Review: The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

Review: The Girl in the Painting by Tea CooperThe Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper
Format: eARC
Source: supplied by publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook, audiobook
Genres: historical fiction, timeslip fiction
Pages: 384
Published by Thomas Nelson on March 9, 2021
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository

A young prodigy in need of family.
A painting that shatters a woman’s peace.
And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.
Australia, 1906
Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship. Having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.
Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.
But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel her story before it’s too late.
From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel presents a mystery that spans continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.
“Combining characters that are wonderfully complex with a story spanning decades of their lives, The Girl in the Painting is a triumph of family, faith, and long-awaited forgiveness. I was swept away!” —Kristy Cambron, bestselling author of The Paris Dressmaker and the Hidden Masterpiece novels
Stand-alone novel with rich historical detailsBook length: 102,000 wordsIncludes discussion questions for book clubs and historical note from the authorAlso by this author: The Woman in the Green Dress

My Review:

Who are we, really? Are we who we think we are, or are we the person we were born to be? It’s an age-old question about nature vs. nurture, and it plays out in this timeslip story powered by the wing-flap of not the butterfly of chaos theory but rather by the wingbeats of a swarm of almost-forgotten doves.

And it’s the story of two lost girls who are found, in the end, one by the other. Or maybe three lost girls.

The story opens, rather than begins, in Australia in 1906, when math-whiz Jane Piper is rescued from the local orphanage by the equally gifted Elizabeth Quinn and her brother Michael. The Quinns have made a great success of their many businesses in Maitland, New South Wales. Australia has been very, very good to the Quinns, who have never forgotten their roots as desperate Irish immigrants in the 1860s. Jane is the latest in a very long line of young people that the Quinns have taken into their home and businesses from the orphanage.

But Jane’s mathematical talent makes her special. The Quinns, now well into middle age, have expanded their original business enterprises, stores and auction houses, into philanthropy on Elizabeth’s part and politics on Michael’s. Neither has ever married, and in Jane’s mathematical talents they see someone they can train to help them in their many endeavors.

And Jane is more than willing. She’s a math prodigy but not very cognizant of social cues. In today’s terms we’d probably say that she was somewhere on the part of the autism spectrum that includes Asperger’s. Her unofficial adoption into the Quinn’s household turns out to be a boon for not just Jane but also Michael and Elizabeth, as she becomes both their quasi-niece and a valued assistant to both of the Quinns.

It is in that capacity that Jane finds herself in the midst of the Quinns’ greatest secret, as the long-buried past interferes in the suddenly fraught present.

Escape Rating A-: I originally picked this up because I really enjoyed one of the author’s previous books, The Woman in the Green Dress, and was hoping for more of the same. Which I definitely got with The Girl in the Painting.

Both stories are set in Australia, and both feature dual timelines, the historical past and then the past of the main characters, and both are centered around old and nearly-forgotten mysteries, although the stories don’t relate to each other. So if you like the sound of The Girl in the Painting, you’ll love The Woman in the Green Dress and very much vice-versa.

At the top I said this was a story about nature vs. nurture, and that turns out to be what lies at the heart of the mystery as well. A mystery that neither the readers nor the characters are aware of as the story begins.

When we first peer into Michael and Elizabeth Quinn’s past, we see the brother and sister on the gangplank at Liverpool, waiting to board a ship for Australia to reconnect with their parents. It’s only as the story continues that we discover that what we assumed about that initial scene, and what Elizabeth remembers of it – after all, she was only 4 years old at the time – are not quite what actually happened.

It’s a secret that Michael has been keeping from his sister for 50 years at this point, and it’s highly likely he intended to go right on keeping it. At least until Elizabeth has a “turn” or a psychological break, or a breakthrough of suppressed memory, at an art exhibit, and all of his secrets start to unravel.

And even though I guessed what one of those secrets was fairly early on, the story, both in their past and in their present, it still made for a compelling read. Just because I’d managed to fill in one corner of the jigsaw did not mean I had much of an inkling about the rest of the puzzle. Pulling the remaining pieces out of their box and figuring out how they fit – or perhaps didn’t fit – was part of what made this story so compelling for me as a reader.

