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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Current giveaway: “Flight of the Goose” by Lesley Thomas

  

 

Title: Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess

Author: Jerramy Fine

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 320

ISBN: 978-1592403523

Publisher: Gotham

Date of Publication: January 10, 2008

2.5 stars: I really wanted to like this

Someday My Prince Will Come: True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess

I bought this book eagerly, especially after seeing all the positive reviews on Amazon. I wish I could be giving it one, and I know this my review will probably not do well in the rating system, as I’ve seen all the semi-negative reviews get tons of negative votes and comments…. but I want to be honest.

The blurb says that when she was six, Jerramy Fine decided she would marry Windsor family member Peter Phillips.  Great, cute- but the problem is that Jerramy didn’t grow up.  I understand wanting to be a princess, pretty much all girls do. But there is reality. I mean, Jerramy is essentially a groupie. If by chance any English royalty ever struck up a friendship with her, they’d most likely be appalled and creeped out when they found out her whole life was spent obsessed with them. Many reviewers have said they believe this story is about never giving up on your dreams… but really to me it is all about a girl who was obsessed with somebody she never met and didn’t know. Jerramy really comes off like a stalker. It would have been different if she just loved England, and didn’t have such an agenda.

Perhaps if this story was fiction, and not a memoir, I’d be more accepting of it. However I could not get into it. I don’t blame all of it on Jerramy of course. I couldn’t help but be appalled when reading a part about Jerramy and her mother being in the grocery store and her mother yelled at another customer about what something was made of. Then when Jerramy complained her mother had embarrassed her, her mom replied something along the lines of: “If I’ve made one person question what they were eating, then it was worth it.” I’m sorry, but that really struck something with me. I cannot see it ever being okay to embarrass your child like that. It’s no wonder Jerramy wanted to escape from her family.

Again, perhaps if this was called fiction, and not a memoir, I’d be more accepting. As it is, although I wanted to like it, I cannot give it a positive review.  And the majority of the reviews for this one are exactly that: positive.  So am I just not getting it? I don’t know. 

Make up your own mind by buying your own copy on Amazon.

Missed my last post? It was:  BUYING BOOKS AS PRESENTS

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 Current giveaway: “Flight of the Goose” by Lesley Thomas

 

Title: Mistress of Mellyn

Author: Victoria Holt

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 336

ISBN: 978-0312384159

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of Publication: December 23, 2008

4 stars: There’s a reason for all those good reviews!

Mistress of Mellyn
 

Though many other reviewers mention this, I really do agree with the fact that this book is a cross between Rebecca and Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics). In any case, it is hard to think of a story where a governess works for a widower without thinking of “Jane Eyre”, and that is exactly what happens in this story. And it is hard to think of a story with the ghostly presence of the former wife, without thinking of “Rebecca”.  But if you like both of those, like me, you’ll like this too! 

Though this story echoed of both of those older books, I still found myself drawn into the story, and enjoying it. The main character, Marty aka Martha aka Miss Leigh, was interesting enough and had a bit more of a spine than Bronte’s Jane Eyre. I thought the twist about the little girl explained events very well, though I felt that the girl warmed to Marty a little quickly.

If I had any criticism about this book, it would be that the romance also developed a little quickly. I felt like it came out of nowhere, or just that there weren’t enough clues pointing to the fact that it was developing. Overall though, I really do recommend this book, and I am not surprised at all the glowing reviews it has received.

Also, many might not know, but Victoria Holt is also known under quite a few different names.  The most popular- or at least the one I’d heard of- is Jean Plaidy!  She was a busy, busy lady.

(Currently at ‘bargain price’ at Amazon for $6.00)

Missed my last post? It was: BOOKS IN YOUR CAR

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Current giveaway: “Flight of the Goose” by Lesley Thomas

Title: The Agency

Author: Ally O’Brien

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 320

ISBN: 978-0312379445

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of Publication: February 3, 2009

4 stars: Way better than I expected

The Agency
 

“Eight thirty-seven in the morning, en route from Putney Heath to Piccadilly, first crisis of the day.  People push the crisis button in my business like a lab rat pushes a lever to get pellets of food, but this is a big one.  Lowell Bardwright was just found hanged by his Hermès tie, his fingers clenched in a death grip around his dick.”

(The Agency, page 1)

I kinda flip-flopped on how I felt about this book. It definitely caught my interest, but then again it’s hard to avoid a first page that mentions erotic asphyxiation. I guess you have to figure out whether or not you can handle a book that is in your face about certain things, among them a woman who knows what she wants and does something about it.

In our society women having sex has a negative connotation. Men who have lots of sex are applauded by their own sex, while women who have sex are considered loose. I admit, as a woman, I’ve felt that a woman was loose or slutty if she had a lot of sex, and that’s a view I think I need to overcome.

The main character in this book can be likened to Samantha from “Sex in the City”. She has sex, she isn’t ashamed of it, and she has no problem talking about it- for the most part. She’s fresh, and she’s what makes the book interesting. The bonus is that she works in publishing, which made it all the more interesting to me- someone crazy about all things books.

I ended up enjoying this book, and eagerly hoping for a sequel. That’s not to say it was all fun and games…. and sex. There are moments that I got all teary-eyed, as events unfolded that I couldn’t stop and hurt me (along with the main character). But yeah, if you think you can handle it– pick this book up asap.

Missed my last post?  It was: INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: “FLIGHT OF THE GOOSE BY LESLEY THOMAS”

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Flight of the Goose by Lesley Thomas was kindly offered to me by the author herself.  She also generously sent me a second copy to give away to a lucky reader.  I’ve had this interview sitting around for awhile and am sorry to say that I never got around to posting it.  So without further ado, here’s Lesley Thomas and I discussing her book.  See the bottom of the interview for details on how to win your own copy of Flight of the Goose.

 

 

Flight of the Goose

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Lesley Thomas was nice enough to say yes when I asked for a short interview.  So a big thank you and welcome!

Q.  My first question is about the cover art of “Flight of the Goose”.  The front is what looks like a sepia photograph depicting a beautiful landscape (my guess is tundra?) with a child running gleefully through it.  Did you have any input with the cover and are you pleased with the result?

