Blog Tour: The Scent Keeper

ScentKeeper

 

What an interesting read.  The first thing I want to say is that if you are part of a book club, this is a MUST READ.  I promise you there is SO much to talk about throughout the book.  My thoughts?  I am very conflicted…

I could not get into this book until Part 2.  The entire first part of this book talks about scented paper and living on a deserted, desolate island where this little girl and her father forage for food.  Mermaids leave surprises in boxes every so often for supplies, but it all centered around a machine that made scents.  They left the paper in bottles and eventually the smells started to fade and it sent the father into a nose dive depression.   I just could not get into this book about scents.  I ended up speed reading most of this book as I really was having a hard time grasping the concept of it.  Toward the end of part 2 and for all of part 3 I did slow the pace of my reading down and really try to understand it.

We get past the scents and eventually the daughter, Emmeline (pronounced like on-the-line…don’t do what myself or her school teacher do and call her Emmelene haha), makes it to civilization and learns a whole new world (complete with a love interest).  Here is where my interest peaked and where she started to learn who she was and sought to seek out where she came from (remember, she was only raised by Dad and had no idea what her last name was or who her mother was).

I also enjoyed how the book ended.  I usually am only a fan of concrete endings, however, I know where Emmeline is going to end up and I really like how she leaves things off…the author did a good job.  For this book, it was the perfect ending.

People may wonder why I even bothered to continue to read this book if I was not enjoying it at first.  Here’s the thing.  Just because I personally do not like something, does not mean that someone else out there won’t.  Despite the fact that I was not into it, the author did a fantastic job at describing the surroundings and I was able to imagine such beautiful scenery.  The writing in this book was top notch, I just didn’t care for the content (at the beginning).  I also feel like this book needed that content at the beginning to create the book that it is.  Bauermeister is very talented, that is very obvious within her writing.

For this reason, I am not rating this book.  What I will do when I most my review to Goodreads and Netgalley, I’m not too sure, but I will figure something out.  This is a stop on The Scent Keeper blog tour and below please find more information about the author and the book.  Included is a sample of the first chapter so you can judge for yourself.  Again, this book turned in to an amazing read and I am happy I read it.  There is SO much to discuss about this book.  If you’ve read it, let’s chat!!

This book is released TOMORROW, May 21, 2019, so look for it at the links below or at your local bookstore!

Scent Keeper - Author Image_credit to Susan Doupé

About the Author:
Erica Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel The School of Essential Ingredients, Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing. She is also the co-author of the non-fiction works, 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Washington, and has taught there and at Antioch University. She is a founding member of the Seattle7Writers and currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
About the Book:
Erica Bauermeister, the national bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives. 
Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them.  As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.
Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.

Chapter One Excerpt…

THE BEGINNING

Back before there was time, I lived with my father on an island, tucked away in an endless archipelago that reached up out of the cold salt water, hungry for air. Growing up in the midst of the rain and moss and ancient thick-barked trees, it was easy to forget that the vast majority of our island was underwater—descending down two, three, five hundred bone-chilling feet. Forever really, for you could never hold your breath long enough to get to the bottom.

Those islands were a place to run away, although I didn’t understand that at the time. I had nothing to run from and every reason to stay. My father was everything. I’ve heard people say that someone is their “whole world,” their eyes filled with stars. But my father was my world, in a way so literal it can still grab my thoughts, pick them up, and toss them around like driftwood in a storm.

Our cabin was set in a clearing at the center of the island. We were not the first to live there—those islands have a long history of runaways. Almost a century ago there were French fur trappers, with accents that lilted and danced. Loggers with mountainous shoulders, and fishermen who chased silver-backed salmon. Later came the draft dodgers, hiding from war. Hippies, dodging rules. The islands took them all in—the storms and the long, dark winters spat most out again. The beauty there was raw; it could kill as easily as it could astonish.

Our cabin had been built by the truest of runaways. He set up in a place where no one could find him and built his home from trees he felled himself. He spent forty years on the island, clearing space for a garden and planting an orchard. One autumn, however, he simply disappeared. Drowned, it was said. After that the cabin was empty for years until we arrived and found the apple trees, opened the door. Raised the population of the island to two.

