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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bishop Street by Rene D. Schultz

“Bishop Street” is a heartwarming and redemptive novel that captures the complex relationships between four orphans and their lifetime of challenges. It’s uplifting and with each turn of the page you fall more in love with the characters.

Margaret Gray for the past twenty years has hidden behind a facade of normalcy. She wasn't always rich and famous. At the age of seven her mother abandons her on the steps of the Bishop Street Orphanage with a note pinned to her coat. Here, under the cruel tutelage of Sister Theresa, Maggie develops a powerful bond with her roommates, Elizabeth, Lucy and Randolph. Their close friendship fortifies them against the years of physical abuse, emotional torment, and manipulation that follow.

Now, Maggie is thirty-nine and her nightmares are coming back. Despite a successful writing career and a flawless reputation, she is unable to keep all that she has built from crumbling around her. It’s been twenty years since she’s heard from her friends. Why didn't they answer her letters? Had they survived? Had Sister Theresa been right, or had she manipulated them all with lies, aiming to destroy their friendship, forever?

Sister Theresa is dead and with nothing left to fear, Maggie hires Damon Depre, a private investigator to find her friends, and seek the truth. This starts her down a twisted path that will once again, test her strength of character. Will she find more than just her friends... 


My good friend AJ from the AJ Book Review Club recommended this book to me. She's started a book club and this is the first book we've read. 

Margaret Gray is a successful author. It looks like she has it all with her great books, good looks and a lot of money in the bank, but that isn't really true. She's living a secluded and empty life. She's still struggling with her horrible childhood at the orphanage in Bishop Street. Sister Theresa made the lives of the children a living hell. Fortunately Maggie also had friends there. Maggie, Elizabet, Randolph and Lucy stuck together and tried to make the best of it. Because of Sister Theresa the once so close friends didn't stay in touch. The nightmares of her past keep bothering Maggie and to find closure she decides to hire someone to track down her three childhood friends. Has Sister Theresa succeeded in breaking their bond indefinitely or was their friendship more solid than that? Will Maggie be strong enough to deal with the things that are coming her way?
There are some minor imperfections in this book, but Bishop Street deserves a review, because it is such an amazing story. Maggie is so damaged and she can never undo her past, but finally she's ready to deal with it. Slowly she's getting stronger and every time she has to conquer new fears. She does that with her head held high. She's vulnerable, but she fights over and over again. I admired that about her. It's terrible that those kids have suffered so much because of the cruelties of an evil sister. I had a lump in my throat every time I read about them. No child should have to suffer and this made me ache for all children who are or have been living in similar situations. Bishop Street isn't a happy story, but it's impressive, beautiful and heartbreaking. Even in the worst situations there can be something good. I loved this confronting novel and I can't wait to read the sequel.

If you click this link you will find a great contest. If you review this book you can win the sequel.

Netgalley Reading Challenge

It's nice to be challenged sometimes. I usually don't count the books that I'm reading, because it's making me stressed. I'm a perfectionist and have set goals in the past that were very hard to reach. That's why it's great to do this Netgalley Reading Challenge. I can still have the fun, but I won't have a huge number of books I should read.

I'm going to try to reach a goal of at least 21 Netgalley books before the end of the year. I read about five books a week, so I should be able to do this. Of course it's up to the publishers to approve my books, but I'm confident that I will get at least a few of them.

 These books are currently on my shelf and I've already started to read Batter Up. I will keep you posted about my progress and as soon as I get new books I'll add them. My ratio is 70% at the moment and my goal is to reach 100% by the end of this month. I've reviewed 17 books since I joined in May.

Win a gorgeous personalized keychain!

 It's no secret that I love kawaii. I als love Paris, pink, geen and macarons, so these keychains are absolutely perfect for me. Because I like them so much I'm going to share. This is not a sponsored giveaway. The winner will get this prize from me. I'm going to have it personalized with your initial and in your color of choice. If you don't win and want to buy one you can find it here.

Anniek's 2nd Guest Post: Zomblog & Giveaway

People who KNOW me know that there are not many things that  can make me any happier than a good ZOMBIE book, movie or series. I just eat them up (got it hahaha little zombie joke)!

The best zombie book i have read so far is the as the world dies trilogy from Rhiannon Frater.
The Zomblog series I have decided to give away could be a very good challenger though.
The best zombie movie is by far The night of the living dead. I have seriously watched this movie like a hundred times!  
Best zombie series (TV-show) (well there only is one) is The walking dead. This TV-show is sooooo good!!! It can't be topped!

