Friday, March 31

Book Review: The Things We Leave Behind by Tanya Anne Crosby

Author: Tanya Anne Crosby
Title: The Things We Leave Behind
Genre: Fiction & Short Story
Pages: ebook
Published: Sept 2016
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon freebie)

Zoe Rutherford has come to the end of her rope. Her relationship with Chris has reached the breaking point and it is time to leave. But can she leave? And if she does, what is she willing to leave behind? 

This is technically a prequel to another story which I have not read yet. Not a problem, because I was able to read this fine. I do want to read on and follow Zoe's story especially due to the ending. I want to learn more and see what is next for her.

Poor Zoe is stuck in a horrid relationship with this guy. She wants to leave, but she never can get herself to go...until now. 

This short story follows Zoe in her day long internal battle with the ghosts of the past and with her doubts and fears. Poor girl! Chris is your typical bad husband....abusive, manipulator, charming, loving when needed, and a cheater. I would've run a long time ago myself...but it's hard to judge because he was not always like that. Again...poor chica.

I loved the internal battle. It was very interesting to see herself work her way to finally packing up and leaving. I'm curious to see her on the next part of her journey. I do want to read a pre-prequel...I want to understand the hows and whys they got together.

In the end, this was a good little short story. I wanna read the next one. I shall stamp this with 4 stars.

Thursday, March 30

Book Review: The Fairy Tale Bride by Kelly McClymer

Author:  Kelly McClymer
Title: The Fairy Tale Bride (Once Upon a Wedding #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
Published: 2000
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon)

Miranda Fenster, known throughout society as the Fairy Tale Miss because she insists that happily ever afters are possible even amongst the arranged marriages of the Victorian aristocracy, is on a mission. Her goal? To rescue her brother. Her adversary? Simon Watterly, Duke of Kerstone. A man who almost offered for her five years before.

Simon has a mission of his own.

Furious with his late father and disillusioned by the honorable facade of society, he believes that family honor requires the ultimate sacrifice from him. Unfortunately, Miranda is determined to change his mind. Will Simon get his wish or will Miranda make him see he deserves a happily ever after?

Where shall I begin?

Well...the beginning was really good. However, it slowly started falling apart from there.

Miranda was a fun character and the only character I could stand remotely stand. 

Simon was a super asshat and I felt so bad that Miranda got all mixed in with him and his crazy, messed up family. His antics and lies would have ended any Miranda was a fool in the end too. 

I barely made it to the end. I had to push through for one reason and one reason alone....I wanted to see everything blow up in Simon's face. Asshat. 

Big bleh. 

In the end, I shall stamp this with 1 stars. 

Monday, March 27

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: A Small-Town Bride by Hope Ramsay

Amy Lyndon is tired of being the Poor Little Rich Girl of Shenandoah Falls. In her prominent family, she's the ordinary one - no Ivy League education and no powerful career. But when her father tries to marry her off, she knows it's finally time to stand up for herself, despite the consequences. Now that she's cut off from the family fortune, her first challenge is to fight her attraction to her handsome new boss.

When Amy shows up looking for work with his landscaping crew, Dusty McNeil thinks there's no way such a pampered princess will ever get her hands dirty. But as Amy proves him wrong and gets down to the nitty gritty, Dusty's admiration turns to like, then lust - and then love. But can a high-society woman like Amy ever fall for a man like him? 

My thoughts:
Ha, that blurb is so not telling the truth.  Amy loves spending money, she loves the easy life, but then her father throws her out and tells her to marry her boyfriend. And here the truth of the blurb comes in. Sure she is all wtf!? at first. But she does not go running to her bf cos she decided she wants love and he is not that. And she does not go running to family either. She buckles down, gets a hardworking job and tries to fix her life.

Amy was sure a spoiled princess at first, but she truly changed fast because she had no other choice. And she was angry, she was upset, proud and mostly stubborn. She would not give in, she would show them! I liked that about her. I also felt bad for her cos even her family called her stupid, so she saw herself as no good, not even pretty and not really worth much.

Dusty does not know what to do with this spoiled princess, but he grudgingly starts to appreciate her. And fall for her of course, but it takes a while, he is a player. And he has his own trouble with family.

