Colorless Tsuruku Tazki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

19288239Tsuruku, Ao, Aka, Shiro and Kuro were friends in high school. They were very close, and were in harmony with each other, like the fingers on your hand. They all had colourful names except Tsuruku. Something happened and Tsuruku was kicked out of the group not knowing why or what happened. The wound was so deep he wanted to die. He came through transformed, not only physically but mentally as well. He never let anyone get close to him. People blinked in and out of his life and left him behind without a backward glance or a goodbye. He feels colorless in a world full of color and he feels like he is becoming transparent. His life is stagnant and dull.

His girlfriend Sara knows that what happened to him 16 years ago still weighs on his mind and suggests that he get to the root of what happened so he can unblock himself and finally move forward in his life.

This is a simple story. I wont say that there is mysticism here when there isn’t, symbolism where there isn’t any and no deep meanings because I would be lying. At the heart of this book is a man who was deeply wounded by four friends and never knew why. Tsuruku is alone but not lonely he goes about his daily routine and while he wants someone in his life he isn’t capable of doing it. I can’t go too much into things as it would give a lot away and that wouldn’t be fair.

This is a different book for Murakami. There aren’t any fantasy elements, no falling down the rabbit hole here, just a simple story. It is very well written and lyrical as is usual for him. It’s like a grownup version of Norwegian Wood. It kept me reading, to find out why Tsuruku was so completely cut adrift by the friends he was so close too. There are a lot of loose ends, as typical for Murakami’s books, more loose ends than I care for but it is what it is. I did enjoy this book, I loved the simplicity of it, the journey of discovery and the fact that we don’t really know what we mean to others and how we impact on each other.

This is more like a journey than it is a pilgrimage. He finds the answers he was looking for and also finds that he was the most loved of the group. To them he was the most colourful of all.

4/5 stars

Crash

 

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And the WINNER is…

Commenter #2 – Kathy Gonzales! Congrats!! You’ve won the signed copy The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness AND the Commonplace Book which is also signed (by the way – that is in the back just FYI!). I’ll be messaging you for your address to get these out to you as soon as possible 🙂

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Operation Paris Blog Tour

Operation Paris Blog Tour Banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misty Evans second book in the Super Agents series is out.  It is a re-release that was originally titled I’d Rather be in Paris released in 2009.  I really enjoyed this one and I will post a review further down.  Misty is giving away one copy of Operation Sheba, the first in the series at each blog stop so be sure to enter by leaving a comment and winners will be chosen on Friday the 22nd.

Book Summary: 

CIA operative Zara Morgan—codename Tango—has a reputation in Conrad Flynn’s secret army as a renegade. Once held at gunpoint by terrorist Alexandrov Dmitri, she was seconds from saving herself and arresting Dmitri when Lt. Commander Lawson Vaughn, the sexy leader of a covert ops team, intervened. She’s never lived down the fact that everyone—including her boss—believes Lawson is her knight in shining armor.

Former Navy man Lawson Vaughn doesn’t consider himself anyone’s savior. He lives and breathes protocol and hates the fact that his latest assignment is to babysit Zara while she hunts down Dmitri and stops the terrorist from releasing a biological weapon on the world.

But from the time they touch down in Paris, Lawson can’t resist Zara’s sassy attitude and dauntless bravery in the face of danger. When Dmitri kidnaps Zara and injects her with the contagious and deadly virus, Lawson is once again forced to come to her rescue, whether she likes it or not.

With unflinching determination and steadfast courage, Lawson must break all the rules to save Zara, even if it means becoming the one thing he can’t stand…a renegade.

About the Author

 

Misty Evans:

 

Misty Evans Photo

USA Today bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

 

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

 

Connect with Misty: Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

 

Giveaway Details

Misty is giving away one digital copy of Operation Sheba, Book 1 in the Super Agent Series at each blog stop.

 

Excerpt from Operation Paris

 

“What are you so pissed about?”

 

“I’m not pissed!” As Zara’s voice rang inside the car, she forced herself to take a deep breath and calm down.

“I’m just having a really, really bad night.”

 

Lawson got out of the car and came over to her side. He opened the door and pulled her out of the seat, putting his hands on her shoulders. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you. I promise.”

 

She looked into his face, and without warning, burst into tears.

 

Mortified at her lack of control, she brushed Lawson’s hands off her shoulders and walked to the rear of the car. The tears rolled down her cheeks, and she pressed the sleeve of the robe to her face in an attempt to hide them.

