150 Days Until RARE ´19 London

Only 150 days left! Hard to imagine the book signing event is practically around the corner.

To celebrate the event I´ve teamed up with my book babe, Sabrina @Brina and the Books ( who´ll also be my partner in crime at the signing ) for a little milestone countdown. On day 150, 100, 50 and day 0 we´ll be giving you insight on our RARE expectations, our unicorn authors and of course a sneak peek in the life of preparing for a book signing event happening in a different country. To sum it all up – Sabrina and I decided to reveal juicy details on day 0.

 

 

Today we´re here to celebrate the 150 days left until RARE ´19 London, Romance Author event. Why not start with our expectations? Our hopes and wishes for the event?

 

Fortunately for me, this isn´t my first RARE book signing event. I´ve had the pleasure of visiting a few in the past. I wouldn´t necessarily call myself a RARE expert but I do think I have a pretty good idea what to expect.

 

Authors and books. 

 

That´s what any book signing event is about, right? To go and see authors and have books signed. In a nutshell, yes. But these RARE signings function a little different. This isn´t just a get in – get out affair. RARE signings go a little deeper than that.

 

It´s all about having a good time.

 

If there´s one thing I´ve always experienced during my RARE visits, then it was definitely fun. Having a fun time with authors and having a great time mingling with like-minded people. RARE has never been a simple meet & move on. The promise of 150 authors for this year´s event sounds like a sure guarantee that the signing will be explosive! A bomb of a dream for a romance book blogger.RARE I´m going to unicorns

So, what exactly are my hopes for RARE ´19? I don´t have any for the event itself. Aside from meeting my favorite authors and discovering new authors I´m pretty sure there won´t be much new for me to expect ( unless the orga – team offers a Magic Mike show and a triple chocolate welcoming cake. One can always dream ). My hopes are aimed towards having a fantastic time with my friend, Sabrina.

A useless fun fact: Sabrina and I both live in Germany ( and not too far from each other, either ) and we´ll be meeting for the first time in person in London. How sad is that, huh? I can´t seem to get my booty in the car and visit her but here I am booking flights to meet my friend… in a differently country ( the shame is real, y´all ).

Also, while spending time with my favorite fellow book blogger and friend I´ll also be enjoying the event with my bestie Lindsey.

 

 

What I also expect is to be financially ruined for a few weeks afterwards. Books aren´t cheap, guys. I see a very dark and penniless future ahead. Not sure how I should feel about that.

 

My face while thinking about how poor I´ll be

 

Of course, I expect to walk out of the event with a shit load of books and more swag than I can handle. It´ll be a blast! Spending time with my loved ones and lusting over books will be awesome. Because that´s what respectable adult bookworms do.

 

 

That´s it for the 150 day mark, my lovely bookish Padawans. I hope you enjoyed.

Be sure to check out what my book babe, Sabrina @Brina and the Books Rare ´19 London expectations are. ♥ This will be Sabrina´s first RARE event and she´s definitely got some exciting things to say. 

Before I go I would like to know:

 

♥ Have you visited a RARE signing? Would you like to visit RARE? Have you been to other book signings? What was your experience? Let´s chat. ♥

 

Wishing you all the best.

Much book love,

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I´m Back!

People, I´m back! Back from where? Ha, London, baby.

Yes, London. I was brave enough to take the family to one of the world´s busiest and crowded cities. Was it worth it? For me, it always is. I love London and could never tire of visiting the place. Everytime I go there I always make sure to see something new. Something I haven´t seen during my last London visit. I´ve been to London many times before but there´s one thing I´ve never done: The whole sightseeing / tourist attraction shibaz. Kind of weird, considering I´m often there. The truth is- I´m not a fan of tourist attractions and try to avoid them. Large crowds and having a death grip on my purse isn´t really my idea of chilling.

Well, this time was different. We not only took the kids with us, we decided to do the full blown tourist trip. You parents out there must be questioning my sanity. Trust me- Husbutt and I did question our sanity. But what can we say? We´re idiots. Because we figured if we can survive Frankfurt a.M. with the kids then we can definitely survive London. ( for those who aren´t familiar with Frankfurt, Germany… You definitely have your death shirt on when you´re in Frankfurt )

I won´t kid you- Our 5 day tourist route was a challenge. Tower Bridge, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, a boat ride on the river Thames… Eve is 12 years old and Lillian is 8. Challenging ages for parents. One doesn´t want to do jack shit and the other? Well, you have to keep a close eye on the firecracker or else she´ll start a revolution with an army of pigeons.

