Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 First Quarter Wrap Up Post!!

Wow, the first quarter of 2015 has come to end! This year is going by way too quickly if you ask me.

I've had a decent year in reading so far. I've read or listened to a total of 31 books so far this year. My goal is to read 100 books this year. So far, I'm making great strides in meeting that goal... Who knows, I may even exceed my reading goal of 100 books read this year!! Wouldn't that be great?

The break down of what I've read thus far this year is as follows:

I've listened to 5 audiobooks.
I've read 22 eBooks.
I've read 4 physical books.

Rain Gods by James Lee Burke is my favorite audiobook this quarter.
I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith is probably favorite eBook this quarter.
Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler is my favorite physical book I've read this quarter.

At the start of the year, I would have guessed/predicted that I would have read more physical books and listened to more audiobooks at this point than read eBooks!! But, I'm not complaining mind you... I'm simply happy that I've read so many awesome books so far this year.

How is your year in reading going for you so far?

Ten Books You Recently Added To Your To-Be-Read List


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


The following books are my Top Ten Books I Recently Added To Your To-Be-Read List.

1. A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
3. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
4. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
5. Duplicity by N. K. Traver
6. Murder on the Champ de Mars by Cara Black
7. The Dead Key by D. M. Pulley
8. Letters Across Time by Anna Zogg
9. Murder & Moonflowers by Leslie Leigh
10. The Forgotten Girls by Alexa Steele

I'm looking forward to reading this books!!! So, which books have you recently added to your 'To-Be-Read List'?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke

Unabridged Audiobook
I listened to the unabridged audio version of the Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke and read by actor, Will Patton. Total listening time for Crusader's Cross is approximately 12 hours.

Crusader's Cross is my second experience with anything written by James Lee Burke. Earlier this year, I listened to the audio version of Rain Gods by James Lee Burke and also narrated by Will Patton. I enjoyed listening to audio version of Rain Gods immensely, so was excited to listen to Crusader's Cross as well.

I find James Lee Burke's writing to be richly detailed and descriptive. He truly has a gift with words and storytelling that is layered, complex, dark and suspenseful. I also find that Will Patton's narration of James Lee Burke's work is spot on and adds another dimension to one's reading/listening experience. 

I found Crusader's Cross to be a bit on the dark side, but it kept me interested in learning what happened to Ida Durban. Plus, all the plot twists and turns and other deep dark secrets had me intrigued as to how it was all going to play out.

The following is a plot summary for the Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke from Amazon:
Critically acclaimed and bestselling crime writer James Lee Burke returns to Louisiana where his ever-popular hero, Dave Robicheaux, sleuths his way through a hotbed of sin and uncertainty. 
For Dave Robicheaux, life in Louisiana is filled with haunting memories of the past -- images from Vietnam, the violent streets of New Orleans, and his own troubled youth. In Crusader's Cross, a deathbed confession from an old schoolmate resurrects a story of injustice, the murder of a young woman, and a time in Robicheaux's life he has tried to forget. 
Her name may or may not have been Ida Durbin. It was back in the innocent days of the 1950s when Robicheaux and his brother, Jimmie, met her on a Galveston beach. She was pretty and Jimmie fell for her hard -- not knowing she was a prostitute on infamous Post Office Street, with ties to the mob. Then Ida was abducted and never seen again. 
Now, decades later, Robicheaux is asking questions about Ida Durbin, and a couple of redneck deputy sheriffs make it clear that asking questions is a dangerous game. With a series of horrifying murders and the sudden appearance of Valentine Chalons and his sister, Honoria, a disturbed and deeply alluring woman, Robicheaux is soon involved not only with the Chalons family but with the murderous energies of the New Orleans underworld. Also, he meets and finds himself drawn into a scandalous relationship with a remarkable Catholic nun.
Brilliant, brooding, and filled with the author's signature lyricism, Jim Burke's latest novel is a darkly suspenseful work of literature.
I'm giving Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke a rating of 8 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith

eBook Novel ~ Historical Fiction
Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? Then reading I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith may just be the novel for you! It's a full length novel and is approximately 391 pages.

I downloaded the ebook edition of I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith last year to my Kindle for free from Amazon. Below is my unbiased review of I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith.