 

“Hey.” He came up behind her and rubbed her back. “It’s not that bad. I’ve been in a lot tighter situations than this.”

 

She shrugged his hand off. “You just killed two people and you think I’m overreacting?”

 

Lights from a passing car touched his face. He guided her to the other side of the Audi and leaned her back against the passenger-side door, planting his hands on either side of her.

 

“I didn’t say you were overreacting.” He dropped his face close to hers. “Yvette was going to kill you, plain and simple. I took care of her before she could do the job. At that point, it became necessary to stop Giovanni as well. If I’d left him alive, he could have followed us or reported back to Yvette’s friends and then we’d have a classic Chinese goatfuck.”

 

His gaze traced over her face. “Right now, we’ve dodged the police and whoever may follow up on Yvette’s death. We need to get on the road again before we call any more attention to ourselves, and I need to make contact with Langley.”

 

Zara wiped at her eyes again, took a breath and regrouped. As she was driving, her brain had red-flagged a couple things Yvette had said. “I think Yvette was tied in with the same group Varina Scalfaro is running for the Mafia. She kept talking about her clients and her business partner. I don’t think Yvette’s playing mistress for a handful of rich men solely for her own gain. I think she was actually running a prostitution ring in partnership with someone else, probably Varina.” She hated herself for what she was about to say. “And in that case, I’m not sure what Director Flynn has up his sleeve.”

 

In the deep shadows of the night, Lawson nodded. “We just ran out of people we can trust, didn’t we?”

“What are we going to do?”

 

Lawson eased her to him. “Shhh. Don’t cry.”

 

“I’m not crying, you moron.” She smacked his chest and attempted to push him away at the same time. Although she wasn’t sure why she was pushing him away. She felt better when he was close. “I had dinner all planned out. We were going to go someplace nice, but not too fancy, because I knew you wouldn’t like that, and…and… Damn it!”

 

Lawson smiled down at her. “So we have to take a rain check on the dinner thing. The mission isn’t over yet. We’ve still got time.”

 

“But I wanted to do it in Paris, and now we’re fugitives on the run from there. We can’t go back. Not even for dinner.”

 

He pushed a stray hair away from her face and hooked it behind her ear. “When the mission is over, our names will be cleared. We’ll have a proper dinner anywhere you want then, okay?”

 

She studied his expression in the dark shadows of the night. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re trying to placate me. After the mission is over, we won’t be partners anymore.”

 

“That doesn’t mean we can’t have dinner.”

 

Her pulse tripped over a couple of beats. “You want to have dinner with me after the assignment is over?”

He lowered his face and leaned his forehead on hers. “Jesus. I’ve spent the past twenty-four hours trying to come up with an excuse to do just that.”

 

“We don’t even like each other.”

 

He brushed her lips with his in response.

 

A jolt of electricity shot all the way down to her toes. This could not be happening. “You are bent, Lawson Vaughn,” she said, smacking his chest again.

 

“Then we make a good pair.”

 

This time, his lips were more insistent against hers, demanding and possessive. Zara closed her eyes and kissed him back. One of his hands went to the small of her back, and he drew her in close to his body, pressing her against the car frame and sinking his other hand into her hair.

 

He held her head as he parted her lips with the tip of his tongue, and she let go of the last of her hesitation and ahhed into his mouth. She ran her hands under his jacket, and the solid muscles of his back tightened under her palms. Rising up on her toes, she pulled their bodies even closer.

 

She wanted to forget about Yvette and Giovanni. She wanted to forget about being on the run from the police and whoever Yvette worked for. She wanted to forget she and Lawson were running out of people to trust.

At that moment, in the darkness of the French countryside, she wanted to forget all of it, to give up control and forget about everything except the tough, sexy man holding her close.

 

Review of Operation Paris

 

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Zara Morgan was used to betrayal, she grew up surrounded by it. She can sense it a mile away. From her cheating father, her ballerina mother who gave up her dream to dance, down to her own body after an injury caused her to give up a promising dancing career. Chasing down one of the most wanted men in Europe, Alexandrov Dmitri, a weapons dealer in Paris, she is up against a dangerous criminal. She gets her man only to have him released from prison two months later on a technicality. A derange biochemist escapes the same time Dmitri is released, coincidence? Lawson Vaughn had a hand in helping Zara bring down Dmitri but considers her to be less of a superior agent then her boss does and he orders Lawson to go back to Paris to help her get Dmitri back in custody. He thinks she is more of a liability than help, he thinks her reckless and a spoiled pampered rich girl.

