Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday # 6

Waiting on Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme gives bloggers the chance to talk about a book that may not be coming out for a few months, but that they are still excited about. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings #3)

Author: Jackson Pearce
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
My Rating: 4 Stars 
Pages: 304
Reviewed by: Nicole

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.
Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.
When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: On Your Own (Season 9, #2)

Author: Andrew Chambliss, Scott Allie, Joss Wheaton
Goodreads Rating: 4.00
My Rating: 5.00
Pages: 144
Reviewed by: Nicole
With the Scooby gang on the skids, Buffy finds herself increasingly alone. When faced with some tough decisions grounded in “real world” problems (i.e., not the slaying of pesky demons), Buffy is determined to make her own choices, but that doesn’t mean she won't need a little handholding along the way. Cue Spike, compelled to stand by his best friend in her moment of need. Together they'll tackle the increasing zompire population and a rogue Slayer out for blood. Collects Buffy Season 9 #6–#10; and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Space No One Can Hear You Slay!” from Free Comic Book Day 2012.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Showcase Sunday #11: Fierce Reads Edition

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicki over at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Showcase Sunday is a chance for us bloggers to share with you, our readers, what we have gotten recently. This week is also really special because I have two guests with me!

Friday, October 26, 2012


Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Goodreads Rating: 4.15
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: 370
Reviewed By: Nicole
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.
But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Goodreads Rating: 4.15
My Rating: 3.75 Stars
Pages: 288
Reviewed by: Nicole

Dying sucks-- and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out.

However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Author: Jessica Khoury
Goodreads Rating: 3.87
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 400
Reviewed by: Nicole

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.
Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.
Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hidden (Firelight #3)

Author: Sophie Jordan
Goodreads Rating: 4.41
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 272
Reviewed by: Nicole

Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory.
The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning....
Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Showcase Sunday #10: NYCC Edition

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicki over at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Showcase Sunday is a chance for us bloggers to share with you, our readers, what we have gotten recently. I don't often get any new books because I have a hard enough time keeping up with ones that I already have, but this week I went to New York Comic Con, so I figured it was a special time!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Author: J.R. Ward
Goodreads rating: 3.85/5
My rating: 4/5
Pages: 474

Reviewed by: Amy

Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about—his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that — until fate intervenes in the form of a tough- talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart—and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Princess Elizabeth's Spy (Maggie Hope #2)

Author: Susan Elia MacNeal
Goodreads Rating: 4.15
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Pages: 384
Reviewed By: Nicole

As World War II sweeps the continent and England steels itself against German attack, Maggie Hope, former secretary to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, completes her training to become a spy for MI-5. Spirited, strong-willed, and possessing one of the sharpest minds in government for mathematics and code-breaking, she fully expects to be sent abroad to gather intelligence for the British front. Instead, to her great disappointment, she is dispatched to go undercover at Windsor Castle, where she will tutor the young Princess Elizabeth in math. Yet castle life quickly proves more dangerous—and deadly—than Maggie ever expected. The upstairs-downstairs world at Windsor is thrown into disarray by a shocking murder, which draws Maggie into a vast conspiracy that places the entire royal family in peril. And as she races to save England from a most disturbing fate, Maggie realizes that a quick wit is her best defense, and that the smallest clues can unravel the biggest secrets, even within her own family.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Time Will Come # 8

The Time Will Come is a meme hosted by Jodie over at Books for Company. I keep wanting to call this This Too Shall Pass, but alas, that is not the name, but the concept is the same. These are books that I really want to read but just haven't gotten around to.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gravity Synopses and Author Spotlight

Today Paperback Princess is hosting a stop on the Blog tour for Melissa West's debut book Gravity. This tour is hosted by Itching for Books.

Goodreads Synoses: 

In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed--arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know--especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme gives bloggers the chance to talk about a book that may not be coming out for a few months, but that they are still excited about. 