One thing that I did not care for was the sudden appearance of a side story with her cousin, I was all, who are these people? It stole from the main story. I do not mind a side story, but it was even wrapped up in a happy ending. It could have been in the background and then there would have been a story about them instead in another book.

Back to this story. It was a cute  story. They fell in love. They found out what they wanted from life and lived happily ever after.


Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: March 28th 2017
Chapel of Love #2
Contemporary romance
About Blodeuedd the Reviewer

I love books, my cat and chocolate. You can never go wrong with a long walk through the woods and sitting down afterwards with a cup of tea and a good book/movie. I read most genres and blog over at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Sunday, March 26

Joint Discussion: To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

Happy end of March! This month Blodeuedd and I read and discussed, "To the Bright Edge of the World". Blodeuedd is in red and I am in blue. 
Author: Eowyn Ivey
Title: To the Bright Edgae of the World
Genre: Historical Fiction and Magical Realism
Pages: ebook
First Published: August 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Bought on Amazon)

Colonel Allen Forrester receives the commission of a lifetime when he is charged to navigate Alaska's hitherto impassable Wolverine River, with only a small group of men. The Wolverine is the key to opening up Alaska and its huge reserves of gold to the outside world, but previous attempts have ended in tragedy.

For Forrester, the decision to accept this mission is even more difficult, as he is only recently married to Sophie, the wife he had perhaps never expected to find. Sophie is pregnant with their first child, and does not relish the prospect of a year in a military barracks while her husband embarks upon the journey of a lifetime. She has genuine cause to worry about her pregnancy, and it is with deep uncertainty about what their future holds that she and her husband part.

Yay, another Ivey book! I have wanted to read it since we read The Snow Child. It was not as good as the Snow Child, because they were really different.

Yesss! I was so excited when we decided to check this out. I think there is another book. But yes, it was very different.

At first I did not really know cos it was..different! ;) I missed the magical strangeness of the Snow Child, but it just sucked me in. I do like her writing and it had me reading, and reading, and reading. And I can not really explain why, because not a lot happened in a way.

There was a tiny, tiny couple of moments that were surreal, BUT that was because Allen and his company were starving. Hahaha. I agree. Normally I would’ve been bored with the lack of stuff happening, but the author has a way with her writing that keeps you hooked and wanting more.

Exactly, they were starving, can one really trust what they saw. Of course, I did like the surreal stuff and I want to believe it was real and not just the sickness, scurvy and lack of everything that made them think things.
And she really is an amazing writer for getting hooked liked that. did you like the format of the story? Like with the diary entries, letters, pictures, and jumping POV?

I liked it, it worked for me. I did not need the old guy with the curator, but it did bind the story together. And Sophie’s thoughts worked nice in the way it was done.

I wish she would’ve had the old dude and the curator say their peace at the end like an epilogue of sorts. That part I didn’t like much….BUT I loved Sophie’s thoughts. I really did like how you could tell who was writing/thinking. The format and style changed with each character. Allen didn’t know grammar to save his life tho LOLLL! Typical lazy man. ;D

You could really imagine who was talking, and I liked when that other guy wrote a few pages, now he could not write ;)

Sophie was the better of the writers. LOL. I felt so bad for her ;(

Me too, but I loved her she found her passion with photographs. That suited her.

Gotta do what you gotta do. I loved the added photos and drawings. It really made it feel like a collection of stuff instead of just a novel. Did you do any research after reading? I did! I didn’t realize this was based of real people.

I did not realise that! Now I feel bad for not reading up on them, I just assumed they were fake, and that she had taken her own pics or found some to use. But yes the drawings and photos were such a good bonus.

I like reading reviews after I read a book and someone shared a link to Allen’s journey on the military museum website (that is the only reason I knew). The author took some liberties for sure, but she did well capturing the real essence of the people.

I guess I have to google a bit later then :) I just assumed it was another guy who went on a journey and she used that to base this. But yup, I can guess where she took some liberties. I hope she writes something new soon. Her Alaska settings are really good.

Yes, she does good with bringing the world alive. She has another book out there. Maybe we can check it out one day.