There is a web of deceit that is being spun and neither Zara nor Lawson can trust anyone. As things start to heat up between Zara and Lawson things go downhill fast and it become a race against time to get Dmitri and stop a hideous terror attack from happening.

I loved the first and second third of this book, the story is quick paced and really kept me glued to the book. The middle third of the story dragged a bit for me. I know it was more of a background bit for Zara along with some other things but for me it just seemed a bit slow, I was longing for more action. That is just me though, I guess I was getting greedy for the plot to move on more.

I have ready many of Misty’s books and like the others this one did not fail to please. There was a bit of a twist towards the end. It is the second in the Super Agents series but can be read as a stand-alone book.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 stars

Crash

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Don’t forget to comment to win a copy of  Operation Sheba, the first in the Super Agent series.OS Book Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour stops.

August 18, 2014

 

The Book Review http://www.cluereview.blogspot.com
Cricket’s Chirps http://www.cricketschirps.com
So Many Reads http://www.somanyreads.com
SOS Aloha http://www.sosaloha.blogspot.com

 

August 19, 2014

 

A Closet Full Of Books http://www.aclosetfullofbooks.com
Amy Manemann http://www.amymanemann.blogspot.com
Happiness Is A Book https://happinessbook.wordpress.com
So, I Read This Book Today http://soireadthisbooktoday.com

 

August 20, 2014

 

Becky on Books…and Quilts http://www.beckymmoe.com
Omnimystery News http://www.omnimysterynews.com
Reading on the Rocks http://www.readingontherocks.blogspot.com

 

August 21, 2014

 

Long and Short Reviews http://www.longandshortreviews.com
Ramblings From This Chick http://www.ramblingsfromthischick.blogspot.com
Romancing Rakes… http://romancingrakes4theluvofromance.blogspot.com
What I’m Reading http://sillymelody.blogspot.com

 

August 22, 2014

 

Em & M Books http://www.emandmbooks.com
Just The Write Stuff http://del227.wordpress.com
Romance Junkies http://www.romancejunkiesreviews.com

 

Book Review: Rock Her by Rachel Cross

17902151 Kate Gibson has spent her life taking care of other people. First her mother while she was sick and dying, then her younger sister while Kate herself went through college. Kate’s now a small town nurse living a pretty quiet life. Until she saves a surfer who has a seizure out on the water and the man who assists her is pretty much a rock god. From then on she’s thrust both into the spotlight and into being by Alec’s (the rock star) side.

I really liked the heroine for the most part. She’s a nurse, is selfless with most of her actions and in general it’s hard to not like her. But the relationship between her and her little sister drove me a little crazy. Basically her sister seemed to take complete advantage of Kate. They had been living on their mother’s life insurance policy previously but it’s pretty much run dry and Kate’s younger sister doesn’t seem to mind asking for money all of the time. What drove me even more crazy is Kate’s reaction to those requests. Actually, the whole secondary plot with Kate’s family is what cause me to not like this book as much as I could have.

The hero – Alec- is a whole different matter. I liked him mostly too, just not as much as Kate. he’s fought his demons in the past and been clean and sober now for over 10 years. Alec’s actually an entertainment lawyer since he left the Rock scene a while ago.

This is a well written book and the pacing was done well too. Everything moved along nicely and kept my attention from beginning to end easily. The characters were decent and the romance was hot but the secondary everything brought everything just down a little for me.

3 Stars

~Melinda

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Book Review & Signed Giveaway: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (Plus Commonplace Book!)

16054217 The Book of Life is the wonderful conclusion to the All Souls Trilogy that Deborah Harkness started with A Discovery of Witches. I was ridiculously lucky this last week when I was able to get a copy of both The Book of Life AND Diana’s Commonplace Book signed for the blog to give away!

If you’re not familiar with the Commonplace book – it’s from Shadow of Night when Diana kept a commonplace book and had to leave it the past when she and Matthew came back to present day. They didn’t make a ton of these commonplace books and they were pretty hard to find but I was able to get my hands on one to give away.

To enter to win the signed copies – just post a comment on this blog post and like us on Facebook (because it make it MUCH easier to find the winner!!). I will pick a winner via random.org. The contest is only open to those in the U.S. Contest will close Aug. 20th at midnight Eastern and the winner will be announced Aug. 21st.

Now… onto my review of the final book!

“It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.”

