Friday, July 30, 2021

Alpha Charming by Luna Fabray


I enjoy reading books, novellas, and short stories from the paranormal romance genre on occasion. I recently decided to read the ebook edition of Alpha Charming by Luna Fabray, which is a paranormal romance short story and the first ebook in the 'Lavender Cove Shifters' series. 

Luna Fabray is also a new to me author. So reading a short story by a new to me author is a great way for me to discover new authors. If I like the new author, then I can always read longer works by them in the future... that's if they write anything longer than short stories.

Anyway, I was able to download Alpha Charming by Luna Fabray for FREE from Amazon. Below is my honest, unbiased opinion of Alpha Charming by Luna Fabray.

Alpha Charming by Luna Fabray has an interesting premise for a story, but unfortunately, I didn't feel the author was able to fully develop the storyline and characters to make them interesting enough for my taste. Plus, the cliffhanger ending wasn't something I liked either... I don't want to buy the next installment of the series to see how things turn out. Cliffhanger endings are one of my reading pet peeve.

Below is the plot summary for Alpha Charming by Luna Fabray from Amazon:

A tragic past could keep this curvy witch from falling for her secret and protective Alpha shifter.

Brielle Forester

Brielle doesn't remember much from her past life, one that killed her parents and left her in the care of her grandmother and great aunt. She spends her time caring for hospital patients and looking after the small family she has left.

What she doesn't expect is a sexy alpha male who makes her heart quake and her body in need of some urgent care.

Heath McCloud

Heath has watched over Brielle for years, protecting her from a distance. Now that she's grown into a curvy and irresistible woman, he's ready to claim her as his mate.

If only he could tell her his shifter secret and convince her they belong together forever.

Can Heath convince Brielle to give him a chance to prove they are fated mates?

Enjoy a sexy alpha shifter and a curvy woman he's determined to make his? Then one-click this first part in the Alpha Charming serial, a paranormal werewolf romance in the town of Lavender Cove, Washington. This short story ends with a cliffhanger, so be sure to check out the next part of Brielle and Heath’s story. For mature readers who enjoy magic, mystery, shifters, sassy women, and sexy Alpha Males. Go get you some!

I am giving Alpha Charming by Luna Fabray a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Sylvia Plath's Tarot Deck Sold For $206,886 at Auction!

 I came across an article on Lithub's website titled, Sylvia Plath’s tarot deck just sold for $200,000 by Dan Sheehan. In the article, Dan Sheehan wrote the following:

The Tarot de Marseille deck, gifted to Plath by Ted Hughes on the occasion of her 24th birthday, sold earlier this afternoon at a much-ballyhooed online auction (somewhat creepily titled Your Own Sylvia) conducted by Sotheby’s London.

The hot ticket deck (which was expected to fetch somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000) was part of a 50-item trove that included Plath and Hughes’ gold wedding bands, which sold for nearly $38,000; more than a dozen love letters from Plath to Hughes dating from the rosy early days of their marriage; a set of recipes; and a family photo album. All in all the Plath/Hughes reliquary, sold by the poets’ daughter Frieda Hughes, netted over $1 million.

It's always interesting to discover which personal items belonging to famous authors end up at auction and what these items sell for at auction.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello


I haven't watched the movie 'Psycho' starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh since sometime in the 1990s. I remember thinking this was an excellent movie on so many levels at the time. I should seriously rewatch it again in the near future.

When I came across the unabridged audio version of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello, I couldn't resist listening to it. I'm so glad that I decided to listen to this audiobook. It's well narrated by Richard Powers. The book itself is well organized and linear as it follows the events of how Alfred Hitchcock came to make 'Psycho', the making of the movie itself, the movie's reception, it's legacy, and so on... Plus, more information about Alfred Hitchcock, the man himself, is also shared throughout this amazing read.

I highly recommend Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello to movie buffs, Alfred Hitchcock fans, and fans of the movie, 'Psycho'.

Below is the summary for Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello from Audible:
Here is a gripping, behind-the-scenes look inside the classic suspense shocker Psycho - and the creative genius who revolutionized filmmaking.

First released in June 1960, Psycho altered the landscape of horror films forever. But just as compelling as the movie itself is the story behind it.

