Manga Monday

Manga Monday
Manga Monday

Instant Indian

Instant Indian
Instant Indian

Monday, June 17, 2019

Manga Monday- Charmed: A Thousand Deaths by Erica Schultz, Maria Sanapo (Contributor)- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Dynamite Entertainment is proud to continue the story of Phoebe, Piper, and Paige, television's fan-favorite witches, in all-new adventures set within the official continuity of Charmed!

A dark force has set its sights on the art world of San Francisco, utilizing a gallery exhibit to feed souls to the underworld and unleash demons into our reality. Only the Power of Three, harnessed by the Halliwell sisters, can stop the madness!


MY REVIEW:

Charmed: A Thousand DeathsCharmed: A Thousand Deaths by Erica Schultz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Charmed: A Thousand Deaths by Erica Schultz, Maria Sanapo (Illustrator) is a 2017 Dynamite Entertainment publication.

A comic based on Charmed- I couldn’t resist. I used to watch this with my daughter after school when it aired on TNT. Even after she moved on to other things, my husband and I couldn’t stop watching it. LOL!

This franchise that has stayed popular long after the original series went off the air. I knew there were books based on the show, but only recently discovered the comics.

This artwork is awesome, very bright and brilliant colors, and looks great on my Kindle. The style and atmosphere of the 90s is captured nicely,reminding me of how much fun this show was.





However, the storyline is very weak. It’s a very quick read, of course, and you will have to catch the next installment to continue the storyline, and because I was a little frustrated with this first installment, I  I immediately borrowed the next chapter to see if things improved. Although, this first chapter is quite unstable, it looks like the next installment is much improved. I will read a few more to see if it's worth continuing with it or not. 

Not the best start, but giving the series the benefit of the doubt- for now.
Plot- 2 stars
Graphic Art -4 stars

GRAB YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/charmed-erica-schultz/1126378244

https://www.amazon.com/Charmed-Vol-1-Thousand-Deaths-ebook/dp/B075B2HYQV/

ALSO AVAILABLE WITH YOUR COMIXOLOGY SUBSCRIPTION

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Erica Schultz is an American comic book writer, letterer, and editor. She is best known for her writing work  with comic book publisher Dynamite Entertainment. on the Swords of Sorrow series and her creator-owned crime series, M3. Erica's other notable writing credits include Marvel's original graphic novel, Revenge: The Secret Origin of Emily Thorne, "Pop Goes the World", in Vertigo Quarterly: SFX # 1, and "Brothers in Arms" in RISE: Comics Against Bullying # 2 with Northwest Press. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Instant Indian: Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant Pot by Rinku Bhattacharya- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:


Instant Indian - Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant Pot
Discover favorite foods from all over India with the first regional Indian cookbook authorized by Instant Pot!
Rinku Bhattacharya — cookbook author and founder of Spice Chronicles — has put together a collection of 100 authentic recipes that showcase the diversity and range of the foods of India, where every state and region boasts its own unique dishes. Whether you crave takeout favorites or want to be introduced to lesser-known specialties, this cookbook brings the best of India to your table in an instant!
The Instant Pot® lends itself perfectly to Indian recipes, making flavorful, nutritious Indian fare (like simmering-all-day dals, legumes and all manner of curries) in minutes instead of hours. Instant Indian features numerous vegetarian and vegan options , and nearly all recipes are gluten-free.
With step-by-step instructions and color photos throughout, Instant Indian makes Indian cooking easy and fool-proof using all the functions of this popular appliance.

MY REVIEW:

Instant Indian: Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant PotInstant Indian: Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant Pot by Rinku Bhattacharya
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Instant pot is THE hot kitchen tool right now. I don't have an official Instant Pot. I have a standard pressure cooker. However, for the record, these recipes can be made in both, but you may want to check with the model you own for specifications. I avoid rice dishes in my Pressure Cooker, but everything else is a go.

That said, this Indian cookbook is a compilation of recipes specifically for the Instant Pot. However, there is also plenty of helpful information included for anyone just starting out with Indian cooking or are new to cooking with an Instant Pot.

