LISTEN UP! Monthly Link Up of Your Audiobook Reviews - August 2014

>>  Friday, August 1, 2014

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Hey Everyone! I've decided to host the monthly link-up of our audiobook reviews right here on Library of Clean Reads. I love listening to audiobooks, but lately I've slowed down and I'd like to change that. I also like to see what others are listening to, so I thought if we can link-up our audiobook reviews, it's a good way to visit and see what other bloggers are listening to. I hope you join me in linking up!

On the first day of every month, I will have the link to the monthly link-up on my sidebar.

So spread the word! Feel free to grab the Listen Up! pic or copy and paste the HTML code for the button for your blog, found below:


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HTML Code for sidebar button:
<a href="http://libraryofcleanreads.blogspot.ca" target="_blank"><img src="http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv167/LauraFabiani/2aa49815-05a5-4a7a-8596-4906ffa86969_zpsc3de8c0e.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 2aa49815-05a5-4a7a-8596-4906ffa86969_zpsc3de8c0e.jpg"/></a>

Looking forward to reading your audiobook reviews!


Laura

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THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN – Kindle Fire Giveaway & RSVP for 8/7 Facebook Party!

>>  Thursday, July 31, 2014

Welcome to the launch campaign for debut novelist Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin. Romantic Times had this to say: "Alternating points of view skillfully blend contemporary and historical fiction in this debut novel that is almost impossible to put down. Well-researched yet heartbreaking. . . ."

What did I think of this book? It's a beautiful story. Read my review and find out about what this book reveals about art and music in the concentration camps.

Kristy is celebrating the release of the first book in her series, A Hidden Masterpiece, with a fun Kindle Fire giveaway and meeting her readers during an August 7th Facebook author chat party.


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 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 7th. Winner will be announced at The Butterfly and the Violin Author Chat Party. Kristy will be connecting with readers and answering questions, sharing some of the fascinating research behind the book, hosting a fun book chat, and giving away some GREAT prizes. She will also be giving an exclusive look at the next book in the series, A Sparrow in Terezin!

So grab your copy of The Butterfly and the Violin and join Kristy on the evening of August 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

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The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1401690595
Published July 8, 2014
Trade paperback, 336 pages

I just finished reading the last pages of this book, and my mind is filled with its images. It is a touching, heartbreaking and soul-lifting kind of book. I'm usually careful about which WWII books dealing with the Holocaust I choose to read, because I am sensitive and easily moved to tears. This one has a dual timeline and a mysterious painting so I couldn't resist. And I'm so glad I read it!

New York art dealer Sera James has devoted the last two years of her life to finding the painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes. It has kept her busy since the day her heart broke when she was left at the altar. Through her research, she meets William who is also searching for the painting but for different reasons.

The subject of the painting is Adele Von Bron, a talented Austrian violinist who was part of the aristocracy and whose father was a high-ranking member of the Third Reich. Adele leads a privileged life until she follows her heart and helps Vladimir, a fellow musician, smuggle Jews out of Vienna. Her whole world changes when she is condemned to Auschwitz.

I enjoyed the dual timeline, Sera's story in modern day NY and Adele's from 1939 to 1945. The modern story gave me some reprieve from the grim and horrific setting of Auschwitz's concentration camps. But I liked Adele's story more than Sera's. The characters were more developed in the historical part and the love story more compelling. I didn't really empathize so much with William and Sera's dilemma's as I did with Adele's. I found Sera cried too much and it was a little too coincidental that William turns out to be such a God-fearing man. Their love story felt too rushed for me.

I did like how the two stories converged. Most of all, I liked learning about how the prisoners were still able to create beautiful art even in the midst of such evil and cruelty, in hiding, under starvation and weakness. It is an ode to the human spirit and resilience. The author states in her notes at the end of the book: "Found in the rubble of partially destroyed warehouses and old barracks of Auschwitz were more than 1,600 pieces of art that survive to this day." I was astounded by this fact.

What's more, the prisoners who were musicians were required to form an orchestra and perform while prisoners were brought to the camps and torn apart from family members or when they marched to the gas chambers to their death. The author deftly explores the feeling of these women as they had to perform such hideous duties for the SS soldiers or be killed.

The author's theme of worship through God's creation—that is, our lives—was strong throughout. It kept such a hopeful note throughout the story. I've read enough life stories of Holocaust survivors to know that, for many, their strong belief in God is what sustained them. This passage in the book touched me:

"God plants the talent and it grows, sustained by a spirit-given strength to endure, even in the midst of darkness. It thrives in the valleys of life and ignores the peaks. It blooms like a flower when cradled by the warmth of the sun. It remains in a hidden stairwell in a concentration camp. It grows, fed in secret, in the heart of every artist." (p.278)

I will always remember Adele's story, a non-Jew, who willingly put her life at risk for what she believed to be right. I applaud the author for writing such a beautiful story, filled with hope and human strength. I read this book every chance I got, snatching stolen moments in my otherwise crazy schedule this week. If you like WWII stories with heart, I encourage you to read this one. Oh, and one last thing, both the cover and the book title are perfect for this story.


About the author:
Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather’s stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Find out more about Kristy at http://kristycambron.com

Note: This book is rated C = clean read. Even though part of the story takes place in a concentration camp, the violence is not graphic, although the situations are horrific. They are for a mature audience.

Reviewed by Laura










Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and to Litfuse for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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Painting the Moon: A Chilton Crosse Novel by Traci Borum

>>  Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Painting the Moon: A Chilton Crosse Novel by Traci Borum
ISBN: 978-1940215327
Published: June 2014
Published by: Red Adept Publishing
Paperback, 310 pages

I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel set in Chilton Crosse, a charming village in the Cotswold area of Britain. I was immediately captured by the author’s description of the English countryside with its quaint villages and shops. The book cover is beautiful and oh-so English!

Noelle’s aunt is a famous artist whom she hasn’t seen in over a decade. When “aunt” Joy dies, Noelle inherits her cottage and art gallery in Chilton Crosse. Upon opening a locked room in the cottage, Noelle discovers something breathtaking. Add to that a family secret in a hidden journal and there is just enough mystery in this women’s’ fiction/cozy romance to keep the reader intrigued.

The novel is very well written and the characters are well-developed, real. I could “hear” English accents as I turned the pages and “see” the scenery.  Each chapter begins with artistic instructions for a budding artist’s success that could just as well be gentle, kindly advice for life.

This book is about art, love, family dynamics and second chances.  This is quality fiction that causes no flinches over expletives or sexual scenes because there are none. I highly recommend it!

Note: This book is rated C = clean read. 

About the Author:

Traci Borum is a writing teacher and native Texan. She's also an avid reader of women's fiction, most especially Elin Hilderbrand and Rosamunde Pilcher. Since the age of 12, she's written poetry, short stories, magazine articles, and novels.


Reviewed by Sandra











Disclosure: Thanks to Michelle Rever from Red Adept Publishing for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? July 28 Edition

>>  Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

No review books in my mailbox this week!

I have a summer list of books I'm reading and so far I've been able to stick to it. I'm enjoying my reading time because of this.




This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Read and reviewed:
Like No Other by Una LaMarche (this YA novel is diverse and realistic, so good!)

Product Review:
Wellness Feature: Day by Day Beauty's Vitamin C Serum (I love this product - natural and organic!)

Currently Reading:

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

I'm reading this one with my son. It's about a girl with Asperger's Syndrome and an obsession with homonyms. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, we're enjoying this one.



Up Next:

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

This is one of my favorite trilogies, so I can't wait to read this last book of the series.


Hope you all have a great reading week!



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"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
— Mark Twain

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