Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie

Samstag, 24. Juni 2017

Authors at the RARE 17 and their books (Denise Grover Swank/Lauren Layne/A.Zavarelli/Mariana Zapata) #RARE17




Who else did I meet?
Well, there was, for example, Denise Grover Swank whose Off the Subject - and Wedding Pact Series are amazing, funny, captivating and I loved each and every one of the books. That's why I was really happy when I was offered one of her other books,The Curse Keepers, at her table. My daughter got the first book of Denise Grover Swank's Rose Gardener Series Twenty-eight and a half wishes in German.
I'm really looking forward to reading those books. The only drawback - if I like them only half as much as I like her other books I'll have to buy even more books. *sigh*
Isn't that a nice prospect!? 😉

By the way, for those of you who think that her books sound nice but you'd prefer to read them in English - there're several other books of hers that are also available in German. Oh, and for the audio book lovers - there are some of those out as well.


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I also met Lauren Layne, who was new to me when I started to read books by authors who'd be at the RARE in Berlin. Since that first book by her, quite a number of them have found their way on my kindle. At the moment I'm looking forward to reading her latest novel I knew you were trouble and to the book I got at her table To Have and to Hold. I was lucky to get the second last one  - and I already know that I'll enjoy it.
                                                 

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The first book by A. Zavarelli I read was An Escort for Christmas. I stumbled upon this book by chance when it was on sale on Amazon and have reread it more than once since then. Somehow I never thought of looking for other books by the author but since I started to read in preparation for RARE some of her books of the Boston Underworld Series found their way on my kindle but I must admit that I haven't read them yet. I will let you know how I liked them when I've finally read them! (Somehow my usually very small TBR pile has exploded since I started to prepare for the RARE so it might take some time)

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Another very nice and charming author I met was
Mariana Zapata. I haven't read them yet but Kulti and Lingus are waiting for me on my kindle and I think that I'll have to check out The Wall of Winnipeg and Me as well. This one is, as far as I can see at least, the only one of her books up to now, that is also available in German as "Mit dem Herz durch die Wand".








Dienstag, 20. Juni 2017

At Wit's End: A Doyle Cozy Mystery by Kirsten Weiss

 

 

 

At Wit's End by Kirsten Weiss

Blurb:

When Susan Witsend inherits her grandmother’s UFO-themed B&B, she’s ready to put her organizational skills to the test. She knows she can make the B&B work, even if there is a faux-UFO in the roof. After all, what’s not to love about a Victorian nestled in the high Sierra foothills? None of her carefully crafted policies and procedures, however, can prepare her for a corpse in room seven – the body of her small-town sheriff’s ex-husband. But Susan has her own plans to solve the crime.

In Susan’s mind, Men in Black, conspiracy-crazed old ladies, and an angry sheriff are just part and parcel of catering to UFO enthusiasts. But is there a government conspiracy afoot? Or is the murder a simple case of small town vengeance?

Susan must keep all her wits about her. Because the killer isn’t finished, and if she isn’t careful, her fate may be written in the stars…

Recipes in the back of the book!


Somehow I couldn't really get into this story. It is cute, right, but despite the fact that a lot of things happen, it feels a bit as if nothings really happens. I took me several tries to read the book. 

The story itself had a lot of potential and after having read the blurb, I was looking forward to something like a cross between, well, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams but somehow it was completely different. Susan is rather clueless and has no idea what exactly she is doing when she tries to play detective and solve a murder. Never a good idea when there is still a murderer on the loose, right?

I can't really say what I was missing because the story has it all. It is unique and witty, has a bunch of quirky characters and a good story line. I just couldn't get into it.

★★★


Say Yes to the Scot: A Highland Wedding Box Set by Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, May McGoldrick and Sabrina York







Blurb:

You are formally invited to the Highland wedding event of the year. These four lasses are about to meet their matches in an original digital anthology featuring stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, and May McGoldrick.

How a Lass Wed a Highlander by Lecia Cornwall
In this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her...or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?

A Match Made in Heather by Anna Harrington
She was the laird's daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he's back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?

A Midsummer Wedding by May McGoldrick
Their marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.

The Scot Says I Do by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross's world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years--but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…



Weddings? ✔
Scotland? ✔
Highlanders? ✔
Romance? ✔ ✔ ✔

Mix all those ingredients, take some great authors and you get a wonderfully romantic bundle of swoon-worthy love stories to enjoy and to savor.
Four well-written stories about lovers who have to fight for their love and who have to realize that love is the most important ingredient when it comes to a marriage. Whether it is a story about second chances or about taking a chance on someone seemingly unsuitable or about the most infuriating person becoming the most important one in someone's life - all those stories are amazing. Despite the (relative) shortness of each of the stories, the characters are well developed and the stories well done, captivating and romantic.
That's exactly what you get when you take some of my favorite authors of Scottish romance and ask them to write a story about romance, weddings, and Highlanders.
Sounds good?
That's because it is good and I really, really enjoyed reading these stories.

