Alison DeLuca

13 Reasons Why is a book and a Netflix series. Both are controversial because of the subject - a boy listens to tapes left by a girl, Hanna, who committed suicide. Those tapes explain why she took her own life.
cover of Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

May 9, 2017

Independent Bookstore Day 2017 at McIntyre's Books

by Susan Roberts

When Amazon become a strong force in the book business, they put many independent bookstores in the country out of business. Gone are Borders. B. Dalton and Waldenbooks. In the last several years, small independent bookstores have started to make a comeback. These are usually small bookstores that consist of only one store. Unlike on-line sales, you can find a knowledgeable person to help you find a book and recommend books. Many of them also hold author events, poetry readings, and local musicians and have become a literary center for their community. To celebrate independent bookstore, the last Saturday in April is Independent Bookstore Day and the bookstores hold events for their community.

May 8, 2017

Interesting collection: Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes

by Susan Roberts
October 2016; Pamela Dorman Books
9780735221079; ebook, print (288 pages)
women's fiction

I don't read many short stories as I prefer the character development in a novel but when I saw this book of short stories by one of my favorite authors, I decided to give it a try and I wasn't disappointed.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.

This was an interesting book of short stories by a fantastic author. The first story, "Paris for One", is the length of a novella and the additional 8 are short stories. As with any short story collection, there were some that I really liked and others not so much. Instead of being all about 'happily ever after', these stories were a more realistic portrayal of life -- some had happy endings and some didn't but they were all about women and how they handled their lives and their marriages.

My favorite was "Paris for One". Nell, a shy English girl, plans her first trip to Paris with her boyfriend - who doesn't show up. Nell can either take the first train back home, stay in her hotel or go out and experience Paris. She decides to go out and enjoy Paris and when her boyfriend finally shows up, she has to decide whether she wants to go back to her normal life or learn to live life more fully using her experiences in Paris as the beginning of her changed life. Her choices completely change her life and she is a different person at the end of the story.

Read these short stories if you'd like a glimpse of the author's wonderful writing and then order one of her novels to find the wonderful characters she creates.

List of short stories in Paris for One:
Paris for One
Between the Tweets
Love in the Afternoon
A Bird in the Hand
Crocodile Shoes
Last Year's Coat
Thirteen Days with John C.
The Christmas List

Buy Paris for One and Other Stories at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook

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May 7, 2017

A Sad Tale: The Death of Mr. Punch by Jonathan Carter

by MK French
October 2016; Peter Owen Publishers
9780720618853; ebook, print (288 pages)
literary fiction

George is a resident at Bayview nursing home, and all he wants to do is return to the home where he and his wife Judy had lived. He doesn't particularly like it at the nursing home and doesn't really enjoy living with the other residents. He spends his time getting to know the residents and trying to escape until he finally is able to find his home.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair review.

I found this to be a rather sad tale, as George feels lost and out of sorts throughout the entire book. He is haunted by a childhood friend and preoccupied with his memories of Judy; the other residents seemed to be callous at times and very engaging at others.

The very end of the book actually confused me. It seemed to put the rest of the novel into question, making me think that George was an unreliable narrator.

The drawings interspersed in the book, presumably George's, were a nice counterpoint to the text.

I liked George and was a bit upset on his behalf that no one seemed to take him seriously. If anything, it seems to drive home how little there is to do for elderly people in nursing homes, and how much they long to retain their identities.

Buy Death of Mr. Punch at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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