I can only find a 29 page novella.

Maybe that is what I saw. Mhmmmm.

So let’s not. And let us hope instead she writes something more :D

Agreed, agreed. BTW - I must confess something……...I hated the ending and I hated Allen’s POV. D:

Throughout the whole book!? I liked it, it felt real for the army man he was. And no prob with the ending either.

I didn’t start kinda liking it until his return home entries and he was miserable the entire time. I think it was because I wasn’t fond of the character so I didn’t enjoy his POV. The ending just kind of ended. I wish there was more.

He sure was miserable, but I understood. I did not mind, I am glad he shaped up though cos else I would have been disappointed.

He did shape up a bit. IDK I think I was mad because he left Sophie when she really needed him, but I get it...the military-mentality of doing his duty. I just wish they would’ve let her come. THAT doctor she had needed a kick in the romp. Ugh.

He did not have much of a choice. Oh sorry, I can not leave on this important mission cos my wife is preggers, yeah, in that time he would have been without a job then.

For sure. I just wish he kept his promise on letting her come. Maybe they wouldn’t have ran out of food or been as miserable because she seemed like a planner and smart. Those three men did not seem the most prepared...their mission needed a woman’s help. LOLLLL

I Understood it like she would only have come to that place where that guy had that store, not on the entire trip.

I can’t remember. But even that would’ve been okay. At least take her with you part of the way so he could come back to her quicker. I maybe being harsh on Allen because I am biased and I didn’t like him.

I do not think she would have been happy at that village if they had left her there. Poor Allen ;)

Who knows! LOL And yes, poor Allen. Carole is a meanie xD


Yess, I’m done lol. :D Done?

The end….read the book everyone! ;)

READ BOTH OF THE BOOKS!!!! *throws books in the air*


About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.

Saturday, March 25

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Film Title: Beauty and the Beast
Length: 2 hr and 10 mins
Released: 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, & Musical 
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Theaters

An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.


I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOREVER AND A HALF FOR THIS FILM TO COME OUT! I have legit been following this film since it was rumored to be in the works. It's been years, but it has finally arrived. 

If anyone knows me I am in love with Disney films. The original Beauty and the Beast  from the 90's was in my top 3. An amazing story. I will admit I was worried when the rumor became fact. I was nervous for a few reasons, but my biggest concern was the cast. They had a few people I was excited about, but there were a few people I was worried about. My worries were for naught...they were all superb. 

I'm so glad they made it a musical with all the classic songs and some new ones too.  I was worried the little twists and changes they made on the classics wouldn't work, but it was done well. Highly enjoyed it. The actors did fantastic too! Made me really proud. I wanted to sing along, buuuut I was at the theater and that would've been awkward.

There were added plot lines. Some call them unnecessary. I call them fun and made the story even better. I especially loved the explanation of the Beast and his childhood. There were also added character developments that I adored. Which...let's discuss the "controversial one".

They "made" LeFou gay and gave him a love interest (other than Gaston). *sarcastic gasp*. For those that remembering this is the little assistant/friend of Gaston. WHO created a whole song for Gaston to make Gaston feel better in the original film and this film. This character development offended SO many people. SO many theaters in the US (IDK about elsewhere) is boycotting this film. IDIOTS the lot of them. F them. Why F them? Read on:

1) Who cares about a gay character. It is a thing...get over it.

2) LeFou was gay in the original film. What "straight" man sings a whole song admiring and saying how great another "straight" man is sober? Let's be real here people...he was gay for Gaston in the 90's. It only makes sense to do it here too.

3) It was really no big in the film. There was no make out scene. There was no gay sex scene. Nothing. A child will NOT even notice the gay tendencies of the characters. They will not be influenced in anyway. 

4) Oh...the "gay agenda" is what you are worried about? But you are okay with the Beasstality, the witchcraft, and the rich vs poor mentality? Ah I do you I guess.....

ANYWAYS (sorry for my rant), this was an amazing film. There is one tiny complaint I MUST bring up....the CGI. 

The CGI was amazing except for a couple of scenes with the Beast. There were a couple of scenes that needed a little more attention. 

