zaterdag 23 november 2013

Review "The Travis Club"

Some information

Title: The Travis Club
Author: Mark Louis Rybczyk
Pages: 381
Genre: mystery, detective
Published: June 2013
Publisher: Mark Louis Rybczyk
My scource: the author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars


Taylor Nichols is a young writer who pens obscure historical guidebooks about his hometown, San Antonio, Texas. His books receive little notice until he unearths a 100 year old mystery that the powerful had hoped would never have been uncovered. 
How far will the city's power brokers go to silence Taylor and his band of friend known as The Travis Club? Intrigue and romance bring this mystery alive in a one of a kind city, San Antonio.

My review

Not expecting a book that would be my genre, I was completely surprised when I couldn't put this book down and really wanted to know what would happen next! Normally I read very predictable books (chick lit :p ), but this time I loved the fact that I didn't know how it would all end. This story was really exciting, build up good and provided us with characters you really get to know along the way. Author Mark Louis Rybczyk was able to arouse my interest for a topic I didn't know a thing about. Writing about old buildings and "lost" treasures that need to be preserved for the future, he striked a chord. As I try to preserve old things every day (teaching dead languages), I liked this subject a lot!

While reading this book, I had the feeling I became a member of the Travis Club. A club of men who try to keep "alive" the old buildings with history in town. They are confronted with rich developers who want to buy everything and turn it into modern buildings. Their base of operations is San Antonio and to their dismay developer and rich man Noel Black is buying a lot of buildings with a beautiful history to knock them down for his big profitable projects. This mr. Black turns out to be one of the biggest enemies the Travis Club has ever had. At the same time he will be the one leading them to their biggest discovery ever. A discovery that changes the lives of all our characters.

Talking about the characters... Our main character in "The Travis Club" is young writer Taylor Nichols. It's not like he's one of the most successful writers in town writing books about historical buildings and the local water reservoir, but because of his 10 book deal he's able to be fulltime writer. Taylor is happy with the simple things in life. His big idol is architect Randall Hugley about whom he also wrote a biography. The most important persons in Taylors life are his friends from the Travis Club. None of them is the most successful or is building a big career but they have one more (important) thing in common. They all love history and they all do whatever they can to save it from destroyers.
What I liked most about Taylor is his enthusiasm. The author is able to let this enthusiasm beam over to us, readers. In his big search you feel along with him and you want to help him digging through big dusty books to find what he's after. It's really easy to get excited about the Travis Club projects. One moment I really got carried away and read 3/4 of this book in a few hours. That's always a good sign!

I have to admit that sometimes the long descriptions in the book about water reservoirs and all that kind of stuff got a little boring. Luckily this was only SOMETIMES the case. The rest of the book was great and it deserves some credit! Even if you're not into this genre or subject... just try it out!

Curious about this story? Watch this trailer! 

donderdag 21 november 2013

December - Christmas is coming!

I'm so excited about next month! For the first time in my life I'm planning on reading only books about a certain topic. Because I'm a sucker for Christmas, it wasn't hard to find the topic for next month! I decided to read 4 books about Christmas and I'm looking forward to it! It was hard to choose only 4 books for my challenge, but at long last I found these wonderful books!

I love every single day of the year, but I love Christmas just a little more. Maybe I even love the period just before Christmas the most! It's the time of waiting, looking forward to, cosiness, beautiful things in the shops, hot chocolate, ... All the things I need in my life collected at one moment. As a teacher I'm so lucky I have two weeks off during this wonderful period! I'm looking forward to it and will decorate my classroom too in the weeks before this holiday. 

If you have other tips for Christmas themed books (I prefer the ones with lots of love in them), you may certainly let me know! ;)


I cannot let you go without a Christmas song!

woensdag 20 november 2013

Wonderful want-to-reads on Wednesday

November has been a great month so far! I didn't have much time to read (too bad), but I had time to buy some new books, I got a good rating at the school where I teach Latin and History, I realised Christmas is coming... Nothing bad to mention at all! 
I really wanted to share my new books with you because they look so beautiful and their stories seem great. I can't wait to read them! The biggest pile I bought at a book fair that's organised at Antwerp, Belgium, every year. It's a big event here in Belgium with thousands of books, authors, gadgets for readers,... I can't skip this. I just HAVE to go every year! This is what I bought there the 3th of November. 