In order to reconcile the past with the present, it’s up to Jane Piper, now a full-fledged partner in the business, to poke and prod her way into those mysteries that refuse to lie dormant in the past. Not because Jane is any kind of detective, but because she loves the Quinns, is grateful to them, and simply can’t resist her own compulsion to resolve the unresolved, as that’s part of her mathematical gift and her social awkwardness. She has to know, and she can’t rest until she does.

While I found Jane herself to be a bit of an unresolved character, more of a vehicle for the story to be told than an integral part of it, the story of Michael and Elizabeth Quinn’s rise from hardworking poverty to wealth and influence was fascinating in its portrayal of two people who lived a lie that was also the utter and absolute truth.

As much as I enjoyed the Quinns’ story, I have to say that I’m finding this author’s portrayal of Australian history wrapped in fiction to be lovely and absorbing and I’m looking forward to her next book (it looks like it will be The Cartographer’s Secret) whenever it appears.

This post is part of a TLC book tour. Click on the logo for more reviews and features.


The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-7-21

Sunday Post

Today is definitely an occasion for one of those “how it started, how it’s going” pictures of George. We adopted him last April as a rescue when he was approximately 6 weeks old, so this week we celebrated his nominal first birthday. He’s gone from a slightly scared little orange fuzzball to a very big – and also slightly hammy – boy!

But speaking of how things start and how things go, I think the coming week schedule will hold up, not that I’ve had much luck with that the past few weeks. We’ll see.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop
$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Wish Big Giveaway Hop is Amber T.

Blog Recap:

Lady Luck Giveaway Hop
Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop
C+ Review: To Catch a Dream by Audrey Carlan
A- Review: Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
A Review: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Stacking the Shelves (434)

Coming This Week:

The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper (blog tour review)
Meant to Be by Jude Deveraux (blog tour review)
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (review)
The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers (review)
Shift Work by TA Moore (blog tour review)

Stacking the Shelves (434)

Stacking the Shelves

By the time I got finished putting this together I almost left the ‘XXX’ placeholder line in instead of actually typing something. It’s a very tall stack! So many fascinating books to choose from! However will I pick just one at a time?

For Review:
The Ack Ack Girl (Love and War #1) by Chris Karlsen
All the Children Are Home by Patry Francis
Becoming Leidah by Michell Grierson
The Best Thing You Can Steal (Gideon Sable #1) by Simon R. Green
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Early Morning Riser by Katherine Henry
The Elephant of Belfast by S. Kirk Walsh
The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade
The Future is Yours by Dan Frey
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers #4) by Becky Chambers
Gone Missing in Harlem by Karla FC Holloway
Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin
The House of Styx (Venus Ascendant #1) by Derek Kunsken
Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer
In a Book Club Far Away by Tif Marcelo
In the Company of Killers by Bryan Christy
Infinite by Brian Freeman
The Infinity Courts (Infinity Courts #1) by Akemi Dawn Bowman
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer
Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey
Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher
The Nightborn (Stormbringer #2) by Isabel Cooper
Northern Spy by Flynn Berry
Revelations by Mary Sharratt
A River Called Time by Courttia Newland
Shift Work (Night Shift #1) by TA Moore
Situation Normal by Leonard Richardson
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle
The Unkindness of Ravens by M.E. Hilliard
When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain
The Widow Queen (Bold #1) by Elzbieta Cherezinska
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
You Love Me (You #3) by Caroline Kepnes

Review: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Review: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuireEvery Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire
Format: eARC
Source: supplied by publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Genres: Dark Fantasy, magical realism, mystery, urban fantasy
Series: Wayward Children #1
Pages: 173
Published by Tordotcom on April 5, 2016
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward ChildrenNo SolicitationsNo VisitorsNo Quests
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.

My Review:

What happens AFTER someone comes back from Narnia? Peter and Susan and Edmund and Lucy got off really, really easy when they came back through the wardrobe. (Well, Lucy didn’t – at first) But after years of growing up in Narnia and becoming kings and queens and having all sorts of adventures, when they popped back through the wardrobe at the end of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe they all seem to have gone back to being their original ages without much peering back through that looking glass.