Really if there will ever come a zombie outbreak you will all be safe with me, I could have written the zombie handbook!

Maybe you have never read a zombie story or seen a movie about it, but give it a chance. You might get hooked! 

The winner of this fantastic zombie box set will be very lucky. I can only say one thing....ENJOY (and stay in one piece) #zombiejoke#. The entire Zomblog saga by Amazon Top 100 Horror Author, TW Brown can now be yours.
This is a tale that spans twenty years of the zombie apocalypse and takes you not just into the story, but gives it to you through the eyes of the survivors. Set in the Pacific Northwest, this tale gives you more than just the also get slices of the best and worst that humanity has to offer. Just pray this is the closest you will ever get to experiencing the zombie apocalypse.

The promise I read on Amazon is that T.W. Brown really delivers with his Zomblog series. Readers won't want to put this down. Zomblog takes you on a wild ride from a first person point of view that sucks you into Brown's post apocalyptic world.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back To School!

I went back to school today. On my first day I wore this navy Hobbs dress. We had to start with a presentation about everything we learned during the summer. Our assignment was to do as much as we could to draw visitors to our institutions. I didn't work on it as much as I hoped because Calvin broke up with me. My long holiday with Celia was a welcome distraction though and I didn't want to miss out because of a good grade for one assignment. I did what I could and talked to my boss. I had some ideas and Edward was happy to tell some of the staff to execute them. I think I've done pretty well considering. I also passed my summer school assignments, all of them. It's a miracle, but due to my book club friends and Rian I managed. It was so good to see all of them again and to have a normal day together. 
I try to go out as much as I can during the weekend. It's a lot harder now that most of my friends have boyfriends. They often invite me, but I feel like a third or fifth wheel. I try to make as many appointments as I can and I've done nothing but helping out this weekend, so I didn't have one minute to spare to feel bored or alone. Dawn needed my help with her online shop and the kids and Franka didn't have enough staff for the restaurant on a very busy Friday- and Saturday night, so I've now got experience as a waitress to add to my resume. 
My usual Sunday morning breakfasts with Jenna and Lizzy are also still taking place. They want to talk about babies and weddings all the time, but I keep trying to tell them my own stories as well. Lizzy has asked me to go dress shopping this week. I hope she will choose a nice dress for me. I don't mind if it's pink of course, but I also don't want to look like a strawberry muffin.
My parents have talked about starting their own small holiday park. There's a lot of unused land around their house and they've decided to fill it with five luxury cottages. Retirement obviously doesn't suit them. They love each other's company, but they like to work. My mother wants to serve meals for the guests a few times a week. She's also looking forward to the decorating so much that she's asked me to browse furniture catalogs several times now. It's fun to make all the choices together and I'm having a great time. I can't wait to help out and meet the guests. 

Chicks That Read Netgally Challenge!

I've got a Netgalley account. I don't request books that often, but I do use the website every now and then. Slowly I've started reading a lot of Netgalley books. Because I've got several on my shelf I thought it would be a great idea to take part in a Netgalley challenge. My goal is to read all the books I've got on my shelf. After that I might request new ones. I want to read the following books in September:

Books I've won

 Books I've received to review

Books I've requested to review

 I can't wait to start reading and I look forward to completing my challenge. Once I've reached my goal I'm going to write another post with new books I've requested.

Tay from Chicks That Read has organized this challenge and I think she's done such a good job. There's a major giveaway that you can enter, so more books for you to win!

Lavender Loves Meluseena! + Great Facebook Contest

Lisa Fallon's fairytale art is stunning. I really like her work! Meluseena is so much more than just a shop, Lisa has created her own, beautiful world. It is softer and more positive and I like that attitude a lot. On this page you can find more information about Lisa's art and her Etsy shop.

As you all know I have a soft spot for pocket mirrors and Lisa's are so pretty! She also makes fabulous jewelry. This compass necklace is original and it's a wonderful, unusual piece of jewelry.

Lisa is selling a lot of different art prints. I fell in love with this mermaid design immediately. She has such a happy look on her face and I like the messages in a bottle that are floating around her.

You can find a great giveaway on Lisa's Facebook page. It's one of the main reasons I decided to write this post. It's so positive and friendly to be able to win a necklace for yourself and a friend. I just had to share that.

Give Lisa some love and like her page! The contest ends on Wednesday, so you have two days left to enter.
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