Other than that? Nothing else. The film is amazing and I'm not damned surprised that is #1 in the world as I write this. If there are no Oscars I will be in shock. I highly recommend this film to those that love the old film or who just loves a good film. I will proudly give this 5 stars. Don't believe me that this is a good film? Boyfriend was humming the songs afterwards and at work...yeah...see?

Re-watch?: Seeing this AGAIN with my Mom tomorrow ;D

Tuesday, March 21

Wednesday Writing Prompt #3

Happy Wednesday everyone! It's been a while since I've shared some of my writings from this writing prompt book. I'm really liking it. I highly recommend it. :) There is a 500 one that I bought for my friend...seems a little much for me...hard enough to do these 300. 

1) Name one thing you lied to yourself about. Why did you do this?

Being human can really be a bummer. Sometimes lying to oneself is the only way to survive this crazy world and being a stinky human. Like everyone else I have lied to myself. The most recent example I have to share is about a job I really wanted. I did the interview and I was utterly convinced that I would get it. Even with some of the hints and long lull of waiting, I lied to myself that I was the one. I was the chosen one for the perfect job. Why did I lie? I blame the manager because she promised I was a shoe-in. Alas, I have not heard a word. It is to be assumed that I was not shoe-in the manager and myself promised I was. 

2) What did you get into trouble for the most when you were a kid?

When I was a kid I got in trouble for lying. I hated disappointing or upsetting people. I especially loathed getting in trouble. Lying, of course, would make it worse if I was caught.

3) Do you prefer taking risks or having a safety net?

I prefer a safety net. As much as I wish I was a risky girl, I am not. I blame my parents. They raised me to think and plan.

Monday, March 20

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: An Unwavering Trust by LL Diamond

Two strangers with no one to turn to but each other… Fitzwilliam Darcy is in a difficult situation. His father is pressing him to propose marriage to the last woman in the world he would wish to take as his wife. With a fortnight to announce his betrothal, he makes the acquaintance of Elizabeth Bennet, who is in a predicament of her own. Could Darcy be willing to consider Elizabeth as a solution to his problem and to hers? And can Elizabeth ascertain enough of Darcy’s character to trust him upon nothing but a first impression? 

My thoughts:
This was different. It started at an earlier date and well some of the people that used to be nice were asshats. And of course there are some changes in Lizzy's family too, you will see.

Darcy's dad wants him to marry Anne and gives him two weeks. Then he meets Lizzy. And yes yes we all know they will marry cos he does not want to marry Anne. And well just say Lizzy needs to marry too.

So this book was about them getting to know each other. It had some ups and downs. Darcy is still Darcy. But they never had that drama in the beginning so they started off on a different footing. They liked each other and they fell in love.

But there are other kinds of drama. There is always Wickham, that SOB.

I enjoyed it. 


Paperback, First Edition, 452 pages
Published May 20th 2015 by Independent Publisher
Pride and Prejudice variation

About Blodeuedd the Reviewer

I love books, my cat and chocolate. You can never go wrong with a long walk through the woods and sitting down afterwards with a cup of tea and a good book/movie. I read most genres and blog over at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Sunday, March 19

Book Review: The Last Gods of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer

Author:  Samuel Ferrer
Title: The Last Gods of Indochine
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 439
Published: September 20th 2016
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Jacquie Mouhot and Paaku the Lotus-Born are divided by six centuries but linked by a common curse. In medieval Cambodia, Paaku is an orphan whose community believes he may be a reluctant incarnation of a god, causing sectarian turmoil for the kingdom's leaders. Meanwhile, in 1921, Jacquie follows the footsteps of her grandfather, a famous explorer, to Indochina, where she becomes immersed in the tragedy of Paaku's history: a story simultaneously unfolding in the intertwined present and past, a story in which she still has a vital role to play.

I can't help but love books like these. Two different story lines, but ultimately connected. The past has a way of really playing a role in the present. Can't get enough of books like this!

But this follows Jacquie and Paaku. Jacquie is the granddaughter of an explorer and she decides to do some traveling. Paaku is a poor kid that is being forced into the world of politics and religion because they think he is the incarnation of a god. There is really a third character mixed in and that is Jacquie's granddad since we get a glimpse from his POV through diary entries. I think the blending of the three stories was done well. 

