Dragonfly in Amber


Title: Dragonfly in Amber
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander, book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Time-Travel
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Release Date: July 1st, 1992 

Note: This is one of the few times I am straying from my typical Young Adult book reviews to review this book, and the rest of the series. This is not a book I would recommend to YA audiences, as it is deals with mature content for adult readers. 

Additional note: This post reviews the second book of the Outlander series. You may like to read the first book in the series, Outlander, before reading this review.

I love what the author, Diana Gabaldon, has to say about this book: “It doesn’t start where you think it’s going to. And it doesn’t end how you think it’s going to, either. Just keep reading; it’ll be fine.”

Imagine my surprise when I began reading book two only to realize that 20 years have gone by since the happenings in Outlander, and Claire Randall is back in the 20th century with her grownup daughter, Brianna. (No spoiler here, I just hadn’t read the back cover teaser!) Thankfully for us as the readers, Claire takes us back in time, where we left off at the end of Outlander. In an attempt to end the Jacobite uprising that will inevitably end in absolute defeat, Claire and Jamie travel to Paris, to face Bonny Prince Charles himself. They do their best to socialize in the French court, filled with intrigue. But will their efforts be enough to save the Highlanders from the decimation that awaits them if Charles Stuart continues his course of action? Can Claire and Jamie actually make a difference… and change the history Claire knows?

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Outlander

Title: Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander, book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Time-Travel
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Release Date: June 1st, 1991 

Note: This is one of the few times I am straying from my typical Young Adult book reviews to review this book, and the rest of the series. This is not a book I would recommend to YA audiences, as it is deals with mature content for adult readers. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Diana Gabaldon at the RMFW (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers) conference in September of 2017. I hadn’t read the Outlander books at the time and I knew very little about them, but I went into Gabaldon’s writing classes with an open mind, ready to learn. She completely blew me away, not just with the exhilarating love story of Claire and Jamie, but with her entire approach to writing novels. Gabaldon quickly made her way to the top of my list of favorite authors – even more so when I finally sat down and read the darn thing half a year later! Here is my review:

One moment, Claire Randall, a World War II combat nurse, is standing at the ancient stones of Craigh na Dun, and the next, she is thrown back in time – 200 years ago – when Scotland was being torn apart by war. Claire is a “Sassenach” – an Outlander – who must do whatever it takes to survive in an unfamiliar time in the midst of great violence. Before long, she is involved with a clan of Scots – who do not know what to make of this strange englishwoman – and she quickly learns that the soldiers of her own country, the redcoats, cannot be trusted. Her quest to get back to her own time becomes that much more complicated with Jamie Fraser – a brave, handsome Scotsman – in the picture. Torn between two worlds, two times, and two men, Claire must decide what she really wants – and this decision will completely change her life forever.

I cannot remember the last time I read a book that I enjoyed as much as Outlander. I had a difficult time putting it down, and found myself thinking about the story when I wasn’t reading it. (Nerd.) It is the kind of book I couldn’t wait to pick it up again, to see what would happen next to these characters I love. I was completely swept up in the romance of Claire and Jamie, and fell in love with the book’s setting: Scotland. And as for Jack Randall, he might just go down in history as the most hated, vile villain I’ve ever read. Even at a word count of 305,000, I was not ready for Outlander to come to a close. Thank God (and Diana Gabaldon) for the rest of the books to devour in this series!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Blog Tour for Happily!

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I’m very excited to share this week’s post with you! It’s not one of my usual book reviews. Instead, I will be participating in a blog tour for Happily, a book by one of my writing friends, Chauncey Rogers. Some of you might remember seeing my review of Happily back in February. In case you missed it, you can read it here.

I have the honor of wrapping up the blog tour today! In the blurb below, Chauncey talks about a fun song he would pick for an “Ending Credits Song,” for when the book will be adapted into a movie (as we all hope it will!). I hadn’t actually heard this song before now, but I love it. It’s a perfect fit, even if the shoe isn’t!

Happily Book Cover - Recommended
Thank you, Rosie, for letting me end my blog tour on your lovely blog!

I suspect that most people who write stories dream of the day that their story might be turned into a movie. I don’t know about other authors, but I particularly enjoy daydreaming about what song might be used for the “Ending Credits Song.” I’m not sure why that is. It might just be because some of my favorite songs have been used as ending credits songs, or because some of my favorite movies also have wonderful ending credits songs.

