Monday, March 28, 2016

Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story by Tomie dePaola






Genre:  Mexico / Fairy Tale / Retelling / Folktale

Year Published: 2002

Year Read:  2010

Publisher:
G.P. Putnam's Sons       



“Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story” is a Mexican retelling of the classic fairytale, “Cinderella” retold by Tomie dePaola and it is about how a poor yet beautiful young woman named Adelita has to suffer the cruelness from her stepmother Senora Micaela de la Fortuna and her two daughters Valentina and Dulce until one night, Adelita hears about the fiesta that the rich family, the Gordillos, were having and she tries everything to go to the fiesta and see the Gordillos’ handsome son, Javier.  “Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story” is truly one of the most memorable retellings of “Cinderella” ever told!

Out of all the versions I have read of the classic story of “Cinderella,” this was the first time that I have heard of a Mexican version of this classic tale and therefore, it made this book extremely unique from all the other fairytale versions I have ever read.  Tomie dePaola has truly done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book as the story is extremely heartwarming and dramatic at the same time.  When I was reading this book, I can actually feel sympathy for Adelita’s predicament as she is treated cruelly by both her stepmother and her stepsisters and I think that many children would feel sympathy for her too.  I also loved the way that Tomie dePaola puts various Spanish phrases in the book such as “Hace mucho tiempo” and then explaining the phrase in English like “Hace mucho tiempo – a long time ago” and what made the Mexican language much easier to understand is that Tomie dePaola provides a glossary at the end of the book detailing the translations of each Spanish phrase.  Tomie dePaola’s illustrations are much more beautiful in this book as all the characters look realistic and fluid.  The illustration that stood out the most for me was the illustration of Adelita herself as she has long black hair and beautiful dark eyes and also Tomie dePaola provides the perfect Mexican atmosphere in his illustrations by drawing images of Mexican styled houses.


“Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story” is truly one of the best retellings of “Cinderella” I have ever read since it deals with Mexican culture and is a retelling of an old fairy tale, so children who love Mexican folktales and fairytales in general will definitely enjoy this book!  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the Spanish language might be a tad bit too confusing for smaller children to understand.




Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rin-ne Volume 13 by Rumiko Takahashi







Genre: Horror / Adventure / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2009


Year Read: 2016


Series: Rin-ne #13


Publisher: VIZ Media



Once again, Rumiko Takahashi has created another hilarious volume that introduces more crazy characters into the universe of “Rin-Ne” and I was just as impressed with the thirteenth volume as I was with the previous volumes!


In this volume, Rinne’s scythe ends up getting damaged during battle and he tries to find a scythe smith that could fix his scythe (for a cheap price of course).  So, he ends up meeting the rabbit-eared twins Right and Left, who offer to fix his scythe for free.  Unfortunately, Rinne will soon learn that Right and Left’s craftsmanship on his scythe might not be what he wanted and he might want his refund back!
             
Rumiko Takahashi’s writing is as usual fantastic to read as the humor and the action sequences are well woven together and makes the story extremely creative!  I enjoyed the introduction of Right and Left as scythe smiths as I did wondered about whether or not there are people in the Shinigami world who repairs scythes and even though I liked seeing that side of the universe, I personally was thinking about what can Right and Left really bring to the story and how their presence would affect the characters in the future.  I also enjoyed some of the other stories in this volume which included a ghost causing mayhem at a dessert buffet and Rinne and the gang being trapped inside a haunted house during Christmas Eve as they were hilarious and interesting to read.  Rumiko Takahashi’s artwork is as usual fantastic to look at as the characters are drawn in a cute and effective way and I really enjoyed the appearances of Right and Left as they look like cute human characters that have rabbit ears, which make them look unique.

Overall, “Rin-Ne Volume Thirteen” is a fantastic volume that fans of “Rin-Ne” will enjoy and I definitely cannot wait to check out the later volumes in this series!



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #1: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling




Hello everyone! "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, that is hosted by Breaking the Spine and the purpose of this event is that we spotlight upcoming releases of books that we are excited for! 

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:




Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: J.K. Rowling

Expected Publication Date: July 31st 2016 






Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.


Since I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter, I'm really excited for this book and I can't wait to see what this book is all about!

So, what upcoming books are you looking forward to?  Please respond below!
 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Blog Tour + Book Spotlight: The Bodyguards of L.A. County Series by Cate Beauman



★✩★✩Book Details★✩★✩





Falling For Sarah (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #2)

Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she’s found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood’s A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee... until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss. 

Sarah’s world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband’s memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won’t stop until he has what he prizes most. 





 Justice For Abby (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #6)

Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead. 
The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client. 
As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.




 Saving Sophie (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #7)

Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.
Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.
Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.




Finding Lyla (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #10)

Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days—and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated—something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive



 ★✩★✩Book Series★✩★✩



 ★✩★✩Book Excerpt★✩★✩


She crossed her legs, the picture of calm, even as her temples began to pound with the sudden headache. “I’ve turned my back on nothing. Dance is personal. My reasons are personal, but I can assure you nothing would make me happier than to see peace restored between the two countries I call home.”


“And you will help with this?”


She frowned. “Help restore peace? Roman, you overestimate my influence.”


