Monday, May 20, 2019

Happy Release: Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter by Juli D. Revezzo

Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter
by Juli D. Revezzo
-Historical, Romance | Goodreads
Release date: April 15, 2019

After Honorine Camden is jilted, leaving her stunned and sparking a scandal in her tiny London borough of Wallflower, she's devastated. But when she overhears her father, the stationmaster, talking about arranging a party for their newly-minted underground railway station, she volunteers to help. Although she's intrigued with the handsome assistant stationmaster, Shane MacIntyre, she never expects to fall head-over-heels in love with him. Unfortunately, one tragic accident might derail everything.

About the author:
Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the historical romances, Courting the Stationmaster's Daughter, Vesta's Clockwork Companions, House of Dark Envy, Watchmaker's Heart, and Lady of the Tarot, the Antique Magic paranormal series and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Find out more about this author and the Magic Appreciation Tour:
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Excerpt:

From Chapter One:

HONORINE CAMDEN WASN’T inclined to public outbursts of exuberance. Her younger sister Isabelle decided she needed to make a change as her mother passed through the door leading out from the platforms of Wallflower Subway Station. “Race you to Father’s office?”

“What did you say, my dear?” Mother asked.

When Isabelle slipped through the entrance, Honorine hiked her skirts up, and sprinted after her.

Restlessness had stirred in Honorine all morning. Her day had gone from fine to worse since breakfast. Her visit to Lady Bascomb’s home to ask assistance with her application to Bedford College—the premier women’s college in nearby London—had only met with failure.

Glad she had left the bustle out of her ensemble, Honorine ran, ignoring her mother’s scolding cry, “Isabelle, Honorine, come back this instant!”

The exasperation in her mother’s voice said Isabelle’s sixteen years was too old for such play. Honorine knew she should agree, yet her edginess welcomed the outlet. Her skirts slowing her down and turning her run into more of a fast stroll, she weaved through the crowded subway terminal, ignoring annoyed responses from everyone she passed. Isabelle had the advantage of thinner underskirts and shorter heels. Honorine was determined to catch up.

“Everett?”

Did she hear someone speak her father’s name?

“Look out!”

Watching her feet, and a small radius ahead, a blur of black and a flash of red hair registered at the last second before Honorine slammed into a man’s hard body. Strong hands steadied her and she blinked at her living obstacle.“

Miss Camden, are you hurt?”

The tall man, somewhat portly, but with a handsome face, and a perfectly combed mop of red hair she’d collided with was her father’s second in command. “Oh. Shane. Uh, Mr. MacIntyre.” She glanced to the other men with him, her father and ... the third fellow’s name was Johnson—maybe? Flustered, she recognized him only as a railway man or other. Oh, her father was going to kill her, she was sure! How should she cover her gaffe? “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”

***

Mr. Jefferson had arrived at Wallflower Station at three-thirty and set to inspecting the facility. Shane stood by watching the overseer, trying desperately to hold back his
annoyance at Jefferson’s reaction to the station’s atmosphere, one he’d long since grown used to. Dressed in a fine pearl gray jacket with a matching hat atop his gray hair, Mr. Jefferson cursed as he brushed soot from his sleeve. His thick nose scrunched as he snorted to clear it. “Damnable nuisance!”

Shane sighed to himself. Now you know why we wear black all the time. Mr. Jefferson’s work took place around London’s train and subway yards, he should know better. Even if he spent most of his time in the upper offices, Shane knew it was hard to escape the black soot the trains belched out.

Where the London, Brighton, & South Coast Railways sent this buffoon in from, he hadn’t a clue. If anyone asked his opinion, Shane thought Jefferson looked a bit like a turkey, round at his stomach, with a flap of skin hanging from his chin. He had trouble not breathing open-mouthed, too. He’d probably never done manual labor a day in his life. Shane did, now and again. Everett too, though Everett was called on less these days to hook up train cars, and switch tracks, than in the early days when Wallflower was an even smaller station in their little burg on the quiet outskirts of southern London.

“I apologize, Mr. Jefferson,” Everett said. “There’s little to be done about the soot, at the present time.”

“There’s something you might want to work on.”

Everett dipped his head. “Yes sir. I hear some gents in America are working on equipping the trains to run on electricity.”

The mention of America’s subway system was just the prompt Shane hoped for. “It would be a shame for Her Majesty’s subway system to fall behind. I do believe we can outfit—”

“And how do you propose we do it, Mr. MacIntyre? With what?” Jefferson frowned. “Electricity is too expensive to succeed. Coal is the better power source. Top of the line, wouldn’t you say, Camden?”

Everett conceded his point with a shrug. “You’re right, of course, sir. My assistant has read too much penny fiction.”

Shane bristled at the overseer’s treatment of his mentor. He hated to see Everett so browbeaten. Rather than taking vocal issue, he steered the conversation in another direction. “When you first arrived, sir, you said you’d had another reason for your visit.”

“Ah, yes. Thank you for reminding me. Gentlemen, I’ve an idea in mind. Your personnel have done a fine job getting Wallflower Station up to scratch—and on a speedy schedule into the bargain. With their help, we’ve built the finest station in London. I believe they deserve something to reward their efforts. I think a celebration, of some sort, might be in order.”

Shane listened politely, as he explained, but a celebration? He didn’t agree, “I think they would appreciate a raise more, sir.”

“A raise? You’ve no sense of fun at all, MacIntyre. They need to forget their troubles for a while. Relax.” Jefferson hooked his thumbs into his lapels. “Camden, what do you think of my plan?”

“For a celebration? I must say it’s kind of you, sir, to think of our men...”

As they made their way toward the main doors, Shane had no suggestions to give, sure their employees wouldn’t appreciate Jefferson’s idea. Unless he proposed picking up the tab for a round at the pub. He doubted Jefferson had that in mind. Knowing he’d only cause trouble if he protested, Shane held his silence.

The platform entrance door opened. Three women entered. Everett’s daughters Isabelle, and most importantly, Honorine, ran toward them. Mrs. Camden called them back, clearly perturbed. He wondered why they ran, but Honorine’s laugh told him all he needed to know.

As soon as Shane saw her, he lost all sense of the thread of what her father was saying.

Shane cleared his throat. “Everett?” He nodded toward the women, even as Honorine slammed into him. “Whoa!”

“Oh!” Honorine Camden paused.

“I say!”

The three men parted like a breaking wave. Mr. Jefferson peered at her, and grumbled under his breath.

The young woman who caused all the trouble stared at him, her violet eyes rounded in surprise. “M… Mr. MacIntyre, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”

“Honorine, be careful!” Mrs. Camden snapped. “Really, girls. Forgive them, Mr. MacIntyre. My daughters sometimes forget they’re not children anymore.” She glared at her daughters. “And that young ladies don’t run wild!”

~*~

* excerpt courtesy of author

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Man Booker International Prize Reading Challenge 2019

Man Booker International Prize
Reading Challenge

official site

~*~

The short list was announced on April 9 and it got me wanting to give the batch a go. This self-challenge is also a wonderful way to do some arm-chair traveling.

The winner will be announced on May 21.

~*~

Books on the short list:

Celestial Bodies
by Jokha Alharthi
-Literary, Coming of Age, Oman | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
by Olga Tokarczuk
-Literary, Mystery, Poland | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

The Pine Islands
by Marion Poschmann
-Literary, Germany | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

The Remainder
by Alia Trabucco Zerán
-Literary, Chile | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

The Shape of the Ruins
by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
-Literary, Historical, Columbia | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

The Years
by Annie Ernaux
-Memoir, France | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Camp ToB 2019

Camp ToB 2019
summer reading program (details)
from the Tournament of Books

I am really digging the selections from the Tournament of Books. I am creating another self-challenge and reading through this list.

Reading list:

American Spy
by Lauren Wilkinson
-Historical, Mystery, Africa | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Black Leopard, Red Wolf
by Marlon James
-Fantasy, Africa | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Bowlaway
by Elizabeth McCracken
-Historical | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Daisy Jones & the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
-Historical | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Lost Children Archive
by Valeria Luiselli
-Literary | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba

Trust Exercise
by Susan Choi
-Literary | Goodreads | my review -tba | my rating: tba


Camp ToB 2019 Reading Schedule:

June 5: Bowlaway, first half
June 12: Bowlaway, second half
June 19: Daisy Jones & the Six, first half
June 26: Daisy Jones & the Six, second half
July 3: VACATION
July 10: Lost Children Archive, first half
July 17: Lost Children Archive, second half
July 24: Trust Exercise, first half
July 31: Trust Exercise, second half
Aug. 7: American Spy, first half
Aug. 14: American Spy, second half
Aug. 21: Black Leopard, Red Wolf, first half
Aug. 28: Black Leopard, Red Wolf, second half
Sept. 4: Summer champion announced

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Happy Release: The Things She's Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

The Things She's Seen
by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
-Mystery, YA, Australia | Goodreads
Release date: May 14, 2019

Nothing's been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He's also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she's got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living.

Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth's father has been sent to investigate--a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven't been seen since the fire?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another...

Monday, May 13, 2019

West by Carys Davies

West
by Carys Davies

Find out more about this book and author:
Goodreads
Website

Published: 2018
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Literary, Western
Hardback: 160
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
From what she could see he had two guns, a hatchet, a knife, his rolled blanket, the big tin chest, various gabs and bundles, one of which, she supposed, contained her mother's things.

When widowed mule breeder Cy Bellman reads in the newspaper that colossal ancient bones have been discovered in the salty Kentucky mud, he sets out from his small Pennsylvania farm to see for himself if the rumors are true: that the giant monsters are still alive and roam the uncharted wilderness beyond the Mississippi River. Promising to write and to return in two years, he leaves behind his only daughter, Bess, to the tender mercies of his taciturn sister and heads west.

With only a barnyard full of miserable animals and her dead mother’s gold ring to call her own, Bess, unprotected and approaching womanhood, fills lonely days tracing her father’s route on maps at the subscription library and waiting for his letters to arrive. Bellman, meanwhile, wanders farther and farther from home, across harsh and alien landscapes, in reckless pursuit of the unknown.


My two-bits:

Just right for a quick western fix. Not a shoot 'em up kind of story. What I liked was the sense of adventure and quest for mythical (maybe) creature.

~*~

* Listened to audiobook version.
 
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