Tuesday, July 29, 2014

That Summer by Lauren Willig

Published: June 3rd, 2014
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it’s a joke. She hasn't been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house—with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas—bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house's shrouded history begins to open...1849: Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited sixteen year old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur's collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, Lauren Willig's That Summer takes readers on an un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman’s search for the truth about her past—and herself.

One particular type of novel that I enjoy is where a present day storyline solves a past problem or mystery, with both stories being told at simultaneously.  Lauren Willig is an absolute master at this, (so is Barbara Erskine if you like this style) as anyone who is a fan of her Pink Carnation series can attest.

'That Summer' is a lovely stand-alone novel in that same style, that grabbed me from the get-go and carried me along to the conclusion.  In 2009 Julia inherits a house in England and finds somthing hidden in the back of a wardrobe.  Why is it there and where did it come from?  In 1849, Imogen is trapped in a loveless marriage.  How are the two things related.

2 love stories.  2 mysteries. 2 solutions.  All wrapped up in the nice little bundle that is 'That Summer'.

It's a fairly gentle read that won't take you long to finish and you migh guess the solutions to the mysteries, but you'll enjoy the read while you do.  I'm going to be recommending this one a lot.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves allows us to share the books we have added to our collections - physical, virtual, borrowed, bought or received.

This week Curlypow received from the library:

I cannot wait to read Ruin and Rising and finish off the trilogy

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shout Out to Indies - Worth the Effort by Kai Strand AND Ascension by A L Patterson

We here at The Paperback Princesses often receive emails from Indie authors requesting reviews and are blessed with free book copies. Often we are unable to get to so many titles before our mass market published books take over our TBR shelves. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of great reads though! We want to give back to those Indie authors and are declaring EVERY SECOND SUNDAY our SHOUT OUT TO INDIES MEME. For those of fellow bloggers, please feel free to add our meme to your regular schedule. We only ask that you quote and link back to us as a courtesy. For all of you Indie authors, we invite you to contact us at the contact link to your top left. We will select 1 - 3 titles (each time we post) that sound interesting. Lastly, for you readers, this is a bit of a test so please do comment and let us know what you think. We will also be offering up giveaway copies whenever we can! So without further ado, here are this week's pick:

Worth the Effort: Ella’s Story

Ella Jones is a coward. There is a teen boy living in the alley behind her work and she is
terrified of him.
Desperate to leave behind the stereotypical and judgmental world she was raised in, Ella
forces herself to make a true connection with seventeen-year-old Ayden Worth. As their
friendship grows Ayden’s quiet, gentle ways teach her true courage.
But there’s more to Ayden’s story than Ella knows. When their worlds collide in the
most unexpected place, Ella feels betrayed. Will she find the courage to learn who Ayden
really is, or will she determine he’s not worth the effort?

We asked Kai why she chose to write for a YA Audience:

Why Young Adult?
I love writing for young adult readers. First, there are no limits. I can address any topic,
with any language—good or bad—that I choose. Does that mean my books are filled
with inappropriate actions and cussing? Well, no. But they could be if I wanted them to.
And I love that! Plus I feel there is no more passionate reader than a young adult reader.
Regardless of the reader’s age, I believe those who choose to read young adult are still
vehemently invested in life. They want to experience the highs, the lows. They celebrate
and lament them with zeal. After all the hard work that goes into writing, and editing, and
producing a book, it still isn’t complete until melds with the thoughts and feelings of a
That’s why!

About the author:
When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her
family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were
rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning
children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from
their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and
short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults.
Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.

Amazon  Goodreads

And our second title this week is:
Ascension by A L Patterson

Published: May 2014

When a group of unsuspecting teenagers are given telekinetic abilities, attracting sudden fame and fortune, they decide to become fully fledged, costumed superheroes in this entertaining YA novel which explores humanity’s capacity to handle power in both its real and transcendental forms.

“This is the most amazing thing I’ve seen or done . . . This is the power of God.”

Clark O’Sullivan and his girlfriend, Sarah, are throwing the biggest party of the year. The guests include everybody from their school’s wealthiest socialites to the brainiest nerds to the strangest loners. But when they and six of their friends discover a glowing crystal in an abandoned barn, the party that follows is unlike anything they ever could have planned. All eight teens touch the crystal at the same time—and in doing so, take their first steps down a road that will change their lives forever. The teenagers awake the following morning to discover that they have each been granted very powerful telekinetic abilities.

