Photography

Photography
Random Adventures

Lifestyle

Lifestyle
Lifestyle and Other Items

Writing

Writing
Writing and all related items

The Woman in the Window

Sunday, September 16, 2018

No comments
Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Genre: Suspense, Psychological Thriller
449 Pages
Publisher: William Morrow
I rated ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 on Goodreads

SYNOPSIS:
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems. 

REVIEW:
I dove into The Woman in the Window blindly, meaning, I knew nothing about the plot, which I'm glad.  It's a pet peeve of mine how every new suspense that comes out becomes the next "Gone Girl", which happens to be a book/movie I totally disliked!  
Sorry, I'm getting distracted...

This is my Book Club's pick for December, so I knew I had to read it.  I had both the audiobook and the kindle e-book, so I started with the audiobook, which I had to put aside after a few chapters.  I usually enjoy audiobooks but I felt this particular one was not doing justice to the story.  Anna Fox drinks several bottles of Merlot every day, combined with her pill popping habit, and I just didn't think she should sound sober and cheerful, so, I grabbed my kindle and read on.   
This change worked much better, because in my mind existed a totally different Anna Fox, one that was tipsy and possibly delusional.

Besides the drinking and prescription drugs problem, Anna suffers from Agoraphobia, due to a tragic event in her past.  The story started out very interesting, but the constant old movie references and repetitions just made it boring for me. 
Anna pouring wine.  
Anna sipping wine.  
Anna spilling wine on her robe.  
Anna sipping more wine...
I got the message!  
Anna is self-destructive.

Anna herself is a child psychotherapist, so I thought, that maybe, she should be able to pick up on some of the clues, and instead, she was clueless (blame it on the wine?).  I figured out the first twist pretty early on (very similar to another book by the way) and I'm certain most readers will do so also.  

As I write this review, the movie version of this book is already in production and Amy Adams is playing Anna Fox.  I'm pretty sure the movie will be a blockbuster, but would I recommend the book? 
Nah.
Wait for the movie. 

“No family, happy or unhappy, is quite like any other. Tolstoy was chock-fullo’shit. Remember that.” 

Read More

Blog Tour - ZERO REPEAT FOREVER

Thursday, September 13, 2018

No comments


ZERO REPEAT FOREVER by Gabrielle Prendergast 

Blog Tour 

I'm Super Thrilled to be a part of the Blog Tour for ZERO REPEAT  FOREVER!  Today I'll be revealing the Fan Art, but stick around and don't forget to enter the Giveaway!







Title: ZERO REPEAT FOREVER
Author: Gabrielle Prendergast
Pub. Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 496
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: AmazonB&NAudibleiBooksTBDGoodreads







He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He  doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…


Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.
Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…

BOOK TRAILER:






I'M PROUD TO REVEAL THE FAN ART SITE: CLICK HERE TO BE DIRECTED THERE!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gabrielle is a writer, teacher and designer living in Vancouver, Canada.  You can read about her books here. She is represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
In 2014 she was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. In 2015 she was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. In 2017 Gabrielle took part in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week Tour. She has also been nominated for the White Pine Awardand the CLA Award.
Gabrielle won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016. It was also nominated/shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award, The Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow Award and the Myrca Award.

Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Intstagram | Pinterest | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

1 winner will receive a grand prize of a signed copy of ZERO REPEAT FOREVER, a tote bag, & a swag pack, US & Canada Only.
9 winners will receive ZERO REPEAT FOREVER Swag Packs (stickers, signed bookplate, tattoo and bookmark), US Only & Canada.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here's the TOUR SCHEDULE (please check them out):
Week One:
9/10/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsQuiz
9/11/2018- A Gingerly ReviewWays to win or buy swag
9/12/2018- Trendy Simple LifeFan art
9/13/2018- Two Chicks on BooksDeleted Scenes
9/14/2018- Novel NoviceBookclub Questions

Week Two:
9/17/2018- Shortie SaysFan videos/reviews
9/18/2018- Simply Daniel RadcliffeA "Find Your Sci-Fi Title" Meme
9/19/2018- Always MeAn FAQ/fan forum
9/20/2018- BookHounds YACharacter descriptions
9/21/2018- The Hermit LibrarianThe pitch for book 2!


