Teaser Tuesday (Jan-5)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

Her Perfect Man by Jillian Hart

“At every moment of our lives, we get a chance to do what is right. If we choose one thing, then our lives go in one direction. If we choose differently, then it goes in another… and it’s tricky. Even when you think you’re doing the right thing, it can turn out wrong.” 

“Remember that the chance to really love someone and be truly loved by them in return is a rare and precious gift. Don’t let it pass you by because you’re afraid of getting hurt. Life without love hurts so much more.” 

 Previous  Teasers: Dec-4Jan-1Jan-2Jan-3Jan-4,

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Book Review: Scotland by Starlight by Nancy Volkers

Synopsis: Cassie Wrentham has decided to move to Scotland to live with Ralph Macnair, no longer satisfied with a long-distance relationship, but things don’t go exactly as she planned. Cassie can’t seem to find a job no matter how hard she tries while Ralph works more than ever, and the tension is getting to them both.  Just when things are starting to look up, illness and mortality and distrust must be faced.  Will Cassie and Ralph ever make it to the alter?

The Product: The cover art is similar in style to A Scottish Ferry Tale, down to the font and the layout, only changing the photo and the colour scheme.  The paper stock is in a higher quality, being both a purer white and smoother in texture. The formatting of each chapter was a little more aesthetically pleasing, with interesting chapter headings. The interior text was in a font that was less like a typewriter and thus easier on the eyes.

Writing Style: This sequel was crafted in a way that was even better than the first, and allowed the reader to be carried away with the tale.  Though I found the inclusion of story telling to be a trifle awkward, the stories were interesting.

Plot: The story seems less emotionally complicated than its predecessor, as though Cassie and Ralph worked through most of their relationship difficulties in the previous book.  This novel felt more like connected vignettes of their relationship and the people they interact with in their daily lives.

Location: This story mostly takes place in Glasgow, where Ralph lives, but does make forays into London, England, and also to the island of Cull, where Ralph and Cassie first met.

Point of View: The majority of the novel was written in first person from Cassie’s viewpoint, only transferring over to Rafe’s perspective later in the book.

Unfulfilled Promise: The novel opens with Cassie meeting Denny, a college kid who hates his first name of Ralph. Knowing Ralph is a bit of a family name for the Macnairs’ and the knowledge that Ralph had many paramours prior to meeting Cassie leads the reader to think that Denny is perhaps a bit more important than he actually ends up being.

Romance: The relationship between Cassie and Ralph has turned up the heat, quite literally. It felt like nearly every scene ended with Cassie and Ralph in bed, which seems like a fairly realistic portrayal of many relationships and tastefully written, yet seemed a bit too much. Needless to say, Cassie and Ralph’s relationship was less angst-ridden and more about figuring out how to mesh two lives together to create a couple.

Memorable Moment: There is a Scots wedding that everyone attends and it made me wish I could have the opportunity to attend such a wedding, too. It was happy, and fun, and romantic, and everything wedding should be.

Personal Thoughts: I have a bit of a love/hate feeling towards the ending. The epilogue is beautifully written and I can understand finishing the story like that, but nevertheless it was sad and somewhat unexpected.

Note to Reader: I would recommend reading the two books, one after the other. This is because there are some things that are unclear or have back-story that is in the first novel that may not be remembered if you wait to read the second novel.

Quote: It’s like you have a dream. You think it will probably never come true –and that’s part of why you like it. Then you’re dream becomes a real thing, and there’s no more imagining. There’s just the living of it and that’s frightening. It’s not in your head anymore… It’s out there in the world.

The Verdict: I enjoyed the novel and was glad to know what happened next for Cassie and Ralph, yet I believe I liked their first story better… I will admit this might be due to the fact that I can better relate to the first novel at this stage of my own life. Nevertheless, I definitely recommend reading this book as it gives the needed conclusion to Cassie and Ralph’s loving relationship.

 Previous Posts: A Scottish Ferry TaleGuest Nancy VolkersIMM,  Teaser TuesdayWWW, Guest Nancy Volkers.

Guest Post by Nancy Volkers

Nancy Volkers is the author of “A Scottish Ferry Tale” and ” Scotland by Starlight“. She is currently doing an author blog tour hosted by Chick Lit Plus to promote her book. I decided that I would like to do a week of posts revolving around her novel, and Nancy graciously wrote a guest post for my blog after very little begging on my part. Thank you, Nancy!

Thanks so much to Jaime-Kristal for reviewing Scotland by Starlight and allowing me to write a post for her blog! I thought I would talk a bit about self-publishing, or publishing on demand. I have considered myself a writer for the past thirty-five years or so, and as a child I could have never imagined the worlds that have been opened to authors through the Internet.