I don’t remember arriving on the island myself; I was too young. I only remember living there. I remember the paths that wandered through those watchful trees, the odor of the dirt beneath our feet, as dark and complicated as fairy tales. I remember our one-room cabin, the big chair by the woodstove, and our collection of stories and science books. I remember the smell of wood smoke and pine pitch in my father’s beard as he read to me at night, and the ghostly aroma of the runaway’s pipe tobacco, an olfactory reminder that had sunk into the walls and never quite disappeared. I remember the way the rain seemed to talk to the roof as I fell asleep, and how the fire would snap and tell it to be quiet.

Most of all, I remember the drawers.

My father had begun building them when we moved into the cabin, and when he was done they lined our walls from floor to ceiling. The drawers were small things, their polished wooden fronts no bigger than my child-sized hands. They surrounded us like the forest and islands outside our door.

Each drawer contained a single small bottle, and inside each bottle was a piece of paper, rolled around itself like a secret. The glass stoppers of the bottles were sealed with different colored waxes—red in the top rows, green for those below. My father almost never opened the bottles.

“We need to keep them safe,” he said.

But I could hear the papers whispering inside the drawers.

Come find me.

“Please?” I’d ask, again and again.

Finally, he agreed. He took out a leather book filled with numbers and carefully added one to the list. Then he turned to the wall of drawers, pondering his choice.

“Up there,” I said, pointing up high to where the red-wax bottles lived. Stories always begin at the top of a page.

My father had built a ladder that slid along the wall, and I watched him climb it almost to the ceiling, reaching into a drawer and drawing out its bottle. When he was back on the ground, he carefully broke the seal. I could hear glass scritching against glass as he pulled out the stopper, then the rustle of the paper as he unrolled it into a plain, white square. He leaned in close, inhaling, then wrote another number in the book.

I meant to stay still, but I leaned forward, too. My father looked up and smiled, holding out the paper.

“Here,” he said. “Breathe in, but not too much. Let the smell introduce itself.”

I did as he said. I kept my chest tight and my breath shallow. I could feel the tendrils of a fragrance tickling the inside of my nose, slipping into the curls of my black hair. I could smell campfires made from a wood I didn’t recognize; dirt more parched than any I had ever known; moisture, ready to burst from clouds in a sky I’d never seen. It smelled like waiting.

“Now, breathe in deeply,” my father said.

I inhaled, and fell into the fragrance like Alice down the rabbit hole.

 

– – –

 

Later, after the bottle had been stoppered and sealed and put back in its drawer, I turned to my father. I could still smell the last of the fragrance lingering in the air.

“Tell me its story,” I asked him. “Please.”

“All right, little lark,” he said. He sat in the big chair and I nestled in next to him. The fire crackled in the woodstove; the world outside was still.

“Once upon a time, Emmeline . . .” he began, and his voice rolled around the rhyme of it as if the words were made of chocolate.

Once upon a time, Emmeline, there was a beautiful queen who was trapped in a great white castle. None of the big, bold knights could save her. “Bring me a smell that will break the walls,” she asked a brave young boy named Jack . . .

I listened, while the scents found their hiding places in the cracks in the floorboards, and the words of the story, and the rest of my life.

First Line Fridays: February 22nd

As always First Line Friday comes courtesy of Hoarding Books Blog.  I discovered this magic thanks to Crystal at Must Love Reviews.

This week I am highlighting a book I’m about to start shortly, here we go…

I was born without a voice, one cold, overcast day in Brooklyn, New York. No one ever spoke of my condition. I did not know I was mute until years later, when I’d opened my mouth to ask for what I wanted and realized no one could hear me.

Wow.  Know the book?  I will say, this has my interest and I’m ready to start this bad boy!  Here it is…

20190222_103615.jpg

I will probably start this today considering I have a snow day, er, ice day.  It’s my kids’ first snow day and my 2nd spanning across my 13 year teaching career (I had one 11 years ago).  Growing up we had them all the time but here in the desert they are RARE!  What better way to enjoy it than by reading?!?  What are you reading on this winter day?

Book Review: The Beach House

I am not sure if you know this or not but last summer I decided to read The Kissing Booth and then watch the movie on Netflix during a family trek to Europe.  I was not a huge fan of the book until I watched the movie…odd, right?  Well, Netflix just announced they are creating a sequel to The Kissing Booth so when I investigated and saw that Elle and Noah still had some romance going, I had to check it out!  I downloaded the Wattpad app and got to reading!