The children who are sent to Eleanor West’s boarding school for wayward children aren’t quite like the ones who went to Narnia and returned seemingly unscathed if not completely unchanged. These children, like Eleanor herself once upon a time, found their way through a doorway, a wardrobe or a portal that was meant just for them, taking them to a place that their hearts and souls knew as home.

But their homes spit them back out again, ejected them back into our so-called “real” world, into a place where they no longer fit. And since they were children, back to parents who could not believe the stories their children told about the places that they had been and the things that they had done.

Parents who were certain that their children could be “fixed”. That with enough time and therapy – and even medications – their “real” children would return to them.

Nancy is the latest of Eleanor West’s wayward children. She spent years in the lands of the dead – and she wants to go back. Just as the other children at Miss West’s want to go back to their own worlds.

Some of them might manage it. But lightning seldom strikes the same place twice. Some of the children will have to grow up and learn to live in the world that gave them birth rather than the one their hearts call home.

Unless one of the other children kills them first.

Escape Rating A: Seanan McGuire is an author who has been recommended to me any number of times. One of my friends absolutely adores her work. But I bounced hard off of her October Daye series years ago and just never managed to get into anything else of hers despite repeated attempts.

But the latest book in this series, Across the Green Grass Fields, popped up on another list of “must reads” for this year, and this week went to overcommitment hell in a handcart, so I needed something relatively short, and I decided to try one more time. I don’t know how many attempts this makes, but whatever it is it was finally the charm.

Every Heart a Doorway sits at a very creepy corner between urban fantasy, mystery, dark fantasy and magical realism, imbued where snarkitude has blended with the macabre in a way that left me half expecting to find Wednesday Addams pulling the strings and telling the über-chilling campfire stories.

At the same time, it felt like an inside out version of Marie Brennan’s Driftwood, where instead of remnants of dead worlds crashing together it’s a story about lost refugees from closed worlds clinging together in all-too-frequently manic desperation.

To make the story even more compelling, on top of this marvelous creation, this place where children who have “seen the elephant” or whatever perspective-altering strange and terrible wonder applies to the world they visited, we have a murder mystery. Someone is killing the children, and it’s up to those few among them who have been, not to bright and happy worlds but rather to somber underworlds, to find the killer among them before it’s too late.

And it’s utterly marvelous every single step of the way.

I’ll be back to see who next comes to Miss West’s the next time I need a short book to take me out of whatever. Because this series is a portal to a fantastic world all by itself. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s Down Among the Sticks and Bones the next time I want to step through that door.

Review: Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

Review: Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de BodardFireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
Format: eARC
Source: supplied by publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genres: fantasy
Pages: 112
Published by Tordotcom on February 9, 2021
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository

Award-winning author Aliette de Bodard returns with a powerful romantic fantasy that reads like The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in a pre-colonial Vietnamese-esque world.

Fire burns bright and has a long memory….
Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.
Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.
Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?

My Review:

I was expecting this to remind me of When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, and it did, but not because of the tiger. It’s more that it reminded me of both of the books in the Singing Hills Cycle, not just Tiger but also the first book, The Empress of Salt and Fortune. Now that I think about it, it reminds me much more of Empress, in spite of that Tiger.

Like The Empress of Salt and Fortune, this feels like a story that is creating a legend along with its secondary world. And both stories feature women that their contemporaries saw as disposable and forgettable.

Thanh has spent her whole life living under her mother the empress’ disapproving eye – and thumb. Her accomplishments, her achievements, her very person swallowed up by the long shadows cast by her two older, more accomplished, more favored sisters.

Even the one time that Thanh was sent away in order to further the goals of her empire and empress, she failed to impress, she failed to learn, and she was sent home early and in disgrace.

But Thanh brought back more than anyone imagined from her time as a political hostage in powerful, dominant Ephteria.

The love, or at least the romantic obsession, of Ephteria’s Crown Princess Eldris, and the fire that destroyed the royal palace where she was held captive for her country’s “good” behavior.

Now Ephteria has come to Thanh’s home, to take possession of what she believes is hers by right of her superior power. Not just Thanh, but also her country. Not as outright conquest, but through the latest in a long list of political maneuvers where Eptheria trades guns for the autonomy of countries, including Thanh’s, piece by inexorable piece.

