Saturday, October 31, 2009

THE WINNER OF HUGH AND BESS!!!



TO:


at

I will also be sending you an email!  Please notify me of your mailing address so I can send it on to the publisher and they can mail your book!!! 

Thank you so much to everyone who entered!!  If you didn't win I highly recommend purchasing Susan's book, it is worth every single penny!!! 


Friday, October 30, 2009

Bookish Wedding Invites

Wow.  I saw this on Hey Lady Watcha Readin's blog and I just HAD to share this link with you all.  Holy moly.  You MUST see these HANDCRAFTED wedding invites.  They are georgous beyond belief and absolutely heart breakingly unique and INCREDIBLE.  I've just never seen anything like it!!!

Have a look.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Award!


I'd like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to my very good friend Natalie at The Book Inn for this adorable award!  Isn't that the cutest one you've ever seen? 

In the tradition of this award I will now answer the questions that come along with it:

1. Where is your favorite place to read a book?

     On the couch in my living room, it's the only room in my entire house that is always neat and not cluttered, so I can read in there without having piles of stuff looming over my head.

2. Bookmarks or dog ears?

   I am totally neurotic about keeping my books as new looking as possible.  I mean, I make every effort to not even make a crease in the spine!  But then again, my Outlander series is VERY beat up, and in that case I love the look of them.  So, bookmarks ALL the way. 

3. What is the best book you’ve read so far this year? 

This is almost impossible, seriously, because everytime I read a fantastic book I have to reshift all of my past books around in my brain.  The first one that comes to mind though, is Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne.  I am still baffled as to why more people don't know about this book!  He was the author of "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" which was made into a film.  ANYway, it was AMAZING.  But I then have to mention, "Hugh and Bess" by Susan Higginbotham.. FANTASTIC!  Those two stand out as the best from this year. 

4. Do you like to snack while reading and if so, what is your favorite snack?

Nope.


5. Book borrower or book collector?

OMG you should ask my HUSBAND that question!!!  I am an obsessive collector with too many books to count.  Seriously, I would be afraid to count them.  And every year I give laundry baskets full of books to our annual civic book drive for children's literacy.  But that just means more room for MORE books.  Sigh.   My rationale is that I don't spend money on anything else.  My hair is long so I don't spend money on hair cuts unless I have to.  I hate shopping for clothes so I only go if something is ripped beyond recognition, I don't buy shoes, manicures, facials, beauty products, I don't go out much, don't buy latte's very often, you get the picture.  The only other thing I spend money on occasionally is knitting stuff.  So there, mean mean hubby. 

I am now going to pass this lovely award onto some of my longtime favourite blogs, and I know I have a huge blogroll, but I actually do visit those blogs everytime they post, otherwise how could I ever keep track?!

  • So here it goes:   Rob Around Books (I know he's a dude, but I LOVE his blog and think he just soooo needs this award!) 
  • Books I Done Read (without exaggerating, Rach is one of THE funniest book bloggers out there, and not to mention that she has a column with this extremely entertaining online mag out of BC.  Funny, funny stuff and full of pithy insight.  AND she is a prolifac user of CAPS which you all know I LOVE.)
  • Medieval Woman (this is one of Susan Higginbotham's blogs, and not only do I love her books, but I really love this particular blog of hers.  It's always chock full of  cool historical-type factual stuff that folks like me LOVE.)
  • Ruth over at Bookish Ruth  (I love Ruth's blog, and look at that georgous HEADER!  I love the format of her posts and her sidebar, the whole thing is just beautiful)
That's it for now, and I think there may be another award lurking somewhere in my comments, so if you have awarded me with something fabulous and I haven't acknowledged it, I am not being rude just very very FORGETFUL. 

Cheers!




BOOKING THROUGH THURSDAY


Todays question is this:

“What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible? What words/phrases will make you put the book back down immediately?”


What a great question!  Okay, my list of great words in the book blurb are:
  • Historical
  • triumph of the human spirit
  • unrequited love
  • the power of love
  • family bonds or family relationships

The words or phrases that make me put the book down:
  • "heaving bosom" type words (not that I don't like a good romp in the old historical hay but...)
  • anything involving disturbing content like inappropriate family relationships (you know what I mean)
  • murder of a child
  • cop type books
  • political thrillers
  • horror
What are yours??

For more Booking Through Thursday click here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

REVIEW: HUSH, HUSH


Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

(From Amazon.ca Product Description)
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.


The day I recieved this ARC in the mail was one of the best days I've had in my book blogging life.  I was super excited, and had heard so many great things about this book that I instantly sat down and started reading. 

When I am very excited to read a book I purposefully avoid any reviews with summaries in it and I read as little as I can about it so I can go in fresh.   But I did get the feeling that many people loved this book A LOT, so imagine my surprise when I wasn't one of them. 

Becca Fitzpatrick is a very talented writer, I have no doubt, and her debut novel is a good effort, and the premise is EXTREMELY cool, and the cover is just georgous, but what others seemed to get so excited about I just did not see the connection.  And I will reiterate that this is only my opinion, and I completely respect everyone else's opinion in regards to this novel, and any others that I review.  I say that because I am well aware that there are many many folks out there who REALLY love this book, and I think that's great because any book that gets people (especially teens) reading is a winner in my books. 