First off, I love the cover design/artwork for I Am Livia!! The cover of I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith definitely made me want to learn more about this novel. When I learned that it fell into the historical fiction genre, I decided to give it a try as I've enjoyed reading historical fiction in the past.

I enjoyed that I Am Livia is it is set in ancient Roman times. I also enjoyed that this novel's leading character is female and told through her perspective throughout the entire novel. Livia is a strong female character and is very intelligent. I like how she is portrayed by the author... Livia becomes a true partner to each of her husbands. She helped to shape Rome positively in a way that no woman was normally able to do during her time. 

I was amazed at how easy it was to read I Am Livia... I was actually expecting it to possibly be a dry read. Or that it would be difficult to get into it. But I Am Livia wasn't what I expected at all. I loved how readable I Am Livia was. 

I was also a tad nervous that I wouldn't be able to keep the names of all the characters straight and remember who was who, especially when the author provides a cast of characters list at the start of her novel. But, I never had to refer to the cast of characters list once during reading I Am Livia as keeping track of the characters was easy.

Below is the book summary for I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith from Amazon's website:
Her life would be marked by scandal and suspicion, worship and adoration…
At the tender age of fourteen, Livia Drusilla overhears her father and fellow aristocrats plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. Proving herself an astute confidante, she becomes her father’s chief political asset—and reluctantly enters into an advantageous marriage to a prominent military officer. Her mother tells her, “It is possible for a woman to influence public affairs,” reminding Livia that—while she possesses a keen sense for the machinations of the Roman senate—she must also remain patient and practical.
But patience and practicality disappear from Livia’s mind when she meets Caesar’s heir, Octavianus. At only eighteen, he displays both power and modesty. A young wife by that point, Livia finds herself drawn to the golden-haired boy. In time, his fortunes will rise as Livia’s family faces terrible danger. But her sharp intellect—and her heart—will lead Livia to make an unbelievable choice: one that will give her greater sway over Rome than she could have ever foreseen. 
Overall, I really enjoyed reading I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith and am giving this novel a rating 8 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tarot: The Ultimate Beginners Guide For Learning The Secrets Of Tarot Cards by Sarah Thompson

eBook Edition
I've been somewhat curious/fascinated with tarot as a form of divination, but have never learned how to use/read tarot cards. So, I decided to download a free copy of Tarot: The Ultimate Beginners Guide For Learning The Secrets Of Tarot Cards by Sarah Thompson from Amazon to my Kindle. Tarot: The Ultimate Beginners Guide For Learning The Secrets Of Tarot Cards by Sarah Thompson is approximately 37 pages in length, so it makes for a quick read.

The following is my unbiased review/opinion of Tarot: The Ultimate Beginners Guide For Learning The Secrets Of Tarot Cards by Sarah Thompson.

I enjoyed learning how to best select a tarot deck. The best tip about buying a deck of tarot cards is to buy a tarot deck in person, not online or through the mail. That way you can feel the cards, get a sense of dimension and whether the artwork and so on, appeals to you.

I also enjoyed learning how to come up with a mission statement for one's tarot deck, how to transfer one's energy to a new tarot deck, how to cleanse and how to properly store one's tarot card deck for future readings. However, I am not sure I agree with or would use some of the cleansing techniques mentioned by the author... Burying the deck in dirt, sand, or salt for 24 hours, sprinkling the tarot deck with water or herbal tea, or passing the deck through a candle flame without burning them are some of the cleansing techniques I wouldn't want to try using on my own tarot deck.

I enjoyed reading an entire chapter on the tarot deck basics and getting to know the basic meaning of the cards in one's tarot deck. However, I was disappointed that the author chose to focus solely on the meaning of the major arcana only and not even address the meaning of the minor arcana --- the suit of swords, wands, coins and cups. I want to learn about and understand the entire tarot deck, not just the major arcana, to perform an accurate reading. As an author, why wouldn't you address the meaning of the cards in the entire deck of tarot cards for one's readers?

How to do a reading is also briefly discussed in another chapter. The biggest tip I learned about doing a reading is to "tell a story". The author mentions that there are hundreds of tarot spreads to learn, but mentions that the three card spread is the easiest one to startr... I'm a newbie to the world of tarot. So, the three card spread appeals to me as a way to begin learning tarot. The twenty-one card spread was also briefly discussed for more advanced readings.