I fell in love with A Discovery of Witches and that love affair continued with Shadow of Night and right on into The Book of Life. Diana and Matthew arrive back in present time to find that not only are they much changed (what with Diana being pregnant with twins) but so has everyone they left behind. As they and all of their loved ones have to adjust and figure out how to get used to being around each other again they just don’t have the luxury of doing that or of mourning Emily properly who died at the end of the last book. Instead they are thrust right back into the hunt for Ashmole 782 and its’ missing pages.

The Book of Life spins a complex web of old and new characters throughout the book. We have the return of Sarah- Diana’s beloved Aunt, Ysabeau- Matthew’s vampiric mother, Corra – Diana’s familiar and the ever popular Gallowglass – Matthew’s vampiric nephew. But we also get a few new characters that surprised me with how much I liked them and their impact on the events.

In A Discovery of Witches we had rich and luscious descriptions of food and wine that seemed to characterize the book and in Shadow of Night there was the intense historical detail that was carefully sprinkled through every chapter. In The Book of Life the characters shined and were the focal point for me. The main characters were as great as always but the secondary characters seemed to come alive just as much. There was a lot of humor that surprised me and had me laughing out loud at certain point too.

“And before you ask, I can go outside during the day and my hair won’t catch fire in the sunlight. I’m Catholic and have a crucifix. When I sleep, which is not often, I prefer a bed to a coffin. If you try to stake me, the wood would likely splinter before it enters my skin.” He bared his teeth. “No fangs either. And one last thing: I do not, nor have I ever, sparkled.”

For me it’s rare that a trilogy finishes as strong as it began and this one did not disappoint at all. The plot was complex and intriguing and I can’t wait for my re-read to be able to go over the details again! Deborah Harkness did a wonderful job of mesmerizing from start to finish.

Don’t forget to comment here and to like our Facebook page for your chance to win a signed copy of The Book of Life and Diana’s Commonplace Book!

5 Stars

~Melinda

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Cover Reveal & ARC contest: Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

RELEASE DATE: September 9th, 2014

Blurb:
A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…
Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.
A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…
Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

Meet the Author:

NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.
Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Once Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.

Stalk her: Website| Facebook | Twitter| Goodreads

CONTEST:
$50 GIFT CARD
Reader to receive an Advanced Read Copy (ebook, 2 winners)

Enter here: http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rafflecopter.com%2Frafl%2Fshare-code%2FMDk5NjRmMDM5ZDM4YTBjYWM0YzAyYzM0NGI2ODRhOjQyMw%3D%3D%2F&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNFRKPnedjhAdPLTEjWhap8BD2wrhA

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Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes

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Is that? No, it can’t be. Yes it is Hitler on the cover. Adolph Hitler wakes to find himself on a field in Berlin 2011. No mention is made as to how or why this has happened and by the end of the first two chapters or so you don’t even question it yourself. He finds himself lost and wondering what has happened to him and where all the others must be. He is dressed in the military uniform of his day and when seen by others he is mistaken as a comedian, part of a duo act.

This book finds Hitler discovering the ways of the modern world, new technology, a new political system and a new world that is alien to him but he manages to find his way around this. Through a series of encounters he is made into a comedy/satirical act that has become a hit, not only on TV but also on You Tube. Everyone thinks him a mad and eccentric actor who never breaks character and never believes for a moment that he is THE Hitler.

This book brings up the ghosts of the German past and tries to make a comedy of it. The Nazi salute, which has been outlawed in Germany for years, is tossed about in the book, along with chants of Mein Furher and other things that are deemed no-nos. It also brings up the past about Jews and racisms. Hitler in this book still goes on political rants, his hatred of the Jews and how he wants to get back into government. In a mad twist at the end he is revered as a character who is anti violent, which in itself is a joke. He does have to confront the issue of Jews who were gassed and does it in such a way that is so very wrong but because he has the charisma he pulls it off and looks ok. This book tries to make a mockery of Hitler but in the end it doesn’t work as well as it should. It shows that he is starting to change the people around him to his way of thinking, his charisma and charm seem to bring about things in people that shouldn’t be happening….. again.

This book will offend some and it is a strange read. I must admit I did laugh out loud in some parts that are actually funny. Some parts made me angry and some made me think. It received pretty good reviews in Germany and only a German could write a book such as this. I started this review not sure how I would rate it. I was going to go for a 2 for the length of the political rants but the originality of the concept made me lean toward a 5. I am going to give it a 4.

4/ 5 stars

Crash

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