Initially, they use their gifts to accomplish small, selfish goals: winning football games, dispatching bullies with ease and making the cheer squad. But it isn’t long before the students begin to grow careless with their increasingly daring exhibitions. When Clark publicly prevents a train from crashing, the media catches on to the adolescents’ powers; almost overnight, they become a global sensation. Riding high on waves of unchecked adulation, the teens begin to entertain an impossible idea: that they should become real-life superheroes.

Clark becomes so obsessed with being a caped crusader that his grades begin to suffer, though not nearly as much as his relationship with Sarah. Other members of the superhero squad are torn by differing priorities. But is it even possible for the friends to return to their previous lives? Though their time in the spotlight has been brief, their nighttime vigilantism has created powerful enemies — enemies who will never allow them to disappear safely back into their high school anonymity....

We asked why A.L. writes for a YA audience:

As a young teenager, I was a voracious reader. 

I wasnt yet on the track to passionate writer, but I was certainly a passionate reader. I discovered countless favorites while browsing the library, usually checking out about five or so at a time. But it was during the summertime roughly a decade ago when I decided I wanted to own a few more novels. I wanted books of my own that I didnt have to return to a library. Given my allowance or lack thereof I knew I couldnt afford a host of brand new paperbacks from a bookstore. So one random week in late May, I found myself perusing the stands of the local flea market. After searching through mounds of antiques and every assortment of kitsch items imaginable, I found a booth stocked with books. They were all old and mostly tattered. But they could be mine.

Stephen King.

I turned around and the booths owner looked me squarely in the eyes and said it once more, You oughta check out the Stephen King.

Up until that point, I hadnt read a single book by Mr. King. His name was synonymous with horror and thats as far as my knowledge went. But I immediately gave the booth owner a resounding yes. He told me that he usually charged one dollar per book, but hed give me a dozen for eight dollars.

That day, I lugged a tomato box home filled with a dozen Stephen King novels and felt as if I had the world to look forward to. I had copies of The Shining, Cujo, Dead Zone, Salems Lot, but the first one I read was Kings debut novel, a story about a lonely teenage girl who harnesses the powers of telekinesis. Her name was Carrie and she changed my life forever.

I must have sped through Carrie across two days and was floored by every page of it. The moment I put it down, I picked it back up and read through it again. Carrie, the powerless teenager at the mercy of the world soon found the world at her mercy. This dark tale of triumph turned tragedy (or perhaps tragedy turned triumph) moved me so much that I jotted down Stephen Kings fan mail address and wrote to him. Imagine my surprise when I received a letter directly from him a few weeks later.

A simple thank you form was what I was told to expect. Instead I got a full page reply from Stephen King himself. His letter informed me that Carrie was devoted to every painful adolescent, that the novel was inspired by his time as both a student and a teacher in high school. He explained that he thought Carrie was a little rough around the edges but it had received more fan mail over the years than perhaps any other book of his. He referred to me in the letter as a constant reader and signed his name in black ink. It remains a priceless artifact in my home.

Since that time, Ive gone on to write countless pages of material. Ive written for the stage and was recently hired by a small South Carolina-based producer to pen a screenplay. And now I am releasing my debut novel, Ascension. It wasnt until just recently that I realized the quaint similarities between Ascension and Carrie.

Both books are about teenagers who arent quite sure what to do upon gaining unimaginable powers, namely telekinesis.

Young adulthood is the time in life in which we come into our own. I believe stories that show heightened reality toward a young adults actions and reactions tend to share the same sensibilities as our own reality.
You may be reading about stories of teens that can move any object with their mind or control entire towns, but their actions mirror our growth as individuals. Stephen King did a stellar job of making Carrie feel both larger than life and true to reality.

I hope the same can be said of Ascension.

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About the author: 

A.L. Patterson studied literature and playwriting at the Art Institute of Atlanta and also has a degree in Social Work from Georgia Regents University. His play, The Figs, was performed at Tuckahoe Theater in Richmond, Virginia and his short stories have been featured in Sand Hills Magazine. He currently lives in Augusta, Georgia. Ascension by A.L. Patterson (published by Amazon Digital Services, RRP $2.99 ebook only) is available at online retailers including amazon.com.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Frozen Solid by James Tabor

Published: March 2013
Publisher: Ballentine
Pages: 336
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodread

The nationally bestselling author of The Deep Zone returns with a heart-stopping new Hallie Leland adventure: a chilling tale of suspense set against the forbidding backdrop of the South Pole—perfect for fans of James Rollins and Brad Thor.

