15 December 2017

Friday Meets 15 December 2017

Image result for funny scrooge memesHow many Fridays do we have left? Before Christmas? After Christmas? I am seriously suffering from a bit of Scrooge syndrome the past couple of weeks. In more ways than one. Some good, some bad. But I do believe it is Friday and that means we can talk books. I can still do that. 

Meet me on Friday @ Friday 56 for a bit of Book Blogger Hop to kick-start the weekend with Book Beginnings

12 December 2017

Top Ten Favorite Books for 2017

Image result for scrooge readingThe year is just about at an end and not to sound like Scrooge, but bah humbug to that. Not that I am ungrateful, in fact I am extremely grateful to join The Broke and the Bookish once again for Top Ten Tuesday and that I managed to read more than 10 books this year so that I can at least make a selection of my Ten Favorite Books for 2017. 

As with most books, my selection is strictly based on personal experiences. None of my favorites for 2017 are actually published in 2017. In fact I have two books on my list that were published in the previous century! But that is the wonder of books and the magic of reading. It is always in the present tense the moment you open the book. 

I don't really have an ascending order from most favorite to least favorite list for this year. Each of the books listed meant something to me through a really tough year. Let's have a quick look at the books that made my list: 

28 October 2017

Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum

34638913Title: Queen of Spades
Author: Michael Shou-Yung Shum
Published by: Forest Avenue Press
Publication date: 10 October 2017 
Genre: General Fiction, Suspense
ISBN:  19424363319
Mareli's rating: 3.5 stars
Recommend to: If you have a gambling problem - stay clear. This book reveals the 'magic' of a casino and the luck of the card. 
Description: Queen of Spades revamps the classic Pushkin fable of the same name, transplanted to a mysterious Seattle-area casino populated by a pit boss with six months to live, a dealer obsessing over the mysterious methods of an elderly customer known as the Countess, and a recovering gambler who finds herself trapped in a cultish twelve-step program. With a breathtaking climax that rivals the best Hong Kong gambling movies, Michael Shou-Yung Shum’s debut novel delivers the thrilling highs and lows that come when we cede control of our futures to the roll of the dice and the turn of a card. Forest Avenue Press

"We can never know anything for sure", the Countess replied. "for what we speak of is gambling"

What an intriguing tale involving gambling, casinos, card dealing, taking high stake chances and card games I never even heard of......I'm still not much the wiser, but I was mesmerized by the magical and oh so addictive turn of the cards. 

Hard to believe that this was Michael Shou-Yung Shum's debut novel. But if you take a look at his life story (so far), this man sure has some delightful tales to tell:

 Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Michael Shou-Yung Shum eventually found himself dealing poker in a dead-end casino in Lake Stevens, Washington. Two doctorates bookend this strange turn of events: the first in Psychology from Northwestern, and the second in English from University of Tennessee. Along the way, Michael spent a dozen years in Chicago, touring the country as a rave DJ. (Forest Avenue Press)

It's thus safe to assume that many aspects in this novel was based on the author's vast knowledge of gambling and all its contingencies. It also revamps the classic Pushkin fable of the same name. I haven't read any of the Pushkin's stories myself, but Google has and according to my trusted friend, the essential premise does stay the same: An obsessed gambler; a mysterious but ridiculously old Countess; and a fatal game of faro.

Image result for faro card game  Related image
 Image result for faro card game

The book is also a much longer version than the original short story by Pushkin, dealing with more characters and a far more intriguing plot. Such wonderful characters we met in and around the Royal Casino. Some had a sad, lost and hopeless feel around them. The only thing that gave meaning to their lives were the thrill of winning and the luck of the draw. Inside the casino, or on the racetracks, or standing in line to buy a lotto ticket - turned these characters into winners and royalty. The risk of losing hardly ever occurs, until the reality of loss hits them. 

I know next to nothing about cards and casinos, but I was definitely swept up in the magic of that ultimate faro game. (Trivia: I honestly never would have thought that dealers like gambling as well.)

Queen of Spades is one of those food for thought books. A quick,enjoyable read that lingers for a couple of days. I will recommend this one to just about everybody. Unless you have a gambling problem. It might be better to stay clear. 

