Book Review: The Island Affair by Helena Halme (Blog Tour) #BookReview #BlogTour #TheIslandAffair #GeneralFiction

The Island Affair by Helena Halme book cover

I am so honoured to participate in The Island Affair blog tour.
I want to say thank you to Anne Carter from Random Things Tour for inviting me.
I enjoyed reading this novel as it reminded me of something that felt like home, even if I’ve never experienced anything similar to characters from this novel.

ribbon

About the book:

Can one summer mend a broken heart?

After the tragic loss of their 17-year-old son, journalist Alicia and surgeon Liam struggle to keep their marriage afloat. During their usual holiday to Åland, the Nordic islands where Alicia grew up, the rift between the couple deepens.

Enter tall, blonde Patrick, with the most piercing blue eyes Alicia has ever seen. When Patrick confides in Alicia about the near loss of his daughter and the breakdown of his marriage, Alicia is surprised to feel an affinity with the Swedish reporter. He’s the only person who understands Alicia.

But secrets held by people close to Alicia give her life another surprising turn and she finds there is a reason to live – and love – again.

ribbon

My Review:

The Island Affair is a story about loss and grief, about love and betrayal. It is a story about life.

When I first heard about The Island Affair (thanks to Anne Carter) I had a strong feeling this book would be perfect for me.
It’s been a while since I read good quality general fiction, and I craved for some!
This book came to my life just when I needed it.

I loved many things about this story, but what I liked the most was the setting. I think the author captured Nordic islands perfectly.
Even if I’ve never been there myself, the whole time I was reading The Island Affair I had a feeling I was somewhere else.

This novel felt like home to me, but not because I experienced something similar in my real life, but because it reminded me of a tv show I like to watch: The Affair.
Guys, I think that the same muse who visited creators of that show visited Helena Halme as well!
The similarities are undeniable, even though they are two different stories.
Maybe some readers will not be thrilled with that, but to me it was a plus.

The story is written in third person, following mostly Alicia’s perspective, but we do get rare chapters with other characters’ viewpoints.

The Island Affair has an interesting, unhurried plot, but it is mainly character driven story.
It explores people’s reactions in certain situations, their way to deal with emotions and the progress of healing and letting go.

As I already stated, it’s been a while since I read good story that explores emotions and inside worlds of people, and this novel reminded me why I love this type of stories.

The Island Affair is the first book in the series, and I would like to continue with it if the next book also follow the same characters.

four hearts

Advertisements

Sunday Post (Weekly Wrap Up March 11th-17th) #SundayPost #Bloggers #WrapUp #Reading

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

This meme was created for bloggers to spotlight posts they published in the week, as well as to talk about what they plan to write in the week that’s coming.

Sunday post is also great opportunity to showcase books we got in the week behind us.

Hi Guys!

I feel like it’s been ages since the last time I did my Sunday Post.
There aren’t many good excuses to use in this case, except that I write my Sunday posts always on Sundays, and lately I had busy Sundays.

Anyway, this week was pretty… messed up I guess?

I was pretty depressive at the beginning of the week (to be honest, I was depressed last week too), but with each day I felt better and better.
I feel hopeful and motivated now, so don’t worry!
I think my depressive phases come from my hormonal disbalance.

In other news, I am slowly but surely making steps to rebranding Book Dust Magic, so this will no longer be book blog only, but also lifestyle blog, and I will cover different topics I feel passionate about.

If you wonder why I decided to do it, I will probably write a post about it pretty soon.

Last week on Book Dust Magic:

Monday: I took a part in the She Lies in Wait blog tour, and posted my review for this crime novel

Wednesday: I reviewed Written from the Heart by Trisha Ashley

Thursday: I took part in the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop

Friday: I reviewed An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Next week on Book Dust Magic:

Upcoming reviews:

The day we met by roxie cooper cover The Island Affair by Helena Halme book cover

I will also talk about books that I plan to read this Spring.

