Monday, November 27, 2017

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart | Blog Tour & Review

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart
Published: November 21, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 368
Received: from publisher via TLC Book Tours
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon | Books-A-Million | B&N

 “If you liked Big Little Lies, you’ll want to crack open this new novel by Nicole Baart.” —Southern Living

An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.

I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.


A beautifully written story about the power of a mother's love and the heart wrenching way a family is reunited after a long estrangement. This suspenseful story is written in a slower yet intriguing manner, so it's perfect for those who love a good mystery, but not all of the super graphic drama and violence that is found in many books lately. It does have it's dark spots, but isn't overwhelmingly heavy.

Little Broken Things is told from multi-POV which I generally enjoy in a book of this genre. I found it to be the perfect narration for this story as it helped to unravel the layers of history that each characters has hidden away. From the first text... "I have something for you" to the very last line, my emotions were all over - anxious to see what would happen next, filled with hope and nervous energy while trying to figure out how many more secrets there could be in this family.

Overall, I'd classify this book as a family drama and mystery with a dash of thriller (though not too much). I'll definitely be checking out more by Ms. Baart as I think this is a great kind of writing style to snuggle up with in the coming winter months.



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About the Author:
Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. She is the author of eight novels, including the upcoming LITTLE BROKEN THINGS. Nicole is a proud Tall Poppy Writer and a firm believer that we are, and always will be, better together. Find out more at NicoleBaart.com or connect with Nicole on social media.




Monday, November 20, 2017

Cover Reveal & Guest Post | Come From Away by Genevieve Graham | Giveaway

I was recently contacted by Genevieve Graham to be a part of the cover reveal for her upcoming release, Come From Away. It's releasing April 2018 and is a companion novel to Tides of Honour. She also has graciously written up a guest post in honour of the reveal! It's always a delight to work with Ms. Graham. THE COVER IS GORGEOUS, but you'll have to read her guest post before you can see the cover. Cheers!


The Story Behind the Cover

Throughout the months it takes me to write one of my novels, I try not to envision what the cover will look like. I’m not sure how many people know this, but in the traditional publishing process, authors have very little to no say on their cover art. As you can probably imagine, that’s pretty terrifying. After all, an author spends the better part of their days/weeks/months putting their soul into a book, but they have no idea how it will eventually appear when it sits on bookstore shelves. 

Well, when this cover appeared in my email, I cried.

Really, I shouldn’t have been surprised. My cover designer at Simon & Schuster Canada, Elizabeth Whitehead, is a creative genius. The first cover she designed for me was for “Tides of Honour”, and I fell in love with it. You see, I describe my novels as historical fiction brought to life through a love story, but they’re not what you would call typical “romance” novels. When I saw the cover for “Tides of Honour”, I saw a powerful love story threatened by dangerous times, turbulent emotions, and uncertainty—all of which are in the book. Then I wrote “Promises to Keep”, a heartbreaking, very real story of the Acadians, set over 150 years earlier, and incredibly, Elizabeth maintained the same beautiful level of creativity with that cover. Then I saw what she’d done for “Come From Away”, and I couldn’t wait to share. I think I love it best of all.

Think of the challenge presented to a cover designer. They have a single opportunity to encapsulate an entire story in one image or design. That image must rise to the top of a sea of books to attract a reader’s attention, and it must engage them to the point that they are curious enough to take the book off the shelf and open it to the first page. After that step, of course, it’s up to the author to reward the reader with a story they will—hopefully—love.

When you look at the young couple on the cover for “Come From Away”, you see so much. The 1940s is evident in their dress, the cold Atlantic looms before them, and the skulking shape in the water reminds us of the state of the world at that time. You also see the couple’s uncertain attraction to one another, and their trepidation. Something is keeping them apart, but you don’t yet know what it is. And there’s something else ... I don’t know about you, but something about this couple has me rooting for them before I even pick up the book.

Here’s the synopsis for “Come From Away”, which will be published in April 2018. It is the companion novel to “Tides of Honour”, but the two are standalone books. If you have read “Tides of Honour”, you will recognize some of the characters, but this is twenty-five years later, so a lot has changed. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I loved writing it. 


 
From the bestselling author of Tides of Honour and Promises to Keep comes a poignant novel about a young couple caught on opposite sides of the Second World War. 

