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belleofthebookshelf

Belle of the Bookshelf

Welcome.  I read what I want and when I want, and don't write to a target audience. If we share the love for the same genre or can expand each others interests, I hope that you will follow me. 

Currently reading

Under the Dome: A Novel
Stephen King
Progress: 720/1357 pages
The Diva Takes the Cake
Krista Davis
Progress: 56/260 pages
Reblogged from Olivia Smith... and her BookWorld:

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman's Daughter -

The Madman's Daughter is the first in series, inspired by the classic, The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells. Thankfully, I was not familiar with H. G. Wells story going into The Madman's Daughter, as it does resemble the story closely and it may have ruined the element of surprise for me.
Since I was not familiar with The Island of Dr. Moreau, I was in a constant place of trying to figure out who was really mad. There are a lot of uniquely odd characters that made the story very much of a thrill ride and the creep factor was amazing. 
I have never read anything like The Madman's Daughter. Seriously. That alone is worth the read. On top of that, the twists were unbelievable. You will have a hard time guessing the outcome, and the ending came as a shocker! I can hardly wait for the next installment.
Be prepared to go into this one with an open mind. Considering the story line, there are areas where it is so out of touch with reality that it is hard to buy, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

 

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Under the Dome Summer Readalong Kick-off Post (Better Late Than Never)


Under the Dome by Stephen King has been on my TBR and I had every intention to get through it before the series started on CBS lastnight.  Well... I didn't get through it, but I did read enough that I could watch the first episode.  My reading gameplan is to read ahead of the series enough than I can watch it every week.

My Nook Version 1357 Pages

Read More...

Austen in August Announcement Post

 

I am so excited to participate in "Austen in August".  I have enjoyed Jane Austen's work in the past, but still have several of her books to read.  Plus, this is social and you know that I am ever so social.

 

The Goal: To read as many of Jane Austen’s works (finished or unfinished) as you want or are able to, during the month of August.  Biographies, audiobooks, spin-offs, and re-reads also count.  I will post throughout the month on different subjects, as well as with my own reviews of the Austen books I finish.  We will be offering giveaways, guest posts, and other shenanigans, all of which are meant to inspire a great, interactive event.

 

If you are going to participate, you can read any of Jane Austen’s novels, a biography about her, or any contemporary re-imaginings (such as Austenland or The Jane Austen Book Club, for example). All posts will help you qualify for prizes, which I’ll explain in a later post!

 

 

We will be using hashatag #AustenInAugustRBR

 

A big thank you to Roof Beam Reader for hosting.  For more details, visit the sign-up post.

 

What I will be reading:  I will be reading Emma for sure.  I have a beautiful penguin clothbound classic and can't wait to crack it open.  Beyond that, I am not sure,

Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

Glamorous Illusions: A Novel (Grand Tour Series) - Lisa T. Bergren

Series:  Grand Tour Series #1
Publication Date:  June 1, 2012
My Rating: 4/5
Goodreads

Synopsis
When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.

 

Review

I enjoyed Glamorous Illusions very much. The main character, Cora, is a strong girl who is flawed enough to be both believable and relatable. While her faith is tested and shaken, it is the thing that pulls her through her many trials and I found the Christian message especially heartwarming. My one and only complaint? I did not find the ending to be as complete as I would have liked and I am left feeling that I have to read the second installment in hopes of obtaining a complete story. I am, however, looking forward to the second book, but am not a fan of authors forcing it on their readers.

Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

Summer at Willow Lake - Susan Wiggs

Series:  Lakeshore Chronicles #1

My Rating:  3/5

Goodreads

 

Synopsis

Olivia Bellamy has traded her trendy Manhattan life for a summer renovating her family's crumbling holiday resort. Tempted by the hazy, nostalgic memories of summers past - childhood innocence and the romance and rivalries of her teens - it's the perfect place to flee after her broken engagement. But what began as an escape may just be a new beginning...As Olivia uncovers secrets buried thick with dust, one by one her family return, their lives as frayed at the edges as the resort.

 

Review

Summer at Willow Lake is a promising start to a series, but an awkward start all the same. The author seemed to have her hands full with the plot, multiple sub plots, and introducing the characters for the series and the flow and character connection suffered for it. The story line itself was good and I loved the secluded New York camp setting. This is one of those books that I have had in my eReader for a long time and am glad to have read it. I am hoping that now that the introductions have been made, the series will improve from here.

The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones

The Uninvited Guests - Sadie Jones

Series: None
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
My Rating:  5/5
Goodreads

Blurb
One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor—and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief.