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!  DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



But I digress.  About halfway through I was trying to put my finger on what was missing for me, and the simple truth is I did not feel that the Patch character was well developed.  I didn't really understand his character at all, he seemed very slimy to me with all of his innuendos and creepiness.  In fact he seemed more creepy than sexy to me.  So, Nora's attraction to him was hard for me to believe.  And Nora spent a lot of time "struggling to ignore" her feelings of, what should be, terror for this killer.  The scene in the hotel room was particularily difficult to swallow.  And I have to admit having two young girls, I would be hard pressed to want either of them to read this when they are of age.  The scene I am referring to is when Patch admitted he was trying to kill her and she still wanted to make out with him.  Her reaction to finding out about his wings, his killer tendencies, the story of how he fell from grace, was very subdued.  I would have liked to see a bigger more realistic reaction from her.  And the Vee character, although lighthearted and I thought very well developed, halfway through became very strange.  She was very blasé about Nora getting roughed up by Elliot, and even excusing the incident by saying "Well, he was drunk right?"..... "Well, he has a lot going on.  I mean, he was wrongly accused of being messed up in some girl's suicide, and he was forced to switch schools.  If he hurt you -- and I'm not justifying what he did, by the way -- maybe he just needs... counseling you know?"  To which Nora replies, " If he hurt me?"  And Vee says, "He was wasted.  Maybe -- maybe he didn't know what he was doing.  Tomorrow he's going to feel horrible."  If this was supposed to be my bestfriend, I think I'd rather be her enemy.  That was extremely disturbing to me.  And after reading the final pages my feelings about Hush,Hush were that I wished I believed the relationship between Patch and Nora, I wish I felt the chemistry they had that others felt.  And that would be the one thing I wish I felt.  But I didn't. 

The point of this review is not to rip Hush,Hush to shreds.  I had such high hopes when I read it, and like I said, there are actually some people out here who agree with me, but many more who don't and will probably want to tell me to put a sock in it.  I am definately going to read the sequel "Crescendo" because I would love to see how the author develops this story further. 
To read more about Hush,Hush and see a great trailer for the book click here.

RATING:  2/5
ARC courtesy of Simon and Schuster Canada

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TEASER TUESDAYS


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play!

  • Grab your currently read
  • Flip to a random page
  • Choose 2 sentences and post them
  • Try not to include any spoilers!
  • Don't forget to mention the title of the book so folks can add them to their TBR's! 

My teaser is from "The Traitor's Wife" by Susan Higginbotham

' "I do too.  Despenser has gone beyond all bounds in his greed for land and money.  England will be better for the steps we are taking."

Wateville sighed.  "Tell that to my mother-in-law." '

You can see more Teasers  here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"My eyes... MY EYES!!!"

I have been on the computer virtually ALL DAY trying to get the hang of the self hosting option on Wordpress.... and my eyes are ready to explode. I will be changing up my blog sometime in the near future, and it will be greatly improved with lots of cool features, I hope. But until I really understand what self hosting means and if I can actually "get" the tech side of it, I'll stick to the 'ol faithful. 

Because I am completely screen burnt out at the moment I'm not going to post anything else today.  But stay tuned for the announcement when my new blog is ready and I'll have the link to swing over and then if you like it you can follow my new one!! 

Have a WONDERFUL day, everyone!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Booo..

Okay, so obviously I didn't make it.  Sigh.. ....  After my last update I did read Crispin till 11:00pm (what an AWESOME BOOK!)  but then I gave in and fell asleep.  If my husband wasn't going to be working from 7AM till 7pm today I would have been able to do it.  But to be sleep deprived and the only one home with my girls is not a good idea.  But I am so glad I participated in what way I could.  It was fun, and while I was reading it was neat to think of people all over the world reading with the same intention at that exact moment. 

Here are my final stats:

Total Pages Read: 284

Books Completed: 1 - Hush, Hush

Mini-Challenges Participated In: 1

Minutes Spent Reading: 260

Minutes Spent Blogging: TOO MANY.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

AAAAAHHHH... PEACE AND QUIET - a-thon update

Allright, BOTH kids in bed, and husband watching Monty Python.  Life is gooooood.  I have not managed to do any reading with supper and stuff, but we did do a family game of hide and seek which is sooo cute as our 2 year old is just learning how to properly play.  I mean SO cute.  Beyond cute.  B.C.

Then our toddler went to bed, and we had our traditional game night with our 9 year old.  We played one game of Harry Potter board game, and then a few rounds of Connect Four.

I am now FINALLY going to get to some SERIOUS reading,people!  I have Crispin in my hand and it's gotten to the super exciting bit and so that should keep me awake.  My only thing is my favourite place to read is IN BED, which is a danger zone for tonight, but I can't help myself.  It's just so darn comfy, you know what I mean?  I also didn't really plan to much in terms of yummy snacks, I thought about it, but didn't, and now I am wishing I had some... I'll have to live vicariously thru some a-thoners treats I guess!  So, tell me, did you buy snacks just for yourself for tonight?  And if so, what were they!

On my immediate roster is the Avi book, and then I am going to read Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver if the mood so strikes me.  But in the little pile by my bed is also A Series of Unfortunate Events book One by Lemony Snicket which I have never read.

HAPPY READING!!

Hour 13 and Mid-way Meme!

Mid-Event Survey:


1. What are you reading right now?  Well, when I can actually get BACK to reading, I'll be reading "Crispin" by Avi.

2. How many books have you read so far?  If you mean started and finished?  None.  But I did finish Hush, Hush, and then I have read some of Echo in the Bone and Crispin.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?  Everyone being in bed around here so I can actually READ. 

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?  Nope.  My husband was supposed to be home but had to work all day at the last minute. 

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  Are you kidding?  I have 2 kids 9 and 2.  It's been a nightmare for interruptions all day.  Ugh.  I should have been a cheerleader this year. 

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  I thought there would be more interaction with other bloggers somehow, I'm not sure.  Maybe later it will get busier. 

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  The first time there was a list of blogs of the hour you could comment on, three out of the four were not participating in the read-a-thon and had not posted in several days.  I guess those could be screened first somehow? 

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?  OMG, I would LOCK MYSELF IN A HOTEL ROOM IF I COULD AFFORD IT!!!  LOL!!!

9. Are you getting tired yet?  No, it's only 645pm here, but I WAS super tired at my usual time of 2pm today.  That was tough cuz that was my prime reading time.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?   I am enjoying the experience, and have no tips as this is my first time. 

I want to thank all of the organizers for their incredible hard work!! And everyone else who has donated prizes and created these amazing challenges!  THANK YOU!!! 

WORDPRESS OR BLOGGER?

I am thinking of switching to Wordpress, but I've been on blogger for over 2 years (with my other family blog).  Would love some opinions of WP??