As a recap, Tarot: The Ultimate Beginners Guide For Learning The Secrets Of Tarot Cards by Sarah Thompson has a few good tips, gives meanings to the major arcana cards and explains how to  do both a three card and twenty-one card spread. But with the lack of meanings for the minor arcana, I can't give this book a high rating. I would also have liked to have seen more information about reading the tarot cards themselves. Needles to say, I would call this book an ultimate beginner's guide to tarot.


With that said, I'm giving Tarot: The Ultimate Beginners Guide For Learning The Secrets Of Tarot Cards by Sarah Thompson a rating of 4 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, March 27, 2015

2015 Audiobook Challenge Update!!



Yes, I'm participating in the 2015 Audiobook Challenge!! This is my second year participating in the Audiobook Challenge. I had so much fun participating in this challenge last year and have become addicted to listening to audiobooks. Last year, I listened to a total of 48 books. I ended up reaching the "My Precious" level in the 2014 Audiobook Challenge. This year, I am hoping to reach "Marathoner" level and listen to 50+ audiobooks.

Before giving my first audiobook update of 2015, I'd like to thank both Jennifer at The Book Nympho & Lupe at Hot Listens for hosting the 2015 Audiobook Challenge. You both have made the audiobook challenge a fun, enjoyable annual event! So, cheers to listening to audiobooks!!

So, now for my audiobook update. I'm off to a slow start this year in terms of listening to audiobooks... I've started/finished a total of 30 books this year, but only 4 of the 30 books have been audiobooks. I've been in an audiobook listening slump and have chosen to read more books in the eBook format than read physical books or listen to audiobooks. 

So, what have I listened to so far this year?

1. Garden of Beasts by Jeffrey Deaver
2. Hour Game by David Baldacci
3. Rain Gods by James Lee Burke
4. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Click on above link to read my reviews of each audiobook listed above.

I'm still hoping to reach the "Marathoner" by the end of 2015 as I still have several audiobooks on compact disc, MP3 and of course, Audible downloads as well.

Do you love listening to audiobooks??? There's still time to participate in the 2015 Audiobook Challenge... Simply click on the link to learn more about 2015 Audiobook Challenge and sign up!

So, which audiobooks have you listened to this year?

Friday Finds #76

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily RhythmFriday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 
 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

I received another two books for free from the Goodreads First Reads program:

1. Too Quiet in Brooklyn by Susan Russo Anderson
2. Three Novellas: Carmen's Roses, Blue Moon for Bombers, The Windflower Vibration by Jennifer Barraclough

Plus the following free ebooks downloads to my Kindle from Amazon:

Love Handles by Gretchen Galway
Fudged-Lacey Felonies by Cynthia Hickey
Love Garage by Liz Crowe
Toad in the Hole by Paisley Ray
The Last Encore by Julia Butler
Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robbins
A Journal of Sin by Darryl Donaghue
The Lanvin Murders by Angela M. Sanders

So, books which have you added this week?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Murder & Moonflowers (The Herbalist #1) by Leslie Leigh

Cozy Mystery Novella, 1st in a Series
I'm an avid cozy mystery fan!! I absolutely adore this genre. So, when I came across the eVersion of Murder & Moonflowers (The Herbalist #1) by Leslie Leigh on Amazon's website, I downloaded it to my Kindle immediately!! Murder & Moonflowers (The Herbalist #1) by Leslie Leigh is a novella and is approximately 117 pages in length. Murder & Moonflowers is a quick read and can be read in a few of hours.

I received my copy of Murder & Moonflowers (The Herbalist #1) by Leslie Leigh for free. The following is my unbiased review/opinion of Murder & Moonflowers (The Herbalist #1) by Leslie Leigh. Happy reading!

I really enjoyed reading Murder & Moonflowers. The writing is solid and grabbed my attention from the start and held it through to the very end. Suffice it to say that the plot development and storyline are solid throughout this read as well. It contained a nice mix of dialogue between the various characters and good storytelling by the author. I enjoyed the many aspects of the small town feel and the setting of Arizona... Plus, I enjoyed reading about the main character being an herbalist with her own practice.

I liked the 'red herrings' offered in Murder & Moonflowers. Although, I had pretty much guessed who the killer was halfway through reading Murder & Moonflowers. However, I was still uncertain at that point in time as to the killer's motive and if he/she was working alone or not?? This question was resolved by the end of Murder & Moonflowers.

