Friday, December 26, 2008
This was the first real letdown I've had reading a Dean Koontz novel. The book just never took off. Finally, at page 200 I began to be interested, but interest was soon replaced with the 'ho hums.'
A very disappointing book.
Monday, December 08, 2008
This was a beautifully written, immensely satisfying novel set in Jacobean England after Queen Elizabeth I's death and in the early years of the reign of James I. At the heart of the story is the conflict between religion. Many of the people want to be able to worship as they and their forefathers had done for years, as Roman Catholics. Even though King James promised to be tolerant of those with beliefs different from the Anglican Church, he became less tolerant with each year he was King.
Thus the stage is set for a handful of desperate men who devise a treasonous plot to assassinate the king and all of Parliament by blowing up Whitehall with gunpowder. The plot was foiled by an anonymous letter. Today November 5, known as Guy Fawkes Day, is celebrated in many nations because the king was saved.
The main characters of this historical novel are Kate Peach and Francis Quoynt. Kate lost her family to the plague and makes gloves for a living. Francis is a firemaster who wishes only to make fireworks, but who is drawn into a world of espionage and treachery. His life as a spy puts both Kate and his father's lives in peril.
As I mentioned earlier, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The time period was a new one for me and I learned many interesting bits of history as they were richly woven into a fascinating story. I did some internet delving to learn more and to answer some of my questions, such as, why wasn't James I a protestant if his mother was Queen Mary of Scotland, a Catholic?
I also needed to know if Dickason had written anything else as I am most eager to read more of her work. My search was rewarded. She has also written a second novel The Princepessa set in Jacobean England that feactures Francis Quoynt. Oh, YAY! I am thrilled to be able to continue reading about Francis and his plight at the hands of Robert Cecil, Secretary of State to King James. It's on order - Merry Christmas to me! Dickason has also written a trilogy that begins with The Lady Tree, which is a 17th centruy romantic financial thriller based on a real but incredible 17th century craze for speculating in tulip bulbs. I have already ordered that first book as the title and subject matter are appealing to me and I am quite besot with Dickason's writing.
Check out Christie Dickason's website to learn more about her and her books. Let me say, too, that I think Harper's selection of historical novels is wonderful. I've read several (5 or 6) and have enjoyed everyone. I'm going to pay attention to books that have that little red seal in the lower right corner of the cover.
Friday, November 21, 2008
The number one advise I hear for writers is to write about what you know. That's what Teller has successfully done. He was a criminal lawyer for 35 years before retiring and writing his first novel featuring defense lawyer Harrison J. Walker, better-known as Jaywalker.
The Tenth Case is a top-notch debut with the second in the Jaywalker series planned for release in 2009. That is very good news to me. I thoroughly enjoyed this court drama, meeting the intense Jaywalker, learning so much more about court 'footwork' than I already knew, and wondering clear to the end of the book who the guilty party was.
There were two main characters: Jaywalker and the case, more than the woman, he was defending. I found Jaywalker to be very likable. He is excellent at his job, preparing and working out every wrinkle that may present itself in court. He is obsessive in his desire to win each case, but he's also willing to put in the time to do so.
As the book begins Jaywalker has just been suspended for using "creative" tactics and receiving "gratitude" in the courtroom stairwell from a client charged with prostitution. He convinces the judge to let him complete ten of his cases. It's his last case that truly tests his abilities - and his acquittal record.
The tenth case is defending a young , petite and sexy woman accused of stabbing her 61-yr-old, billionaire husband. The major part of the book deals with Jaywalker's methods in solving this case with it's overwhelming evidence against the defendant. We learn much about Jaywalker as he deals with the ups and downs, the twists and turns, and the defending of such a case.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery, court drama, and good writing. This is an author you are going to be hearing good things about. I think he'll be in the bestseller category real soon.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I picked this book off the shelf on Halloween day so I could get a little dose of 'SPOOKY' this season. It was a good choice.
Hall's first YA mystery/thriller is set in a small town near Salem, Massachusetts with witch stories to rival those of Salem. There are the 3 faces of the Pickering sisters who keep mysteriously showing up on the Insane Asylum's wall even though it's been plastered and rebricked.
Maddie doesn't believe in witches, but she still won't look at the pictures. She begins to question their authenticity after her beautiful, but eccentric cousin moves in with her family. Her close girls friends don't like Maddie's cousin and try to make things miserable for her.
The title of the book comes from an agreement that select, popular girls make on the Island of Misery. This sisterhood is older than their mothers and grandmothers. The big question is how far is Maddie willing to go to protect her claim to the sisterhood.
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book when I started reading. It was obviously aimed at a high school/college age group and there was the regular bits about not feeling as good as the other popular girls, along with the problems of mother/daughter relationships. Once the cousin and her mother enter the picture the book becomes more intense. The story builds upon unanswered questions, devious schemes, mysterious people, and hidden secrets - very gothic and good. I am anxiously looking forward to the next installment of the Sisters of Misery.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I don't usually purchase books to help me plan my trips because I feel like the internet provides more than enough information. In a moment of weakness, however, I order this book and Walking Portland and I'm so glad I did. Both were so helpful.
Photographer's Guide to the Oregon Coast provided helpful tips on picture taking, places to see, and directions to get there. Some of the spots are off Hwy 101 and would normally be missed by tourists. The one that comes to mind is the Maxwell Mountain Rd. It's a single lane road that winds up the mountain through a small town right on the coast. The view from the top was spectacular.