Thanks again to the lovely Laura Stanfill for providing me with an Advance Reading Copy of this novel. Much appreciated! 


28 August 2017

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

28233082Title: The Girl in the Ice
Author: Robert Bryndza
Published by: Bookouture
Publication date: February 2016
Read: August 24 - 27, 2017
Genre: Mystery; Thriller
Pages: 396 (kindle edition)
Series: Detective Erika Foster #1
Mareli's rating: 2.5 stars
Recommend to: Readers of fast paced thrillers. Or if you watch crime series with female detectives, you might like this one as well.
Description: When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation. The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London. What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika. The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?
A page-turning thriller packed with suspense. If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter, discover Robert Bryndza’s new series today. 
Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster. Goodreads

Like most other avid Goodreads followers, I consider the annual Goodreads Choice awards as a treasure map for the next year's list of good reads. The 4 and 5 star ratings.  So how is it possible that my rating for The Girl in the Ice came in below the majority? Let's think about it - The Girl in the Ice has all the trimmings that a really good mystery thriller should have:

26 August 2017

Where the sweet bird sings by Ella Joy Olsen

33369334Title: Where the sweet bird sings
Author: Ella Joy Olsen
Published by: Kensington Books
Publication date: 29 August 2017 
Genre: General Fiction
ISBN:  9781496705648
Mareli's rating: 3 stars
Recommend to: Lovers of adult fiction that deals with loss and grief
Description: People respond to tragedy in different ways. Some try to move on. Some don’t move at all. A year after her young son’s death due to a rare genetic disease, Emma Hazelton is still frozen by grief, unable and unwilling to consider her husband Noah’s suggestion that they try to have another child.
As the future Emma once imagined crumbles, her family’s past comes into sharp relief. Searching for the roots of her son’s disease, Emma tries to fit together the pieces in her genealogical puzzle. Hidden within an old wedding photograph of her great-grandparents is an unusual truth Emma never guessed at—a window into all the ways that love can be surprising, generous, and fiercely brave . . . and a discovery that may help her find her own way forward at last. (Netgalley)

17 August 2017

The Memory of Water by J.T. Lawrence

35901776Title: The Memory of Water
Author: J.T. Lawrence

Format: Audiobook (Audible)
Read/listened: August 4 - 9, 2017
Genre: Thriller; Black Humor (is that a genre, or just preferred reading?)
Mareli's rating: 3.5 Stars (loved the story, didn't care for the narration much)
Recommend to: If you find Jay Gatsby an intriguing character, you will have a field-day with Slade Harris
Slade Harris will do anything for a story, including murdering the woman he loves. Slade doesn’t think twice about jumping out of a plane or conducting disastrous love affairs to gather material for his work, but his self-indulgent life is catching up with him. Stumbling through his late thirties hopeless and a little drunk, Slade has a dazzling, dangerous idea which will change his life forever. It’s going to be Slade’s ultimate story ... and all he’s hoping for is to survive it. Goodreads

10 August 2017

Thursday Quotables #7 - A Monster Calls

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An opening line like that has the same effect on me as: "You had me at hello"..... 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is one of those Russian-doll books.  A gift within a gift that leads to yet another gift. So I just have to share it on Thursday Quotables hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage during your past reading week. Whether it's something funny, startling, gut-wrenching or just really written beautifully - this is where you must share! Just remember to link back to bookshelffantasies.com 

07 August 2017

Monday Shout Out - I don't need therapy, I need books

Image result for I don't need therapy I need booksIt's the second week of August already. My goodness.... How did we get here without therapy? Actually, I didn't. But it doesn't help all that much. Or at least not as much as a good book does. 

This past week I've had two books that were better for my soul and state of mind than any therapist could possibly be. I might go as far as saying it was better than chocolate. At least one was better than chocolate. 

So is life any better? No. But at least books don't fail me anymore. Yes, the sun does shine a bit brighter on my book pages this morning. So let's get reading for this week!

04 August 2017

Friday Meets 4 August 2017

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Greetings from a rather dreary Jeffreysbay and an even drearier me. Thank heavens for a couple of good books awaiting my utmost attention. Kindle, audio, physical and coloring books. 

Meet me on Friday @ Friday 56 for a bit of Book Blogger Hop to kick-start the weekend with Book Beginnings.