I know this is not the biggest pile of books you've ever seen, but the sad thing is books at this book fair in Antwerp are more expensive. Each year I say to myself "Don't buy books over there... They're cheaper in a store!", but each year I end up with a small pile of books. You can't go to a book fair and return without books, can you? 

What did I buy exactly?

Me Before YouSee Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey Team, #2)Rescue Me

Any Man of Mine (Chinooks Hockey Team, #6)Nothing But Trouble. by Rachel Gibson

Did you notice my love for books written by Rachel Gibson? Hehe, I love her books!

The last one I bought, is a little different. It's a book written by somebody who was signing his book at the fair. Because there was nobody interested and because he wrote a book about the things I teach about, I bought the book. It even is an autographed one :p (one of the few... hahaha).
This book "Romeinen en Barbaren" tells us the story about the fall of Rome in the West. I already saw a lot of books on this topic, but most of them were huge and when I read books for school, I don't want them to be huge. They just have to tell me the most interesting parts in not so many pages.

And now... last but not least... the book my mom bought me a few days ago because she thought it was "totally me". When I saw the book, I was sold immediately! I don't know if I can use this phrase in English :p. I just LOVED it right away! Here's a picture.

I adore this cover!!!
My mom knows me soooo well! This story is (obvious!) inspired by Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility". I believe it's a modern retelling of the same story. Looking forward to read this one! You all know I'm obsessed with Jane! :D

That's all I have to say for now! I'm planning on reading 4 books about Christmas in December. I will keep you updated and this weekend I'll probably  post something about that plan! I totally love Christmas, so it would be great to read Christmas themed books next month! 

Enjoy your evening or day and see you next time!
Lots of love!

zondag 17 november 2013

Review "The Great Gatsby" - short

Some information

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pages: 122
Genre: Classics, historical fiction
Published: 1993
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions ltd.
My Scource: Boekenfestijn Gent
My score on Goodreads: 3 stars


Generally considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's finest novel, The Great Gatsby is a consummate summary of the 'roaring twenties' and a devastating exposé of the shallowness of the 'Jazz Age'. Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the reader is taken into the superficially glittering world of the mansions which lined the Long Island shore in the 1920's, to encounter Nick's cousin Daisy, her brash but wealthy husband Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby and the dark mystery which surrounds him.

The Great Gatsby is an undisputed classic of American literature from the period following the First World War, and is one of the great novels of the twentieth century.

My (short) review

Well, I'm glad I read this book! Still, because I want to write honest reviews, I have to say I didn't like it that much... I don't know why it wasn't my thing. Everybody else seems to believe this is a great book, well written, a good story,... I thought it was well written, but the story just wasn't for me. Those hollow characters and their hollow deeds probably have some depth, but I couldn't find it. I think that if I would have read this book at uni for some classes, I would have appreciated it more. I like it when there are different levels in a book, when you can link a lot of items to each other. This time I just wanted a book to relax, so I didn't jump into this book. Nevertheless I'm curious about the movie and still want to see it!

zaterdag 9 november 2013

Look what I found! Pride and Prejudice...

You all know (and if you didn't, you do know) that I LOVE Jane Austen and especially her novel "Pride and Prejudice". My love goes so far that even the background on my phone is based on a novel by her and if you call me, everybody around me hears the team of P&P from the BBC show. Because I sometimes don't know what to do (hum hum), I randomly surf the internet. Look what I found!!! Turns out I'm kind of a Bingley. I'd rather be Lizzie, but sometimes I'm a little to shy to be her...

Click here to see it bigger!

dinsdag 5 november 2013

Review "The love of a cowboy" - Mini

Some information

Title: The love of a cowboy
Author: Anna Jeffrey
Pages: 368
Genre: Romance
Published: July 2003
Publisher: Onyx
My Source: Amazon
My score on Goodreads: 4 stars


In this exquisite and sensual debut, Anna Jeffrey takes us to Callister, Idaho, where one woman discovers the love of a cowboy--and a passion as powerful and untamed as the rugged land they share...

Texas beauty Dahlia Montgomery isn't looking for trouble when she agrees to spend the summer with her best friend in Callister, Idaho. But the young widow's dreams of tranquility are shattered when she encounters Luke McRae--a long, lean cowboy who'd like to charm Dahlia into his bed. With his devastating smile and sinful swagger, Luke is something of a legend in these parts. Even though the last thing Dahlia needs is to fall for a man who's sworn off love and marriage, she finds it impossible to resist his sexy charm. But when one sultry night turns into another, she starts to believe that love--whether or not you trust in it--can happen when you least expect it...

