28 Nov 2015

Tiny Romantic Book Haul



When will I get tired of the Romantics?
The answer is never.

Behold the new additions to my bookshelf:

Selected Poetry of Lord Byron 
(Oxford World's Classics)

Goodreads

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

Goodreads

Shelley on Love: Selected Writings 

Goodreads

24 Nov 2015

Review - The Determined Heart by Antoinette May


Title: The Determined Heart (The Tale of Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein)

Author: Antoinette May

Publication date: Sept 29, 2015

Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley had an unconventional childhood populated with the most talented and eccentric personalities of the time. After losing her mother at an early age, she finds herself in constant conflict with a resentful stepmother and a jealous stepsister. When she meets the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she falls deeply in love, and they elope with disastrous consequences. Soon she finds herself destitute and embroiled in a torturous love triangle as Percy takes Mary’s stepsister as a lover. Over the next several years, Mary struggles to write while she and Percy face ostracism, constant debt, and the heartbreaking deaths of three children. Ultimately, she achieves great acclaim for Frankenstein, but at what cost?

I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts:


Being a fan of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein I couldn’t miss out on this biography. I have read about the Shelleys before; Daisy Hay’s Young Romantics enchanted me when I came across it years ago. I couldn’t help but think of Young Romantics a lot while reading this book, and this continuous, uncalled-for comparison made me like The Determined Heart less in the beginning. As I read on, however, I warmed to this nice novel.

It has a less academic feel to it than the previously mentioned work, even though it is just as widely researched and well put together as Young Romantics. What gives it a fiction-y tinge is that Antoinette May writes about Mary’s – or other characters’ – thoughts as if she knew exactly what was going on in their head. First I had some issues accepting this, but once I got over it I started to enjoy this book immensely. The writing was very enjoyable and I got to know some details from Mary and Bysshe Shelley’s story that were completely new to me.

Mary Shelley’s life was full of bitter tragedies and it is remarkable how she could start again so many times, how she could go on and live with such haunting memories.

In this book Mary’s two dominant sides are thoroughly discovered: Mary the mother and Mary the writer. Of course she was a multi-layered person, but I felt these two ‘layers’ were in focus. Beyond these we get glimpses of Mary the lover, Mary the friend, Mary the daughter etc. She was first and foremost an intellectual person, but of course the events of her personal life shaped her, inspired her and many times tore at her. 

I think Antoinette May managed to draw a vivid picture of this extraordinary woman who, with a novel which she wrote at a very young age, basically created a new genre: science fiction.
 
Goodreads | Amazon

3 Nov 2015

Teaser Tuesday #15

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.
The rules:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is from The Determined Heart by Antoinette May:


Synopsis:

The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley had an unconventional childhood populated with the most talented and eccentric personalities of the time. After losing her mother at an early age, she finds herself in constant conflict with a resentful stepmother and a jealous stepsister. When she meets the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she falls deeply in love, and they elope with disastrous consequences. Soon she finds herself destitute and embroiled in a torturous love triangle as Percy takes Mary’s stepsister as a lover. Over the next several years, Mary struggles to write while she and Percy face ostracism, constant debt, and the heartbreaking deaths of three children. Ultimately, she achieves great acclaim for Frankenstein, but at what cost?

My Teaser

The colour was back in Mary's cheeks, the sparkle in her eyes. Indicating the striking young man holding court in the parlor, Fanny whispered excitedly, "What do you think of him?"

What do you think she thought of him? Hahaaa ;)

Please leave a link to your TT post in a comment below. Also, tell me if you've ever read a book about the Shelleys. I love them.

24 Oct 2015

Review - The Heartbeat Thief by A.J. Krafton


Title: The Heartbeat Thief

Author: A.J. Krafton

Publication date: Sept 18, 2015

Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her.
But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death—and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step.

So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible—he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it…

When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death—but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others.

It’s a little bit Jane Austen, a little bit Edgar Allen Poe, and a whole lot of stealing heartbeats in order to stay young and beautiful forever. From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time…

How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?


I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

My thoughts:

Deliciously poetic and hauntingly dark – The Heartbeat Thief by A. J. Krafton takes you on a journey through time and an extremely long life to show you the real nature of Death.

There is a period in everyone’s childhood when we are afraid of dying. That fear is so palpable, so real that even the mere possibility prevents you from sleep… because what if you never wake up again? This dread passes eventually as we accept that death is part of life and we move on knowing we can’t stare Death in the face every passing moment.

But there is a girl who can’t let go. Senza Fyne meets Death sitting by her grandmother’s bed at the tender age of 17 and from that day on, she is followed by a dark shadow. When a strange but captivating young man offers to free her from the fate every living thing is bound to meet in the end, she is eager to accept the new life he promises to give her. And so the endless days begin.

I adore Edgar Allan Poe and his short story The Masque of the Red Death, so when I read this book has something to do with it I felt I should give myself a favour and read it.

The atmosphere of this novel was truly amazing. Very heavy, very dense, yes – death takes center stage here after all –, but very effective at the same time. I’m not sure I could have read The Heartbeat Thief in one sitting, even if I had the time, because of its weighty subject, but then again, I don’t think it’s a book one has to read hastily. There is a lot to savour, a lot to contemplate while going through it.

The heroine is more and more likable as the story grows, she definitely becomes wiser and more mature as the plot plays out. However, she makes mistakes all the time, no matter how old she is and by her imperfectness the human nature is emphasized – we all tend to make mistakes and it wouldn’t change even if we lived through centuries. I think this is a beautiful thought.

The side characters are also well written and interesting, each a milestone in Senza’s journey, since each conveys a lesson Senza has to learn. Every meeting and every goodbye has its reason here, you can see the nicely built structure of this book as you read it.

I have to say I didn’t expect the ending, although I should have. It was so obvious, really. But I’m glad I didn’t, because it was more of a surprise and I like surprises.

I love stories that are set in different time periods and this novel was certainly a treat for me. I’d recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and gothic literature.

Goodreads | Amazon

20 Oct 2015

Cover Reveal

Be sure to check out the links below... there are some awesome sites associated with this book! Including an amazing Book Trailer made by Laurence himself!

166_0.332207001443473897_sc_cv_hr  
Space Cadets By Author: Laurence Moroney 

Genre: Y/A Sci-Fi 

Publisher: BookTrope 

Release Date: November 2015

Blurb:

After conflicts in Korea, Pakistan and the Middle East turned nuclear, the world stood on the eve of destruction. Realizing that we only have this one precious planet containing all of humanity, the United Nations pulled us back from the brink, and started a new, multinational effort to conquer space. Many years later, the peak of achievement for any young person is to be admitted to the Space Academy. Previously available only to a precious few, it has recently opened enrollment to anybody who can meet their strenuous entry criteria. Space Cadets is the story of the first African-American girl, Aisha Parks, to enter into the academy, where she learns that the more some things change, the more they stay the same, and despite the honorable intentions of the academy, there are some dark secrets being kept – secrets that could be the end of us all.

Space Cadets Website: http://www.join-the-cadets.com/

Watch the Space Cadets Trailer:


About the Author:

Laurence Moroney

Bio:
Laurence Moroney is the author of more books than he’s prepared to admit. After several best selling programming books, his first Young Adult novel “The Fourth World” became a #1 book on Amazon Kindle, spawned two sequels “The Million Year Journey” and “The Legend of the Locust”, and is currently being shopped around studios for a potential movie. “Space Cadets” is his latest, a cutting edge science fiction novel, based on real science that starts a new series charting out humanity’s course to the stars. He’s presently working on the sequel “The Quiet World”, which he hopes to finish in 2015. For his day job, Laurence works as a Developer Advocate for Google, where he is constantly counting his blessings for being part of the best workplace in the world…
Find him here:
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Booktrope_Logo

Review-2Bthe-2BBook

Cover Reveal Organized by:

iheartallthebooks

9 Oct 2015

Cover Reveal – The Pirate Princess by Catherine Banks

pirateprincesscoverreveal

About the Book

Pirate-Princess_FINAL_ebook

Title: Pirate Princess

Author: Catherine Banks

Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

As the daughter of the Pirate King, Tilia Swanson has an unusual upbringing learning skills that aren’t often available for women. As the heir apparent for the Kingdom of Crilan, her skills set her apart as she is trained by the best in the land and taught to harness her magic. However, piracy is in her blood, and draws danger to Tilia in the way that treasure draws pirates. Some treasures are more valuable than others. Will this lesson be learned in time or will the betrayal of those around her be her undoing?

Author Bio

Catherine Banks is the author of the Artemis Lupine Series, Little Death Bringer Series, Ciara Steele Novella Series, and the novel Daughter of Lions. She began writing fiction stories when she was only four years old and finished her first full length novel at the age of fifteen.

Catherine is a Northern California native and has lived within a twenty mile radius her entire life. She plans to travel to as many places as possible in her thirties to make up for her lack of traveling experience. She is married to her soulmate and best friend, Avery, who blessed her with two amazing children. After her full time job she reads books, plays video games, and watches a lot of anime shows and movies with her family to relax.

Links

6 Oct 2015

Teaser Tuesday #14

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.
The rules:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is from The Heartbeat Thief by A. J. Krafton:


Synopsis:

In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her.
But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death—and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step.

So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible—he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it…

When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death—but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others.

My Teaser

 "Never wait, child. Tomorrow may never come, and what you do today will have to be enough to last.

 Don't forget to leave a link to your TT post. Happy reading!
 

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