A wide array of dishes, spices, and sauces are featured, including snacks, casseroles, legumes and beans, soups, vegetables, desserts and drinks. The directions are easy to follow, estimating prep. time and the amount yielded. There is also an index to help one locate specific recipes quickly.
The photos are colorful and will leave your mouth watering! For me, the section on bean and legumes was especially of interest because of how quickly the instant pot cooks them, and the new and tasty ways I found to enjoy them. The vegetarian dishes are plentiful as well, and the egg dishes look very intriguing. I hope to try a few of them soon!

Overall, this is an informative cookbook for those who have an instant pot or plan to purchase one. My husband is a huge fan of pressure cookers and Instant pots, and because we are learning to cook Indian foods, this is a cookbook I am sure we will reference often. However, I think this cookbook would come in handy even if you are a little wary of instant pots. I don’t think it would be too hard to adapt these recipes to cook in more traditional ways.

4 stars


GRAB YOUR COPY HERE:

About Rinku Bhattacharya
Rinku Bhattacharya (spicechronicles.com) was born in India, and now lives in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband, an avid gardener, and their two children. Rinku’s simple, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Spice Chronicles, and in her Journal News column “Spices and Seasons.”



Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years, and works extensively with local area farmer’s markets on seasonal demonstrations and discussions. Rinku is also the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012), winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 for Best Indian Cuisine. She writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Journal News, and several online sites, and is a frequent guest on CT Style TV.



FOLLOW THE TOUR:



Friday, June 14, 2019

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- The Perfect Ghost by Linda Barnes- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Mousy and shy to the point of agoraphobic, Em Moore is the writing half of a celebrity biography team. Her charismatic partner, Teddy, does the interviewing and the public schmoozing. But Em's dependence on Teddy runs deeper than just the job—Teddy is her bridge to the world and the main source of love in her life. So when Teddy dies in a car accident, Em is devastated, alone in a world she doesn't understand. The only way she can honor his memory and cope with his loss is to finish the interviews for their current book—an "autobiography" of renowned and reclusive film director Garrett Malcolm.

Ensconced in a small cottage near Malcolm's Cape Cod home, Em slowly builds the courage to interview Malcolm the way Teddy would have. She finds Malcolm at once friendlier, more intimidating, and much sexier than she had imagined. But Em soon starts hearing whispers of skeletons in the Malcolm family closet. And then the police begin looking into the accident that killed Teddy, and Em's control on her life—tenuous at best—is threatened.

In The Perfect Ghost, a stunning breakout novel from the beloved author of the Carlotta Carlyle mystery series, Linda Barnes slowly winds the strings tighter and tighter, leading the reader ever more deeply into the lives of her characters with pitch-perfect pacing and mesmerizing prose.



READ AN EXCERPT:





MY REVIEW:


The Perfect GhostThe Perfect Ghost by Linda Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Perfect Ghost by Linda Barnes is a 2013  Minotaur Books/ St. Martin's Press publication.

Em and Teddy a ghostwriting team- Teddy does the interviews and publicity, while the agoraphobic Em, does the actual writing. They were working on a biography of the great Garrett Malcolm, an Academy award winner turned director.

 But, before the book could be completed, Teddy dies in a car accident. The publisher sought to cancel the project, but somehow Em manages to rise to the occasion and pushes herself to complete the book.

Em tells the story of how she slowly comes out of her shell and fights her inner demons and fears to finish this book, in the form of a journal written to her by her beloved Teddy.

As Em begins to listen to Teddy's tapes, and begins interviewing the great actor, she falls under Garrett's spell completely.

In the background of the story is Garrett's work on a production of Hamlet and the parallels to what Em is doing while conducting interviews with Garrett, while transcribing the tapes.

Also, we have some questions about Teddy's single car accident. The police have suspicions that it could have been a suicide or that foul play might have been involved. Not only that, Em begins to uncover secrets involving Garrett and his marriage to a famous actress and the mother of his only child -secrets that Garrett would have done anything to keep out of the public eye. Was Garrett afraid Teddy was about to expose him?