★★★★


Authors at the RARE 17 and their books (Molly Harper/Suzanne Wright)


I mentioned that I got some books at the RARE, didn't I? This beauty with the most fetching title The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper was one of  them and this was the book that I read on Sunday on our trip back home. The moment I finished it, I ordered the next book in the series and preordered two more books. Yes, it was that good. And better. I laughed so hard when I read this book that my daughter told me (repea-tedly) that I was "soooo embarassing"! Oh, and I had to order a german copy of the first book of another series of Molly Harper's as well because my husband and my other daughter have to read her books as well and they don't read books in English. Unfortunately just a couple of her books were translated and those are out of stock so I had to buy it second hand. Seriously, those books are so funny and I'm really happy that I discovered them due to this event.

 
Obviously I will read more books by Molly Harper, especially as her book How to Run with a Naked Werewolf which was the only one print book that I had ordered for RARE didn't arrive in time but is right now lying next to me, waiting anxiously to be read. 
Apart from the fact that they are really capotivating and funny but...I mean - how couldn't you love a book with such a title?
 And  - all books aside, Molly Harper was really nice and I really enjoyed meeting her!
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Suzanne Wright was another author who I met on Saturday. I didn't have the time to read her books before I went to the RARE but I really liked what I read about them and I liked the blurbs of the books as well as the samples so I went and got her signature as well. At her table I got her book Fierce Obsessions and couldn't resist the Force of Temptation (and doesn't that name fit? *sigh*).  We were lucky and the line wasn't that long when we went there so we could chat a bit. Another nice author and from what I saw of her books up to now, I guess that more of those will follow as well.



Demon Ember (Resurrection Chronicles Book 1) by M.J. Haag and Becca Vincenza








  Demon Ember  by M.J. Haag and Becca Vincenza


Blurb:

Mya’s world is falling apart. After a series of earthquakes, deadly animals with glowing red eyes begin attacking people and start the spread of a zombie-like plague. Safety is just a memory as she tries to make her way home. When a different creature attacks the people helping her reach Oklahoma City, Mya is sure she’ll never see the light of another day.

Despite his eerie yellow eyes and very sharp teeth, the grey-skinned creature is more intelligent and humanlike than he first appears. He’s determined to keep Mya by his side and protect her from the new world’s dangers. When his path starts taking her further away from home, she must choose between safety and her family.

**Recommended for adult readers
***Part 1 of 3



Wow, this book drew me in from the first page on! I couldn't put it down till the end, taking my reader with me everywhere I went. It was really amazing! At the beginning, I didn't really know what to expect but having read other books by Melissa Haag and Becca Vincenza, I knew that I love her books so I just trusted that this one would be as good as the others.

I don't know how many times I did burst out laughing and that night found me lying in my bed and giggling everytime I thought of the book. And...bees. Definitely bees. And other b-related things.

That part was amazing, obviously, but the story is not just funny but also thrilling and captivating and I just read on and on and couldn't stop because I had to know... Right. I had to know.
I like the way the authors build up the tension, like our heroine Mya, you only get glimpses of what is happening, and believe me, there are some seriously strange things going on.

Strange earthquakes? Check.
Zombie-producing attacks by deadly dogs? Check.
Strange, equally deadly creatures turning up? Check.

Okay, when one of those strangers is interested in Mya, she (and I with her) is a bit wary of him because, well, let's just say that people who can kill other people that easily are usually the kind of people that you should be wary of. At least - under normal circumstances, right?
Only there is nothing normal when you are in the middle of a Zombie-Apocalypse.
Traveling with a travel buddy like Drav was definitely nothing that Mya could have imagined a few days earlier but with Drav protecting her, she might even make it to the place where the rest of her family is waiting for her alive. Perhaps.

The next book in the series can't come soon enough because I can't wait to see what happens to Mya and Drav whom we left in a rather ...difficult... place at the end of the book.

★★★



Montag, 19. Juni 2017

Finally - RARE 17! (In English) #RARE17

RARE 17

I must admit that me being German and therefore not used to that kind of book events (we have book fairs and other conventions but no events that are dedicated to signing) I wasn't sure how much fun that would (could?) be. Up to this year, I had never heard of the RARE but when I heard that three of my favorite authors will be at the RARE 18 in London, I had to buy a ticket for London. That's how I found out about the RARE in Berlin this year. A bunch of romance authors, many of them indie authors - sounds rather good, right?

