Helen Hoang: The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test

 

A couple weeks ago, I sat down and read the summary for The Kiss Quotient. written by Helen Hoang. I was curious and interested, because I’d never read a romance novel where one of the main characters was diagnosed with a disorder. So I thought, let’s take a chance; I bought the book, and started reading it.

I was not let down!

I loved the book! I loved the main character Stella, and I loved her love interest Michael! I enjoyed reading about a character who was on the spectrum and how, even with being on the spectrum, she gets her guy! I completely understood all the hype about this book.

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan.

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

I really loved the characters and everything about Stella. I loved how Helen didn’t shove Stella’s ‘disorder’ in our face, but let us learn slowly that she had Asperger’s. I enjoyed reading about Stella’s life and understanding more about Asperger’s Syndrome and how it affects Stella’s everyday life. It was amazing to read a different type of romance instead of our normal everyday “run of the mill” romance. I was especially happy to read more about Asian culture! She incorporated the perfect amount of education and entertainment to even out the playing field.

Helen Hoang’s journey with this book is just as beautiful as the story.  She wanted to write a gender-swapped Pretty Woman, but couldn’t figure out why a successful, beautiful woman would hire an escort. So when her daughter’s preschool teacher informed her that she thought her daughter was on the spectrum, Helen started doing research. So she thought, “That’s an interesting reason to hire an escort.”

From there, she started researching autism solely for her book and ran into the difference between men and women on the spectrum; women have learned to mask their autism and to copy peers. While she was reading, she started to think about the things she does. “I tap my teeth, but I tap them because no one can see. Because if you move your fingers or you move your body or you rock in your chair, then people will see, and that’s no good, it has to be secret … and that put me on this journey where I started to explore, could I be on the spectrum?.” 

While Helen learned more about her new character Stella, she learned more about herself, and then the diagnosis came, and her first novel was born.

Helen has released book two in The Kiss Quotient Series,  The Bride Testand was inspired by a website that stated autistic people were heartless and that they couldn’t experience injustice. So her new character Khai was born. She wanted to display that just because autistic people don’t operate on the same wavelength as everyone else and don’t show their emotions as much as others, doesn’t mean they don’t have those emotions. She was also inspired by her own mother’s story of being a Vietnamese refugee. Helen decided to base her heroine, Esme Tran, on her mother’s story and the inner strength she needed to create a new life for herself.

Book three in the series is expected to be published next year!

This is definitely a book that will stay with you for awhile and make you come back and think about it months after finishing! She’s officially been tagged as one of my new favorite authors!

I want to believe that I can be a main character, I can be a leading character in my life, that I can have a happily ever after, that I can find true love, and I can get married, and conquer, and be happy.

-Helen Hoang on why she has characters on the spectrum

Eloisa James: The Wildes of Lindow Castle

Who is Eloisa James?

Eloisa James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a mother and a wife. When Eloisa isn’t writing novels, she is a Shakespeare professor.

What does Eloisa James write?

Eloisa James writes historical romances. Occasionally, you can find some Shakespearean themes within her stories.

Why is she different than other historical romance authors?

Eloisa James uses her own experiences as a mother in her stories. From a miscarriage to her own daughter’s problems as an infant, she connects each of her stories to herself in some unique way.

What’s The Wildes of Lindow Castle?

The Wildes of Lindow Castle is a series Eloisa James has began in 2017. The series follows the large family of the Duke of Lindow and is set in a castle. Think of Modern Family with a little of Downton Abbey mixed in. The stories are all set in the Georgian time period; yes, that means big wigs and poofy skirts! This also marks the beginning of the celebrity culture due to the printing press.

Where can I read them?

Print books by Eloisa James can be found in the Large Print collection or the Adult Fiction area under “J” for James. There are even more choices in our digital library.

 

Gena Showalter

 

In today’s literary world, so many authors are venturing out and doing different genres and doing both young adult and adult books. Authors from Nick Hornby (About a Boy and Slam) to Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries and Overbite) to Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy and Georgina Kincaid). More and more authors are venturing out of their comfort zones and tackling a new category, whether they originally wrote young adult and are now writing adult or vice versa.

Gena Showalter first came known to the literary world with a contemporary romance duology called Imperia. She eventually went on to write a widely known and loved series called Lords of the Underworld. This popular series has 15 books, 3 novellas, one spin off series, and two upcoming publications!

She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances. She also has 4 finished YA series and just released the first in a new YA series called The Forest of Good and Evil

Her first foray into the YA world was with her series, IntertwinedThis series follows sixteen year old, Aden Stone, who has four human souls within him. All four souls have a unique power such as time travel, raising the dead, possessing another human, or telling the future. Her second YA series, The White Rabbit Chronicles, a unique retelling of Alice in Wonderland, has taken her readers to a whole new world and created a loyal fan-base from the YA community. My personal favorite of her books is her YA series, Everlife, is a unique story like one you’ve never read before about what happens after your First Death!