:0)

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU!

To all of you WONDERFUL CHEERLEADERS who have signed on to keep us readers motivated and entertained with all of the amazing and unique challenges!! 

Also, thank you to all of my fellow readers for also stopping by and saying HELLOOOO and cheering as well!


WOOOOT!

Trying to stay awake already, and it's only 4 pm!!!! Yikes! (9.5 hours in)

I am now officially 9.5 hours into the read-a-thon and boy-oh-boy did I have a tough time not drifting off into lah-lah land a little while ago.  Here's the thing, whenever my oldest daughter is around and my youngest daughter goes for her nap, it is verrrry difficult for my oldest to understand when Mommy needs some Mommy time-out during that nap.  Generally speaking she doesn't bug me too much during the usual 2 hours, and normally when she does it's totally fine, unless I'm actually trying to sleep after having a bad night, or what have you.  Okay, so all of the a-thon god's were conspiring against me today because here's what happened:

  • toddler was cranky before nap
  • toddler went beddie-bye, mommy was happy, did a couple of things before settling down into her own bed with book in hand, afghan on lap.
  • 9 year old bursts in room to announce that she is suddenly going to start designing and hand sewing her own little handbag for her iDog and iPod. 
  • She rummages loudly in the little side room right behind our bed. 
  • mommy is using her overly nice mommy voice, "Honey?  What are you looking for?"  To which she announces "Fabric."
  • 9 year old then asks if mommy can thread a needle.  Mommy agrees realizing that all hopes of said time to her book is now lost as her oldest child does not know how to thread a needle, tie a knot in the thread, knot iT after it is sewn.. well, you get the picture.
  • 9 year old closes bedroom door and leaves mommy alone. 
  • mom reads ..... for 5 minutes.
  • "Is that Ayana crying?"  No.  I refuse to believe that my toddler who almost NEVER wakes up from her nap has now decided to 40 minutes in to start wailing.  Must be the wind. 
  • Hmmm.  Wind is sounding very sad.  Better check. 
  • 5 minutes of back rubbing and "all done baby" (her baby she sleeps with) and "baby back".. "all done baby"... sigh. 
  • The next hour and a bit was spent reading, almost falling alseep several times, and intermittant door knocking and sewing shinanigans.  Which I almost didn't mind because it helped keep me AWAKE.
Here is my progress so far, pathetic as it is.  :0)

Pages Read in the past two hours: 90

Books Read in the past two hours: 60 pages of Echo and 30 pages of Crispin by Avi

Total Pages Read: 142

Books Completed: 1 - Hush, Hush

Mini-Challenges Participated In: 1

Minutes Spent Reading: 170  (how I can account for this seemingly snails pace for reading is that Echo in the Bone is a huge book, I mean huge as in total number of words to a page.  For those of you that have it, you will agree that the type is small, there is no extra spacing and.. well.. there's just a heckuva lot of words and it seems to take forever to read a page!  I'm just sayin'.)

Minutes Spent Blogging:   TOO MANY.

Hour 6.5....

Now my VERY cranky toddler is blissfully asleep, and my 9 year old daughter is playing with her ipod.  I had to forgo any and all reading for the past hour and a half, because my kids needed me.  And that's fine, because their hilarious little people!  Well, except for the last 10 minutes before someone's naptime.. that was not overly hilarious, believe me. 

I am now going to read a bit of Echo to get my brain into a nice reading mode, and then I am going to start Crispin: The Cross of Lead, and the beginning just has me hooked immediately.  It is an historical fiction for young people:

ENGLAND, A.D. 1377

"In the midst of life comes death."  How often did our village priest preach those words.  Yet I have also heard that "in the midst of death comes life."  If this be a riddle, so was my life.

    The day after my mother died, the priest and I wrapped her body in a gray shroud and carried her to the village church.  Our burden was not great.  In life she had been a small woman with little strength.  Death made her even less. 

     Her name had been Asta.

     Since our cottage was at the village fringe, the priest and I bore her remains along the narrow, rutted road that led to the cementary.  A steady, hissing rain had turned the ground to clinging mud.  No birds sang.  No bells tolled.  The sun hid behind the dark and lowering clouds. 

Doesn't that sound good???!!! 

HAPPY READING!

Hour 4 for me, hour 4.5 for the read-a-thon

I have just spent a nice little chunk of time cuddling with my kids and we each had an apple, and now that the blood sugar has stabalized once again I am going to attempt to actually read before the next referee session playtime.  I am stopping by briefly to check in, and say that so far in the last hour I have only read one short story from my "Knit Lit (too)" book.  But it is super cute.  It is based on the well founded myth that if you knit an entire sweater for a boyfriend, the relationship is as good as over:  done, finito, kaputt.  In this little story a 50 something male falls in love with a 50 something woman who is an avid knitter.  She then knits him a vest, and this is how some of his friends react to the news:

My more skittish friends lifted their eyebrows, too.  "Don't make the mistake of accepting a sweater," they advised.  "If you don't have sleeves, you've still got a chance.  But once you get fitted for those sleeves..."

There you have it, boyfriend?  No sleeves.  Husband?  Argyle sweater with matching hat and leg warmers, to which he better wear proudly. 

Happy reading!

Bart's Bookshelf Mini-challenge

Take 3 book titles and form a sentence, then take a photo of the books and post it!

Here's mine:

The Traitor's wife, Anna Karenina - she's come undone. 


I really have to use my good camera instead of my stupid phone.  I'll make sure I get that set up before the next pic I post!

9:15 Calgary time..... Hour 2-ish.

Now that my girls are up it's a bit tricky with the reading, but I am still getting it done!  My oldest has caught the read-a-thon bug and has been reading her 2009 Guiness Book of World Records for the last hour, and occasionally sharing fascinating records for this or that, and now our youngest is sitting on her lap and they are reading together.  It is snowing here today, big giant wet flakes that melt as soon as they hit the ground, so we have a lovely fire on in our family room.  I can hear Bob the Builder in the background as I write this. 

