New blog address!

I have a new blog address:

New blog address!

I have a new blog address:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Island life and man's best friend and now enter chaos

I was extremely a fantastic way... with this novel.  I must admit when I looked at the cover I thought it was going to be a sweet, happy little book about a beautiful black Lab.  That is where I was wrong.  This is the book Picture This by New York Times bestselling author, Jacqueline Sheehan.  This is the sequel to her novel Lost & Found.   I did not read the first story in this little series, but I was caught up in no time to the story of 39 year-old recently widowed Rocky Pelligrino (nothing to do with the mineral water...which I just happen to have a minor addiction to).  Rocky was married to Bob who suddenly died in the previous novel, and Rocky moves to Peaks Island, Maine.  (Which sounds like a place I would love to live).  She rents a small cottage and takes a job as an animal control warden while she tries to makes sense of her life.
In the last book, she rescued and adopted Cooper....a kind, loyal and wonderful black Lab.  (I must insert some personal info at this point:  Not only do we share our house with 4 growing boys, but we also have a yellow Lab puppy...Ruby.  She is crazy and sweet, and she is beginning to grow on me, but don't tell that to my husband.  I am hoping that Ruby starts to relax and listen a little better like Cooper).  OK.....sorry about that.
While on the island, Rocky becomes close to several wonderfully drawn characters....Tess, Isaiah, Melissa, etc.  She evens starts to have a romantic relationship with a man named Hill...Her life seems to make a little more sense to Rocky despite the tragedy that she was dealt.  However, that changes when she receives a phone call from 18 year old Natalie who claims that her father was Bob....Rocky's deceased husband.  She claims to just wants to get to know a little more about him and wants to know why he never came to get here while she grew up moving from one abusive foster home to the next.  Rocky, who is on leave from her job as a therapist, is drawn to Natalie and wants to save her....and perhaps keep a part of her husband near her.  Unfortunately, as the story begins to unravel, we learn more about Natalie's past and that her intentions are not so innocent...the story moves fast and keeps you guessing and reading!  And through it all Cooper, the faithful friend, helps shape this story into something unforgettable.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Talk about a tragic character......

Product Details   From time to time, I like to pull out a novel of classic literature and immerse myself in it.  I picked Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.  Truth be told, I could not put it down.  Now I am not sure if it is because it was a beautifully written novel (which it is) or if it was a unforgettable story (which it is), but in all honesty, I really believe I kept reading to see if our heroine Tess ever caught a break!  Poor, poor girl was born in the wrong century that is for certain.
The story starts with Tess' drunk father on his way home when he discovers that he is descended from the wealthy to-do family The D'Urbervilles and throughout time their name changed to Durbeyfield.  Well, Mr. Durbeyfield heads home to his wife and 6 children....maybe 7....I lost share this exciting news.
Tess is the oldest at 16, and she is picked to journey to the nearest D'Urberville resident to claim their fortune or at least come home married to a cousin.  Really?  Poor Tess...she just wants to continue with schooling and do some modest work. Anyway, she journeys to the residence because she is a good, kind girl....she is a pleaser.  She meets Alec D'Urberville....a good looking and charming fellow who is supposedly her cousin.  Alec is taken by Tess' beauty and naivete and begins to woo her...well...she is not immediately impressed by him.....
Let me stop here.  You will have to read the book to see where their relationship goes and whether Tess is able to find happiness.  I warn you...there are no happy endings in this book.   The book is quite a fascinating read, and the story twists and turns more than one could predict.  Very scandalous and a great argument for equal rights.

Could not put down!