A. That is an old family photo. It was taken in the region in which my book is set, Bering Strait. It is tundra, Inupiaq territory and the land of so many of my relatives through marriage, and their ancestors going back centuries. My Inupiaq stepfather used to be carried on his grandmothers back through those very hills as she foraged. I grew up there too and spent much time alone in those high hills, roaming.

Though a few readers, some macho men, thought the cover should have shown a shaman mask or perhaps something with guns, (saying the girl is too “domestic” and more for a woman’s novel, like that is a bad thing. Well, I am a woman and women read my book as well as men, and the book is about a woman. I love the photo and what it represents. I think showing a child is perfect. Perhaps she is the child born from the union of the two characters. And the photo shows the land, such a big part of the story. I love how the small mountain in the photo was exactly like the mountain my main character roamed upon in summer and through her childhood (picking blueberries). And the hills are of course where Gretchen has her spiritual connection to the Earth and where she spies on her birdman. The photo doesn’t show it very clearly but the little girl has blueberries on her face from gorging on them like a bear cub, from the ancient traditional freedom of “summer camp”.

Q.  What inspired you to write this book?  I confess to knowing little to none about Alaska’s people and/or traditions.  Did you hope to enlighten those who may be in my shoes? 

A. I didn’t really set out to enlighten others so much as to understand myself better, maybe. An identity thing. Like the first part of my novel where narrator says how you have to look back from a distance to understand. I had a very rare and complex upbringing. The Arctic is my homeland and where all my family still lives; it is where I grew up and was formed – I always feel moved very deeply in my soul when in the Arctic, more than other places on Earth. My best friends were born there and died there. In addition, I am deeply bonded with the Inupiaq culture, from my early exposure to village life, and my mother encouraged me to assimilate, then through the family marriages that meshed outsiders and Native. I was taught – nurtured in – the Inupiaq ways by many traditional mentors and then my stepfather and his mother, so it is an intrinsic part of me; I am bicultural. (I think part of it might be genetic too, since my grandfather was from the Arctic, in Norway’s Lapland. It looks exactly the same as the photo, and there are reindeer, wolverine, the same berries, the same ways of sharing and honoring spirits and elders. And I am part Sami so am descended from hunting-gathering nomads of the Arctic). I also wrote the book to honor an old childhood friend who died at a very early age – in a way the story is a eulogy for her. Her spirit visited me a lot at night in dreams while I was writing the story. She influenced me – and it – tremendously. At times I felt like was channeling the Otherworld while writing, in a shamanistic way.

That’s the mystic’s answer – Freud would say I had ‘complexes’ to work out. Whenever I write a book it always manages to get set in the Arctic, as if I am unconsciously compelled to go there. I wrote a science fiction novel and even it was on an Arctic-like planet with hunter gatherers. But I also always write about the conflicts and creative union of culture, the old and the new, outsider and indigenous, good and bad, all ambiguity you get when you combine two very different world views, and that is no doubt due to the way I was raised in my bicultural family. My next books (see bottom question) will be set in the Arctic.

All that being said, sure, I wanted to let others in on the great beauty of the Arctic, its animals and people, and to warn them that is very fragile and endangered. I did want to preserve the old ways somehow, and to honor them.

Q.  I would think your surroundings would influence your writing but I notice you now live in Seattle.  Just out of curiosity, how much of the book was written in Seattle and how much in Alaska? 

A. I don’t know – I visit family a lot and spend summer in the homeland, asking all kinds of questions and absorbing new cultural and earth lessons. I never stop learning or researching and would like to keep amending Flight of the Goose. I keep learning new things about subsistence and the Inupiaq traditions as the old people up there open up more and more. My brothers learn more from their wives, and Elders feel safer to talk about the old ways now that outsiders don’t disparage, abuse the knowledge, use it against Natives through colonization, or mock it racistly (not that I ever doubted- I always honored ancient ways. But the fact remains I have a white identity, I sure look white, and will always be an outsider). The old people also feel an urgency to pass knowledge and stories along while they are still alive.

Readers ask me a lot about why I live in Seattle when I so obviously love and know the Arctic. My living in Seattle but channeling and writing about the Far North reminds me of the Kite Runner author, writing about Afghanistan as an immigrant/refugee living in California. I have a love-hate relationship with the Arctic; it is not the land I want to get away from or feel pained by, or the bears (though I fear them as well as honor them) or mosquitoes or the cold and dark or the old culture, it is the society of Alaska I feel pained by. The dysfunction of the new Alaska. It is a frontier, a colony, a deeply ravaged land, the people in post traumatic stress and ongoing stress and I get traumatized by the emotional pain, especially as a sensitive, empathic woman.

Q.  How has your life changed since you wrote “Flight of the Goose”, and do you have plans for writing another novel sometime in the future?

A. It changed big time when I was doing a lot of author events and getting to teach at writers conferences, and took a hiatus from my day job. I got to make friends with other authors from all over the nation, and wear the hat of author for the first time and it felt great. I loved it. But now I am back to the daily grind of teaching ESL for a living, having learned the lesson that for most of us authors, we have to keep the day job. Literary fiction is not very lucrative for most of us, even if we get good reviews.

I will write another novel – probably an eco=thriller – set in the very post modern Arctic. Global warming is altering the Arctic swiftly and radically, more than any other place on Earth except the Moldaves. The renewed plans for rampant oil drilling, right off the coast of my hometown and the Chukchi Sea adds another dimension.

My other plan is to write a novel set in the ancient Arctic of Scandinavia and delve into my own genetic past.

Q.  Finally, let’s finish with my usual final bookish questions! What kind of books do you like to read? What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author? Finally, what are you reading now and why?

A. I just finished a book that delighted me: Finding Nouf, a mystery set in modern Saudi Arabia. I know a lot of Saudis at the university and since I was a kid was always fascinated with both archaic Bedouin and modern Wahabi-state controlled urbanites, especially the lives of women there. This book was well written and reminded me of Martin Cruz Smith’s work (he is a favorite, especially Polar Star) I read some reviews of Finding Nouf that criticized the author for being incorrect on some of her facts, but I feel a lot sympathy for that. We can’t be perfect. Also, I know editors and marketing teams are responsible for a lot; they will override an author and change things culturally if they feel it will make American readers like the book more.