Until Thanh says “No”. To her mother, to Eldris, to Ephteria. And finally embraces the fire at the heart of the tiger – and her own.

Escape Rating A-: While a romance occurs, or rather an affair occurred and as the story ends it seems like a real romance is about to happen, this is not a romance. It’s a coming-of-age and/or coming-into-power story.

In fact, it’s Thanh’s realization about the truth of her relationship with Eldris that helps her come into her power. Her own power and not power derived from her relationship to anyone else.

Because this is also a story about politics and history. These events may take place in a fantasy setting, but this has all happened before and it will all happen again. Specifically, what is happening sounds all too much like the way that the British Raj swallowed up India, and the way that the British and other Western forces inserted themselves into China.

So it’s clear what the Ephterians want. They want control – and they’re taking it – one concession at a time. In order to maintain her country’s security, Thanh’s mother needs to acquire more weapons to protect herself from the surrounding regions. But Ephteria encroaches just a little bit more on that precious independence in every negotiation and with every shipment.

Eldris’ desire for Thanh, to capture the one who got away, is part and parcel of that encroachment. Their relationship was never about love – at least not on Eldris’ part no matter what she might call it.  It’s always and only been about possession, and eventually, subjugation. A situation that Thanh almost falls back into, with eyes wide shut, in order to save her country the only way she knows how, by giving in to the greater power – in this case the power of Eldris – in order to stave off the depredations of an even greater threat, Ephteria’s armies.

So this whole story revolves around the politics of the relationship of Thanh’s subservient country to Eldris’ dominant one, and it’s personified in the relationship between Thanh and Eldris.

But Thanh can only come into her power when she steps away from that subservient path, subservient to both her mother and Eldris. When Thanh takes hold of the reins of her own life, of the fire in her own heart and mind and soul, she’s able to forge a new path for her country and most of all, for herself.

And that’s what sets this story on fire – along with the heart of fire elemental in the shape of a tiger.

Review: To Catch a Dream by Audrey Carlan

Review: To Catch a Dream by Audrey CarlanTo Catch a Dream by Audrey Carlan
Format: eARC
Source: supplied by publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook, audiobook
Genres: contemporary romance, women's fiction
Series: Wish #2
Pages: 320
Published by Hqn on March 9, 2021
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the worldwide phenomenon Calendar Girl series brings readers a poignant and honest look at life’s most complicated relationships.
When their mother passed away, Evie Ross and her sister were each given a stack of letters, one to be opened every year on their birthday; letters their free-spirited mother hoped would inspire and guide them through adulthood. But although Evie has made a successful career, her desire for the stability and security she never had from her parents has meant she’s never experienced the best life has to offer. But the discovery of more letters hidden in a safe-deposit box points to secrets her mother held close, and possibly a new way for Evie to think about her family, her heart and her dreams.
“Audrey Carlan has created a gem of a story about sisterhood, love, second chances, and the kind of wanderlust that won’t be silenced, reminding us that sometimes the most important journey is the one we take home.” —Lexi Ryan, New York Times bestselling author

My Review:

There are two stories in To Catch a Dream. One is a story of sisterhood, and that part of the story is also about finding the place that your heart can call home – even if it’s not a place at all. And that part of the story really worked – at least for this reader.

The second part of the story is the romance. It’s a story about finally making the dreams of love and romance you had when you were experiencing your first crush come not just true, but seemingly just about perfect. And I have to say that this part of the story did not work nearly as well, at least not for this reader.

The relationship between Evie, her younger sister Suda Kaye and their mother Catori is a story about roots and wings and baggage. And I include Catori in the present tense because that relationship is still very much a part of both Evie and Suda Kaye’s present even though Catori has been dead for over a decade by the time To Catch a Dream begins.

When Catori died, Evie was 20, Suda Kaye was 18 and their mother had NEVER been their primary caregiver. That role was reserved for Catori’s father Tahsuda, the grandfather that the girls called Toko who was the defining figure in their lives.

