Friday, March 27, 2015

Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? Review and Giveaway

C'est vrai!

exceptionnel, phénoménal, soufflant, surprenant!

Written by Diane Ratican, who loves both Los Angeles and Paris, Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?, is a dazzling picture book, published in 2014, that features full-color illustrations by artists Eric Giriat (Paris) and Nick Lu (Los Angeles).  I think the best way to review this book is to show you some of artwork in it.  It's truly enchanting!

Se il vous plaît,
 jetez un oei! 

 The pictures express beaucoup joie de vivre.
Beach scene, LA

This book has a very clever design!  With words and brilliant, colorful illustrations,
the two cities are compared and contrasted, in a fun and vibrant manner.

Pages on the left depict something in LA (in this case, soccer);
pages on the right depict the counterpart in Paris (football).

Street art or graffiti in LA, and murals in Paris.

Cycling: Tour of California, 2006, 
and Tour de France, 1903. 

Barnes & Noble, and Les Bouquinistes.

Wonderful, eclectic quotations are sprinkled throughout the book, such as:

"Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance you must keep moving."
~Albert Einstein
"Fashions fade, style is eternal."
~Yves Saint Laurent

At the end of this book is a list of the author's favorite addresses in Los Angeles and in Paris, for shops, restaurants, and hotels. (I'm familiar with several of the places listed in LA, but I've not yet visited Paris.)  Why LA?  Pourquoi Paris? is an exuberant celebration of two great cities that are very different, yet similar.  I absolutely loved it, and I learned a few things about both LA and Paris.

Thanks to the generosity of the book's author, illustrators, and agents, I'm thrilled to offer a giveaway for a copy of this gorgeous art book to a reader (U.S.A. /Canada)!

  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
  • For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or indicate that you're already a follower.
  • For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
  • For one more chance, mention the last art or picture book you enjoyed looking at.

Enter by 5 PM PST on Monday, April 13.  One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, April 14.  Please be sure to leave your email address, or a link that leads to it.  Bonne chance!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Mysterious Doll

What's on your reading "bucket list"?  One of the things on my list is to read more cozy mysteries, so I was quite pleased when author Linda Weaver Clarke offered to send me a copy of The Mysterious Doll, the fourth book in the Amelia Moore Detective series, published in 2014.

Who has taken the antique doll from the museum?  Pauline Jones is distraught and rather perplexed because her boyfriend, Sam Whitaker, left town without telling anyone where he was going.  His sudden departure coincides with the disappearance of a valuable porcelain doll, so he's suspected of stealing the doll from the museum where he works as a financial clerk.  Pauline loves her fiance and believes that he's innocent, so she implores Amelia to find Sam, and to solve the case of the missing doll.  Amelia then asks her handsome partner, Rick Bonito, to help her solve The Mysterious Doll Case.

This is the fourth book I've read in the Amelia Moore Detective Series.  As always, Amelia is a smart, sassy, and compassionate protagonist, and she and her charming partner, Rick, work well as a team.  They complement each other.  But that's not all.  They enjoy their work as detectives, which is all about helping people, and as mentioned previously, there are sparks between them, and even some romantic kisses.  In The Mysterious Doll, Amelia and Rick cross a few more things off of their bucket lists, pertaining to classic cars, calamari, and ziplining.  In Book Four of this romantic adventure mystery series, this time the couple travels to scenic Colorado to search for Sam and to solve the mystery.  Who stole the doll?  Was it Sam, Judy, Mabel, Slick Nick, or someone else?  I must admit that it kept me guessing.  To my surprise and delight, each book in this series gets better, and while each may be read as a standalone, it's been great fun to read all of these cozy mysteries.  I look forward to reading the fifth book in this terrific series, Her Lost Love.

A warm thank you to Linda Weaver Clarke for sending me The Mysterious Doll.  For a wonderful review of this book, please stop by Yvonne's blog, Socrates' Book Reviews. Your comments are welcomed.

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