Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu

  • Exquisite Corpse (5:5 First Second)Title:  Exquisite Corpse
  • Author:  Pénélope Bagieu
  • Genre:  Graphic Novel
  • Published:  May 5, 2015 – First Second
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Zoe isn’t exactly the intellectual type, which is why she doesn’t recognize world-famous author Thomas Rocher when she stumbles into his apartment … and into his life.

Zoe doesn’t know Balzac from Batman but she’s going to have to wise up fast … because Rocher has a terrible secret and now Zoe is sitting on the literary scandal of the century. 

My take:  I’ve read a handful of graphic novels so my opinion is based on what I enjoyed about Exquisite Corpse and not how it may or may not compare to other graphic novels.

First off, I loved Pénélope Bagieu’s illustrations. Check out the cover.  Zoe’s wide-eyed innocent look, author Tom’s scruffy sleep-deprived look and editor Agathe’s sleek uptown look were captured perfectly. I liked how various scenes were colored differently to show a change in scene (or chapter?). Like I said, I don’t have a lot of experience reading graphic novels so maybe that’s how they all are. It worked for me.

I won’t spoil by revealing the ‘literary scandal of the century’. I thought the plot was a bit predictable but the illustrations made up for that. Even so, I had to laugh as the story played out. The characters in the book are all adults so readers shouldn’t be shocked by a few adult scenes/dialogue. They fit in with the general tone of the novel.

So, did I like it? Because of my thoughts in the paragraph above, a qualified yes. Will I read more graphic novels? Maybe – when I’m looking for something a little different. Recommended to fans of graphic novels.

Wondrous Words Wednesday


Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Join in by writing a post and then add your link to Mr. Linky at Bermudaonion.

It’s been a while since I posted a WWW but, in the meantime, I kept a file of words that caught my eye so I’d have them ready for my next post. Of the two below, I can see myself using yardarm 😉

From The Marriage Charm by Linda Lael Miller


The New Oxford American Dictionary:

n.  the outer extremity of a ship’s yard

Example:  The sun is over the yardarm – used to refer to the time of day when it is permissible to begin drinking.

“The sun was well over the yardarm, wasn’t it?”


From The Martian by Andy Weir

titration (from titrate)

The New OAD:

v.  ascertain(ing) the amount of a constituent in a solution by measuring the volume of a known concentration of reagent required to complete a reaction with it, typically using an indicator.

“My life is now a desperate struggle for survival…with occasional titration.”

Hold Me by Susan Mallery

  • Hold Me (April28)Title:  Hold Me
  • Series:  Fool’s Gold #16
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  April 28, 2015 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  Destiny Mills is in Fool’s Gold for the summer. She works for a company that provides software to search and rescue departments in the US and Canada. The mayor of Fool’s Gold hired her to work with the local S&R team.

Kipling Gilmore was a world-class skier until an accident changed his life. He’s lucky to be alive much less able to walk. The mayor hired him to head up the S&R team in Fool’s Gold.

Both Destiny and Kipling had less than desirable upbringings. Destiny’s parents are country music stars who divorced after a tumultuous marriage. Both went on to have several partners resulting in more children. Until their divorce and Destiny (age 10 at the time) went to live with her grandmother she’d never felt secure, much less loved. Kipling was raised with a violent father who said all the right words but his actions said other. He was able to leave that life when he moved in with his ski coach and family but he felt guilty leaving his sister to bear the brunt of their father’s anger. It’s no wonder neither Destiny nor Kipling think they can have a normal relationship – they don’t think they are capable because it was never modeled by the adults in their lives.

These two had a lot to overcome. Being a romance novel the reader knows there will be a happy ending. I have to say while I really liked the main storyline of Hold Me I found the secondary plots almost silly. But, this a series I enjoy so I’ll continue to read the books as they are published. I’m hooked. I recommend this book to fans of the Fool’s Gold series, small town romance, and Susan Mallery.

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

the year my mother came back (Algonquin)  the backup husband (Aug. review)  the matchmaker (audio)  the art of baking blind (5:5)

Last week on Bookfan:

second chances (Apr14)   Rebel Queen (Mar3)

Currently reading:

second chance friends (5:5 NAL)

Here’s the promised pic of our daughter and her husband at their wedding last week


Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

  • Rebel Queen (Mar3)Title:  Rebel Queen: A Novel
  • Author:  Michelle Moran
  • Genre:  Historical Fiction
  • Published:  March 2015 – Touchstone
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest. India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English. But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge.

Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male and one female—and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people. Although her soldiers may not appear at first to be formidable against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi refuses to back down from the empire determined to take away the land she loves. (from the publisher’s synopsis)

My take:  From the first page I was completely captivated by Michelle Moran’s story. Rani Lakshmi is a heroine with honor, compassion, morals and backbone. She wants to lead her people and keep them safe as well. Rebel Queen is told from the perspective of Sita, one of the rani’s Royal Guard – the Durga Dal – comprised of women responsible for protecting the rani. Sita’s story was so interesting and fleshed out or enhanced the factual story of the rani.

Rebel Queen is the third Moran book I’ve read and, as usual, I learned a lot. I remember in high  school history learning a bit about Great Britain and it’s quest to take India. It saddened me to see the rani and her people lose their country. The British underestimated the determination of the rani and the people of Jhansi who refused to give up without a fight. The immediate results were heartbreaking and horrifying. That said, I couldn’t put the book down. It’s a real page-turner.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction I think you’ll enjoy this book. There’s a helpful glossary as well as an author’s note concerning the factual and fictional aspects of Rebel Queen. I can’t wait to see who Michelle Moran writes about next!

Highly recommended.

Second Chances by Stacy Finz

  • second chances (Apr14)Title:  Second Chances
  • Series:  Nugget Romance series #3
  • Author:  Stacy Finz
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  April 14, 2015 – Kensington
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  Harlee Roberts makes quite an entrance in Nugget, CA. Her Mini Cooper, pulling a U-Haul trailer, slides off the mountain road leading to her family’s cabin. Luckily, Colin Burke, Harlee’s new neighbor, sees it happen and is able to rescue her and her things.

Harlee is looking to get her life back on track after losing her newspaper job in San Francisco. She also wants to devote time to her start-up online company. The mountain cabin near the small town of Nugget seems the perfect place to get her bearings going forward.

Colin is quickly becoming famous for the amazing furniture he makes as well as his custom home carpentry. There’s a bit of mystery about him that Harlee would like to know but she will patiently wait for him to share. That mystery has affected Colin’s life in negative ways. Harlee tries to help him deal with some issues without knowing his entire story. How the truth will affect these two who seem destined for one another soon becomes apparent.

Second Chances is the third book in the Nugget series though it can be read as a stand alone. I enjoyed the Harlee/Colin story as well as seeing familiar characters from previous books. I look forward to seeing how a few subplots progress in the next book. There’s a preview of book 4 at the end. Recommended to fans of small town romance.