I JUST finished Hush, Hush so I will be reviewing that once I get back to normal blogging life next week. 

I am so enjoying reading everyone's posts!  It's just so cool that this is a global read-a-thon and that we are all in this crazy thing together!  What I am really looking forward to is after midnight when people are still up but the rest of their house is asleep, I bet it will be super fun then!

Here are my stats so far:

Pages Read in the past two hours: 52

Books Read in the past two hours:  Hush, Hush


Total Pages Read: 52


Books Completed: 1 - Hush, Hush

Mini-Challenges Participated In: 1


Minutes Spent Reading: 50


Minutes Spent Blogging: 20

Intro meme!

In the spirit of the read-a-thon there are wonderful people who are presenting mini-challenges through-out the day, and this one is brought to you by Trish and Hannah!

So here is my first official read-a-thon meme:

Where are you reading from today?  Calgary Alberta, and more specifically my easy chair in my family room.

3 facts about me …  I am a mom to two girls, 9 and 2, one bio one adopted from Ethiopia, I work in the film business on occasion, I am an avid knitter.


How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?  13

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?  Not really, I just really would love to stay awake the entire time and participate in challenges and CHEERLEAD my fellow -a-thoners!  As far as reading goes, I would like to finish Hush, Hush, and The Magician's Elephant.

The first hour of the next 24....

GOOOOOD MOOORRRNIIIIING!  6:33AM... hey, that's not half bad! 

First up... the paper and a HUGE coffee.....

Thank God my 2 year old didn't wake up in the night for once, so I actually got about 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Whoa.  And both my girls are still sleeping so this is actually lovely, and will be even lovlier wonce I am coherant with caffeine in my system. 

See you in awhile!

:0)

Friday, October 23, 2009

IT'S ALMOST TIIIIIIMMMMME!!! Impending read-a-thon.. WOOT!



Well, it's T minus 10 hours and some minutes till I start the read-a-thon, and as luck would have it my husband has to work tomorrow!  Sooooo, all that means is that I read around my kids schedule a bit, which is what I do anyhow, but tomorrow I'll just do it a little MORE is all. 

That teeny tiny pitiful picture I took with my iPhone above is my stack of books I plan on reading bits of during the -athon.  Since you can't see any of the titles, here they are:


The Magician's Elephant by Kate Dicamillo (I have already started this one, but have misplaced it somewhere in our house... I LOVE IT.  Hopefully I can find it so I can finish it.  Story telling at its FINEST.)

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (I got this book at an online book swap and I've had it for years)

The 13th Warrior by Michael Crichton  (I think a good action type book might be handy.)

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (short, and a kids book, super handy

Knit Lit (too) Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf (a series of short stories about knitting which I LOVE, and the stories are SHORT which will be great at 2 AM)

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

Happiness Will Ferguson (not sure how much I'll read of this one, but when I feel like throwing myself out of my window at 330 AM, I wonder if a book with a title like this might help)

The Cross of Lead  by Avi Crispin (one of my FAVOURITE authors!!! He wrote "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle which  I LOVED, and will be reviewing at some point in the future)

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (I'm almost done, so that will be the first book out of the gate in the morning after I read the paper and inhale my coffee)

The Traitor's Wife by Susan Higginbotham (no big surprise there, I LOVE HER!  And I need a good chunk of time to really enjoy this one, I love it already, but it just is not the kind of book you can pick up and down super easy)

And last but not least trusty Jamie and Claire (An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon) will be joining me through out the day, no doubt, making appearances and keeping me company in the wee  hours.. along with my fellow read-a-thoners and cheerleaders!! 

I am SUPER EXCITED!!! 

So, how it works is I will be reading off and on for (hopefully) 24 hours straight.  I will be posting roughly every 2 hours (maybe more) and doing challenges that some lovely folks have set up for us -a-thoners.  The read-a-thon is worldwide and just for fun!  Although some are doing it for charity, which I totally thought of but was not sure how my first one would go so I plan on doing that next year. 

Hopefully you will stop by various times to see me and visit other -a-thoners throughout the day and night! 

REVIEW: THE GREMLINS OF GRAMMAR


The Gremlins of Grammar - A Guide to Conquering the Mischievous Myths That Plague American English  by Toni Boyle and K.D. Sullivan

Writing a blog and then publishing it for the entire world to see suddenly makes one aware of, say, certain lame ass  nobel attempts at grammar and puncuation.  So, in light of the constant awareness that my grammar sucks, I picked this little baby up at the local Chapters.  And let me tell you - it is FANTASTIC!  Not only does it have much, if not all, of the basics that you need to know to actually form a sentence correctly, it does it all in an extremely fun style.  The book is enormously entertaining and the tongue-in-cheek voice of both authors is well worth your money, not to mention the handiest reference book ever.

From the back cover:

Do you dare to split infinitives?  Do you tremble at the thought of ending sentences with a preposition?  Or are you totally clueless when it comes to making sense of syntax?

Whether you're an aspiring wordsmith or an avowed grammar geek, you'll get a kick out of  this witty instructional book that takes the bite out of American English and tells you exactly what you need to know about:  
  • Parts of speech:  Be accurate in your use of adjectives, adverbs, and even interjections -- hooray!
  • Punctuation:  Know where to stick your commas and those other pesky marks.
  • Pronouns: Figure out which is which and who does what to whom.
  • Verbs: Get a little action into your sentences.  
RATING:  5/5

Thursday, October 22, 2009

THROWBACK THURSDAY


Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Jenny at Take Me Away.  It's a time for participants to recognize older books, maybe one you've always wanted to read, or one of your favs from your younger years.

I have never done this meme before, but the book that immediately comes to mind for me is one of my all time favs from my young adult years.  I loved this book so much that it was the first book I ever re-read, and I have since re-read it about a half dozen times.  In fact, I haven't read it in quite a few years so a re-read is in my near future. 