Many of you may know Linda Barnes as the author of the Carlotta Carlyle novels. This one may feel like a big departure by comparison.

Em, is a fragile little thing. I often felt proud of her for working so hard to overcome her fears and forge ahead in a dog eat dog world of powerful men. I worried about her when it was obvious that she was being taken in by the allure of having intimate dealings with the famous, powerful and wealthy actor.  I also felt sorry for her as she dealt with the obvious blow of Teddy's death. I was angry on her behalf when men tried to control and manipulate her, using her illness as a way to keep her under their thumb or intimidate her.

The book is written in first person, in the form of a journal. There are also chapters that are written in "interview" form as Em transcribes the tapes Teddy made.

Em turns into an amateur sleuth after she catches on that Garrett is trying to control what goes into this book and is obviously keeping secrets.


There are really two mysteries at work here. One is in regards to Teddy's death and one in regard to Garrett and his many secrets.

This was an absorbing tale, easy to get into and a very fast read. I was completely taken in by all the twists and turns, which kept me on my toes and on the edge of my seat.

A tense, dark, edgy sort of mystery. I really liked it.


GRAB YOUR COPY HERE:


https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Ghost-Novel-Linda-Barnes-ebook/dp/B008RLPT82/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-perfect-ghost-linda-barnes/1111298456


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Linda Barnes is an American mystery writer, born and raised in Detroit, and graduated from Boston University"s School of Theater. She is best known for her series featuring Carlotta Carlyle, a 6'1" redheaded detective from Boston. Carlotta Carlyle is often compared to the hard-boiled female detectives created by Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky. Her new novel, "The Perfect Ghost," which will be published in April, 2013, is her first stand-alone mystery.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Broken Windows by Paul D. Marks- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:

While the storm rages over California’s notorious 1994 anti-illegal alien Proposition 187, a young woman climbs to the top of the famous Hollywood sign—and jumps to her death. An undocumented day laborer is murdered. And a disbarred and desperate lawyer in Venice Beach places an ad in a local paper that says: “Will Do Anything For Money.” Private Detective Duke Rogers, and his very unPC partner, Jack Riggs, must figure out what ties together these seemingly unrelated incidents. Their mission catapults them through a labyrinth of murder, intrigue and corruption of church, state and business that hovers around the immigration debate. Along the way we explore the fiery immigration issue from all sides and no one escapes unscathed.

READ AN EXCERPT:





MY REVIEW:


Broken Windows (Duke Rogers Pi)Broken Windows by Paul D. Marks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Broken Windows by Paul D. Marks is a 2018 Down and Out Books publication.

An original historical crime drama-

Take a trip down memory lane back to 1994 Los Angles-

In LA the contentious vote over Proposition 187 has added another layer of tension over the city. Amid this turmoil, a young woman commits suicide, jumping from the famed Hollywood sign to her death. This death strikes a chord with private detective Duke Rogers. Although he has gained some notoriety and is even stopped for an occasional autograph, he lost his girl, and is riddled with guilt.

When an undocumented woman, named Marisol, who is working for one of Duke's neighbors, tells him about her murdered brother, he feels compelled to investigate the situation, Pro Bono.

Meanwhile, a down on his luck ex-lawyer places one of those ‘Will do anything for money’ ads in the paper. The job he secures falls into the ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ category.

As Duke and his best friend, Jack, begin digging into Marisol’s case, they stir up a political hornet’s nest which is hip high in corruption and cover-ups. The stakes are raised as Duke begins to peel back layers of the proverbial onion. Then the case turns personal…

Wow! I picked this book out on a whim, hoping to help an independent publishing house and their authors. Unfortunately, the book has languished on in my ‘currently reading’ status for almost a year. I felt terrible for neglecting this one for so long, so I forced it up to the top of the heap and started reading a chapter here and there until one evening when I picked it up, I couldn’t stop reading and before I knew it, it was one o’clock in the morning.

Initially I was a little skeptical about this one. Jack, as the synopsis states, is very UNPC. Because I read a lot of older books, I have a high tolerance for politically incorrect language or attitudes, remembering the time period in which the book was written.

However, Jack's attitude hits a sore spot, as the country is still arguing over immigration and it is uglier now than ever. Even by the end of the book, with the softening of his character, and getting a small glimpse of what is behind his veneer, I still had very mixed feelings about him.

That said, the author did an incredible job of creating the time and place, and drawing strong characters, who though flawed, are still sympathetic.

When Duke first takes on the case it seems deceptively cut and dried. Not so. This is a complex and layered story that not only uncovers corruption in state politics, but also reaches the Catholic church.

The way the author connects the case of the Hollywood sign suicide with the death of Marisol’s brother, and the disbarred lawyer is slick and stylish. Once the ball gets rolling, this book is unputdownable.

It’s gritty without being overly violent, it’s poignant, but not maudlin, and has a very realistic outcome. In fact, the plot points out the overall corruption from both sides and all points in between, which is most likely the way it usually works in real life.

The conclusion is not tidy or tied up with a nice neat bow on top. But the reader will feel a sense of satisfaction, nonetheless. The book ends up on a positive note and my fingers are still crossed for Duke, wishing him all the best. I do hope we hear from him again soon!!


GRAB YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Windows-Duke-Rogers-P-I-ebook/dp/B07DTL9DRF/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/broken-windows-paul-d-marks/1128598353

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Paul D. Marks is the author of award-winning Mystery-Thrillers about imperfect or flawed people trying to do the right thing in a corrupt and unjust world.
He is the author of the Shamus Award-Winning mystery-thriller White Heat. Publishers Weekly calls White Heat a “taut crime yarn.” Betty Webb of Mystery Scene Magazine calls its sequel Broken Windows “Extraordinary”. Though thrillers and set in the 1990s, both novels deal with issues that are hot and relevant today: racism and immigration, respectively. Marks says “Broken Windows holds up a prism from which we can view the events burning up today’s headlines, like the passionate immigration debate, through the lens of the recent past. It all comes down to the saying we know so well, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’.”

His short story Ghosts of Bunker Hill was voted #1 in the 2016 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Poll. His story Windward was selected for the Best American Mystery Stories of 2018 by Louise Penny and Otto Penzler, and won the 2018 Macavity Award for Best Short Story. His stories have won or been nominated for multiple awards. He has also been published in Beat to a Pulp, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Switchblade, Hardboiled and more. www.PaulDMarks.com 

(Subscribe to Paul’s newsletter: http://pauldmarks.com/subscribe-to-my... -- and check him out on Facebook: facebook.com/paul.d.marks )

He is co-editor of the multi-award nominated anthology Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea. Two stories from which were chosen for The Best American Mysteries of 2018 and one received a Macavity Award that year.

Though Paul writes about other places, he considers himself an L.A. writer and lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, dogs and cats. He has served on the board of the L.A. chapter of Sisters in Crime and currently serves on the board of the SoCal chapter of Mystery Writers of America. 

He also has the distinction, dubious though it might be, of being the last person to have shot a film on the fabled MGM backlot before it bit the dust to make way for condos. According to Steven Bingen, one of the authors of the well-received book MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot: “That 40 page chronological list I mentioned of films shot at the studio ends with his [Paul D. Marks’] name on it.”

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cemetery Road by Greg Iles- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sometimes the price of justice is a good man’s soul.

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Natchez Burning trilogy returns with an electrifying tale of friendship, betrayal, and shattering secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town.

“An ambitious stand-alone thriller that is both an absorbing crime story and an in-depth exploration of grief, betrayal and corruption… Iles’s latest calls to mind the late, great Southern novelist Pat Conroy. Like Conroy, Iles writes with passion, intensity and absolute commitment.”    —  Washington Post 

When Marshall McEwan left his Mississippi hometown at eighteen, he vowed never to return. The trauma that drove him away spurred him to become one of the most successful journalists in Washington, DC. But as the ascendancy of a chaotic administration lifts him from print fame to television stardom, Marshall discovers that his father is terminally ill, and he must return home to face the unfinished business of his past.

On arrival, he finds Bienville, Mississippi very much changed.  His family’s 150-year-old newspaper is failing; and Jet Turner, the love of his youth, has married into the family of Max Matheson, one of a dozen powerful patriarchs who rule the town through the exclusive Bienville Poker Club.  To Marshall’s surprise, the Poker Club has taken a town on the brink of extinction and offered it salvation, in the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill.  But on the verge of the deal being consummated, two murders rock Bienville to its core, threatening far more than the city’s economic future.

An experienced journalist, Marshall has seen firsthand how the corrosive power of money and politics can sabotage investigations. Joining forces with his former lover—who through her husband has access to the secrets of the Poker Club—Marshall begins digging for the truth behind those murders.  But he and Jet soon discover that the soil of Mississippi is a minefield where explosive secrets can destroy far more than injustice.  The South is a land where everyone hides truths: of blood and children, of love and shame, of hate and murder—of damnation and redemption.  The Poker Club’s secret reaches all the way to Washington, D.C., and could shake the foundations of the U.S. Senate.  But by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth about his own history, he would give almost anything not to have to face it.

LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:


Cemetery RoadCemetery Road by Greg Iles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cemetery Road by Greg Iles is a 2019 William Morrow publication.

Small town corruption, family tragedies, betrayals, and murder-

In other words- quintessential Greg Iles.

In this standalone novel, award winning journalist, Marshall McEwan, returns home to Bienville, Mississippi to be closer to his parents after his estranged father is diagnosed with Parkinson’s. At least that’s what he tells himself. Deep in his heart, however, he acknowledges an ulterior motive- reuniting with his first love- a woman named Jet, who just happens to be married to his best friend.

But when Buck Ferris, a man who had a strong influence on Marshall, is found dead, Marshall is convinced foul play is at hand. But who would want to kill Buck and why?

Well, Buck may have made a discovery that could derail the proposed installation of a paper mill, which would breathe new life into the slowly dying town of Bienville. A lot is at stake, and the town’s powerful ‘Poker Club’ will make sure the Chinese investors aren’t scared off, which means Buck might have been collateral damage.

As Marshall digs deeper into the circumstances of Buck’s death, the Poker Club members do what they do best- make threats, intimidate, bully, and blackmail, and maybe even murder, anyone who stands in their way- and Marshall and all his dark secrets is in their crosshairs.

Cemetery Road is not just a suspenseful thriller, with all its many twists and turns, and layers of deceptions. It is also a stellar piece of southern fiction, with Gothic elements that only the south can lay claim to.

The characters are flawed- every single one of them- some more than others, and Marshall, no saint himself, is forced to stare his demons in the face, to make eye contact with them, as everything he thought he knew wavers and fades like a mirage in the desert.

Under scrutiny is the moral compromises made in the name of capitalism, the mythology of our youth, the hope of recapturing a lost opportunity, while trying to do what is right for all concerned. For Marshall, it is more personal, perhaps, as he is also coping with deeply embedded grief and carrying a heavy burden of guilt bestowed upon him by his embittered father.

However, he is also trying to save his father's newspaper, cover his own butt, and protect the women he loves.

I often found myself on the edge of my seat, as Marshall survives one major event after another by the seat of his pants, and as the shock waves reverberate relentlessly. It was hard to put the book down for any length of time.

At the end of the day, Iles proves, yet again, his intimate knowledge of the old southern realities, still prevalent and still thriving. But, at the end of the day, his characters, though bruised and bleeding, may finally shake off the ghosts of the past, each in his or her own way, while southern style justice continues to work in the most mysterious of ways.


GRAB A COPY HERE:


https://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Road-Novel-Greg-Iles-ebook/dp/B07B7L4QMF/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cemetery-road-greg-iles/1128930320

https://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Road-A-Novel/dp/B07KFLT3VP/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960. He grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983. He was active in a band called "Frankly Scarlet", but quit after realizing that the touring lifestyle was not conducive with his family life. Once no longer busy with the band, he turned his attention to writing.

Greg's novels have been translated into various languages and are published in more than 20 countries. In addition to his popular novels, he wrote the original script for the movie 24 Hours (later renamed Trapped).