Oh, to get back to your question: I love Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible, Peter Matthiesen’s At Play in the Field of the Lord, and the post-Victorians, especially Thomas Hardy. I love Dickens and Conrad, the Romantic poets (grew up on them, since we didn’t have TV). My first adult novel, which I read and loved at the age of 7 was To Kill a Mockingbird, followed quickly by Never Cry Wolf by Mowat.

This year I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction political science, economics, the rise of American Empire, and – if you will – apocalyptic science about climate change and peak oil, ecological breakdown. I am reading that “downer” stuff because I am concerned, and want to know what is happening and what is likely to happen. They are like my oracles. And I always love anything about Carl Jung or Joseph Campbell, or world mythology and anthropology.

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Huge thanks to Lesley Thomas.  If you’d like to be entered to win this amazing book, leave a comment here telling me why you want to win a copy of this book.  For an extra chance, you can blog/tweet about this contest- but be sure to tell me you did it, and provide a link 🙂

 

Missed my last post?  It was: FOCUSING ON CHARLAINE HARRIS: SOOKIE AND TRUE BLOOD FAQ

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Many of the searches that lead people to my blog have to do with Charlaine Harris and Sookie Stackhouse (Not to be confused with Sookie from Gilmore Girls!) . I can understand this, as I’ve mentioned her and her books quite a few times on here.  It’s picked up recently, I suppose, is due to the buzz about True Blood (link takes you to IMDB.com).  More and more people have starting watching this show (including me!), and while the reactions are mixed, people often want to know what the inspiration for the show was.  So, here is a post that will tell you (I hope) everything you need to know.

What are the books (in order) of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse Series?  Here’s the complete list of Sookie books:

Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 1)

Living Dead in Dallas (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 2)

Club Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 3)

Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4)

Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 5)

Definitely Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 6)

All Together Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 7) My Review: here

From Dead to Worse (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 8 )  My Review: here

Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9)  My Review: here

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10)

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11) NOT YET RELEASED

Okay, so those are the main books of the series, but if you start reading and think that maybe you’re missing some details- you’re right.  Charlaine Harris has collaborated with other authors and published short stories featuring her vampire universe in certain anthologies.  Some of these stories feature Sookie, while others are simply stories in the world Charlaine Harris has created

Where can I find these stories?  When should I read them? Is there a chronological order?

Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy

by Dana Stabenow, this book features the short story “Fairy Dust”.  It fits  features Sookie along with Claudine and Claude, and you should read it between books 4 and 5.

Night’s Edge: Dancers in the Dark\Her Best Enemy\Someone Else’s Shadow

by Charlaine Harris/Maggie Shayne, has the short story “Dancers in the Dark” by Harris.  It is not about Sookie, although the characters (Sean and Layla)  have a cameo in a later Sookie book.  It should probably be read between books 4 and 5.

Bite

by Laurell K. Hamilton, has the short story “One Word Answer.”  This story focuses on Sookie and her cousin Hadley (who was recently seen in an episode of “True Blood”) and is takes place between books 5 and 6.

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding

by Sherrilyn Kenyon, the story “Tacky” is not about Sookie but is in the general universe.  One of the main characters in this story, Dahlia, shows up in a later short story.  Consider reading it around book 6.

Many Bloody Returns

by Charlaine Harris/ Toni Kelner, again features Sookie in Harris’ short story “Dracula Night”.  Eric and Pam are also involved.  I don’t think it matters when you read it, but some suggest between books 4 and 5.

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe

by Charlaine Harris/ Toni Kelner, features Sookie in the story “Gift Wrap”.  (Niall also makes an appearance.) Only read this after book 8.

Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy

by Dana Stabenow, has another story featuring Sookie as well as her friend Amelia.  “Lucky” should be read between books 7 and 8.

Blood Lite: An Anthology of Humorous Horror Stories Presented by the Horror Writers Association

by Jim Butcher, the story “An Evening With Al Gore” is in the Sookie universe but does not feature her.  It doesn’t matter when it is read.

Strange Brew

by P. N. Elrod, again the story “Bacon” is in the same universe, but does not focus on Sookie.  Dahlia (mentioned above) shows up again.  Read after book 9.

Must Love Hellhounds

by Ilona Andrews, the short story “The Britlingens Go To Hell” by Harris does not feature Sookie, but is in the same universe.  (The Britlingens are seen in a book 7.)  Read after book 9.

Death’s Excellent Vacation

by Charlaine Harris, includes the short story”Two Blondes” featuring Sookie and Pam.  Read after book 10.

A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories)

Recently released, this is an anthology that contains only stories by Charlaine Harris (unlike the anthologies listed above).  It ONLY contains the stories “Fairy Dust,” “Dracula Night,” “One Word Answer,” “Lucky,” and “Gift Wrap.” All of these were previously released in different anthologies. They are not new stories.

What about True Blood ? Is the show following the books?

True Blood” is not exactly following the books.  Some things are the same, and for the most part, seasons one and two followed the plots of books one and two.  Season three has jumped all over. 

Season one was about the telepathic (meaning she can hear the thoughts of others) barmaid Sookie Stackhouse meeting a vampire (Bill Compton), and dealing with a string of murders that happened around them.  This season, and in particular the first couple of episodes had a LOT of SEX in it.  This is not a show you should watch with your parents!  I admit to being slightly turned off my the amount of sex, but once I was able to get in touch with the characters I started to enjoy the series.  My brother had this to say: “It’s about fighting and killing and sex.  What’s not to like?”  Characters in the books like Sam, Jason, Lafayette, Bill, Eric, Pam, Tara, and Arlene all star.

 Season two dealt with murders again; this time Sookie went to Dallas to help find a missing vampire and deal with an over-enthusiastic church.  Harris has and is helping out HBO with the show, but again they are not following the books to the letter. 

Season three started involving vampire royalty, and heavily followed an invented plotline revolving around the distribution of “v” or vampire blood as a drug.

Who plays Sookie, Bill, Eric, Sam, etc on the show?

Sookie Stackhouse- Anna Paquin

Jason Stackhouse- Ryan Kwanten

Tara Thornton- Rutina Wesley

Sam Merlotte- Sam Trammell

Bill Compton- Stephen Moyer

Eric Northman- Alexander Skarsgård

A full list of characters and the actors who play them can be found on the show’s IMDB page.