When I realized that I already knew many of the authors, at least their books and won the tickets for my daughter and me to participate, well, that was a no-brainer. We had to go there! And I didn't regret it.
I missed the possibility, though, to browse the books. As I'm used to the book fairs around here, where you can browse for hours (though you can't buy them there) and add heaps of books to your wish list, it was a bit frustrating not to be able to do that here because you didn't have much time when it was your turn to get your book signed.  But there were many authors where there wasn't a line and where you could talk a bit and find out more about their books. Knowing that it was a book signing and no fair, I had looked at the books before I went there but - it's not the same. Apart from that, it was exactly what it was supposed to be and even though it was about the books and getting them (or anything else) signed, you got to talk to other readers from all over the world and the authors and it was fun.

I didn't bring any books to the signing, the only book that I had ordered, didn't arrive in time. *roll* It was amazing how many books some people brought, trundling their overflowing carriers and suitcases from author to author and I was really impressed by the care with which some people had prepared photobooks and their likes that they wanted to get signed instead. When I saw all those lovingly decorated books, I felt a bit...well, unprepared with my kindle cover and my signing book that I had brought to the event. Despite the fact that the book that I ordered didn't arrive in time, we brought a number of books home. Most of them were gifts by the authors and I'm so looking forward to reading them and telling you about them. They all sound very, very promising!
But - back to the begin-ning!  
It started rather early for us as my daughter and I wanted to volunteer at the event and had to register at 8.30 am even though our (general) admission was at 11 am. The well-prepared reader has always a book at hand for such an occasion so it wasn't such hardship though. Those of us who had pre-ordered books could get those already because there was a table set up in the foyer but in the main room, all the last-minute preparations were still under way.
Near half past ten and the time that the doors would open for us things got a bit more crowded. Nine o'clock, when those with tickets for the early admission were admitted, the first readers waiting for general admission at eleven were already there. Waiting. And waiting.



Once we were allowed in though, the crowd scattered a bit andit was alright. Sometimes you could just stop by, get your book signed, chat a bit and sometimes you had to wait a bit but it didn't get boring because, well, book nerds all around, right? There's always something to talk about!Most of the authors had brought some free books and I'm still very, very happy because I got some really great books who were looking for a good and loving home, so to speak. 😉

Those books were the icing on the cake, obviously but even apart from that, it was a wonderful and amazing day. The only side effect that my husband considers as a negative effect is the fact that somehow my wish list kind of exploded. Just a little bit.Well, you probably know that effect, right?

I'll tell you a bit more about the authors I met and their books (many of them have already been translated into German as well,by the way) and I'll share a couple of photos over the next few days as well. Oh, and I can tell you, that I've read one of the books that I got at the RARE on my way home AND ordered the next book right afterwards and preordered two more books by this author (yes, I'm still under the influence, it's not my fault that an overdose of books makes me lose my inhibitions and buy MORE books!😊). More about that tomorrow, though!

By the way - after the RARE we went to the  Curryhain on Wühlischstraße where we had Broiler (that's what they call a roasted chicken in Berlin), sweet potato fries and currywurst and - I never thought that I'd say that about a takeaway -  it was delicious! Great food, great service and very friendly owners - perfect! Afterwards, as we were too exhausted to go to the after party as planned, we went back to the camping site where we finished the day with a glass of champaign and unwound a bit.

  
All in all, it was an amazing and exciting day! We met a lot of new people, found many new books to check out and had a lot of fun (and sore feet *oops*)!

 ***

Oh, did I mention, that one of those wonderful authors asked me whether I'd like to have some of her books for a giveaway on my blog?


Authors at the #RARE17 and their books (A.M.Hargrove/Amy Plum)

Soooo...I met A.M.Hargrove at the RARE 17 in Berlin. She is one of the authors whose books I' ve read as part of my "preparation" for the RARE for the first time - and instantly fell in love with her books! You might remember that I've read For the love of English in March as well as her latest book A Special Obsession. Next in line on my reader is her book Exquisite Betrayal.
                                
              


A. M. Hargrove

 

 

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Another author I met at the #RARE17 was Amy Plum. I knew her books of course long before the RARE as I read all the books of her wonderful Revenant-Series, starting with Die for me. Those books are also available in
German, by the way, and if you are a cover-addict like me, you just have to love that edition, it has has such  a beautiful cover!
I've also read After the End and on Saturday I realized that I had not only missed that the sequel to it is already out but that there is also another duology out, Dreamfall and Neverwake, so I still have some other books of Amy Plum's to look forward to!





