Sunday, July 23, 2017

Launch Your Dream

Launch Your Dream: A 30-Day Plan for Turning Your Passion into Your Profession by Dale Partridge is a condensed version of his online consulting course in a DIY format. I was familiar with Dale after watching a freebie seminar of his that leads to a sales pitch for his full course. After this seminar, I was intrigued by his lessons, but could not afford to go all-in and subscribe to the year-long Startup Camp. So, I was looking forward to getting my hands on Launch Your Dream.

The strengths of this book are its conversational tone and simple explanations for beginning entrepreneurs, with action steps for completing each stage of your launch. It is particularly relevant to online entrepreneurs and provides tips and advice for growing an online presence.

As a blogger, i find this book to be a really helpful guide, and even though some of the content isn't new to me, the 30-day format of putting these things into action is a great way to actually DO them. There are countless 'courses' and 'webinars' online nowadays, so having a hard copy of actionable steps in an affordable format is perfect for a busy mom blogger/online entrepreneur like me.

The publisher provided a review copy of Launch Your Dream.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Captain's Daughter

The Captain's Daughter (London Beginnings Book 1) by Jennifer Delamere is set in Victorian era London, where Rosalyn Bernay is alone and penniless until she obtains a job backstage at a theater. Rosalyn and her sisters grew up in the orphanage run by George Mueller, and now that Rosalyn is 17 years old, she has taken a job as a maid, causing her to leave her sisters behind and move to the city. Mistaken circumstances ultimately force her to go on the run, and she soon finds herself in trouble.

Nate Moran suffers a hand injury and has to return to London from his army regiment in India. He fills in as a stage hand at the theater, and he and Rosalyn meet up again (after a prior encounter at the train station).

The romance in this book is built nicely--beginning as a friendship--and the relationship between Rosalyn and Nate develops into more. The historical elements of The Captain's Daughter make it a fun story...the theater troupe, Victorian London, even an appearance by Gilbert and Sullivan.

This is a promising start to the planned series, and I'm looking forward to revisiting it as the new books become available.

The publisher provided a review copy of The Captain's Daughter.

To the Farthest Shores


To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden is a historical romance with an air of mystery and a satisfying and interesting plot. Jenny Bennett is an Army nurse at the Presidio when Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher reappears after breaking her heart six years earlier. He is sworn to never reveal where he was--at risk of endangering an ongoing mission--so he cannot explain himself to her.

Jenny no longer trusts Ryan, and their relationship is complex. I enjoyed the way the characters are built in this story and felt I could relate to many of their struggles. Forgiveness is a big theme in To the Farthest Shores as the characters make mistakes and don't always handle things in an expected way. That is part of what makes the book so compelling.

Set during the turn of the century just after the Spanish American War, the story includes a lot of history, including medical  progress of that time, the cultivation of pearls, and a glimpse of Japanese culture. The elements of espionage, danger, intrigue, and secrets from the past make the romantic plot more exciting. I look forward to reading more from Elizabeth Camden.

There is a historical note at the end of the book, along with a section of discussion questions.

The publisher provided a review copy of To the Farthest Shores.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Boy

New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare) by Tracy Chevalier is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's Othello, taking place over a single day in a 1970s schoolyard. The main characters are eleven-year-old students in suburban Washington, DC. I wanted to like this book since Othello is one of my favorite plays, but sadly, this version just doesn't work.

The main fault is the age of the characters--I was an eleven-year-old in the seventies, and maybe I was just sheltered, but the sexual nature of many scenes--mainly through the thoughts of the characters--just doesn't seem at all plausible for the time period. Many times, the thoughts of the characters are way too 'knowing' for that age, and not just regarding the sexual themes. The concept of having kids as the characters would have been more effective with a cast just a little older: upper middle school or high school. This created a huge stumbling block for me that just made me feel icky when reading certain parts to think of the characters as being young kids.

Many aspects of the book seemed spot-on, such as the underlying inequalities based on race, sex, and status. I also liked the clever transformation from Shakespeares version of the names and certain props. Unfortunately, there are too many things I dislike about this version to recommend it.

The publisher provided a review copy of New Boy.