 

Charley Davidson: A Series

Finally, I’d found a series that I could enjoy and stay entertained with! Darynda Jones‘ Charley Davidson series is the perfect series for romance lovers, mystery lovers, paranormal lovers, and even action lovers! Charley Davidson is the heroine of this beloved series (Of course! It’s named after her!), and she is amazing and kicks butt! Reyes Farrow is her love interest and is drop dead amazing and swoon-worthy! Cookie is her beloved best friend who keeps Charley on her feet! Every character within this series is so amazing and likable that you can’t help but love each and everyone of them, despite their faults!

Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross. Charley’s dealing with a being more powerful – and definitely sexier – than any spectre she’s ever come across before. With the help of a nuisance skip tracer, a dead pubescent gang member named Angel, and a lifetime supply of sarcasm, Charley sets out to solve the highest profile case of the year and discovers that dodging bullets isn’t nearly as dangerous as falling in love. –Goodreads

Darynda Jones makes it her mission in writing to portray Charley as human, even though she’s supernatural, Charley makes mistakes and suffers with the same things that anyone would–all while the dead pass through her! She struggles with her life and everything she goes through in the series, that it’s sometimes hard to read her describe how she feels. Though, Darynda Jones will make anyone laugh! Charley is a hilarious and unique character that stays the same beloved person through the whole series!

If you enjoy Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series, then Charley Davidson should be your next series to read! There’s twelve books out and the thirteenth and final book comes out this January! Be on the look out!!!

Want or Need a Book We Don’t Have?

Both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library have hundreds of books combined. Though our collection is quite extensive and filled with every kind of book, there’s no possible way to have every single book in the world ever published. So thankfully we have a service called Inter-library loan.

Our ILL service gives our members access to a much wider range of materials than normally possible.

 

WHO CAN USE OUR ILL SERVICE?

Any patron in good standing who has a membership that includes borrowing privileges.

 

WHAT CAN BE BORROWED?

Books, audio-books, movies, seasons, etc.

 

WHAT’S THE COST?

If we can get the item from within our state, there isn’t a charge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occasionally, we won’t be able to find an item and in this case any item received from out of state will carry a postage charge that depends on the material’s size and its weight. You are able to specify whether you’d like to avoid charges at the time of your request.

 

BEFORE PLACING A REQUEST:

If the desired material is part of our Library’s current collection, we will not borrow it from another library.

However, if we have a title in Large Print and you would like it to be in regular print, we are able to borrow the title that way. As well as wishing for a title that is in regular print in large print.

If the material is less than six months old, many libraries will not lend it out. In many cases, we will add the material to our collection request.

*A collection request is a database we keep for any books that you wish for the library to purchase that is newer than six months old. We may or may not purchase the material depending on a vary of reasons.

Many ILL’s will take 7-14 business days to arrive, if you need the material sooner than that, it may be wise to consider another alternative.

 

CHECKING OUT YOUR ILL:

When your loan has arrived, you will receive a notification from your preferred method (normally a phone call).

If you do receive a material from out of state, a charge will be placed on your account with an explanation.

Just like any other item within our collection, you will be responsible to return your item.

Late fees may apply.

 

AM I ABLE TO RENEW?

Occasionally, a library will allow a renewal. If you are in need of a renewal, please contact the Aurora Library or the Dillsboro Library before the date your item is due.

We can give up to a week renewal while waiting for a reply back from the current lending library.

 

RETURNING MY ILL:

Because the materials are owned by other Libraries, it is important to return the materials in a timely manner. The due dates are generally determined by the lending library and can be as long as a month or as short as two weeks. Any fines/fees due to the material being returned late will be determined by the lending library and will be charged to you.

 

If you know exactly what item you would like, you are more than welcome to fill out our form on our website or come in or call either branch to request an ILL today!

 

If you request a DVD, the DVD will not count towards our DVD limit.  This is the same for TV shows, as well.

Example: You request Lady Bird, and we receive the DVD from another library. You can still also check out two other DVD’s from our library.

 

 

Liane Moriarty

I’ve recently discovered a new author and she’s drawn me in from page one. Liane Moriarty writes about the normal every day secrets in what seems like perfect families. Whether you’re into romance, chick lit, or even mysteries, she’s the gal for you!

The first book I’ve read by her is Big Little Lies and it’s such a great and easy read it’s no wonder that it’s a television show on HBO starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley.

