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Historical fiction and Biblical fiction, reviewing since 2008

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Aug 30, 2012

The Shadow on The Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Can there be hope and rebirth after betrayal?
The Shadow on The Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Christian Fiction/Historical Romance
Barbour Books, September 1, 2012
Paperback 320 pages
eBook copy provided via NetGalley
Burton Book Review Rating:four stars for this inspirational romance


Juliana Sutton’s life looks perfect—from the outside. Until her husband’s untimely death reveals a devastating truth. . . . Cass Gregory is carrying his own dark secrets and feels unworthy to offer comfort to a woman of Juliana’s standing. When circumstances force them together, both Juliana and Cass are wounded and afraid to trust. Will the shadow of her dead husband’s name stand between Juliana and Cass, or will Juliana choose a love she never thought possible?


Stephanie Grace Whitson's first Quilt Chronicles novel, The Key on The Quilt was an inspiring and enjoyable read for me (see review) and I knew book number two would not disappoint. The Shadow on the Quilt is a stand alone novel featuring new characters, with the main protagonist Juliana struggling with the knowledge that her recently deceased husband was cheating on her. As she dons her widow's weeds, Juliana is forced to deal with her grief but also the betrayal of her husband while everyone around her only sees her husband as a loving, doting man and a great loss to their town.

Juliana is left with the pieces of her life and she admiringly comes to terms with the legacy that was left to her. The ostentatious house that Sterling was building for them is not something she desires, and with the help of Sterling's family they are able to find a good use for the building. Overseeing the construction is Cass Gregory, and they develop a good working relationship with each other.

Sterling's mistress Jenny comes on the scene as an intriguing subplot, and things don't work out as beneficially for Jenny as she hoped for. As a fallen woman, there is little hope for her survival unless the community can come together and offer a lending hand. This subplot and the slow romance budding between Juliana and Cass offer a quaint story of forgiveness and hope that leaves a mark on the reader's heart, especially with the biblical quotes interspersed throughout.

These messages of lost sheep, the Good Shepherd and repenting sinners are well portrayed in this gracefully told story which offers both tears and joy throughout the telling. Although this inspirational novel follows a bit of a predictable slant, the supporting cast of characters are vast and on a whole this offers a satisfying inspirational love story set amidst a turn of the century setting of Nebraska.

Aug 28, 2012

(2 book Giveaway!) A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick

Honor and loyalty like water..
A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick
Sourcebooks USA edition September 1, 2012
{Published October 4th 2007 by Sphere UK}
Review copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:Four Stars

My other Chadwick reviews:
The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick (2010, 4 stars)
The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick (2010, 4.5 stars)
Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick (2011, 5 stars)*Favorited!
To Defy A King by Elizabeth Chadwick (2011, 4.5 stars)

The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert Marshal is one of them. Raised high as the kin of the deceased King Henry battle each other for England's throne, John reaps rich rewards but pays a terrible price for the choices he makes - as do his family. His wife, fragile, naïve Aline is hopelessly unequipped to cope with the demands of a life lived on the edge and, when John is seriously injured in battle, her worst nightmare is realised. Sybilla, bright, forthright sister to the Earl of Salisbury, finds herself used as a bargaining counter when her brother seeks to seal a truce with his troublesome neighbour, John FitzGilbert. And then there is Sybilla's small son, William, seized hostage by the King for John's word of honour. But sometimes keeping your honour means breaking your word.
Previous releases by Elizabeth Chadwick such as The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion chronicle the honorable William Marshal and his family during times of war and unrest in the 12th century. Stepping back a bit, A Place Beyond Courage is the story of William's parents, John and Sybilla Marshal. The period is a harsh one, with the battle for the throne of England that lasted for many years, costing many lives and giving families little security. The one hope was for the future: young Henry FitzEmpress could take it over from King Stephen if England could just hold on for that long. This was an era that was aptly named in Sharon Kay Penman's novel When Christ and His Saints Slept.