Book Haul:

This week I was approved for the two books I requested via Netgalley:

The Country Rivalry by Sasha Morgan book cover A country escape by katie fforde book cover Book Dust Magic

Currently reading:

The Island Affair by Helena Halme book coverI am opening the blog tour for The Island Affair by Helena Halme next week (aka tomorrow) so I’ll be finishing this novel soon. If you wonder, it is really relaxing and beautiful prose.

Giveaway:

There’s a giveaway going on here on Book Dust Magic right now, and you can win yourself a book of choice. It is international, and you can enter here.

That is it!
Let me know what’s been going on with you, what you’ve been reading or watching this week and feel free to leave your links so I can visit you.
Have a lovely Sunday!

A book everyone talks about: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Book Review) #AnAmericanMarriage #GeneralFiction #BookReview

Title: An American Marriage
Author: Tayari Jones
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Date: March 7th, 2019
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

If you keep up with books and new releases, you have probably heard about An American Marriage. How could you not?
It was released in America for the first time last year, and ever since it saw light of the day, everyone keeps talking about it. And I mean everyone! Not only book reviewers and youtubers, but also famous people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. In a matter of fact, this novel was also pick for Oprah’s book club one moth, it was Book of the Month one time, and it also won many bookish awards.

When I saw it on Netgalley I couldn’t believe it! Since An American Marriage was already on my tbr list, I tried my luck and requested it, and was pleasantly surprised when I saw that I was approved for this master piece.

The story follows Roy and Celestial who are married for more then one year. Everything falls apart for them when Roy is accused for the rape crime he didn’t do. Innocent, he was sent to prison.
While he was serving for the crime he didn’t do, their marriage is shaken, Celestial finds it hard to act like Roy expects her to, and they fall apart more each day.

The novel is written in unique kind of way. At first we get to follow Roy’s and Celestial’s POVs, all written in first person. 
Then we read letters they send to each other while Roy was in prison, and after that we follow the story from Roy’s, Celestia’s and Andre’s POVs, again written in first person.

The writing style is really good. It sounds authentic and realistic, and it is easy to follow.

The story itself is very realistic and raw, driven by characters who all have their flaws, and who’s point of views are so much different and the reader has to go into the story with an open mind.

I will be first to admit that I had some hard time to back Celestial. Even though I did understand where she was coming from, and how independent she was, I think she could have acted with more respect for her husband while he was rotting in prison.
I don’t talk about unfaithfulness here, but about the fact she almost never visited Roy.

I hoped for the happier ending, even though I do understand it wasn’t possible.
I feel like the victim of the story ended up the worst, while “bad guys” got their happy ending.

Overall, I am so glad I had an opportunity to read this book, and I would highly recommend it to everyone who likes to read beautiful, but also raw and realistic prose.

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop #Giveaway #competition #Books #Win

Welcome to Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop, hosted by BookHounds.

In this giveaway, I am giving you a chance to win any book for 20 US$ or less, from The Book Depository.
You can choose one or more books, as long as you stick to a budget.

The giveaway is international as long as TBD ships to your country.

After you enter this giveaway, don’t forget to visit other blogs for more giveaways.

 

You can enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

  • This giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.
  • You must be 18+ old to enter or have your parent’s permission to enter (because I’ll need to ask you to give me your address so I could send the book to you).
  • I am not responsible for the shipment, but am responsible to order a book on time (The Book Depository is responsible to deliver you a book on time and in a good condition).
  • Once chosen, winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to reply, otherwise another person will be chosen as a winner
  • NO CHEATING! Cheaters will be disqualified

Good Luck!🙂

 

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to hop around…

 

Nostalgic and inspiring: Written from the Heart by Trisha Ashley

Title: Written from the Heart
Author: Trisha Ashley
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK, Black Swan
Date: February 7th, 2019
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

First of all, can we all take some time to admire this beautiful cover?!
I swear, Trisha Ashley has the most beautiful covers out there. I mean, every book written by her looks gorgeous!
Honestly, tell me, if you saw this novel in a book store, would you be able to resist? Would you just walk away?? I don’t think so (at least I wouldn’t)!