Is Anna Paquin dating Stephen Moyer?  Is she pregnant?

At this time, they’re engaged.  And though there have been rumors, I’m pretty sure that Anna is not preggers.

Where can I watch “True Blood” online?

Not anywhere legally, that I know of.  The show is on 9:00 EST Sunday nights on HBO, and the season generally runs around 13 episodes.  Season one was on from June until November, with season two being on from June through September.  Some episodes may be available on HBO on Demand if you have it, or you can buy True Blood: The Complete First Season (HBO Series) on DVD now, and you can also buy True Blood: The Complete Second Season (HBO Series) though I’m not sure when the third season will be released.  The show will continue with a fourth season in the summer of 2011.

True Blood: The Complete First Season (HBO Series)True Blood: The Complete Second Season (HBO Series)

 Has Charlaine Harris written other stuff?

Yes! Charlaine Harris has written many other books.  I love her series about Aurora Teagarden. There are eight books, starting with Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Book 1).  She also wrote a series about Lily Bard, which has five books and starts with Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1).  Neither of those deal with the supernatural world (vampires, witches, werewolves). Harris’ newest series is about Harper Connelly, a woman who was struck by lightning and can now find bodies. It starts with Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1) and the fourth book was out at the end of October 2009.

Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Book 1)Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1)Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1)

Hope some of this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

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Title: A Leap

Author: Anna Enquist

Format: Papberack

Number of Pages: 100

ISBN: 978-1592642588

Publisher: The Toby Press

Date of Publication: April 1, 2009

3 stars: Okay, but not for me

 

A Leap
 

 

This book of short stories is by Dutch author Anna Enquist. I had never heard of her, but the blurb says she is a “musician, a psychoanalyst, a poet, and a novelist” and also a best-selling author in other countries…. so I thought I couldn’t go wrong with picking up this book.

First off, the book is only 100 pages. This is something that is displayed on the product page, but I rarely pay attention to… I expect that many other customers may do the same, so therefore this is a warning that the book is short- something I was disappointed with. Also, the ‘monologues’ just weren’t very connected in my opinion. I thought these monologues would all be related, or have some interaction with each other, but this is not the case. The summary says they are connected in that they are all looking for a home, but I just didn’t get that either. There are five of these short stories, the first and last being the longest and in my opinion it is those two which are most connected. Music is the common theme. Of these, I really only enjoyed the last one.

The stories start with “Alma” followed by “Mendel Bronstein,” “Cato and Leendert,” “The Doctor,” and “… And I am Sara”. “Alma” is about a woman who loves music and composing, but gives them up because her husband (a composer himself) makes her. It’s about her struggling to deal with this loss, since music is such a part of her and gives her so much joy. “Mendel Bronstein” is about a man who wants to travel to America but really has no idea what he is getting himself into. This story is quite short, and unless you read carefully, you miss what really happens at the end. “Cato and Leendert” takes place during WW2, and most interestingly deals with the animals being kept in the zoo. “The Doctor” also takes place during the same time and deals with a doctor’s mixed thoughts about helping a German soldier. Finally, “… And I am Sara” deals with a young woman trying to find herself after college.

As with most short stories, these seem to be bleak and depressing. Again, the last one (“… And I am Sara”) which I enjoyed most of, is the only one that broke of that mold for a short time. In that story I did enjoy the writing style. The sentences were short and choppy, like thoughts flitting through Sara’s (the main character) head. It really worked for Enquist there.

Enquist’s imagery was also extremely well done, in “… And I am Sara,” and in the other stories. At times it was so well done that I was disgusted, as was probably Enquist’s goal- when discussing bloody soldiers, or unwashed immigrants. Other times it gave off a peaceful and beautiful image, like when Enquist writes of spring flowers.

There’s no doubt that Enquist is a talented writer, but I felt that this collection just wasn’t perfected. I would have liked to see those stories be more connected. Perhaps something is lost in translation? After all, they were originally published in Dutch, so maybe we’re just not getting the original meaning.

Interested?  Buy it at amazon: A Leap

Missed my last post?  It was: REVIEW: “THE PRIVATE PAPERS OF EASTERN JEWEL” BY MAUREEN LINDLEY

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Title: “The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel”

Author: Maureen Lindley

Format: Papberack

Number of Pages: 304

ISBN: 978-1596917033

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Date of Publication: September 1, 2009

2 stars: Falls short of expectations

 

The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel: A Novel 

 

I wanted to like this book. The title is catchy, the cover art looks great. But the subject matter just didn’t work. Eastern Jewel is a Chinese princess who ends up being sent to a Japanese family. Eastern Jewel quickly learns to love all things Japanese and to be blunt, has sex with anything that moves.

I found the main character to be repulsive. She essentially did nothing with her life, except have sex. While one could argue that she did as she pleased, I still was turned off by it. There were mentions of several ‘relationships’ that she was in, but they were certainly not healthy relationships.

The redeeming factors of this novel…. there were some brilliant descriptions. The author does have a gift with words. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that was not enough to save this book. I recently read a review saying that this was a poor imitation of “Memoirs of a Geisha”. It certainly does pale in comparison.

Buy this book on amazon here.

 

Missed my last review?  It was QUICK REVIEW: “ALEXANDER & ALESTRIA” BY SHAN SA

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Title: “Alexander & Alestria”

Author: Shan Sa

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 256

ISBN: 978-0061543548

Publisher: Harper

Date of Publication: July 22, 2008

1 star: Alexander the what???

Alexander and Alestria: A Novel

 

This is just a quick review, but I had to post it while it was on my mind.  Anyone who has seen my library knows that I am a huge fan of Alexander the Great.  I’ve read numerous nonfiction books about him, and anyone who knows me knows that I do not usually care for nonfiction.  I also of course read any historical fiction about Alexander that I can get my hands on.  So when I came across this book, I had to read it!

And wow was it bad.  The blurb says that his father Philip of Macedon abused him.  Okay I can see that, but in this book, Philip wants to have sex with him.  Weird.  But even if you can swallow that (many books portray Philip as having sex with anything that moves), the main problem is Alexander himself.  The author describes Alexander as wanting to be a girl…. Dresses, makeup, the works. 

