Monday, 22 May 2017

Slow Burn Cowboy - Book Review

Everyone needs a fun summer romance novel to keep in their pocket for road trips or late nights on back decks, and Slow Burn Cowboy by Maisey Yates is a good one to try.

Here's a synopsis:

After his grandfather passes away, Finn Donnelly is determined to keep the ranch running by himself. However, his grandfather has left the ranch in equal share to Finn along with his three estranged brothers. Finn's brothers descend upon the ranch to claim their share of the inheritance and property.

Meanwhile, Finn is completely in love with his best friend, Lane Jensen. He and Lane have been friends for over a decade, and he has been attracted to her from the beginning; however, as his friend's younger sister, he's always thought of her as off limits. But as the stress of his family frustrations gets to him, Finn is tired of hiding his attraction to Lane, especially when he thinks she may feel it too.

I thought that Slow Burn Cowboy was a super fun read. I loved Finn and Lane so much. When I read romance novels, I really prefer it when the lead male character isn't a jerk who gets all reformed by the end. It's just a nicer feeling when he is genuinely a good guy with some other conflict going on as part of his story, and I felt like Finn fell into this group nicely. Lane has her own complicated history, but she has a really supportive, strong group of friends in Copper Ridge to help her along.

I've been wanting to read a Maisey Yates novel for a little while now. I've seen her name around in many places, and was excited for the opportunity to try one of her books. She did not disappoint! I found her writing overall to be clever and witty and then sweet and super sexy in all the right places. I would absolutely read more from this author.

Slow Burn Cowboy is part of a 10 book series called The Copper Ridge series. It can be read as a standalone (that's what I did), but at the same time, the novel also gives you some background on other characters from books earlier in the series and begins to setup the stories for the characters that will be in the remaining books (who I predict will be Finn's three brothers!).

You can connect with Maisey Yates on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.


Disclaimer - I received a copy of Slow Burn Cowboy courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. To hear what other bloggers had to say about this book, you can also check out the full book tour here.

Friday, 19 May 2017

The View From The Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman - Book Review

Neil Gaiman is one of those names in the bookish world that's nearly impossible to ignore. I had heard of him for ages, and last year I finally read two of his novels. Neverwhere was our summer book club selection, and then I read Coraline with my Grade 8 students as part of our school book club. Neverwhere I devoured and loved and can't wait to reread sometime soon. Coraline, on the other hand, actually terrified me (my students completely loved it, however).

And so began my entry into the genre of fantasy. Since reading Neverwhere less than a year ago, I have read no fewer than 10 books that fall solidly into the genre of science fiction or fantasy. And a handful of others that weave magic into their stories. It is these books that have taught me that who we are as readers at 20 or even 30 are not who we are going to be as readers our whole lives. Like anything, our reading life ebbs and flows in directions we may never have anticipated. And surprises await us if we are open to them.

In his introduction to The View From The Cheap Seats, Neil Gaiman talks about his exit from journalism to write fiction. He says "...I wanted the freedom to make things up. I did not want to be nailed to the truth; or to be more accurate, I wanted to be able to tell the truth without ever needing to worry about the facts."

I love these novels. The ones that build the breathtaking worlds that our brains know can't possibly be real but in which our hearts feel their truth. It is this feeling that has connected me with Neil Gaiman, and what peaked my interest in his recent non-fiction collection. How do these storytellers see our actual world and how does that influence them when building their own?

The View From The Cheap Seats is selected non-fiction work of Neil Gaiman. It's a collection of speeches, essays, book forwards, and introductions. In a manner that is playful, insightful, serious, witty, and wise, Neil Gaiman discusses a variety of subjects that are meaningful to him. He shares his thoughts about literacy, libraries, various authors and books, America, mythology, ghosts, genre, and more.

I've been savouring each of the pieces included in this collection, reading them slowly to spend time with each of the ideas presented. It's long (522 pages) but deliciously so. Readers, writers, parents, and educators will be drawn into Gaiman's non-fiction work and find ideas and anecdotes that will reaffirm their love of language.

The View From The Cheap Seats is available for purchase on Amazon or HarperCollins. You can also connect with Neil Gaiman on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, tumblr, along with his website or his blog.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

So Many Book Birthdays!

It is seriously a banner day for book publishing. There are 4 blockbuster books out today!

If you follow me on Instagram, the past few months have basically been a love letter to this series by Sarah J. Maas. Well, not entirely, but since January I have read A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury each twice. I'm currently reading A Court of Wings and Ruin half holding my breath the whole time because I'm so terrified for the characters. If you need to get lost in an amazing book series, I highly recommend this one.

I fangirl over all of Jennifer Robson's books, and Goodnight From London was no exception. I was grateful to have been gifted an early copy of this book to read, and I've been recommending it to all of my friends. If you love historical fiction with a little bit of romance and a strong heroine, check this one out. You can find my full review of Goodnight From London here.

3. Confessions of a Domestic Failure
If you're familiar with The Honest Toddler or her viral Facebook page, then you know that Bunmi Laditan writes in a way that connects with moms hard. Confessions of a Domestic Failure is Laditan's first novel about a new mom who's trying to be perfect, ends up a hot mess, and loves her children fiercely along the way. I was so excited to win a copy of this via Goodreads and will be starting it as soon as I'm finished with ACOWAR.

4. Into The Water
Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train, has her next book out today as well. Into the Water is about a series of strange deaths along a river. Secrets, small towns, and even witchcraft are all woven together in this literary suspense novel.

Which of these would you read first?

Monday, 1 May 2017

Sebastian: 5 Years Old and 20 Questions

Every year, Rob and I do a little interview with Sebastian. Here's the 5-year-old edition!

1. What is your favorite color? pink (for the third year in a row!)
2. What is your favorite toy? Shopkins
3. What is your favorite fruit? strawberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? Shopkins
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? hamburgers
6. What is your favorite outfit? footies
7. What is your favorite game? I Spy books
8. What is your favorite snack? watermelon 
9. What is your favorite animal? cheetah
10. What is your favorite song? Chirp theme song
11. What is your favorite book? I Spy books (also third year running)
12. Who is your best friend? Mommy and Daddy
13. What is your favorite cereal? Rice Krispies 
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play golf
15. What is your favorite drink? water
16. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Mommy 
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? waffles
19. What do you want for dinner? cereal like Vavo sometimes does (Vavo is one of his grandmothers)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? helping Daddy do his work

And here are his answers from his 4th birthday and 3rd birthday.