Read More

The Immortalists Book Review

Sunday, September 9, 2018

2 comments

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Release Date: January 9th, 2018
Genre: Fiction
346 Pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
I rated ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️on Goodreads
#TheImmortalists


SYNOPSIS:
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

REVIEW:
Let's start with the cover! I just LOVED this cover and once I lost myself in the story, I realized how much thought had to be put into it...to symbolize a family tree, the different leaves for each different character, some leaves naturally live longer than others...I honestly think this is the most meaningful cover I have ever seen!

The title is a bit misleading.  It is neither fantasy nor mythical.

Benjamin wrote a compelling, vibrant story.  The characters, although not that likable, are fascinating in their own way.  They each suffer and carry their share of emotional baggage due to that visit to a psychic during their childhood.  It is a story about a family that endures so much pain, that as a reader, I asked myself if I could endure reading it.

After part 2 of the book, I felt it was too depressing and would probably have put it away, if this wasn't a book club pick.  I'm so glad I didn't give up because the story picked up after that and I felt that it all came together beautifully. 

Because the book is divided in 4 parts, each representing one of the siblings, the reader is able to understand how each personality faces the "prophecy" in their own way.  There's a quality vs quantity type of life possibility dilemma.  Live life fully, with no regrets, or just go by, living under the radar, hoping to live longer that way.  That, to me, is what makes this book an Epic read!

The Immortalists had me thinking of some of the most basic life questions:
Would I want to know the exact date I'm going to die?
Would I live differently?
Do I think our fate is pre-written and no matter what we do, cannot be altered?
Are we just paws on this game we call life?

I could go on and on, and honestly, I think it will take some time till I'm able to  shake off the thoughts that this book awaken...

"But at heart, she worried that her primary motivation was fear.  Fear that she had no control, that life slipped through one's fingers no matter what."

At the end of the novel, there's a line about "the beauty and freedom in uncertainty".

Do you agree with this?




Read More

5 YA Books on Center Stage

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

No comments

Must Read Young Adult Novels

2 Books already published and 3 will be hitting the shelves Sept/Oct


This summer, I made a commitment to read at least 50 pages a day, which is not much by any means, but to my surprise, it worked out perfectly for my busy schedule.

I've been reading a lot of great books lately, but my BookClub does not really choose YA books, which means, I get to pick and choose what to read on my non-book club free time (free time?).

Some might say: "But I'm an adult, why would I want to read YA books?"
I actually read somewhere that 55% of YA readers are adults.  And did you know that in the UK the Harry Potter books were published with 2 different covers: 1 for adults and 1 for kids? I guess because "adults" don't want to be seen reading books written to the younger generations?

Don't let the Young Adult category fool you.  These books are well-written, imaginative, tackle serious issues and will provide you many hours of entertainment - plus who doesn't want to fall in love with a handsome alien, kick some tyrant's behind, avenge a murder, bring down a beast and play a game? (not necessarily in that order)...



CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi
Published: March 6, 2018
This is book # 1 of a trilogy.
It was Jimmy Fallon's summer BookClub pick, and a Movie is currently in development with FOX 2000.  Read the book before the movie comes out!

Click here to read my review.

The novel introduces King Saran and his raids across Orïsha. Before the raids, the two cultures of the land, maji and kosidán, were still always competing for power. The maji have always been oppressed by the elite kosidán, the nobles, but the raids were an act of genocide. King Saran killed all the maji, rid the land of magic, and silenced most of the prayers to gods he did not recognize as his own. The kingdom went through a culture change where the power dynamics were more clearly defined and uneven. The Children of Blood and Bone takes place eleven years after the raids, following Zélie, a divîner (one of magical blood). Chosen by the gods, Zélie, Tzain, and Amari, the Princess of Orïsha, are sent on a journey to collect three sacred artifacts and bring them to the Holy Temple. By completing this quest, magic, which has been missing since before the raids, will be brought back to Orïsha. Along this quest, Zélie must evade King Saran’s forces, led by Inan, the crowned prince, and reach the Holy Temple before the solstice. If Zélie fails, Orïsha will lose magic forever...

♥♥♥♥♥



LEGENDARY by Stephanie Garber
Published: May 29, 2018
This is book # 2 of the Caraval trilogy.

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.
The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...the games have only just begun.

♥♥♥♥♥



SADIE by Courtney Summers
Will hit the shelves on September 4, 2018 (only a few days away!)
Click here to read my review.

