Review: Maid in England by Brenda St John Brown

maidinengland Synopsis: The last thing publicist Remi expected was to be assigned to her college sweetheart, but the reclusive musician needed to revamp his image to move from a songwriter who performs at country pubs to a rockstar drawing crowds to concert. Twelve years ago he ended their relationship due to her workaholic ways, but now her talent was going to save his career… but can they keep from falling in love again?

Author: Brenda St John Brown is a New Yorker turned Brit who writes contemporary romance novels, and loves to have the occasional American character transplanted to England (much like herself).

Continue reading “Review: Maid in England by Brenda St John Brown”

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Teaser Tuesday (MiE)

Maid In England by Brenda St John Brown

“I’ve become a full-on workaholic,
but dressed it up and called it ambition.”

“…that makes my lack of date feel more dire, too.
I have incredible faith in Vera, but I’m not sure she can
magic up someone suitable in less than two weeks.”

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In My Mailbox (MiE)

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One of the wonderful things about being friends with an author is that author introducing you to her author friends and their books. Through her I have discovered so many great writers and, sometimes, I even get lucky enough to be sent an ARC! (If only because she tells me of when a request form is available online for a book I really should read). This is the case for the latest Advance Reader Copy I had the pleasure of receiving:

“Maid in England”
by Brenda St John Brown

 This novel hits the shelves this week, so be sure to come back here all this week for teaser quotes and my review!

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In My Mailbox (BotS)

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So I entered a bookstagram contest for this book I had been dying to read ever since my book blogger friend first told me about  it. Having her go on and on about the most amazing ARC she received (she STILL posts about it!) really built up my need for the novel. The day of the drawing I checked my messages and… I didn’t win. I had really wanted a signed copy of this mana-like book *sniffle*

But since I was on my computer and emailing with SWAP about visa application details for my next adventure anyways, I figured I may as well deal with the hundreds of messages I have in there. I deleted the ones I knew I’d never read and organized the rest… imagine to my surprise I saw an email that said “ARC”.

This surprised me because I didn’t recall getting an advance reader copies of anything while in London. I sure hadn’t packed it to come home with me! I clicked on the message and it seems that some months ago I entered another contest for a novel.  To my surprise, I had actually won!

I remember being sooo excited and couldn’t wait to start reading it just as soon as I finished the book I was currently in the middle of… But I was also planning a trip and getting prepared for school to start up again and, well, life got in the way. I totally forgot about getting an ebook copy *facepalm*

Needless to say, I was more than happy to have this book in my mailbox and had the joy of receiving it (though not yet reading it) twice! I am going to leave you in suspense for now, but you’ll find out just what novel it is shortly as I’ll be posting a review on it as well as the other two books of the trilogy.

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Book Review: Angelina’s Secret by Lisa Rogers

Synopsis: Angelina Cartwright believes her dreams are premonitions of the future, but she didn’t know it was really ghosts trying to contact her. When Angel’s childhood imaginary friend reappears telling her she has the gift of seeing the deceased, Angel decides to tell her family the truth. Unfortunately, that lands her in a psychiatric hospital with little hope of ever getting home…

Author: Lisa Rogers previously worked in medicine, until deciding to follow her dream of becoming an author. With her children grown, Lisa now researches paranormal phenomena and dedicates much her time towards writing novels.

Point of View: The story is told in third-person, but for the most part follows Angel through school, her home life, and eventually her stay in the mental hospital. There are the occasional scenes that focus on various members of the Cartwright family, but even those revolve around their reaction to Angel’s secret.

 Pacing: The action of this book is more mental/internal, as it is about a girl who can talk to ghosts. It manages to keep the reader on the edge of their seats with the fear that Angel will get caught “talking to herself” and thus be committed to the west wing of the psychiatric ward. What would normally be an inner monologue of the main character; in this book it becomes a dialogue between Angel and her ghosts.

Theme: This novel has an underlying moral about what it is to be a family. Most parents tell their children to come to them about anything, but when Angel tries her parents refuse to listen. Even after being diagnosed as insane, Angel never tries to stop getting her parents to believe in her.

Character: Sam is the big brother every girl wants, but is rarely seen outside of books and television. Sam and Angel have a close relationship, because he is protective, supportive, and has faith in her. Sam is also more open-minded to the possibilities, and never hesitates to be there whenever Angel needs him.

Character Development: Normally it is the main character who shows development throughout the novel, but Angel is the one who remains the same while everyone else changes around her. What develops in this story is the sense of family as the Cartwrights struggle to accept Angel for who she is.

Personal Thoughts: This story makes you question what it is to be insane.  In this novel a teenager talking to ghosts doesn’t seem so unusual, even though it causes her to be committed, because -other than her not knowing who is alive and who is deceased- Angel seems completely normal. On the flip side you question the sanity and morality of those working in the mental hospital as they consider crying a sign of deep-psychosis, even though your family just had you committed.

Quote: Whatever happened to honestly being the best policy, anyway? Apparently all honesty does for a body is get you thrown into the nuthouse.

The Verdict: I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to like this book as the topic was of a teenager who sent to a psychiatric hospital, but it exceeded my expectations.  While the subject is a rather serious one, the antics of the ghosts add plenty of humour to the situation, and Angel never gives up hope.

Question: If someone told you they could converse with ghosts, what would you do? 

 Previous Posts:   Teaser, Waiting

Waiting On Wednesday (Mar-3)

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine
that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Having just finished reading Lisa Roger’s recently released novel Angelina’s Secret (review on Friday), I simply had to see if she had written any other books. I found another book called On Haunted Ground which is pressumedly based on the author’s own family living in a haunted house and their experiences with the spirits within. It isn’t being released until May, but at least that isn’t too long!

 Previous Waiting: Feb-1Feb-2Feb-3Feb-4

Teaser Tuesday (Mar-3)

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!!!

Angelina’s Secret by Lisa Rogers

 Rule #1: hot guys who break up with their girlfriends without giving them a reason have to change lockers, preferable to another school.

 Most children can see past their world, but once they reach a certain age it closes to them. Once in a while someone special comes along –like you.

 “Call me crazy, but I believe her… I guess if I don’t watch out, you and Mom will put me right in the mental hospital with her.”

 Previous Teasers: Feb-3Feb-4Mar-2