I felt bad for Paaku.

Jacquie was an interesting character, especially near the end. Did I like her? I don't think so, but she was interesting and complex. I really didn't except the big reveal at the end. 

It took a while for me to really get into the story. The first few chapter were meh, but it got better around halfway. Took a while, but once I was hooked, I was hooked. I finished the second half of the book within one sitting. 

Now..the ending was good, but I'm mad. HOW CAN LEAVE ME LIKE THIS!? I MUST KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT!!!!! GAHHHH! It was a very open-ended ending. I hope there is another book or even a short story that wraps everything up with a nice bow. Too much left unanswered. What is Jacquie going to do next? GAH! *shakes fist* BUT like I said...very good overall.

In the end, this was pretty good. It took me a while to really get into the story. A little longer than I like, but I held on and then at the halfway point I was hooked. The ending left me wanting more. The characters were interesting and complex. I didn't really connect with anyone. But I found them intriguing and that kept me going. I do recommend this for those that like historical fictions and complex situations and people. Out of five stars, I shall give this...mmmm....3 stars. Nearly a four.

About Carole the Reviewer

What is there really to say? I am of course a lover of books, poetry, movies, plays, and music. Nothing is better than enjoying a cup of tea and immersing yourself in another world and forgetting about the world for just a little bit. My cat and chinchillas keep me entertained over here in Michigan (the mitten state of the USA). I'm game for any genre of book or movie. You can find me over at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings.

Thursday, March 16

Book Review: The China Bride by Mary Jo Putney

Author:  Mary Jo Putney
Title: The China Bride (The Bride Trilogy #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 439
Published: 2000
Where I Got It: My Shelf (B&N)

Born to a Scottish father and now living in China, Troth Montgomery grew up speaking several languages and thinking of faraway England as home. Enduring life as a concubine, she never imagined that one day she would leave the Orient, arriving in bitter winter at the estate of a stranger--the brother of the man who had briefly been her husband. Kyle Renbourne, Viscount of Maxwell, had taken Troth as his bride shortly before his apparent execution in a Chinese prison. Now, as his widow, she is entitled to the home she always dreamed of but remains haunted by the memory of a dashing husband and the brief, forbidden love they shared.

Then Kyle seemingly returns from the dead. Though he has survived, his mind and body are badly wounded. He needs time to heal and retreats from the exotic wife he barely knows. Bitterly aware that she will never be a fitting English wife, Troth defiantly embraces her foreign traditions, hoping that the ancient arts of her ancestors will restore Kyle's spirit and her own battered heart. Together they embark on a miraculous journey of hope and faith as Kyle becomes enchanted with the intimate tranquility he shares with his bewitching Troth. But before he can win back his China bride, Kyle must first face a deadly menace that has followed them halfway across the world. . . .

This book two in the series. I read book one an eon ago and I enjoyed it. The first book followed Dominic and Meriel. This one follows Kyle, Dom's twin brother, and Troth who meet in China. Kyle is heartbroken from his old mistress dying and Troth is now orphaned and being forced to be white person escort and a spy on the side.

I liked the first book. I liked Kyle's side-story so I was excited to read forward...however...I was let down. Kyle was different than what I remembered in the first book. He was an idiot and annoying. Troth was interesting, but she bugged me too overall.

The beginning was really good but then it was downhill. I think the scene that marked my downfall with this book was the scene when Kyle discovers Troth is a woman. It was really forced and really kind of silly how Kyle went about it. He had no decorum or class. He was kind of offensive and overly blunt. Troth had an interesting complex about her but she was boring overall. 

I wasn't a huge fan of the jumping between time. It didn't flow well.

After the one scene, I started skimming. The ending got a hair better with all the drama, but I just didn't get into it like I did the first book.

The first book wasn't amazing, but it was good. This one? A super bummer. I couldn't connect with the characters and I couldn't stay on track with the story. Maybe if the story didn't time jump and I liked the characters even an ounce more could've made this better? Out of five stars, I'll give this one.