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

If she dies, she takes the truth with her... Click here to listen/subscribe to the new podcast based on Sadie and help reporter West McCray #FindSadie.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

♥♥♥♥♥



BONELESS MERCIES by April Genevieve Tucholke
Will hit the shelves on October 2, 2018

Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life.
When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies' one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.
Full of fierce girls, bloodlust, tenuous alliances, and unapologetic quests for glory, this elegantly spun tale challenges the power of storytelling—and who gets to be the storyteller.

♥♥♥♥♥



THE DARKEST STAR by Jennifer L Armentrout
Will hit the shelves on October 30, 2018
Click here to read my review.

When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen...but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she'd only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head...

♥♥♥♥♥

So that's my TOP 5 YA Books.
Let me know what YA books you're reading and/or waiting to read.



Note: As an Amazon Affiliate, if you purchase using the links provided, I’ll earn a small commission (no additional cost to you).

Read More

September Social Media Challenge - #BookishLoveSept18

Sunday, August 26, 2018

No comments

A Social Media Challenge


Hi Everyone!

Summer is almost over and to put some FUN in September,  I have teamed up with Manon from CafeManon to bring you a Bookish Social Media challenge!

We created a list with 30 prompts and we would love to see you join us for some bookish fun!

Want to read more about our #BookishLoveSept18 challenges?

Join Us!  And don't forget to tell all your Book Lover friends!

You can participate in the #BookishLoveSept18 challenges any way you like. Take a picture and post it on Instagram, film a video for you BookTube, write a tweet about the prompt or even write a whole blogpost about it! We would love to see your take on the challenges.

Use the hashtag #BookishLoveSept18 and tag us;
Instagram: @mpmarquesus & @Cafe_Manon
Twitter: @TdySimpleLife & @Cafe_Manon

THE PROMPTS





1 - Introduction
Introduce yourself. Tell us a bit about who you are, what you like to do, what book you like to read.. Anything you want to share. 

2 - September #TBR
Share the books you plan to read in September.

3 - Favorite series
What is your favorite series?

4 - #BookmarkLove
Show off your bookmarks, take a picture of your current bookmark or tell us about the craziest item you’ve used as a bookmark.

5 - The last book you’ve received as a gift or given away
September 5 is the International Day of Charity! Share a book you’ve received as a gift or a book you’ve given away.

6 - What are you reading today?
September 6 is Read a Book Day! This day invites us all to grab a book and spend the day reading. Share what book you’re reading today.

7 - Favorite fictional world
Would you like to live in Wonderland or would you rather spend some time at Hogwarts? Share your favorite fictional world.

8 - #LibraryLove
September 8 is International Literacy Day. Take a picture of a library book or write something about your local library.

9 - #SockSunday
Picture time! Socks and book. Or bookish socks.

10 - Share an inspirational quote
September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Share an inspirational quote or a book about mental health.

11 - Heroes or Villains?
Do you like heroes? Or do you adore villains? Protagonists or antagonists? Who is your favorite hero or villain?

12 - Shelfie
Take a picture of your book shelf !

13 - A horror/scary book
Thursday the 13th! Share a horror story or a scary book.

14 - Go WILD!
Share something crazy, let it loose, no rules..

15 - Must read book
A book you would recommend to everybody.

16 - #SundayFunday
Share a funny book, a funny bookish story, a fun picture.. Have fun!

17 - #MapMonday
A picture of a book with a map of a fictional world.

18 - Your reading spot
Where do you like to read?

19 - One word title
A book with a short one word title.

20 - Hardback or paperback?
Do you like hardbacks of paperbacks? Do you own more hardbacks or paperbacks?

21 - Share 3 things you are grateful for
September 21 is World Gratitude Day. To celebrate, share 3 things you are grateful for!

22 - It’s Octoberfest! Share a favorite food or drink!
Octoberfest begins in Germany. Share your favorite food or drink!

23 - Fall reads & Book covers with autumn colors
September 23 is the first day of Fall. Share a book set in autumn or a book cover with autumn colors.

24 - Fall playlist
Start the week with some music. What music do you like to listen to today? What music makes you think about fall? Do you listen to music while reading?

25 - Book & hot drink
A picture of a book and a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

26 - e-book or audiobook
Do you like to read e-books or listen to audiobooks?

27 - Book set in another country or written by an author from another country
September 27 is World Tourism Day. Share a book set in a different country or a book written by an international author.

28 - #FlashbackFriday
What books did you like to read when you were younger? What books did you read last month? What book did you most recently give a 5-star rating? Look back at your reading list and share something for #FlashbackFriday.

