Book Review: Eight Goodbyes, Christine Brae

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a… More

Mug Monday & Book Talk

Mug Feature Rustic used look, dark blue Book Talk Topic Educational Books   Hi and welcome back to another Mug Monday! While the book blog universe has been a little quiet I decided to use… More

The NOPE Book Tag

Thank you, Suzie @ Of All the Books in All the Libraries for spontaneously inviting me to join the NOPE book tag!

After reading her brilliant list of NOPEs I quickly figured out we´re book NOPE twins, as my list looks similar to hers. But since I can´t really add ALL the books I find NOPE worthy I´ll just stick to the one´s I blog ( or, will blog ) about.

Get your knickers in the right place because this is going to be a LONG ride.

( NOTE: Apologies for the possible book hate. When it comes to NOPE books I tend to be a litte opinionated passionate. If your favorite book is among my list then remember, it´s not you. It´s the book. x )

These are books I literally found no love for.

 

NOPE. ending

A book ending that made you go NOPE, either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

revolutionary road

That ending. NOPE. Not only was the story a little depressing it made me feel like someone baked a huge cheese cake and ate at it bit by bit until there was only one piece left. The end felt like that last piece of cheese cake… Being inhaled in an unlovable way. To this day, I refuse to watch the movie as I´m sure the TV wouldn´t stay intact.

Don´t get me wrong. I knew what I was getting into. But knowing a story before reading it yourself isn´t exactly the same thing. Having read through the dreadful marriage Frank and April went through I got all worked up and for what? To get more worked up? No, thank you.

Big Fat NOPE.

 

 

NOPE. protagonist

A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.
gone girl

I fully agree with Suzie´s NOPE protagonist ( Briony from Atonement ). That kid deserved to be locked away ( preferably in a room below a basement ) for crewing up so many people´s lives. But my NOPE protagonist award goes to Amy Dunne from `Gone Girl`. That woman was so bat-shit crazy. She drove ME crazy with her thoughts and actions. An absolute NOPE for me. She is also the only book character I could rant about for ages. I still, to this day, can´t believe I didn´t DNF this book.

 

 

 

NOPE. series

A series that turned out to be a huge pile of NOPE after you´ve invested all of that time and energy on it.

after series

I have many series that are NOPE worthy but this one takes the cake for me. `After`by Anna Todd. This series even beats ACOTAR, and that really does say a lot. I´m sure no series will ever beat this one off the NOPE. series list. reviews for book #1-#5 here

There is so much wrong with this series. Or, I´m definitely too old to appreciate the awesomeness this series has. Or no. Wait. I have standards. Oops. I´ve forgotten about those. Yeah. Even though I´ve screwed down on my own book standards this series still makes #1 on my Nope list.

 

NOPE. pairing

A “ship” you don´t support.

cersei and jamie

 

Now, there´s a ship I don´t support. I love Cersei and Jaime Lannister. Both are fantastic figures in the Game of Thrones series.  I just don´t love them together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOPE. plot twist

A twist you didn´t see coming and didn´t like.

 

I´m with Suzie on this one. Didn´t like the twist.

In fact- I didn´t like the book.gone girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOPE. genre

A genre you will never read.

I truly have never given this any thought at all because I read most genres. Some genres I enjoy more and some less. But if I have to pick one off the top of my hat then I´d go with Caveman romance. ( Do not question caveman romance. The book bestie Mirjam recommended a caveman romance years ago and I still can´t stop laughing. A genre that will never win me over. ) Nope. Nope. Nope.

NOPE. format 

A book format you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

I´m confused. Aren´t there already many different editions for certain formats?

 

NOPE. trope

A trope that makes you go NOPE.

Broken Heroes in romance novels. Seriously. Seriously? What´s with all the constant

“I´m too fucked up.” crap? If you´re that fucked then I advise THERAPY!! AND STAY THERE FOR A LONG TIME!

 

NOPE. recommendation

A book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read it. 