03 August 2017

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

22752718Title: Leaving Time
Author: Jodi Picoult
Published: November 2014
Read: 02 August 2017
My Rating: 5 Stars and listed as a favorite
Goodreads Blurb: Number One bestselling author Jodi Picoult returns with her compulsive new novel - about the lengths we go to for those who have left us behind; about the staying power of love; and about how three broken souls might have just the right pieces to mend each other.
Jenna Metcalf was with her mother the night she disappeared in tragic and mysterious circumstances, but she remembers nothing.
Over ten years have passed, and still Jenna reads and rereads her mother's journals, hoping to find some clue hidden there, in the meticulous recording of her scientific research with elephants.
Desperate for answers, Jenna uses all her savings to recruit the aid of a private detective - and a psychic.
Jenna knows her mother loved her. She knows she would not leave her. And she will not rest until she finds out what happened that night. In her most gripping mystery since House Rules, Jodi Picoult brings us a powerful story of a young girl's determination to uncover the truth, however shocking and life-changing it might be.

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"The moral of this story is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want it.... Some stories just don't have a happy ending"
That's life, I guess. Sometimes, we don't end up with a and they lived happily ever after. And sometimes, that's just the way it is. Sometimes your grief is as big as an elephant. Sometimes the only consolation is an elephant. 

31 July 2017

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath. Goodreads

24 July 2017

The intended "It's Monday! What are you reading? #9

Image result for the road to hell is paved with good intentions

And so the last of my friends visiting over the winter holidays packed up and left yesterday. It's just me and the books once again. Or that is the intention. But we all know about good intentions, don't we?

17 July 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? #8

Image result for Never knew I had so many friends until I had a beach house Image result for Never knew I had so many friends until I had a beach house

Greetings! It's winter holidays in South Africa and I've had the two most marvelous weeks with two of my bestest friends in all the world. Sorry for the absence from the blogosphere, but my presence was on the beach spending time with near and dear ones and feeding my soul. 

I did manage to get a bit of reading done and hope that I will be able to spend the next couple of days with my nose stuck in a book. The weather sure doesn't permit one to do much else. Bit cold here you know..... 

02 July 2017

Library Card July 2017

Image result for strict librarian

Greetings! No, there is no need to double check. Yes, it is July and not June and I did not fill in my library card for June. And yes, the world is still turning. *Wipe brow* I've actually managed to read quite a few books lately. Even without my faithful Library Card.

Recently Finished:

*Book covers link to my own sensible or senseless thoughts*

34564330 35107691 34041276

Note: "Misverstand" is an Afrikaans title and my review is also in Afrikaans. Should you wish to read the book or find out more about it, it is available in English - You Lost Me

29 June 2017

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

11300065Title: My Cousin Rachel
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published by: Victor Gollancz Ltd
Publication date: 1951 
Read: June 24 - June 28 2017
Genre: Mystery Thriller; Classic
Pages: 351
Mareli's rating: 5 stars
Recommend to: If you can read, you have to read Daphne du Maurier's books. They don't come like this anymore.
Description: Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly. Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose's letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow with hatred in his heart.Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet... might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death? Goodreads

28 June 2017

Plaasmoord deur Karin Brynard

8835356Titel: Plaasmoord
Skrywer: Karin Brynard
Uitgewer: Human & Rousseau
Eerste druk: 2009
Bladsye: 510 (sagteband)
My gradering: 4 Sterre
Genre: Moord en doodslag, geskiedenis, speur

Aanbeveel aan: Afrikaanse misdaad en speurverhaal liefhebbers (soos Deon Meyer? Ja!)
Kort opsomming: Plaasmoorde het nooit juis vastrapplek gekry in die ylbevolkte Noord-Kaap nie - maar dan word die drie en dertigjarige opkomende skilder Freddie Swarts en haar aangenome dogter aaklig vermoor
Speurder-inspekteur Albertus Beeslaar moet die moord oplos., maar kort voor lank word hy en die vermoorde se suster, Saar ingetrek by bisarre gebeure soos die moord op 'n bobbelaan, 'n veediefstal-sindikaat en 'n groep omgekrapte boere wat sake in hul eie hande wil neem. Goodreads

23 June 2017

Friday Meets - 23 June 2017

Image result for ecards cold weather

Greetings! While most of my fellow bloggers are enjoying the summer and sunshine, some of us here in the Southern hemisphere are freezing. No, we do not go to the gym. We read. The brain needs exercise too. 

