My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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MsArdychan's bookshelf: read

I Owe You One
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Love, Hate & Other Filters
The Wartime Sisters
The Belles
The Gilded Wolves
Hey, Kiddo
Blackberry and Wild Rose
Queen of Air and Darkness
The Retribution of Mara Dyer
The Evolution of Mara Dyer

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Stacking The Shelves # 119 & Sunday Post # 83

I am combining two great blog hops:  Stacking The Shelves (a Saturday feature by Team Tynga's Reviews), and Sunday Post (a Sunday feature by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer).  Both of these features give people a chance to post about what books they received and also an opportunity to catch a glimpse of what others are excited about.  I really enjoy seeing everyone's version of these features!   All book covers are linked to Goodreads, if you want to check them out.  If you enjoy my blog, please consider following me via Bloglovin, Networked Blogs, GFC, or by email subscription.  If you leave a comment and tell me you are a new follower, I will follow you back! 
On The Blog:
Thursday:  ARC Review:  The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo
I haven't been very active on my blog of late.  I've just been in the mood to read non-stop, without writing all the reviews.  Now that I have reached some of my reading goals, I will try to be more productive.
In "Real Life":
I have been working hard on reading books I already have, and thinking about how I want to spend my time.  I want to continue to write on the blog, but also start working on writing my book (finally!).  Although I bought several new books this week, I am making good progress with books I already own.  
Next week is Spring break and I plan on reading up a storm and writing as much as I can.  It is finally getting warmer in California (79 F today), and I feel the optimism of the season.
New Books:
Borrowed from Kindle Lending Library:

Listening Library for Review:
That's it for this week.  I hope your week was wonderful and you are able to enjoy Spring, at last!!!

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

ARC Review: The Priate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Please Note:  I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.  

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
A Former Privateer and a Desperate Heiress Join Forces to Find a Treasure
Jump on board with a brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

One hundred years after her mother's family came to the New World on the Mayflower, Maribel Cordova has landed in New Orleans to seek the man who holds the key to finding her father’s lost treasure. Attorney Jean-Luc Valmot has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—or so he hopes as he accepts a position on the governor’s staff. But the daughter of an infamous pirate threatens all he holds dear. Can Maribel and Jean-Luc compromise so they both can hold onto what they most desire?

Writing a review of a book I don't like is not easy.  I understanding how much work must have gone into this book, but I would be remiss if I just gave it a pass.  I was looking forward to this novel because I love historical fiction.  I love all the details that make me feel as if I know how the people of the time lived.  But none of this is present in The Pirate Bride, by Kathleen Y'barbo.

What I Liked:
I found so many issues with this book, there was nothing in it that appealed to me.

What I Was Mixed About:
I did find it refreshing that the characters prayed so much in this book.  For the time this book was set in, religion would have been a integral part of the lives of any person.

However, as the characters were of French and Spanish origin, it was strange to me that they didn't seem to be Catholic.  Where are the rosaries?  The saints?  The crucifixes?  The priests?  The absence of these details made the characters feel inauthentic.  

What I Didn't Like:

Historical Details:
The story is said to take place in 1724 (?) but there are so few details, it could have happened in 1824 (or 1924).  Despite the lovely cover, there are few discussions of clothing, food, or even locations.  The novel moves from Spain, to an island in the Caribbean, to New Orleans, yet there are almost no descriptions of these places beyond the basics.  

Along with that, the characters are supposed to be French and Spanish.  Yet, other than calling Maribel's grandfather, Abuelo, and there being a few smatterings of French names, I got no sense they were of any particular country.  There most certainly would have been customs (and food) from their homelands that would have been central to the characters as they settle into a new world.

Maribel begins the story as a twelve year-old, but she seems to act like she's eight.  I was really struck by this because a girl of that age growing up in Spain would have been more mature.  She would have been taught to behave as an adult by that time.

Later, as a twenty-three year-old, she gets very affectionate with Jean-Luc, excusing her actions with saying she was raised by nuns so she doesn't understand proper etiquette.  I found this ridiculous.  If she were raised by nuns, she would have been taught to have very strict behavior around men.  She would know better than to hug a man in public, and would know the implications of kissing a man (instant engagement or social ruin).