 

London E
The “no pictures!” emo pre teen

 

London L
Lillian recruiting pigeons

 

My favorite convo from our stay was about the squirrel we saw crawling up a tree.

“That´s so cool. I´ve never seen a squirrel in the wilderness.” ( said my genius 12 yr old )

The look on husbutt´s face said exactly what I was thinking. “She´ll hopefully marry rich one day.”

Aside from the everyday life with kids we had a wonderful time. My highlight? Meeting with my bestie and her family.  I don´t get to see her often but I try as often as I can to fly over and have a few hours with her. That woman is a gem and I´m grateful I have someone like her in my life. If only we lived closer…

 

 

Now, I bet you´re wondering if I got any book shopping done, right? Well, I was given a time limit in the bookstore. Can you imagine?

 

 

Book shopping under that type of pressure is horrible. Three very angry people were giving me death glares from outside the store while I was looking for books. Not cool. I ended up buying two books, though. A small victory yet still not acceptable. That´s okay though. I´m flying over again in September.

So, that´s about it. My girls have seen London. Husbutt swore he won´t do the tourist thing in London again and I think my legs are made of steel now ( from walking SO MUCH ).

Good food. Great people. Meet up with the bestie…. I couldn´t have asked for a better vacation.

With that being said- I´m back and ready to get back to the book blogging mill. It´s been over a week and I have loads of catching up to do.

Oh and, before I forget…. To all a Happy belated Easter! ( I´m so terrible with holidays )

See ya soon, my dear bookish Padawans ❤

Much love,

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Book Review: Before We Were Strangers – Renée Carlino

synopsis single

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M


 

My Thoughts 2

 

From friends to lovebirds. From lovebirds to strangers. Then from strangers to “Wow, that went quick.”  And this is not me spoiling anything from the story.

I have to let out a loud sigh and throw my hands in defeat because I´m at a loss for the right words.

If I ask myself the same question three times in a row I can give three different answers.

Did I like this book?  T´was okay.

Did I like this book?  Meeh.

Did I like this book?  Maybe if I sleep another night over it.

 

My emotions are a tad scattered when thinking about `Before we were strangers` by Renée Carlino.before we were strangers

From reading the synopsis I could tell the story was exactly what I was looking for. A slow burn romance that starts off in college and ends with the characters in their mid 30´s. I was right. Wasn´t disappointed in that department.

I wasn´t prepared for the ( what felt like ) eternal slow burn, though.

Good grief, at times I thought I´d never see the end of the 303 pages.

But then things happened so fast. Before I knew it the story found it´s end.

You get a glimpse of an unhappy Hero in the present. His love life had not gone the way he had planned it. Then he sees her- The woman who stole his heart in college.

Then the flashbacks begin….

Before I go any further I´d like to say that this wasn´t a terrible read. I liked parts of it but some other parts…. I developed a love / hate relationship with everything. For example:

  • The characters. I loved their chemistry but I so disliked their journey.

 

  • The general vibe. I liked that this story wasn´t an in – your – face romance. I felt the there was a gray fog looming over the characters. This was a unique experience for me because I was able to feel the sadness. But then again this fog wasn´t lifted at the right time, making this feel like more of a depressed read even when it shouldn´t have been that way.

 

  • The threat. There always has to be something that jeopardizes a relationship. An evil villain on a mission. I liked the villain in this romance. The ex-wife from the Hero was truly a piece of work. Sadly, she wasn´t there enough for me to appreciate her cruelty.

 

  • The slow burn. This is something I usually appreciate because I like to see things develop. A fictional relationship feels more authentic when things move along at a slower pace. These characters took the term `slow burn` to a whole new level.  There were some moments when I felt like the kid who asks their parents when they´ll reach their destination, repeating “Are we there yet?” every 5 minutes.

 

  • The characters ages. Again, I love to see things develop. Being able to watch characters grow is something I enjoy. Only I didn´t get to watch anyone grow. It was college then mid 30´s. Achievements accomplished during their 20`s  were mentioned and that was it.
  • The end. I love me some good endings. Good. Not rushed. Nice, smooth gradual endings. Not so much the type of ending this book had.

 

If I had to sum this review up with a few lines I´d say: Decent romance with a hard focus on the extreme slow paced relationship development.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I can see many readers falling in love with this read. It is romantic. It´s filled with love and hope.

Would I reread this book? I don´t believe I will.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:    It definitely fits the story and the image is actually linked to the story, which I approve of. It´s not my prefered style, though.

The Story – 3 Stars:    Decent. I would have liked a little more spark.

The Characters – 3 Stars:    The mid 30´s versions felt like the college versions of the characters.