Elizabeth Chadwick is a master at this period and meticulously researches her material, and presents the story eloquently and passionately. The characters this time around however took awhile to ingratiate themselves, as John Fitzgilbert (Marshal) seemed all too eager to throw his word away, yet so was every one else when it came to the oath to the FitzEmpress. John's first wife Aline is also a major figure for the first half of the book, and she was not someone to be admired. She was the opposite in character traits that a hardened man like John needed, and she could never evoke any sympathy from me. Several times over the narration explained that the marriage between Aline and John was one of little rapport and that they only coupled to beget that heir etc. Once Aline was out of the picture I was able to enjoy the story more, as Sybilla became John's new wife and thus the story held a lot more hope. Sybilla was a strong young woman and perfect helpmate to John. Babies were born, and along came William whom we know from the other works of Chadwick's. When we get to the part about William becoming a hostage under King Stephen, I cried. And when William came back alive (as we knew he would), I cried then too.

The rest of the story filled in the political pieces of the horrible era before young Henry Fitzempress became King and was full of battles, trebuchets, uneasy nobles and alliances that were made and broken over and over again. Fair warning, there was a bit more sexual content than I remembered from the previous books. If you are a newbie to the era, the many names and castles could be a little confusing yet a perfect beginner's start to the period, but for the seasoned reader of the era it is a rehashing of the events with the main story coming from the outlook of John Marshal. Little William definitely stole the show here too, though. He is still my favorite knight!

Courtesy of the publisher Sourcebooks, they are giving away A Place Beyond Courage AND The Greatest Knight!!

Please comment here with your email address, and let me know what 12th Century reads you have enjoyed! US & Canada only please. Giveaway ends September 3rd 2012.

Aug 27, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?

What are you Reading?

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

Last week I finished Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer, which was a fun inspirational Western historical romance. (Review). I am still plodding through Wolf Hall, and I might not pick it up again for a while as I have a ton of review books scheduled for September, and WH was just a Me read.

I picked up the reissue of Elizabeth Chadwick's upcoming US release, A Place Beyond Courage, which can be seen as a sort of prequel to the William Marshal books I read last year. (The Greatest Knight, The Scarlet Lion).

This one follows William's father, John Fitzgilbert as he struggles to keep his head during the tremulous times when Empress Matilda and King Stephen were grasping for the throne of England during a long span of years in the 1100's. If you have read the magnificent When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman, this is that period but told from the Marshal's point of view. And King Stephen is still a jerk.

The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert Marshal is one of them. Raised high as the kin of the deceased King Henry battle each other for England's throne, John reaps rich rewards but pays a terrible price for the choices he makes - as do his family. His wife, fragile, naïve Aline is hopelessly unequipped to cope with the demands of a life lived on the edge and, when John is seriously injured in battle, her worst nightmare is realised. Sybilla, bright, forthright sister to the Earl of Salisbury, finds herself used as a bargaining counter when her brother seeks to seal a truce with his troublesome neighbour, John FitzGilbert. And then there is Sybilla's small son, William, seized hostage by the King for John's word of honour. But sometimes keeping your honour means breaking your word.

September 1, 2012 from Sourcebooks


But LOOK at this COVER! Love it! Too bad I just have the ugly ARC though. Lucky for YOU though, because I am going to try and get this book read (Lord willing) just in time for you to be able to enter for the giveaway courtesy of Sourcebooks. All I've gotta do is get it read and reviewed by August 31 and we're set! Fingers crossed! It is a great story so far, but so far not my favorite. The characters are not quite as likable in this one, and I am one of those readers that I have to love the characters in order to also love the book. So we'll see how it turns out once I'm done!

Speaking of Giveaways.. don't forget to enter my Ten Book Giveaway!

Aug 24, 2012

Partial to the Past Blog Hop Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY HOP!


What a great idea that Holly had for hosting a Historical Fiction focused blog hop!! I have seen many many blog hops, but not one focused on my favorite genre!
Can't wait to clear off some shelves!
YAY!

I want one easy squeezy box to ship out.. Who wants to take these off my hands?
One Lucky Historical Fiction lover will receive all of the following:

Kate Emerson's At The King's Pleasure
Catherine Delors' For the King
Cassandra Clark's A Parliament of Spies
Sandra Worth's Pale Rose of England
Michelle Moran's Madame Tussaud
Linda Urbach's Madame Bovary's Daughter
Rosemary Rogers' The Wildest Heart
John J. Miller's The First Assassin
CW Gortner's Confessions of Catherine de Medici
Sherry Jones' Four Sister All Queens

TEN Books!

