Guest Post: A Choice of Byronic Heroes by Hannah Fielding

Masquerade

Masquerade is my fourth novel, and it is the first in which the heroine is torn between two men.The gypsy and the gentleman have many differences.

Leandro comes from a world of danger, darkness and violence. He is passionate, mischievous and impetuous, with a smile that mesmerises and a devil-may-care attitude. He is proud and also kind, compassionate and loving.

Andrés was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, affording him a good education,wealth and an enviable place in society. A sophisticated, successful businessman, he tends to be arrogant and is often enigmatic and taciturn. He is a real gentleman and sensitive, with feelings that run deep, keeping his passionate nature on a tight leash. Courageous and gallant, if he were the hero of a Medieval romance he would not hesitate to run to the rescue of his lady at his own peril.

The differences in the men are what cause Luz, the heroine, to search her soul for what qualities she seeks in a man. But it is the men’s similarities that prove her stumbling block. Both men are handsome, charismatic and charming in their own way, and, most confusingly for Luz, both are Byronic.

Byron created a model for the romantic hero in his long poemChilde Harold’s Pilgrimage, which is still compelling today. The Byronic hero, possessed of so many different characteristics, is sophisticated, slightly dangerous but, most of all,as Byron put it, this kind of hero is a ‘man of loneliness and mystery’.

The sense of loneliness is a draw for the compassionate Luz. She feels for both Andrés and Leandro. She longs to be with each of them.

But what of the mystery that surrounds them? Neither Andrés nor Leandro is being entirely honest with Luz.

Ultimately, when the masks of the masquerade are removed, Luz must decide: is it the gypsy or the gentleman who has won her heart?


Author’s Bio

Portrait of Hannah Fielding and photos of where she writes.

Portrait of Hannah Fielding and photos of where she writes.

 Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

To date, Hannah has published four novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’,set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’ set in Italy; and Indiscretion and Masquerade (from the Andalusian Nights Trilogy), her fieriest novels yet.

She is currently working on her forthcoming book, Legacy, the final title in the trilogy, which is due to be published in spring 2016.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Book Links

Amazon | B&N


Book Review: The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries #2) by L.J.Smith

Synopsis

This is the terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them: Damon: determined to make Elena his queen of darkness, he’d kill his own brother to possess her.Stefan: desperate for the power to destroy Damon, he succumbs to his thirst for human blood.Elena: irresistibly drawn to both brothers, her choice will decide their fate.

Review

The Struggle is the second book of The Vampire Diaries Series. I picked this book because of two reasons: First, I had promised myself that I won’t give up on the series after reading just one book (It’s a part of my Reading Challenge 2015 too) and second, the TV show kind of tempted me to read the books, though I have watched only 1 Season of TVD.

So the story starts exactly from the point where it ends in the first book. In the second book, Elena is distressed because Stefan is missing and Damon is the antagonist who wants to kill his brother and wants to posses Elena. Forget the image of Damon you have made up in your mind by watching the TV show because Damon is very different in the book. He’s not that charming and sexy Ian Somerhalder. In fact, the books are very different from the show. In this book, the writer focuses more on Delena rather than Stelena. Second book is more about Elena’s conflicting feelings. She is sure about her feelings for Stefan but Damon makes her doubt everything. She isn’t sure what she feels about Damon. Is he really that bad? Or that’s just a facade? Does she hate him? Is she developing feelings for him? What about Stefan?

I had to read this book because I couldn’t leave the series without completing it but between the pages, I did feel sleepy. I think that I’d rather watch the show because it’s more interesting than the book. I can’t judge the series as yet, since I haven’t completed it. Making a decision to either continue the series or to leave it is as confusing as Elena’s feelings for Damon. I can’t help it. I don’t know about Elena if she has other fishes in the sea or not but I do have some better books to read so I think that I won’t be picking the third book for a very long time now.

Rating

2

I’m giving this book two stars because it was neither good nor bad.