“Perhaps you underestimate your power. Are you not Mina Markovik’s daughter? Have you not followed in her footsteps?”


God knows she’d tried. “I will never be my mother.”


“But you are ‘Russia’s Princess.’”


But she wasn’t. The weight on her shoulders grew exponentially—as it did every year when the title she’d never asked for was thrown in her face.


“This comes with great responsibility,” Roman continued, staring at her, clearly waiting for her response.


She consciously relaxed her hands when she realized her knuckles were white. As their gazes held, she swallowed. How was she supposed to tell him she had canceled her plans to travel east? By honoring her father’s requests to stay in New York, she disgraced the woman who’d died giving her life. With an inner sigh, she sat up straighter, remembering that she owed the beautiful woman who perished nearly twenty-five years ago. “I understand my responsibilities. I accept my duties.”


“Russia has heard nothing from you since the tragic bombing in Saint Petersburg almost two weeks ago.”


Another request from her father: to distance herself from the politics of extremists and deadly acts against the Russian Federation. “Of course I’m deeply saddened and disturbed by such a horrible tragedy.”


“Your father wasn’t shy about his condemnation of the attack. He’s quoted as calling them guerrilla tactics that cannot be tolerated by the United States any more than they are the Russian Federation.”


“Yes. My father is very troubled by the violence.”


“Rumor has it your father is discouraging your travels to the Mother Land for fear of your safety.”


Her spine snapped straight at such a clear invasion of her privacy. How could anyone know that? She discussed her personal issues with very few people. “The rumors you hear are wrong.”


“Ambassador Avery hasn’t pressured you into staying home safe and sound in New York?”


“No, he has not.”


“So you won’t be postponing your trip to Russia?”


“No, I will not. I’ll be coming for my three-week holiday as I always do, and I’ll be performing The Markovik Number at the Bolshoi Theater.”


Roman gaped. “You’ll dance The Markovik Number?”


“Yes.”


He edged closer in his seat. “It’s never been seen before. The choreography is unknown to all but a few.”


“Yes,” she repeated.


“This dance is a pas de deux?”


She nodded while her mind raced as she dug herself deeper into her current mess. Not only was she now going to Russia, she was also committing herself to imitating the steps of a true legend. Many had compared her to Mina through the years, but that was nostalgia. No one would ever hold a candle to Mina Markovik on stage.


“Who will you partner with?”


“Sergei Ploeski,” she decided. As soon as word spread, there was no doubt Russia’s best male ballet dancer would be committed to learning the choreography.


Roman’s eyes grew wider. “You will dance with Sergei Ploeski?”


“Mmm. A token of goodwill between two beautiful countries.”


Roman all but rubbed his hands together. “The headlines will be wild. “Ploeski and Markovik-Avery: History.”


“It will be an honor.”


“Your father knows of this?”


“He encouraged me to reach out to Sergei, to bring my mother’s last dance to life during such uncertain times,” she lied without qualm, knowing such a statement would put her father in a positive light.


“This is fantastic, Lyla.”


“I’m excited,” she fibbed again as she struggled not to fidget.


“And your visit at Orphan House Ten, will you still meet with the children?”


“I plan to carry on with my usual schedule.” Which would drive Dad crazy.


“With added security and precautions no doubt.”


She shook her head. “No. You know I don’t use security.”


“Surely your father will insist.”


“My father and I both believe that we must be cautious with the new threats, but we must also live our lives. I plan to carry on in Russia as I always have—drive my own car, walk the streets without being flanked by any sort of protective personnel, eat out with friends and family.”


“You can’t exactly call yourself a normal citizen.”


“Why not?”


“Normal citizens aren’t from the womb of great dancers. Few can call themselves the daughter of an American ambassador.”


“I am both of these things, and I’ve never wanted to be treated any differently than anyone else.”


“There is certainly truth in that, Princess.” Roman shut off his recorder and stood abruptly. “Thank you for sitting down with me.” He bent forward, absently pressing a kiss to Lyla’s cheek. “We’ll catch up when you land in Russia next week. I want an exclusive.”


“Of course,” she muttered, waiting for him to disappear around the corner before she let her head settle against the back of the seat. Closing her eyes, she groaned as she rubbed at the throbbing in her temples. What had she done? Dad was going to lose it when she explained what had just happened. She stood and started back toward her dressing room, not looking forward to the call she was about to make. But there was no turning back now. Every word she’d spoken was on Roman’s handy little tape recorder.




 ★✩★✩Author Details★✩★✩







International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.

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Random Fun Facts About Romantic Suspense Author Cate Beauman


  1. I keep notebooks in my car, purse, etc. because I never know when an idea will come to me.
2.      I recently started writing Deceiving Bella, book eleven in the Bodyguards of L.A. County series which I hope to release this summer.
3.      The first editor I shared my work with told me not to quit my day job and refused my manuscript.
4.      I would have to say that one of the biggest things I have learned throughout my writing journey is to support myself, trust who I am as a person and as a writer. I think that’s vital to thriving in an often brutal industry.
  1. Never be afraid to learn, go after what you want, grow from rejection, and be thankful every single minute for your tragedies and triumphs.

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