`The Fault In Our Stars` by John Green. I can´t begin to tell you how many times this book cover has been shoved at me and how often blogger friends have recommended this read. Why would I want to read something sad? As in, `The Fault In Our Stars`sad?!The fault in our stars

Besides, I accidentally watched the movie. And that was awful ( I will never forget husbands face when he walked in on me watching that movie. He looked so…lost. Even bought me flowers the next day because he didn´t know how to deal with an ugly sobbing me.

Nope. The movie was enough. Not going to ever read this book. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOPE. cliché

A cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

virgin

Virgins in romance novels. Spare me.

 

NOPE. love interest

A love interest that´s not worth being one.

Gideon Cross, from the Crossfire series written by Sylvia Day. PLEASE…. He´s many things but not worth being a love interest.

 

NOPE. book

A book that shouldn´t have existed.

 

Sophie´s Choice by William Styron. I even refuse to talk about it.

Sophies choice

 

NOPE. villain

A villain you would hate to cross.

Definitely the White Witch from `The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe`. She´s a classic villain but a mean AF one, at it. I wouldn´t want to cross her path. Not in this or any other universe. Who freezes Narnia, for crying out loud?!white witch

 

NOPE. death

A character death that still haunts you.

ned

I will never get over this one. If only he had stayed in Winterfell.

 

NOPE. author

An author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

I normally don´t like to NOPE an author, as they´re all probably a bunch of lovely people but…… (!!!!!!!!) I´m going to go with Tarryn Fisher. While the author might have some great story ideas her writing is ( even for my taste ) just too pushy and in-your-face. Sadly, also in the most tacky and insensitive ways possible. I know, I know. The author wants to make a point and have a loud voice in the book community. But that idea of the author just bounced right off me. I find the author´s writing terrible. As if she´s writing with anger instead of passion ( because there´s a fine line between passion and anger, which the author long over stepped, in my opinion ) `Bad Mommy` was supposed to be her finest book. The praises I´ve heard before I read it were as loud as any fog horn. The end result? Not worth my time and money. None of the books I tried reading from the author were. Hence the reason why I just gave up on trying to find the same beauty everyone else seems to see in the author´s work.

 

So, that´s it.

I tag:

 

Sabrina & Ashley @5171 Miles Book Blog

Nina @ The Cozy Pages

Tina @ Woodies Book Addiction

 

Mucho Mucho Thanks, Suzie! I had such a blast! ❤

Book Review- Belle: A Retelling Of Beauty And The Beast by Cameron Dokey

synopsis 2

Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters’ awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one’s true love. 

During a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood — and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Charming. Enchanting. Easy for the mind. 

 

It was the beautiful cover that got me interested in this book. That, and the fact that I was on vacation and didn´t really want to read a book with 350+ pages. Instead, I picked this 204 page novel with the stunning cover.

As for the story….

Belle` by author Cameron Dokey is a simple and uncomplicated retelling of `Beauty And The Beast`. There´s nothing heavy or highly emotional about this retell. Belle

I would guess that adding overly dramatic scenes would have demanded more pages… so it´s no surprise that this book wasn´t the full-blown romance we´ve all come to love.

While the story was good ( as one would expect it to be. It´s Belle and the Beast! ) it still differed from the versions we have branded into our brains.

Belle´s life is different. The whole story has been worked on, giving us readers an altered Belle with 2 living parents and kind siblings.

The added family theme was a nice change of wallpaper. The details were ( to a certain point ) perfect. All was okay about this retelling version except for the subtle / not so subtle issues.

I´m a fan of details. In `Belle` I received a well-balanced flow of character development and details, which I fully appreciated. As I enjoyed the great story-build-up I also felt the amount of pages I had left to read. A little spooky when knowing there´s actually SO MUCH MORE to the story. I was a little over 100 pages in to the book and I was still reading about everything except for the Beast.

But I had faith. The book might be only 204 pages thin but there was still enough room to add the Hero. And that´s where I began to be bothered. The Hero is usually introduced after the first few pages, if not, then surely after the second chapter. From the point where Hero and Heroine meet there´s some sort of connection development from there on. In `Belle`there was nothing of the sort.

And when Belle and Beasts golden moment arrived I was slightly disappointed. Because it wasn´t as drawn out as I had thought it would be. It was actually short-lived and questionable, to say the least.

Even the big end scene wasn´t drawn out, as it should have been. In fact- The moment of moments was cut short. Belle and her family received lots of limelight and the Beast received a few pages. Correct me if I´m wrong- Doesn´t it add to the dramatic scene when drama is included? Thoughts on this, anyone?

The author has one thing going for her: Her writing style. It´s simple but romantic. It´s colorful and soft. Actually fitting for fairy tales. I found myself falling for her words and enjoying the way she wields them in her story.

What´s missing is balance and pace. Those two aspects drove me bonkers while reading `Belle`.

This is a complicated review to write because on the one side I experienced wonderful characters and great details. Character development plays a huge role in books as it gives a story life. Crappy characters = crappy story ( no matter if it´s a retelling or not ).

But on the other hand, the imbalance and slow pace – turned – fast pace were confusing and made my reading experience odd.

Would I recommend this book? I would. But only if readers approach this read without expecting anything major.

Would I reread this book? Probably not. I´ll stick with the other versions I´ve read.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( Stunning )

The Story – 3 stars ( It´s basically Beauty and the Beast fanfic. I appreciated some parts while I didn´t appreciate the technical sides )

The Characters – 4 stars ( I can´t stress this out enough: character development is everything. It´s what a reader gets in this read.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Meeh.

3 stars

This book is available on Amazon.com

 

Morgana´s Book Box Instagram Book Feature for `Belle` by Cameron Dokey

 

 

Mug Monday & New Books Talk

Mug Feature                                                                                                                                             IKEA – Black Mug

Book Topic & Book Feature                                                                                                                New Books & Belle by Cameron Dokey

 

Happy Mug Monday!

 

So, what has this little book blogger been up to since her last Mug Monday post? Ha! I´ve been procrastinating. Alright. Fine. If you want to know the truth- I´ve been physically lazy and mentally working overtime.

Ever since my short break I´ve had time to think. Of course, I´ve read a few books, too, but that´s secondary at the moment.

I´ve noticed a shift in my reading tastes. I´m not sure if this has something to do with the lack of good romances being published or if it´s just a phase. I cannot stomach another sappy love story.

Don´t get me wrong. I still love the romance genre. I also still make a beeline towards the women’s fiction aisle in a bookstore and I still search for new romance titles online in hopes for finding something good ( See? I´ve even lowered my book standards ).  But do I find anything worth reading? Not at the moment. It´s as if authors are bored with the genre and just publish romances for the heck of it. That´s probably not true. But give a girl a break. Book hunting is exhausting at the moment. Especially when it´s scorching 35°C ( 95°F ) outside.

 

So, this means a few things. I could:

a) Continue to tackle the TBR list

b) Wait for a miracle to happen

c) Move on

d) Visit Netgalley

e) Go on another creative break

f) Do garden work

g) Contact friends I promised I´d call… 2 months ago

 

I contacted the friends- I´m forgiven. I don´t need ANOTHER creative break. Garden work is the greatest punishment ever. My TBR list can kindly go to hell.  I cannot foresee any miracles happening soon so that leaves me with Netgalley.

Netgalley. It´s been a while since I last stepped foot on Book Catalogue Land. Well, it´s been exactly 14 hours ( before that, 3 years ). Since romance isn´t feeding my needs I decided to check out what´s available on Netgalley.

I was successful. Greedy and successful. SO MANY BOOKS. So many non romances. And now, I have loads of Netgalley reads, a giant TBR list and the books I got while on vacation.

 

Sometimes I really do believe I have fruit missing from my fruit bowl.

 

Well, at least I have books to read, right? My worries for the romance genre are currently put to rest for the time being. I´ll be occupied with mermaids and pirates, kingdoms and witches now.

 

Speaking of new books and reading… I just finished this beauty ( pun intended ).

belle

`Belle` ( A retelling of Beauty and the Beast ) by author Cameron Dokey. Did I love, like, enjoy or hate it? Well, I´ll tell you that I fell in love with the cover. The rest of my thoughts will be available in the upcoming review.

The mug is nothing special. Just your typical IKEA mug that probably won´t last long ( they never do in my house ). The cold chocolate milk topped with whipped cream was divine, though.