Stephen Rebello brings to life the creation of one of Hollywood’s most iconic films, from the story of Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, the real-life inspiration for the character of Norman Bates, to Hitchcock’s groundbreaking achievements in cinematography, sound, editing, and promotion. Packed with captivating insights from the film’s stars, writers, and crew members, Hitchcock is a riveting and definitive history of a signature Hitchcock cinematic masterpiece.

Stephen Rebello is a screenwriter and author of several nonfiction books, including Reel Art: Great Posters from the Golden Age of the Silver Screen. He has written feature articles for numerous major publications, and his celebrity interviews have drawn out provocative revelations from countless stars. He is currently a contributing editor at Playboy magazine.
I am giving Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Toni Tennille: A Memoir by Toni Tennille


So, I've had Toni Tennille: A Memoir by Toni Tennille on my reading wishlist since its release in July 2016. I remember as a child of the 1970s listening to Captain and Tennille's hit song 'Love Will Keep Us Together' and liking this song as it has such a catchy, upbeat music to the lyrics. 

Not knowing all that much about Toni Tennille's personal life or all that much about her musical career, I finally decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of Toni Tennille: A Memoir, which was narrated by Toni Tennille herself.

I must say that Toni Tennille's memoir is one of the best celebrity memoir's I've read. I loved it and finished listening to it within 48 hours of starting it. I thought her memoir was well balanced in that it covered her childhood, teenage years, young adult life, first marriage and divorce, how she met Daryl Dragon and their entry in to the music industry, their career highlights, later years and her eventual divorce from Daryl Dragon in 2014 thoroughly.

I learned a lot of things about Ms. Tennille's life that I never knew before listening to her memoir... More information than I had ever expected to learn. I also felt like Ms. Tennille was very genuine and open about her life with her readers. 

One of the areas that was touched upon in much detail was Ms. Tennille's relationship with her ex-husband, Daryl Dragon. I would never have guessed what a difficult relationship she had with him as they seemed to work beautifully together as the dynamic musical duo they were. Prior to reading Tennille's memoir, I recall being saddened to learn of her divorce to Daryl Dragon after 39 years of marriage as they had seemed outwardly (to me at least) to be a happy couple. In Toni Tennille's memoir, we learn just what a difficult, controlling person, Daryl Dragon really was. In fact, he sounded a bit on the neurotic side with some of his behavior if you ask me. I'm surprised they stayed married as long as they did after reading Tennille's account of their marriage.

Below is a summary for Toni Tennille: A Memoir by Toni Tennille, which I discovered on Audible's website:
Since bursting onto the scene in the mid '70s, the pop duo Captain and Tennille have long defined the sparkling, optimistic idea of everlasting love, both in their music and through their image as a happy and, seemingly, unbreakable couple. They were an irresistible pair to millions of fans all over the world, further underscored by the rousing "yes, we can!" gospel of their biggest hit, "Love Will Keep Us Together". But underneath the image was an entirely different story that the fans never saw: a woman who fought a lonely struggle against the controlling and often bizarre behavior of her emotionally inaccessible husband.

Toni Tennille: A Memoir is a visceral account of Toni Tennille's life from her childhood in the segregated South to her thrilling rise to fame in the world of pop music to where she is now: no longer one-half of a famed couple but a stronger woman for all she has experienced - both the good and the bad. Toni hopes that her story will help anyone who feels trapped in a toxic relationship realize that it is never too late to break away from it.

I am giving Toni Tennille: A Memoir by Toni Tennille a rating of 5 stars out 5 stars!!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Suspended Sentences (Three Novellas) by Patrick Modiano


Quite frankly, I'd never heard of French writer, Patrick Modiano, until he won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature. Over the years, I've had this desire/fantasy to read at least one book written by every Nobel Prize for Literature winner... But I haven't actually made an action plan to execute this particular reading goal. But alas, I digress!

So during the week in which Bastille Day fell (July 14th) this year, I decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of Suspended Sentences (Three Novellas) by Patrick Modiano and narrated by Arthur Morey, Sean Runnette, and Bronson Pinchot. Listening time for Suspended Sentences (Three Novellas) by Patrick Modiano is 6 hours, 37 minutes.

I thought Suspended Sentences (Three Novellas) by Patrick Modiano was a good introduction to his work. Each novella in this collection seems almost autobiographical in nature, deals with the main character looking back over their life at a specific time period/set of events that took place, and some sort of mystery/mysterious element/event as well. These novellas seem to primarily focus on one's memories of the past. 