My emotional state after finishing this read:   I have mixed feelings.

3 stars


 

You can purchase `Before We Were Strangers` by Renée Carlino on Amazon.com


 

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed.

Much love,

Banner name

 

 

 

Book Review: The Silver Swan ( Elite Kings Club #1 ) – Amo Jones

synopsis single

Riddle me this…
“I am neither dead, nor alive, and I’m not something little Madison can hide.
But you will be dead, by the time this is done…
the timer starts now, and the games have just begun…”

Madison Montgomery comes from money and power, but when someone close to her commits the ultimate crime, Madison must live with her tainted name for the rest of her life. When she begins Riverside Preparatory Academy, the private school her father has swept her into in The Hamptons, she hopes for a fresh start. What she wasn’t hoping for was the pack of bad boys who run the school; ten, to be exact. When Madison gains the attention of their leader, Bishop Vincent Hayes, a whole new world that she didn’t think existed is exposed to her. A whole world that starts and ends with The Elite Kings Club and these boys, are about to flip her world upside down. Secrets are overflowing and family lies are about to be exposed. Is there more to Madison Montgomery than even she knows?

ººººº

Note From Author Taken From Goodreads

About this book: 
I need to admit something right now. The Silver Swan is f*cked. It might be the most insane story I’ve ever written with equally insane characters. Who knew? You know, when I started this book, it was supposed to be YA. I wanted to write a book that my sisters could read. A book that won’t have people look at my mum like “damn… what sort of messed up shit happened to your kid?”. The angst, the assholeness, the games, the f**kery, the WHAT THE F**KING F**K ARE YOU DOING???!!!…
I cannot even…. anyway, this is a warning (and the only one I’ll give you). It’s crazy. I don’t compare my work to my others, but this book is f**ked. It will most likely stomp all the f**k over people’s hard limits (and not give a sh*t while it’s doing it) and will make you second guess all the morals you thought you had.
This most definitely is not looking like a love story right now… more like a….. I don’t even….*shakes head* anyway, I apologise now. You asked for it……….

 


 

My Thoughts 2

I must be one weird screwed up chick because I didn´t find anything insane or da fuq worthy about this book. The note the author left beneath the book description on Goodreads got me all excited. Even had me squealing with anticipation. Hard limits? Looks like I have none. Make me second guess my morals? `The Silver Swan` ( Elite Kings Club #1 ) did nothing of the sorts. Well, at least not for me.

It is true- `The Silver Swan`by Amo Jones cannot be compared to other books. But I can The Silver Swandefinitely compare the vibes I got from this  read with a particular movie – Cruel Intentions. Remember that one? Yeah, the story is so not the same but the vibe it gave off ( and still does ) is similar to what I felt while reading this book.

Judging by the description this book sounds a lot like a dark romance with a good dose of mystery. After having read the story I can say there is, indeed, mystery. The romantic aspect? Not sure. The lines are blurred.

 

 

What I appreciated most about the story:

 

  • The Flair. I´m a sucker for dark settings. Put a blue filter on the story and I´m happy. I liked the overall feeling I had while reading `The Silver Swan`.

 

  • The Characters. Although I wasn´t completely on board with half of these wackos I definitely appreciated how individual they were.

 

  • The Writing. This has been my first rodeo with the author´s work. I´m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the unique writing. It´s smooth and easy on the mind.

 

Unfortunately, there are parts I didn´t enjoy.

 

 

What I didn´t appreciate about the story:

 

  • The dragging mystery. Hear me out on this one. I was a fan of the secrets and all. Until they became boring. It´s almost like the case of the boy who cried wolf. The secrets are mentioned quite often but it isn´t until the end when a reader gets a glimpse of the entire disaster that´s Madison´s life.

 

  • Madison Montgomery. The Heroine of `The Silver Swan`. In the beginning I enjoyed her character very much. Until I reached the point where I was like

 

“Here, sweety. Let me call the cops for you because you´ve clearly forgotten how your phone works.”

 

I´m not sure if her character will grow much more in book #2 and book #3. In this one, though, she wasn´t what I would call a powerful young woman with a good head on her shoulders. She was fearless but that, alone, doesn´t make a character great.

 

  • Enter Bishop. The Hero of the story. When he was first introduced I was game. When he popped in to the picture every now and again, I became more curious. But then he turned into this figure who didn´t do it for me at all. What a shame, really. Instead of rooting for him I found myself wishing he´d just leave the picture. There were definitely others that felt like a more suitable match for Madison.

 

  • My Inner Dialogue. This is something I love to rely on when writing my review. Why did I think? What were my initial thoughts during certain scenes?