(Run-on sentence alert--->)Sitting in my family room during the middle of Oct planning our trip, I had about decided to not drive down the North Fork Yachats River and see that cute little covered bridge again, but as I read the authors' description of the bridge and the setting I grew nostalgic. Needless to say we did go a second time and I was thrilled to death to be standing under that huge spruce and walking through that little cute bridge again.
I wanted to focus on the David McCullough bridges, most of which are on the National Historic Registry. This book helped me locate some that I didn't know where they were and how to get to them.
We had already decided to decided to drive up to the top of Cape Perpetua, but without this book I would not have known about this cute little rock shelter that is just a short walk from the parking lot.
I highly recommend Photographer's Guide to the Oregon Coast for those planning to visit the coast or for those who live there, but don't know all there or close by is to know about the coast (that'll be me some day!).
I bought this book to help me know what buildings I was looking at when I visited Portland at the end of Oct and to help me discover other interesting sights. I didn't have any intention of walking very far because my knees are bad and my 86-yr-old mother was with us on that trip. (Truth be told, she could have out walked both Candleman and I!)
Walking Portland was very helpful and I'm very glad I bought it and used it to plan our time in Portland. There are descriptions of older buildings and tidbits about the architecture. For example, one of the architects hoped to make Portland a white city because he was fascinatedby the "City Beautiful" ideas displayed at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and Columbian Exposition. Having read The Devil and the White and then visited Chicago that bit of information was interesting to me.
There were helpful hints on how to get a good picture of Portlandia, the 2nd larges hammered copper statue in America (the largest is the Statue of Liberty) and where to find lots of parks, both big and small.
There are pictures, but I would have liked many more. I realize if there were more pictures the cost of the book probably been more than I would have spent for this book.
All-in-all, I am very pleased with Walking Portland and I hope I get to refer to it again and again as I plan future trips.
Note - How hard is it to hold the camera so the picture doesn't come out at an angle? Good grief!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Tamara from Thyme for Tea has awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award. I feel so honored because I don't usually feel very creative. She did say that the hats I crochet entered into her decision to choose me. I didn't think it could be my way with words!
Tamara lives in Australia where she gardens, reads, speaks French, exercises and blogs. Isn't the technoworld great that we can communicate with people from all over the world. I love it!
Now along with the award, there's a meme. I have to complete this and forward the award to others. Here goes:
7 things I've done before
1. Taught high school biology, chemistry and study skills
2. Gave birth to four daughters
3. Drove from Utah to St. John's, Newfoundland (ferries were involved)
4. Attended kindergarten in San Fransico
5. Won a contest by holding the most grapes in mouth
6. Kissed a boy nonstop for over 2 hours (it was a dare) and (he was my boyfriend at the time)
7. Lived through two serious car accidents
7 things I do now
4. Hug my grandchildren
5. Play 6-dice or Farkle
6. Watch TV series on DVD
7 things I want to do
1. Visit Denmark, Sweden and Norway
2. Reduce the number of books on my shelves that I have not read
3. Finish remodeling my house
4. Sell more of my hats and scarves (enough to pay for the yarn I've bought!)
5. Loose weight
6. Live as long as my husband
7. Go on many more driving tours of the U.S. and Canada
7 things that attract me to the opposite sex
Since I've been married for 36 years, I'm going to list what still attracts me to Candleman.
1. Good kissing, hugging . . .
2. The way he smells after showering, shaving and applying after shave
4. Love of learning
5. A love of Christ and a gratitude for His many gifts to the world.
6. Enjoys driving long distances and seeing new places
7. He's a loving, kind and wise Husband, Father, Grandfather, Son-in-law, Brother, Friend, and Person.
7 Favorite Foods
1. Bakeapple berries
4. Chocolate Mint Truffles
5. Corn on the Cob
7. The Borscht made at the Russian Restaurant in Chicago and my Mom's chili
7 things I Say Most Often:
1. Yes, I'd like a 3pc chicken select meal with apple dippers instead of fries and a diet coke.
3. Will you bring me . . .
4. I never win at this game
5. Do you want an ice cream bar?
6. All these channels and nothing worth watching!
7. Hello, pillow
Katie from Into the Rush and Katie's Scraps (such cute, creative scapbook pages)
Alyson from In Nuce and Alyson's Scrapbook (more cute, creative scapbook pages)
Julie from Mes Bijoux
Framed from Life's a Picture and Framed and Booked
Cyndi from Yeah, I like it too
Cardine from Cardine's Blog
Alison from We're all mad here
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Here's what my results said:
Your responses showed you fitting equally into all four reading personalities:
Involved Reader: You don't just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase - discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others.
Exacting Reader: You love books but you rarely have as much time to read as you'd like - so you're very particular about the books you choose.
Serial Reader: Once you discover a favorite writer you tend to stick with him/her through thick and thin.
Eclectic Reader: You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You're open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.
Sounds like me to me.
I have mixed feelings about historical novels. One the one hand I usually thoroughly enjoy them but on the other hand, they can manipulate reality, providing us with a false idea of how a person really was.