These are all Used Galleys or advance readers copies available to bloggers. I realize that many of you may have your own copy of at least one of these, but perhaps you have a friend to pass them along to. It is much easier for me to put them all in one box, and frankly I just kept going till the box was full. Their condition is used and are good reading copies.


These are all Historical Fiction, one historical romance, a few historical mysteries... a great mix in my opinion!
So.. if you would like to win this box of ten books, comment here with your email address and tell me which ones caught your eye enough to make you want to enter the contest. It would also be very nice of you if you could tweet or facebook this giveaway, and of course I would LOVE it if you would follow!!!
Giveaway ends 8/30/2012. Open to US followers of Burton Book Review.

Don't forget to follow:

OR Follow via Facebook.


The following linky is the list of bloggers who initially signed up to participate:

Aug 23, 2012

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer



Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Fast-paced love story Texas sized loyalty!

Historical Romance/Inspirational Fiction
Bethany House, June 1, 2012
Paperback 365 pages
Review copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:Loved this story!



No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

This was a superb story with some really delightful characters in the Archer Brothers. They are a tight-knit family that shoots first and asks questions later, yet somehow young Meredith made her way on to the Archer land and wasn't allowed to leave it until she was married. For propriety's sake, the brothers drew straws to make an honest woman out of Meredith, and the Archers were never the same again after letting blasted females into their midst.

Meredith's cousin Cassandra makes her way to the Archer ranch, too, because she needs help to avoid the evil Roy Mitchell. A first-class jerk, Roy is intent on marrying any female who could bring him more land for his business. The Archers find themselves caught up in a fight for survival to ward off Roy's henchmen, and Meredith proves herself to be a worthy partner to the Archers (for a female!). The female leads in this story were both to admired, and their strong-willed ways helped me to love this story even more.

Full of intrigue, sweet romance and suspense, this was an enchanting story set in late 1800’s Texas that shows how treacherous life could be on a secluded ranch. From conflicts and mishaps to burning barns, I enjoyed this inspirational story from start to finish and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to historical romance fans in need of a quick escape.

Aug 21, 2012

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell


An unlikely pair team up during the British Occupation in America
 The Messenger by Siri Mitchell
Bethany House, March 2012
384 pages Paperback
9780764207962
Review copy provided by the publisher via HNR, thank you!
Review originally posted in Historical Novels Review Magazine, August 2012
Burton Book Review Rating:4 Stars


Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith...until her twin brother joined the Colonial cause and ended up in jail. She longs to bring some measure of comfort to him in the squalid prison, but her faith forbids it. The Friends believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. She is not allowed to visit him, even if she were able to secure a pass.
Jeremiah Jones, a Colonial spy, needs access to the jail to help rescue me important to the cause. Upon meeting Hannah, a plan begins to develop. Who would suspect a pious Quaker visiting a loved one?

But Jeremiah is unprepared for Hannah, for her determination to do right, to not lie. How can one be a spy and not lie? Hannah, in turn, is surprised by Jeremiah...for the way he forces her to confront her own beliefs, for the sensitivity and concern he shows her despite the wounds he still carries.

In a time of war, can two unlikely heroes find the courage to act?

The Messenger tells the story of an unlikely pair: war veteran Jeremiah Jones and young Quaker Hannah Sunderland. With meticulous historical details of the turbulent times during the British Occupation of Philadelphia circa 1778, key themes are faith, familial loyalty and deception.

As a Quaker, Hannah is forbidden to choose a political side, be it Loyalist or Rebel, but when her twin brother joins the Rebels, Hannah is torn between faith and justice. Hannah reluctantly decides to team up with Jeremiah Jones and his spy network, despite their many differences of opinion, in efforts to free prisoners and to expose war atrocities.

The alternating first person narrative brings the emotions of the duo to the forefront, and the intrigues of the Colonials versus the Redcoats were well plotted as we learned of Jeremiah’s own story as he was maimed during one of the many battles. In an example of opposites attract, it seems that not everyone or everything would be as it appears. Hannah struggles with the pacifist ideals of her faith, and Jeremiah is not as rough as his appearance. With a convincing supporting cast, this is a compelling Christian historical set during a very important time for America.

Aug 20, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading/Mailbox Monday

What are you Reading?

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

Mailbox Monday is a meme from Marcia's Mailbox and is being hosted in August at 5 Minutes for Books.

