4 Stars · Book Review · China · Favorite Authors

Adventure abounds in Jeff Wheeler’s latest novel, The Killing Fog

41SJKIH2+DL._SY346_Hey friends!  How are you?  Are you reading a lot more lately?  I’ve seen a lot more posts in the books subreddit  on Reddit and a ton more book discussions between friends on Facebook.  It looks like most of us are dealing with these stay-at-home orders by indulging in lots and lots of reading.

So tell me, what are you reading?  I don’t have the stomach for anything dystopian at the moment, but Jeff Wheeler’s newest book just arrived and it was like Christmas morning on my kindle.  Y’all know how much I enjoy Jeff Wheeler’s world building and The Killing Fog just really took me in completely.

One of my favorite things about Wheeler’s writing is that he takes familiar-ish stories, locations or times and gives them a very magical supernatural spin.   His world building skills are incredible and The Killing Fog delivers completely in this sense.  The characters were much stronger than in The Harbinger Series  and the writing itself was almost as strong as that of The Kingfountain Series.    I’ve always find it interesting that Wheeler’s main characters are almost always strong capable young women and that he tends to write them fairly well for a middle aged man.

Hands down, The Kingfountain Series is still my favorite of Wheeler’s works (and I HIGHLY recommend these books if you’re in the mood for something well written, intriguing and magical), but The Killing Fog comes in at a strong second.  While the Harbinger Series, Muirwood and Mirrowen were good young adult fiction, The Kingfountain Series and The Grave Kingdom Series are better suited for mature readers and really show Wheeler at his finest.

Wheeler’s books are meant to be read as a series, they’re not standalone books, which can be a little bit annoying.  Especially since the next book in The Grave Kingdom series isn’t out until June, but it’s also nice to have something to look forward to.

Take care!  until next time, cheers!

-R

4 Stars · Bad Ass Women · children's books · Favorite Books · leadership

My favorite book to gift this year + Read on to find out how you can get a FREE copy!

Hey hey!  It’s been a while.

Things have been bananas around here.  Not only am I working my normal job, I’m also starting up my own Pilates + Stretch Studio!  Woohoo!!  Super fun but also a lot of work.

Anywho, with all of that going on, writing has taken a back seat.  I’ve missed it though and wanted to pop in today with a quick hello and introduce you to the #1 book I’m gifting this year!  Seriously, there may have been four purchases of this book already.

Without further ado, introducing “Rosie Revere, Engineer”.   Yes, yes, I know it came out in 2013.  I still love it and am going to rave about it!

The age range for this book is 5+ with a recommended age of K-2nd grade.  However, both my husband and I found great inspiration in this book.  In fact, I read it out loud to the family the other day, while everyone was in the kitchen bustling to get going for the day.  It was just one of those days where things felt impossible and I just felt like giving up on all of our extra projects.  Rosie Revere was sitting on the counter, and in a random bit inspiration, I read it out loud.  By the last page, I was smiling and ready to give it another go and the munchkin was stoked because he got an extra random breakfast story time.

Like “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, this book is really great for anyone who needs a little extra pick me up or is starting out on a new adventure.  This is the perfect gift for December grads and also makes a fantastic Christmas gift.  It’s also a good one for coworker gifts.

My 6 month old niece is getting a copy for Christmas, as are a few little friends who have bday parties in December.

Seriously loving this book this year!  I love it so much in fact, that I’d love to give you a copy!  If you’re interested, all you have to do is follow this blog. I’ll choose one winner at random from all of my blog followers.  The winner will be announced on Dec 15th.  Just in time for gifting if you’re wanting to gift a copy!

Until next time, happy reading!

 

Rosie Revere Engineer

4 Stars · Book Review · Historical Fiction · Spain · Summer Read · thoughts · WWII

The Snow Gypsy by Lindsay Jayne Ashford

51Wi2vWaM4L._SY346_The Snow Gypsy, by Lindsay Jayne Ashford, was one of the best books I’ve read this summer.  In this beautiful novel, set at the closing edges of WWII, Ashford leaves both Germany and Britain behind, forgoes the soldiers and war torn lovers and takes readers high into the mountains of post WWII Spain.

The Snow Gypsy follows Rose, a British veterinarian as she searches for her beloved brother who disappeared in Spain while fighting with Gypsy partisans eight years prior.  Rose’s search leads her directly into the heart and home of Lola Aragon and her gypsy family, and sends  them both head first into the complexities of a small mountain community grappling with their communal wounds after the war.

Ashford is the master of simple complexity.  The Snow Gypsy has a handful of characters who are rich and well developed and as complex as the flamenco rhythms Ashford employs throughout the book.  Each chapter is layered with emotion, joy, fear, pride, happiness, anger, love, lust, confusion, guilt, each landing on top of the other in a complex pattern of humanity.  I was particularly appreciative of how the book felt so authentic, as if Ashford was a witness to the times rather than just writing about them or putting her own romantic spin on what she hoped life would be like for Spanish Gypsies or women in the 1940’s.  Unlike Yaquian in Theads of Silk, Rose’s actions and decisions were both strong and strange, but they made sense for her character, the times and the location.

The story is strong and shocking, many events were unexpected and felt true to life.  I always appreciate when an author takes on a very popular subject like WWII and provides an entirely different angle from another perspective.  Like The Last Train to Istanbul, The Snow Gypsy further expanded my understanding of the true reach and depth of WWII and all of those impacted.

Great beach read.  4 stars.

Until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

R