She also doesn't seem at all torn up about the apparent death of her childhood friend, Will Spencer, yet she is devastated by the deaths of all the pirates, whom she barely knows. 
The romance between Maribel and Jean-Luc was creepy!  They started out knowing each other when she was twelve and he was twenty-five.  Suddenly, it is eleven years later, and they are instantly attracted to each other.  I can believe that Maribel may have had a crush on Jean-Luc as a child, but it was weird that he seemed to be attracted to her, even when she was a kid.  There is a line in the book where he says, "When I couldn't find you, I didn't want to go on.", referring to when she was twelve.  What?  Why was he so attached to her as a child? 

The description from Goodreads doesn't match the actual book.  I wonder if a quick summary of the story was sold to the publisher and then it wasn't updated when the book was released?  It was that disjointed.

Reading the actual novel, the story fell flat because of the lack of buildup to critical moments throughout the book.  Perhaps the author felt this would drag down the story, but there needed to be a foundation of actions and emotions for the payoff at the end.  

For instance, we never get to understand how Maribel feels about losing her family or her friends.  There is no explanation as to what is going on with her mother and her father.  Is her mother cooperating with the father, or is she being coerced?  There were many references to everyone trying to shield her from her father, but no pay off at the end to explain this.   Why did the father even try to bring her to Havana in the first place?  Wouldn't it have been more logical for him to place her in a convent in Spain?    These are just some of the plot points I found confusing.


Release Date:  April 1st, 2018

Genre:  Historical Romance Fiction

Publisher:  Barbour Books

Page Length:  256 pages

Source:  NetGalley

Format:  E-Book

Recommendation:  This seemed like a first draft of a novel, not a finished book.  I would not recommend it.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Bay Area Book Events #89

Due to the enormous size of this list, I have decided to discontinue these posts.  Although I think it is valuable to have a one stop place to see all that the Bay Area Book scene has to offer, it takes an enormous amount of time to compile all this information.  
I will show this next week's worth of events, as I have already compiled them.  There is also a master calendar that has all listings.

Bookstores in this list may include:  
A Great Good Place For Books (Oakland) 
Barnes & Noble (various Bay Area Locations)
Books Inc. (various Bay Area Locations)
Book Passage (Corte Madera & San Francisco) 
Borderlands Books (San Francisco) 
Copperfield's Books (Various Locations) 
East Bay Booksellers (Oakland)   
Green Apple Books (San Francisco) 
Hicklebee's Children's Books (San Jose) 
Kepler's Books (Menlo Park)   
Mrs. Dalloway's (Berkeley) 
Orinda Books (Orinda)   
Pegasus Books (Berkeley & Oakland)   
Point Reyes Bookstore (Point Reyes) 
Rakestraw Books (Danville)
The Booksmith (San Francisco)
Town Center Books (Pleasanton)  

I am attempting to make this a one stop place to find book signings in the San Francisco Bay Area! I will mostly focus on YA books, but I will also include some general fiction if I think it will be of interest.  I do not list non-fiction books (There are simply too many events of those to list).  I think this is an extensive list, but there is always the possibility that I missed an event (Hey, I'm human). If you think there is an event that I should include, please leave me a note in the comments section. Thanks.

All  book graphics have links to GoodReads so you can check them out.

As always, it is a good idea to call the store a day or two before to confirm that the scheduled e
vent is still on.  I have learned that these events change constantly.

Monday, March 19th, at 7:00pm


Book:  A Reckoning   
Author:  Linda Spalding 
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera 
Tel:  (415)927-0960 

Monday, March 19th, at 7:00pm


Tickets ($29.45 includes signed copy of the book).
Get your tickets here 
Book:  The Great Alone
Author:  Kristin Hannah
Location:  Books Inc. (Opera Plaza)
Address:  601 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Tel:  (415)  776-1111

Tuesday, March 20th, at 3:30pm
Meet & Greet

Book:  Obsidio
Authors:  Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff   
Location:  Kepler's Books   
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park   
Tel:  (650) 324-4321 
Tuesday, March 20th, at 7:00pm

Book:  Obsidio
Authors:  Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Location:  A Great Good Place for Books
Address:  6120 LaSalle Avenue, Oakland
Tel:  (510) 339-8210

Tuesday, March 20th, at 7:30pm


Book:  The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
Author:  Michael David Lukas
Location:  Pegasus Books (Solano)   
Address:  1855 Solano Avenue, Berkeley   
Tel:  (510) 525-6888

Wednesday, March 21st at 4:00pm


Book:  Emily Windsnap and The Falls Of Forgotten Island   Author:  Liz Kessler    
Location:  Hicklebee's Children's Books   
Address:  1378 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose   
Tel:  (408) 292-8880

Wednesday, March 21st, at 7:00pm


Book:  I Will Not Kick My Friends   
Author:  Kathleen Winter   
Location:  Green Apple Books    
Address:  506 Clement Street, San Francisco   
Tel:  (415) 387-2272

Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00pm


Book:  Worlds Apart (Story Thieves #5)   
Author:  Brandon Mull 
Book:  Assassin's Curse (Blackthorn Key #3) 
Author:  Kevin Sands   
Book:  Time Jumpers (Five Kingdoms #5)   
Author:  James Riley   
Location:  Copperfield's Books (Petaluma) 
Address:  140 Kentucky Street, Petaluma   
Tel:  (707) 762-0563

Wednesday, March 21st at 7:30pm

Book:  Memento Park   
Author:  Mark Sarvas   
Location:  Green Apple Books on the Park 
Address:  1231 9th Street, San Francisco   
Tel:  (415) 742-5833

Thursday, March 22nd, at 4:00p
Book:  Emily Windsnap and The Falls Of Forgotten Island    
Author:  Liz Kessler   
Location:  Dublin Library Community Room  
Address:  200 Civic Plaza, Dublin   
Tel:  (925) 803-7252

Thursday, March 22nd, at 7:00pm
In Conversation with Isabel Allende


Book:  Happiness 
Author:  Aminatta Forna 
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)   
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera 
Tel:  (415) 927-0960

Thursday, March 22nd, at 7:30pm


Book:  Bury What We Cannot Take   
Author:  Kristin Chen   
Location:  The Bindery (San Francisco)   
Address:  1727 Haight Street, San Francisco   
Tel:  (415)  863-8688

Thursday, March 22nd, at 7:30pm


Book:  The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
Author:  Michael David Lukas   
Location:  Mrs. Dalloway's   
Address:  2904 College Avenue, Berkeley   
Tel:  (510) 704-8222

Friday, March 23rd, at 7:00pm
Book:  Song of a Captive Bird
Author:  Jasmin Darznik
Location:  Copperfield's Books (Sebastopol)
Address:  138 N. Main Street, Sebastopol
Tel:  (707) 823-2618 

Friday, March 23rd, at 7:00pm
In Discussion with the translator


Book:  The Novel of the Tupinamba Indian Author:  E.F. Granell Translated by David Coulter Location:  East Bay Booksellers  
Address:  5433 College Avenue, Oakland  
Tel:  (510) 653-9965

Saturday, March 24th, at 11:00am

Book:  56 Days of August  
Edited by Ina Roy & Paul Nelson  
Location:  Book Passage (San Francisco)  
Address:  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco  
Tel:  (415) 835-1020

Saturday, March 24th, at 4:00pm


Book:  Through The Bookstore Window  
Author:  Bill Petrocelli  
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)  
Address:  15 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera 
Tel:  (415) 927-0960

Saturday, March 24th, at 7:00pm


Book:  Dreaming of France  
Author:  Kerry Campbell  
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)  
Address:  15 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera 
Tel:  (415) 927-0960

Saturday, March 24th, at 7:00pm

Book:  Know Me Here  
Edited by Katherine Hastings  
Location:  Copperfield's Books (Novato)  
Address:  999 Grant Avenue, Novato  
Tel:  (415) 763-3052

Saturday, March 24th, at 7:00pm


Book:  How A Mountain Was Made: Stories

Author:  Greg Sarris

Book:  The Modoc War

Author:  Robert McNally   
Location:  Copperfield's Books (Santa Rosa) 
Address:  775 Village Court, Santa Rosa)   
Tel:  (707) 578-8938
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2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


80% 80% 100 Book Reviews 2016 NetGalley Challenge
clean sweep 2017

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