::Review:: The Crystal Slipper by Selena Fulton

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I was sent an e copy of this book, in advance of its publication, in exchange for my honest review.

Life Itself is the most Wonderful Fairy Tale, according to Hans Christian Anderson. However, in the real world, we’ve lost the will for this sort of thinking. There are deadlines to meet, and it always seems like the evil stepmothers and witches are getting their way. But what if there was still a place where fairy tales existed? And what if people from the real world were made aware of this?

Celinda Branham works as a librarian in Florida, keeping her head down and trying to live ‘the life of least resistance.’ However, when an errant gift from the Christmas party’s white elephant exchange lands in her hands, Celinda’s life becomes a lot less ordinary. Preston Chandler has been searching for the glass slipper as a means to save his sister, cursed by a witch. But getting the slippers is only half the battle; Preston finds himself with riddles to solve and needs Celinda’s help in order to solve the puzzle before times runs out. When he starts falling for this ‘inner’ beauty, Celinda questions his motives—does he genuinely care for her, or only because of the power Celinda has in breaking the curse?

I was really impressed with Selena Fulton’s story. She turned what could have been formulaic into a charming story with characters that I could see and even identify with, to a certain extent. It was a pleasant surprise. While the riddle was very easy to decipher for someone NOT in the story, the pacing and actions were believable. At just over 220 pages, this was a quick and enjoyable read.

Celinda was really amazing—she was real and honest and came off the page in a stunning way. There was nothing contrived about her. Her reactions seemed believable and like my own, if I had been pulled into this. Preston’s ‘quest’ was admirable, but I also felt like I questioned his motives. I mean, he bought some really great presents, but I was questioning his sincerity from the first bouquet of roses. It wasn’t until later in the story that he redeemed himself, much like the prince in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

Fulton does a really great job of writing her ensemble cast. Tamelea is someone that you want to hate and then turns into a really great friend—as someone whom has had this type of friendship, I understand the progression and Fulton handles it in a believeable way. Raven, the ‘witch’ is even multi-faceted in a way which readers would not think—there are more characters, but I don’t want to give anything away that might detract from the classic ‘fairy tale’ portion of this novel.

Part of the Covet Imprint, The Crystal Slipper is a great introduction to their paranormal series—I am really happy to see this novel as part of the imprint. It is well written, following archetypes, but not formulaic in the way that romance readers may be used to. The contemporary language and believeable characters make this a must read—I’m definitely going to check out more from the author after reading this. Fans of Once Upon a Time or the Mercedes Lackey 500 Kingdoms series would love this, as well as people new to the genre.

The Glass Slipper is out today, and available at your favorite e-tailers… Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes for $0.99–it’s a deal!

Check out author Selena Fulton’s website here.

 

::Manic Monday:: 09/22/2014

In the last week:

I participated in the #TackleTBR (Tackle your TBR) challenge hosted by Wishful Endings.

I read Oh, Africa! by Andrew Lewis Conn.

I finished the Tackle your TBR challenge with about 50% of my goal.

I wrote about Banned Books Week.

Sheila even has a giveaway for Banned Books week.

Not only is there a sequel to the Rosie project, but I get to read it before it comes out in the US in December-ish 2014!!!!! *Sorry for the run-on sentence, but I am terribly excited!!!!!

As always, it is Monday and Sheila at Book Journey is asking us what we’re reading…

 

Here’s What I am reading:

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I have recently introduced my husband to Steve Alten’s series about the Megladon. This is the second book in the series (if you don’t count the prequel, Meg: Origins, which is currently free on Amazon). And Melissa De La Cruz’s book is definitely different than the tv show–I am finding a lot of differences. Look for my review this week.

What about you–what are you reading today?

 

Happy Banned Books Week

September 21 through 27 is Banned Books Week, celebrating giving notice to challenged or banned books. Personally, I am very supportive of 1st amendments rights—here in America we have a lot of advantages that other countries don’t have—including our right to free speech.

Think of how INSULAR life may be without your favorite book. Think of how closed off you would be if you could not speak about your favorite book with like minded people. Think about the last book someone recommended that you completely loved—now think of that book as a banned book and if you would not have been able to read it.

I want to thank the ALA for bringing much needed publicity to this issue. The American Library Association tirelessly works to stay on message and get the word out, and this is no exception. You can read some of their coverage by clicking here.

Tanith Lee has a really great, personal story about banned books on her site.

And the ALA site has a place where you can buy some cool stuff that you can use to further the message of bringing attention to banned and challenged books.

Buzzfeed listed 33 Must Read Banned Books. Even though there are a lot of these books that I have loved, my favorite is The Handmaiden’s Tale. I recommend it.