I wanted to share a book with you that I have been looking forward to, and was giddy when it landed in my mailbox, even though I've sworn off review copies. I LOVED the last book by the author (a favorite of 2011!) and I couldn't put it down, so I am hoping this will be even better:



The New York Times bestselling author of The Map of Time returns with a mesmerizing novel casting H.G. Wells in a leading role, as the extraterrestrial invasion featured in The War of the Worlds is turned into a bizarre reality.

A love story serves as backdrop for The Map of the Sky when New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry millionaire Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the extraterrestrial invasion featured in Wells’s War of the Worlds. What follows are three brilliantly interconnected plots to create a breathtaking tale of time travel and mystery, replete with cameos by a young Edgar Allan Poe, and Captain Shackleton and Charles Winslow from The Map of Time.


This is not normally a me-type-of-read, but the last one was an awesome genre-bending mind-bending adventure that I have no qualms about jumping into this one soon. And I LOVE that some of the characters from the last book will appear here.

But first, I need to get moving on my current to-be-read pile, that I've been sorely lacking in due to my week from hell last week (and this summer has really bitten as far as I'm concerned). I have tons of books I was supposed to have reviewed for September. And then with school starting for my two kiddos next week (kindergarten!) I just don't know how much more my brain can handle.


I am attempting to read the same books mentioned before:
Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer:

No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

I just started Short-Straw Bride, and it is a good story with a likable heroine. I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out between Meredith and sexy Travis, and if they can ward off the bad guys.

I am also participating in the read along of Wolf Hall, and I am about halfway through reading it. But my mind has been in another world lately so I haven't really been reading at all this past week. Wolf Hall is an interesting look at Cromwell and Wolsey, with really smirky analogies and remarks about the famous Tudor era. I find it quite intriguing that this book, a highly acclaimed award winning one, is allowed to delve into the rumors such as affairs that in reality were NOT occurring, that Anne Boleyn was a witch with a sixth finger etc are all ACCEPTABLE in this work but if ANY other author *Philippa Gregory cough cough* gets SLAMMED if she mentions anything like that....

 

Aug 19, 2012

TSS: My Horrible Week


Welcome to The Sunday Salon, where we get to sit back and enjoy our weekend paper.. or our fellow blogger's Sunday posts. 


OH
MY
Goodness.

Yes folks, I had a humdinger of a week. I was called for jury duty - I was PICKED for jury duty for the first time and it was a case of a 19 year old boy and all five of the occupants getting ejected from the truck that rolled as he was driving too fast on a curve. 2 boys died, 2 boys injured, 1 'boy' at age 23 seemingly had little injury. The case was a sentencing case, and it was tough, so very tough... because the facts as they were presented pretty much made me wonder why this poor boy (youngest of the bunch, dyslexic and a Section 504 kid) plead guilty to the intoxication manslaughter charges in the first place. (I feel he made a strong case of being coerced out of BED to go out for the third time that night). It was such a random twist of fate, and seeing those photos that are forever etched in my memory.. and hearing the parents' speak about their boys, it was so tragic and heartrending and my mind was in a daze for four days of the past week.

One thing that really stuck in my head, is that all five of the boys' families admitted easily on the stand that they regularly allow alcohol drinking in their home. They felt it was harmless. The whole attitude that 'if it's done in front of my face at least I can control it' is SO WAY OFF BASE, folks. You are condoning something that the LAW does not condone. And as such, you encouraged drinking to your kids, you made it a habit to your kids, and you made them comfortable being 19-20 year olds to go out and party. It is NOT OKAY to let kids drink. They are KIDS, take care of them, and keep them away from alcohol and drugs. Remember when we were in school and they taught us about  abstinence? I think they need a refresher on that and adopt a zero tolerance policy. Kids need to be taught as kids to know that alcohol is not their friend. I am just so heartbroken, for this kid who will now go to prison, and this kid's family who is forever ostracized in the hometown that was theirs for generations back. And I wish I could say there has been closure and forgiveness for the parties involved, but that whole town (it was a Change of Venue case, very glad I don't live THERE!) is becoming maniacal against this boy and his family. When ALL these boys were drinking, and these boys went and got this kid back out from his home and pretty much peer pressured this younger boy to go out and he happened to be the one behind the wheel. I just cannot stand it.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. It was a horrible week, horrible to be deliberating on this case, horrible to try and be impartial when I felt sympathy for both sides of the case. And horrible for the looks we jurors received from the courtroom. MY GOD have some respect, people.