 

That´s it for this week, lovies. Now you know I´ve dug my own grave and will now endure a massive and glorious reading marathon.

Hope you enjoy your Monday!

Don´t forget to share the book ❤

Warm hugs,

Morgana <3<3

 

 

 

 

Religion In Romance Novels

This is a topic I´m not all too happy to write about because… Well, there are topics you just don´t discuss. Sadly though, I feel the need to get this off my chest.

Back in the day my first boss gave me some valuable piece of advice:

Never talk about religion, politics or money with a customer. Later in life I added the “raising kids” topic to that list because that´s also something people can easily argue over. A simple fact. I´ve lived by the “Never Discuss….” rule ever since.

 

After a happy shopping spree on Amazon I spotted a beautiful book cover with a great book title. When I saw the author´s name my excitement grew. Mia Sheridan.

more than words

One of my favorite romance authors published a new book! `More Than Words` was published June 12th! WOOP!

I didn´t hesitate with reading a few Amazon reviews. This one was what sealed the deal for me.

 

Wow. First off, I think the review was well constructed and perfectly written. The reviewer, despite her non religious beliefs, rated the book with  4.5 stars, whereas I….

… I wouldn´t have been so generous.

Some may see the review as a spoiler. I see the review as helpful.

I´m an atheist. A happy one, at that. I, too, respect and accept other people´s beliefs and would never judge them publicly for what they think exists or not just as I would never want people to judge me openly for not believing in God.

The reviewer is right: Some people think love and religion go hand in hand. I believe religion should stay far away from love and from romance novels. Unless you´re an author writing epic stories about badass vampires and demons who reveal just how twisted and corrupted the religious world is  (  Read Hedoschism by Lindsey Clarke on Wattpad  )… you shouldn´t really include religion in a romantic story.

Of course, there are many  subjects readers avoid, such as: adultery, erotica in general, rape, M/M, F/F, M/M/F, fetish, etc. But none are as controversial as religion.

I´m fully aware that authors will never reach everyone´s hearts with their writing, no matter what they write about or what topic they include. Opinions vary. Why shouldn´t authors be allowed to include religion in their romance novels, right?

Exactly.

But for me, the happy atheist who wants to read a new Mia Sheridan romance novel, it´s disappointing to find out there´s religion included. I won´t buy the book.

Yes. One single review had the ability to influence my book purchase. GOOD! That´s what reviews are for.

I´m actually grateful for the reviewer´s insight because if I had bought the book without knowing about the “issue” that bothered the reviewer I would have been a very unhappy book blogger.

Because I don´t believe in God. Because religion doesn´t make sense to me. Never has and never will.

Now, you´re probably asking what happens when I accidentally stumble upon a romance novel that has religion included.

Due to my lack of interest on the subject I immediately DNF a romance novel that has religious characters in it.

And I also bet you´re asking why I accept religion in paranormal / fantasy novels and not with romance novels?

The answer is simple: Fantasy or paranormal stories are basically modern-day fairy tales drawn out to extreme levels. There´s creativity in world building, character forming and storytelling. For me, God and the Bible fit perfectly in that niche.  It´s make – believe. It´s not real.

Whereas romance novels are set in realistic worlds and characters deal with realistic issues. God and the Bible do not fit in a world I can relate with.

I struggle to believe God and contemporary romance novels could ever go hand in hand.

I´ve probably offended many people with my opinion on the subject, even though I´ve tried my best not to discriminate religion or people who believe in God.

But just as religious people have the right to openly love and praise their God ( and those who do praise God do it rather loudly ), I am also allowed to do the unthinkable and state my opinion on how I think religion is nothing more than a waste of time. Seeing religion in romance novels does not sit well with me.

 

What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you bothered by religion in romance novels? Do you even care if religion is included in any story? Are you delighted to see authors including religion in romance novels?

Do not hesitate to leave a comment. I´m ( thankfully ) one of those people who agree to disagree.

NOTE FOR OVERLY RELIGIOUS MEMBERS OF SOCIETY: I´m happy. Please do not tag me in any religious posts on social media and do not pray for me. If you feel the need to block / unfollow / unfriend me due to our religious differences then I will not stop you.