Alexander is a huge wimp.  And it goes on and on and on.  Frankly I couldn’t finish this.  I just could not get into it.  This was the man that conquered most of the known world?  I don’t think so.  If you’re a fan of Alexander the Great, I would definitely not recommend this.

But maybe it’s just me! I have a crush on Alexander, that’ s obvious.  So those of you who don’t, maybe you’ll be able to get into the girly-Alexander.  If so, check out Shan Sa’s novel.

Buy it at amazon.

Missed my last post?  It was Review: “The Aviary Gate” by Katie Hickman

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(Ignoring the fact that I haven’t been blogging for awhile…..) Okay so there’s been discussion about when the best time to post reviews of an ARC.  Some say it’s best to have them posted either before or right when the book is published.  I think that’s a good strategy.  So then I feel guilty if I don’t review books before their publication date, especially if I’ve had them for a bit. 

But then I thought… well it could also be helpful for reviews to pop up awhile after the book’s been published.  Basically the buzz about it has passed, and my review serves as a reminder that the book still exists- and if you haven’t bought it already then maybe you should.   

 

 

Title: “The Aviary Gate”

Author: Katie Hickman

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 352

ISBN: 978-1596914759

Publisher: Bloomsbury, USA

Date of Publication: May 27, 2008

3.5/4 stars: A journey into the past

A Novel
 

 

 

I can’t seem to stop talking about cover art!  I guess I really do judge a book by it’s cover!  The cover for “The Aviary Gate” is beautiful.  According to the book jacket, it’s Leila (1892) by Frank Dicksee.  (His work is truly gorgeous!  Look here for a some of his other paintings.)  The art is fitting since part of the story takes place in a harem in the sixteenth century.  But then I stumbled upon “The Guilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther” by Rebecca Kohn (in my search for Biblical historical fiction after reading “The Triumph of Deborah”- see my review here).  The jacket art for Kohn’s book,  although a bit more red than pink and zoomed in a bit, is clearly the same art.  I certainly recognized it immediately.  Kohn’s book was published by Penguin in 2005 (currently at bargain price on Amazon right now, so I just snagged it!), and while it has been a few years, you would think somebody would have thought twice about using the same cover art so soon.

 A Novel of Queen Esther

That aside, let’s move onto the story, or two stories as the case may be.  The book alternates between present day Elizabeth, and Celia in the sixteenth century.  Many found the present day story to pale in comparison to the sixteenth century bits.  At times I felt the same way, while at others I looked forward to Elizabeth’s story.  In either case, it seemed as though each part could stand on its own.  It was as though the two stories were written separately and then spliced together to allow the two time periods to alternate throughout the final book.

I had a bit of trouble reading this.  In the beginning, I was hooked.  I couldn’t put it down.  However, real life intervened and I was forced to stop reading it for awhile.  When I got back to it- it was like the magic was gone.  I couldn’t get back into it.  The dialogue was boring, the characters flat.  I had forgotten who everyone was and what they were doing.  It didn’t help that I wasn’t too pleased with the way it ended.  But…. all that said- I think overall it’s a good read.  It did take me awhile to write this review though.  I had to ‘digest’ the story, if that makes sense? 

So if this comes off wishy-washy, I apologize.  The story had it’s ups and downs.  But I would recommend it.  However if you do start reading, try to read it all at once, or at least don’t start reading and then not pick it up for a couple of weeks!  Reading it all in one sitting will allow you to delve into the story, becoming entranced by the characters and especially the imagery- which no matter how you feel about the story and plot- is simply beautiful.

 

Buy it at Amazon

Missed my last post?  It was Review: “Dead and Gone” by Charlaine Harris

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Looking for more on Charlaine Harris and Sookie Stackhouse?  Check out my Charlaine Harris FAQ post.

Title: “Dead and Gone”

Author: Charlaine Harris

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 320

ISBN: 0441017150

Publisher: Ace

Date of Publication: May 5, 2009 (Yesterday!)

5 stars: I’ve been waiting for months!

 

Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9)

 

I’ve been waiting for this book for months, ever since it became available to preorder… and really I’ve been waiting for it since the end of the last Sookie book. And Charlaine did not disappoint with “Dead and Gone,” book nine in the Sookie Stackhouse series. (See below for titles and order in which to read the books)

This book featured all of the species we know and love. The vamps, the weres, and finally the fairies were all featured and all stirring up some sort of drama. The fairies are especially interesting, particularly Niall (her grandfather who was only seen briefly in the past). Eric the vampire is up to his old tricks, though he does appear to genuinely care for Sookie, which I was glad to see. Sam and the weres don’t really have big parts necessarily in this tale; however there is a death in the were community that really hits home for Sookie’s family.

I would definitely recommend this book. It arrived today and I put off food, work, and sleep to get through it as soon as possible. Now that I’ve finished it, I’m virtually stunned by the amount of drama that Charlaine Harris was able to pack into it- especially towards the end! I’m pretty sure I’ll be rereading this book tomorrow because it was that good!

Have to add though, I’m not loving the ‘sticker’ on the cover promoting “True Blood”. It’s not a sticker, b/c it’s actually part of the cover. And I don’t want it there! And I already watch “True Blood” so I really could have done without it. That said, it doesn’t really take away from the amazingness of the book….

New to the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries ? Don’t start here! The Sookie books in order:
Dead Until Dark (Book 1)
Living Dead in Dallas (Book 2)
Club Dead (Book 3)
Dead to the World (Book 4)
Dead as a Doornail (Book 5)
Definitely Dead (Book 6)
All Together Dead (Book 7)
From Dead To Worse (Book 8 )

Stories by Charlaine Harris that fit into the Sookie universe (some of these contain important details!):

“Powers of Detection” ~Book 4.25 (Sookie short story)
“Night’s Edge” ~Book 4.5 (not a Sookie story, but in the same universe)
“Bite” ~Book 4.5 (Sookie short story)
“My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding” ~Book 4.75 (not a Sookie story, but in the same universe)
“Many Bloody Returns” ~Book 7.5 (Sookie short story)
“Wolfsbane and Mistletoe” ~Book 8.25 (Sookie short story)
“Unusual Suspects” ~Book 8.5 (Sookie short story)

“Blood Lite” and “Strange Brew” and “Must Love Hellhounds”- Not in Sookie Universe, but contain stories by Charlaine Harris; the last two have not yet been released.