Why? Because their father Adam Ross was a career Army officer, someone high up in hush-hush operations, and someone who lived where he served – wherever in the world that might be. Catori knew that going in, but the reality turned out to be more than she could handle as a young mother with postpartum depression and a baby.

Catori was a free spirit, born with wanderlust, and her home was never going to be a fixed place. So she left her daughters on the reservation with her own father and took off. Not that both Catori and Adam didn’t come back to their daughters as often as they could, but it made for a far from conventional upbringing for the girls.

When Catori succumbed to cancer, the girls were just barely old enough to take care of themselves. But she left them each a pile of letters, one to be opened on each of their birthdays, year after year, until the piles ran out. She left them each a piece of her spirit even if she couldn’t be with them.

And as soon as she opened her letter, Suda Kaye began making plans to follow the wanderlust in her own heart, leaving Evie heartbroken all over again, wondering why she was never enough for anyone she loved.

Suda Kaye returned to Colorado in the first book in the The Wish series, What the Heart Wants, which I haven’t read but didn’t feel like I missed anything important for this story by not having read that one.

As this story opens, Suda Kaye has found her heart has led her home, and she has found her happy ever after, but she and Evie still have a ton of baggage to get over, and a metric buttload of resentment, hurt and anger that they are both trying desperately to ignore.

And in the middle of that still seeping emotional wound, Suda Kaye just HAS to manipulate and maneuver her sister into the path of the childhood crush that she never got over. While it may be that folks who have found their own romantic HEAs are particularly bound and determined to make sure that every single person in their orbit finds theirs, the course of true love does not run smooth when there are too many people sticking their oars in the water.

Escape Rating C+: As I said, there were two parts to this story, as is fitting for something that straddles the line between women’s fiction and romance. The women’s fiction part of this story worked really, really well for me. As much as Suda Kaye would drive me crazy, and frequently does her sister Evie, their relationship felt solid and loving and grounded even when they were arguing. All of their stuff felt very real – including Suda Kaye’s well-intentioned but MUCH too frequent interference in her sister’s life.

And I especially loved the relationship that they both had with their grandfather. That was beautifully done.

But, and you knew there was a but coming, I had serious issues with the relationship between Evie and Milo, the relationship that eventually becomes the romance in the story.

I say eventually because in the first half of the book, Milo comes on so strong, and is so overbearingly heavy-handed in all of his dealings with Evie that I had to wonder whether that part of the book was going to turn out to be a cautionary tale about letting a man take over your life rather than a romance.

Although Milo and Evie have known each other since they were 12 and 8 respectively, when Milo saved Evie from a bunch of bullies, they have not had an ongoing friendship. So when the meet again as adults, the way that Milo declares that Evie is “his woman” and overrides her expressed wishes because he knows what’s best for her, it was honestly cringeworthy. He comes across as an obsessed stalker, and their every interaction for the entire first half of the book felt possessive and overbearing – not the start of a romance.

That he also wants to merge their businesses as well as their personal lives made things extra-squicky for a significant part of the story, because he kept ignoring and overriding Evie’s expressed opinions, concerns and needs. Even if he turned out to be right, the way that their romance began did not read like a relationship of equals.

I will say that Milo redeems himself in the second half of the story, but the impression left by the first half lingers uncomfortably.

So skim the first half of the romance, read this one for the sisterhood and the family relationships and the awesome and surprising cliffie at the end that sets up the next story in the series, On the Sweet Side.

Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop, hosted by  The Mommy Island & The Kids Did It!

What does it mean to you to be lucky or to get lucky, beyond the obvious salacious double-entendre?

Galen and I regularly ask each other how we each got so lucky as to have found each other. We’ll be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary while this hop is going on, and I think we both feel just as lucky, if not more so, now as we did when we got married. And COVID Times, as strange as they have been, have made that feeling of being lucky with each other even more profound.

We’ve also been very lucky with our fur-children, and they are certainly lucky to have found us – or at least someone like us – as they are all rescues. Lucifer seems to be the one most aware of his good fortune, as he was living “rough” as an adult cat. where the others were all rescued as kittens. Lucifer always comes to one of us to thank us before he eats. I know I’m anthropomorphizing, but it really does seem that way. It’s one of the many reasons that he’s the sweetest demon in the whole world.

