Tag Archive | Scotland

Witches, curses, tragedy dark and deep – to read with your ears!

Dark tales for stormy summer nights in these two free audiobooks from SYNC!

Or listen to these tragic stories in bright sunlit days later by downloading either or both now and saving them on your computer or electronic device.

CD cover of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare | Read by Josh Cooke, JD Cullum, Dan Donohue, Jeannie Elias, Chuma Gault, James Marsters, Jon Matthews, Alan Shearman, André Sogliuzzo, Kate Steele, Kristoffer Tabori, Joanne Whalley Published by L.A. Theatre Works | recommended on BooksYALove.comMacbeth (download here free from 28 June- 4 July 2018)

by William Shakespeare

Read by Josh Cooke, JD Cullum, Dan Donohue, Jeannie Elias, Chuma Gault, James Marsters, Jon Matthews, Alan Shearman, André Sogliuzzo, Kate Steele, Kristoffer Tabori, Joanne Whalley

Published by L.A. Theatre Works

“The Scottish play” of three witches, murder, and dark tragedy – recorded by full professional cast with live audience.

The Curse of Crow Hollow (download here free from 28 June- 4 July 2018) CD cover of The Curse of Crow Hollow, by Billy Coffey | Read by Gabe Wicks Published by Thomas Nelson | recommended on BooksYALove.com
by Billy Coffey
Read by Gabe Wicks
Published by Thomas Nelson

When four teens encounter an old woman who laid a curse when her husband died, a sickness begins striking folks in Crow Hollow – Appalachian witchcraft or worse?

Have you read either of these spooky titles before?
**kmm

E for Elsie & Eddie in The Art of Not Breathing, by Sarah Alexander (book review)

book cover of The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander published by HMH BFYR  | recommended on BooksYALove.comHer twin drowned 5 years ago,
her memory blanked out, her parents can’t cope.
Dive down, deeper, darker.

Free diving – no oxygen, no safety equipment – risky, exhilarating, and the only way that Elsie can get closer to uncovering what happened when she and Eddie were on the beach that terrible day…

In hardcover now and releasing in paperback on 11 April 2017, The Art of Not Breathing takes us where memory just cannot go.
**kmm

Book info: The Art of Not Breathing / Sarah Alexander. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: The rough North Sea taunts Elsie, as the 16 year old struggles to remember what happened five years ago on this shore, where her twin Eddie vanished, her parents splintered to bits, and all the town gave up on her family.

Skipping school and retreating to the abandoned boathouse, the Scottish teen is startled to meet mysterious Tay and his pals there, free divers who dare the sea by diving deeper and deeper without oxygen or safety gear.

Of course, Elsie convinces the guys to teach her to free dive, certain that her memories about her mentally challenged twin’s disappearance will be unlocked by the depths.

But, what secret is Tay hiding?
Will Elsie ever remember what happened to Eddie?
Can anything put her family back together again?

Into the Dim, by Janet B. Taylor (book review) – time travel into danger

book cover of Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | recommended on BooksYALove.comMom is not dead?
Just trapped in the past,
One chance to rescue her…

Hope’s photographic memory is no fluke, but an essential part of her heritage as a Viator time traveler. And she’ll need it to complement her hasty training in knife-fighting and proper lady’s behavior before the team’s one-shot trip to 12th century England.

When Outlander author Diana Gabaldon praises a time travel book, you know it’s something special.

Read the first few chapters here courtesy of the publisher, and you’ll be hooked on Hope’s story – past and present. The sequel is due in May 2017, so start your journey Into the Dim now….

If you could travel into the past, where/when would you go?
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Book info: Into the Dim / Janet B. Taylor. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Hope is relieved to discover that Mom didn’t die in that earthquake, startled to learn that her mother is trapped in the 12th century, and completely unprepared to time-travel back to Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court to rescue her!

After Mom is declared dead in an earthquake, her adoptive dad’s family in Arkansas wants to ‘stop this homeschool nonsense’ that allows Hope to edge past her crippling phobias and harness her photographic memory.

Luckily, her never-met Aunt Lucinda invites Hope to Scotland, where the teen learns of her Viator lineage which enables her aunt and others to travel – carefully, very carefully – back in time, as her mother did. But Mom missed the rendezvous and is stranded in the time of King Henry II.

