Jul 3, 2015

Book Review: The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

Visit Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader. 

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango, published June 23, 2015; Viking.
Genre: literary thriller

Book beginning, first paragraph:
No getting away from it. A quick glance at the image was enough to give shape to the dim suspicions of the past months. The embryo lay curled up like an amphibian, one eye looking straight at him. Was that a leg or a tentacle above the dragon's tail? 
My comments:
A famous and wealthy author hides the fact that his reclusive wife, a prolific writer, is the true author of all his books. When his lover, the editor of the publishing company for his books, becomes pregnant and demanding, he must decide between the wife who has made his fortune and continues to do so, and the woman who is to bear his child. 

A flawed hero who nevertheless has likable and charitable qualities, Henry Hayden made me dislike him and then like him, and dislike him again. I didn't know whether to root for him or condemn him. What did I finally decide?  I didn't mind how the book ends. 

I gave this book five stars, for its unusual main character and the dilemma he presented for the reader. Told well, it's a book I'd recommend for those thriller lovers who also have a literary bent.

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book. 

Jun 30, 2015

Book Tour: HOTEL MOSCOW by Talia Carner

Hotel Moscow by Talla Carner, published June 2, 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: fiction

Book description: From the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes a novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman—the daughter of Holocaust survivors—who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.

Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.

Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the crime that threatens their businesses. But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost. For in a city where “capitalism” is still a dirty word, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does goes unnoticed—and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.

A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, family, and heritage. (publisher)

My comments:
An intriguing story about a woman who returns to the home of her parents, comparing the past history of her family with the present - Russia after the fall of communism. Things are far from perfect. There is corruption, discrimination, crime. A seeming lawlessness. Makes you wonder about the future of the country, even today.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for an ARC of this book for review. 
For more reviews of Hotel Moscow, visit the tour schedule

Book Giveaway: THE FRENCH BEAUTY SOLUTION by Mathilde Thomas

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.

The French Beauty Solution: Time-Tested Secrets to Look and Feel Beautiful Inside and Out
by Mathilde Thomas; expected publication: July 14, 2015 by Avery

I grew up in Grenoble, a French village nestled at the foot of the French Alps where the air was pure and clean and the mountain water icy crisp. My parents, Daniel and Florence Cathiard, my younger sister, Alice, and I lived on a farm with my maternal grandparents, Yvonne and Maurice, where we tended a vegetable garden and raised chickens and bees. My grandfather took me hiking all over the mountains, pointing out which plants were edible and which mushrooms were toxic, which herbs could cure a tummy ache and which would staunch a wound, which smelled intoxicatingly minty and which were so pungent they made my nose run. 
The Pleasure Principle is pretty simple. All it means is that your beauty routing should make you feel good at the same time it makes you look good. 
About the book: The book is divided into five parts. 
Part I - how to live a happy and healthy life the French way.
Part II - the science behind skincare
Part III - an effective skin care routing, with recommendations for streamlining to meet your unique needs
Part IV - how the French do their makeup and haircare
Part V - three-day grape detox and cleanse

French Beauty Secret: One of the easiest ways to decongest and hydrate your skin is with a cucumber. Make sure the cucumber is cold (it needs to have been refrigerated for at least twenty minutes). Slice it thinly, lie down, and apply slices all over your face. Remove after ten minutes.  
BOOK GIVEAWAY: The publisher is offering a copy of The French Beauty Solution to a U.S. resident. To enter to win, please send me an email at harvee44@yahoo.com with the title: French Beauty Solution Contest. Include an email address to reach you if you should win. Contest ends on July 6, 2015. A winner will be chosen at random and notified by email the following day to send a mailing address by July 9. Thanks for entering and Good luck!

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