You really have to read The Kissing Booth first to fully get this novella.  It is a short story that highlights the annual trip to Lee & Noah’s beach house the summer before Noah leaves.  (Quick background if you haven’t read The Kissing Booth: Noah is Lee’s older brother and Elle’s boyfriend.  Lee is Elle’s best friend.)  Will this be where the movie takes us?  A summer break?  Who knows.  Even though I was not a huge fan of how they changed Elle in the movie. I still have to check it out.  Maybe Netflix will redeem themselves with me in this soon to be made sequel!

Also, in The Kissing Booth we see Elle say goodbye to Noah when he goes away to college.  This is set before then for a week at their beach house.  I’m a little fuzzy at how this is a “sequel” but, to each their own I guess.

part of me wishes I did not read this.  There really was no point.  It isn’t really a sequel as it is more of some extra information with what happened during The Kissing Booth really.  I am giving this novella 3 stars.  Why?  Their time spent at the beach house was really anti-climatic.  I love the tale of Elle, Noah, and Lee, but, this just left me thinking, what did I just read?!  I want to know more about what happens when Noah goes away to college and Elle is left behind.  I went back in time instead of going further ahead, which is usually what a proclaimed sequel does.  There is enough in this book that I am sure Netflix will use some of it for what happens in their sequel.  We will find out soon won’t we?

Have you read this?  Do you read books on Wattpad?  Let me know of some can’t miss books on there and I’ll add them to my list and check them out!  Wattpad is a whole new world for me and if you have not checked it out, you should!  The app is SUPER easy to use!

Details

Title: The Beach House

Author:  Beth Reekles

Publisher: Wattpad

Release Date: December 31, 2011

Find it here on Goodreads

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday comes courtesy once again of Lauren’s Page Turners.  Every Monday I will randomly pick a book on my Goodreads to read shelf and pair it with the cover image and Goodreads description.  This week I picked my favorite number, 54, and went the book that was there.

Quick Goodreads Stats

318: To Read Shelf

59: Read Shelf

3: Read 2019 Shelf

My Pick This Week

stayupwithhugobest

Stay Up With Hugo Best by Erin Somers

Expected Release: April 2, 2019

Current Goodreads Rating: 4.04 stars (68 ratings, 28 reviews)

Goodreads Summary

An incredibly timely, terrifically witty and moving debut about a young writer’s assistant on a late night comedy show and what transpires when she accepts an invitation from its enigmatic host to spend a long weekend at his mansion in Connecticut.

June Bloom is a broke, cynical twenty-nine-year-old writer’s assistant on the late-night comedy show, Stay Up with Hugo Best. Hugo Best is in his sixties, a beloved icon of TV and humor, and a notorious womanizer. After he unexpectedly retires and a party is held for his now unemployed staff, June ends up at a dive bar for an open-mic night and prepares for the sad return to the anonymous comedian lifestyle. What she’s not prepared for is a run-in with Hugo at that dive bar. Nor for the invitation that swiftly follows: Hugo asks June to come to his mansion in Greenwich for the long Memorial Day weekend. “No funny business,” he insists.

June, in need of a job and money, confident she can handle herself, but secretly harboring the remains of a childhood crush on the charming older comedian and former role model, accepts. The exact terms of the visit are never spelled out, but June is realistic and clear-eyed enough to guess. Even so, as the weekend unfolds and the enigmatic Hugo gradually reveals himself, their dynamic proves to be much more complicated and less predictable than she expected.

At once hilarious and poignant, brilliantly incisive and terrifically propulsive, Stay Up with Hugo Best is an incredibly timely exploration of sexual politics in the #MeToo age, and the unforgettable story of one young woman’s poignant stumbling into adulthood.

My Thoughts

Well hey there!  This book sounds AWESOME!  I just added it to my Amazon Wish List and I am looking forward to this book being released in a few months.  At first I glance at the cover and I thought, why would I have added this book to my want to read shelf…really?  Then I read the description and I thought…THAT’S WHY!

finalthoughts

 

I think this is semi-backfiring on me.  It is supposed to get you excited for reads and all this is going is adding more books to my already long, long list!  YIKES!  Since last Monday my Want To Read shelf has increased by 13 books.  I was hoping I would randomly pick some books and be like, nawh, taking this off my life.  Maybe next week that will happen, haha.  Feel free to pick a number between 1 and 318 and I’ll choose that book for next Monday!  Happy reading!