When not writing, Greg spends some of his time playing music. He's a member of "The Rock Bottom Remainders", which includes other authors (Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Matt Groening, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, and James McBride).

Greg still lives in Natchez, Mississippi, with his wife and has three children.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves- Feature and Review



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people's behavior confusing, she'd rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game--and his heart--to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She's living the life she wanted as a librarian. He's a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.
 


LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:





MY REVIEW:


The Girl He Used to KnowThe Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves is a 2019 St. Martin’s Press publication.

A tender, second chance at love story-

Annika and Jonathan met in college via the chess club back in 1991. They gradually fall deeply in love, despite Annika’s social anxiety, which is coupled with a plethora of other little quirks.

Jonathan is just absolutely the most patient and sweet guy, most of the time, but without fully understanding Annika’s social miscues there are a few misunderstandings along the way. Yet, they manage to make it work and are looking forward to building a future together.

Obviously, something went horribly awry, however, because as the story opens, it is now 2001, and Annika and Jonathan haven’t seen one another for ten years. They bump into one another at the grocery store of all places, and Annika seizes the opportunity to prove to Jonathan that she is not the girl he used to know-

I got caught up in this story instantly. Annika’s character is so earnest and sincere, I couldn’t help but root for her. But I loved Jonathan too, although, almost by default, his character remains a bit muted. Yet, the author most assuredly did this by design, as the reader is most likely so focused on Annika, Jonathan’s emotional needs often feel secondary, or even trite. Yet, it is entirely possible that the book is just as much about Jonathan as it is Annika.

There is so much to love about this book. It is important too, in many ways, as well. Knowing early on when someone falls within the spectrum is crucial, and there was a time when no such testing was available. But, while I appreciate the attention the book brings to these issues, at the end of the day, this is a second chance at love story, which is one my favorite romantic tropes. I’m a sucker for it and fall for it every single time.

One does have to suspend belief a bit towards the end, but I still found Annika’s determination to prove her mettle in keeping with the book’s theme. A concerted effort on her part to give Jonathan what he needs in a relationship, is why the title of the book is so fitting, and well, that’s kind of the point, when you get right down to it. Perhaps it was a little overly dramatic- but come on- it was very effective and kept me riveted to the pages, afraid to even exhale.

Overall, this is a very touching novel, with all the great themes a love story should have, but is also a story of personal growth, compromise, friendship, family.

GRAB A COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Girl-He-Used-Know-ebook/dp/B07D2BR737/

https://www.amazon.com/Girl-He-Used-Know/dp/B07J2NHR7Z/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-he-used-to-know-tracey-garvis-graves/1128477694

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tracey Garvis Graves is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into thirty-one languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, Cherish, Heart-Shaped Hack, White-Hot Hack, and The Girl He Used to Know. She is hard at work on her next book.

Monday, June 10, 2019

MANGA MONDAY- Never Look Back by Kinuko Nakayama and Anne Weale- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:


Olivia is taking on a big project for her company, renovating a historic mansion at Ramillies College. The opportunity is too good for her to pass up! But she soon discovers that their current client, Ludwig, is the same person who evicted her and her grandfather from their beloved home nine years ago! Despite hating him to the core, she is steadily taken in by his devilishly good looks and magnetic personality. In this unavoidable reunion, will she be able to take control of her feelings and seek revenge on the man who ruined her life?

MY REVIEW:


Never Go BackNever Go Back by Kinuko Nakayama
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Never Go Back by Kinuko Nakayama (Illustrator), Anne Weale is a 2018 Harlequin/ SB Creative publication.

Nine years ago, Olivia, only nineteen, and her grandfather were forced to leave the mansion where she had grown up after the owner passed away.

Now, as an interior designer, she has been commissioned to renovate the mansion, a lucrative project to be sure. But if she accepts the offer, she will also face Ludwig, the man who inherited the mansion, and forced her out, and in her mind, is responsible for her grandfather’s death. However, the job is simply too good to pass up, not just for the money, but for the opportunity for revenge.
Ludwig didn’t seem to remember Olivia, or the dramatic scene she displayed nine years ago, or does he? The more time Olivia spends with Ludwig, the harder it is to remember her vendetta against him. Will Olivia exact her revenge or will succumb to Ludwig’s charms instead?