Buy this book on amazon here.

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Not dead…..

Hi all, I’m not dead, though it kinda looks that way from the appearance of this journal. I do apologize for leaving people hanging and not replying. I was just mentally not in a reading/blogging place. I am going to attempt to get back in the game. I still owe people reviews and I will get to them, though obviously it will take longer than I expected.

xoxo
Kathleen

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Title: “Two Brothers: One North, One South”
Author: David H. Jones
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0979689857
Publisher: Staghorn Press
Date of Publication: September 1, 2008— Available now!

Two Brothers - One North, One South
 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

 

“Moonlight glimmered on the distant capitol dome and cast long shadows from the gothic towers and battlements of the Smithsonian Institute. To the west, the partially completed shaft of the Washington Monument appeared like a giant white chimney protruding from the dark landscape. Between these edificeswere fields filled with temporary streets and wooden buildings. Bathed in the dim light was a city transforming itself from a military bastion consumed by the business of war to a city intent on governing the once-again United States.”

(“Two Brothers: One North, One South” pg 7)

 

I have to say that I love the opening paragraph above.  Sometimes when I go back to reread a book and I’m looking for a few good lines to use in my review, I have to look for quite awhile.  In this case, it’s the first thing you read- and they’re perfect.  As I mentioned in one of my recent reviews about another author, this is what Creative Writing teachers strive to pull from you.  The imagery is fantastic.  You can picture the capitol!  Or perhaps it’s even those first two words- “Moonlight glimmered“– a perfect descriptive hook.

The story itself is pretty good.  The title is pretty self explanatory, it’s the story of two brothers during the American Civil War.  I’ve not read much historical fiction set during this time.  The only thing that comes to mind is Ann Rinaldi’s “The Last Silk Dress“, but that is a completely different type of book (still good though!).  “Two Brothers….” is based upon acutal historical events which is what I think really makes it work.  As you can see from my interview below with the author, he did a tremendous amount of research- and I think it really shows in the story.  (Not that I would know differently, as my knowledge in this area is lacking… but I’ll take his word for it that most of the details and dates and such are historically accurate!)

What I liked most about this book is that it didn’t read like a boring history book.  I’ve come across so many historical fiction novels that put too much emphasis on history and not enough on fiction.  They attempt to write nonfiction disguised as fiction.  In this case, “Two Brothers…” is the perfect balance.  There’s action and dialogue.  The history is there, but you can tell that you’re reading fiction.  Hopefully you understand what I mean!

I would indeed recommend this to anyone looking for historical fiction set during or around the American Civil War.  For that matter, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a good story!  Thanks to David H. Jones and Trish from TLC tours.  See below for my interview with David, and for details on how to win your own copy of this book.

 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥
David H. Jones has graciously agreed to allow me to interview him! Welcome David, and thank you for joining us today.

Q. I love the cover art, the split uniform showing the uniforms for both the North and the South. It works extremely well with the story. I’m always interested in how much influence an author has over the cover art. So my question is are you pleased with the cover, and were you directly involved in the process of choosing an image?

A. I share your delight with the “Two Brothers” cover art for its great appearance and the fact that it clearly depicts the story within. The amount of influence an author has on cover art and interior layout depends on the publisher. I was directly involved with developing the concept and working with the designer, The DesignWorksGroup, but I’m aware of other circumstances where the publisher has total control over the decision making process and the author is not consulted. After several discussions with Charles Brock, a principal of The DesignWorks Group, I received three presentations and chose the one that evolved into the final design approved by all parties. As it was important that the uniforms be absolutely correct, exact reproductions were purchased and used in the photography, then donated to Pamplin Historical Park for its interpretative program.

Q. From the jacket I can see that you’re a “lifelong student of the Civil War”. What first interested you about the civil war? What’s kept you so focused and interested on it, as opposed to say, the American Revolutionary War?

A. American history is my passion, all phases of it, from the first colonization to more recent times. However, the Civil War has special meaning to me as my father told stories during my childhood that he heard from his grandfather, personally linking me to the horrendous event that wrought our nation from a loose collection of states. My dad lived a long and good life, and I knew him well. He knew his maternal grandfather, Jacob Eckes, who served as a private in the 10th West Virginia Infantry. Thus, as a 68-year old man, I knew people, who knew people, who fought in the American Civil War, proving that it happened not so very long ago.

Q. What did you hope to accomplish by sharing “Two Brothers…” with the world?


A. Great question! I found the Prentiss brothers story while researching my ancestor’s regiments in past wars. My great great grandfather James Touchstone served in the 6th Maryland Infantry with Clifton Prentiss. Fascinated by the story, I compiled voluminous notes over three years of research and determined that it was the quintessential story of the Civil War. It was clearly a story that needed to be told! What I hope to accomplish is recognition by readers of Walt Whitman’s conclusion–that the soldiers of both sides were American patriots and that their stories must not be forgotten.

Q. How has your life changed since you wrote “Two Brothers…”, and do you have any plans for writing another novel sometime in the future?
A. The research phase and subsequent book tours have included a number of trips back East (we live in California) to Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, and Petersburg–all places that are among our favorites to visit. Next week we are doing a book signing at the Museum and Visitor Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park. We have visited the graves of all of the main characters and many sites where important events in the book took place. Dian and I were honored to unveil the new Veterans Administration gravestones for the Prentiss brothers at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where they’re buried side by side. These have all been great departures from our typical routine and things that we have thoroughly enjoyed.
The next writing project–that’s another great question. A memoir of a 6th Maryland officer which describes in great detail his experiences throughout the war has recently come to light. If permission to publish can be achieved, I may write a history of the 6th Regiment of Maryland Infantry, or a new novel, based on this journal. Time will tell.

Q. This kind of goes along with the previous question, but what do you like to do when you’re not writing?

A. Dian and I enjoy travel and spending time with family and friends. I’m also still actively involved in business.

Q. Let’s finish with my usual bookish questions! What kind of books do you like to read? What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author? Finally, what are you reading right now and why?