On the road to... #RARE17

*In German*

RARE 17 in BERLIN


This Friday, after counting down the days for a while now, we were finally, finally on our way to ...





Berlin? Yes, because the...

RARE 17

took place there. The RARE is a signing event that had lots and lots of readers and authors traveling to Berlin who brought loads and loads of books. Some of those books were in German, most of them in English. Apart from the english-speaking authors there were also some german authors around. The main focus  was - how could it be different at an event called Romance Author and Reading Event  - on books about love and romance. And reading.
I don't really have to mention that not many men were seen at the event, no?😉 Some men were seen who were brave enough to accompany their wives or girlsfriends but their number was rather low.

Well, back to Friday, when my daughter and I had not arrived at the RARE yet but on our camping site in Berlin.
This rather rustic setting was but twenty something minutes off the center where we just had to go to  "Dussmann, das Kulturkaufhaus", a big book shop for a late night shopping trip. It wasn't that we really needed more books but Dussmann's sounded interesting, was said to have a big range of english books and it is open till midnight, so - pretty much irresistible, right? And, well, Dussmann was really amazing! It is very very big of course and has an amazing selection of books. Not just english books but also french, portuguese, dutch and some others as well as german books, of course and sheet music, music, dvds and ...well, everything. Somehow the one or the other book found its way to us. It is definitely different when you have a chance to hold a book (sniff it), read a bit in it and, well, feel it to choosing one simply based on what you read at your computer, one-clicking it or whatever. Old-fashioned, I know, but somehow those books are even more irresistible this way- not that we tried too hard to overcome that temptation. And yes, it is
 Wonderwoman. 😉The other books are Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell, The Darks Days Club von Alison Goodman and At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by










Dating the Wrong Mr. Right (Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #3) by Amanda Ashby









  Dating the Wrong Mr. Right by Amanda Ashby


Blurb:




I discovered the "Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm" not very long ago but I fell in love with them from the first page on. This book is the third in the series and the others are definitely also worth reading. I loved them as much as this one. "
"Dating the Wrong Mr. Right" is Pepper's story and it is also Coop's story. And it is a story about expectations and dreams and the question whose dream we're living. It might also be a story about coming home and trusting that things might work out.

Pepper and Coop are absolutely sweet together and I loved to read their story. With Bec and Emmy around and all the other inhabitants of Sunshine, this is a story that'll make you swoon and smile and laugh and, well, swoon a bit more. Okay, a lot more.
Having moved back from Seattle to Sunshine, Pepper can't wait to get her life back. And that life doesn't include Sunshine, at least not as a place to live and work but somehow fate might have other ideas. Or Cupid might. Why else should it be so difficult to avoid Coop and even more difficult to stop kissing him?
Will his kisses win or will Pepper stick to her long-time plan and get the hell out of Dod...Sunshine?

Many wonderful minor characters add to the cozy and charming setting. Charlie and Stan, Miss Dottie and the other inhabitants of Sunshine are all very unique characters who make you feel that you know this place and you never want to leave because you know everybody there and they are just special and make you feel at home. And sometimes they just make you laugh. Hard. You don't believe me? Ask Stan. I'm pretty sure he has a sign plastered on the side of his taxi telling you that I am right.

A wonderful and sweet read that I can definitely recommend - as well as the other books of the series!


 ★★★★
 
 
 

Sonntag, 18. Juni 2017

Finally - RARE 17! (In German) #RARE17

RARE 17

 Ich muss ja zugeben, dass ich ein wenig skeptisch war, wie lustig so ein reines Signier-Event denn nun werden würde. Bis dato hatte ich noch nichts davon gehört, aber da im Februar2018 gleich drei meiner Lieblingsautorinnen an der RARE 18 in London teilnehmen, hatte ich mir dafür Tickets besorgt und bin dabei dann natürlich auch über die RARE 17 in Berlin gestolpert.
Ein ganzer Haufen Autorinnen, viele davon Indie ... klang doch eigentlich interessant. 
Auf den zweiten Blick stellte ich fest, dass ich doch schon etliche der Autorinnen kannte und als ich dann noch die Tickets für Berlin gewann, tja, Selbstgänger. Da mussten wir hin!