20 June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Serious Series I need to read Seriously

Image result for series light bulbs
It's Tuesday and time to get serious about reading series' with Top Ten Tuesday. Seriously, you need to start reading that series you've been putting off ever since Eskom first introduced load shedding. 

Personally, I don't read that many series. The problem with a series is you need to read them ALL, for if you take one out, none of the other bulbs will light up and you will be sitting in the dark. 

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But I still have the following series' on my TBR list and I haven't started with any of these. Not one book or even book one from anyone. 

19 June 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? #7

Image result for everybody hates mondays

The problem with Mondays.... Endless. I was actually looking forward to Monday, but then BAM - it just smacks you in the face with all its demands and oh-here's-another-problem at 08:00 on a Monday morning. But I don't hate Monday. I honestly don't. At least not the part where we can talk about books. 

We took a mini-break last week and I spend it reading. The whole time. Came to the conclusion that reading really does solve everything and it's the best therapy. Monday should try reading. We as readers and bloggers should unite and force the world to spend Mondays reading. It will solve an endless amount of world problems. So nice to still believe in unicorns and the tooth fairy. Don't you think?

14 June 2017

The Serial Killer's Daughter by Lesley Welsh

34814293Title: The Serial Killer's Daughter
Author: Lesley Welsh
Published by: Bookouture
Publication date: 14 June 2017 
Read: June 5 - June 10 2017
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 343
ISBN:  9781786811929
Mareli's rating: 4 stars
Recommend to: PSYCHO (Some new killing tips and how to lie about it here)
Description: Suzanne’s life changes forever the day she receives a visit from Rose Anderson, the woman who has been living with her estranged father, Don. Don is dead, but Rose wants Suzanne to have his possessions – including a series of intimate diaries and a mysterious collection of photographs of women. To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, whose death ten years before in an unexplained and devastating fire broke Suzanne’s heart. But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death… So why did he have a picture of her? Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his journals? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move? Lesley Welsh.com

After Lesley Welsh's editor at Bookouture read The Serial Killer's Daughter for the first time, she turned to the author and said, "I do sometimes worry that Don Tyler came out of your head".

25 May 2017

Big Little Lies on BTT and Thursday Quotables

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Greetings! Iv'e been a bit lazy with the weekly features the past couple of weeks. But at least I can honestly say I've spend that time reading. Mostly. Okay, about half of that time. Let's make it a third and call it quits. 

Seeing that it's a freebie day on Book Traveling Thursdays, I can wallow in my laziness and just combine this week's BTT with Thursday Quotables hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

18 May 2017

How We Found You by J.T. Lawrence

35107691Title: How We Found You
Author: J.T. Lawrence

Series: When tomorrow calls (Book 2)
Publication date: 18 May 2017 (Today!!! Launch day is TODAY!!)
Read: May 11 - 18, 2015
Genre: Thriller; Science Fiction (Futuristic)
Mareli's rating: 4 Stars
Recommend to: Have you read Why you were taken? 
There’s something different about Kate’s four-year-old son. He wasn’t created the old fashioned way. Now a violent cult wants him dead and Kate will do anything to protect him – until they take her daughter.
In tomorrow’s world, Kate is haunted by a brutal past. Struggling to navigate a life that seems like an experiment in virtual reality, her paranoia threatens to consume her. But when someone tries to kidnap Mally, she realizes she was absolutely right to be afraid. With only hours to go before the cult's prophecy is to be fulfilled, Kate and Seth face more danger than they’ve ever imagined, desperate to keep him safe. However, the charismatic leader of the cult has other ideas, which puts Kate in an impossible position. Who will she choose to live, and who will she have to sacrifice? Amazon
Browsing through my Goodreads Read Shelf, I came to realize that I haven't read a series back to back in years. Oh what bliss, what a thrill - how quickly can the next one be available Janita Lawrence?