Publishing through an agent still appeals to me, and I may try that route in the future. But I chose self-publishing for several reasons, all of which still ring true for me:

It’s free. You can spend hundrends or even thousands of dollars, if you want to -but you don’t have to. CreateSpace costs an author nothing, if he or she is willing to take care of all the editing, proofing, formatting, front and back covers, and all those other “extras” that some companies will do for an author at a price.

It’s flexible. Do you want to change your back cover after a couple of months? Did you find a typo on pave 243 the day after you published your book? Upload a fresh file, and your book is fixed within days. The flexibility that self-publishing gives is wonderful. It wasn’t possible in the past when you’d have 25oo copies of your new novel printed and then discover that you spelled the hero’s name wrong in three different places and used “it’s” instead of “its”.

It’s autonomous. Call me a control freak if you wish *wink* But when you publish your own work, no one is going to ask you to make your book more “marketable” by changing the ending, or cutting a couple pages out of chapter three, or rewriting the subplot with the crazy llama-raising neighbour.

I’ve heard authors say that the validation of having a publisher accept a manuscript, short story, or poem is worth the time and effort. And it is nice to know that someone else appreciates your writing, particularily someone “in the business” who reads hundreds of manuscripts each year. However, I’m all right without that validation. I write to make connections with readers. Mass-market publishing is certainly one way to do that, but it’s not the only way.

Even if a publishing house accepts a manuscript, seeing the book in print can take months, or sometimes years. in 2012, there’s no reason for that. it’s easier than ever to make your writing available to readers and get their feedback. and who knows -you might attract the attention of a publisher while you’re doing it.

~Nancy

 Previous Posts: A Scottish Ferry TaleGuest Nancy VolkersIMM,  Teaser Tuesday, WWW.

W.W.W. Wednesday (Jan-4)

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  All you have to do is answer these 3 questions: 

1. What are you currently reading?

2. What did you recently finish reading?

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

I am reading “Scotland by Starlight” by Nancy Volkers
I am finished reading “The Druid” by S.G. Rogers   (Musa ms)
I am next reading “Pure” by Jennifer L Armentrout

 Previous Posts: A Scottish Ferry TaleGuest Nancy VolkersIMM,  Teaser Tuesday.

Teaser Tuesday (Jan-4)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

 Scotland by Starlight by Nancy Volkers

A little faith goes a long way. It takes just as much energy to believe things will go bad as it does to believe they’ll go well.

We say we have our whole lives, but really we just have a day. Today.

 Previous Posts: A Scottish Ferry TaleGuest Nancy VolkersIMM.

Books In My Mailbox (Jan-4)


This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.

Last year I did a review for Nancy Volkers A Scottish Ferry Tale and mentioned how much I was looking forward to the sequel. Shortly thereafter I found the much desired Scotland by Starlight.

I was about to read the book and post a review when I was asked by Chick Lit Plus to be part of the book tour that was set for Jan 16th to Feb 6th, 2012.  Later this week is my part of the blog tour, so stay tuned for an author guest post and my review!

 Previous IMM: Dec-1Dec-2

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Synopsis:  The world Cassia lives in is called The Society and the Officials make all the decisions. From what you eat and what you wear, from where you live and where you work and where you play, even who you marry and when you die are all chosen for you. When Cassia is Matched she sees two faces on the screen, that of her best friend Xander and another boy Ky, Cassia finally has a choice to make. Should she follow the rules or follow her heart?

Cover: The main colour is shades of grey, light at the top and gradually darkening until it reaches the bottom. In the upper half is a lime green bubble trapping a girl inside who wears a green gown. In the lower portion of the cover is the title, also in green, and the authors name in a dark grey. It is an unexpected combination that looks fabulous. Major props to photographer Samantha Aide and jacket designer Theresa Evangelista.

Hook: In a place where all your choices are made for you, the one choice you have is to obey or to rebel.

Plot: The Officials rule with fear, if you don’t follow the rules you will be reclassified and relocated, given less privilege than before. Cassia keeps breaking the rules after she sees two boys have accidentally been matched to her, and her disobedience affects not just herself but her friends and family as well.

Romance: Cassia and Xander are best friends, so when they are matched they are finally permitted to look at each other in a different way. But with Ky is a sense of forbidden love, a knowledge that a relationship between the two cannot survive in the society they live in, but they are willing to risk everything to have just a slice of what could be.

DiY: Imagine you were a sorter. Which one song, play, movie, poem, and novel would you choose to keep?

Quote: Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs.

Now I am a part of his story, and he of mine, and the part we write together sometimes feel like the only part that matters.

The Verdict: This is a fabulous book, so grab it as soon as you see it.

 Previous Reviews: Heist SocietyWildefirePersonal Demons,  Half-Blood