Written from the Heart was previously published by other name: Happy Endings.
So make sure to check if you already have that book on your bookshelf before buying yourself a duplicate (and then buy a book for a friend, if you already have it).

It was edited little, but since it was written many years ago (I’m not sure exactly when, but somewhere around time when Microsoft Vista was a new thing), it is outdated in a way, but it is also very interesting because of the same reason, for it shows us how much things and lifestyle have changed with new technology.

I think this book came to my life in time when I needed it.
Lately, I like to read about writing and writers’ lives, so this book gave me a glimpse of that.
Since the author herself is a very successful writer, I suppose she got an inspiration for this novel from many aspects of her own life.

The story follows Tina Devino who is a published author. Her books do sell, but they are far from being bestsellers, so she makes her living by giving other aspiring authors editing service trough her agency.
She is in relationship with famous ballet dancer Sergei, but although they are together for many years, they do not live together because that is what works best for them.
She spends most of her time writing her books, editing others’ manuscripts and hanging out with her best friend Linny.

Reading this book was like going back in time when Sex and the City was on going tv show.
Tina’s voice reminded me so much of Carrie’s, in parts when she’s (Carrie) narrating the story.
The writing style also reminded me of dairy, only without dates.
What I noticed, and it took me by surprise, is how much Trisha’s own voice changed through the years. I feel like books she publishes today sound different then this one. I have to admit, it was pretty fascinating to me to notice that.

Even though I enjoyed reading this book, I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy the way it ended. I feel like Tine like character didn’t develop at all. We left the same woman we met at the beginning of the book, without any significant change in her personality or her personal life (and there was plenty of room for change, if you ask me!).

I really appreciate every little writing advice the writer gave us through Tina’s voice. I think this book would be appealing to aspiring authors out there too.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes to read old school chick lit, and who enjoyed the tv show Sex and the City and would like to know more about one writer’s life (but fictional writer, keep in mind!).

Book Review: She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge (Blog Tour) #BlogTour #BookReview #SheLiesInWait

I am happy to be today’s host in She Lies in Wait blog tour.
I want to thank Jenny Platt from Michael Joseph, Penguin for inviting me.

About the book:

Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust?

On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.

Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.

But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.

It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…

My Review:

She Lies in Wait is a pure crime story, so don’t let the quote on the cover fool you. It is not dark, deep thriller, but it is a good crime novel.

Reading this book was kind of interesting experience for me. My copy arrived really late (it was so late I actually lost the hope that it would arrive at all) so I had only 3 days to read it.
Since I am a slow reader it was questionable if I would make it, but since the book was pretty interesting and it read pretty fast, I was worrying for nothing.

The story follows two time lines: one that happened 30 years ago when a group of friends went to party into the woods, and one of them ended up missing, and today’s time when the body of a missing girl was found.
Through the story, we follow lives of people who were in the woods 30 years ago, and two main characters, inspectors Jonah and Hanson who work on the case.

The story was good, and the writing style was also fine.
My favorite part when it comes to writing style were dialogues. Characters talked like real everyday people and their conversations were easy to follow.
The story is written in third person.

One downside of this story is that main characters seemed too one dimensional to me.
We did get little pieces of their past and that each of them had something that happened to them in the past, that made a huge impact on their lives, but we didn’t find out what it was nor did we get to see more of their personalities.
I assume, since this is the first book in the series, that they will be more explored in the future books, but in all honesty, I would like to know them more to even have a desire to hang out with them on their next adventure.

When it comes to the case itself it was a solid, entertaining tale, and it even though it occurred to me that the person who turned out to be the killer could be guilty, when we came closer to the end, I didn’t know who committed the crime.
I have to mention that crime novels are not usually what I read, so I am not as critical to this type of stories as crime fans are.