16 May 2017

TTT: "Bring me her heart!" said every Stepmom in history

Image result for bring me her heart snow white

Ever since The Evil Queen uttered those damning words, we have all been terrified of Stepmoms. I for one, was much more afraid of The Evil Queen than I was of the Devil in the Children's Bible. No jokes. 

I didn't get to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday. But I do have a number of wonderful friends who all got to spend the day with their children. Some of those friends are stepmoms or a stepmom-to-be real soon. When I saw today's theme for Top Ten Tuesday (Mother's Day Related), I immediately thought of my dearest stepmom friends. Are they all evil? I honestly don't think so.  But yes, I do believe their only request is: "Bring me her/his heart!". Maybe just not literally all the time. Sometimes they really just want to capture their stepchildren's hearts.Thankfully Literature, the wisest of all, agrees with me. Let's have a look at a few notable Stepmoms in literature:

12 May 2017

Friday Meets - 12 May 2017

Image result for Time sure flies meme

My goodness - it's Friday again. Time sure flies lately, but are we having fun? As long as there's a book lying on your bedside table and a kindle in your bag, of course we are!

Meet me on Friday @ Friday 56 for a bit of Book Blogger Hop to kick-start the weekend with Book Beginnings.

11 May 2017

Misverstand deur Marita van der Vyver

34041276Titel: Misverstand
Skrywer: Marita van der Vyver
Uitgewer: Penguin Random House SA
Publikasie datum: Maart 2017
Bladsye: 270 (sagteband)
My gradering: 2 Sterre
Beveel aan vir lesers van: Marita van der Vyver (dis nie 'n genre nie, ek weet, maar dit is 'n onmisbare stem). As jy worstel met die vraag, Wroeg jy met jou middelmatigheid? 
Kort opsomming: 
Willem Prins bewandel die strate van Parys. Eens was hy op koers om ’n gerekende skrywer in Suid-Afrika te word, maar na jare se probeer wink die koue water van die Seine – miskien sal sy verdrinking sy boekverkope bietjie opstoot, dink ’n swartgallige Willem.
Tot sy skaamte is dit die erotika wat hy onder ’n skuilnaam skryf wat hom na Frankryk gebring het. Terug na die stad waar een van sy drie eksvroue saam met sy oudste seun woon, ’n jong man wat sy pa skaars ken.
Vir Willem is Parys nie juis die stad van liefde nie, maar dit is hier waar hy vir Jackie ontmoet, ’n jong Suid-Afrikaner wat as au pair werk. Dit is ook sy wat saam met hom is dié Vrydagaand die dertiende toe terreur in Parys losbars.
Misverstand is die dertiende roman van een van Suid-Afrika se gewildste skrywers. ’n Roman oor die ontnugtering van die middeljare, die lewe se onweerswolke wat dikwels dreig, en oor bande tussen mense wat beskut. Goodreads

07 May 2017

Why you were taken by J.T. Lawrence

34564330Title: Why You Were Taken
Author: J.T. Lawrence
Published by: Pulp Books
Publication date: 29 March 2015
Read: April 25 - April 30, 2015
Genre: Thriller; Science Fiction (Futuristic)
Pages: 358
ISBN:  9780620655583
Mareli's rating: 3.5 stars
Recommend to: Sci-fi junkies who love the thrill of something "different". J.T. Lawrence's fan-club (this woman can write!)
Description: In tomorrow's world prowls a creative and ruthlessly efficient assassin who won't stop until Kirsten is killed. A troubled woman approaches Kirsten with a warning and a key and is later found dead. Was the woman just another victim of the Suicide Contagion or is there something more sinister at play? The key leads Kirsten to the Doomsday Vault and a hit list of seven people - and her barcode is on it. Edgy and original, Why You Were Taken is a dark cinematic thriller that will keep you guessing till the last page. Goodreads 

Nah, that blurb just doesn't do enough justice to this book. Let's try this one: 

01 May 2017

Library Card May 2017

Greetings! Another month has passed and it's been a rather hectic time at the new house. Renovations and alterations and gardening and all those housy thingies that keep you from reading and blogging. So when the looong weekend in SA finally arrived on Thursday, I was all excited to just relax and take it easy.  I actually had a number of posts planned and all the books from April's Library Card lined up for completion. Alas.... Maybe this house is haunted. It keeps beckoning to me. It keeps pulling me away from the books.....