Out of curiosity, I looked up the original version of this book, written by Anne Weale and published by Harlequin back in 1995. The Goodreads reviews for that book are not good. However, this updated version is okay, although a bit too hurried.

It is a little rushed and the chemistry between Olivia and Ludwig, which should have featured some interesting fireworks, fizzles instead of sizzles and the story overall is a bit bland. But I did like the Olivia’s transformation, and the little twist that put things into a new perspective. Ludwig (that name!!), is a real charmer, and despite being suspicious of him, I grew to like him as much as Olivia did.

Naturally, the artwork is the centerpiece of these reprised stories and although I’ve never been disappointed in the graphics from SB Creative Manga Comics, the work here is a grade above what I’ve encountered previously.

Overall, the story is okay- I give it 3 stars, but the artwork is exceptional and gets a 4.5.




GRAB YOUR COPY HERE:




https://www.amazon.com/Never-Go-Back-Harlequin-comics-ebook/dp/B07JMQGHL8/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-go-back-anne-weale/1129778852


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Jay Blakeney
aka Anne Weale, Andrea Blake

Jay Blakeney was born on Juny 20, 1929. Her great-grandfather was a well-known writer on moral theology, so perhaps she inherited her writing gene from him. She was "talking stories" to herself long before she could read. When she was still at school, she sold her first short stories to a woman's magazine and she feels she was destined to write. Decided to became a writer, she started writing for newspapers and magazines.

At 21, Jay was a newspaper reporter with a career plan, but the man she was wildly in love with announced that he was off to the other side of the world. He thought they should either marry or say goodbye. She always believed that true love could last a lifetime, and she felt that wonderful men were much harder to find than good jobs, so she put her career on hold. What a wise decision it was! She felt that new young women seem less inclined to risk everything for love than her generation.

Together they traveled the world. If she hadn't spent part of her bridal year living on the edge of a jungle in Malaysia, she might never have become a romance writer. That isolated house, and the perils of the state of emergency that existed in the country at that time, gave her a background and plot ideally suited to a genre she had never read until she came across some romances in the library of a country club they sometimes visited. She can write about love with the even stronger conviction that comes from experience.

When they returned to Europe, Jay resumed her career as a journalist, writing her first romance in her spare time. She sold her first novel as Anne Weale to Mills and Boon in 1955 at the age of 24. At 30, with seven books published, she "retired" to have a baby and become a full-time writer. She raised a delightful son, David, who is as adventurous as his father. Her husband and son have even climbed in the Andes and the Himalayas, giving her lots of ideas for stories. When she retired from reporting, her fiction income -- a combination of amounts earned as a Mills & Boon author and writing for magazines such as Woman's Illustrated, which serialized the work of authors -- exceed 1,000 pounds a year.

She was a founding member of the The Romantic Novelists' Association. In 2002 she published her last novel, in total, she wrote 88 novels. She also wrote under the pseudonym Andrea Blake. She loved setting her novels in exotic parts of the world, but specially in The Caribbean and in her beloved Spain. Since 1989, Jay spent most of the winter months in a very small "pueblo" in the backwoods of Spain. During years, she visited some villages, and from each she have borrowed some feature - a fountain, a street, a plaza, a picturesque old house - to create some places like Valdecarrasca, that is wholly imaginary and yet typical of the part of rural Spain she knew best. She loved walking, reading, sketching, sewing (curtains and slipcovers) and doing needlepoint, gardening, entertaining friends, visiting art galleries and museums, writing letters, surfing the Net, traveling in search of exciting locations for future books, eating delicious food and drinking good wine, cataloguing her books.

She wrote a regular website review column for The Bookseller from 1998 to 2004, before starting her own blog Bookworm on the Net. At the time of her death, on October 24, 2007, she was working on her autobiography "88 Heroes... 1 Mr. Right".