The book is: 

CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR by JEAN M. AUEL


Here's the blurb from Amazon:

When her parents are killed by an earthquake, 5-year-old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. This clan, left homeless by the same disaster, have little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they refer to as the "Others." Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human, worthy of care. She painstakingly nurses her back to health--a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan. Although this story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale. The members of the Neanderthal clan, ruled by traditions and taboos, find themselves challenged by this outsider, who represents the physically modern Cro-Magnons. And as Ayla begins to grow and mature, her natural tendencies emerge, putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggle.

What I love about this book is simple, the supurb storytelling.  Jean Auel takes the reader back in time with such authenticity you feel like she actually lived there.  I am a sucker for a female heroine that is a healer and uses herbal medicine to treat people.  Which is probably why I love the Outlander books so much.  This is something I have an intense interest in in my own life, and I long for the old days when life was less about technology than about the hard physical labour and relying on eachother to survive.  This was my favourite of the series, as the other books, to me, did not live up to the perfection of the first one. 

And on a completely non-meme note, I just HAD to share, because I can HARDLY EVEN BELIEVE it, but my review for 360 Degrees Longitude is going to be PUBLISHED IN THE NEXT PRINTING OF THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am beyond words and stupified with gratitude for John Higham asking me if it would be "okay" to put my review in the 3rd printing of his book.  Um... YEAH!!!!!!!!!    Honestly?  This is something I never dreamed could happen to me, and his book is one I so passionately believe in and really think everyone should read it as it is a FANTASTIC debut memoir. 

I am going to now continue my day atop cloud nine and hope you and yours have a wonderful one as well!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

YA ASPIRING AUTHORS COULD WIN A CHANCE TO GET DISCOVERED!

This is SUPER EXCITING news!!!    In honor of the annual writing competition, Nanwrimo, some of the biggest names in publishing (Random House, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Source Books, and Penguin) has teamed up with  New Yorks' extremely popluar Gotham Writers' Worshop,  to bring you the YA Author contest that just might be your big break!

Here are the details (from the official Press Release provided by Source Books):


 Get in front of TOP YA Editors and Agents with ONLY the first 250 words of your YA novel!

Have a young adult novel—or a YA novel idea—tucked away for a rainy day? Are you putting off pitching your idea simply because you’re not sure how to pitch an agent? No problem! All you have to do is submit the first 250 words of your novel and you can win both exposure to editors, and a one-on-one chat with one of New York’s TOP literary agents Regina Brooks.



Regina Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and the author of Writing Great Books for Young Adults. Brooks has been instrumental at establishing and building the careers of many YA writers, including three-time National Book Award Honoree and Michael Printz Honoree Marilyn Nelson, as well as Sundee Frazier—a Coretta Scott King Award winner, an Oprah Book Pick and an Al Roker book club selection. As an agent, she is known for her ability to turn raw talent into successful authors.

ADDITIONALLY: The top 20 submissions will all be read by a panel of five judges comprised of top YA editors at Random House, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Penguin. All 20 will receive free autographed copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. Of the 20, they will pick the top five submissions and provide each author with commentary. ONE Grand Prize Winner will win a free 10-week writing course courtesy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop.

Please submit all entries via the contest website at http://www.writingclasses.com/ContestPages/YAPitch.php. One entry per person; anyone age 13+ can apply. Open to the U.S. & Canada (void where prohibited). Entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from 12:01am (ET) November 1 until 11:59pm (ET),

NOVEMBER IS NaNoWriMo

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org)—an international event where aspiring novelists are encouraged to write an entire novel in 30 days—this contest is meant to encourage the aspiring YA author to get started on that novel by offering an incentive for completing the first 250 words.

So apply now! http://bit.ly/1PYGaN

JUDGING

YA literary agent Regina Brooks, along with editors at Sourcebooks, will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions. These submissions will then be read by Dan Ehrenhaft, head Acquisitions Editor at Soucebooks Fire; Alisha Niehaus, Editor at Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin); David Linker, Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books; Michele Burke, Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House); and Evette Porter, Editor at Harlequin. These judges will whittle the top 20 down to four winners and a grand prize winner—all five will be provided commentary on their submissions.

um..... WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!

I recieved a TOTALLY unexpected thing in the mail today.  TOTALLY unexpected.  In my mail box was a package, you know the kind book bloggers, the kind that just look divine and practically glow in your mailbox with all their bookish glory.  So, as usual it was the first thing I tore open when I got inside my house, and in the padded yellow envelope was............

CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Honestly, I am still staring at the thing in front of me here and I am just dumbfounded and PROFOUNDLY GRATEFUL to Michelle at Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a SIGNED ARC of Hush, Hush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As IF I am not going to forgo every other thing in my reading pile to immediately start reading this georgous book and then as fast as humanly possible post a review.  So stay tuned! 

Okay, I might be a little excited. 

Just a little. 

(cough) 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TEASER TUESDAY


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along!


  • Grab your current read
  • Flip to a random page and select 2 sentences
  • Please do not include any spoilers!
  • Post the title of the book and author so folks can add them to their TBR pile!  


My teaser is from "An Echo in the Bone" by Diana Gabaldon:

"He was tousled from sleep, the embers of the fire making shadows in his hair, but his eyes were alert.  He nodded and kissed my forehead, but instead of stepping back, he laid his hand on my head and whispered, "Oh blessed Michael of the Red Domain..." in Gaelic, then touched my cheek in farewell."


Oh, and what the hell, here's another one!

"Jo's feet left crisp black prints that I followed upward, the needles of fir and balsam brushing cold and fragrant against my skirt, as I listened to a vibrant silence that rang like a bell. 
     If ever there were a night when angels walked, I prayed it might be this one."

Monday, October 19, 2009

REVIEW: THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CLUB


The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

First I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me the ARC for this book! 

The opening line of this book is pretty good, I have to admit:

I am the head cookie bitch and this is my party.

And the premise for the book is also not bad.  Every year a group of twelve diverse women gather to exchange cookies that they bake along with the latest happenings in their lives.  As can be expected with this kind of story each woman has something unique to bring to the table like: one has adopted a baby internationally, one has a father who is having an affair with her bestfriend, the narrator, Marnie's daughter is in the last stages of a high-risk pregnancy, that sort of thing.