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Nah. Or at least I don't think so. I love my new house. Nothing weird here. Or scary. 

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I'm just making excuses for not completing my Library List. But let's have a quick look at what I did finish in April:

25 April 2017

Question Marks and Full Stops with Kim Dinan

Greetings! A couple of weeks ago, I've shared some inky feelings on the Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan. This was one of those I-wish-I-had-genie books. "I wish, I wish I could travel to far-off places, to the great, big out-there". Imagine if you also have a yellow envelope in your pocket with just 3 rules: 

33841448Rule #1: Don’t over think it
Rule # 2: Share your experiences
Rule # 3: Don’t feel pressured to give it all away
Now wouldn't that make for a great travel memoir? Throw in some great writing, a few humorous situations and some food-for-thought (quotes from the Yellow Envelope) and it's a done deal.  Needless to say, when Sourcebooks gave me the opportunity to do a Q&A with Kim Dinan, I immediately had a few things I wanted to ask Kim. But I had to think about it. What do I really want to know? Not that much interested in the weather or the food, but the experiences she will carry with her forever and a day:

21 April 2017

Friday Meets - 21 April 2017

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Greetings! It is a beautiful day in my hometown. The sun is shining and it's just a bright bright sunshiny day! So let's talk books for the weekend.

Meet me on Friday @ Friday 56 for a bit of Book Blogger Hop to kick-start the weekend with Book Beginnings.

20 April 2017

Don't Tell Anyone by Eleanor Gray

32853299Title: Don't Tell Anyone
Author: Eleanor Gray
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication date: 08 December 2016 
Read: April 16 - April 18 2017
Genre: Mystery; General Fiction; Family Drama
Pages: 384
ISBN:  9780738750224
Mareli's rating: 4 stars
Recommend to: Lovers of Whodunnit 
Description: Nearly lost in a fog of grief over the fatal stabbing of her daughter, art historian Grace Neville feels only sorrow as Jordan Dukes is found guilty of murder. Days after the sentencing, Grace receives a visit from Jordan’s father, who claims that his son is innocent and a grave miscarriage of justice has taken place. Jordan’s history of gang-related violence and the fact that he doesn’t have an alibi make his father’s plea hard to believe. But then why does somebody break into Grace’s home and go through her daughter’s belongings? In Don’t Tell Anyone, Eleanor Gray explores the relationship between a mother and a daughter, and the secrets that drive Grace to seek the truth no matter what the cost. Goodreads

16 April 2017

The Sunday Headlines #4

Image result for Bunny reading a newspaperGreetings! It's Easter Sunday and time for another edition of The Sunday Headlines where we bring you an update of the past week and give you a forecast of the upcoming week. As always, this post links up with The Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Book Date. Remember to give these lovely ladies a visit and add your linky!

It's been dreadfully cold and raining (hallelujah!) over the weekend, so yes - I would much rather spend my afternoon curled up with a book. But I've already skipped Friday Meets and my strict Dutch Reformed background will not permit my conscience to skip another weekly feature. So let's see how short and sweet this can be!

13 April 2017

Book Travelling Thursdays #4 - The saga of Smelly Cat Part 2

Greetings! Welcome to another edition of Book Travelling Thursdays, hosted by the  Goodreads group. Should you wish to participate, just follow the instructions at the end of this post. 

Earlier this week, I told you about the newest edition to my household. My very own Smelly Cat! Cover Characteristics - Perfume. Seeing that today's theme for Book Travelling Thursdays is your favorite pet, I've decided to honor my little kitten by featuring Jennie by Paul Gallico

12 April 2017

Jane Steele - Reader, I didn't care for it much

Jane SteeleJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book is a very good example of a bad habit. The habit of assumption. One assumes that a book is going to be great for oh so many reasons:

1.Everyone is raving mad about it (Sometimes Everyone is just raving mad)
2. That blurb. I mean really. Of course Everyone is going to go raving mad about it. What's NOT to like about -

"A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked - but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate's true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household's strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him - body, soul and secrets - and what if he discovers her murderous past?"

- I actually get excited just by reading the blurb again.

3. Have you seen the cover? Have you seen the tag-line? Woah! How awesome is that.
4. It's a re-telling of one of the greatest classics on earth.

WHICH IT'S NOT!!!! (No Jane Eyre really is one of the greatest classics, but Jane Steele is not a re-telling of that classic)

11 April 2017

Top Ten most Unique Characters

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Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! Today's topic is Top Ten most unique books we've read. Browsing through my reading lists, I've realized that apparently  I have quite a fondness for unique books. (Most probably because I am such a unique creature myself) And then it hit me! Instead of making a list of the most unique books I've read, what about a list of the most unique characters I've encountered in literature? You know, those characters without an equal, the one of a kind. Those characters who just can't be copied. Yes, there are 100's of them floating out there, but these were my Top Ten Favorites:

10 April 2017

Cover Characteristics - Perfume

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Cover Characteristics is a weekly meme hosted by Sugar and Snark. Every week they give us these gorgeous themes and then you have to pick 5 covers featuring that theme. If you want to participate: 
  • Pick your covers 
  • Post it to your blog
  • Share your post's URL in the linky provided by Sugar and Snark
  • Go and check out the other guys who also posted! 

Greetings! We've picked up a tiny, tiny, tiny little kitten in the neighbor's garden a couple of weeks ago. I took him to the vet this morning and she doesn't think he is much older than 6 weeks (I know - aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh). My husband calls him "Stinkie". That roughly translates to Smelly Cat. Yea! I've got my own Smelly Cat. So today's Cover Characteristics will be dedicated to my brand new Smelly Cat. We'll get you some Perfume my boy. 

09 April 2017

The Sunday Headlines #3

Image result for newspaper template psd free downloadGreetings! Welcome to another edition of The Sunday Headlines where we bring you an update of the past week and give you a forecast of the upcoming week. As always, this post links up with The Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Book Date. Remember to give these lovely ladies a visit and add your linky!

Thalked about this week

07 April 2017

Friday Meets - 07 April 2017

Greetings! No, I'm not here to talk politics today. I'm just here for the books and free coffee and cake. But I simply had to share this joke. Should you by any chance be interested, you are welcome to read more about the Friday March against Zuma @ News24. Let's talk books! 

Meet me on Friday @ Friday 56 for a bit of Book Blogger Hop to kick-start the weekend with Book Beginnings.

06 April 2017

Thursday Quotables #6 - The Signature of All Things

Since its release date in 2013, The Signature of all things by Elizabeth Gilbert has been on my TBR list. I remember the day I bought it at a book sale last year. I. was. just. soooo. happy!!!!!!!

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But I didn't immediately start reading it. I first had to pack it up and unpack it again and a whole lot of other things happened as well. And somewhere along the line, the excitement was left behind. Finally started reading it yesterday afternoon and hooray! - it all came floating back. I just love it! 

I can already relate with so many aspects in this story. Especially Alma's mother and her very strict Dutch and Dutch Reformed Church background. I come from a very similar background and find the following roll-on-the-floor-hysterically funny. Just DON'T let anybody see you..... 

05 April 2017

How to dismally fail at Book Blogging

Exactly one year ago, I've decided to follow my husband's advice and start my own book blog. I guess that means I should have had at least 300 or so posts on my blog. Right? Uhhhhmmmm, nope. My blog is like my marriage - absence makes the heart grow fonder. If I see my husband for 7 consecutive days, it's normally a holiday. You also don't very often see me posting for 7 consecutive days. It's not quite the same? Oh, okay. Will really try my best to do better in the next year. But it truly is a good recipe for my marriage.... 

After a year of sailing around the Blogosphere, I've learned a number of things. Mostly I've learned that you really, really need to be ridiculously bad at blogging to fail Book Blogging 101. So instead of a anniversary post, I've decided to share all the knowledge I've gathered during the past year on How to dismally fail at Book Blogging.

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03 April 2017

Library Card - April 2017

My very first post on this blog was my April 2016 Library Card. Yes, exactly one year ago. Nope, this is not a celebration post. It's just a reflection of what can happen in a year's time. It's not always good. There isn't always growth. Sometimes you get stuck, or even worse - deteriorate. That's when you need to re-trace your steps.

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