An international group of scientists known as Triage believes that overpopulation is dooming the planet, causing climate change, water scarcity, famine, pandemics, and more. For civilization to survive, the scientists conclude that the earth’s population must be reduced—drastically and without delay. But killing is not part of their agenda. Instead, they will genetically engineer and disseminate a common virus that is really a carrier for something much more sinister.

After the mysterious death of a colleague, microbiologist Hallie Leland is dispatched to the South Pole to continue her friend’s research. What she uncovers are alarming details of Triage’s plot, which pits her against forces more terrible than she could have imagined. Now, in one of earth’s loneliest and most treacherous places, where high altitude and extreme environmental conditions can play tricks on the mind, Hallie finds that she has only five days to stop the shocking plan from taking hold.

'Frozen Solid' is a psychological bio thriller that will knock your socks off.  It was one of those books that spooled like a movie through my mind as I was reading.  Within the first few pages we are introduced to the harshest of Antarctic temperatures and someone dies in the most horrifying way.  There are creepy stalkerish killers hiding from sight;  underground salt water lakes full of strange  biological wonders never seen before;  conspiracies afoot that are almost at completion and of course several red herrings to get us going in the wrong direction.  No-one knows who to trust, especially not Hallie, and then it looks like nature just might be against them as well.  

I was sitting shivering at one point because I could almost feel the minus 70 temperatures that were being talked about. and I had to go and  get my copy of the movie The Thing and watch it, just to remind myself what it was about when it was mentioned. (It seems cheesy now, but I saw it when it first came out and it was terrifying all those years ago, before CGI)

'Frozen Solid' was a fairly quick read that offers a somewhat extreme solution to a legitimate global problem and I for one sincerely hope that it never comes to pass.  Great fun and would someone please make it into a movie - I'll go and see it for sure.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Follow Friday - July 25

Friday Follow is a blog hop that was started by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we will answer!  This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. 
This week’s question –

What is your favorite tv series that you can watch over and over again on Netflix?

Augh! So many to choose from...but I think my favorites are 

(Jennifer Garner really had a kick ass ability to camouflage in this show. Not to mention that she was absolutely RIPPED!!)

Nathan Fillion is freaking hilarious and could be best friends with Hans Solo in some other galaxy somewhere.  I didn't get into Firefly until after it went off the air but I would have gladly signed that petition to get it back on the air.  Serenity, the movie spin-off was good as well.

The best thing about these two shows is that they were done by two of my favorite producers - JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon.  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see these two guys collaborate on a project together...

- Christinabean

Welcome to the Paperback Princesses! Make yourself at home, take a look around our blog and let us know what you think in the comments section. We would love to hear what you have to say about our posts. We often try to comment on your comments as well so feel free to start a conversation! Since there are two of us running the show, we always have a variety of titles and event postings. Be sure to check out our own personal meme page. Check out Fantastic Fairytales, Let's Hear it for the Boys, In Case you Missed it and a few others. We try to not only focus on new YA books but also great titles from the past.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris

Published: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Pages: 305
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale—populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it…

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...


Charlaine Harris, creator of the much loved Sookie Stackhouse series (True Blood anyone?), has entered the stakes again with the first book in an entirely new series. Midnight Crossroad is a mystery story about a rag-tag bunch of misfits who live in this small town in Texas.  When I say rag-tag, that doesn't really tell you the half of it.

We have Manfred, who is a psychic of sorts. Fiji, who is a witch, of sorts.  Lemuel, who is a vampire - yep, you've got it - of sorts.  Olivia, who is .... well actually, nobody really seems to know exactly what she is. Bobo has landed in Midnight after running to get away from his past.  Joe and Chuy run the Antique Mart and Nail Salon, and there's a hint of something not quite normal there too.  Let's not even mention the Rev, who runs the small wedding chapel and pet cemetery.  Oh, and then there's Madonna, Teacher and baby Grady who run the diner and do odd jobs respectively. Who else? Oh yes, Shawn and his kids, Creek and Connor, who own the gas station - definitely something odd there too. Oh, and let's not forget Mr. Snuggly, the talking cat - he is just hilarious.

Getting to know these disparate and intriguing characters was a lot of fun and the eventual solution to the mystery of Bobo's girlfriends' disappearance took me completely by surprise.  A fairly lighthearted story, with some definite dark undertones, I'm certain that Midnight Crossroad will delight mystery and urban fantasy fans, and I'll happily read the next in the series.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. 

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off

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