What is your favorite banned/challenged book?

Tackle your TBR Readathon Finishing Post

I'm doing the Tackle your TBR Read a Thon, hosted by Wishfulendings.com, Sept 8-20, 2014

So I didn’t really spend too much time with this over the last 2 weeks, I have been working a LOT and once I am home, well, I have had to be focused on other things. This has not been great for my reading on the readathon, however, I read 5 (1/2 of what I wanted to read) for this readathon.

That is 5 more than I had read, and it feels like when there are not readathons, I do an average of 3 books a week.

I read:
Hidden Wives
This is Where I Leave You
Oh, Africa!
Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror (and an origin story that I am not counting as it was very short)
Etiquette and Espionage (we were supposed to have a NovelTea Meeting about this, but few could make it)

I have a couple of reviews and a few other books to read this week, so hope to have those posted really soon.

Wednesday, with Music!

Heard an amazing song that led to an even more amazing mashup in my head…

Kate Bush and Talking Heads

What songs/books would be good with these artists?

 

 

 

 

 

I am not a fan of space, but I would read this. As I was reading the Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury I kept hearing Kate’s song in my head. Actually, Talking Heads ‘Once in a Lifetime’ might also match up with some of the stories in Bradbury’s novel, too…

Despite him being a sort of angry old man (from a few people who went to his plays while he was alive), I think maybe he got it right…

What about you, what songs from the above artists match up with some books you have read?

Confession time

I have a few reading apps on my tablet…

Each one serves a purpose. Both Zola and Harper Collins were having great sales. Comixology and Marvel Unlimited are self explanatory. Goodreads and I, well we have to spend more time getting to know one another in this format. IBooks is great for those humble bundle comics and drm free books, but shockingly enough I still like the Kindle App. I did not yet load the Nook app, and am kicking myself that it hasn't been done yet.

I wish there was an adobe digital editions app, but I understand why. I use Aldiko on my phone for that purpose. I love Aldiko. What programs/apps do you use to keep in touch with reading on your devices?

 

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

Each Monday, Sheila from BookJourney asks what we are reading. Without further ado, here is what I am reading….

I found it on my shelves, how funny is that? Loved the first season of this show, so I am excited to see how this differs.

In the last week, I have read 4 books for the Tackle Your TBR challenge hosted by Wishful Endings. Really want to hit 10, but I don't know that It may happen, but am hopeful.

What about you? What are you reading?

 

Review:: Oh, Africa! by Andrew Lewis Conn

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from the publisher.

Oh, Africa! takes readers to places they’ve never been–on the sets of 1920s New York-based films and halfway across the world to the mysterious and exciting ‘dark continent’ and showcases characters to perfection.

Twins Micah and Izzy have been making pictures for years–it’s a perfect match, as Micah gets to call the shots as director and Izzy gets to frame the shots as the cameraman. But, when the two are given a new opportunity, a once in a lifetime trip to Africa to film a new movie AND get stock footage for the studio to sell, the men agree to do it. But once in Africa, they deal with a primal tribe and wildlife that doesn’t understand what ‘cut’ means–what happens in this continent has ramifications for both on-screen and off-screen.

Author Andrew Lewis Conn paints a startling realistic view of the continent and the people in Africa, and even more so in New York. The main and supporting cast are given equal opportunities to be developed and to flourish. Halfway through the novel, the reader is still wanting to know more about the characters–and happy to be learning more. This is a very character-focused journey–one that cannot be measured in just mileage.

In the beginning, you want to hate Micah for the things he does, but throughout the story, you just can’t–the decisions he makes clearly weigh on him and, towards the novel’s middle and end, he seems to exonerate himself. Izzy, on the other hand, is sympathetic from the beginning, but as the novel progresses, Izzy’s character deepens and readers will see that while each twin is different, they are also quite the same.

The supporting cast is immeasurably immense, but as I previously stated, each have been given their ‘time’ on stage and the relevant characters are written clearly and with a sense of importance. From the King of the tribe to the shoeshine kid–everyone has a place and Conn writes them impeccably.

The writing is heady and rich and made me feel at equal parts on a safari or reading from a really amazing tome on the history of film–Conn is masterful in his coverage and it makes me really excited for what else he may have out there. I look forward to it, and I hope you do, too.

It’s Monday, What are you Reading?

Each Monday, Sheila from Book Journey asks ‘What are you Reading?’

It’s a great community over there, and has made me follow quite a few people–but in the hopes of getting more followers, I am going to participate–well, that’s half-true. Mostly I really want to hear about the amazing things everyone else is reading…

So, without further ado, here’s my Monday Reading list….

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I will probably spend some time with Marvel Unlimited and some of the books for review on my Kindle.