Big Little Lies tells the stories of Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. Madeline’s life is in turmoil, her ex-husband and the father of her oldest daughter enrolled his new daughter into the same school Madeline’s youngest daughter goes to. Her oldest daughter is pulling away towards her father’s new wife, Bonnie. Celeste has two twin boys in the same class as Madeline’s daughter and her ex-husband’s daughter. She and her husband Perry, seemingly have the perfect life, but what meets the eye isn’t all there is. Then there’s Jane. She’s a young mother who just moved to the beach with her son, Ziggy. Jane is literally a ‘Plain Jane’ and is secretive. At the orientation, her son is accused of choking a little girl. From there, we learn how Celeste’s, Madeline’s and Jane’s lives intertwine without their knowledge and the big blowout at the end will have us all gasping for breath!

After finishing this book, I fell in love with the way Liane’s writing made me feel. So I picked up another one of her books and checked it out!

Liane is an Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels with two number 1 New York Times bestsellers.

Her fifth novel, ‘The Husband’s Secret’, sold over three million copies throughout the world and was the number one UK bestseller, an Amazon best book of 2013, and has been translated into over 40 languages. It’s spent over a year on the NYT bestseller list, and CBS currently holds film rights.

She’s also written a children’s book series under the pseudonym L.M. Moriarty.

Liane currently lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, son and daughter. She has two younger sisters, award winning author Jaclyn Moriarty and Nicola Moriarty.

Liane has sold over six million copies of her novels worldwide.

 

 

LGBTQ+ Community Within Our Shelves

It’s a thing of controversy in today’s world. The LGBTQ+ community is a strong and withstanding part of our society. Authors are taking it upon themselves to intertwine this community within their own lives by writing their own stories with this community included. It’s a big jump in society for books to include this community and what they represent. Some authors get hate and some authors get love.

The point most authors see as they write their LGBTQ+ stories is to empower their readers to accept themselves for who they are and even to empower them not to be afraid to ‘come out of the closet.’

The Aurora Public Library has several fantastic LGBTQ+ stories within their shelves, one amazing book that I’ve recently read was ‘Of Fire and Stars’, by Audrey Coulthurst.

“Of Fire and Stars” is an enchanting story of a princess with a touch of fire and another princess who has a unique relationship with horses. Princess Dennaleia has been betrothed to Prince Thandi since childhood. As she arrives at his kingdom, she meets his sister, Princess Amaranthine. Princess Amaranthine isn’t your typical Princess who does princess-y things. She prefers to be called ‘Mare’, she walks around in breeches, is outspoken, and prefers to work with horses than to work with people. Princess Dennaleia is drawn to Mare, wanting…no, needing to make an ally in a different kingdom away from her family. While struggling with trying to make Mare like her, Princess Dennaleia also struggles with controlling her affinity for fire. After all, magic is outlawed in this kingdom. With turmoil threatening and mysterious deaths, Princess Dennaleia and Mare must find out who’s behind it all and not let their kingdoms’ alliance be threatened anymore than it already has. In doing so, they must fight with the feelings that are growing between them. Will they choose duty or will they choose their hearts?

 

 

 

Just a few great LGBTQ+ stories our shelves house….

 

 

Let’s Take a Moment: When the Moon Was Ours

When The Moon Was Ours, is a beautiful book from the dedication page and to the Author’s note at the ending. It was a unique and enchanting read, a read that captures your soul and makes you think about who you really are.

To the boys who get called girls,
the girls who get called boys,
and those who live outside these words.
To those called names
and those searching for names of their own.
To those who live on the edges,
and in the spaces in between.
I wish for you every light in the sky.

-Dedication from When the Moon was Ours

 

Miel has roses growing out of her wrists and Sam has secrets that could ruin who he really is. The Bonner girls are four sisters that are believed to be witches. They want Miel’s roses, believing they have powers in them. Miel, cuts off her roses in remembrance of her mother who drowned trying to save her, refuses to give the Bonner sisters the roses. Sam works on the Bonner’s farm, struggling with who he is while he and Miel find that their love for each other isn’t platonic. Throughout the story, we learn more about how Miel came from the water tower that the town had gotten together to push down. We learn that Sam is from Pakistan and in order for his mother and him to have more freedom, he becomes a bascha posh, a young girl who lives as a boy until marrying age. Miel and Sam have been friends ever since Miel fell from the water tower. He paints moons for her and she lets him be him. It’s a simple enough exchange until the Bonner sisters come around wanting Miel’s roses and blackmailing her for them. They even go as far as to punish her for not giving them to her.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters. Anna kept me captivated from the dedication page all the way to the Author’s Note, and for that I give her a five out of five.