The cook toils over mock turtle soup and a chocolate cake covered with green sugar roses, which the hungry band of visitors is not invited to taste. But nothing, it seems, will go according to plan. As the passengers wearily search for rest, the house undergoes a strange transformation. One of their number (who is most definitely not a gentleman) makes it his business to join the birthday revels.

Evening turns to stormy night, and a most unpleasant parlor game threatens to blow respectability to smithereens: Smudge Torrington, the wayward youngest daughter of the house, decides that this is the perfect moment for her Great Undertaking.

My Review
I loved this book! It was a bit of a twisted tale done in an interesting fashion, similar to an Alfred Hitchcock story. The writing style was superb and the characters were all fascinating. The Uninvited Guests is primarily a historical mystery and Sadie Jones made the characters quite real with her acurate use of language for the time period.

All Sales Fatal by Laura DiSilverio

All Sales Fatal - Laura DiSilverio

Series: Mall Cop Mysteries #2

 

Synopsis

For mall cop E.J. Ferris, catching customers who “forgot to pay” is quite a change of pace from her former life in the military. But when a real crisis heats up her climate-controlled domain, her old instincts come back quicker than last year’s skinny jeans.On good days, Fernglen Galleria is a tranquil haven of capitalist splendor—but today is not one of those days. Arriving for her morning shift, E.J. spots a sleeping homeless person outside the east entrance. But the teenage boy turns out to be neither homeless nor asleep. He is, however, dead.

 

With half the security cameras sabotaged, no one can be sure what happened. E.J. is determined to help solve the case—whether Homicide Detective Helland likes it or not. Uncovering a deadly conspiracy right in her own mall, E.J is about to catch a killer, or get put on lay-away for good…

 

Review

I often turn to a cozy mystery when I am looking for a quirky light read, and All Sales Fatal is that plus more. The plot is more thoroughly developed than many of the books within the genre. I liked this second installment far more than the first.

Full review coming soon.

 

 

Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno - Dan Brown,  Read by Paul Michael

Series:  Robert Langdon #4
Publication Date:  May 14, 2013
My Rating:  3/5

Blurb
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

 

Review

On its own, Inferno is a fabulous read with even more unexpected turns than Brown's previous books. Everything is thought out and is another spectacular work in relation to the research and tie ins with history. The problem that I had was the many similarities to others in the series and the end takes a turn toward the silly. You can read Inferno without first reading others in this series. There are no references to previous story lines.

A Plain Scandal (Appleseed Creek Mysteries)

A Plain Scandal - Amanda Flower This cozy mystery series is a delight with its small town setting and a dose of clean romance. In this, the second installment, there are plenty of angles to the murder mystery that it kept me guessing until the very end.

Love on the Line

Love on the Line - Deeanne Gist While Deeanne Gist is one of my favorite authors, this book was not among my favorites. It was a decent story and I enjoyed the setting, but it the excitement was lost on the overload of facts about telephones and birds. That being said, I still love this author and look forward to more of her work.

Shelter Mountain (Virgin River, Book 2)

Shelter Mountain - Robyn Carr I love this series particularly because of the characters. The men are the perfect blend of masculinity and tenderness and the woman are feminine but strong. Although this is a contemporary setting, the characters are full of old fashioned charm. The small town setting is a real win in my book as well.

A Merry Heart (Brides of Lancaster County)

A Merry Heart - Wanda E. Brunstetter A Merry Heart ended up to be a pleasant surprise indeed. While the book was fairly enjoyable, there were times that it became repetitive. Thankfully the last third of the book was remarkable enough that it moved me to tears and the end left me with much to think about, easily putting this book on my favorites shelf.

Maggies Journey (McKenna's Daughters)

Maggie's Journey - Lena Nelson Dooley I was drawn into the story by the wonderful prologue, but ended up quite disappointed in the remainder of the story. I had a difficult time getting past the self loathing of Maggie and her mother in the early phases of the story and it seemed to drag out afterwards. The story itself is a good one and the Christian theme is well done, however, it was lacking something for me in the overall execution.

Lady in the Mist: A Novel

Lady in the Mist - Laurie Alice Eakes I loved the storyline and as well as the writing style. While the Christian message is simplistic, it was done well as I was never able to guess in what direction things were going. God doesn't always answer our prayers with what we want, don't you know? There was a nice element of mystery which was more of the mainstay than anything else, and I found it drew me in and sealed the deal.

State of the Onion (White House Chef Mystery Series #1)

State of the Onion - Julie Hyzy State of the Onion is unlike any cozy I have read before and I enjoyed it very much. The plot is of a political nature and more involved than many cozy mysteries. My only complaint here, and it is a small one, is that there was one particular character who had my vote as number one suspect and was quite facsinating who I would have liked a conclussion for. He just disappeared. I look forward to reading more in the series!