Dec 2, 2012

Sunday Salon | Mailbox Monday | What Are You Reading?

I missed posting last week due to the Thanksgiving festivities so I have a bit to catch up on, if I can remember it all! I have a huge illness invading my body so bear with me. And a big fat warm welcome to my new email subscribers from my recent giveaway, y'all are awesome and so welcome to have aboard! You'll find lots of historical fiction here, some Christian Fiction reads, and a little bit of the other stuff when the mood strikes. And exclusive giveaways as a thank you for putting up with me!

I have noticed that when people get tired of receiving my Email Content instead of simply unsubscribing, they mark my content as Spam. Please do not mark me as Spam! I will automatically send out a notice with a date of your initial subscription that you activated yourself upon requesting email delivery of my content. Please don't mark my reviews or posts as spam, as that is not my intention, and I certainly do not want to get put on any block lists at my hosting site or email delivery service. Simply unsubscribe 'quietly' without jeopardizing my status as a blogger. I do understand that tastes change, and people have a zillion emails a day and they would like to cut down on their inbox content. I get that. But please remember you signed up for this service, and you can stop it any time, delete me, trash me, but please don't mark me as spam. =)

I decided that instead of pinging everyone with separate posts and clogging email boxes daily (I purposely DO NOT Post daily out of respect for those who subscribe via email), I will do one huge Meme post to combine my three favorite memes which all kind of tie together anyway. So what do you think? Should I continue to do a one-day-big-post like this, or separate them out?


http://dhamel.typepad.com/sundaysalon/TSSbadge2.png


I have always liked posting on Sundays, kind of like the original Sunday Salon which was created ages ago as "library's vast reading room" when I became a member of it about four years ago. But since it now isn't taking new participants Svea at Muse in the Fog had created a "Suddenly Sunday" feature for folks who wanted a Sunday link up, though she's been kinda busy elsewhere lately...so I put a bug in her ear to start it up again. Go link up there!

These Sunday memes are all about talking bookish stuff... so that leads us right on to 'Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, what are you reading' type material... and here we go! Next week I'll be a bit more cohesive but my brain is too fried at this point...

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia's Mailbox and is being hosted at Suko's Notebook during December.

In the Mail....
With All My Love by Patricia Scanlan.. (this is a writer along the same lines of Maeve Binchy, and so this would be an example of a little bit of the other stuff)
This was an early treat from the UK Simon & Schuster publisher who will publish this in February, and it will be available next summer through Atria Books in the USA. If you see a chance to get this one through their future galley grab or something... get it! I opened it up, and SURPRISE I was sucked in immediately! Don't you love it when that happens? Only thing is I will have to hold off the review till 2013. But put it on your wish lists, ladies!

Synopsis:
"On a crystal clear Mediterranean day, Briony McAllister sits playing with her four-year-old daughter, Katie, while she waits for her mother, Valerie, to join them. Valerie has recently moved to a picturesque town in southern Spain to finally leave behind her turbulent past and find a peace that has always eluded her. Briony has no idea that in a few moments' time her relationship with her mother will change irrevocably. As Katie plays, Briony pulls from her bag an old photo album, found in a box in her mother's new home. As she begins to study the faded photos, a letter falls to the ground. It is addressed to her. My Darling Briony, it begins. As Briony reads the words with mounting shock, realisation dawns. Her mother lied to her about what happened with her beloved grandmother Tessa all those years ago - and denied Briony that most precious of relationships, the type of relationship Valerie now enjoys with Katie. The lives of three generations of women are set to change forever as the past is revisited and the truth unfolds through the undelivered letters Tessa wrote to Briony over the years. Secrets, lies, betrayals and sacrifices - the complex bonds between mothers, daughters and granddaughters are intricately explored as Patricia Scanlan takes us into the hearts and homes of a family at war."

Oh, and for all those lucky Email Subscribers.. here's a heads up for an upcoming giveaway..
Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher
Synopsis:
"Leaving behind her bitter past, Felicia Kristoffersen seeks to make a brighter future for herself as a teacher in Frenchman’s Bluff, Idaho. But in this tiny high desert town, she can’t afford to fail. And not everyone is happy she’s here to begin with. Award-winning novelist Robin Lee Hatcher weaves a historical romance that asks the question: Can faith triumph over life’s harshest storms?"

Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher

Synopsis:
"The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two people learning to trust God’s love no matter the circumstances." 

In the mail, Zondervan sent me a review set and a giveaway set of these two books.. so as I review them I will hold an exclusive Email Subscribers Only giveaway for these two titles to one lucky winner.

And I had to share this new bible cover that absolutely stunningly JUST fits my large study bible.. I am so pleased with this purchase! It's always nerve wracking when you order things online and you are not really truly sure if they will fit...but it fits like a glove and it was such a great value!
LOVE my LOVE Bible cover!
{{LOVE!!}} Had to get my hand in there so you can see how awesome huge it is. What a deal!

New Kindle books downloaded (linked to goodreads):
Becoming Elizabeth Darcy by Mary Simonsen
Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas by John Blase
Remembering Christmas: A Novel by Dan Walsh
Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson
Taste and See: An invitation to Read the Bible by Annabel Robinson
Just Jesus: The Evidence of History by James (Tommy) South
Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace by James Calvin Schaap
Soul and Shadow (A Lily Evans Mystery - Book 1) by Susan J. McLeod
A Lancaster County Christmas by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Dreamspell by Tamera Leigh
Bathsheba: A Novel (The Wives of King David) by Jill Eileen Smith
Operation Bonnet: A Novel by Kimberly Stuart


a yucky screenshot of some new books

I went to HalfPrice books, shopping for gifts of course and came out with this intriguing book for myself:

The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity by James D. Tabor

hugest synopsis evvver..

"Based on a careful analysis of the earliest Christian documents and recent archaeological discoveries, "The Jesus Dynasty" offers a bold new interpretation of the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity. The story is surprising, controversial, and exciting as only a long-lost history can be when it is at last recovered. In "The Jesus Dynasty," biblical scholar James Tabor brings us closer than ever to the historical Jesus. Jesus, as we know, was the son of Mary, a young woman who became pregnant before her marriage to a man named Joseph. The gospels tell us that Jesus had four brothers and two sisters, all of whom probably had a different father than his. He joined a messianic movement begun by his relative John the Baptizer, whom he regarded as his teacher and a great prophet. John and Jesus together filled the roles of the Two Messiahs who were expected at the time: John, as a priestly descendant of Aaron, and Jesus, as a royal descendant of David. Together they preached the coming of the Kingdom of God. Theirs was an apocalyptic movement that expected God to establish his kingdom on earth, as described by the Prophets. The Two Messiahs lived in a time of turmoil as the historical land of Israel was dominated by the powerful Roman Empire. Fierce Jewish rebellions against Rome occurred during Jesus' lifetime.

John and Jesus preached adherence to the Torah, or the Jewish Law. But their mission was changed dramatically when John was arrested and then killed. After a period of uncertainty, Jesus began preaching anew in Galilee and challenged the Roman authorities and their Jewish collaborators in Jerusalem. He appointed a Council of Twelve to rule over the twelvetribes of Israel, and among the Twelve he included his four brothers. After Jesus was crucified by the Romans, his brother James -- the "Beloved Disciple" -- took over leadership of the Jesus dynasty.

James, like John and Jesus before him, saw himself as a faithful Jew. None of them believed that their movement was a new religion. It was Paul who transformed Jesus and his message through his ministry to the Gentiles. Breaking with James and the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem, Paul preached a message based on his own revelations, which would become Christianity. Jesus became a figure whose humanity was obscured; John became merely a forerunner of Jesus; and James and the others were all but forgotten.
James Tabor has studied the earliest surviving documents of Christianity for more than thirty years and has participated in important archaeological excavations in Israel. Drawing on this background, Tabor reconstructs for us the movement that sought the spiritual, social, and political redemption of the Jews, a movement led by one family. "The Jesus Dynasty" offers an alternative version of Christian origins, one that takes us closer than ever to Jesus and his family and followers.

This is a book that will change our understanding of one of the most crucial moments in history."



What are you Reading?

This #IMWAYR meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

SEE ABOVE.. LOL... 
I read/devoured/inhaled With All My Love by Patricia Scanlan! Regular readers of my blog know that I read very little contemporary fiction, but after four years of constant historical, I do need to spice it up every now and then. This was a perfect "comfort" read, but don't let that fool you into believing it is a fluff piece. 


I had just given my mom the Secrets of the Cross trilogy by Elizabeth Musser, and when she texted that she was LOVING it, I was inspired to finally open my NetGalley copy of book three, Two Destinies (September 2012). It flows perfectly from the other two, which means this entire series is going on my Best of 2012 list. This series focuses on religious persecution in Algeria amongst the Muslim and the Protestants, so if you are not looking for an entirely religious focused drama, please do not read these. I read a two star review on Goodreads where she had won this book through them therefore jumping into the Secrets of the Cross trilogy starting with book three (doh!), and she was disturbed that there was so much religion involved. (You'd think that looking at the titles they would have gotten a clue as to the subject matter.....smh.. be more careful when looking for free books)..

Two Destinies, book three

Here is the review of the first two books. I am so loving that there are only a few new characters and that many of the 'old' characters are still featured, and so many characters too, which I would normally get confused in other reads, but this is just so...epic.. that I breathlessly tore through book three and my review is posted here.

And now in current reading progress, I have now studied the first four 'books' of the bible, and it's onwards to studying Deuteronomy now. Very intriguing stuff, and I am learning an unbelievable amount that the homilies at mass are making so much more sense as I can relate better to them now! I am looking forward to  next year when I get to the New Testament, and I can also listen to my husband's CD's narrated by James Earl Jones! (*How will I NOT think of Darth Vader?!?!?!)

Up next for me, I was waiting for Klassen's newest to show up (The Tutor's Daughter) as I would read that one immediately but I just got the sad email that it won't be shipping until January.(ARGH Should have just bought it myself then).

So I will probably begin the Hatcher books shown above, and I also need to read Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden. But I've been trying to space out my fiction after reading Two Destinies in all its awesomeness. After the many Christmas related Kindle downloads, I am ready to read a few of those as well.

See anything here that peaks your interest? How does your reading relate to the holiday seasons? I can never find enough time to just sit and read! Are you reading any Christmas themed books this year?

14 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to The Tudor's Daughter too. With All My Love grabbed my attention. Have a great week.

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  2. My interest was certainly piqued by the cover of Two Destinies. Love it! Have a wonderful week and enjoy your new books!

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  3. Bathsheba looks good. I really the first one in that series and have been meaning to continue it but haven't picked up any of the others yet. Love learning about the ladies in the Bible :)

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  4. Two Destinies caught my eye.

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2012/12/mailbox-monday.html

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  5. So many great books! Enjoy them.

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  6. Looks like you have some great books and some great Christmas reads! I like your new bible cover. It is scary to order things online sometimes. Glad it fit.

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  7. Nice mailbox...great downloads.

    How is the Orphan Master I see on your right side panel?

    ENJOY all your books and your week.

    My Mailbox Monday link is below....hope you can stop by to also see my review of THE SECRET KEEPER

    AND

    A review and E-book giveaway of MURDER TAKES TIME

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

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    Replies
    1. My review is linked to the image of The Orphan Master.. it was definitely a different read, and you had to have an open frame of mind. =) Some loved it, some hated it.

      Here is the link to the review http://www.burtonbookreview.com/2012/06/orphanmaster-by-jean-zimmerman.html

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  8. Great book week. The Secrets of the Cross trilogy looks really good.
    2 Kids and Tired Books MM

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  9. The Secrets of the Cross trilogy does look interesting.
    I'm not reading any Christmas books right now, but I like the idea! Have a great week. :)

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  10. Oh, that's a beautiful Bible cover! I hope you get well soon and enjoy all your new books.

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  11. Great list, as always! That bible cover is gorgeous!

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  12. I hope this sickness passes and that you feel better soon. I look forward to your posts in my email. I enjoy your reviews and hope that the few don't mess things up for the many. :)

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU LEAH!! I do feel a bit better, I can function, but not near 100% yet. Thanks for supporting me, you are appreciated!

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But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6