The book is called BIRTHMARKED by Caragh M. O'Brien.  Imagine a life where you live on the outside of a place called The Enclave which is surrounded by a high almost impassable wall.  A place where the lifestyle is "advanced" and of better quality.  You live on the have a certain job to do and are "rewarded" with food and humble shelter.  Yet, you must remember not to question your position or try to rebel because the Protectorat will have you arrested and then death will follow.
Gaia Stone is 16 years old, and she is following in the path of her mother to becoming a midwife.  As a midwife, on the outside of the Enclave, her job is to deliver babies and to advance three babies a month.  How does one "advance" a baby?  Well, the first three deliveries Gaia makes in a month must be advanced....they must be delivered to the wall within 90 minutes of delivery to live inside The Enclave away from their birth parents.  Not a pleasant a part of the job, but the consequences for not delivering the first three babies could result in Gaia's death.
Quickly, the reader learns that both Gaia's parents have been arrested and taken for questioning inside the wall.  Gaia is sure this means certain death for them, so she concocts a plan to break them out.  She is a cunning, clever and extremely strong-willed character.  The action is fast paced and kept me gripped to the story line.  Once she enters into The Enclave we learn that their advanced society isn't all unicorns and rainbows.  
I finished it rather quickly and was hungry for me, so I downloaded the bridge book TORTURED and read that in less than 20 minutes.  I have ordered the 2nd book in the series PRIZED, and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.  I highly recommend this book to anyone older than 13 years old....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Apparently this book is one in a series of many books called A BODY FARM NOVEL.  Ya learn something new everyday.  It is by an author named Jefferson Bass....which is really two authors.  Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson.  Dr. Bass is the forensics expert while Mr. Jefferson is the journalist.  Together they weave tales of mystery and crime with gory and accurate descriptions of decomposition and other forensic details.  This was not the first book in the series....that is CARVED IN  BONE for all you who are sticklers about reading books in the "correct" order (which I am).  Regardless, I dove right in and did not feel lost, and if I missed some important infomation that was leaked in previous novels...I was none the wiser.
This story starts in the good ol' USA.  Dr. Bill Brockton is called away to Avignon, France for an "emergency" involving his assisant, Miranda. Sidenote:  (Miranda is a bit younger than our doctor and quote attractive).  There is no emergency....just a harmless trick to get Dr. Brockton to come to France to examine some bones that have been found in the Palace of Popes.  Now get this....there is reason to believe that these bones could be the bones of none other than Jesus.  So Miranda convinces Dr. Bill to help her solve the identity of the bones.
The story flips back and forth from the 1300s to present day to unravel this mystery.  The story starts out slow in order to establish the facts, and then once part II hits...the action gets going.  The action kept moving and kept me guessing to just who is behind all this evilness.  Of course, once again I could not figure it out....maybe you can.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Who doesn't adore a story with chickens?

Product Details    I have recently read Impeccable Petunia: Claws, Paws, Feathers and Jaws by Kate Christine with pictures by John Edwards.  I was delighted by this first book about Petunia the chicken who does not quite fit in with all the other chickens.....who frankly are just like the mean girls we all remember from high....bossy, catty, spiteful, and full of gossip.  Petunia has a special talent for gardening and interior design....apparently chickens can see many more shades of colors than is true.  I fact checked it.  So they would be obvious canidates for The Next Design Star on HGTV.  Petunia becomes friends with the woman who is their new caretaker...Petunia names her Silkie.  Life would assume to be sweet with Petunia able to garden and help decorate...she even makes nice with the cat Macy.  Yet, those mean high school-like chickens have another plan for Petunia and it is not a pleasant one.....
Lovers of animal stories will really enjoy this original animal tale.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Unseen by Katherine Webb

I really enjoyed this, let me rephrase that...I was so totally caught up in this story that I actually felt myself living in this tiny English town in the year 1911.  I have always been a sucker for a historical novel that takes place across the seas.  I adore the mystique of a place I have never been nor a time I have not known.  And this story takes you deep into the story of a servant girl named Cat Morley who finds herself working at The Rectory for a young Reverend and his naive wife, Hester.  She joins the household just as Robin Durrant arrives on scene.  Robin Durrant is invited there by the Reverend who believes there are spirits living in the woods around him, and Robin Durrant is a self-proclaimed expert in this area.  The Reverend is enamored by this cunning, handsome and charming man, Hester becomes jealous and confused as her husband pulls away from her, and Cat Morley seems to be the only one who sees through it all.

  We are introduced to all these characters from present day 2011. Right away we meet, Leah who is a freelance writer.  She has been asked to write an article about a soldier whose body was found with no identification just a few letters sealed in a tin box.  These letters intrigue Leah and she begins to solve the mystery of the letters and the dead soldier.  Through her discoveries, the reader is taken on a richly woven tale of one summer in this quaint English town.  The characters are so well well developed, and the story moves at a swift pace....this is one that I was sad when it ended.  Not sad of out disappointment, but sad because I was already missing the characters and the story and had to return to reality.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Great summer read!

I have always been a big Kate Klise fan!  She has written so many wonderful books for elementary school kids.  They are filled with cleverness and funny misunderstandings.  The stories have memorable characters and even more memorable stories.  They are written in a nontraditional format using letters, memos, emails, text and then traditional prose to let the story unravel.  Students gobble them up....from Regarding the Fountain to Dying to Meet You.  So when I saw that she has written a book for older readers, I grabbed it up and read it in an afternoon.  I loved it!
The story follows 4 Americans while they spend a week in Paris and Madrid, and what happens when two bags get mixed-up at the airport. Daisy and her 18 year-old daughter, Coco are traveling to Paris to enjoy a week of relaxation -- something neither of these overachiever, type A personalities find comfort in easily.  At the same time, Andrew and his 17 year old son, Webb are headed to Madrid for Andrew's work.  At the airport, Coco and Webb's bags get mixed-up...what follows is a series of clever misunderstandings and bizarre coinsidence.  The book was a delight to read!  I cannot wait for her next one!!