Ley lines, costumes, computers, training in martial arts, languages, and customs – all necessary to make that single trip back to a certain time and place. One chance per Viator, that’s it.

Can Hope master enough skills to pass as a young lady traveling with chaperone?
What does handsome neighbor Bran Cameron suspect about her aunt and the Viators?
Why did Mom bolt back into time without telling her?

First in an exciting time-travel series where one false move could undo Hope’s sanity, the Viator secret, and the world’s history. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Hearts & minds are unsure – Audiobooks on love & memory

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC delve deep into hearts and minds, asking why we cannot control them.

From today (6/23/16) through Wednesday, you can download either or both of these complete audiobooks and listen to them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Thank you, publishers!

CD audiobook cover of Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan | Read by Nicholas Robideau and a full cast Published by Full Cast Audio | recommended on BooksYALove.comBoy Meets Boy (download link here)
by David Levithan
Read by Nicholas Robideau and a full cast
Published by Full Cast Audio

The path to love twists and turns, even at Paul’s high school where gender is a non-issue (cross-dressing quarterback and motorcycle-riding cheerleaders are just everyday pals) as he is smitten by new guy Noah who barely looks his way.

 

Donny’s Brain (download link here)Cd audiobook cover of Donny's Brain by Rona Munro | Read by Paul Fox, Jared Harris, Siobhán Hewlett, Moira Quirk, Sophie Winkleman Published by L.A. Theatre Works | recommended on BooksYALove.com
by Rona Munro
Read by Paul Fox, Jared Harris, Siobhán Hewlett, Moira Quirk, Sophie Winkleman
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

After a terrible auto crash, Donny cannot remember the past 3 years of his life. What to do when he knows his long-ago ex-wife, but not his steadfast girlfriend?

Can we ever presume to know someone else’s innermost self?
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Geography of You and Me, by Jennifer E. Smith (book review) – postcards from the road?

book cover of The Geography of Me and You by Jennifer E. Smith published by Little Brown Books for Young ReadersConversation while stranded in an elevator,
exploring the city as the blackout continues,
but having just met, they must travel in opposite directions!

This long-distance “wondering what if?” story should be at your local library or independent bookstore – if not, ask for it! Jennifer also wrote The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love (my no-spoiler recommendation here).

Read the first chapter here (thank you, Poppy Books!) for the stuck-in-elevator meeting that starts it all.

Surprise someone by sending them a postcard today!
**kmm

Book info: The Geography of You and Me / Jennifer E. Smith. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2014 (hardcover); Poppy Books, 2015 (paperback). [author site]  [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Stranded in an elevator during a blackout before moving away from New York City, Owen and Lucy send postcards from places they travel and think of each other more and more.

Owen wouldn’t even have been in the elevator if he and Dad hadn’t fled Pennsylvania after Mom died. Lucy had ridden this elevator for 16 years without getting stuck – why now, when her jetsetting parents are in Paris and her brothers away at college?

Lucy’s dad accepts a position in Scotland, not exactly the London job that her British mom had hoped for. Owen’s dad decides that they should head west, find a job somewhere away from NYC where they cannot see the stars.

No smartphone or email for Owen, by choice – he sends Lucy postcards from the road. He meets a beautiful girl at Lake Tahoe, and yet…

Each postcard spurs a lengthy email from Lucy, full of her life in Scotland, excluding mention of the handsome rugby player who’s interested in her, however…

When Lucy’s family gathers for a wedding near San Francisco where Owen’s dad is trying to get a job, the pair will get to see each other after all these months, but what if…

Does absence truly make the heart grow fonder?
Is “wish you were here?” ever enough?

A tale of travel, love, and learning from the author of The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

A for assassin in Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton (book review) – higher purpose or highest bidder?

book cover of Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton published by Delacorte PressYou can endure tough training for a good cause.
You can sacrifice personal ease for a higher purpose.
But what if it’s all a lie?

Quin’s shock at discovering that she and Shinobu have been honed into elite assassins instead of justice-seekers is matched by John’s fury at being denied that same life – the birthright that brought them together will separate them forever.

But John isn’t so ready to let the ancient artifacts slip away from him, craving the power of travel through space-time that Seekers use.