I enjoyed Cassandra and Jane and realize the book probably wouldn't sell as well if it was about totally made-up sisters - calling it a Jane Austen Novel is what grabbed my attention and I'm sure that worked for other readers as well. There is something about Jane Austen that draws our attention.
Pitkeathley is a great Jane Austen fan and has studied her well. With what little is known about Jane, Pitkeathley has told a captivating story about her and her relationship to her sister, Cassandra. The book is told in Cassandra's voice which allows for personal interpretation of Jane's character, motives and actions; even a sister doesn't totally know everything. If the story had been told in Jane's voice I don't think it would be as acceptable to the reader due to the amount of supposition the author had to employ.
I enjoyed the feeling the book successfully portrayed of the time period. It mentions when Jane was born that Cassandra (3-yr-old) was brought to the family home to see the baby by her village mother. Shortly afterwards, Jane took Cassandra's place in the village family and Cassandra moved home to live with her parents and 4 brothers. I need to do some further research to learn more about this practice. This is the first time I'd heard of such a thing. Another interesting view of the times was when Cassandra was older she discovered that her mother nursed the children herself until they were weaned. A practice that embarrassed Cassandra. I guess the practice was to give the child to a wet nurse?
I look forward to more books by Pitkeathley; her writing is both beautiful and easy to read. This was a lovely book and I highly recommend it.
Friday, October 31, 2008
This author's first book was Don't Know Much About History. Since then he's added several more titles to his fun and factual Don't Know Much About books.
I received 'anything else' from Harpers to review. The timing was perfect because I was leaving in a few days for a road trip to the lovely, beautiful and memorable state of Oregon. I took this book along and each day read a few entries to Candleman and my Mom.
The chapter headings include Famous People, Exceptional Places, Historic Happenings & Civics, Holidays & Traditions, Everyday Objects & Remarkable Inventions, Space & the Natural World, Sports, Entertainment, And More! Each chapter has 20- 60 pages with an entry on each page. The entry starts out with a few paragraphs about the topic followed by several questions. The answers to the question are on the back side of the page.
The first page under Famous People was about Clara Barton. Candleman, who knows something about everything (I thought), had never heard of Clara Barton. There were six true or false questions. Try your hand at one: When the Civil War ended, she led the effort to locate missing soldiers.*
We had lots of fun doing this each day while driving. Sometimes we think we're kind of smart, but this book humbled us. It was fun to learn the interesting tidbits, though. I plan on reading a couple entries everyday and then buying another of Davis' books. You all know about my sad memory, but I hope everything I put in that little mind will be there in the hereafter. In the meantime, learning provides good exercise for the brain.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I finished fun murder mystery a few weeks ago, but have been remarkably slow in posting my review. I tell you what - it is so much easier to keep caught up than to try and catch up.
Written in Blood is book two in a series starring Claudia Rose, a forensic hand-writing expert. The series began with Poison Pen. Sheila Lowe has created a fun twist to the crime mystery genre with her heroine.
Years ago, actually centuries ago, when I was in high school I remember hearing about hand-writing analysis. I am a fairly open-minded person, but I was a bit skeptical that handwriting could reveal anything about a person's personality. Yet over the years as I would write different things I would notice that my handwriting changed slightly with my moods. I even checked out a few books from the library and tried to analyze mine and others' handwriting. I was NOT very good at it, but my interest was piqued.
When the offer came to read and review this novel I was most excited to accept. My love of mysteries would have pushed me over the edge even if my interest in hand-writing analysis hadn't already created a strong interest.
I thoroughly enjoyed Written in Blood. Interesting characters, some which you could comfortably hate and others that you cared for their well being. The story was interesting with several twists to add that guessing element I love so in mysteries.
One thing I did not care for was how uncharacteristically trashy the main character would talk when with her girlfriend. When this first happened I had to go back over the page to be sure it was Claudia talking. Her friend had a trashy mouth, and tho I didn't care for the language, it was in keeping with her personality. I didn't think it fit Claudia's.
I would recommend this book to others who like mysteries or anyone who is interested in hand-writing analysis. I will definitely read Poison Pen and look forward to book 3 in the series.
Monday, October 27, 2008
from My Middle Name is Patience
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Anyway, our internet and email have not worked well downstairs. Today the phone man came and fixed us up. Yay! So I can finally host that book giveaway.
I received this book to read and review and now I'm going to offer it to you. Let me share with you the blurb from the front book flap.
The ice caps are melting. forest burning. People starving...To be honest, I didn't finish the book. I don't know if it was a timing thing or just what, but I found I just wasn't in the mood for it. The beginning of the book was a bit confusing - I had to go back and reread to figure out if the story was continuing with the same character that just died. I did like this passage:
The world is dying. Right now.
What if a stranger appeared on the streets of New York claiming to possess the power to hear: And what if people believed him?
What if he spoke of ending poverty and disease, of bring peace and prosperity to the entire world? And what if People followed him?
What if the government feared the delusions he was spreading, feared for the people, the country? And what if they were right to fear him?
What if both sides saw themselves as the good battling the evil, how far would they go to see good triumph?
"... was this how it ended? The world simply spun on as if nothing had changed, while you faded away like a misplaced pencil mark being erased."As you can see, the writing is great. I look forward to more novels from Lee. He definitely has talent. I
received this book from the author and would like to pass it along to another who wants to read and review it. Chances are high, that most of you will probably really enjoy What if...?