My Review

Why do I like cowboys so much? I really don't have an idea... When I was younger I just LOVED to watch McLeod's Daughters. I still have all the seasons on DVD in my room and I'm planning to watch all the episodes again. I love ranches, cowboys, horses, ... although I don't have one of those elements around me in everyday life. Maybe that's why I like them so much. ;)

I liked this book by Anna Jeffrey about a woman who falls in love with a stubborn cowboy, Luke. It's a very typical story and that's the reason why I only gave 4 stars. You just know how it will all end, but that's also part of the fun. 

A sidenote: sometimes the story was very slow. You know what will happen next, but it doesn't seem to come. I don't like waiting for things I already know will happen. The book could be 50 pages shorter without a problem. But that's just a little thing I didn't like. It was a good read for lovers of chicklit and cowboys, nothing less, nothing more.

I know this is in Australia, but just because I love it: a little bit of McLeod's Daughters for you :D 

zondag 3 november 2013

Interview with Nadia Kim, author of "Reflection"

Hello everybody! Remember the beautiful book "Reflection"? Well, on the bottom of my review I promised you an interview with the author, Nadia Kim. Here it finally is! Sorry for the delay!

For those of you who wonder who is Nadia Kim, here's a picture. When you click on it, you'll be guided towards her own page on facebook where you can find some more information about her.

Before I start, I want to thank Nadia again for doing this interview and for sending me a digital copy of her book!

The interview!

1. Is Jess a person you could be friends with in real life?
I could be friends with her, in general she is very nice but can be overly critical of herself. I would hope that I could be a positive influence in her life to help her overcome some of this unnecessary judgement she puts on herself.

2. Did you base her character on somebody you know?
I think that in more of a general sense Jessica represents an internal ideal that many woman have that may not be on a conscious level. Does she over do it? Oh yes. She is extreme in her thoughts and maybe it's a little more balanced with some people, but I think it's important to recognize the aspect of Jessica in all of us. Because I think the image of what a woman should look like and act like is not the norm. It's society driven over time and has created these unrealistic ideas, which then make a girl/woman feel bad about herself when she is being told this is what you need to look like. Even worse, the image doesn't just  affect women but boys/men as well because they are chasing after what they too are seeing as what the "Normal woman should look like". Now I think that today this is changing dramatically. In television and in the media you are seeing more women fight back against this idea and start to accept who they are but the battle is not yet over.  Okay I am getting off my soap box. 

3. How did you come up with the idea to write a love story with some paranormal elements in it? 
Well its actually funny, it wasn't my first thought or even the plan. Along the way as I was writing I started thinking that none of us change over night. Well... not saying it's not possible but we are all works in progress. To me given just how drenched Jessica was in her own negative thoughts she would need something dramatic to change her life. And so I tossed around a few ideas but then came up with the idea that since the change needed to come from within, why not go really deep. If you know what I mean. I'm trying not to give away parts of the story.

4. What do you love about writing?
Creating wonderful dramatic stories that leave you craving more and also leave you with a lesson that will help you better yourself.

5. Is there a special reason you write stories with a message like this?
Yes, I think that it's important that people realize they don't have to be unhappy with how they look. They just need to learn to accept that is they way they are and embrace it. And also know that just because you feel or think a certain way one day doesn't mean that you can't get up tomorrow and know you can change. It all starts in the mind and thoughts. If you change them then you change your life. 

6. What does a day of writing look like for you? 
Well I have a full time job not writing and I also have three small kids to take care of as well as me and my kids do Kung Fu so there is no such thing as a day of writing. It's ad hoc in spurts when I can find time to sit and really drill out my story. These days the story is busting to come out I just haven't had the energy to do it. But that is something I need to change. If I want the energy to do it then I'll have it. It's my own desire that I have to work on. 

7. Are there special elements you can't miss around you when you're writing? 
Well I always have to have a romance element. Other than that I'd say I'm game for mostly anything. But also all my stories have to have a positive message. I think that is a critical piece for me.

8. Can you tell us something more about your next books/projects?
Early this year I published my first book in a new series called Love Curse. And I have a new novel that I have been working on for almost a year that I want to put out Spring/Summer of 2014. It's an inspirational novel with romance, drama and a wonderful message. That's all I'm saying about it for now. :)

Another "thank you" for author, Nadia Kim! I wish her best of luck with her new series and hope you'll all read a book written by this wonderful author!

Take care!