Book Review: The Life We Wanted

As a member of Team Dearie: Kelsey Kingley’s ARC Team on Facebook, I was blessed with an advance reader copy of The Life We Wanted (expected to be released February 2019).  To say I was nervous was an understatement.  I am in a group of close quarters with the author, what if I hate this book?  How would I be able to write an honest review?  The day arrived and in my inbox was this book.  That day was only yesterday…

I finished this book in one day (honestly, around 4 hours of my day total).  I could not get enough.  This book was inspired by the song “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters and you will see how that intertwines throughout this story.  Music is amazing and this tale uses music as a muse for the story so well.

The story is about Tabitha Clarke and Sebastian Moore.  Tabitha is a successful real estate agent who just lost her parents and sister over the course of a year and gained custody of her 15 year old nephew.  Sebastian Moore is a successful drummer in a band and tours around the world and has a life of one night stands.  When Tabitha goes through her sister’s belongings after another fight with her nephew she discovers letters written by Sebastian and discovers he is her nephew’s father.  At her wit’s end she writes to him in hopes he can help her out and get through to her nephew, Greyson.

This story is told through alternating points of view between Tabitha and Sebastian.  I really liked how the story flowed this way.  We were not left with any unnecessary narratives and I really appreciated that.  I also appreciated the details that went in to describing each character (and I may or may not have a HUGE crush on Sebastian myself).

I would best describe this story as an edgy Hallmark tale (and in case you did not know, I LOVE Hallmark movies).  There is cursing throughout this book so if that is not up your alley, don’t pick up this book.  Is this book predictable?  Yes.  But, did it make me tear up?  Did it make me yell at the characters?  Yes and yes.  I became attached to Tabitha and Sebastian grew on me.  It truly is a wonderful romance tale that has left me wanting more.

I am in a total book hangover.  I am left day dreaming about Tabitha and Sebastian (and hope that one day we will get a sequel).  I know that this book is not for everyone so I won’t sugarcoat that.  If you love Hallmarky things that have an edge to them, THIS IS FOR YOU.  Stop what you are doing and run out to get this book.  It will leave your heart full and your face smiling.  So, despite the fact that I know this book isn’t for everyone, I am still giving it 5 stars.  Why?  Because *I* freakin’ loved it and that’s good enough for me!  If you are into this genre you will understand why I gave it 5 stars after you read it (and then come back and let’s talk all about it).

 

Details

 

Title: The Life We Wanted

Author: Kelsey Kingsley

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Release Date: Anticipated February 1, 2019

ASIN: Will update when released

Link to Goodreads Page

Book Review: An Anonymous Girl

This review was previous published over at Book In The Bag Blog where I guest write a review every Thursday!  I wanted to start 2019 off with a bang and what better way than with my review of An Anonymous Girl??

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this advance copy in exchange for my honest review!  This book officially comes out on January 8, 2019, pre-order it today!

As soon as I heard Hendricks and Pekkanen were penning another novel I could not wait to get my hands on it.  The Wife Between Us blew me away (by the way, go get that book NOW if you haven’t read it) and I could not wait to see what else could come out of their 2 minds.  I was not let down.

The story is about a young woman who ends up in a research study to make some extra money.  The research is all about morals and ethics and is put together by a professor at a local, well known university, who should probably have her own morals and ethics checked out.

This psychological thriller is told by Jessica, the young woman, and Dr. Shields, the professor.  They alternate chapters so it gives us a unique perspective and keeps up guessing throughout the novel.  Just when you think this is going to be a predictable read, it’s not.  There are not many twists and turns but enough to keep you interested.  As we get further in to the book the characters grow and show us sides to them you just cannot predict to see.  The book really picks up in the second half after the stage has been fully set.

I will say I was a little let down with the ending.  I expected it to end with some big bang and it just fell flat for me.  It felt rushed at the end and it just, ended.  I did not get the closure I would have liked; however, it does let you know what happens with the relationship Jessica and Dr. Shields have.  I would have like just a little bit more at the end to satisfy myself.

I am giving this book 4 stars.  It keeps you going and guessing.  I did think I had the book figured out before I got to the halfway point.  That’s where the book really picks up and has left you with enough little pieces you have to read to see how they all fit together.  I will say, Greer and Pekkanen sure do have some twisted minds!  I hope they collaborate yet again, these ladies know how to throw you for a loop!  Have you read either of their books??  Let me know if you’ve read either book or if you’re looking forward to this one!

Details

Title: An Anonymous Girl

Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: January 8, 2019

ISBN: 1250133734

Quick Link To Amazon Here