I enjoyed Suspended Sentences (Three Novellas) by Patrick Modiano overall, but I am not sure I'll gravitate towards another one of Modiano's novels in the future.

Below is the summary for Suspended Sentences (Three Novellas) by Patrick Modiano from Audible:
In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Each novella in the volume - Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin - represents a sterling example of the author's originality and appeal, while Mark Polizzotti's superb English-language translations capture not only Modiano's distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose.

Although originally published separately, Modiano's three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers - all appear in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists.

Shadowed by the dark period of the Nazi Occupation, these novellas reveal Modiano's fascination with the lost, obscure, or mysterious: a young person's confusion over adult behavior; the repercussions of a chance encounter; the search for a missing father; the aftershock of a fatal affair. To listen to Modiano's trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates.

I am giving Suspended Sentences (Three Novellas) by Patrick Modiano a rating 3 stars out of 5 stars. 

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Alta Journal's California Book Club Featuring Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, William Finnegan


I enjoyed attending a virtual author event hosted by Alta Journal's California Book Club featuring author, William Finnegan, discussing his 2016 Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir, "Barbarian Days".

I have not read Barbarian Days by William Finnegan yet. But I now definitely want to do so after hearing the author speak about his life as a surfer. As a native Californian, I have lived the majority of my life near the Pacific Ocean. So reading a nonfiction book about surfing sounds like a must.

Below is a blurb about the Alta Journal's California Book Club virtual author event featuring William Finnegan:

"Barbarian Days" author William Finnegan joins author and former pro-surfer Jamie Brisick and CBC host John Freeman for a free, hour-long discussion. 
For New Yorker staff writer William Finnegan, surfing has always been more than a matter of recreation; rather, it is an existential act. In his Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir, "Barbarian Days," he describes the ocean as a capricious deity and explores not just its beauty but also its vast indifference, the dangers that exist beneath the surface of its swells. Tracing a line from boyhood—he learned to surf when he was 10 and honed the art as a teenager in Hawaii—to the present, Finnegan writes of his experiences with a journalist’s nuanced eye. At the center of the book, however, is his own growth and development, in which surfing functions less as metaphor or mirror than as a sort of crucible.

Have you attended any virtual author events recently?

Friday, July 23, 2021

High Summer Readathon 2021 Sign Up Post


It's been a while since I've signed up to participate in a readathon and even longer since I last participated in the High Summer Readathon hosted by Seasons of Reading.

Here's a quick blurb about the High Summer Readathon from the Seasons of Reading website:
Here's your official sign up! We start at 12:00 am on August 1 and end at 11:59 pm on August 31. Times are set for the eastern time zone so adjust your times accordingly (you can use the link to the time zone converter in the sidebar menu).

This is a casual, low stress readathon. Click on the above links to read further details about the High Summer Readathon.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Another New Little Free Library in San Ramon, California!


Last weekend, my husband and I discovered a newly erected Little Free Library in San Ramon, California! Now there are a total of nine Little Free Libraries in San Ramon, which is awesome. I left two books at this particular Little Free Library, but I didn't take any books home with me though.

Have you discovered any new to you Little Free Libraries lately?

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Peril In Pensacola by Lucy Quinn


I read the ebook edition of Peril In Pensacola by Lucy Quinn for FREE. 

Below is my honest, unbiased review for Peril In Pensacola by Lucy Quinn.

Peril In Pensacola by Lucy Quinn is a cozy mystery novel and the first book in the 'Accidentally Undercover Mysteries'.

I liked all of the characters for this cozy mystery novel. Additionally, the plot premise for this cozy mystery novel was well done and engaging as the main character, Dora Winslow, is an accountant and discovers her employer is money laundering. When her boss finds out she knows about the money laundering, things go south fast! 

The next thing Dora knows is that she's on the run to prove her innocence with the help of her best friend, Evie, Evie's dog, Sunshine, and a few other soon to be friends along the way. There are a lot of fun twists and turns along the way as both Dora and Evie get into trouble along the way, of course!