29 - September Haul
The books you’ve bought or received in September.

30 - September Wrap-up
The books you’ve read in September.

That's it!  
What do you have cooking for October? 

Read More

Start your Writing Journey

Saturday, August 18, 2018

2 comments


Like everything else in life, the creativity to write has to start somewhere.  It might come easy for some, but for most of us,  it requires a lot of reading (I mean A LOT), and the habit of writing...
Writing...
Writing...

Some authors have a certain daily writing routine while others don't even write every day.  Finding what works to get your juices flowing will come with discipline and time.

As much as I love doing Book Reviews, my other favorite blog post is when I get to interview authors, because I love to ask them what kind of magical potion they drink to create that great plot.  I have not figured out the correct formula, but in the meantime, I did find some VERY helpful sites, which I keep returning to.

Save this list by your desk, and whenever you find yourself falling into the rabbit hole called writer's block, visit one of these sites.

 Good Luck on your Writing Journey!



Writer's Digest -  You don't have to subscribe to their magazine in order to access all the resources they have on the site, including weekly writing prompts, contests and competitions, conference listings, and online exclusive articles.

Tomi Adeyemi For Writers -  Yes, that's the author of Children of Blood and Bone.
Tomi's site has free writing classes and writing resources, and who wouldn't want writing advice from the young lady that is making waves all over the world?

Writetodone.com  - WTD has "unmissable articles on writing".  It's easy to browse this site and forget about everything else that needs to be done (like feed the dog, cook dinner, pick up the kid from soccer)...

Writers Write - I just love their Creative Writing Articles, Tips and Online Courses!  Full of helpful information.  Don't forget to check out their 12 Short Stories Challenge

Write it Sideways - A collection of 390+ articles for aspiring and emerging writers, written by those who have gone before.

DIYMFA.com  - "write more. white better. write smarter."
How can you not like a site with these lines?  It's got classes, articles, writing resources and even a podcast.  If you haven't visited this site yet, you're missing out.


“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway




Read More

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L Armentrout

Thursday, August 16, 2018

12 comments


Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Star by Jennifer L Armentrout

Release Date: October 30th, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
368 Pages
Publisher: Tor Teen
I rated 4 stars on Goodreads
#TheDarkestStar

SYNOPSIS:

When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen...but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she'd only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head...

"There it is. The GREAT and POWERFUL Origin known as LUC.  I'm so scared".


MY REVIEW:

Are we alone in the Universe?
Have aliens visited earth?
Do they come in peace?

These are regular questions that any science fiction book/movie lover has asked throughout the years.

Imagine that aliens are real, and already walk among us on earth.  The Government is aware of them but never told the public about them.  They are called Luxen.  And they just want to live peacefully... 

4 years after the invasion, Luxen need to be registered and wear a bracelet that cancels their powers.  They go to school and live normal lives (or almost normal) and the government is planning on transferring them to segregated communities.  Add that to the fact that not all humans are happy to have aliens as neighbors (sound familiar?).

This is the first book I read from Jennifer L Armentrout and oh boy, I now know why she has so many followers and her books are such International Best Sellers!   

I got a signed Advance Copy of The Darkest Star at BookCon and wanted to read it prior to its publication day.  I really enjoyed reading this book.  It has the right measure of science fiction, government conspiracy, teenage love, secrets, lies, smart humor, plot twists and funny t-shirts (yes, funny t-shirts, but we'll get back to that soon).  

Armentrout focused on the relationship between Evie and Luc, and you can't help but love their back and forth talks, always with the right amount of teenage sarcasm.  Overall, I think that even if you don't usually read Sci-Fi stories, this one will still be a good read.  Although I felt the ending a bit predictable, there were plenty of plot twists that I didn't see coming and there's certainly a few secrets that will need to be revealed on the next book of this series. 

I have a feeling that we'll learn a lot more about Evie's past on the next book. And Luc?  I need more Luc in my life...

Also, you don't have to read the LUX series prior to reading this book.  I actually am interested in reading them but you actually don't need to in order to follow the story line on The Darkest Star.

Would I recommend this book?  YESPre-order your copy now.  


Why did I mention Funny T-shirts?
In one of the chapters of the book, Luc shows up wearing a t-shirt that reads DILL WITH IT, with a pickle underneath the words, wearing...sunglasses :-)  

I SO Want One of Those!!!!!!
Read More
Copyright © TRENDY SIMPLE LIFE. Blog Design by SkyandStars.co