Category: Book Reviews

Three Sisters Island Trilogy

   Nora Roberts is a new guilty pleasure. You may laugh that I say new when she’s been around for a while and has written more than 100 novels-but she’s new to me! I enjoy reading her witch books. They have magic, the right amount of romance and good always triumphs over evil. Her latest series is the Dark Witch trilogy. I’ve only gotten around to reading the first one. I enjoyed the storyline, the horses, the men. Thankfully I had not read Gallaghers of Ardmore, like so many other fans have and I was not tainted by the similarities between the two.

I’m not writing today about those though. I’m posting about the Three Sisters Island Trilogy. At this point in time I’ve completed Dance Upon Air and Heaven and Earth. I’m such a sucker for 3 sisters, being one of three myself. When you add the elements Earth, Wind, Fire… (Nora where’s Water?) It really gets me going. Nora Roberts characters have their struggles, their character flaws, accomplishments and failures. Despite being a fantasy trilogy the 3 Sisters and the people they share their lives with are quite lifelike. I look forward to getting around to reading the final book. I will probably pick it up fondly at a used book store and crack it open while sitting on a blanket overlooking the sea <3

La Vida Vampire-Book Review

By: Nancy Haddock

This book caught my eye immediately at the bookstore. It lured me in by means of a vampire and a title in Spanish. I’m a sucker for vampire novels, and I’m ever still learning to speak in Spanish. Put those things together and you have my interest. Next I turned the book over and read the synopsis and it takes place in St. Augustine Florida. I love St. Augustine, ok no more needed I bought the book.

Francesca is not your ordinary vampire. She enjoys curling up on the couch, watching reruns, surfing and takes online courses. She is adjusting to life in this century and it is not easy for her. There’s old romance new romance and a murder that all take place in picturesque St. Augustine.

I have read my share of vampire novels. This book did not quench my blood lust for a vampire tale, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. The characters are fun; the storyline was easy to follow without being too predictable and it had some history! That’s all you need for this easy read.

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Dwellers of the Rainbow~ Book Review

Dwellers of the Rainbow

The Fremont Culture in Capitol Reef Country

Rose Houk

There are many theories about the Fremont people. They were named after the Fremont river which runs through eastern Utah (check) and are dated back to 900 A.D. This book is a sneak peek into the discoveries of the Fremont culture; how they lived by what they ate, dressed in and passed their time. I took away from this book, the Fremont thrived and survived in the harsh, unpredictable rocky country of Utah. This was one of the first books I’ve read in its entirety about a specific Native American culture and it has left me wanting to learn more about the Fremont and other native cultures.

  Recently my husband and I had an opportunity to visit some of these beautifully, rugged places in Utah and learn about the Fremont and even saw some of their rock art. Their rock art is in the form of petroglyphs (carved in rock), or pictographs (painted on rock), and was so unique to see. No one knows if these particular petroglyphs and pictographs are telling a story, revealing “hunting magic,” or simply doodles of a past culture. This originally sparked my interest in the Fremont people and I’d like to read more.  

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The Restitution by M.L. Tyndall

After reading Blackbeard’s tales written by Paul Boone, I was feeling on a pirate and high sea kick. I had The Restitution sitting on my “to read” shelf for years and finally opened it’s pages and poured into the story before me. I am now so glad that I had kept it all this time. It did not disappoint. I feel as if I must put a disclaimer in here, for all the haters of course. It is the story of a young lady on board a pirate ship in 1669, who struggles with her faith in Christ and her adventure in retrieving her son who was kidnapped from some nasty pirates. Not a very convincing tale, especially after reading about the cruelty of pirates in Paul Boone’s book. None the less, it was a  wavy ride and I enjoyed every bit of it. It was like reading a spin off of Pirates of the Caribbean. This book, by M.L Tyndall, was actually the 3rd in a trilogy. I was lucky enough to pick up where all the action was, quenching my thirst for sword fights and such. I found the characters fascinating and now want to go back and read the first two books. If you are looking for an escape, set sail with me and read The Legacy of the King’s Pirates series.

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Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by: Laurie Viera Rigler

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, the title alone is right up my alley. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m an addict but I do love me some Jane Austen and Regency England. And when a character gets transported back in time to Miss Austen’s very own London, Bath and countryside of course I’m right there along for the ride. What Austen fan wouldn’t be? Now if you’re a true lover of Jane Austen’s tales you know them to be wholesome and written from the very depths of heart and mind. This is a playful tale, not to be taken seriously but rather to sit back and enjoy on a sunny afternoon on a nice patch of grass. People write, and everyone wants to be a critic. Stop comparing this to that and appreciate it for its own work. With a title like Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict what truly did you expect? Of course it’s a silly romp of a tale so sit back relax and enjoy the ride. Seriously have a glass of wine I can recommend many of varietal. I chose to read confessions of an Jane Austen Addict as well as the author’s second novel in the confession series, Rude Awakenings. In Rude Awakenings, the Regency England woman gets transported into the blonde body of a California girl in 2009. I enjoyed going back and forth between these two texts and getting glimpses into what each character was going through. I enjoyed the story line to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict more because it took place in a time and country I can only dream of. However, Rude Awakenings is hilarious and should not go overlooked. What would you do if you woke up in another body and another time and every day things such as cell phones, televisions, running water and the lack of horse-drawn carriages came as a shock to you? I know what I would do, but that’s a post for another time. 