I enjoyed the recipes at the beginning of each chapter, and I have to admit to the craving of cookies throughout the entire book, but the predictable and wooden dialogue left me stale.  I think I have mentioned several times on my blog that I love how an author can give a distinctive voice to each character, and in fact I believe that is one of the many markers of good writing.  Unfortunately, to me, every single character sounded the same, despite the authors attempt to give some variation in the word choices or mannerisms in some of the characters. 

Although Pearlman gave each character an issue or life circumstance, I really had a hard time caring about any of these women, despite really wanting to. 

The Christmas Cookie Club is being made into a film to be seen on television.

RATING:  1/5

Sunday, October 18, 2009

SUNDAY SALON


Today has a great Sunday "feel".  My husband is away until Tuesday, my oldest daughter is away at camp till this afternoon, it's gloomy out but warm inside, and my 2 year old and I are still in our pj's.  Serenity.  And once she goes down for her nap I plan on curling up on my couch with "Echo" and getting some solid uninterrupted reading time in!


This morning I was reading my absolute favourite section of the paper which only comes out on Sundays, Books and Arts, and I came across a review for a book.  Now what piqued my interest for the review was not the title, or the cover, but the authors last name:  STOKER.  It seems that Bram Stoker's great-grand nephew, Dacre Stoker,  has written a sequel to the infamous "Dracula" novel.  It's called, "The Undead".  This review was not as lambasting as some of the ones I found online.  I may or may not read it, as I have not read the original, although I have read a version of it that was re-written for children, and I loved it.  For those of you that know me, you will know my utter uncontrollable squeamishness about anything vampire.  The only exception being "Twilight" as there was not a lot of blood sucking descriptions happening in that book.  If any of you out there end up reading this sequel, let me know your thoughts, I am very curious! 

This past week has not been as stellar of a reading week as the one previous.  A week ago I ploughed through 3 books from my to-be-reviewed pile and boy, did that feel great!  I love having a book blog, but I do feel the sometimes heavy obligation hanging over me to read the growing pile of review and ARC copies that keep landing on my doorstep.  I'm not complaining!  I love having a blog and sharing in the community and I consider it an honour and a priviledge that authors and publishers send me books to review.  But I DO consider it a "job" of sorts in that way.  They are sending me books in return for my honest opinion and to help get the word out about thier novel.  And for that I am profoundly grateful. 

Tonight we are having our first official meeting for our Family Book Club (and hopefully come up with a "name") to discuss "Three Day Road" by Joseph Boyden.  I am sooo looking forward to my mom, sisters and neice coming over!  We will be having tea and THIS:



Which I will be baking this afternoon.  I have made this pie a few times before and I can say that without a doubt that it is DEADLY.  You can find the recipe for it here:  The Pioneer Woman Scrumptious Pie

You can also read more Sunday Salons here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

SIGNED "OUTLANDER" GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, guys, I am practically HYPERVENTILATING OVER HERE!! 

Today I went to see Diana Gabaldon speak and read a couple of excerpts from "Echo in the Bone" AND THEN I was able to get a couple of books signed.  One for me, and ONE:

For the lucky winner of my awesome fantastic SIGNED BY AUTHOR "OUTLANDER" BOOK  GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!

You are only allowed to bring two books to sign, and I really really wanted to give her book away on here so more people can be turned on to her awesomeness... SO...

I am opening the contest to the US and Canada as I have purchased the book myself and will also cover the shipping.

 To enter:

  • submit a comment with your EMAIL address. (1)
  • become a follower, or let me know you already are a follower and you get (3) more entries.
  • Post this in your sidebar and you get (3) more entries!
  • Twitter or post about this in the body of your blog and get another (3)

That is  total of 10 chances to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 The contest ends on November 12th and the winner will be announced on November 13th, PLUS I will email the winner as well.  The winner will then have 7 days to respond with their mailing address.  If by Nov 29th I have not heard from the winner I will do another random draw. 

GOOD LUCK, HOSERS!  (for those of you that do not know what a Hoser is, I direct you to one of my FAVOURITE websites on the planet for die hard Gabaldon fans "The Ladies of Lallybroch" which was started by a Canadian hoser and now has hundreds of members and we check in and talk books!



Friday, October 16, 2009

THE WINNER OF SARAH STONICH'S "THE ICE CHORUS" IS.........




So, Natalie, please email me or post in comments (which I will not publish) your mailing address, so I can order the book for you and have it shipped to your house! 

THANK YOU to everyone who entered!!! 

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND EVERYONE!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

REVIEW: DEWEY The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World


Dewey - by Vicky Myron with Bret Witter

This book found its way to my hands via Hachette Book Group (THANK YOU!!!)  and what I love most about it is, without question, that cover.  I mean, would you just LOOK at that CAT??!  And yes, that really is the actual Dewey on the cover posing for a photographer. 

"Dewey" is a pleasant read, but not exactly a page turner.  If I were being honest here, and I think you would like me to be, I would say that throughout most of the book I was thinking, "What's the point?"  I understand that this poor little guy was dropped by someone in the book return slot on one of the coldest nights of the year in Spencer, Iowa, and that the Librarian, Vicky, found him and instantly he became a fixture at the local library.  Got it.    But the book does lay it on a little thick on how much of a super hero this cat is.  Don't get me wrong, I AM a cat person.  I HAVE a cat.  And I love her to pieces.  And one of the best things about reading this was the very typical cat shinanigans that Dewey would partake in in the library.  You know, the finding of Dewey in various boxes, some too small so half of his body would be lazily overflowing; the paw lashing out at the typewriter carrier everytime it loudly gets clacked to the other side.  That kind of thing.  And Vicky had a hard life, she is a breast cancer survivor, and also got through a horrible divorce, and her relationship with her daughter is strained to the max.  That is until Dewey comes along. 