Als erfahrene Buchmessengängerin fehlte mir zwar ein wenig die Möglichkeit, noch mehr in den Büchern der dort vertretenen Autorinnen zu stöbern, aber dafür hatte ich sie vorher immerhin schon alle angeguckt. Es war genau das, was es sein sollte, man stellte sich an und ließ seine Bücher signieren, aber da man auch mit den anderen Leserinnen und den Autorinnen ins Gespräch kam, brachte das Ganze doch wesentlich mehr Sapß als ich gedacht hätte. Wie gesagt, etwas skeptisch war ich ja schon vorher. 

Ich hatte, im Gegensatz zu den meisten anderen, keine Bücher mitgebracht, da das einzige Buch, das ich extra dafür bestellt hatte, natürlich nicht mehr pünktlich ankam, aber trotzdem ging ich mit etlichen signierten Büchern nachhause, da viele Autorinnen Freiexemplare ausgegeben haben. Faszinierend war allerdings schon, wieviele Bücher andere Leserinnen dabei hatten, die dann in diversen Koffern und dergleichen von Autorin zu Autorin gefahren wurden, um dort signiert zu werden. Als ich sah, wieviele liebevoll vorbereitete Fotobücher und dergleichen mit dabei waren, in denen signiert werden sollte, kam ich mir mit meinem simplen Signierbuch und meiner Kindlehülle schon ein wenig...unvorbereitet vor.
Aaaber - zurück zum Anfang! Und der fing für uns recht früh an, da meine Tochter und ich uns als freiwillige Helfer gemeldet hatten und uns dafür um 8.30 Uhr schon vor Ort registrieren lassen "mussten", obwohl unser Einlass erst um 11 Uhr war. Die wohlvorbereitete Leserin hat aber ja immer das eine oder andere Buch dabei, so dass das natürlich kein Problem war! Wer Bücher vorbestellt hatte, konnte diese schon abholen, aber der eigentliche Raum sah um halb neun noch ganz schön leer aus.

 Das änderte sich dann aber nachher ziemlich schnell, als es auf elf Uhr zuging. Um neun war der erste Schub für den frühen Einlass reingelassen worden, da standen schon die ersten für den Elf-Uhr-Einlass vor der Tür und warteten. Und warteten. Und warteten noch ein bisschen mehr.

Als wir dann reingelassen wurden, verteilte sich die Menge erfreulicher-weise besser als erwartet und wir fingen an, unsere Runde zu machen.





Das Getümmel hielt sich insgesamt in Grenzen, manchmal hatte man Glück und konnte gleich signieren lassen, manchmal musste man warten, aber irgendwie wurde es nie langweilig. 
Die meisten Autoren hatten auch Freiexemplare ihrer Bücher dabei und ich freu mich immer noch wahnsinnig, da ich einige wirklich schöne Bücher geschenkt bekommen habe. 

Aber auch von den geschenkten Büchern abgesehen, war es ein wirklich schöner und spannender Tag, der allerdings dazu beigetragen hat, meine Wunschliste ein klein wenig explodieren zu lassen. Ein ganz klein wenig. Ihr kennt das ja. 😉

Viele der Autoren sind bereits ins Deutsche übersetzt worden, so dass es sich auch für diejenigen lohnt, die nicht gerne auf Englisch lesen, hier noch in den nächsten Tagen ein wenig zu gucken, da ich die Autoren, die ich dort getroffen habe und natürlich auch ihre Bücher, vorstellen werde. Ich kann auf jeden Fall sagen, dass ich eins der Bücher, die ich gestern geschenkt bekommen habe, heute auf der Fahrt schon verschlungen habe UND gleich noch den Folgeband bestellt und ein weiteres Buch der Reihe vorbestellt habe (okay, zwei Bücher der Autorin habe ich insgesamt noch vorbestellt, ich bin gerade noch ein wenig im Bücherwahn, fürchte ich. *oops*) , aber davon erzähle ich morgen mehr!

Anschließen sind wir dann spontan im Curryhain in der Wühlischstraße mit Broiler, Süßkartoffelpommes und Currywurst gelandet und - ich hätte nie gedacht, dass ich das mal über einen Imbiss sage -  es hat richtig, richtig lecker geschmeckt! Für jeden Geschmack etwas dabei, super Service, extrem nette Inhaber - rundum einfach klasse! Danach ging es dann rundum angenehm gesättigt zurück auf den Campingplatz, wo wir den Abend ganz in Ruhe ausklingen ließen.

  
Alles in allem war es ein wirklich schöner und aufregender Tag, der uns beiden viel Spaß (und runde Füße!) gebracht hat. 

 ***

Oh, erwähnte ich zufällig schon, dass mich eine der Autorinnen, als ich erzählte, dass ich einen Buchblog habe, doch glatt fragte, ob ich auf meinem Blog auch Bücher verlose?