My only minor complaint about the plot/storyline of Murder & Moonflowers was its ending. I wouldn't suspect that real life events would end the way in which they did in this work of fiction... I simply can't imagine the killer confessing why he/she did what they did to main character before being arrested by the police. But this is fiction, right? Tidy endings that answer unanswered questions are sometimes required for readers to be satisfied.

Most all of the cast characters presented in Murder & Moonflowers were likable ones. The character development and interactions all of them  had were good ones, with the exception of one character...The character of the sheriff was a tough guy/bully, as he harasses the leading character about being an herbalist and calls her a witch. He eludes that she's a major suspect before the cause of death was even determined and he continues to act like an ass for much of this novella.

The following is a plot summary for Murder & Moonflowers (The Herbalist #1) by Leslie Leigh, which I found on Amazon's website:
Murder awakes in the town of Catalonia, Arizona.

Melissa Michaels is an herbalist and nutritional healer operating a market in the sleepy town of Catalonia, Arizona. When a client dies mysteriously from something even the Medical Examiner cannot decipher, gossip runs amuck and local law enforcement officials make wild speculations.

When Melissa herself, along with other townspeople, fall under suspicion, a local doctor hires a handsome private investigator to give Melissa a hand, and the two of them race against time to solve the mystery before mounting evidence leads to wrongful accusations and false arrests.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this novella and would recommend it to other cozy mystery enthusiasts. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of The Herbalist Series. I'm giving Murder & Moonflowers (The Herbalist #1) by Leslie Leigh a rating of 8 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top 10 Books From My Childhood (Or teen years) That I Would Love To Revisit


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


I became an avid Agatha Christie fan in high school and have been hooked ever since! I would like to reread the following ten Agatha Christie novels:

2. The Mysterious Affair at Styles Finished on 4/12/15
3. Curtain
8. Death on the Nile Listened to on 4/8/2015.
10. Crooked House

So, which of these Agatha Christie have you read and what did you think of it/them? Do you have a favorite Agatha Christie novel?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Novels About Madness!!

I'm so not into March Madness, however reading books which are about madness is intriguing if you ask me! 

So, when I came across an article on Flavorwire titled, 50 Great Novels About Madness by Emily Temple, I could resist checking out the book titles... Some of the book titles I've read, but many I have not read and some of the book titles were completely new to me!

In the above mentioned article, Temple writes the following:
Not so much into March Madness? Well, perhaps you should look at it another way. March is the perfect month for reading books about madness — it is a transitional time, after all, possessed of both lion and lamb. Plus, you’ll have ample reading time, both outside and inside. The books herein, it should be noted, are those that deal with a kind of literary madness — obsession and absurdity and hallucination — not directly focusing on mental illness proper, whenever the two can be separated. So you won’t find The Bell Jar orOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or The Yellow Wallpaper here, though those are all excellent reads.
Click on above link to see which novels made the list of novels to read about madness! Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Struggles Only Avid Readers Understand!!

I came across a wonderful Buzzfeed article with GIFs (gotta love those GIFs!!) titled, 23 Struggles Only Book Nerds Will Understand by Jarry Lee, that describes the struggles avid readers go through that non-readers just don't seem to understand!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Finds #75

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily RhythmFriday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 
 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

I received the following two books for free from the Goodreads First Reads program:

1. Letters Across Time by Anna Zogg
2. The Dead Key by D. M. Pulley

Which books have you added to either your reading wishlist or your 'to be read' pile this week?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


The following ten books are ones I'm hoping to read this Spring... But I'm always changing my mind, so may end up reading other books instead.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Allender
The Burnt Tattoo Murders by Linda C. Smith
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
I Am Livia by Phyllia T. Smith
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
The Memory Box by Eve Lesko Natiello
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson
Murder on the Champ du Mars by Cara Black

Which books are you looking forward to reading this upcoming Spring??

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Escapology by Chris Winterton

eBook Short Story
The following is the plot summary for Escapology by Chris Winterton from Goodreads:
A short story based on an apocryphal account of a true tale. In 1910 Harry Houdini jumped from Prince's Bridge in Melbourne, Australia. What happened was a shock to the thousands gathered on the banks, even Harry himself. 
The banks of the river were paved with mud and the water was a murky brown. Not much has changed in this regard since Harry came to town. World famous as the Handcuff King; escapist extraordinaire. Defying chains and straight-jackets with theatrical flair. 
Escapology is a short work of Historical fiction exploring the darker side of a city built on the wealth and power of one of the largest gold-rushes of the 19th Century. The event is shrouded in myth and the story threads a dual narrative suggesting at what might have been.