And the book goes even further with Dewey becoming uber famous (which he did) and claiming that through his noteriety he, quite literally, saved the town of Spencer.  That through Dewey throngs of tourists came to the local library and thus spent money and brought world-wide attention to the town.  I'm not doubting this happened, it was just the way in which the author wrote about it that had me rolling my eyes a few times. 

Boy, do I sound like a crabby reviewer or what?  What kind of reviewer doesn't like a nice heartwarming book about a library kitty! 

Okay, maybe this is all sounding a little harsh.  The thing is I didn't NOT like it so much as I have no feelings about the book whatsoever.  It just left me... meh.  You know what I mean?  In fact I'm staring at it now thinking, "What actually happened in this book?" 

But hey, what do I know, considering it was #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list! 

The book was good for the cat shinanigans, good for the heartwarming parts with Vicky and Dewey and other patrons of the library.  The sections where Dewey helped kids with special needs, for example, were so sweet!  And he really did seem extraordinary in many ways. 

I'll leave you to judge for yourself, if you decide to pick it up and give it a go.  And let me know your thoughts! 

RATING:  2/5

Here is the CBS piece they did on Dewey:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

REVIEW: THE MURDER OF KING TUT

The Murder of King Tut

by James Patterson and Martin Dugard

Like a lot of people I have always been fascinated by King Tut and ancient Egypt, so when this book came in the mail from Little Brown Publishing company (THANK YOU!) I was super excited! 

The novel successfully weaves three different perspectives, one being James Patterson in the present while writing the book; the next one of Howard Carter in the 20th century, the famous Egyptologist who discovered Tut's tomb; and lastly of King Tut himself and his court in ancient Egypt.  At first I was put off by the modern language of the world of Tut, but once I got beyond that I found I was getting nicely caught up in the mystery of his death.  In fact, I had never really thought about it before! 

The story begins in present day Florida with Patterson on the phone with his agent.  You get the sense that he is not only an extremely successful and busy author, but that his agent has an enormous belief in his abilities to take on yet another novel to write among the many others weighed down by deadlines.  Thus the idea for the Tut book was born. 

In ancient Egypt we are introduced to Tut's parents, and we discover that he is not the natural born son of his mother Nefertiti.  He is the bastard child of the King's and when he dies his mother quickly claims Tut as the successor to the thrown, much to the hatred and disgust of the power hungry Aye.  Here is where our first hint as to the murder of Tut may have been carried out. Patterson allows us to peer inside the heads of some characters, and the diplorable Aye is one of them.  In the beginning he has already hatched a plan to become Pharaoh, he only needs to be patient to carry it out.   But there is much more to the story, and like any good mystery novel, it is not until the very end that we get a satisfying "Miss Marple" type conclusion. 

Meanwhile, back in the early 20th century, Howard Carter is uncovering one tomb or cache after another that is NOT Tutankhamun.  He is running out of money and time to make the discovery of the century and his career.  Almost every chapter heading has a geographical place in Egypt where Carter is digging, and then the next time we see Tut and his court we are in the exact same place, only in ancient times. 

Eventually, as we know, Tut's tomb is discovered, but it is the drama surrounding its excavation  that was my favourite part of the book.  Drowning in the politics of the day, Carter is a rebel with a cause and I completely adored his moxy.  I may have read a National Geographic magazine as a kid about the event, but reading it in dramatic prose was much more satisfying. 

The Murder of King Tut is a fast and fun read.  If you were anything like most people my age, you likely had an interest in King Tut as a child and this book may appeal to you.  It may even renew your curiousity on the subject and have you "googling" Tut and his tomb.  It made me think of King Tut in a whole new way, and also reminded me of a question I have long asked myself but have forgotten.  Why of all the pharaohs of Egypt is Tut such a household word?  Is it because he was the "boy" king?  Is it because of this very mystery that Patterson attempts to solve?  Whatever the answer is, this book is a straightforward read and I actually enjoyed it, once I got into the style in which it was written. 

RATING:  3.5/5

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TEASER TUESDAY


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB  at Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along!

The rules are simple:
  • Grab your current read
  • Flip to any random page
  • select 2 sentences from anywhere on that page
  • Try not to include any SPOILERS! 
  • Be sure to tell everyone the title of the book so they can add it to their TBR list! 

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent:

"The only witch in Andover is you,"  I said, trying to free myself.  Her arms squeezed harder, bruising my ribs, making it difficult to draw a breath.


For more Teasers click here.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

DEWEY'S 24 HOUR READ-A-THON!


Save me from myself!!! ! I have JUST signed up to participate in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon that takes place on October 24th.  Why do you ask?  I say WHY NOT!!!  It actually sounds like a whole lot of sleep deprived fun!  Apparently this tradition was started years ago by a woman named Dewey.  And after she passed away a couple of years ago a few loyal book blogging folks decided to keep up this cool event for everyone to join in! 

When you sign up as a reader, all you have to do is read for 24 hours, and update your blog as you do so.  You can adjust this to fit your own needs, such as myself who has a family to run, I'll be taking breaks throughout the day to feed and water them.  And then I'll be back at reading, posting and our lovely cheerleaders will be posting mini-challenges through-out the 24 hour period for the readers to have fun with and take a bit of a brain break!    The read-a-thon is world wide and happens at exactly the same time, they have included all of the relevant timezones so you will be reading along with everyone else. 

I am going to try my "darndest" to stay awake the full 24 hours, God only knows I've done it enough at work, and having a whole lot less fun! 

You can sign up as a reader OR as a cheerleader!  Click here for more details. 

Oh.. and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!  I'll see you on Tuesday!!!

:)

Friday, October 9, 2009

REVIEW: THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL


The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory


I read this book a few years ago, but it still remains my favourite of Gregory's novels.  I remember when I sat down to read it, I was literally flipping the pages like a crazy person and basically did nothing for 3 whole days while I inhaled the thing.  (much to my husbands extreme eye-rolling) 

The summary:  (from the jacket)

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII.  Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen.  However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival:  her sister Anne.  Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands. 