In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts. But three years later, the fighting rages on and rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window. As the harsh realities of war come closer to home, Grace buries herself in her work at the store. 

Then, one day, a handsome stranger ventures into the store. He claims to be a trapper come from away, and as Grace gets to know him, she becomes enamoured by his gentle smile and thoughtful ways. But after several weeks, she discovers that Rudi, her mysterious visitor, is not the lonely outsider he appears to be. He is someone else entirely—someone not to be trusted. When a shocking truth about her family forces Grace to question everything she has so strongly believed, she realizes that she and Rudi have more in common than she had thought. And if Grace is to have a chance at love, she must not only choose a side, but take a stand. 

Come from Away is a mesmerizing story of love, shifting allegiances, and second chances, set against the tumultuous years of the Second World War.

Release Date: April 2018
Pages: 256
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada

And now the BONUS! The giveaway - a chance to WIN an ARC (advance reader copy) of Come From Away! Enter using the rafflecopter below.


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About the Author:
Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing the oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta, she met her future husband in a chairlift lineup and subsequently moved to Calgary to be with him. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful daughters.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Ten Books I Want My Child to Read

 

I've decided to make this a list of books that I hope my daughter will one day read. I could easily have made it a list of board book or picture books for right now, but I feel like this list could be something I pass to her when she gets older so she can see what books her Momma loved.



Harry Potter series by JK Rowling - This is by far the most important series I've ever read and I've read it during different points in life already and I learn so much each time I read it. Different scenes and characters stand out when you read it again and again. 

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - One of the books I was required to read in high school and has always remained an important story to me.

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern - An amazingly magical story that will have your imagination soaring.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Especially the audio version read by Wil Wheaton. The book with the most pop culture references. One of my all time favourite books!

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - Hopefully I will have read this myself soon. This was her Grandma's favourite book and I want to pass along books that meant something to others as well.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai - Probably one of the more inspiring stories for young women. A true story of bravery and fighting for what is right.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding - Another book read in high school and I deem it worthy of passing along. Important to see what can happen when there are no rules or society gets out of control.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - A banned book that talks about rape culture. We need our children to have a voice and not be afraid to use it. 

Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield - The power of music that can bring back bittersweet memories, help you through a tough time or just plain bring a smile to your face. This book follows Rob's life with music, love and loss. Powerful!

The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle - A classic! And I've have her watch the animated movie too.

I'd also tell her that anything written by Rainbow Rowell is worth picking up (both YA and adult), that Grandma and Mommy loved reading historical romances by Bertrice Small (she can only read these when she is old enough - obviously), Shakespeare and many of the Classics are completely worth taking the time to read, read books like The Virgin Suicides and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, read everything written by John Green, The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, read magical realism as often as you can (Garden Spells, The Sparrow Sisters and The Weird Sisters to name a few) and pickup anything that tickles your fancy whether it be the title, the cover or the synopsis - every book with worth trying and reading is one of the most amazing ways to invest in yourself!

Enjoy these books my little love.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Joining The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge!

I hadn't given much thought to what, if any, challenges I would sign up for in 2018, but I stumbled upon a post over at Sarah Reads Too Much for a challenge that I just know will help me tackle my TBR pile. 

The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge is hosted by Roof Beam Reader and I'm making this post as my entry to the challenge. Check out the original post for all the details.


The goal of this challenge is to make a list of 12 books from your TBR pile/list that were printed prior to 1/1/2017. You can add 2 alternates in case you DNF a few. You stick to the list and read one per month. And you need to write a review of some sort for each book. Sounds easy right? But what 12 books to pick? Decisions, decisions. Print copies, ebooks, ARCs, wishlist books? I think I'm going with physical print copies on my actual shelves to help get through the piles.

1. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (2008)
2. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (2012)
3. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (2010)
4. Darkhouse by Karina Halle (2012)
5. A Million Suns by Beth Revis (2012)
6. Zombie Blondes by Brian James (2008)
7. Firelight by Sophie Jordan (2010)
8. Paris Letters by Janice Macleod (2014)
9. Innocence by Dean Koontz (2013)
10. Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves (2013)
11. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (2009)
12. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (2010)

Alternates:
1. Magnified World by Grace O'Connell (2012)
2. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (2010)

Good luck to those who have signed up for the challenge.
 
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