To win this book, just leave a comment. I will draw the winning name on Thursday, Oct 16.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Mara Coyne is hired to find a stolen artifact that may prove that China discovered a way around the southern tip of Africa before Vasco de Gama and the map would also show the Chinese discovered America in the early 1400s.
The book jumps back and forth between 3 time periods, telling the story of the mapmaker, a navigator for de Gama and Mara's search for a map stolen from an archeological dig in China. I thought this was an effective way to tell all three stories, even though it was a bit confusing at first to keep track of the main players.
I always like a book that keeps me interested and teaches me at the same time. I 'felt' the time periods and identified with the feelings of the main characters. The bigger story, that of finding the map, was all the more interesting because of the struggles that went into making the map and preserving it. I wanted the map to be found and the right thing done with it.
I liked this book well enough that I bought Terrell's first book, The Chrysalis. I would definitely recommend this to others who like historical fiction.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir of a young British boy who grows up with the desire to be a movie star. Emmett James grew up loving the movies and looked forward to seeing one every Saturday. Each chapter opens with the title of a movie that correlates to an incident from his own life. Here's a quote from the introduction:
I wrote this book under the guise that the key to experiencing film, without losing relevance and meaning, is context. The environment, mood, personal history and circumstances in which a person sees a film changes that film in a necessary, unique and exciting way. It creates a whole new story - a living, breathing film. The film of one's life.Interesting. We could say the same thing about experiencing a book, couldn't we?
It was interesting to read about a young boy growing up in England in the 1980s because it was so different from my life growing up female in the 60s in America. And yet going to the movies was a highlight for us both. His movies were Jungle Book, Grease, ET; while mine were Old Yeller, Big Top, and West Side Story.
I loved running across British terminology and wished I'd made a written note rather than only a mental note of all the fun words as the mental note fades so fast. The only word that comes to mind right now is nick, meaning to shoplift.
When Emmett moves to LA he receives quite the culture shock and makes some interesting comments about things that I take for granted as part of the American life style. He talks about the sunny climate and that the only season in LA is the Oscar season and what a big change there is in throughout the whole area in getting ready for it. He had many interesting experiences trying to land acting jobs. Poor guy!
All-in-all, an enjoyable book with some nuggets of insight into life. I liked it.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Fire Fish written and illustrated by Davy Liu
Fire Fish follows three little fish, Sarai, RaaOn and Sesom, who embark on a daring quest to find their missing parents. Never more than a fin-flip away from deadly danger, they tumble from one breathtaking exploit to another. Along their journey they encounter helpful friends and deceitful enemies. All the while, the legend of the Fire Fish inspires them to explore a world bigger than they ever imagined. Leaving the comfort of their home, they find a wise turtle who teaches them how to call upon the great Finmaker. In dark tunnels, an evil eel attempts to lure them into his hungry jaws. After a narrow escape, they find their way to the big ocean, teeming with fish of every kind. They meet new friends and play games until a friendly dolphin warns them of danger. An army of great white sharks is approaching, gnashing everything in its path. In the thrilling climax, the glorious Fire Fish appear, returning the lost parents and saving everyone from the deadly sharks. Meet the characters and learn more at TheFireFish.com.
Davy Liu has a passion for imaginative storytelling and beautiful illustration. He worked for Disney on “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan,” and “The Lion King.” A seasoned professional, Liu has also worked for George Lucas and Warner Bros. Animation. His illustrations have graced the pages of Time, The Wall Street Journal and Business Week. Liu imbues his stories with humor, wonder and allegory, making the Fire Fish a tale that appeals to kids and intrigues adults. “I hope to inspire young souls to experience life through faith,” said Liu. “There is more to life than meets the eye. Every kid has different gifts. Though we live in very distracting times, I want kids to know their life is valuable not because of status or material things.” Taken from a Kendufilms Press Release
I highly recommend Fire Fish. The story is inspiring and the artwork is beautiful. My grandkids love it.
Templeton Turtle Goes Exploring by Ron Pridmore, Illustrated by Michel-lee Phelan
This is another book that I love reading to my grandkids and when I'm not reading it they will take it off the shelf and look at the pictures telling the story in their own way. Little Templeton is such a cutey - I've always been partial to turtles even though my science students always presented me with frog items.
When Templeton Turtle hatches from his egg, he can't wait to start exploring on his own and making new friends. But as he explores the big pond, Templeton realizes that not all the animals are friendly, and some can be scary! Then, when Mr. Blue rescues him from being trampled and returns him safely to his mother, Templeton learns that the animals around the pond take care of one another, no matter what their differences are. From the front cover
The Magic In You! Written and Illustrated by Sally H. Taylor
This story is about a little flower who looses one of her splendid petals to a goat who nibbles it off. She suffers with feelings of poor self-esteem. Of course in the end she comes out victorious.
I felt this story stretches too much to preach it's lesson. I know that I'm inherently rebellious and hate to be preached to but, because I am, I like my lessons to be a bit more subtle.
And, I know this is nit-picky, but it bothered me that all the way through the story the flower is shown as a daisy-like (compositae) flower and then the back cover says, "Within every wildflower a rose is waiting to bloom!" Like that's ever going to happen! And what's wrong with being a wildflower, if that's what you are and you're never going to be a rose? That's like saying within every person with brown eyes is a person with blue. Absurd.