And then of course I had to get my head back in gear to function at work (OMG PILES of paperwork, stick a fork in me!!) .. when I finally sat down at a desk to go through emails, I had 196. Ugh. I did a mass delete just to preserve a smidgen of sanity, so if I missed anything you sent.. you know why...

Needless to say, I didn't attempt to read a page for four days out of the week, so once again I'm running behind schedule. But I did manage to take advantage of the Tax Free Weekend and my kiddos are clothes-wise ready for school to start on the 24th. I am debating whether or not I'm looking forward to it, but at least they will be sporting some bright new duds.


As far as my current Swap list goes, it is the same as last week which you can see here. I've been trying to clean up my library and definitely need to get rid of some ARCs that I won't be reading again. Let me know if there is anything you want to swap for! And for HF Fans there is a giveaway coming up next week, and it's not too late to sign up for the hop! See the details at Bippity Boppity Book. I'll be hosting a box-o-books giveaway, featuring (you guessed it!!) some ARCs from that swap list. And then I have someone on Paperbackswap that I can relegate my left overs to also, so that will help make some room. I am looking for GILBERT MORRIS novels so if you see/have any, I want to swap with you!

And take a peek at the review I posted for Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck, I so very highly recommend it!!

Aug 18, 2012

Saturday Snapshot

To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at Alyce's blog At Home With Books.

I had a really rough week which you can read all about on tomorrow's post, so I haven't had any camera opps. So here's something from my closet. I am a collector, as most of us who have libraries probably are collectors of more than books.

I collect everything from Precious Moments and other various figurines to books to Barbies. I worked at a gift shop in New York for a few years when a teen and it caused my collectors' habit. I've slowed down in the doll collecting fields due to space, but thank goodness my daughter can hold half my collection in her room, and I can have about another quarter in my closet which you see here:

If you look towards the middle and to the right, there is a Francie doll there in the blue coat. She was Francie with Growing Pretty Hair from the very early seventies.
There is my very own Annie doll to the left, and more to the left of her is my baby doll that my mother used to make me and her matching dresses. Under her is my favorite Barbie doll I played with, Loving You Barbie from 1983.

Everything's bigger in Texas, and I am blessed with an amazing walk through wrap around closet that is bigger than my old bathroom + master closet combined...plenty of room for collections, jewelry, perfumes, storage boxes, my clothes, full length mirrors, seats and even my husband has his own side with a pretty row of picture frames. Yes, when we were touring the house before we made an offer, this closet was KILLER and really helped make my decision to buy it. I say all this to those home buyers out there: closets closets closets... they are essential!

So what you see here are dolls from my very own childhood that I played with and new additions. There are Cabbage Patch Kids (& a Koosa!) on the bottom, and then some more Barbies that I've collected since about 1994. I pretty much stopped when my father passed away almost four years ago, as he was the one with the disposable income to get me the pricier ones, and I've moved the collecting bug towards books, which thankfully I have a library for.

If you look on the bottom shelf, there is a Barbie dressed in black pretty much alone (Suzy Goose furniture keeps her company), that pretty Silkstone was one of the last Barbies my father gifted me.

I have more Barbies, actually many many more in their boxes, but you get the point.


Aug 17, 2012

Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck

Hemingway's Girl
Heart stopping drama and romance set against Hemingway's high rolling world
Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck
NAL Trade, September 4 2012
Paperback 352 pages
Historical fiction/romance
Review copy from the author, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:New Favorite!

“She remembered when Hemingway had planted a banyan tree at his house and told her its parasitic roots were like human desire. At the time she’d thought it romantic. She hadn’t understood his warning.”

In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads her to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match...and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway. When Mariella is hired as a maid by Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline, she enters a rarified world of lavish, celebrity-filled dinner parties and elaborate off-island excursions. As she becomes caught up in the tensions and excesses of the Hemingway household, the attentions of the larger-than-life writer become a dangerous temptation...even as straightforward Gavin Murray draws her back to what matters most. Will she cross an invisible line with the volatile Hemingway, or find a way to claim her own dreams? As a massive hurricane bears down on Key West, Mariella faces some harsh truths...and the possibility of losing everything she loves.


Erika Robuck's first novel, Receive Me Falling, was indicative of great things to come. I mooned happiness in my review of that one, and I shall do the same here. I love how Erika can transport the reader to another place in time with just a few words, and words that she skillfully weaves together to give us the impression of being there with her characters.

And her characters are always so well put together - flaws and all - including a certain Mr. Hemingway, his family, and the fictional Mariella Bennet. This is an emotive mix of love, loyalty, self-renewal, betrayal, jealousy all set against the Depression era giving us such an intense backdrop for this Key West novel.

Ernest Hemingway is living with wife number two in Key West when Mariella becomes the hired help. Ernest is called 'Papa' and he calls her 'daughter'. The two have an amazingly tantalizing relationship which you never know when they are going to take it to the next level. When she meets the war vet Gavin Murray, things turn into a sort of love triangle times two, and the almost twenty year old Mariella is forced to grow up or jeopardize all hopes of getting her family out of squalor.

The scenery of Florida and the era of the sadness of the surviving war veterans of the Great War were depcited so very well. The storyline was imaginative yet with so many moving parts of Gavin's life, Mariella's familial struggles, Hemingway's struggles with everything.. the disdain of the locals.. the entire thing was so put together in a perfect little package that I can happily say I told you so when I gushed in my review of her last book.

Hemingway's Girl is so rich with its atmospheric tone it will pull you in with the monstrous waves of the Hurricane that swept through Florida, and you will want to make sure you set aside enough time at night to get to the end because you will NOT want to put it down during the last seventy pages or so. And have a box of tissues, because I was sobbing. I adored these characters, all of them, that I cared deeply about them before the book was done. Perfectly fantastic storytelling in this treasure of a novel. Erika Robuck should make Hemingway proud by using him in this way. (wink wink - you'll understand that line when you read it).

Aug 15, 2012

Two Crosses (Book 1) & Two Testaments (Book 2) by Elizabeth Musser

FAVORITE ALERT!!


(Elizabeth Musser)
A double review for the two books shown above which should be read back to back for three days straight, like I did. And I must say, I had received two incredibly huge daunting manuscript galleys for these, which scared me. I was not looking forward to reading these cumbersome things, and I kicked myself for choosing these books. My fears were unfounded.

My review was published in the August HNS Review magazine, as an Editor's Choice.. which further proves the fact that these books are fantabulous. I have purchased another of this author's work solely based on the merits of these two.

Two Crosses Book One in Secrets of the Cross Trilogy by Elizabeth Musser (464 pages) and
Two Testaments Book Two in Secrets of the Cross Trilogy (494 pages)
David C. Cook, June 2012, $14.99
Review copy provided by the publisher via HNR, thank you!
Review originally posted in Historical Novels Review Magazine, August 2012
Burton Book Review Rating:5 Inspiring Stars

Book One Blurb: The glimmering Huguenot cross she innocently wears leads her deep into the shadows. When Gabriella Madison arrives in France in 1961 to continue her university studies, she doesn’t anticipate being drawn into the secretive world behind the Algerian war for independence from France. The further she delves into the war efforts, the more her faith is challenged. The people who surround her bring a whirlwind of transforming forces—a wise nun involved in the smuggling, a little girl carrying secret information, and a man with unknown loyalties who captures her heart. When she discovers a long hidden secret from her past, it all leads to questions about trust, faith in action, and the power of forgiveness to move beyond the pain of the past

Two Crosses begins the unforgettable story that is the tapestry of several characters in this saga that stretches across opposite coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Fighting for independence from France, the racism plaguing Algeria’s social classes creates a chasm in the early 1960’s that spins uncontrollably. Teacher and student David and Gabriella meet at a Franco American Exchange program where the nun Mother Griolet manages the operation along with an orphanage which doubles as a cover of a rescue mission in France. Gabriella helps David with dangerous operations of transporting orphaned children whose family were victims of the Algerian war. David’s own past reemerges as his daughter Ophélie arrives on Gabby’s doorstep, epitomizing the stolen innocence of the children due to the treachery of the Algerian war. Gabby and Ophélie bond immediately, as they each proudly wear their Huguenot cross close to their hearts which becomes symbolic and healing even as David tries to reconcile his own questions of faith with the horrors of the war he has witnessed. Gabby’s relationships with the women in the school and the orphanage are also an integral part of the story as she slowly realizes her calling in life.

Book two seamlessly picks up the story from book one, as there is no clear divide between the two. These books are definitely meant to be read in order as the characterizations and the consequences of the war are all splendidly portrayed in the first book. Two Testaments continues with the aftermath of the Algerian independence, as David befriends a Muslim friend and they question their faiths together. Although the war is supposed to be over, the people have been forced to split and choose sides. The pied-noirs were French citizens, but unwanted after being forced from Algeria; Harkis were Muslim soldiers who once fought alongside Arabs, but now found themselves unwelcome in the newly independent Algeria.

Two Testaments tells the story of the pied-noirs and the Harkis through several characters in a way that evokes tears because of the violence and tragedy. Yet, there was always hope, and victory for some; death for others, and insecurity for the rest. The plot is a well-written composition that teaches a little about life during tragic times, but moving and emotive as the characters reach for understanding through a higher power. At first there was a daunting set of names and places, but they were ultimately threaded together carefully throughout the story. Both of these novels explored deep themes such as prejudice, God, love, sacrifice and hope, but these words just skim the surface of its potential to touch the reader. Book three, Two Destinies {September 2012}, picks up the saga of these families thirty years later as war yet again becomes unavoidable.

These are going to be on the top of my favorites list of 2012.

Aug 13, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading!

What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

This week I started reading Wolf Hall for the read along, and got almost halfway through it by the time the weekend came. Perfect timing for me to pause Wolf Hall, and read an eBook on my iPad. During the weekend I read (devoured):

Barbour Books, September 1, 2012
Christian Fiction/Historical Romance

Juliana Sutton’s life looks perfect—from the outside. Until her husband’s untimely death reveals a devastating truth. . . . Cass Gregory is carrying his own dark secrets and feels unworthy to offer comfort to a woman of Juliana’s standing. When circumstances force them together, both Juliana and Cass are wounded and afraid to trust. Will the shadow of her dead husband’s name stand between Juliana and Cass, or will Juliana choose a love she never thought possible?

I enjoyed this, and its powerful Christian message hiding in the pleasurable story of love after betrayal.
Today I have jury duty, so please forgive me for not getting to your own Monday posts. Cross your fingers that I do not get picked for this long-term, I have way too many things going on at work that need my attention.

Reminder:
You have until Wednesday to enter the Three Book Giveaway of Georgette Heyer's classic works!

Aug 12, 2012

TSS/Swap List


Welcome to The Sunday Salon, where we get to sit back and enjoy our weekend paper.. or our fellow blogger's Sunday posts. And scroll to the bottom to get to my Sunday Swap List.

This week, I've been reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. What a lot of fun it is! I am not in the mood to read review titles, and Wolf Hall has been on my shelf since it came out. And of course the sequel is already here, so it was time to bite the bullet and read Wolf Hall, especially since there is a read along going on for it right now. Since that's a chunkster, and work has been stressing me out lately, that's pretty much all there is to say about my reading this past week. And I'm still recovering from whatever stomach bug has attacked me. 'Stick a fork in me' has been my mantra this past week.

Have you guys seen The Classics Club? I am SO itching to join in, but I have to get my priorities straight first. There are so many others that I want to read NOW, such as getting back to my old favorites like Jean Plaidy and Georgette Heyer! Those are 'classic' and classy authors, but they are not considered Classics in the way the club is set up.

Speaking of Heyer, I have a 3 book giveaway still ongoing courtesy of Sourcebooks, who has reissued most of Heyer's titles. Enter the giveaway here, it's open until Wednesday.
August 24 is the Partial to the Past Giveaway Hop, and I'll be bundling some of these left over unswapped HF ARC's here for that giveaway. I've GOT to get rid of some of these ARC's, I'm forgetting what I have because some books are stacked in front of others. I bought two of the same vintage Kathleen Winsor's books because I am so disorganized. I will go ahead and just post the paperbacks to paperbackswap to try and move these out if there are no more takers for these via the blog. I had really wanted to minimize the single book-at-a-time type shipments though. So if anyone is looking to deal, I'd probably do a 2 for 1 type thing, so please contact me!