Overall, She Lies in Wait is a good novel that I would recommend to people who like to read crime stories every now and then.

Follow the tour:

The Program I’d like you to know about: PDFelement #AD #productivity #partner #BusinessTip #bloggers #PDFelement #lifestyle #giveaway

 

We all know how important PDFs are today. Long gone are days when PDFs were just documents we only read in our every day life.
Today, everyone was, at least once, in a situation when they had to deliver a certain document or statement in PDF format.

For example, few days ago I had to create a PDF document and send it to our customs duty department so they would know what I ordered from abroad and would know how much tax they would charge me.

Also, in my job (I work in a publishing company Mozaik Knjiga, in case you didn’t know) we get to send PDFs to third parties on almost regular basis.
Even though we do have colleagues who’s job is creating, sometimes we need to make only few changes to documents that already exist, so I prefer to make changes on my own.

Because there are so many parts of our everyday life that ask from every day people to know not only average, but also avid computer science, it is great to know there are computer programs that something that sounds intimidating at first make easy to use in every day life.

PDFelemet is one user friendly program I fell in love with.

I was lucky to have an opportunity to test PDFelement 6 Pro, and I will tell you what I honestly think about it in my review bellow.

It is really easy to use: You can create PDF without much effort

When I first opened PDFelement I was surprised how user friendly it actually is.
I expected to be lost and that I would need at least few days to get used to it, but that was not the case.

As soon as I had an idea in my mind what a document I wanted to create would look like, it was easy to create.
Not once was I lost or stuck in my process, but it is important to stress out that preparation is the key.

If you know what your PDF document should look like, and you have all the images and text ready, the work you’ll need to do to link everything won’t be that hard.

PDFelement kind of reminds me of GIMP 2 that I use sometimes to adjust pictures. Even though they are two very different programs, I think if you are familiar with GIMP 2, using PDFelement will feel like home.

Also, one pro I find with this program is how you can always resume with your work if for some reason you didn’t have enough time to finish what you started.

Free Templates – My second favorite part

PDFelement 6 Pro has so many already saved templates that are ready to use.
You can find everything here: from budget planners to Wedding menus and Tax forms. You name it, they probably got it.

PDFelemet also has a giveaway going on right now in which you can win 2019 Planner Templates (that in my opinion are really useful and look awesome), and you can enter HERE.

All templates are in English, but if you’re from some other speaking language country, you can always adjust them in the program.

 

Edit and combine PDF simply

Editing already created PDFs is something I have to do now and then, so to have that option is really important.
It saves so much time and energy when you need to do only few changes, and the best part is, with PDFelement it won’t even feel like an effort: that’s how easy it is.

When it comes to combining PDFs, I have to admit that I wasn’t in a position when my job required it of me, but from little that I tried on my own, it seemed to be pretty easy too.

 

You can convert PDF in other formats

I think everyone had to convert PDF to some other format at some point.
With PDFelement it is so simple to convert PDF into fully editable formats, such as Word, HTML, epub, Excel…

My final thoughts

PDFelement is the best program I had an opportunity to work on for creating my PDF files. It is the most user friendly solution, and because of that aspect, it won me.

Before discovering PDFelement, I was using Adobe, but to be honest, I used it only for reading PDFs, because when it comes to creating, I was lost. The whole process was complicated to me, so this is why I’m thankful I came across PDFelement 6 Pro.

I recommend this program because it has everything you need when it comes to PDF at one place: create, convert, change, combine, use templates, and it’s price is affordable.

At this moment, Wondershare has PDFelement on sale, and you can get it for up to 50% discount HERE.

 

Tell me what do you think about PDFelement if you’ve tried it and also, what PDF programs and converters do you use in your everyday life?
I would like to know!

 

Thank you to Wondershare for sponsoring this blog post.