The Archived 
by Victoria Schwab
Release date: January 22, 2012

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.
Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.
In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
I really just wanted to leave it with the first line. I mean, how great does that sound?! I was also completely drawn to this book because I used to want to be an Archivist for my big kid job, and all I can think is maybe if this was the job, then maybe I would have stuck with it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Spindlers

Author: Lauren Oliver
Goodreads Rating: 3.75
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: 256
Reviewed by: Nicole

I got this book at BEA12. This book is a middle grade read.

Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers-evil, spiderlike beings-came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him.
Armed with little more than her wits and a huge talking rat for a guide, Liza descends into the dark and ominous underground to save Patrick's soul. Her quest is far from easy, and the road to the spindlers' nests is riddled with danger. She must brave tree snakes, the Court of Stones, and shape-shifting serpents before facing her greatest challenge in the spindlers' lair, where more than just Patrick's soul is at stake.

Interview with Susan Elia MacNeal

Hey all! Today I'm going to introduce you to one of my favorite Historical Fiction authors. Her name is Susan Elia MacNeal, and she writes the Maggie Hope series about a female spy during WWII. Below you can find out more about he and her writing process below! If you stick around to the end, you're going to find a nice surprise!

The Interview

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello Nicole! Hello, lovely readers!

Well, let’s see — I grew up in Buffalo, New York and attended Nardin Academy. I went to Wellesley College, just outside Boston, where I also took classes at MIT and graduated with a B.A. in English. After that, I went to the Radcliffe Publishing Course, a six-week book and magazine intensive course (a sort of “publishing boot camp”). I became a paid intern at Random House in New York, then worked my way up the editorial ladder, becoming an associate editor at Dance Magazine, a job I absolutely loved.
            Alas, the magazine moved to San Francisco, but since I’d just gotten married (and now had health insurance through my husband), I decided to freelance as a writer and editor.
            Ok, that’s the factual stuff. The fun stuff? Well, I married a Muppet (not really a Muppet, but a guy who’s done significant work with the Jim Henson Company and works in children’s television) and live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I’m also the mom of a seven-year-old son (seven going on forty-two!), and we have two funny, naughty cats, Xander and Lola. I don’t have a lot of free time, but I do love to cook and have people over for dinner. A friend calls our place “the clubhouse” because we always have a friend or two (or more) around — musicians, journalists, actors, puppeteers, artists, ballerinas, break dancers, Chinese acrobats — you name it, our friends do it.

What inspired Maggie Hope?

I’d been taking fiction writing classes at the Harvard Extension School and also the 92nd Street Y, and most everything I was writing was set in present-day New York. Then, thanks to my husband’s work on the Disney Chanel show, Bear in the Big Blue House, we were able to go to London frequently, and stay there for fairly long chunks of time.
            I remember going to the Churchill War Rooms in London on a lark. It was a random rainy Tuesday. A British friend had guilt-tripped me into going, actually: “World War II did start before Pearl Harbor, you know….” So I went.
The underground corridors looked just as they must have during the war — and suddenly I felt like time telescoped in on itself and the Blitz was going on overhead — with the smell of cigarette smoke, the clatter of typewriter keys, the shrill ring of telephones. Not to mention all those tense, pale men in military uniforms or dark suits waiting for the arrival of the Prime Minister.
            The moment didn’t last, but the feeling haunted me. I knew I wanted to write about it, but I really didn’t have the confidence — what did I know about London in the 1940s? (I mean, really — how presumptuous!) But my husband saw how taken I was by the idea and encouraged me.
And so, Maggie Hope was inspired by Winston Churchill’s actual wartime secretaries. I knew I wanted to write a strong woman character and did some research on the typists, including Mrs. Elizabeth Layton Nel, who wrote a wonderful memoir of her time working for Mr. Churchill during the Blitz. I was honored that Mrs. Nel corresponded with me in 2004-05.
Maggie herself is inspired by my writing mentor, the late Judith Merkle Riley. I worked on Judith’s books at Viking/Penguin, and we became friends. Maggie gets her name and her red hair from Judith’s character Margaret in her novel A Vision of Light. But a lot of Maggie’s character was (and is) based on Judith herself, who was an academic as well as a novelist. She would look at some of the scenes I’d written and say, “No! It was even more horrible and sexist back then!” Then she’d tell me some things that were said to her, and what she wished she could have said…Yes, a lot of Maggie is Judith.