 

Reviews:

“Magical realism as its most exquisite. McLemore’s breathtaking story is the most unique and magical book I’ve read in years.”

-Laura Resau, Americas Award-winning author of Red Glass

“Lushly written and surprisingly suspenseful….a story of the courage it takes to reveal our authentic selves to each other and to the world.”

-Laura Ruby, Printz Award-wining author of Bone Gap

 

Amazing artwork by: Read at Midnight

 

Location:

This is currently one of our newer books and will be in the Young Adult section on the New Release shelves.

Once it is no longer part of our New Releases, it will be placed in alphabetical order in the Young Adult section.

 

National Tartan Day!

April 6 is National Tartan Day! National Tartan Day is a US observance on April 6 each year. It commemorates the Scottish Declaration of Independence, from which the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on. It also recognizes achievements of Americans of Scottish descent. What do tartans (clothing worn by Scottish Highlanders with distinctive patterns determining specific clans) have to do with the Aurora Public Library District? Come check out the Scottish books display through the week of April 6 at the Aurora Public Library, where you’ll find books with Scottish heroes and lassies that take place on the moors and in the heather. Before you find your next great read, here are some common Scottish terms you should familiarize yourself with before you immerse yourself in the Scottish culture. (Please begin playing bagpipe music here.)

Before we get to the terms, it’s important to note how the words are pronounced. For instance, the ‘r’s’ are usually burred or rolled softly, sometimes the ‘th’ is dropped from the end of the word (with=wi’), or a ‘t’ is added instead of ‘-ed.’ Sometimes words can have different meanings, too, like ‘no’ can be ‘not’ or ‘no’ depending on the context of the sentence. I love reading books with Scottish characters and imagining their accents in my head as I read!

Aye = Yes                                                                                                            Ken = Know

Bairn = Baby or Child                                                                                      Kip = Nap

Bampot = Idiot                                                                                                  Kirk = Church

Bannock = Biscuit, Scone                                                                                Lad/Laddie = Boy

Besom = Difficult Woman                                                                               Laird = Lord

Bonnie = Pretty                                                                                                  Lass/Lassie = Girl

Breeks = Trousers                                                                                             Morn = Tomorrow

Cauld = Cold                                                                                                       No/Nae = Not

Claymore = Traditional Scottish Long Sword                                              Och = Well

Corbie = Crow or Raven                                                                                    Oxter = Armpit

Fae = From                                                                                  Sassenach = Someone from England, an Outlander

Fash = Fuss or Bother                                                                                      Sup = Small Amount of Liquid

Forby = Besides                                                                                                 Twa = Two

Heid = Head                                                                                                       Wean = Child

Hogmanay = New Year’s Eve                                                                           Wee = Small

Happy Reading!

Let’s Take a Moment: Almost Innocent

almost-innocent

Jane Feather has been one of my personal favorites since I first read: Almost Innocent. It’s such an amazing tale. It draws you in and keeps you interested. It makes you want to put it in your to-read-again pile.

The story begins with the Duke of Lancaster and his mistress, Isolde, who also happens to be with child. Throughout the first few paragraphs you can tell something is about to happen; I personally heard gloomy music in my mind as I continued to read. It turns out that Isolde was trying to poison the Duke and he instead poisons her. While she lays dying, the child within her begins to push its way into the world. He thinks about leaving the child there with her dying mother, but instead decides that there was too much death in the room.

Magdalen grows up believing the Lord of Belair is her father. The lord isn’t particularly rude or nasty but almost indifferent to the young girl, mainly because he believes she is ‘tainted by her birth.’ In just a few short-lived moments, we meet the hero: Guy de Gervais.  He arrives to stand-in for his nephew for Magdalen and him to marry. He takes her under his care. She meets her real father, and though he doesn’t mean to, the Duke is cruel and flings her away from him because of the “eyes of her mother.”

Guy’s wife dies, and even at such a young age, Magdalen believes herself to be madly in love with Guy. So she tells him she shouldn’t marry Edmund, his nephew, she should marry him. Guy tosses it away as the naivete of a young girl. She and Edmund marry and Magdalen is sent back to her old home.

Following this, we see Magdalen grown up and see Guy falling in love with her despite himself and everyone else.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only was I sympathetic to Guy and Magdalen but I was moved by their passionate love for each other.  There was equal drama and action as well as love and romance. It was just the perfect amount of everything that it didn’t give too much or too little.   I do think there could have been some improvements, but nothing too serious. If you aren’t one to read romance novels because of their specific scenes, then this story is perfect for you.

five-out-of-five

Reviews:

“An accomplished storyteller … rare and wonderful.”
Daily News of Los Angeles

Click here to check out ALMOST INNOCENT!!