Also, on the flower topic: Keep in mind that I'm a retired science teacher who took five botany classes in college, but I was bothered that this compositae flower which is a dicot is depicted with monocot leaves. I know that it's entirely silly of me, but I can't help it. That would be a silly reason to not like a book, but it's not my only reason.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
If this cover looks familiar on my site, it should. I held a drawing in August even though I wasn't quite finished reading it. I am behind on writing my reviews. Not drastically behind because I've still not been reading as much as usual. Don't know what's wrong with me, but as the cooler weather is setting in and everyone around me is back to school or at least living on schedules again I think I'll be reading more.
I finished When Twilight Burns a few weeks ago. Darn! I love being wrapped up in a book that has me hooked into the storyline with great characters, lots of action and mystery and it's always a bit sad when I turn the last page.
I've mentioned on other occasions that I'm not into romance or vampire related novels, but Colleen's Gardella Chronicles have captured my heart. When Twilight Burns is the fourth in a series that will be over with the next installment. It's going to be uberly sad when I finish the last page of that book.
I've always been hoping that Max would win the beautiful Victoria's heart, but after this book I am torn. I still love Max, but I think so much more highly of Sebastian than I have before. Who do you like better - Max or Sebastian?
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
The Dangerous Life Blog
A big congratulations to J. Danger. I'm sure you will totally enjoy Farworld: Water Keep. Be sure to click over to her blog and congratulate her. She has a really fun blog and you'll enjoy your visit there.
J. Danger, as soon as I get your address I'll send it off to Scott who will send you an Advance Reader's Copy Water Keep. I look forward to reading your thoughts after you read it.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I fell in love with young Marcus - "Other people may see thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas as an outcast and a nobody, but he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes and trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place- Farworld." (book blurb)
And Kyja, who lives in the world that Marcus dreams of, is the only one who can't do magic. She works and works at doing a simple magic act and can't succeed. She feels like such a failure. Both Kyja and Marcus are characters that anyone from 9 to 99 can identify with. I look forward to book two so I can reconnect with them and their quest.
The two meet and build a great friendship, but they are faced with horrendous challenges as they discover who they are and what their roles are.
Savage provides a provactive, engossing story filled with clever and creative new fantasy characters. Kyja's horse, Chance, is delightful with his jokes and her pet scythe, Riph Raph, who develops a jealous dislike for Marcus. And then there's the bad guys - pure evil. Think of Disney's Maleficent. The Thrathkin S'Bae had the same effect on me.
Win a Copy!
***Farworld: Water Keep*** will be out in hardcover on Sep. 12, but you can get an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in paperback, signed by the author and in your hands days before that.
* Leave a comment telling about a literary character that you identified strongly with and/or felt a great attachment for.
** I will draw a winning name on Sep 1.
I was able to interview J. Scott Savage via email. I must say from the emails, he seems like a very likable guy - the type you'd like to invite over for a rousing game of Farkle, Killer Bunnies, or Mormon Bridge (otherwise known as Oh, Heck, Darn It and various other more colorful names!) Of course, I'd hope he would bring his wife and some refreshments! JK - Candleman and I could whip up some green jello salad and funeral potatoes!*
And of course, my whole family would be invited so we'd have to have a high, low, and several medium tables.
Anyway, to the interview... The blue stuff is my questions and comments and the red are Scott's.
(I think you'll be writing full time very, very soon. Farworld is going to take off like fire in a haystack!)
Didn't I tell you that Scott sounds like a nice guy? Want to join us for some games?
Be sure to comment so you'll have a chance to win an ARC. Also, Tasses has a terrific interview with Mr. Savage posted on her blog AND she is giving away an ARC, too.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
From the back of the book - "Are you an Affectionate Tiger? A Romantic Koala? An Elegant Pegasus? Find out what animal you are with Charanavi (character + navigation, pronounced kare-uh-nah-vee), a fun communication tool to explore your own personality and find out more about your family, friends and coworkers."
My family had fun sitting around the dining room table finding out what animal characters describe us. My husband and 3 of my four children are monkeys and I am a Lovable Wolf. (Emphasis on lovable!) My oldest daughter is a Black Panther and so is her husband and both of her children. They are the only ones out of my family who belong to the Sun group, all the rest of us belong to the Earth group.
As with all things 'superstitious' some of the traits hit the nail on the head, but others don't seem to fit at all. The descriptions are always a bit ambiguous. For example: a description of the Earth group that is so me is "I like to be in my own world." I love my alone time and need LOTS of it. The description also applies to Candleman, but in his case I think it applies because he is often occupied in his mind and misses what's going on around him. A description that does not fit as comfortably is "I aim to be a wealthy person." I don't want to be wealthy, I just want enough money to have a comfortable house and travel a lot. Hmmmm. . . maybe it does kind of apply.
I just reread the Lovable Wolf description and it fits me to a tee. Weird! One thing that we thought was fun was each animal description also includes a 'Success & Luck' chart. For 2008 it says that I tend to waste my time, energy and money. I know many who would agree with that! Next year jumps from a 2 to a 5 and says I need to make my move while in good health. If I put a lot of stock in this stuff I would be planning my move to Portland that I keep threatening to do. I'd also be worried that my health was going to decline rapidly thereafter. On the other hand, 2014 hits the 10 mark and "I'll be successful in everything!" Hope I live that long.
You can see how much fun this book is. It's also very easy to find out your group and animal.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
You can win a copy of your own, but you must do more than just leave a comment this time. There's been discussion before on blogs about book covers. Most authors don't get a say in what the cover of their book is going to look like. (I think that's a strange practice.) That said, I would like you to tell me which cover you like the best. Those of you who like the cover I like will all receive a free book. Oh, just kidding! Everyone who comments, one way or the other, will have a chance to win. The author is only giving me one book, so I'm only drawing for one book. I just got a little carried away. Sorry.
The cover on the left is from the hardcover book and the one on the right is from the paperback. Leave a comment as to which cover you prefer and I'll add your name for the chance to win the paperback book.
I will draw the winning name of August 19.
from A Reader's Haven
It was fun to read everyone's comments about which cover they liked best. (read comments) I like the bathroom cover better. I think it's more intimate. Which suggests to me that people involved in this marriage knew each other and shared life, love, good times and bad. It will be interesting to read the book and see if that's even close to what's described. I didn't like the connotations I read into the shoe cover. The man's shoes - black, polished and with the ring on his side - suggests he may be more in control of the marriage or has a greater investment. I would bet he's older and authoritative. The "Mary Jane" girl's shoes make me think the wife may be younger, less committed to the marriage or stifled.
Like I say, it will be interesting to read the book and find out what's really going on. The covers have provided lots of questions which beg to be answered.
Be sure to enter for a free copy of Farworld: Water Keep. It's a great fantasy.
Monday, August 04, 2008
When Twilight Burns
Book Release Webcast She'll read an excerpt from When Twiilght Burns, talk about how she researches her books, and answer questions from the audience. Login early for your chance to win door prizes, including an advance copy of the fifth book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, As Shadows Fade.
August 5, 2008 - 8:30 P.M. Eastern Time
This webcast will be shown within Windows Microsoft Media. If you are using a MAC please download "Silverlight" prior to viewing the webcast. You can download a Silverlight free by clicking here.
For webcast instructions click here. Also if you want to test to see if you can view a webcast click here.
If you have any questions prior to the webcast email firstname.lastname@example.org and Larry will assist you. If you are experiencing issues during the webcast call 734-476-0689 and we will assist you.
The winners of When Twilight Burns are
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Colleen writes a tight story full of suspense, mystery and romance all rolled in together. And no, you don't get all those items at the expense of plot. I love these books!
I want to pass on the fun of reading this series. To WIN a copy of WHEN TWILIGHT BURNS leave a comment to this post indicating this is the book you want to win.
That's not all . . . I will draw 2 other names to win their choice of one of the four books in the series. So you have two chances to win WHEN TWILIGHT BURNS or one chance to win THE REST FALLS AWAY, BLEEDING DUSK, or RISES THE NIGHT.
To win, just leave a comment letting me know which book you would like to win. Three books will be given away so your chances are good.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I'm finally getting around to writing a review for this book that I finished in June. It took me a month. A whole month! to read a Koontz novel. That's unheard of for me. I thought reading a Koontz would definitely shake me out of my reading lull, but it didn't. I'm still being a slug.
I thoroughly enjoyed Odd Hours, which is book four in the Odd Thomas series. Odd has taken up temporary residence in a small ocean side town where he feels there is something he needs to do. He meets some interesting people and prevents a catastrophic event.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Series Challenge: I read 11 out of the 12.
Dec 1, 2007 - May 31, 2008My favorite was We Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry. It was the final book of 5 in her WWI series. Loved the final books in the Narnia series. Immensely enjoyed The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason, Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear and Goodnight Irene by Jan Burke. Always a pleasure to read Elizabeth Peters and Terry Pratchett. All in all, a very rewarding list. Can't believe I haven't read Thursday Next: First Among Sequels yet. All was not in vane, however. The books I read were great.
1. We Shall Not Sleep 2. The Bleeding Dusk 3. Messenger of Truth 4. The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog 5. River Secrets 6. Goodnight, Irene 7. Thursday Next: First Among Sequels 8. The Light Fantastic 9. The Hippopotamus Pool 10. The Silver Chair 11. The Last Battle 12. The Sign of the Book
Numb3rs Challenge: YIKES! I only read 2 of the 5.
1. Book of a Thousand Days 2. A Thousand Days in Tuscany 3. Sixpence House 4. Thursday Next: A First Among Sequels 5. Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing
Once Upon a Time II: Another poor showing - only 2 out of 5.
1. River Secrets 2. Wintersmith 3. Light Fantastic 4. Yarrow 5. Singer of All Songs
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
In the back of her book, Kathryn Maughan encourages us to pay tribute to our angels by leaving a comment on www.MyUnexpectedAngel.com. I'm using her idea for the basis of my book drawing.
In order to win my copy of Maughan's book, leave a comment to this post telling me about an unexpected angel in your life - someone who popped up when you had car trouble, someone who phoned in your time of crisis, or just a stranger who smiled or held the door when you were having a really, really bad day.
Get your name in the drawing TWICE: post a comment on your blog about my book drawing and a link to this post. Be sure to let me know that you've posted. If you want to pay tribute to your unexpected angel on your blog instead of in the comments, that's okay by me. Again, just leave a comment letting me know that you've done that.
Get your name in the drawing THRICE: include a picture of the book in your post.
I've been wanting to do a book drawing for sometime, since I didn't participated in By A Friend A Book Week. I've read several novels sent by authors and publishers, but didn't like them well enough to send them along to a blogger friend. Did I Expect Angels? is a book that I like a lot and want to share because I think you will like it, too.
I will draw for the lucky winner on June 1. Best of luck to each of you.
In order to tell you about one of my unexpected angels, I first need to tell you about an experience that zapped my confidence in humanity. These type of experience happen frequently, but this particular time it really touched a nerve. I was behind a car at the drive-thru. The lady was a bit crisp with the teller. Then she yelled the f-word at her. I really don't know why it upset me so much, but it did. A few days later, again at a drive-thru, there was another lady - she was my unexpected angel. She was courteous with the teller, laughed a bit when she made a small mistake and was all-around pleasant. Again, it was a little thing, but it really brightened my day and brought a smile.
I look forward to hearing about your unexpected angel.
Friday, May 30, 2008
I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Review program. The timing was not right for my reading of this book, or any other book it seems. For a couple weeks now I just haven't had interest in any of the books I've picked up to read, even a suspense by my favorite author. So I feel my review will not do this book justice.
Yalini tells the story of her family and their ties to the Tiger terrorist group in Sri Lanka. I liked Ganeshananthan's unusual writing style - fragmented vignettes, rather than fluid chapters. I appreciated the lineage chart that I referred to several times. I only read about half the book and I think at some other time I would be totally engrossed in the story. If you are even remotely interested in Love Marriage I would encourage you to give it a try. I suspect it will receive high reviews from many readers.
I liked this passage: "Don't think you can find out the truth about your family by coming in, exiting, and reentering through a back door of history, borrowing the record keeper's excuse for intruding with a pen. Even family members will not feel they owe you more than memory, which is convenient, and which has been made beautiful, often through falsehood. At the most, you can pull back the veil for a moment."
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
When I received this book in the mail, I looked at the cover for a long time and had all sorts of different thoughts and questions - Someone was mad, angry, depressed, hopeless when they scribbled over that angel; Why the head and eyes?; Is the fact that the angel is playing music pertinent?; It looks like a Christmas ornament, will that be meaningful to the story? You get the idea. Anyway, I love when a cover is that engaging. I always hope the book with a great cover will live up to it.
Did I Expect Angels? did live up to the cover. The story moves from the present to the past and from one point of view to another of the two protagonists. Sounds a bit confusing, but Maughan did an expert job of telling their stories and keeping my mind unjumbled.
On several occasions Jennifer has met Henry who is the greeter at the local Discount Store. Henry came to the United States from Costa Rica and appreciates that Jennifer will talk to him briefly in Spanish. That's all there is between these two until one fateful night when Henry becomes a bit intrusive. Jennifer tries to give him the brush-off, but is unsuccessful. That's all I'm going to tell you about the plot. I didn't know that much starting out.
I also didn't know that I was going to be pulled into Henry and Jennifer's lives like I was. Even though I have not personally experienced either of their personal trials, I felt so in tune with some of their feelings. I think Maughan has a strong skill as a writer and I look forward to reading all of her future books.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
The comparison has to be made to Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code because their is quite a bit of similarity in plot. A religious artifact is discovered that could have worldwide reverberations in the Christian world, if the artifact is indeed authentic and if knowledge of it is made public. There is a fanatic sect that are willing to do all manners of evil things to stop that from happening.
Through visionary dreams and happenstance Josh Cohan is led to a cave where he discovers a scroll that may have been written by Jesus Christ. I could have bought into that premise if the writing on the scroll had any magnificence to it. If Jesus was an ordinary man, as purported in the scroll, he would have shown some brilliance, charisma - after all he was a great leader and persuaded masses of people to follow Him. Instead the scrolls revealed no show of inner character. Basically, Jesus wrote in the scrolls that he was an ordinary man who argued a lot with his parents who always loved his brother James more. He also argued a lot with James. He experienced the ways of the flesh as a teen, but later chose a life of celibacy.
The book lost its credibility as soon as parts of the scroll were presented. I realize it's a novel and is not trying to prove the scrolls are real, but the author needed to convince me of the efficacy of the scroll for me to buy into the premise of the novel.
There was adventure and mystery as to who was leaking information to the fanatic religious sect. This was the author's first book and I think he shows promise. All-in-all, I would only rate this book as average.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Pratchett is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. His books are pure delight - besides being witty and imaginative, they are well-written, have a great storyline and include full-bodied, whimsical characters. The Light Fantastic is Pratchett's second Disc-World novel and is a direct continuation of the story presented in The Colour of Magic.
Favorite characters include Rincewind who is the main protagonist. While attending wizard school he got a powerful spell stuck in his head that seems to have made lesser spells afraid to lodge there, thus he has never been good at magic. His companion in both books is a tourist named Twoflower who has a rosy way of looking at things. I really like Twoflower. My 3rd favorite character is Luggage, with his multitudes of tiny feet and definite attitude. Luggage is just that - luggage, a trunk in fact. He belongs to Twoflower and is fiercely loyal.
"Twoflower was a tourist and fundamental to his very existence was the rock-hard belief that nothing bad could really happen to him because he was not involved."
Chuckled at this description: "He moved in a way that suggested he was attempting the world speed record for the nonchalant walk."
"She picked him up by his apron straps and glared at him eye to eye. Torn though her dress was, disarrayed though her hair was, she became for a moment the symbol of every woman who has caught a man with his thumb on the scales of life."
Monday, May 12, 2008
1. While attending college I switched majors six times in two years. Finally, with no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, I returned home to work in a local dress shop.
2. Candleman proposed to me on our second date and I accepted. We had a week of dating before he left for Navy boot camp. He had been drafted into the Army but decided he would rather join the Navy. They let him. We were married during his one week leave after boot camp.
3. I went back to college when I was forty-one years old and majored in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. After graduating at the age of forty-four I became a high school science teacher. For several years I taught at the alternative high school and loved it.
4. I was totally inept with the spacing of my children. My first three were born within three years and my fourth came along eleven years later. All four children are girls. Candleman always said that some people have to take whatever they get, but we specialize!
5. I have fibromyalgia and so I hurt often and sometimes badly. I don't have an abundance of energy and need to sleep way more than I want to. Sometimes I go quite awhile without any disabling symptoms and I like those days immensely.
6. I like to take road trips with Candleman because he understands my foibles and provides leeway. Last summer we took a 5 week trip that took us across many states and into Canada. We went as far as St. John's, Newfoundland. We only had one disagreement the whole time, but it was one of the worst of our 35 years. Oh, and we also saw Lady Slipper Orchids and Puffins while in Newfoundland and the musical Anne of Green Gables while in PEI. Totally wonderful trip. Almost.
Now I get to tag six people. I always want to tag everyone I know, but I can't. Some of you hate to be tagged, so if I tag you just ignore it.
2. Chris at book-a-rama
3. Wendy at Musings of a Bookish Kitty
4. Gautami Tripathy from My Own Little Reading Room
5 Lisa at Harper Hoorahs
6. Framed from Framed and Booked
Here are the rules:
- Link to the person that tagged you
- Post the rules somewhere in your meme
- Write the six random things
- Tag six people in your post
- Let the tagees know they’ve been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog
- Let the tagger know your entry is posted
Sunday, May 11, 2008
"Shandra Covington simply assumed her grandmothers' house was sold after her grandmother hastily moved in with Shandra and her mother two decades ago. Yet, here it was, deeded to Shandra in her grandmother's will.House of Secrets is part of the Shandra Covington mystery series. I'm not sure if it's book one or two in the series that presently includes four books. I plan to read the others because Savage writes crisp, fresh and cunning mysteries. Lots of surprises and hard to answer situations kept my interest throughout. I've found another new-to-me author than I suspect will become one I return to often.
Shandra, single, aggressive, and an accomplished journalist, has tender memories of the time spent as a young girl in the old house on the hill, and her curiosity and sentimentality lead her to a final visit to the forgotten home. What she discovers shocks Shandra to her very core. Not only is the house still filled with her grandmother's old belongings, but there is also a body, long since dead, and covered with the same thick layer of dust as the rest of the items in the house.
Returning with the sheriff and his handsome deputy, Clay, they find the body missing. In its place is another body—this one dead less than 12 hours. And all evidence points to Shandra.
Desperate to clear her name and uncover the truth behind these troubling mysteries, Shandra puts her journalistic training to use. Between the reluctant townspeople, ominous warnings, and physical threats, Shandra learns the truth, little by little—knowing full well that someone is determined to keep old secrets buried, even it means burying Shandra as well . . ." -Deseret Book description
Monday, May 05, 2008
I am having a ball with the Soup's On Culinary Reading Challenge and my family is most appreciative of the results. A big THANKS to Ex Libris from me and my family!
BTW, I went with Joy's suggestion for the title of my recipe blog: An Eater's Journal. Thanks, Joy!.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Oh, WOW! I loved this suspense/mystery. I think I've discovered a new favorite author. It may be premature to say that after one book, so I'm starting on a second Deaver to make sure. I loved this book. The plot, the characters, the setting of Nazi Germany in 1936 were all topnotch.
The book's hero is a mob "button man," or hit man, Paul Schumann, who is caught in the act in New York City. His captures offer him an alternative to the electric chair - to go to Berlin undercover as a journalist writing about the upcoming Olympics, in order to assassinate Col. Reinhard Ernst, the chief architect of Hitler's militarization, seen as a threat to American interests. A German spy onboard Paul's transatlantic liner grows suspicious and sends a warning to Germany before Paul discovers and kills him. Then in Berlin, Paul, en route to meet his contact, kills a second suspicious man who may be a storm trooper, setting Insp. Willi Kohl of the Berlin police on his trail.
Deaver weaves the three manhunts—Paul after his target, Kohl after Paul and the Nazi hierarchy after Paul—with a deft hand,.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the look at the frightening life of 1936 Berlin, a city on the brink of madness. Top Nazis, including Hitler, Himmler and Göring, make colorful cameos, but it's the smart, shaded-gray characterizations of the principals that anchor the exciting plot.
An affecting love affair between Paul and his German landlady goes in surprising directions, as do the main plot lines, which move outside Berlin as heroes become villains and vice versa.
How have I missed reading anything by Deaver before now?! Garden of Beasts is a stand alone novel; not part of Deaver's Lincoln Rymes series, which I've added to my list of new series.