 

 

 

 

Hot Book Topic- The Cocky Trademark Disaster Has Found An End

Can it be? Have my eyes betrayed me? Is the terrible Cocky trademark war coming to an end?

Sure does look like it.

#cockygate… y´all can drop your pitch forks. The show´s over.

The air has been left out of the Cocky trademark balloon. Just when I was wondering what happened to trademark worrior Faleena Hopkins, I spotted this little article from Mail Online.

Romance novelist tries unsuccessfully to trademark the word cocky after ‘copycat’ authors used it for their own titles on the back of her successful erotic series

 

That is what the title of the article says and even includes a tagline from author Faleena Hopkins.

‘I’m just trying to protect my brand’

 

Yes, yes. We haven´t forgotten about how Faleena wanted to protect her brand. That´s not what I´m getting at. It´s more the

“… tries unsuccessfully to trademark the work cocky…” 

what got me interested. So, this means she wasn´t successful.  It´s over. What in the world am I going to do with my time now?

Game of Thrones season 8 is taking its precious time and now Faleena Hopkins called it a day? ( I´m kidding. I know what to do with my spare time- Patiently wait for GoT and read other books )

 

 

The article says:

“On Friday, the case was settled in a New York court where a judge said she had no right to stop others from using the word in their titles.”

Good! Thank all that´s pink and fluffy that someone with a clear mind and a well-functioning brain spoke up. I mean- it´s not like a million others have said the same words before. Why didn´t the author listen to fans / fellow authors / bloggers / readers / sensation hungry folks in the first place? Why drag everything to court if others tell you you´re crossing a line? I´d be humiliated beyond words if I were the author.

If only the author had listened…

If only she would have found a more suitable way to settle her “Cocky” issues…

Oh wait! I have to correct myself. The article also says:

” Hopkins has since decided to give it up and Tara Crescent, one of the authors she was battling with, has agreed to change the cover of her book, Her Cocky Firefighters, to make it look less like her rival’s. “

It´s really comical.

The author could have had this settlement from the get – go. Just imagine how peaceful life could have been for the author ( and everyone else involved ) if the two hens would have come to that agreement earlier.

So, for weeks the author has successfully pissed people off. The author has made inappropriate statements. Now, she pulled back. Okay. Fair enough. No wait- I think it´s about damn time the author stepped down.

 

Now the only thing left is the #cockygate witch hunt committee. Kind of unfair for the people who´ve made it their daily mission to terrorize the author and her unwise life decisions. What is the #cockygate committee going to do now that the author called it quits?

After spending some quality spying time on Twitter, observing the cocky witch hunt from a safe distance, I don´t really think some of those authors / fans ( the brave people who virtually fought against Faleena Hopkins ) are ready to put down their pitch forks. They´ll either keep the hate boat moving or they´ll find themselves a different wrong doer.

Still, the joke is around the corner. It´s time to let the author lick her wounds behind closed curtains.

I couldn´t be more pleased about the whole situation. A decent judge with a good head on his shoulders put the author in her place ( or so it seems. ) Now everyone can go back to more important matters. Faleena Hopkins can continue to write her 100th Cocky book. I can go back to whatever I was doing before. The detectives investigators authors can concentrate on their own projects. #cockygate, including all the other hashtags can be put to rest.

But man, what a show this has been, huh? I´ve seen a lot of shit happen in the literary world but this type of issue takes the cake.

And sadly, it´s only a matter of time before another eccentric author pulls another dubios number on us all.

I guess this is good bye. May Faleena Hopkins never come up with another idiotic idea ever again. May she learn from her mistake and listen to the common foot folk before creating chaos.

Or, wait…. no. What if someone from her devoted fan base was the one who advised her to trademark the word “cocky”? The thought alone is terrifying. Although I read somewhere that a business friend of hers advised her to trademark, so….
Okay. That´s enough. It´s time to let this spectacle go.

Bye, Faleena. It´s been everyone´s horrifying pleasure.

bye faleena

What are your thoughts on Faleena Hopkins settlement?  

 

 

 

 

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