Blood Ink Fire Goodies

If you have been following my blog for a while now, you must have noticed some posts about Blood Ink Fire. Blood Ink Fire is a book of Young Adult genre, written by Ashley Mansour. I found her on Instagram when she was writing her book. She used to share her writing journey with her followers. After writing her book, she created a club named The Hundred, in which she invited 100 book bloggers. They read her work, motivated her, gave her the feedbacks and suggestions and especially, appreciated her for her amazing work. I was one of the members too.

Ashley invited the members to complete the book missions she had organised online related to her book (which were very interesting, I must tell you) and for every mission; she had a prize for the winner. I couldn’t complete all the missions because I got busy in my final exams but I did complete one or two missions. So I received my prize last month. I’m so excited. I received a bracelet with the quote of her book written over it ‘Keep the books alive’ and a handwritten note from her. She’s so sweet. ^_^

IMG_20151011_085115_1444533929531_1444533948736

This is something which you must know about Ashley. She is a debut YA writer. When she started sharing about her writing journey online, she had no ties with any publishing house. So, all of it is hard work of her and her friend who helped her in organising the missions and launching the website. They did all the work. She recently announced that her book will be getting published this year by an Indie publisher. Wish her luck! You can find her on Instagram or Twitter.

My ‘Invaluable’ Literary Collection of Antique Books

Some weeks back, I was contacted by Invaluable.com who asked me to look through their collection of antique books and pick the ones I’d love to have. Before moving forward, I would like to tell you more about them. Invaluable.com is a website that specialises in auctions of collectible items. Here is the list of books I’d love to have on my shelf.

Lot 287: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

H2839-L81544323

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, with all the original engravings as drawn by Sir John Tenniel, by The Peter Pauper Press.


H5988-L80874248

Lot 93: Shakespeare Mini Works Collection with Box

Rare antique Knickerbocker Shakespeare works collection in original box. 22 Mini-books in the collection. Lid on box is detached but still in good condition. Each book is in very good condition.

In college, I read some of Shakespeare’s plays. I think I’d love to have this collection of antique books. Who doesn’t love Shakespeare, after all? That amusing Old English with Thou, Thee, Thy, etc.


H4024-L81178336

Lot 1488: The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

1925 Edition. Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons. First Printing. Jazz Age Novel American Literature. Hardcover.

I fell in love with Gatsby’s work after watching the movie The Great Gatsby.


H4024-L81177926

Lot 1273: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

1952 First Edition. Published by Doubleday & Company, Inc. This is a scarce stated first U. S. edition of this landmark wartime diary, with an introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt.


H4024-L81179347

Lot 1218: Antique Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes Titles 

Titles include a limited edition (numbered 210) of “A Study In Scarlet and The Sign Of Four,” a limited edition of “Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes,” and “The Return Of Sherlock Holmes.”


I hope enjoyed reading this post. Invaluable.com definitely has a great collection of antique books by many great authors. Do have a look at their website.

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Genre

 Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction

Synopsis

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Review

After hearing how brilliant this book is, I decided to read this. It had been on my TBR list for a long time.

On the morning of the fifth Wedding Anniversary, Nick’s wife, Amy goes missing. He is astonished and worried because he knows no one who could harm or murder or kidnap Amy. As the investigation starts, Nick becomes the main suspect and he can’t decide what to do. The story is narrated by two perspectives, one by Nick and other by Amy through her diary entries. As you go deep into the story, new twists and turns wait for you but a shock comes when you start reading the part two.

Two perspectives do provide you with the ‘two sides of the same story’ but Gone Girl is more about two characters trying their best to manipulate you to believe them. They both want you to believe them and choose sides. The story is slow paced because it had to be like that, since the characters needed to go inside the minds of the readers. The story is dark and thrilling. It’s not easy to like the book when you reach the end because you’re confused about your feelings. Was it the ending? But what about the amazing twists you witnessed in the story? The effect that the author and the characters had on you when the story completely changed and left you flabbergasted?

Gone Girl is definitely not an easy book to like or review because it plays with your mind. I had to discuss it with a friend after reading it because I was like, ‘What the fuck?’ My friend liked it because he had only seen the movie, which is, in my opinion, very vague. If you haven’t read the book, the movie doesn’t make complete sense. It’s just a series of some events for you then. But Gone Girl is about coupledom, feminism, madness, and misogyny. Coupledom – how the two individuals who loved each other once go from being lovers to strangers. Feminism – you can’t help but agree when you reach the first chapter of the second part. Misogyny and Madness – I won’t spoil it for you. Read the book to understand what I’m saying.