– Hmm

– Huh?

– What the….

– Oh.

– Do we have any waffles left?

 

All in all, I wasn´t tickled senseless. There were parts I enjoyed immensely but then there were parts that made no sense to me. Without wanting to disrespect the author or the story- I didn´t feel the awesomeness this book offered me.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. For readers who like a good drawn out mystery will probably enjoy this type of YA / NA dark romance. I´d also recommend the author because the writing is really nice. Will definitely be checking out other works by Amo Jones.

 

Would I reread this book? Probably not. I like a little cat and mouse play in my dark romances. There can be a whole lot of mystery for all I care but there has to be something that holds on to my atention. Reading a book and calling it a day ( as I did with this book ) will not move me to invest more time in further books that belong to this one.

 


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:    It´s okay. Not necessarily my cup of tea….

The Story – 3 Stars:    The idea is great. The way it´s written is great. It´s just that the exciting parts weren´t as exciting and these dragged on a little for me.

The Characters – 3 Stars: Hands down- The sub characters were great. The main characters, though, they could have had more positive traits. Something to make a reader fall in love with.

My emotional state after finishing this read:  Indifferent.

3 stars



 

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com

Surviving `After` The Movie

It´s been an hour since I walked out of the movie theater. I am spent. Not because of the movie itself ( more about that below ) but because I´m trying to understand how it´s possible to like a movie more than the book.

Yes, I read `After` by Anna Todd ( REVIEW- After Series (book #1-#5) by Anna Todd ).

And yes, I did enjoy the first book a lot because it was a good story. I think, somewhere in my collective review for all the books, I mentioned that I believed the story could have been great with a solid ending on its own. A standalone, if you will. Sadly though, book #1 ends with a cliffy and everything else goes downhill from there on. All books in total have earned 1 star from me. But I enjoyed book #1.

Then word had it `After`was going to be turned in to a movie.

Actual reaction from then and now

God forbid- We can´t have a bestseller stay a simple bestseller. We have to turn it into a movie so every fanfic fanatic and D1 fan can go nuts all over again. One does not feed the  obsessive herd. One leaves ´em alone. Personally, I would have been able to die a happy woman without another book to movie adaptation. But noooo.

With time ditzy old me completely forgot about the disaster of the `After` saga, including the threat of a movie. Then came the trailer.

To be honest- The trailer looked like many things but not like the story I had read.

 

Judging by the trailer I was sure to get a rated PG – 13 version of 50 Shades of Grey.

Being the good book blogger I am I called my friend and forced her mark her calendar. We were going to watch `After`.

The Verdict

I was pleasantly surprised. I actually liked the movie more than the book. Ha! Who´d have thought. I´d even go so far and say that this book to movie adaptation is the first I approve of.

The 50 Shades of Grey movies were catastrophes. The acting felt forced, the dialogue was horrific and the sex scenes were so meeh. Look- If you´re going to do something then do it  right or don´t do it at all. Include the sex and make it the porn it truly is.

 

General mood after watching the 50 Shades of Grey movies

With `After ` everything was different. Aside from the ( I´m sorry, I just can´t help myself ) horrible lead actor. Just because you have a resting asshole face, a leather jacket and have random tattoos  doesn´t mean you´re a bad boy. Where are we? In the 90´s?

 

Hardin Scott- The After bad boy. 

With that being said- I felt the story came pretty close to the book in a positive way.

The focus was on the relationship. There was a nice gradual story development and the peak was actually better than in the book.

Heavens, I don´t know if I should be happy about this or not. With years of hating on book to movie adaptations this one has definitely thrown me off the hate wagon. I seriously don´t know what to do with myself now.

 

 

As for my friend… she hasn´t read the books and even she thought it was a decent romance. Her final comment on the movie: “Don´t tell me we have to wait a fucking year for the next one.” 

Aah, Marlene. My guess is that we´ll have to do just that. With 3 more books we´ll probably have to wait 3 more years to find out more. This means we´ll be 40 years old by the time movie #4 is out.

Even if I know book #2, #3, #4 ( I didn´t bother reading book #5 because it´s just a book on the Hero´s past. Sorry, not interested in that ) was NOT my cup of tea ( you´re welcome to read my reasons for that here )  I still think I should give the movies a go. Who knows… Maybe they´ll be great. Maybe the movie industry will change the story a little. Maybe I´ll like the changes… The possibilities are endless! One can only hope for a miracle.

 

So yes. I liked `After` the movie.

 


 

♥Have you seen the movie? Do you want to see it? Have you run into a book to movie adaption you liked? Let´s chat. ♥