Thursday Mashup….

Today’s Mashup has several giveaways- so get your book-ish selves to the giveaways!


Luxury Reading is giving away The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

Luxury Reading is also giving away Meet Me at The Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

Luxury Reading is giving away Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman (this giveaway ends SOON!)

Book-alicious Mama is giving away The Panopticon by Jeni Fagan.

My blog, Traveling With T, is giving away The Lake House by Marci Nault!

Book Lovers Unite news

Tomorrow, Aug 9th, the first set of questions will be posted about The Comfort of Lies. Still time to join in- here is the reading schedule.

Literary Crush news!

Team Rob or Team Edmund? #literarycrush from The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley- Here is a blog post that makes an excellent case for whichever side of the aisle you fall on for this! Susanna Kearsely let 2 of her author friends discuss the reasons why they think their #literarycrush is the best! Read the article and then tell me what team you are on!

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

the firebird

Photo Credit: Amazon

The Firebird is July’s She Reads Book Club pick. Part historical fiction, some magical realism, romance, and a mystery- this book has much that can and will appeal to a variety of readers.

Nicola has a gift (or a curse as she sees it sometimes). She can touch an object and see things from it’s past. Nicola works for an art dealer, Sebastian, in London. A woman comes in desperate to see this little bird- a bird that she claims to have belonged to Empress Catherine at one time. Sebastian is interested- but since there is no proof- he cannot buy the bird. Nicola, though, before the lady leaves, touches the bird. Instantly she has a vision of Empress Catherine telling a girl named Anna “You were never a nobody”. She knows the bird is what the woman claims- yet, she can’t reveal what knows without revealing her “gift”.

Nicola, shaken, thinks about what to do next. She goes in search of a person that she knows from 2 years ago- a man named Rob. He has a gift like Nicola- yet, he does not regard it as a curse. When Nicola and Rob meet again- the reader finds out about their history- and that there is still something unfinished between them. Together, the 2 of them embark on an adventure- an adventure that is designed to prove the truth about the firebird.

While on this adventure, with both Nicola and Rob using their gifts- they learn about this mysterious Anna. Her background, her story, how and why Nicola had a vision of her with Empress Catherine. Told in alternating tales, what Anna lived through and how her life was and the story of  Nicola and Rob – The Firebird takes the reader from past to present and through a multitude of historical references.

Partly a romantic story, party a historical fiction, a few dashes of magical realism- The Firebird opens the reader to a world they may never have dreamed of knowing- and a story, Anna’s story, that they are better for reading.

My thoughts:

Conflicted. The little synopsis about this book had me intrigued. I began reading- and the first chapter or so, I was intrigued. Interested. Curious. Then Nicola goes in search of Rob- and I encounter a dialect that I’m not familiar with. Words such as “Aye, Ken and more”. I re-read the sections, and essentially get the meaning. Yet, it’s distracting to me. I find myself in a reading groove- and then the Scottish dialect rears it’s head. I continue, though, partly because I want to know what happens. Anna has caught my interest. Nicola and Rob have caught my interest.

The story continues and I faithfully read- I’m learning quite a bit as the book is well researched- and yet, the amount of characters is almost hard to keep up with- some are mentioned at 1 point- and then not mentioned again for nearly 200 pages. I found myself wishing I’d made a note of each character. Then, when I’m about convinced that it’s not the book’s fault, it’s me- some books just don’t capture my attention- I start getting a bit more caught up in the story- Anna’s older, her story is growing more and more interesting as the pages go. The interactions between Nicola and Rob are better- the unfinished history between them is apparent. Even the Scottish dialect is not distracting me. I flew through the last 100 or so pages- dying to know what happens next. Who can be trusted, who can’t be- what will become of Anna?

With the ending being as strong as it was- it definitely ended the book on a positive note (for me!) I liked how things were revealed bit by bit- and how the author used misdirection at times. However, it took several pages for me to get to this point- and honestly, if I’d borrowed this book from a library- I’d have returned it before I finished it. In the end, I’m a better person for having read this- for sticking with it. For learning about an unfamiliar author to me. My advice for you, if you decide to read this, is to know that it’s slow moving- it will get to a point that the reader has to know what happens next- but it takes it’s time getting there.

* This book was provided to me by She Reads in exchange for a fair and honest review. The above opinions and thoughts are mine alone.

Literary Friday ya’ll……

It’s Friday! Yay!

1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfridayhas been posted. In this week’s #literaryfriday, there is #giveaways, Paula Deen news, William Faulkner, book signings and a peek into Mary Kay Andrew’s beach house!

Also- today! Chat with Erika Marks about The Guest House, her #literarycrush and other things! Plus, there will be a copy of The Guest House given away- you do not want to miss out! Use #southernlit to join in!

2. A Utah Mom’s Life is hosting a #giveaway of The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio!

3. Luxury Reading is hosting a #giveaway of Elizabeth the First Wife by Lian Dolan.

4. Bookmagnet interviewed Karen Brown- look for her book, The Longings of Wayward Girls to be in stores July 2nd.

5. Liz and Lisa of Chick Lit Is Not Dead are having a #giveaway of Wendy Francis’s Three Good Things!

6. The Relentless Reader is having her 1 year blog-versary! A great #giveaway!

7. I had the pleasure of getting to ask Kimberly McCreight, author of Reconstructing Amelia, some questions this week. Read the Author Spotlight on Kimberly McCreight to find out her #literaryconfessions!

8. I reviewed A Beautiful Heist by Kim Foster (and interviewed Kim, as well!)

9. My #fridayreads: Lie Still by Julia Heaberlin and The Firebird by Susanna Kearsely!

10. Next week, look for interviews with Karen Brown, author spotlights and more on Traveling With T!

Happy Reading!