Ratings

I’m giving it three stars because the story fucks with my mind. It’s a thrilling story with a (sort of) disappointing end. I’m definitely not an easy person to please.

3

Book Haul: October 2015

Featuring my Baby Bruno who refused to move

Featuring my Baby Bruno who refused to move

October is my birthday month and there is something about this month which makes me cheerful (or maybe, it’s the Autumn). I hadn’t bought books for a very long time. The book ban on myself was necessary because I have no space left in my cupboards now. Plus, I have so many books that I haven’t read yet. But then, I’m a Bibliophile. I can’t help but buy new books.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Featuring my baby Bruno's paw :p

Featuring my baby Bruno’s paw :p

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.
I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.
Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

These are the books I bought and it’s strange that they all are related to death, some way or other. I noticed this after receiving them. So this month’s all about reading about death and why people want to die.

Renewing the Blog

final image

I started this blog when I was in second year of my graduation. In those days, I spent most of my time working on it. I loved writing about books, posting quotes and clicking good pictures of books. After some months, I got my first book review request which made me obsessed with my blog. After some time, I got more requests. My inbox remained full of unread emails. Some were about reviews, some were about book tours. I loved it. I loved the fact that there were people out there who appreciated my efforts and loved my work. Through my blog, I have met many good authors with whom I’m still in contact. People’s appreciation kept me motivated.

Then, assignments happened, tests happened, and exams happened. Especially Literary Theory happened, which ate most of my time. That subject gave me sleepless time. I got busy in my studies because I had to do well in my finals. Due to which, I didn’t even review many books which were given to me by authors. I’m still many months behind my book review schedule. I didn’t completely neglect my blog but preferred to post less and offered many authors to do guest posts. My blog was the best thing that had happened to me during college years; I just couldn’t delete it and forget about it. Yeah, so I took some time off from the blog.

Nowadays, I do nothing (not really).  I have taken a break to figure some things out and to take some important decisions which could change my life forever. I have a lot of time to renew my blog. I have decided to bring back my beautiful book blog to life again. I want to make it just like it used to be. In fact, even better.

I’m sure you have noticed the new theme of my blog. Now, read on to know about more categories which I’m going to add this month.

Book Haul: I’m a bibliophile. I collect many books. Whenever I get to know about some new brilliant books, I can hardly resist myself from buying it. I buy so many books and I never thought about doing a book haul on my blog but things are changing now.

Monthly Wrap Ups: I take an oath that I’ll complete my Reading Challenge 2015 before 31st December of this year. I have to read 50 books. I’m almost done with 10 to 15 books. Yeah, I’m a very lazy person. The only thing that got me doing this is October. It’s the birthday month. October makes me cheerful, hehe. It’s full of optimism.

List: I’m sure bookworms would love to read list posts related to books.

Quote: Who doesn’t like quotes? I love them. I always have a quote written on my cupboard. Well, actually my wall used to be a proof of that too. I had my favourite Rumi’s quotes written over it. Then, I took it off. I’m renewing the main wall of my room too this year.

Interviews: This is my favourite category. Many authors did offer for such posts but I preferred to stay in my comfort zone and do either book excerpt or guest posts. I think it’s time I should add this category too.

Although, I did neglect my blog a little over the months but I never failed to follow other passionate book bloggers. Some are my favourites and I would love to feature them on my blog to showcase their talent and to appreciate their work. I’ll be including some other people too who are in some field related to book or stationery. You know the people who design those pretty bookish Mugs, T-shirt, bookmarks and journals. Don’t they need a little appreciation?

(If you are a book blogger or in some bookish field and want to get featured here, you can drop me a mail.)

Blogging Tips: I’m not so sure about this category but I think I have learnt a lot about book blogging during these last two years and there are people out there who want to do book blogging but hesitate because they don’t understand anything due to confusions. This occurred to me when a girl emailed me to know more about book blogging. I may not write posts on this category very often but occasionally, yes, I will.