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Blackbeard, To Live by the drink To die by the sword

 

This story about the most fearsome pirate of all time is the debut work of Paul Boone. After reading the first few pages of this tale I knew I had to read what came next. Not only am I speaking about this story of Blackbeard, but of what Boone will write next. The book is a time line of events from when Blackbeard became captain to when he met his death. Each section is a detailed account of pirate life, including the demons and the madness that consumed a man named Edward Teach. I soaked up the descriptions, the metaphors and the images that danced across my mind as the story unfolded. To say it was “well written,” does not do the writer justice.  If you are my historical fiction fans, this is your ship to sail.

Paul Boone is a friend and fellow author. When he casually mentioned to me one afternoon that he had written a book about Blackbeard, I had no idea that I would be up in the late hours of the night engulfed in this world of piracy. I had no idea that I would come to love just as much hate this legend of the most notorious pirate of old. It was a pleasant break from the glamorous pirates played by Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp. These were cursing, raping, murderous, disgusting pirates crewed by one of the most evil men of all time!

Read this book I tell you. As if your life depended on it!

 

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David Baldacci’s Absolute Power

Absolute Power, was my first novel by David Baldacci and it sure did not disappoint. If anything, it made me realize that I’ve been missing out on mystery thrillers. This particular novel takes place in Washington DC where you have the working class and the power-hungry pitting against each other. Not only was the plot full of shockers and twists from the very beginning, I personally like the name dropping of different places around town. It was quite funny that I was on UVA campus when the author notified the reader that the main character went to UVA Law school and hung out on “The Corner,” but I am straying away from why this was such a good book. There is conflict around every corner, and romance well there is hope for romance. It contains the best of epic tales, “good versus evil,” where good triumphs. Yes David Baldacci’s Absolute Power makes for a delightful read. It says something when a person who is not much of a reader (not myself of course) can finish it rather quickly. In fact they could hardly put it down. I must say that if you enjoy well written words on a page and well spun tales, then you too will have a difficult time closing Absolute Power by David Baldacci.

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My favorite Book(s) in 2013

I would like my favorite book in 2013 to be Reading Lolita in Tehranby Azar Nafisi. It was an honest story about the oppression of Muslim Women in Iran, and how a group of women met secretly to discuss works of Nabokov and Austen. It was a secret society book club where the girls grew to become women through the powerful words they read. Reading Lolita in Tehran was an eye- opening, heart- softening book. I read about the difficult lives of these women. The story was filled with hope and had so much to offer but despite all this it was not my favorite book of 2013. I kept wanting it to be my favorite because it touched a significant part of me, but it can’t truly be my favorite because I did not enjoy it.

I feel shallow and fickle, but my honest to goodness favorite read this year was The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate. I found it tucked away in the basement of a thrift store in Old Town Alexandria. It was marked down to $1 and then had a 50% off sticker on it. I had previously read two other books by Melissa Senate. I read, The Solomon Sisters Wise Up and See Jane Date and loved these witty chicklits. This was a must have. Noticing my excitement my boyfriend offered to purchase the novel for me. He is such a big spender. When the book was placed on the counter the clerk told us all paperbacks were half off that day; it turned out to be only a quarter. I skipped off with my boyfriend, feeling light and giddy for rescuing this book.

Now you ask, why is it my favorite? Melissa Senate knows how to write real characters. I don’t mean she knows how to make fictional characters come alive, but she knows these true people. The heroine could easily be your best friend, the aunt playing the part is your aunt or nagging grandmother, and she writes these people! They are real, and yet this is fiction. So it is ok to imagine and escape and not get caught up in someone’s memoir. Here it is safe. In this particular story there is a little magic which I am a sucker for, “Holly Maguire’s grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine.” After Holly’s grandmother dies, Holly takes over her cooking business and learns of her grandmother’s fortune telling past. She finds comfort in her grandmother’s recipes and journal and finds love on Blue Crab Island. Each recipe calls for a fervent wish or a memory and the book itself includes cooking recipes. These are ingredients for my favorite book; Love, Magic and Food!

I encourage everyone to read Reading Lolita in Tehran. Doing so will give the reader a better perspective of what life is like in Tehran. It will remind us of the hardships women still face over in Iran at this moment. Then after that reality check, share it with your friends and family and read something comforting such as The Love Goddess’ Cooking School. While doing so, don’t forget how good we have it in the United States. Be sure to appreciate all the freedoms and liberties and books!

After reading Azar Nafisi’s memoir I felt inspired to help the women and girls in Iran. If you would like to help women in Iran suffering from abuse and neglect visit http://www.omid-e-mehr.org/donate.php  and make a donation.


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MY Favorite book of the year 2012

I’m not going to lie. I’ve read more books in years passed, however this year I did manage to read a few. By far my favorite book of 2012 would have to be The Walk by Richard Paul Evans. I feel as if this novel invented the term emotional roller coaster. The coaster already begins hundreds of feet in the air (I’d imagine you would have to take an elevator to get on the ride,) and plummets you almost immediately after take off. You feel any moment now it will take a drastic turn or begin to soar upward, but after dropping you it takes you for a loop and you continue falling until suddenly you Stop- and now you are inching back up the track for what you know will be another dive.

It is the first book in a series of novels about Alan Christoffersen’s walk from Seattle, Washington to Key West Florida after losing the love of his life, his home & his business. The character development makes this real. You feel Alan’s loss, you ache with him along the road. The descriptions on the way take you on this journey across the United States. I am seriously looking forward to continuing this trip!

Now what was your favorite book you read in the year 2012?

 

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