What made you decide to become a writer?

You know, I don’t think I ever decided — I really felt like Mr. Churchill’s Secretary picked me up by my metaphoric lapels, shook me and said, “You must write this! You have no choice!”

What was your favorite scene in Princess Elizabeth’s Spy and Mr. Churchill’s Secretary?

Hmmm…In Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, I was terrified to write any of the scenes with Winston Churchill (because, you know — no pressure or anything). However, once I started, I always had lots of fun with those scenes.
One of my proudest moments as a writer was getting the “seal of approval” on my portrayal of Sir Winston (and Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and Princess Elizabeth’s Spy) from venerable Churchill historian Richard M. Langworth, C.B.E.. He is the author of four books: Winston Churchill by Himself (2008), The Definitive Wit of Winston Churchill (2009), The Patriot’s Churchill (2010) and All Will Be Well: Good Advice from Winston Churchill (2011). He’s also the founder of the Churchill Centre and the editor of the journal Finest Hour, which is running a lovely review of both Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, written by fellow novelist Michael McMenamin, author of the Winston Churchill thrillers, The Devalra Deception, The Parcifal Pursuit, and The Gemeni Adgenda.
In PRINCESS ELIZABETH’S SPY, I really loved writing the scenes with Maggie and the young Princess Elizabeth. Despite the vast differences in their lives, they both are serious and smart women, with a strong sense of duty, but also a streak of whimsy.

Was their any scene that was particularly hard to write?

I find the characters of Edmund Hope challenging to write, especially now that I’m a parent. I can’t fathom a parent ever abandoning a child. And yet, a similar situation happened to my husband—we only recently found out that his biological father faked his own death, then started a new life in a different state. (And in case you’re wondering, no, I really and truly am not kidding. I wish I were.)
Obviously, that revelation affected my writing. Some people are quick to say things about Maggie’s story, like, “That’s crazy! That’s soooo over the top!” Meanwhile, I want to say, “Hey, come over to our place. Let me pour you a martini and then let’s talk about what’s ‘crazy.’ ”

What was your reaction when you found out that you were going to be published?

There was a fair amount of disbelief, then a lot of running around, hugging, and crying. There was champagne involved at some point. It’s all a blur now, really.

Do you dream of seeing Maggie on the big screen? Who would you like to see play her?

How great would that be? I can see Maggie played by the actress Claire Danes. She has the intelligence and gravitas to play the role, I think.

What is your favorite book?

Oh, that’s a tough question. Hmmm…I have to say that year after year I always come back to Jane Austen. I’m torn between Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.

Who is your favorite author?

Do I have to pick just one? Um, let’s see — Jane Austen, Sarah Waters, Alice Hoffman, Laurie Colwin, Louisa May Alcott, M.F.K. Fisher…. My favorite book of this year is Tigers in Red Weather. I absolutely love what author Liza Klaussmann does with her multiple narrators — gorgeous prose, insight into human nature, and great storytelling.

Who do you think has had the biggest influence on your writing?

Judith Merkle Riley, definitely. In fact, PRINCESS ELIZABETH’S SPY is dedicated to her memory. She was an incredible woman, and I was lucky to have her in my life as both a friend and mentor. I was privleged to work on her books, The Oracle Glass and The Serpent’s Garden.

What would you say is your biggest achievement?

That my son says “please” and “thank you” and is (most of the time) a really good and loving kid.

What do you do when you get writers block?

Hmmm, I always think of the choreographer George Balanchine, who said, “My muse comes to me on union time” (because he was working with dancers and musicians being paid by the hour through their respective unions). So, I try to take that attitude and just write whenever and wherever I can.

What genre of books do you find yourself drawn to?

I love books from all genres! I know I’m late to the party, but I’m absolutely obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. I’m also reading Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, and the historical novel, Juliet Nicolson’s Abdication.

What other time period would you like to write about?