Along with being the luckiest.

What’s the luckiest thing that ever happened to you? Answer in the rafflecopter for a chance to get lucky and win the usual Reading Reality prize, the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a book up to $10 from the Book Depository. This giveaway is open anywhere the Book Depository ships.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more chances to get lucky, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

Lady Luck Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Lady Luck Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox!

The theme for this hop made me think of Luck Be a Lady, a song from the “Great American Songbook” that’s been covered over and over (and over) again since it was first performed by Robert Alda in the musical Guys and Dolls all the way back in 1950 – on Broadway. The version I’m hearing in my head is the one by Frank Sinatra, as it became one his signature songs, so I probably heard it, well, over and over again. You might have heard that version too, if you ever saw the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, as it’s the one that’s used in the film.

The classics never seem to die, they just get repurposed. That’s what makes them classic.

Whether luck is ever a lady is certainly open to question. She is when she’s running in your favor, and she isn’t when she’s in someone else’s. That’s Life, or so another classic song of the same era  – also popularized by Sinatra – goes.

But this is a giveaway hop, so luck might be a lady for you. All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter for a chance at Reading Reality’s usual prize, the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 book from the Book Depository. This giveaway is open to everywhere the Book Depository ships!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more chances to get lucky, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 2-28-21

Sunday Post

Everybody gets lucky this week, as I have two blog hops starting up, both of them with a “Luck” theme. After all, St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! There will also be plenty fo chances to get lucky this time next month, because this April I’ll be celebrating Reading Reality’s 10th Blogoversary along with my birthday. I have a wonderful new logo for this year’s celebration, featuring not only Reading Reality’s signature bear but my favorite demon, Lucifer T. Cat.

And speaking of both luck and Lucifer, here’s a picture of the scene that I’m lucky enough to be greeted with every night when I go to bed, Lucifer on my pillows, barely visible, and Freddie curled up behind Galen’s legs.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop (ENDS TONIGHT!!!)

Blog Recap:

A- Review: Level Up by Cathy Yardley
A- Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Spotlight + Excerpt: Her Dark Lies by J.T. Ellison
A- Review: Matagorda Breeze by Lyla Hopper
B+ Review: Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters by Aimee Ogden
Stacking the Shelves (433)

Coming This Week:

Lady Luck Giveaway Hop
Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop
To Catch a Dream by Audrey Carlan (blog tour review)
Dark Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy (review)
Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard (review)

Stacking the Shelves (433)

Stacking the Shelves

This stack has the dubious distinction of being the tallest in a long, long while. Probably since this time last year. But hey! I’ve already read one. It’s a start!

For Review:
Amid the Crowd of Stars by Stephen Leigh
Children of Chicago by Cynthia Pelayo
Dead Space by Kali Wallace
Duke: Inspector Mislan and the Expressway Murders (Inspector Mislan #2) by Rozlan Mohd Noor
Edie Richter is Not Alone by Rebecca Handler
Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay
Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson
The Family Ship by Sonja Yoerg
The Foreign Girls by Sergio Olguín
A Game of Cones (Ice Cream Parlor #2) by Abby Collette
Gathering Dark by Candice Fox
The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Karolina and the Torn Curtain (Zofia Turbotynska #2) by Maryla Szymiczkowa
The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge
Lightseekers by Femi Kayode
The Lost Village by Camilla Sten
Machinehood by S.B. Divya
A Man at Arms by Steven Pressfield
A Million Reasons Why by Jessica Strawser
One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg
The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths
The Rebel Nun by Marj Charlier
Red Widow by Alma Katsu
The Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie Bostwick
A Rogue to Remember (League of Scoundrels #1) by Emily Sullivan
The Route of Ice and Salt by José Luis Zárate
The Silenced Women (Violent Crime Investigations Team #1) by Frederick Weisel
Sinners and Saints (Blood and Bone #2) by Jennifer Roberson
Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters by Aimee Ogden (REVIEW!)
The Velocity of Revolution by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Vera by Carol Edgarian
We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
When I Ran Away by Ilona Bannister
Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews