Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Silent Hours – by Cesca Major

Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb:

An epic, sweeping tale of love and loss inspired by heartrending true events in the Unoccupied Zone of wartime France.

The Silent Hours follows three people whose lives are bound together, before war tears them apart:

Adeline, a mute who takes refuge in a convent, haunted by memories of her past;

Sebastian, a young Jewish banker whose love for the beautiful Isabelle will change the course of his life dramatically;

Tristin, a nine-year-old boy, whose family moves from Paris to settle in a village that is seemingly untouched by war.

Beautifully wrought, utterly compelling and with a shocking true story at its core, The Silent Hours is an unforgettable portrayal of love and loss.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Ok, so I’m usually not really the type to read historical fiction. I had to read a lot of books connected to the war and history at school and at one point it was just too much. Connected to romance it’s a different thing though. I loved the blurb and Cesca is a lovely friend, so I gave it a try and I am so glad I did.

The Silent Hours follows three people, who are all somehow connected to each other. War changes everything for them...

Adeline takes refuge in a convent. That’s where she starts dealingbwith all the sad memories and events connected to the war. It all must have been heartbreaking for her and the connection the especially one of the other characters is deep and it makes the situation even harder for her.

Sebastian, a jewish banker, falls in love with the beautiful Isabelle. I loved reading about their feelings and their relationship. When he and his family are in danger he has to leave her behind. Their story is emotional, touching, sweet and really really sad. They have to deal with the loss, only writing letters and there is something Isabelle can’t just tell him over a letter, but will she be able to?! War is the constant danger surrounding them, him in England and her in France. Isabelle has deep connection to one of the other characters and that fact makes this novel even more special and emotional.

Tristin is a 9 year old boy and it’s quite special to read and see everything about the war and the events from his point of view.

Isabelle gets to share her story over sending letters to her brother Paul. He is held prisoner and the letters are the only way for them to stay in contact, Isabelle tells him everything in them and the letters showed how close the siblings were to each other.

This story is based on true event and I think that Cesca did a marvellous job developing a story around that. It’s a very shocking story and she managed to describe things in a beautiful and yet very touching way, the scenes and moments seem very autentic and it’s truly the only wartime story that really touched my heart. You better have some tissues ready, when reading this compelling and epic story. Cesca has an incredible way with her words and she makes a story special and unique through them.

This book is touching, deep, emotional, shocking and yet so beautiful. Truly unforgettable!!!


My possible cast:

Sebastian: Justin Long

Isabelle: Amanda Seyfried

Adeline: Michelle Pfeiffer

Tristin: Andrew Astor

Cesca on Twitter: @CescaWrites
Goodreads - Amazon UK 

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Musical Review - Pippin, the Musical

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

About the show:
Pippin is a Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. HirsonBob Fosse, who directed the original Broadway production, also contributed to the libretto. The musical uses the premise of a mysterious performance troupe, led by a Leading Player, to tell the story of Pippin, a young prince on his search for meaningand significance.
The protagonist Pippin and his father Charlemagne are characters derived from two real-life individuals of the early Middle Ages, though the plot presents very little historical accuracy regarding either. The play rather derives from the old Burlesque of Faust. The show was partially financed by Motown Records. As of April 2014, the original run of Pippin is the 32nd longest-running Broadway showPippin was originally conceived by Stephen Schwartz as a student musical entitled Pippin, Pippinand performed by Carnegie Mellon University's Scotch'n'Soda theatre troupe.
According to musical theatre scholar Scott Miller in his 1996 book, From Assassins to West Side Story, "Pippin is a largely under-appreciated musical with a great deal more substance to it than many people realize...Because of its 1970s pop style score and a somewhat emasculated licensed version for amateur productions, which is very different from the original Broadway production, the show now has a reputation for being merely cute and harmlessly naughty; but if done the way director Bob Fosse envisioned it, the show is surreal and disturbing." Ben Vereen and Patina Miller won Tony Awards for their portrayals of the Leading Player in the original Broadway production and the revival, respectively, making them the first two actors of different genders to win a Tony for the same role.

My opinion: 

On our last night in Florida we had a bug highlight planned. You all know that I love
Dr Phillips Center, Orlando
Musicals and I was finally able to see a Broadway touring company on stage. We went to see Pippin, the Musical in Orlando.

First of all, the theater is amazing! It's in downtown at the Dr Phillips Centre, a new building, very modern and just stunning from the inside and outside.

Now in to the Musical, it was just awesome! The whole cast did a brilliant job and guess what I fell a little bit in love with the guy playing Pippin. I live men with a great voice and he had that and he was gorgeous ;) he also did an amazing job. His name is Sam Lips, he also played Fiyero in Wicked once, would have lived to see him in that role.
The girl playing the female lead was awesome as well, Sasha Allen.

Pippin has great music and the dancing mives were brilliant, simple, but so effective. The cast was full of artists doing circus numbers, which was amazing to see and they also had some special effects, including magic. The songs were great and beautiful, the harmonys were wonderful.

The story is very interesting, but I couldn't connect to it at first, I liked that second act much mire. It's about a young man finding has goal in life. The songs added a lit to ut and there were some really cute scenes. The acting was brilliant.
I'm really happy I was able to see the show, I really have to go to New York to see some Broadway shows!!!

Friday, 29 May 2015

The Definition of Icing - by Aven Ellis

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

My own copy
Original Cover

The blurb:

Kenley Hunter finally has everything sorted out. Fresh from studying chocolate making in Europe, she's
gambling everything on her new business, Confection Consultations.

All Kenley wants in life is people to take her seriously, to see the person on the inside rather than the
blonde beauty on the outside. While pursuing her passion of chocolate, Kenley discovered people seek her
knowledge. They see past the exterior and fall for the chocolate delights in front of them.

So with work as her focus, Kenley is ready to start her career in Dallas. Men are out of her recipe, because
she fears that once they get past her looks, they’ll be disappointed in what they find. Kenley decides she's
all about the chocolate now.

Or is she?

Because a chance meeting with new Dallas Demon hockey star Nate Johansson might change everything.
Sent to Dallas in a blockbuster trade, Nate is somewhere he doesn't want to be, for reasons that have
caused him heartbreak on multiple levels. Nate knows he will never trust a woman again after what
happened to him in Minnesota.

But when he meets a woman with an intriguing name and a passion for chocolate, Nate isn't so sure about
his theory. And he might just learn a definition of icing other than the one used in hockey with Kenley as his guide...

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

You have no idea how excited I’ve been for this book. It’s book #2 of the Dallas Demons series. Waiting For Prince Harry starring Kylie and Harrison, was the first one and now we are back in Dallas.

Kenley Hunter is 24 years old and is starting out with her new “chocolate” business. Kenley is strong, driven, passionate, clever and all she wants for people to see her inside. Looks is not everything and her last relationship ended, because her ex only wanted her for her looks. That’s why she is taking a man sabbatical.
I liked Kenley from the start, her personality and passion really impressed me. And yes, she studied in Lucerne, Switzerland, so there is another connection ;)

During a photoshoot for the Dallas Detal magazine she first meets Harrison and Kylie (yay, thanks for that AVen) and then also Nate Johansson, the new star of the Dallas Demons. Kenley stands up for herself and Nate jumps in to support her. That is when their story starts…

Nate Johansson was traded to Dallas from Minnesota. He doesn’t want to be there and the reason for the trade also made him close the door towards women and a relationship in general. Nate is sexy, soulful, thoughtful, caring, passionate, strong and just awwwww – my newest book boyfriend ;)

Nate is hesitant when it comes to going out with Kenley, but that changes once they surprisingly meet again at Harrison’s home. They way their relationship develops is just amazing. Kenley’s friends and family is involved as well and the journey is full of surprises. Aven takes us on an emotional roller-coaster ride here! Kenley and Nate get to know each other more and more and share their past as well, it makes them understand the other person better and was so happy to see them both falling for each other. I adored how Kenley decribed how she feels about Nate and the added drama and misunderstanding made me read the whole night. This is a book you can’t put down, the storyline is seriously gripping!

The characters are genuine, sweet and just perfectly well lined out. They have a real background, influencing their acting. They are so much fun to read about and relate to. Kenley is like the best friend I wanna have and Nate is the guy I wanna fall in love with. Then there is Kenley’s mother Cici, my god she is hilarious and she loves Tumble, that’s all I can say. It’s great to get to know Kenley’s sister Amanda and her family too, Claire adds some funny moments here and there. Nate’s family comes to visit and especially his sister Holly makes a lasting impression. Lexi, is an awesome best friend, and I think we’ll hear from her soon ;)
Oh and then there are Harrison and Kylie of course, I loved these tow and their story was an wonderful start to the Dallas Demons Hockey series. This is the second book and there is more to come and I can say now, that this is by far my fave series ever! So much to look forward to.

Back to the story. Aven has a beautiful way to write, her style is engaging, gripping, emotional, touching, passionate, detailed, vivid, magical and oh so romantic! I could go on trust me…
The way Aven includes the genuine feelings of the characters is impressive. I felt like I was experience everything with Kenley and I just wanted to be there for her and help…

I’m a big ice hockey fan, so the hockey related story parts were awesome to read about. From the WAG’s suit, to Nate and Kenley’s ritual and the definitions at the beginning of each chapter (will get back to them after). This really makes me wanna re-read Waiting For Prince Harry immediately.

Ok, back to the chapter starts. At the beginning of each chapter there was either a definition about something sweet (Kenley) or something hockey related (Nate). It also kind of described something used or happening in the chapter.

There are so many memorable and magical moments in this story. It’s a tale about two people finally finding each other and realising what they really need and want in life – it makes them change their opinion about certain things really fast.

You’ll fall in love with this AMAZING book, the characters and the writing!

Aven’s characters and books always make me wanna have a life like the female characters in one of her stories. I might repeat myself but, Aven really knows how to engage the reader and she finds a way to make each and every single moment in her books memorable and unique. She definitely knows how to touch a heart!!!


My possible cast:

Kenley: Blake Lively

Nate: Tyler Seguin

Aven on Twitter: @AvenEllis
Goodreads - Amazon UK