"The Other Boleyn Girl" reads like a movie script, so it's really not all that surprising that a couple of years ago the movie, in fact, came out.  I have to admit, I never did go see it.  The book was such a great and fast read that I thought the movie may not do it justice.  I felt a lot of sympathy for Mary in the beginning, and grew to loathe Anne. Mary is powerless against the mammoth greed her family has to gain power and riches from the King, and she desperately tries to please the king in every way.  And as we begin to realize that the king's affections are turning to Anne, we see Mary wilt and then rise to the occasion as Anne's scheming partner to gain her the crown.   And then there's George.  He provides some levity in the book, but he is not without his faults.  And the three of them form Team Anne as they do everything they can to keep Anne from going insane with her antics of trying to stay in the King's favour and eventually become his queen. They also form a trio that eventually hides a deadly secret. 

Having very little knowledge of King Henry VIII's history, I was rivetted by the story.  Oh, I knew the basics, like he had gone through a few wives, and had a pattern of doing away with them in a brutal way, but not the rich and lavish details of the court and the politics of the time.  I mentioned a couple of days ago that the mark of a good historical fiction novel is that you want to then go and research more about the subject.  GOOGLE :  HENRY VIII.  Which I totally did.  And then I went to the library and piled my arms with books about him and his wives and watched documentaries.  It was awesome!  So, when I heard that there was going to be a TV series called "The Tudors" I was super excited!  Until I saw that they had cast Jonathan Rhys  Meyers in the part.

 Tell me, Hollywood, how this:


Became THIS:




Help me Rhonda. 

But I digress......


Through fantastic writing, and tight editing, The Other Boleyn Girl will have you turning its pages till the wee hours of the night, and likely thinking of the characters when you are not in the act of reading it. 


RATING: 4/5

For more about Philippa Gregory and her works you can visit her website here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

REVIEW: HUGH AND BESS by SUSAN HIGGINBOTHAM and GIVEAWAY!!!





Not to be over dramatic, but this book came at the PERFECT time in my life. I literally JUST finished “Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden, and while not being a BAD book, it was not an overly HAPPY one. And from the first sentence of Hugh and Bess I knew that it was going to be a delightful read. Which it totally WAS.    I LOVED IT.

I really do not know much about Edward II, but interestingly enough I DID know about the standoff at Calais so parts of the book were very cool for that reason. What I LOVED about the novel is  that each of the characters had a very distinctive VOICE. And Bess’s voice is so endearing, I liked her immediately. She is only 13 when we meet her, and she is a widow (thaaaat’s right.. I said WIDOW) and her parents have figured she had been widowing around long enough and it was high time for her to be married off.. again.  Bess is not impressed, to say the least, especially when she finds out that her dear friend Joan is marrying her brother Will who is around their age, and Bess has to marry this old guy who is a whole 32 years old for heaven’s sake!
Eventhough this novel is set in the 14th century Bess's character is, in many ways, very typical of a any thirteen year old girl.  For example how she is secretly annoyed at the fact the Joan has developed breasts long before she has.

"So why didn't you tell me?  Don't you want to marry Will?"
"No."
"Why?"
"I have my reasons."
This had become Joan's favourite saying since she had started her monthly courses and developed those breasts of hers. 

She is feisty, and outspoken, but also self conscious.  All completely endearing qualities.  Hugh, although relatively handsome, has a dark family history which horrifies Bess.  But since she has no choice in the matter agrees to marry him. 

Flashbacks to Hugh's past help us to understand his character and how it is vastly different to that of his distasteful and cruel father and Grandfather.   He is a respectable and lovely man who is always trying to "do the right thing".  We also learn of Emma, Hugh's first real love whom he will never be permitted to marry.    A very respectable woman in her own right,  who knows the rules of the court well enough to know she will never be married to Hugh, the only man she has ever really loved. 

Throughout the story we are gently taken along as Hugh and Bess's feelings for one another grow, and we learn that their love is the stuff of fairy tales.  That, which is to say, is not without its nightmares.

"Hugh and Bess"  is a love story, and it is very well written and lovely to read.  Personally, I could not put it down and read it in two days.  And I will be ordering Higginbotham's other book "The Traitor's Wife" and then "The Stolen Crown" when it comes out.  If this book is any indication of the story telling ability of the author than I know I will LOVE her other books as well.  Historical fiction can be tricky.  You need to have enough HISTORY to frame the story in it's place in time, but not TOO much and not TOO DRY to make it like a text book.  Higginbotham's historical fiction blends the "historical" and the "fiction" perfectly.  In fact, in my opinion, the mark of a great historical fiction novel is that you want to go on after you finish it and devour anything having to do with the family or historical persons portrayed in the book.  Higginbotham's novel made me want to do that very thing.    Also, the mark of ANY good book is at the very very end, when you finally close its cover , you actually sigh audibly as in "that was SUCH a great book." 

RATING:  4.5/5

You can read more about Susan Higginbotham and her works at her website here.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY PORTION OF THIS POST!!!!!

The publisher,  Source Books, of Hugh and Bess has GRACIOUSLY allowed me to giveaway a COPY OF THE BOOK!!!!!

Here is how to enter:


  • Leave a comment with your email adress. (one entry)


  • Becomea  follower and leave a SEPERATE comment that you have done so or that you are one already. (2 entries)


  • Post or Twitter about this giveaway and then leave a SEPERATE comment providing the link. (2 entries)


  • Put this giveaway in your SIDEBAR for 2 more entries!

This giveaway is open until October 30th at midnight Alberta Time, and the winners will be announced on October 31.  The winners will have ONE WEEK from that DATE to reply by sending me their mailing address or their winning number will be forfeit. 
The winner will also be notified via email. 

GOOD LUCK!!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

TEASER TUESDAY!


TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading.

The rules are simple and ANYONE can play along!
  • 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 is from "The Christmas Cookie Club" by Ann Pearlman:

Laurie surprised her with a game of peekaboo to capture that moment.  Rosie bites her lower lip with her teeth and shakes her head, her eyes fill with tears, and I know now that she believes a baby is worth risking her marriage for. 

You can read more teasers here.

Have a TERRIFIC day!!!