I’d actually love to try present day at some point…

What is your writing process like?

Well, I usually start off with a vague idea of a setting and plot, and lots of notes, which I fill out into a three-act outline. Then I think about characters and relationships and really write a lot about them – most of which, never makes it into the book (their first love, worst humilation, what they keep in their bottom drawers, what they have for breakfast, etc.). But I also leave room to change things during the process. You never know what can happen. Sarah, for instance, was not a planned character, and she just appeared one day — I couldn’t say no to Sarah.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary took years, but now that I’m under contract with Bantam; it takes me about a year, plus the copyediting process. It’s like having a baby. Just as painful sometimes, but also as infinitely rewarding.

What was it like trying to get published?

It was hell on toast. Seriously. There is a land of Literary Rejection, and I am the Queen. But I never stopped writing, and I never gave up. I may not be the best writer ever, but I think I have to be close to the top when it comes to perseverance, edits, and rewrites. I have worked very, very, very hard to be very, very, very lucky.

Are there any tips you have for aspiring authors?

In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never give in.” Believe in yourself, in your characters, and in your story. Weeping in bed in the fetal position is fine as long as you eventually get up, wash your face, and make a cup of tea — and then start writing again.
Find a mentor, and find a community of friends who are also writers. Your writing tribe will understand and support you in ways your family and friends can’t.

Thank you so much for this opportunity, Nicole!

The Surprise!



1 ½  ounces Dubonnet Rouge
½  ounce London dry gin

Stir well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with lemon slice and a large ice cube.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Author: Hannah Harrington
Goodreads Rating: 4.13
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 288
Reviewed by: Nicole

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Time Will Come #7

The Time Will Come is a meme hosted by Jodie over at Books for Company. I keep wanting to call this This Too Shall Pass, but alas, that is not the name, but the concept is the same. These are books that I really want to read but just haven't gotten around to.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #4

Waiting on Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme gives bloggers the chance to talk about a book that may not be coming out for a few months, but that they are still excited about. 

The Friday Society

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns--and the heroines who use them all

Set in Edwardian London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder--and the crimes they believe may be connected to it--without calling too much attention to themselves.

Told with Adrienne Kress's sharp wit and a great deal of irreverence, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike--well, relatively ladylike--heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.
I have been a fan of the steampunk genre for a while now, so when I heard about this book I knew I'd have to have it added to my list.  Along with the idea of the girls being assistants to these powerful men reminded me of a comic books series that I have been reading for a while now too.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vanish (Firelight #2)

Author: Sophie Jordan
Goodreads Rating: 4.06
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 294
Reviewed by: Nicole

I got this book from the library for my mom, and wound up having to renew the book several times before I got around to reading it.

Goodreads Synopses:

An impossible romance.
Bitter rivalries.
Deadly choices.

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Headmaster's Wager Book and Author Spotlight and Giveaway!

Author: Vincent Lam
Title: The Headmaster's Wager
Pages: 432
Goodreads Rating: 3.87

Enter to win a copy of this book at the end of the post!

Goodreads Synopses:

A superbly crafted, highly suspenseful, and deeply affecting debut novel about one man’s loyalty to his country, his family and his heritage

Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English academy in 1960s Saigon, and he is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of his school. Fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, he is quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country, though he also harbors a weakness for gambling haunts and the women who frequent them. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, but when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away.

In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage whom he is able to confide in. But Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.

Graced with intriguingly flawed but wonderfully human characters moving through a richly drawn historical landscape, The Headmaster's Wager is an unforgettable story of love, betrayal and sacrifice.

Author Spotlight: Vincent Lam

DR. VINCENT LAM is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam. Born in Canada, Lam is an emergency physician and a lecturer with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.  He has also worked in international air evacuation and expedition medicine on Arctic and Antarctic ships.  Dr. Lam’s first book, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, won the 2006 Giller Prize and has been adapted for television and broadcast on HBO Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Lost Girl

Author: Sangu Mandanna
Goodreads Rating: 4.3
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 418
Reviewed by: Nicole

Goodreads Synopses:

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.


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