The ending for Peril In Pensacola by Lucy Quinn was a complete disappointment!! The ending was a cliffhanger and ended abruptly. So many things were left unfinished that needed to be wrapped up. I will not read the rest of the 'Accidentally Undercover Mysteries' series for this reason.

Below is a summary for Peril In Pensacola by Lucy Quinn from Amazon:

Dora Winslow is having a hard day. Not only does she stumble upon a money laundering scheme, but the next thing she knows her boss is dead. As the prime suspect for his murder, she goes to Brian, a police officer she trusts. She soon learns things aren’t adding up because Brian’s got a mysterious scheme of his own.

With her best friend, Evie by her side, Dora is on the run. But before they can leave town to secure the evidence that could clear her name, she has to bring Brian down. With help from a hot chef, a friendly mailman, and a little white dog, Dora and Evie must balance the scales to save their bottom line.
I am giving Peril In Pensacola by Lucy Quinn a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Ensnared by A. G. Howard

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Ensnared by A. G. Howard and narrated by Rebecca Gibel. This audiobook falls into the young adult genre and is the third book in the 'Splintered' trilogy. Earlier this year, I read and reviewed the first two novels in the 'Splintered' series (Splintered and Unhinged) and really enjoyed them both as well.

If you are a young adult genre fan and also enjoy classic retelling spinoffs, then the 'Splintered' series is worth reading. A. G. Howard is great at world building and storytelling. Ensnared is nonstop action, just like in the previous novels in the trilogy. I also like the characters in the 'Splintered' series as well. What was different in Ensnared? Jeb's character was a lot darker/jaded in this novel than the previous ones. Also, Alyssa'a dad had a more active role in the events in this novel verses a role on the sidelines/background, which was fun to see. 

The 'Splintered' series is the third trilogy I've started and finished in 2021. All in all, I enjoyed this series and would recommend it.

Listening time for Ensnared by A. G. Howard is 13 hours, 28 minutes and it is well narrated by Rebecca Gibel.

Below is the plot summary for Ensnared by A. G. Howard from Audible:

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves, even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles... and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world - a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts.

In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?

I am giving Ensnared by A. G. Howard a rating of 4 stars out of 5 Stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Complete Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas, & Tamra Bonvillain


The Complete Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas, & Tamra Bonvillain is the second trilogy I've read in 2021. My goal is to read a total of five trilogies in 2021.

I am a Margaret Atwood fan. So, I was curious about her comic book series, 'Angel Catbird', and wondered what a comic book series would look like from Ms. Atwood. 

The Complete Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas, & Tamra Bonvillain is written for kids ages 8-12. I thought the artwork was just okay and the storyline was very simplistic... A half human-rat wants to take over the world and have rats rule the world, but his plans for world domination are thwarted by half human-cats and owls.

There were a lot of cat puns throughout this series that were funny/cute to begin with, but did grow old after a while. There are also a lot of cat facts sprinkled throughout this comic series that were interesting and informative.

Below is the summary for The Complete Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas, & Tamra Bonvillain from Amazon:

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Handmaid's Tale, comes the complete collection of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel from Margaret Atwood!

Internationally best-selling and respected novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Johnnie Christmas collaborate for one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events!

A genetic engineer caught in the middle of a chemical accident all of a sudden finds himself with superhuman abilities. With these new powers he takes on the identity of Angel Catbird and gets caught in the middle of a war between animal/human hybrids. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, educational, and pulp- inspired superhero adventure--with a lot of cat puns.

Includes previously unpublished art by Margaret Atwood.

Collects Angel Catbird volumes 1-3

I am giving The Complete Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas, & Tamra Bonvillain a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - Reasons Why I Love Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Top Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Below are my top ten reasons I love to read!!

1. I love reading because it's so much fun to read!!

2. I love reading as it a great way to unwind/relax the mind and relieve stress.

3. I love reading as it helps me learn new things.

4. I love reading as a form of entertainment.

5. I love reading as a way to build empathy and gain new insight/perspective/knowledge of the world in which we live and those around us.

6. I love reading as a way to learn we aren't alone... that others share our same journey/experiences.

7. I love reading as it helps inspire us to grow, dream, hope, and become much bigger than we currently are. 

8. I love reading as it is portable and helps pass the time while commuting, waiting for appointments, etc.

9. I love reading in order to visit new/different realities.

10. I love reading as it helps improve/build ones vocabulary.