A. I like both fiction and non-fiction. On a recent trip to Florida I read the novel “Down River” by John Hart and enjoyed it very much. My favorite book of all time is “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry. Presently, I’m about one-third into the just released “Now The Drum of War: Walt Whitman and his Brothers in the Civil War” by Robert Roper. It’s excellent and provides great insight into Whitman’s Civil War experiences.

 

A big thank you to David for joining us. I’m sure my readers enjoyed our interview as much as I did. Don’t forget to check out David’s Blog here!

Giveaway details: David as well as Trish from TLC tours have sent me an extra copy of “Two Brothers: One North, One South” for me to giveaway to one lucky commenter. The book is even autographed! If you’d like to win it, comment on this post telling me about your favorite Civil War book. If you don’t have one, tell me why you want to read this one. You have until the end of the month, November 31rst, and like my other contests, this is open to anyone- not just the US and Canada. For an extra entry, you can blog about this contest, but make sure to tell me about it!

 

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Current Giveaway: “Violet in Private” by Melissa Walker- ends 10/31/08

 

Title: The Lost Diary of Don Juan”

Author: Douglas Carlton Abrams

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 336

ISBN: 978-1416532521

Publisher: Washington Square Press

Date of Publication: (Reprint) July 1, 2008

3 stars: Okay, but not my thing

 

A Novel
 

 

 

 “I looked at her smiling face, and her black hair, disheveled by our earlier desire.  Her clear brown eyes reflected the flames of the candles that encircled the altar of her bed.  How could I refuse her?”

(The Lost Diary of Don Juan pg 3)

 

“The Lost Diary of Don Juan” by Douglas Carlton Abrams is the story of Don Juan, a man raised by nuns who has to flee after having an affair with one of them.  He’s guided by a Marquis who teaches him ‘swordplay and seduction’.  Don Juan is essentially a libertine or a Casanova- a lover of all women.  The story is a bit predictable, in that of course he will eventually fall in love (real love) with one woman.

It’s meant to be a diary, although there are very few moments when you will be able to tell.  Each entry is certainly not started, “Dear Diary.”  There’s plenty of dialogue along with the action, so really it just seems to be a story told in the past tense. 

I couldn’t help but think, as I read, that certain parts of the book simply made me think of Zorro.  Specifically the Marquis guiding Don Juan- it just made me picture (the somewhat-recent movie verion of) Anthony Hopkins molding Antonio Banderas into the new Zorro!  I also found little love for the womanizing Don Juan.  Despite the author’s goal to display Don Juan’s ‘love’ of all women, all I could see was Don Juan’s ‘lust’ for all women.  

Those who enjoy Spanish historical fiction may enjoy this story, or perhaps those who enjoy romance.  I couldn’t really get into it though which is why it’s only getting three stars from me.  If you’d like to get your hands on a copy, you’re in luck.  I’m giving away a copy to one commenter.  Simply leave me a comment telling me your favorite historical fiction or romance book and author.  For another entry, blog about this contest and tell me about it.  The winner will be picked randomly October 31rst (the same day my current giveaway ends).  And as usual this contest is open to anyone.

Visit the author at www.DouglasCarltonAbrams.com or www.LostDiaryofDonJuan.com.

 

Missed my last post?  It was SOME CONFUSION

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “SWORD” BY DA CHEN

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Some confusion….

Current Giveaway: “Violet in Private” by Melissa Walker- ends 10/31/08

 

Hi guys, I didn’t post yesterday because I figured I would be posting today.  That is, I was supposed to have a guest post by an author.  He’s doing a blog tour and I’ll be reviewing his book later on in the month.  There seems to be some confusion though because I’ve been trying to get in touch with the blog coordinator regarding his post, but haven’t got any response.  So I do apologize for not having something ready to post today, as I was depending on that.

 

I suppose I could turn this into a question though.  I’m currently working with three different blog tour operators.  What do you think of blog tours?  If you do them, do you just stick with one ‘agency’ or do you participate in multiple ones?

 

Missed my last post?  It was WINNER OF “FIRST DAUGHTER” GIVEAWAY

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “SWORD” BY DA CHEN

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Current Giveaway: “Violet in Private” by Melissa Walker- ends 10/31/08

Thanks to all who entered my “First Daughter” by Eric Van Lustabader giveaway

First Daughter
 

The time has come to announce the winner. I had my sister randomly pick the number of a comment… And the winner is: Ivan Girl!  Congratulations, and thanks to everyone else who entered. 

 

If you didn’t win, you can buy your own copy here!

Missed my last post?  It was BOOKS AND WHY YOU PICK THEM UP

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “SWORD” BY DA CHEN

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Hey guys, sorry I was away for so long.  School started back up and I have to tell you that it was kicking my butt.  Not so much school, but work on top of that- and I was just plain exhausted all the time.  I had to take September off from the blogging/reading world, but I told myself that I’d be back in October so here I am. 

So to start back up, — I have to gush about my first real author experience.  I was at the Collingswood Book Festival today and who did I see but Melissa Walker!  I know several of you have read her books- I’ve entered a few contests hoping to win them but never lucked out.  I confess to be really shy but she was so nice!  She signed all of my books- I picked up “Violet on the Runway“, “Violet by Design“, and her newest “Violet in Private“. 

 

I’m sure I’m going to love them!  And for those of you following the series, she says her next book will be out in May.  I have a surprise though- I bought an extra copy of “Violet in Private” to giveaway to one lucky commenter.  And it’s autographed 🙂  All you have to do for a chance to win is comment telling me about your best author experience.  If you haven’t had one, tell me what author you’d love to meet!  (If you don’t have a blog, make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.)  I’ll choose a winner at the end of October- and this contest is open to everybody, not just US and Canada.

 

Regarding my “First Daughter” giveaway, I’ll be choosing a winner on October 10th, so if you haven’t entered already, you only have a couple more days to do so.

 

Missed my last post?  It was TUESDAY THINGERS

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “SWORD” BY DA CHEN

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***My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“ ***

 

Title: “Sword

Author: Da Chen

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 240

ISBN: 978-0061447587

Publisher: HarperTrophy

Date of Publication: August 26, 2008

2.5 stars: I wanted to like this!

