Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone

Is it Christmas already? How the year has flown by. I’m sure it was yesterday we had our last Christmas….

Celebrating Christmas when you live in the southern hemisphere can at times get a bit annoying. There aren’t any songs about how hot the weather is, it’s all about snowing and how you’re hoping for a “white Christmas”.
And you can forget about ugly Christmas sweaters, you wouldn’t catch us in them unless we were in front of the air conditioner.

Being Wiccan/Witch, we celebrate Yule, also known as the winter solstice, in June because that is when our winter occurs. So technically, while everyone else (northern hemisphere) is celebrating the traditional Yule, we are celebrating Litha, also known as the summer solstice.
It is possible to celebrate along with the northern hemisphere, but personally I find it difficult and strange to celebrate winter when it’s summer.

Saying all that, we do celebrate the traditional things. Putting up the Christmas tree, exchanging presents, eating so much food you’ve put on at least 5 kilos. But the important thing of all, is spending time with my family.
Christmas Eve we are at my aunties place, a tradition since I was little. One of the uncles (now a cousin) dresses up as Santa and hands out presents to everyone.
Then Christmas day is lunch at my Nonna and Nonno’s house. This is when we eat so much food, laugh until we can’t breathe and once it’s all done, we are in a deep food coma. Blissful.

I hope your Christmas will be as good as mine.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Book Review ~ The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who does this, but every time I pick up a book I like to be a detective and guess the ending. See what happens to these characters and how everything will turn out.
The whole time I was reading this, I was expecting something entirely different. It wasn't until I was halfway that I realized I was completely wrong, The Shifting Fog was about to rip my heart out and do the Charleston on it.

There is so much I want to talk about, but of course I don't want to spoil it for anyone. So if I sound vague, then this is why.

Grace, our protagonist, is an interesting character. There were a few times that I was angry at her decisions, she just seemed to be a push over. Maybe because she was a very young maid and didn't really grasp individuality. All she knew was obey without being seen.
You also get this feeling, maybe because the ninety-nine year old Grace is recounting her past, that she comes off as nosy, interested in upper-class societies business then her own. But like I said earlier, it might be the way her elder self is recounting the events.
Even though I felt this way about Grace, I was happy it was in her point of view. She gave us an insight from her position in society, lower-class maid, to Hannah's position of wealth.

Without giving too much away, I just want to mention how much emotions the Hartford family put me through. I don't think I cried so much for a multiple of characters in one book before.
If Grace wasn't the focal point of this story, I would categorize this under tragedy.
This is just a warning to soon-to-be readers; get tissues.

What I really want to mention in this review, even though I highly doubt Kate Morton would read it, is how much I love her book. The way she weaves this story, shifting from past to present so fluidly, I don't know if I can truly say it in words on how much I love this book.
I love a good story, happy or sad. If it's well written, it doesn't matter if everyone dies or lives happily ever after.
I'm happy I bought this book based solely on the new edition covers that were recently released. Yes, I did buy all her books (five so far) all at once before knowing if she was good or not. I'm glad I did.

Book Review ~ The Dreamer by May McGoldrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The main reason why I love this book, not just because it was well written, but the heroine is named Catherine, it's set in Scotland, and the hero resembles Sam Heughan....

Set in the time of King Henry VIII, Catherine Percy is on the run. Escaping England, she travels to Scotland under the sanctuary of a Highland earl, John Stewart.
A case of mistaken identity, on thing leads to another, and they are both quickly wed. At first I was curious as to how he could mistaken the identity of his betrothed, since they are well acquainted, but once you read it, it all makes sense.

What I love about Catherine is she has a brain and knows how to use it, and yes she has her weaknesses, but that's what made her genuine. So happy to not only having a strong female character, but a character I share a name with.
It wasn't just Catherine who was a strong female character in this book, but they all were. Which makes is a good change especially for this time period.

What really sold this book for me, and the main reason why I got it in the first place, was praise from Nora Roberts.
If you have read any Nora Roberts books, you know she writes about love, friendship and family bonds to perfection. So after reading The Dreamer, I wasn't surprised this book had all those similarities.
I'm a massive Nora Roberts fan, so whatever she says I listen.

I will definitely read the rest of this series, and any other works from this author.
Thank you Nora Roberts.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Getting Back To What I Love

Can you believe the last time I posted for my blog was on Halloween?.... I know, you’re just sitting there, wondering where I’ve been, what could be more important than not posting blogs.

It’s a simple answer, I just lost interest. Of course, I was busy with mother stuff and every day adult things, but other than that, I just didn’t want to post anything. I was still reading and reviewing on Goodreads, but when it came to posting here, I couldn’t do it.

So why am I back? After a lot of thought on what I wanted to do, I decided I didn’t want to lose my blog but expand it. I’ll continue to post about books, but I also want to talk about other stuff, pointless or otherwise.

I don’t know how frequently I will be posting, hopefully I can get a routine and this time actually stick to it. But for now, I’m taking one small step at a time.

I hope you will enjoy my “new” blog.