Whatever it is, it’s something I enjoy thinking about, whether or not the day ever comes.


As this is the end of the blog tour, I thought it might be appropriate to share an “Ending Credits Song” here, as well as to thank everyone who has participated.
Thank you, each and every one. This has been a great experience for me, and I hope it has been equally wonderful for the rest of you.

Now, as for the ending credits song, I will admit that I didn’t choose this song out personally. Instead, my mother happened to hear it being played while she was out shopping. She’d recently finished reading Happily, and felt that this song would make a wonderful ending credits song.

So, without further ado, I give you “I Believe in You” by Michael Bublé:

Thank you! And until next time, I wish you only the very best.

Chauncey Rogers

Chauncey Rogers - Optional


Happily
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Day 13 of 13 of Happily’s Release Blog Tour. See the full blog tour schedule here.

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Belle’s Library

 

Title: Belle’s Library
Author: Brittany Rubiano
Genre: a collections of quotes and musings
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: January 31st, 2017

A collection of literary quotes and inspirational musings

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you will notice that I have a thing for retellings – particularly those of Beauty and the Beast. In addition to last week’s review of As Old As Time, I have also reviewed The Beast WithinCruel BeautyThe Merchant’s Daughter, and A Court of Thorns and Roses. You might say I’m a little obsessed. I mean, a girl who loves her books and craves adventure? I’m there.

So imagine my delight when Disney Press released this book last year, a couple months before the release of the breathtaking remake starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. I simply had to have it. Belle’s Library is a beautiful collection of “inspiring quotes from some of Belle’s favorite books, as well as her insightful notes and coloring drawings” (from back of book). It is the kind of book you could easily peruse in a single sitting, on a lazy afternoon with a cup of tea. I love having it as a part of my own library!

Click on the link below to get your copy of this book:

As Old As Time

Title: As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales, 3
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 6th, 2016

What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast?

Similar to the Villains series I reviewed earlier this year, this series takes beloved stories from classic Disney movies and twists them into something new and unexpected. This book tells the story of Beauty and the Beast. As the tagline suggests, the twist of this tale is that Belle’s mother is the enchantress who curses the Beast in the beginning of the story.

As Old As Time follows the storyline of Beauty and the Beast pretty closely – up till Belle finds the enchanted rose in the West Wing. Upon finding this rose, Belle touches it and immediately learns the truth – the truth of who her mother was, and what happened to the Beast and his cursed household. Belle and the Beast must work together if they are to uncover the mystery surrounding the castle and break the enchantress’ curse.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

Once Upon A Dream

 

Title: Once Upon A Dream: A Twisted Tale
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales, 2
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: April 5th, 2016

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up?

Similar to the Villains series I reviewed earlier this year, this series takes beloved stories from classic Disney movies and twists them into something new and unexpected. This book tells the story of Aurora. As the tagline suggests, the twist of this tale is that true love’s kiss did not wake the sleeping beauty. Instead, she remains trapped inside her own dream world – along with her prince.

At first, Aurora has no idea that she is living in a dream world, but instead believes that her aunt Maleficent – now ruling as queen – saved the kingdom from the destruction caused by her careless parents. But when she accidentally stumbles upon Maleficent mid-spell to keep her spirit alive in Aurora’s dreams, she realizes the terrible truth. It is up to her to save herself from the sleeping curse, and she must find a way to do it before everyone runs out of time.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

A Whole New World


Title: A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales, 1
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: September 1st, 2015

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp?

This is the first of a new series I will be reviewing, Twisted Tales! Similar to the Villains series I reviewed earlier this year, this series takes beloved stories from classic Disney movies and, yes, twists them into something new and unexpected. This book tells the story of Aladdin. For the first 80 pages, you are reading the story you saw in the movie – up till the point of the lamp’s new master. In this version, Jafar – not Aladdin – becomes the master of the genie. And it’s as bad as you can imagine.

No help escaping the Cave of Wonders, no magic wish to transform into Prince Ali and win the heart of Princess Jasmine – not this time. Aladdin has to do it all without the help of the genie, but with the help of his friends, the Street Rats, and also Jasmine, the princess who is full of surprises. Together, they must take down Jafar and put an end to the terrors he has wrought as the Sultan of Agrabah – while there is still an Agrabah to save.

A Whole New World is one of the better retellings I have read, providing the reader with fun twists while keeping the integrity of the classic tale. This is a must-read for Disney fanatics like myself!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: