Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for Here Burns My Candle and I will begin a two new giveaways tomorrow. So PLEASE leave a comment for a chance to win!

Review: An Absence So Great

My Synopsis:

An Absence So Great (Portraits of the Heart series - Book 2) by Jane Kirkpatrick

(For review from Waterbrook Multnomah)

Jesse Gaebele is at a crossroads in her life. She believes she must leave her home and family behind and try to make it as a photographer on her own because of a past relationship. Jesse moves to Milwaukee in order to help a widow manage her photography studio after the death of her husband. But, Jesse's real dream is to own a photography studio of her own.

Jesse moves toward her dreams but there is always a shadow on her life. Is photography enough to fill the absence in her heart? Jesse struggles with the love she feels for her mentor and friend Fred Bauer, a married man with troubles of his own. From the loss of his son at a young age to the loveless marriage he has endured for many years. Is there some hope for Fred and Jesse? Will Jesse be able to realize her dreams and return from self-appointed exile?

My Thoughts:

There are so many things that I really liked about this book. First of all the story is actually based on the story of Jane Kirkpatrick's grandmother, Jesse. Kirkpatrick combines research with her memories and interviews with her grandmother to craft a superb novel.

One of my favorite parts of the book are the photographs taken by Jesse and used to illustrate the novel. These photo's really stood out, they made the book unique and so much more personal. I loved the wedding photograph of Jesse. Her face seemed to show not only her joy but a contentment, that comes from being satisfied with your life at that moment.

Jesse in my opinion was quite hard on herself. She decided to go away from her home and family for several reasons. Her feelings for Fred made it difficult for them to work together. As a reader, I thought that perhaps she felt like she had disappointed her family and was ashamed, of her behavior. It was hard to see her struggle to gain that independence and recognition of having her own studio and then feeling as if it had been taken right out from underneath her. I can also understand Fred's position. He wanted to help her. He loved her, but he didn't go about it the right way.

You Can Learn more about this product or purchase the book from Random House.

Overall this was just a great book. I really enjoyed it and I give it 5 out 5 apples from my book bag!

Here is some more information about the author of this book, Jane Kirkpatrick.

Jane Kirkpatrick is an award-winning author of sixteen historical novels, including AFlickering Light, the first part of Jessie Gaebale’s story, and three nonfiction titles. Known for her unique insights into the exploration of community, family and faith of actual historical women, the Wisconsin native and her husband have called their ranch in Oregon home for the past 25 years.

Here is a look at the trailer for An Absence So Great by Jane Kirkpatrick.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (16)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser this week comes from, Watchlist: Two Serial Thrillers In One Killer Book, page 213.

This was the world of the past, or so she'd thought. A world of hard, cruel science, in the thrall of men who didn't care about the consequences of their actions. Watching the hints and clues and links begin to assemble as minutes turned to an hour, she felt herself both repelled and attracted by what she was uncovering. This was important, she knew. A forbidden, terrible knowledge.

Review: The Promise of Morning

My Synopsis:

The Promise of Morning (At Home In Beldon Grove series -Book 2) by Ann Shorey

(For review from Revell)

Ellie Craig has endured a parents worst nightmare with the deaths of three young children and a loneliness that even her husband cannot seem to fill. Finding out that the father she barely remembers has recently died gives her hope that she may have other siblings in far off Texas. Against her families better judgement she enlists the help of a man with less than scrupulous morals.

Matthew Craig, Ellie's husband has problems of his own, in the church he pastors. A controversy over a Shakespearean performance puts Matthew at odds with his congregation and most of the town. When a man claiming to be the son of the town founder appears on the scene with sophistication and elegance, Matthew must decide whether he should fight to reclaim his church or let this man take over. Will Ellie find the family she longs for? Will Matthew find the courage to fight for what he believes?

My Thoughts:

This is a book about overcoming tragedy and moving forward. It's about finding the strength within in yourself to live again even when you think it's impossible. During the time period of this novel is was not uncommon to loose children at a young age, either from accidents or infectious diseases. Doctors were usually not close at hand and children could suffer just from picking up something off the ground. I felt a lot of sympathy for Ellie. I could not imagine what it would be like to bury not one but three small children. During my grandfathers time, he lost 4 siblings to Measles all under the age of 5 years old. But, this book isn't about loss, it's about finding the courage to go on and not just survive but really live and enjoy life.

Matthew has a struggle of a different kind. But he still has to have the courage to face down opposition in his life. It's easy to see how he would be intimidated by Mr. Beldon, who obviously has more wealth and sophistication than Matthew and makes him feel like he is less of a person. It is always hard to stand up for what you believe in. But, this book shows that if you stand, others will stand with you. But, even if they don't, doing what is right is more important than the consequences.

I liked this book a lot. I give it 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag and look forward to the next installment in the series.

Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

There are only two days left in the Here Burns My Candle Giveaway. Only one person so far has signed up, so it would probably be easy to win LOL... It's a great book, not really sure why not very many have signed up.

Review: In Scandal They Wed

My Synopsis:

In Scandal They Wed (Penwich School for Virtuous Girls series - Book 2) by Sophie Jordan

(For review from HarperCollins)

Viscount Spencer Lockhart is bound by duty to his cousin, who's dying wish is that he protect a woman who bore his son in scandal. Spencer returns home from the war to the demands of a title and the search for a wife. When he meets Evelyn Cross, his cousins former love he could kill two birds with one stone. Protect his cousins son and find a wife to satisfy his step-mother. But, he may have met his match with the determined Evie Cross.

Evelyn Cross sacrificed everything she knew and loved to protect her family from scandal, even the possibility of one day finding love. She struggles to provide and to live a life that is free from prying eyes all in the hope that the scandal will never be revealed, but when Spencer Lockhart enters her life the balance tips. Can Evie marry a man she has only just met? Can Spencer sacrifice love in order to fulfill his duty? Will passion ignite between them threatening to plunge them into scandal once more?

My thoughts:

I was unaware when I started this book that it was a series. This is the second book in Sophie Jordan's series about the girls from Penwich School for Virtuous Girls. I liked the book a lot. The idea of duty and honor was a theme that was pursued throughout the book. Spencer has a duty not only to his cousin, who wronged a young woman in his past and also to his family as he takes on his title and prepares to find a wife.

Spencer is a character that has good intentions. He intends to provide for the son of his cousin, but somehow along the way he has fallen in love with the "idea" of Lennie, the woman his cousin drove into scandal. When meets Evelyn Cross he decides to offer her security and a life for her son and for herself. Two birds, one stone. He fulfills his duty while also getting a wife in the process. Underlying all this is his desire for the woman he has learned about through stories from his cousin. He finds that Evie is very different from what he thought Lennie would be and his desire for her is strong.

Evie Cross has been through a lot in her life, not only has she sacrificed for her family but she endured a sad childhood in the Penwich School for Virtuous Girls. But, she met some friends along the way that helped her through the experience and who have stuck by her. The thread of friendship that weaves through the story is done very well. It also promotes the idea that no matter your circumstances you can find get through it if you stick together.

This book is available from your favorite bookseller, March 30th, 2010.

This was good book! 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag for this one!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Simply Marvelous Monday (16)

Shelia at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books gets all the credit for this one...

On Simply Marvelous Monday's at Debbie's Book Bag, we want to know... What are you reading?


Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet series - Book 2) by Nora Roberts (Audio book from the Library)
The Promise of Morning (At Home in Beldon Grove series - Book 2) by Ann Shorey (For review from Revell)
An Absence So Great (Portraits of the Heart series - Book 2) by Jane Kirkpatrick (For review from Waterbrook Multnomah)

I obviously didn't finish Outlander. I knew I wouldn't be able to because this e-book is from the library and not for review, so it kind of takes a backseat to other things. I will just read along on it as I have time. So far though, I really love it! I had a good reading week this week, though it took more time to finish An Absence So Great than I would have liked. Having some remodeling done and it's hard to read for the noise and very distracting... LOL!


Celebration by Fern Michaels (Audio book from the Library)
Outlander (Outlander series - Book 1) by Diana Gabaldon (E-Book from the Library)
Watchlist: Two Serial Thrillers in One Killer Book by Jeffery Deaver (For review from Media Muscle)
A Certain Wolfish Charm (The Westfield Wolves series - Book 1 {Tentative Series Title}) by Lydia Dare (For review from Sourcebooks)
This Little Prayer of Mine by Anthony DeStefano (For review from Waterbrook Multnomah)

Keep in mind that it's gonna take awhile for me to finish Outlander and Celebration as these two are secondary to my titles for review. This Little Prayer of Mine is a hardcover children's book. I am usually reading a print title, an e-book and listening to a audio book each week. Sometimes I get them all done, sometimes I don't. My goal is at least two books a week.


The Highest Stakes by Emery Lee (For review from Sourcebooks)

I choose only one up next selection a week because I never really know what I'm going to read next.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Giveaway Saturday (13)

It's Giveaway Saturday once again! This is the day when I go through some of the blogs that I follow and find, great contests and giveaways for you to enter. Enjoy!

Top 10 of the week:

1.) Escape in a Book is giving away, a copy of the YA adventure book, The Fiddler's Gun by A.S. Peterson. The giveaway is international and ends on March 31st.

2.) Extreme Reader Book Reviews is having a Mega Swag and More Giveaway! Bookmarks, bookplates, signed books and more. This giveaway is international and will end on April 10th.

3.) You Wanna Know What I Think is giving away, a copy of the fantasy debut novel, The River Kings' Road by Liane Merciel. This giveaway is for U.S. residents only and will end on April 6th.

4.) The Bibliophilic Book Blog is giving away a signed copy of Rampant by Saskia Walker. This giveaway is international and will end on April 15th.

5.) Cherry Mischievous is giving away a copy of Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. This giveaway is international and ends on April 16th.

6.) Spellbound by Books is giving away a copy of Gone by Lisa McMann and a copy of Hunger by Michael Grant as a pre-one-hundred follower giveaway. (Since the giveaway began, she is now at 129!) This giveaway is international and ends on April 8th.

7.) The Book Resort is giving away a copy of Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White. This giveaway is international and will end on March 31st.

8.) The Book Tree is giving away 3 copies of Foxy by Pam Grier. The giveaway is open to U.S and Canadian residents and will end on April 21st.

9.) Southern Princess is having a 100+ Followers Contest Extravaganza! There are 8 books up for grabs. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses and will end on March 31st.

10.) Inside an Igloo is giving away a book of your choice. If she reaches 100 followers by 3/31 there will be two winners. The limit is $20.00 give or take a dollar or two. Books will be received through the Book Depository, so this is an international giveaway. The giveaway ends on March 31st.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT MY LATEST GIVEAWAY: One copy of Here Burns My Candle, for U.S. residents only and ending on March 31st. LOL... Only one person is signed up so far, so it might be an easy one to win! This is a great book, by Liz Curtis Higgs!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Friday Five

I'm starting something new this week. It's something I'm going to call the Friday Five. The Friday Five will consist of several different things. One week it may be five covers that I love and want to share. The next week it may be five book recommendations with synopsis. It could even be five reviews that I've found on other blogs that I find particularly interesting. Whatever it is each week, it will include a five in some way.

I'm not doing away with the Friday Spotlight. I'm just moving it to once a month. Or I may include 5 blogs and make it a part of the Friday Five from time to time. Regardless, it isn't gone forever. I just wanted to try something new and different.

This weeks Friday Five will be five book covers that I really like. They might be beautiful covers, covers that are different or ugly covers LOL... You decide which you think it is and let me know in the comments. What do these five covers have in common. LOL... It should be obvious!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

T-B-R Thursday (14)

It's T-B-R Thursday once again!

This is the day of the week that I add a new book to my To-Be-Read pile which is growing by leaps and bounds. I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to books. You might find a romance, a bestseller, or even a classic adding to my pile every week.

A new book on my radar this week: Changes by Jim Butcher.

Synopsis courtesy of Barnes & Noble.

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: April 06, 2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: Hardcover, 448pp
  • Sales Rank: 91


The new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series.

Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.

Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...

He's fighting to save his child.

Publishers Weekly

The fast-paced and compelling 12th book in Butcher's bestselling series (after 2009's Turn Coat) is aptly titled. Beginning with the revelation that wizard detective Harry Dresden has a daughter, Butcher throws one high-stakes curveball after another at his hero. Harry's ex-girlfriend, Susan Rodriguez, discloses young Maggie's existence after vampire Red Court duchess Arianna Ortega kidnaps the child. Ortega holds Harry responsible for the death of her husband and is planning to offer Maggie as a human sacrifice. With a fragile peace in place between the Red Court and the White Council of wizards, Harry is unable to count on them for support in his rescue mission, and he must compromise almost everything he believes in to save his daughter. Butcher is deft at relieving some of the tension and grimness with bursts of gallows humor that keep readers coming back for more. (Apr.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review: Rifling Paradise

My Synopsis:

Rifling Paradise by Jem Poster

(For review from Overlook Press)

Charles Redbourne was trying to live down a scandal. His behavior was not what was expected of an English landowner. He had to get away, get back to roots, his dreams of being a naturalist. With the help of his uncle, Charles embarks on an adventure in the Australian outback. Then he meets, Eleanor.

Eleanor Vale has secrets of her own. Since the death of her mother, her relationship with her father has taken a drastic downward turn. She is stubborn and high strung. She does not act like any lady, Charles has ever met.

Charles and Eleanor's relationship is brought to a head, when a expedition into the Blue Mountains takes a tragic turn. Will Charles learn to trust himself? Will Eleanor be able to let go of the past?

My Thoughts:

This book was very different from something I would normally read. When I first began reading I wasn't sure that I liked Charles very much, but I did see something in him that is innately human. He was weak and afraid. He was unable to face the truth about himself. When he journeyed to Australia he learned what he was made of. He was put on positions that allowed him to learn about himself and the world around him.

He encountered views from other people that he never expected and desires within himself that he did not know he possessed. His relationship with Eleanor leaned more toward obsession than true love or anything like that. He was enthralled by her. Eleanor saw him as her salvation. As the person who would free her from her father and his tyranny. In the end readers are probably not sure who actually saved who?

This was a good book, and Jem Poster has done an excellent job with these characters and keeping the suspense alive until the end of the story.

This book is available from your favorite bookseller now!

I give this one 3 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review and Giveaway: Here Burns My Candle

My Synopsis:

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

(For review from Waterbrook Multnomah. Blog tour dates March 22-26)

As the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 unfolds as a back drop to the story, Lady Elizabeth Kerr, a highland lass lives in Edinburgh with her husband, Lord Donald Kerr. Elizabeth follows the auld ways, but lately she has begun to have doubts about her beliefs. Her love for her family is sorely tested by the gossips and whispered rumors of her husbands unfaithfulness.

Lord Kerr loves his wife but constantly battles his own demons. He and his brother Andrew must make some hard decisions about where their loyalties lie. With King George in England or "bonny Prince Charlie," as he tries to reclaim the throne for the Stuart line.

Lady Marjory, Elizabeth's mother-in-law has regrets of her own. With her husband gone, she has little do other than dote on her sons and her daughter-in-laws, but will her extravagances cost them more than she can bear to part with?

My Thoughts:

Liz Curtis Higgs has done a wonderful job with this book. The historical accuracy is astounding. I wonder at the amount of research it must have taken to make this book a reality. It is obvious that she has taken great care with the facts and stories that surround the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. Readers who are unfamiliar with this event will come away from this book feeling educated as well as entertained.

This book is based on the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi. It is a re-telling of sorts that emphasizes the relationships that exist within families. Lady Elizabeth faces the censure of her mother-in-law because of her highland birth and ways, but she learns that she has much to contribute to this family. Lady Marjory changes a lot from the beginning up the book, 'til the end. She begins to see the error of her ways in judging Elizabeth and eventually comes to love and respect her dearly.

Though the women of this book are forced to deal with great tragedy and loss they also learn a deep and abiding faith in God and His ability to see them through. Elizabeth is forced to face her doubts about her own faith and in the end she knows that Lady Marjory can help her learn more about the God she is desperately seeking.

The second book, Mine is the Night will continue the story of the Kerr women, picking up in the later part of the book of Ruth. I highly anticipate this book and can't wait for it's release in the Spring of 2011. Here Burns My Candle is an excellent book for fans of Historical and Christian Fiction.

I give this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

It is available from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group. Here are some different options for purchasing the book:

Here is some more information about the author and book trailer for Here Burns My Candle.

Liz Curtis Higgs has been telling tales since she attempted her first novel–handwritten in a marble notebook–at the tender age of ten. Successful careers in broadcasting, public speaking, nonfiction writing, and children's books honed Liz's storytelling talents, bringing her back to her first love–writing fiction–at the turn of the 21st century.

A gifted speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs has presented more than 1,500 inspirational programs for audiences in all 50 United States as well as Germany, England, Canada, Ecuador, France, and Scotland. In 1995, Liz received the highest award in professional speaking, the "Council of Peers Award for Excellence," becoming one of only forty women in the world named to the CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame by the National Speakers Association.

Feature articles about Liz have appeared in more than 250 major newspapers and magazines across the country, and she has been interviewed on more than 600 radio and television stations, including guest appearances on PBS, A&E, MSNBC, NPR, CBC Canada, BBC Radio Scotland,
Focus on the Family, andJanet Parshall's America.
Liz is the author of 22 books, with 3 million copies in print. Her fiction to date includes two contemporary novels and three historical novels…
• Mixed Signals
• Bookends
• Thorn in My Heart
• Fair Is the Rose
• Whence Came a Prince

Her best-selling nonfiction books include…

• Bad Girls of the Bible
• Really Bad Girls of the Bible
• Unveiling Mary Magdalene
• Rise and Shine: A Devotional

Three of the above titles have corresponding VHS videos and companion workbooks.
And she has written five books for young children…
• The Pumpkin Patch Parable
• The Parable of the Lily
• The Sunflower Parable
• The Pine Tree Parable
• Go Away, Dark Night

Her children's Parable Series was awarded the ECPA Gold Medallion for Excellence in 1998, and her book Bad Girls of the Bible received the ECPA Gold Book Award in 2004 for sales of more than 500,000 copies. Her first novel, Mixed Signals, was a Romance Writers of America 2000 Rita Award Finalist for both Best First Novel and Best Inspirational Novel. Liz's second novel, Bookends, was a 2001 Christy Award Finalist for Best Contemporary Fiction. Her third novel, Thorn in My Heart, was a #1 historical fiction Christian bestseller, followed by Fair Is the Rose, which reached best-seller status days after its release. Whence Came a Prince, the final novel in the series, published in March 2005. In addition, Liz is the editor of an annual newsletter, The Graceful Heart, with 20,000 readers world wide, and is a columnist for Today's Christian Woman magazine with her popular back page feature, "Life with Liz." More than 2,000 churches nationwide are using her 2004 video Bible study series, Loved by God.

On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill share their 19th-century farmhouse in Kentucky with their two teenagers, Matt and Lilly, and too many cats. For more about Liz, visit her Web site:

I have one copy of Here Burns my Candle to give away to one lucky winner!

This giveaway will be open to U.S. residents only and will end on March 31st at Midnight.
You must be a follower of this blog to enter. To enter leave a comment on this post with a valid e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (15)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser this week comes from, The Promise of Morning by Ann Shorey, page 205.

Nathan appeared at the open door. "Come on in, Reverend. My wife'll get you a basin so's you can wash that blood off."

Review: Scattered Petals

My Synopsis:

Scattered Petals (Texas Dreams series - Book 2) by Amanda Cabot

(For review from Revell Books)

Priscilla Morton was traveling across country for a wedding when tragedy struck her life. A stagecoach hold up leaves her parents dead and her life in shambles. Priscilla must make a life for herself in the Texas hill country and try to start over.

Zachery Webster has secrets of his own. His past haunts him and leaves him feeling less than honorable. As the foreman for two ranches he has built a life for himself but it's lonely without someone to share it with. Tragedy may have brought them together but can they make their relationship more than a convenience? Can they forget about their pasts and move forward together?

My Thoughts:

Scattered Petals is the second book in the Texas Dreams series by Amanda Cabot. I had not read the first book in the series, but found this to be a great stand alone novel as well.

This book might sound a little sad but it really isn't. Though both of the main characters have had tragic pasts, this novel is more about what comes after. It's about living through the unthinkable and coming out on the other side. It's about forgetting what happened in your past and letting go of what you can't change.

There is also a very strong theme of tolerance and standing up to prejudice in whatever form it might take. In this town, both French and German settlers have come together to form a community, but there is still a lot of animosity and hatred among them. The idea of looking at a person's deeds, instead of their heritage or what language they speak, comes through very well.

I liked this book a lot. Priscilla and Zach are characters that are easy to relate to and you become invested in what happens to them.

I give this one, 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Available March 2010, at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Simply Marvelous Monday (15)

Shelia, at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books gets all the credit for this one...

On Simply Marvelous Monday's at Debbie's Book Bag, we want to know... What are you reading???


Scattered Petals (Texas Dreams series - Book 2) by Amanda Cabot (For review from Revell)
Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs (For review from Waterbrook Multnomah)
Rifling Paradise by Jem Poster (For review from Overlook Press)
In Scandal They Wed by Sophie Jordan (E-book for review from Harper Collins)

I didn't finish my audio book this week, but it's almost done and will go on the next week. It was a good reading week. I got a lot accomplished and I've got my new schedule down very well.


Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet series - Book 2) by Nora Roberts (Audio book from the Library)
The Promise of Morning (At Home in Beldon Grove series - Book 2) by Ann Shorey (For review from Revell)
An Absence So Great (Portraits of the Heart series - Book 2) by Jane Kirkpatrick (For review from Waterbrook Multnomah)
Outlander (Outlander series - Book 1) by Diana Gabaldon (E-book from the Library)

I'm usually always reading a print book, an e-book and listening to an audio book each week. However, that doesn't mean I'll finish them all each week. This week my audio book has a lower priority and I realize that I probably we be quite awhile on Outlander since it is a rather large book. So the two for review will get my attention first and we'll see what happens from there. My audio book is almost done. My goal is at least two books a week.

UP NEXT: Watchlist: Two Serial Thrillers in One Killer Book by Jeffery Deaver (For review from Media Muscle)

I only choose one up next selection a week, because I'm never really sure what I'm going to read next.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Spotlight (10)

Once again it's time for the Friday Spotlight!

The Friday Spotlight focuses on a blog that I follow or have found in my blog roaming that doesn't have a huge following yet, but has a lot to offer. I'll let my readers know what features I like about this blog and what they can expect from a visit. The idea is for the blog to receive some new followers and for my readers to find a new place for more blogging fun!

This weeks spotlight blog is: Leslie's Psyche

Leslie's Psyche currently has 24 followers.

Leslie is an Arizona blogger, who sat up late nights with her flashlight under the covers when she was a kid... LOL! I did that too! Leslie's blog, Leslie's Psyche is one of my favorites. Like my blog she doesn't read one specific genre. If it's anything but horror, you'll probably find it at Leslie's Psyche.

There are several ways to get in touch with Leslie. You can subscribe to her blog and receive e-mail messages when she posts. She has a twitter button, so that all us tweeters can catch up with her on twitter. She has a Shelfari shelf, so I'm sure we could find her there as well.

Leslie's Psyche is participating in several challenges this year. The J.D. Robb, In Death challenge, the 2010 TBR Challenge, the 2010 DIK (Desert Island Keepers) Challenge, the 2010 Re-Read Challenge, Orannia's 2010 Big Book Challenge, and the Year of the Historical 2010 Reading Challenge. I love challenges! I believe I'm signed up for 8, but I would have liked to do several more. These sound really interesting, so check them out and see if you want to participate.

Leslie has some great blog area's like her currently reading area, what she's craving, a slide show featuring her Wish List, upcoming historical romances, and her Shelfari shelf. All of these are great ways to see if this blog is what you are looking for.

Leslie's reviews are all very well done, and they include the publishing information as well as her rating for each book. Some recent reviews include, Have You Seen Her by Karen Rose, The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham and A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh.

Leslie's Psyche has a great list of other blogs to check out. I think it's great when bloggers can support each other and give their readers new places to visit and enjoy. She also has a very impressive list of Author websites and other sites that readers might enjoy.

I really enjoy visiting this blog on a regular basis and I think you would too. Check it out and see what you think! There is something for almost every type of reader.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

T-B-R Thursday (14)

It's T-B-R Thursday once again!

This is the day of the week that I add a new book to my To-Be-Read pile which is growing by leaps and bounds. I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to books. You might find a romance, a bestseller, or even a classic adding to my pile every week.

A new book on my radar this week: Pearl of China by Anchee Min.

Synopsis courtesy of Barnes & Noble.


From the bestselling author of Red Azalea and Empress Orchid comes the powerful story of the friendship of a lifetime, based on the life of Pearl S. Buck.

In the small southern town of Chin-kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, two young girls bump heads and become thick as thieves. Willow is the only child of a destitute family, Pearl the headstrong daughter of zealous Christian missionaries. She will ultimately become the internationally renowned author Pearl S. Buck, but for now she is just a girl embarrassed by her blonde hair and enchanted by her new Chinese friend. The two embark on a friendship that will sustain both of them through one of the most tumultuous periods in Chinese history.

Moving out into the world together, the two enter the intellectual fray of the times, share love interests and survive early marriages gone bad. Their shared upbringing inspires Pearl’s novels, which celebrate the life of the Chinese peasant and will eventually earn her both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize. But when a civil war erupts between the Nationalists and Communists, Pearl is forced to flee the country just ahead of angry mobs. Willow, despite close ties to Mao’s inner circle, is punished for loyalty to her “cultural imperialist" friend. And yet, through love and loss, heartbreak and joy, exile and imprisonment, the two women remain intimately entwined.

In this ambitious new novel, Anchee Min brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who is now hailed in China as a modern heroine. Like nothing before it,Pearl of China tells the story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, from the perspective ofthe people she loved and of the land she called home.

Publishers Weekly

As a girl in Maoist China, Min (Red Azalea) was ordered to denounce Pearl S. Buck; now she offers a thin sketch of the Nobel laureate’s life from the point of view of fictional Willow Yee, a fiercely loyal friend. A lifelong friendship begins in Chin-kiang when Willow meets Pearl, whose missionary father converts Willow’s educated but impoverished father. Under threat from hostilities toward foreigners, Pearl departs for the safety of Shanghai, and, later, to America for college, but she returns for her wedding to find that Willow is the satisfied founder of a newspaper and a very unhappy wife. While a changing China swirls around them, their friendship is tested as they both fall in love with the same poet. As the 1949 revolution looms, Pearl flees China, and Willow’s husband becomes Mao’s right-hand man, leading to a fateful showdown with Madam Mao when Willow refuses to denounce her lifelong friend. Though the setting and revolutionary backdrop are inherently dramatic, Min’s account of an epic friendship is curiously low-key, with some sections reading more like a treatment than a narrative. (Apr.)

Review: The Girl Who Chased The Moon

My Synopsis:

The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

(For review from Pump Up Your Book Promotions - Blog Tour dates March 1-26)

Emily Benedict comes to Mullaby, North Carolina to live with her grandfather after her mother's death. But, life in Mullaby isn't exactly what she expected. With a giant for a grandfather, wallpaper that changes with her moods and the reputation of her mother to live down, Emily is a bit overwhelmed.

Julia has a two year plan. A plan to pay off the mortgage on the restaurant she inherited from her father and then sell it for a tidy profit. This will allow her to follow her dream of having her own bakery in Baltimore. But her plan has a few problems, including a long lost love from her past and a secret from her past.

Will Emily find out what her mother did to make everyone in Mullaby hate her? What are the strange Mullaby lights? Will Julia finally tell Sawyer her secret?

My Thoughts:

Sarah Addison Allen has done a wonderful job of mixing in a hint of the supernatural in, The Girl Who Chased the Moon. From the strange Mullaby lights to Sawyer's "sweet sense". It really added a lot of mystery to the book.

I loved the characters and I really identified a lot with Julia. She was loner, someone who didn't quite fit the mold in high school. She had a lot of personal problems, after the death of her mother and the remarriage of her father. But, we see how much she has grown over the years and really come into her own as a person. She is comfortable with who she is and understands what she's lived through. Just a really great character!

Emily is a young girl who has had a lot to live up to, and now she has a lot to live down. It's a big contrast and one that is able to show the reader a lot about tolerance and acceptance. This book has a great deal to do with looking a little bit deeper than the surface when it comes to people. I loved it. A great feel good story, with a great ending.

I will give this one a 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Here is seven things that you might not know straight from the author, Sarah Addison Allen.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a trash man. I would spend hours daydreaming about riding on the back of a garbage truck, jumping off at every house and dumping people’s trash into it.

I was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, a place Rolling Stone magazine once called "America’s New Freak Capital."

I have my B.A. in Literature, a major I chose because I thought it was amazing that I could get a diploma just for reading fiction. It was like being able to major in eating chocolate.

I can’t turn away stray cats and I’m convinced they know this.

My father was a copy editor, reporter and award-winning columnist for our local paper.

My mother has a nose ring, but we pretend it’s not there.

Garden Spells, my mainstream debut, didn’t start out as a magical novel. It was supposed to be a simple story about two sisters reconnecting after many years. But then the apple tree started throwing apples and the story took on a life of its own...and my life hasn’t been the same since.