adult fiction

An Invitation to Dance... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

An Invitation to Dance

         A Midwinter Ball: Regency Romance Collection

Michele Paige Holmes

An Invitation to Dance  A Sneak Peek on Reading List

Sneak Peek:

"'Someday you shall see for yourself that women have minds of their own, and there is very little that can actually be done to curb them." Alex said nothing, but knew Lord Benton's words to be true."    (location 2587, ereader)

Thank you to A Daily Rhythm for inspiring Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek link up!

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa, writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

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Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

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Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

This particular link up will be open for a month, so stop by often to share a new sneak peek, and grow your own TBR list!

Marissa at Reading List

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adult fiction

A Midwinter Ball - Perfect for Your Midwinter Reading

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Midwinter Ball

A collection of 3 novellas

Winter is in full force.  There is nothing like the freezing wind to greet you as you open the door in the morning to get to work, school, or even to let the dog out.  The bone chilling cold calls for a warm cup of something, a cozy blanket and a good read.

What?  You simply have no time to read?  

Alright, fair enough.  Everyone has busy lives.  And yet there is a part of us that desires to sit still and soak in the words of another's imagination to allow our bodies to relax and our minds to expand.  So what are we supposed to do to balance the busy and calling to soak in the calm?

Might I suggest that we return to the quick reads?  Maybe pick up a collection of poetry... or how about a novella?    

Remember in school when teachers would pull out a massive book and excitedly say that they were going to share a short story?  Or how about those children's books that are full of short fairy tales and stories?  Well for us "grown ups" today, the current thing is the novella, especially in digital form.

And I would love to introduce you to a fabulous collection of short historical romance novellas today, A Midwinter Ball **.

A Midwinter Ball  a Review on Reading List

Much Ado About Dancing

By Heidi Ashworth


In Heidi Ashworth's novella, Much Ado About Dancing, we meet Analisa who has spent the last three seasons waiting for her promised man to return to her, while still keeping a presence in society and its seasons.  This promised suitor, is Lord Northrup, who stated his desire to propose then had to leave the country, leaving Analise for years to feel forgotten.  When he returns just as Analisa has decided to act boldly and get attention from some new suitors there are sure to be some entertaining moments.

Much Ado About Dancing  a Review on Reading List


I was surprised that I enjoyed this story as much as I did.  Yes, there are a ton of stereotypical scenes for a regency romance - and yet I found myself interested in Analisa's history and her desire for one true love.   There were also some very intriguing scenes with Lord Northrup right at the beginning of the story that piqued my curiosity so completely. While there were a good amount of characters for a novella, some how Ashworth crafted enough mystery around the situation and Lord Northrup that I had to read this one quickly!

Sweeter Than Any Dream

By Annette Lyon


Olivia Wallington has just about officially been given the title of a spinster as she has spent years caring for her mother and not being able to get out into society.  When her brother and sister-in-law visit and help her sneak out to a special ball her life matches up with her dreams of becoming a desired young lady who attracts the eye of a gentleman.  Edward Blakemoore, a gentleman who has decided most young ladies are not interesting, attends his friends ball simply to be polite, little does he know how attracted he will be to a certain young lady.  Of course there is the issue of Olivia's mother, and Olivia's own expectations of how her life will go.

Sweeter Than Any Dream  A Review on Reading List


This second story did not grab a hold of me like the first one.  There were just too many characters for a novella.  The first chapter or two I had to skim as Olivia's mother was hard to read, and my patience couldn't take it.  Granted, I did make it to the meeting of Olivia and Edward, as well as the night of the ball - and in those moments, with only two characters, the story was interesting. The ending, of course, was great.

An Invitation to Dance

By Michele Paige Holmes


Lady Ella runs her father's house now that her mother has passed away as well as her fiance.  As a widow she is secure with her life for now, just dreaming of the day when her father would call her to join him in his world travels.  When a mystery letter from her dead fiance is delivered to her, along with a request to visit his home in London, Ella leaves the home she has spent her life at to see what promises might be waiting for her in London.

An Invitation to Dance  a Review on Reading List


This is one that I would have wanted more back story on.  There are so many details that are glossed over to make this novella short and sweet, yet I wanted so much more!  Alex Darling is a character that has a ton of history, and while we get enough to make the story complete and interesting, I really enjoyed his vantage and wanted more.  Ella is also a fun character, while she knows how to act like a lady, she is used to living alone away from society, so the rules are not her first instinct like so many females in this genre.  Over all this last story was my favorite of the three. So glad I stuck it out!

Reasons to Read

If you are a historical fiction/romance fan, then you should totally pick this one up.  The joy of the novella, as I have mentioned, is that they are quick reads.  Sure you won't get the in depth story that novels and series provide, but there is a satisfaction in sitting down with a book and finishing the story in one sitting.  Also if you are looking to try a new genre, a novella is a great way to take a baby step into it.  If you don't like it, no need to worry, you've only spent a little bit of time.  Another plus is that if you decide not to finish a novella, you are left with a million questions of what could have happened - the nature of the novella means there is really only one story line and a small handful of characters.  