I read Escapology by Chris Winterton on my Kindle. It's a short story that I was able to download for free from Amazon earlier this week and it is a very quick read. Below is my unbiased opinion of Escapology by Chris Winterton.

I was initially drawn to both Escapology's title and its cover art... When I discovered that this short story takes place in Australia and involves Harry Houdini as a character, I was sold on wanting to read Escapology!! Of course, Escapology being free didn't hurt either in my decision to download it to my Kindle.

I was a little surprised how very short Escapology really was... When I downloaded it from Amazon, I'd read that Escapology was approximately 91 pages in length... But it wasn't even close to that page length. Once I finished reading Escapology, I discovered that the first seven chapters of Chris Winterton's novel Folk, was included in my download.

I wasn't to impressed with Escapology... In fact, I didn't like it very much at all. It was told through the view points of different characters and was difficult to follow. I actually read it twice to get the gist. 

I also didn't think the storyline or characters were very well developed. I would have liked to see both the characters and the story flushed out in more detail.

I'm giving Escapology by Chris Winterton a rating of 2 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Finds #74

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily RhythmFriday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 
 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

I sold two used books at a used bookstore and ended up buying one used book and also downloading some free ebooks from Amazon this week as follows:



Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Doll by J. C. Martin (Read & Reviewed Already)
23 Hours by Kevin Riley
Enchanted Immortals by C. J. Pinard
The Dirty Mermaid by Jen Purcell
A Wicked Awakening by Calinda B
The Lamplighter's Love by Delphine Dryden
Isolde's Wish by Em Petrova
Escapology by Chris Winterton (Read & Reviewed)
Tarot: The Ultimate Beginners Guide for Learning the Secrets of Tarot Cards by Sarah Thompson 
Alaska Traveler by Dana Stabenow
The Enemy We Know by Donna White Glaser
The Forgotten Girls by Alexa Steele
Ice and A Slice by Della Galton
Murder & Moonflowers by Leslie Leigh

Plus, I won a two free books, Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz and Sea Air by Julie Meeringa through Goodreads First Reads!

So which books have you added to your reading wishlist and/or reading pile this week?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What do you do with books you no longer want to keep in your permanent collection??

If I don't want to keep a book in my permanent collection, I usually either do one of the following four things:

1. Register books on Bookcrossing and pass them along to another avid reader.

2. Donate books to the public library for them to sell at one of their library book sales.

3. Pass a book along to a family member or a friend that I think might want to read a particular book.

4. And on rare occasions, I'll try selling a book through Amazon or to a used bookstore.

In the past four months, I've sold five books... One through Amazon and the remaining four at a used bookstore. All said and done, I sold all five books for roughly $18, which is peanuts compared to what I paid for the books in the first place. 

It's almost not worth selling used books as used bookstores set the price for what they'll pay for the books... Another words, no room for negotiation on the price they'll buy the books for... And selling books on Amazon is a pain. If your book sells, Amazon gets a percentage of the sale price of the book. You receive shipping credit from Amazon to mail your book, but it doesn't fully cover the cost of buying a padded envelop or shipping costs... So, selling books is kind of a let down.

So, what do you do with books you no longer want to keep in your permanent collection??

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Marry a Matador by Ginny Baird

Romance Novel eBook Edition
I read the ebook version of How to Marry a Matador by Ginny Baird on my Kindle. I was able to download this novel from Amazon for free.

How to Marry a Matador by Ginny Baird is a short romance read and is approximately 188 pages. It is the second romance book I can recall reading by Ms. Baird.

The following is the plot summary for How to Marry a Matador by Ginny Baird from the author's website:
New York telecommunications expert Jessica Bloom has never quite gotten things right. She's failed at relationships, and only believes herself to have moved ahead at work due to dumb luck. Her fortunes change when she flies to Madrid on an acquisitions deal -- but wakes up married to a matador instead! While she's held a burning attraction to her handsome business adversary for months, she never dreamed she'd make such an enormous split-second decision. Surely, this is a mistake they can both get undone? Her new husband, however, has plans to the contrary...
Fernando Garcia de la Vega runs a telecommunications firm poised for a US takeover. What Fernando doesn't expect, is its beautiful International Division head also capturing his heart. Descended from a long line of bullfighters, Fernando stands to inherit the family's lucrative estate, if he meets the criteria in his grandfather's will and marries by age thirty-two. Yet, a marriage of convenience was something Fernando was loathe to consider... until now. When the fates conspire to put the right woman in the right place -- at the right time, how can Fernando deny his destiny? His only problem lies in convincing Jessica to remain his bride.
The following is my unbiased opinion of How to Marry a Matador by Ginny Baird.

I like reading romance novels... And yes, I like romance novels with happy endings! How to Marry a Matador by Ginny Baird does have 'the predictable happy ending'... It also contains two likable leading characters, an exotic locale, and of course, some drama that ensues when the leading lady can't decide if she wants to stay in the relationship or not... I also liked the How to Marry a Matador is a fast, easy breezy book to read.

What I didn't I like about How to Marry a Matador?? Jessica's (leading lady) best friend, Evie! Evie takes it upon herself to fly from the USA to Spain to try and talk Jessica into ditching Fernando! Jessica's an adult... Jessica is smart, savvy, and can make up her own damn mind without Evie's assistance, thank you very much. Sure Jessica has one major flaw and that is she is insecure about men ditching out on her. But I think she is perfectly capable of making up her own mind about staying married to Fernando after they hastily decided to elope in a drunken stupor. Instead, Evie shows up and talks Jessica into leaving Fernando... But does Jessica leave for good?? Not a chance! I liked that we see Fernando and Jessica reunite and move forward with their lives together as a married couple.

I'm giving How to Marry A Matador by Ginny Baird a rating of 6 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday ---- Ten Books For Readers Who Like Young Adult Books


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.



The following ten books are my selections for young adults! I wanted to select novels that were thought provoking. I wanted to choose books that contained powerful messages within them for young adults to think about and want to discuss.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Incantation by Alice Hoffman
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Which young adult books would you recommend?

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Doll by J. C. Martin

Horror Short Story
I read The Doll by J. C. Martin in less than an hour on my Kindle. It's a short story that falls into the horror genre and is approximately 30 pages in length.

I was able to download The Doll by J. C. Martin for free from Amazon to my Kindle. Below is my unbiased review of The Doll

The Doll is a creepy tale of horror involving dolls! Elements of Santeria and Palo Mayombe are mentioned in this short story. I liked the premise of the story and the characters, but somehow the execution of the story itself and how it played out wasn't scary/creepy enough for me. I wanted a story that left me feeling chills!!

The plot summary for The Doll by J. C. Martin from Amazon as follows:
The Island of the Dolls is a strange and eerie tourist destination in Mexico, where hundreds of decomposing dolls hang from trees like grisly Christmas ornaments. On a trip to the island, Joyce Parker's daughter falls in love with a beautiful but sinister doll. Soon after, she starts developing strange mannerisms that concerns Joyce. Her research into the doll's past reveals a dark history, and the curse of a lonely child spirit.

I thought The Doll by J. C. Martin was alright. Nothing special. I'm giving it a rating of 5 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Minding Mina: The Best Revenge by Tacie Graces

I enjoyed reading the eBook version of Minding Mina: The Best Revenge by Tacie Graves. Minding Mina: The Best Revenge is a short story and is approximately 31 pages in length.

I downloaded Minding Mina: The Best Revenge by Tacie Graves for free to my Kindle from Amazon. The following is my honest review of Minding Mina: The Best Revenge by Tacie Graves.

As I already mentioned, I really enjoyed reading Minding Mina: The Best Revenge by Tacie Graves. The story, characters, and sex scene were tastefully done and well written. Mina Hemingway is dumped by her long time boyfriend for being bad in bed, only to have the tables turned and be hit on by on hot, Italian billionaire, Marco Genovese!! Will Mina's affair with Marco be a one night stand or a long term affair? And can sex be the best revenge? 

The following is the plot summary for Minding Mina: The Best Revenge by Tacie Graves from Amazon:
Sex with a handsome stranger seems like the perfect revenge after Mina Hemingway walks in on her fiancé redefining the term “personal assistant.” Marco Genovese has come to Miami from Italy to expand his resort empire. What happens when Mina decides the handsome billionaire is exactly what she needs to get back at her ex? Marco has plans of his own, though. Will he decide to play by Mina's rules, or turn the tables and teach her that the best revenge is more than a one-night stand?

This is a short erotic romance of approximately 8,500 words. While this story stands on its own, it is a free preview of the full novel length Making Mina: The Collection, where The Best Revenge is only the beginning.
I'm giving Making Mina: The Best Revenge by Tacie Graves a rating of 8 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

A Strange Kind of Woman, Volume 1 by Inu

I read A Strange Kind of Woman, Volume 1 by Inu in a single afternoon. It's a erotica manga novel and is approximately 222 pages in length. This novel is definitely for ADULTS ONLY!

I'm pretty new to the entire manga genre. I think that A Strange Kind of Woman, Volume 1 by Inu is my second or third attempt at reading anything within in the manga genre itself. I'm trying to read/explore other genres that I normally wouldn't read. Manga novels definitely fit into the category of genres I should explore... I figured that I since I enjoy reading erotica novels, novellas, and short stories on occasion, why not give erotica manga a try? So, after perusing Amazon's website I chose A Strange Kind of Woman to read because of the high reviews and praise it had received from online reviewers.

So, what did I think of A Strange Kind of Woman, Volume 1?? Where do I even begin with reviewing this erotica manga novel?? It wasn't my thing. I didn't like it. TOO MUCH SEX!! Not enough story!! It contained silly drama and a weird plot twist at the end of the novel. The artwork was well done, but to graphic for my taste. Needless to say, I will not be buying or reading the next novel in this series.

I'm giving A Strange Kind of Woman, Volume 1 by Inu a rating of 1 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Happy International Women's Day!!!



Happy International Women's Day!! Today is the day to celebrate women around the world.

Trying to find just the right book related topic to tie into to
today's theme of celebrating women on 
International Women's Day was a tad difficult!
Eventually, I chose to focus on the women who have 
won had the Nobel Peace Prize.

Below are ten different book titles by ten different female
Nobel Peace Prize Winners
from around the world.

Women change the world and make it a better place for all of us.


I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchu


Letters from Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi

Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country by Shirin Ebadi

Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai

Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War by Leymah Gbowee

Iron Jasmine: How an Arab Woman Led her Country's Fight for Democracy by Tawakkol Karman

Mother Teresa: In Her Own Words by Mother Teresa

20 Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams

Lay Down Your Arms by Bertha von Suttner


Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Garth Stein Author Event & Signing!!

Garth Stein & Me at Towne Center Books
First off let me start by saying that I read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein in 2013. I was blown away with how wonderful this novel was and it became my favorite novel read in 2013. 

Garth Stein's writing is amazing. I found myself crying while reading certain scenes in The Art of Racing in the Rain. I highly recommend reading it if you haven't already done so. I'd love to reread The Art of Racing in the Rain again as it was that good.

Earlier this year, I made a post on my blog naming the top ten authors I'd like to meet at an author event/signing. I named Garth Stein as one of the top ten authors I'd like to meet... Little did I know that at the time I made my post that he would be coming to a local indie bookstore to sign copies of his new novel, A Sudden Light, this month!! Garth Stein came to Towne Center Books in Pleasanton, California to to speak and sign copies of his new novel on the morning of Friday, March 5, 2015... I couldn't wait to attend this event with my hubby! I am so glad that we attended this author event and book signing.

Hearing Garth Stein speak before a rather large group at Towne Center Books was a blast!! He was very entertaining to listen to and very funny as well. I enjoyed the stories he shared about his life and his writing. I also learned that The Art of Racing in the Rain is going to be made into a movie, which I am looking forward to seeing... I just hope that Hollywood turns it into a good movie. I enjoyed learning more about Garth Stein's new novel A Sudden Light and hearing him read a passage from his new novel. He described his new novel, A Sudden Light, as an epic, but intimate read. I'm sure it'll be another fun read.

After hearing him speak, I purchased a copy of A Sudden Light and enjoyed having Garth Stein sign my copy and having my picture taken with him. It was also fun to pick up some book swag as well... Like A Sudden Light button and temporary tattoos. 

This marks my second author event and book signing for 2015. I'm looking forward to attending more author events/signings throughout the year.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Finds #73

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be ReadingFriday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 
 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

This week, I added two new books to my ever growing 'to be read' pile.


1. A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

I picked this novel up at a local bookstore this morning... Towne Center Books is located in Pleasanton, California and they had Garth Stein speaking at their bookstore and signing copies of his books.

2. Anxious Hearts by Felicia Tatum

I won a free paperback copy of this novel through Goodreads First Reads program.

So, what have you added to your reading pile/wishlist this week?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Unabridged Audio Version on Audible

This year, I was bound and determined to read the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain from start to finish for four main reasons. 

My first reason for reading the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is that when I was in junior high school, our class began reading this novel, but we never finished reading it for reasons I'm not sure. 

Then a few years ago, a reading group I'd joined had selected this classic novel to read for their next meet-up... And although, I'd started reading the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for our book group meet-up, I never finished reading it due to unexpected life events that came up... Life happens, right?

So, wanting to read this novel to the end has been my agenda ever since then.

My second reason for wanting to read the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from start to finish, is that it has been banned/challenged book in the past and I want to read what all the fuss is about as to why it was banned/challenged in the first place.

My third reason for reading the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, is that I can't believe I haven't read this classic novel yet!

My fourth and final reason for reading this novel is that I am participating in a Banned Books Reading Challenge this year and this is one of the books I've chosen to read for it.

Instead of reading this novel, I decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and read by B. J. Harrison from Audible. Listening time is approximately 10 hours. I figured that since I love listening to audiobooks, I may have a better chance of actually finishing this novel than if I'd read it instead. And I listened to it in about 4 days last month and am finally writing my review of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn now.

Let's just say that I'm glad I chose to listen to the unabridged audio version of this classic novel as it made for a better, more enjoyable overall experience for me personally. 

I very much enjoyed B. J. Harrison's narration of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Dramatic readers can make or break a listening experience. 

The plot summary for the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is as follows from Audible:
Huckleberry Finn is the original American maverick. He chooses the things that feel the most comfortable for him, regardless of what others may say. But when he is forced to flee his home, and comes into company with Jim, a runaway slave, his sound heart collides with his ill-trained conscience. Together, Huck and Jim journey down the Mississippi River, on an odyssey that has become one of the finest American Classics in the world of literature. This timeless novel is performed by award-winning Classic Tales narrator B.J. Harrison. It is an event you won't want to miss.
As far as the story/plot goes for the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I must say that Huckleberry Finn does have some rather interesting and entertaining adventures while traveling on the Mississippi River. The people he meets and the experiences he has were something else.

I enjoyed the first one-third and the last one-third of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn more than I did the middle section of this novel... The last one-third of the novel, when Huckleberry Finn meets up with Tom Sawyer again, had me howling with laughter in certain scenes at their crazy antics in trying to save/free Jim. 

Tom Sawyer had all these crazy ideas and so called "rules" that they had to be followed in order to set Jim free from his captors. And for whatever reason Huckleberry Finn went along with the these "rules" despite that his ideas seemed more reasonable in setting Jim free than did Tom Sawyer's ideas. Nonetheless, the two teenage boys caused more trouble, angst and mayhem than was even necessary. I also felt that Huckleberry Finn seemed smarter and more mature for his age. Whereas, by contrast, Tom Sawyer seems more creative and imaginative for his age. 

The topic of slavery does come up in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as Huckleberry struggles with whether to turn Jim over to the authorities as Jim is a runaway slave... Or if he should let Jim remain free. Huckleberry was conflicted several times over the course of the novel as to whether he should conform to social norms regarding slavery and whether to turn Jim over to the proper authorities... Or follow is conscious and let Jim remain a free man. In the end, after much soul searching, Huckleberry Finn decides that Jim should remain a free man.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain has been a banned/challenged book since shortly after its publication in 1884. According to the Banned Books Week website, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was banned/challenged for the following reasons:
The first ban of Mark Twain’s American classic in Concord, MA in 1885 called it “trash and suitable only for the slums.” Objections to the book have evolved, but only marginally. Twain’s book is one of the most-challenged of all time and is frequently challenged even today because of its frequent use of the word “nigger.” Otherwise it is alleged the book is “racially insensitive,” “oppressive,” and “perpetuates racism.”
I'm glad I finally read... Or rather listened to the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain at last. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn hasn't become a favorite novel or anything like that for me. I respect it for the American classic novel it is, but that is it. I'm giving the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a rating of 6 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!