Sword (Forbidden Tales)
 

 

“Many nights I filled my spare time by squeezing into his doorway and claiming a spot on the crowded floor, listening devotedly to his tales of another time and place, after enduring a few slaps on the head from the older folks who didn’t want me there.  He was an optimist, and his words made you see the bright colors of spring and the majestic snow-capped mountains of Xinjiang.  The sunsets in his tales were especially glorious, and the people with whom he had shared his life the most gifted.”

(“Sword” pg 6*)

 

Sword” by Da Chen opens with a prologue describing a young boy listening to a great storyteller, and then chapter one splits off into another tale- one that the storyteller is supposedly telling.  That story is of a fifteen year old girl named Miu Miu who sets off to avenge the death of her father.  The movie “Mulan” comes to mind, as Miu Miu disguises herself in her father’s clothing before leaving her village.  But unlike Mulan, Miu Miu has the permission of her mother and village elders to take up her quest.  Eventually she teams up with the man she was promised to at birth, and they both plot to kill the one responsible for Miu Miu’s father.

The language of this book is beautiful.  It really reads like poetry- the imagery in particular, and the readers can perfectly picture these landscapes in their heads.  Even the fights are poetic, and bring to mind graceful but powerful battles- like those in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. 

One thing bothered me as I was reading (and it sort of is the same thing that bothered me when I read “The White Mary”).  It was the use of foreign words throughout a story being told in English.  For example, on page 74 it reads: “Long quiang–spears– were in their hands, and short daggers were plunged into the side of their boots.”  I just don’t see that ‘quiang’ is necessary.  It is the Chinese word for spear, but the whole story is being told in English- not Chinese.  That said, it didn’t take away from the story- but it did annoy me each time it happened.  I could see how it would be useful to teach us random Chinese words, but why for ‘spear’ and not for (for example) ‘daggers’?

My problem with the Chinese words aside, I did enjoy most of this story. I was about to recommend it highly to those who enjoyed “Mulan”, or to those who enjoy a good adventure….. And then I got to the end!!  I felt like one ending was written- then more was written and tacked on so that the audience didn’t feel so depressed.  Whatever happened, it didn’t work for me.  (And that first ending wouldn’t have really worked either!)  I’m left scratching my head- and I’m afraid I can’t exactly recommend this the way I wanted.  It’s a shame too, because 7/8 of the book is amazingly beautiful…  So maybe just buy it but don’t read the end! 

Also, according to the back of the book, this is recommended for ages 10 and up or grades 5 and up…. I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.  There’s a scene where a man wants to put his hand between her legs to find out if she’s a woman or not, there’s mention of her betrothed watching her suggestively as she changes clothes…. I just don’t think I would recommend it for ten year olds.

Please- if you’ve read this, or have a different opinion, tell me about it!

*These words may change in the final publication of the book

 

Want to see some other reviews?

Online Raibu Journaru

 

Missed my last post?  It was INSIDE THE READER’S STUDIO

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “CONFESSIONS OF A CONTRACTOR” BY RICHARD MURPHY

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***My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“ ***

Not too long ago, one of my awesome loyal readers decided to start blogging.  And I am so glad she did.  Her posts are great!  Entertaining, amusing, true…. about children, politics, even even the Olympics!  Misty May anyone?  Don’t believe me?  Go check out her blog!

 

Debbie has been posting pretty frequently- and though I don’t always comment like I should- I can’t seem to stay away 🙂 Welcome her to the blogging world, and keep an eye on her!

 

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “CONFESSIONS OF A CONTRACTOR” BY RICHARD MURPHY

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***My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“ ***

 

 

 

Title: “Confessions of a Contractor

Author: Richard Murphy

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 288

ISBN: 978-0399155079

Publisher: Putnam Adult

Date of Publication: August 14, 2008

4 stars: Renovating? Don’t miss this!

Confessions of a Contractor
 

 

 

 

“The first thing a woman needs to know about renovating a house or apartment is simpe: do not, under any circumstance, sleep with your contractor, no tmatter what your husband or boyfriend is doing to you, or not doing to you.” 

 (“Confessions of a Contractor” pg1*)

 

And before we get started, I have to say I would never sleep with my contractor…….. unless he looked like Richard Murphy.  I mean, oh my God, how did that slip out?

I wasn’t sure I was going to like “Confessions of a Contractor“.  From the cover art, to the first line- I was sure that it was going to be a book that had sex all over the place.  Lol, and in a way there was sex all over the place- in the ‘steam shower in the master bath’, on the ‘sandstone floor in the kitchen’, etc… but it was mentioned quickly and didn’t bog down the rest of the story. 

It’s told all in first person, so the audience knows only what the main character, Henry the contractor, knows.  This offers us a unique look at what your contractor is really thinking about you.  And despite the fact that, yes, he slept with some of his clients- I still liked the guy!  Besides liking the main character, I also enjoyed the others.  Perhaps my favorites were Hector and Miguel, because if they didn’t like you- they pretended to only speak Spanish.

I would very much recommend “Confessions of a Contractor” to anyone looking for a fun read.  And I’ll definitely be interested in reading anything else Richard Murphy puts out- right after I find out if there really are blind caterers…. well if you’ve read it- you know what I’m talking about!!  If not, pick you copy up today.  You can buy it here.  And don’t forget to drop by the book’s website.

 

*These lines may change in the final publication of the book

Want to see some other reviews?

LibrarysCat

Jenn’s Bookshelf

Minds Alive on the Shelves

 

Missed my last post?  It was TUESDAY THINGERS

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

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Well the moment you’ve all been waiting for…. and actually you’ve waited a few extra days so thank you for your patience!  It’s time to announce the winner of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” by Kamilla Reid giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve tallied up the comments and those with extra entries due to blogging about the contest.  To keep it fair, I asked my sister to randomly pick a winner.  So without any further ado…….. the winner is………… Shanna!  Shanna said: “I’d love to read this book because I keep reading rave reviews and the interviews with Ms. Reid are fascinating. This is one my daughter and I could read together.”  She also blogged about the contest which gave her another entry- the winning one!

A big congratulations to Shana, and thank you to everyone else who stopped by and entered.  Stay tuned for my next giveaway!

 

Missed my last post?  It was FREE EBOOK: “JUMBLE PIE” BY MELANIE LYNNE HAUSER

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

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