Reading List Rating

three heart rating from Reading List

As a whole I enjoyed this collection - yes there was one I could have done without, but it was a quick read, and two out of three is pretty good!  So as a whole I'm giving this a three heart rating.

My Suggested Audience

While there is nothing over the top in these stories, I would suggest an adult audience. Mostly because the authors were writing for an adult audience.   All of the stories are completely clean (as much as I read - like I said I didn't finish story number two), but there are plenty of innuendos and for the period some "racy" moments.  But again, nothing that would spark controversy in our society.  

A Midwinter Ball is a fun pick for cold midwinter reading sessions. #WinterReads @Reading_List1

Are you into the Regency Romance/Historical Fiction genre?  Do you have a favorite book or author in the genre?  What genre would you recommend to a clean romance fan to help them take a baby step into a new genre?   

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

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*** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the eBooks for Review book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”   

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

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Cozy Reading Spot #125

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! 

This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  You are welcome to share posts that tell us what has been on your heart, mind and bookshelves - yes that means just about anything goes.  As book lovers, we love to read, so share something for us to read today!

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite last week was by Jade at Henibean - New Year, Great Expectations.  She explains why grand New Year's Resolutions are not on her to do list this year.  

New Year, Great Expectations on Henibean, a feature on The Cozy Reading Spot

Most Popular

One of the most popular posts from last week was by Ashley from Chubby Bunny - Clay Pot Pig.  She shares a great step by step tutorial for an adorable Valentine's decoration. 

Clay Pot Pig by Chubby Bunny a feature on The Cozy Reading Spot

Please link up all you've got!  

This is an open link up, not just a book link up...

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page (I will use my discretion on leaving links up that do not follow this as the idea is to link to your blog posts...).
  • I wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your review and images clean for this one. This does apply for all types of posts, this is an open link up, so you do not have to leave a book review, or book related post - just link up something that share what you've been writing on your blog... only keep it clean
  • Try to stop by another link and say hi. I know we are all busy blogging, reading and writing, not mention living our lives and keeping up with responsibilities - however, what makes link up so fun is having new people visit your blog!  So spread the love and hop to at least one link for each link you leave.
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                    

Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1

Cozy Reading Spot  {Reading List}

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The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post, and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

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See where I link up!


Millions of Cats & Children's Corner

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Children's Corner

Do your kids have a fascination with animals?  A curiosity that surfaces when an animal is near?

All of mine have each had a draw to different animals.  We take full advantage of the local zoo to help fuel their curiosity and imagination.  My youngest, while very intrigued by the zoo animals, is even more interested by cats. 

These little opinionated creatures have captured a part of her imagination that surprises me each time she sees one. Which is part of the reason we have been enjoying Millions of Cats ** in our house recently. 

About the Book

Millions of Cats by Wanda Ga'g is quite the story!  Originally published in 1928, the story is not concerned with modern politically correct terms as the main characters are called very old man and very old  woman. The story follows the little old man as he searches for a cat for his wife, upon her request.  Somehow he brings home millions, even trillions of cats!  The little old woman decides they will only be able to keep the "prettiest" one (again not really politically correct to say now...) and a cat fight follows.

Why We Like It

My kids just love seeing the behavior of the hundreds, thousands, millions, even trillions of cats!  They drink all the water out of a pond, they ate all the grass off a field... it's just full of silly moments like that.

The illustrations are simple, in black and white - which actually engages my kids imaginations more than some of our colorful stories I've noticed.  They discuss each cat, and what must make it more pretty than the last (pretty is a theme in this book...).  It has also led to some fun pencil drawings, which is nice to see (there are times when this mama does not want to pull out the hundreds, thousands, even trillions of crayons, colored pencils and markers that little kids have!).

While some will probably shy away from this story, as it focuses on the prettiest, and ends with a cat fight, we have used it as spring-board for discussion with my older kids.  We discuss why it's not good to simply look for the prettiest animal, or the prettiest people. I have also used this book to discuss how fighting, quarreling and bickering are not behaviors that draw people to you - which is evident as the cat fight happens. 

Overall, this is a classic that is certainly worth a try from the library, even if you aren't sure you want it on your home bookshelf. 

Title: Millions of Cats
Author: Wanda Gag
Publisher: Puffin Books
Publication Date: reissued October 2006
For ages: 2+
Type: Children's Classics, pets, cats

"Cats here, cats there, Cats and kittens everywhere..." #Classic #childrensBooks @Reading_List1

In case you are checking this out because you are thinking of doing some cat themed reading and crafting, I've included some great cat crafts below.  There are fun easy ones for the toddlers, as well as an awesome Lego building tutorial for the older kiddos.

Cat Crafts and Activities on Pinterest 

Are your kids drawn to cats?  Another animal?  Do you avoid classic stories because of political correct terminology? 

Marissa on Reading List

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**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you!

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