Find this February release at your local library or independent bookstore so you can get the whole story before it becomes a movie (yes, already in scripting!)

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Book info: Seeker / Arwen Elys Dayton. Delacorte Press, 2015. [author site]  [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Trained in deadly martial arts since childhood to become a peace-Seeker like her stern father, Quin finds instead that she’s blood-bound into life as an assassin – unless she and her training partners can find a way to break free.

Family heritage and ancient artifacts allow Seekers to travel through time and space, but few apprentices train in the wilds of Scotland now. Shinobu lost his Japanese mother to an accident, John saw his mother vanish into thin air, and Quin’s mother tries not to hear the 3 teens’ mental grumbling about how hard Briac and Alistair work them.

When the Dreads arrive from somewhere in time to administer the Seeker oath, Quin and Shinobu learn the truth about their heritage and gift, while John has been cast out.

Brutal attack on the stronghold, leaping across the world to Hong Kong, strange messages from unexpected sources – can the Seeker way be turned back to peace or must they remain assassins for the highest bidder forever?

Chapters told by Quin, John, Shinobu, and the Young Dread add depth and dimension to this tale of determination to shift destiny’s course versus purpose warped by greed. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

When Mr. Dog Bites, by Brian Conaghan (book review) – Tourette’s & a bucket list of wow

book cover of When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan published by BloomsburyTics. Swearing.
Bucket list at 16?

Dylan would rather be a normal teenager than have Tourette’s, would rather have Dad home than away with the Army, and would rather live past March than get intimate with Michelle – scratch that last item: he wants to live and be Michelle’s boyfriend.

Filled with involuntary creative swearing from Dylan and racial slurs by his special school classmates, When Mr. Dog Bites has raised eyebrows for its strong language, but is also raising awareness of living with Tourette Syndrome like its author does.

This funny and profane book was published in the US in June – will Dylan fulfill his bucket list before it’s too late?
**kmm

Book info: When Mr. Dog Bites / Brian Conaghan. Bloomsbury, 2014.  [author’s Twitter]  [publisher site]  [video interview] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When he misunderstands a doctor’s comment, 16-year-old Dylan lists things to do quickly before he dies – and he’s not letting his Tourette’s or the crazies at his special school or that taxi driver stop him!

Inside Dylan is “Mr. Dog” the uncontrollable side of his Tourette Syndrome which causes the Scots teen to bark and swear. Special school, meds, and counseling help a bit, but Dad being away on special Army duty and Mum getting all weepy with the taxi driver don’t.

His best friend Amir doesn’t believe that the doctor said Dylan would die soon, but soon enough is on board with his plan to hook up with Michelle before it’s too late. Get Dad back home, find Amir a new BFF – lots to do before March, if Dylan can keep Mr. Dog quiet…

The tics, swearing, and blackouts permeating every moment of Dylan’s life despite his deep desire to behave normally reflect the author’s own struggle with Tourette’s in this forthright novel.

Q is The Wild Queen, by Carolyn Meyer (book review) – Mary Queen of Scots as a young royal

book cover of The Wild Queen by Carolyn Meyer published by Houghton Mifflin HarcourtCatholic vs. Protestant,
Cousin vs. cousin,
Room for both in the British Isles?

Step into the glittering royal court of France, the bitterly cold winter of Scotland, and the push-pull relationship between Mary Queen of Scots and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I in this fascinating novel filled with intrigue, plots, and danger.

Which royal person’s story most fascinates you?
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Book info: The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots (Young Royals series)  / Carolyn Meyer. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012 (paperback, 2013).  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Mary’s daring gamble for the Scottish throne could be her last royal act, but the risk is worth the reward.

Sent to France as a very young girl to be raised in the royal court and become wife of Francis I, Princess Mary is merely a bargaining chip to her ambitious relatives.

When widowed at age 18, Mary vows to rule over her homeland of Scotland as is her right, no matter who stands in the way.

However, she is not the only royal woman in the British Isles to master statecraft and subterfuge; her cousin Elizabeth is prepared to keep Mary’s ambitions from affecting her own reign, at any cost.

Another compelling tale of Young Royals in the acclaimed series by Carolyn Meyer, this Wild Queen‘s days (and nights) are surely numbered.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)