SUNDAY SWAP LIST!
These books are available for swapping.
 Many reviews can be found in my Reviews Master List.

Christian Non-fiction:
I Love You to God and Back by Amanda Lamb (used paperback)

Tudor-ish:
In A Treacherous Court by Michele Diener (new pb)
At The Kings Pleasure by Kate Emerson (book #4)
Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (used ARC)

Other Royal-related:
The Shadow Queen: A Novel of Wallis Simpson by Rebecca Dean (used ARC)

Royal Non-fiction:
Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll (older ARC & has a little stain on cover even though I never read it)

Austenesque/Regency:
Wickham's Diary by Amanda Grange (small book, an ARC)
Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell (used ARC)
A Darcy Christmas by Grange/Lathan/Eberhart (used ARC)
The Gilded Shroud (a Georgian mystery) by Elizabeth Bailey (used PB)

Historical Fiction:
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (used ARC)
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan (used ARC)
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (used pb)
Come a Little Closer by Dorothy Garlock (used pb)
Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick (used PB)
The Shadow of The King by Helen Hollick (used ARC)

General Literature/Women's Fic:
This Must Be The Place by Kate Racculia (used ARC)
Mothers & Daughters by Rae Meadows (used ARC)
The Darlings by Christina Alger (used ARC)
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (used pb)

Others:
The Land of Painted Caves by Auel (ARC)
Edge of Dark Water by Joe R Lansdale (ARC)

*I have updated this list as I have parceled books out. This list was longer originally, so your eyes are not deceiving you if you are coming back to this post at a later time than the original post date.

Also, here is a September swap list at Legacy of A Writer from several folks.


For easier access, I have attempted to add these titles to my Goodreads To-Swap shelf. That way, you can see ratings etc and figure out if they are something you are interested in. I will keep that shelf there as well so I don't have to continually create a blog post with the books. So at anytime, just email or comment if you see something you are interested in, and feel free to post your own available books as well.

Aug 11, 2012

Saturday Snapshot

To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at Alyce's blog At Home With Books.


One day this last week I was walking out to the mailbox and I FINALLY was able to catch a picture of the pretty bird that always flies away when it hears something.


Can't believe I was able to get this close!


Flying away.
And after she flew away, my pond and the late afternoon sun offered another photogenic opportunity for Reflections:

Reflections
  

Aug 8, 2012

Westward Hearts by Melody A. Carlson

Oregon or BUST!

Westward Hearts (Homeward on the Oregon Trail #1) by Melody A. Carlson
Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2012)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0736948715
Review copy downloaded from NetGalley
Burton Book Review Rating:Intriguing story
Bestselling author Melody Carlson begins an inspiring new series of adventure and romance on the Oregon Trail.
Kentucky, 1854—Elizabeth Martin has mourned her husband’s death for three years, but now she feels ready to fulfill the dream they had shared—to take their two children west. The dream becomes reality when her middle-aged parents and bachelor brother surprise her with the news that they want to go as well.
After converting three of their best wagons to prairie schooners and thoroughly outfitting them, the little party travels from Kentucky to Kansas City, where they join a substantial wagon train. Elizabeth soon finds herself being drawn to the group’s handsome guide, Eli Kincade.
The long journey and deepening relationships challenge the travelers to their core, and Eli’s mysterious past leaves Elizabeth with more questions than answers. She knows there’s no turning back, but she wonders, What have I gotten myself into?

About This Series: The Homeward on the Oregon Trail series brings to life the challenges a young widow faces as she journeys west, settles her family in the Pacific Northwest, and helps create a new community among strong-willed and diverse pioneers.

The first half of the story is given away in the synopsis, as the plot line progresses around Elizabeth and her life as a widow and a mother. It isn't until nearly halfway through the book that the family embark on the adventure towards Oregon, and it is then that we meet the others who along on the wagon trail with Elizabeth's family.

Elizabeth Martin and her parents the Dawsons are good Christians who help others on the trail, even those of "ill repute" along the trail with them. Elizabeth ignores the gossipy and self-righteous woman Gertrude and both befriends and defends the riders who seem to have a seedy past. There are an interesting mix of characters on the trail, some missionaries who are all hellfire and brimstone, and Bostonians ill-prepared for the rugged trip. And of course there are a few handsome men to make things interesting for Elizabeth, who has finally after four years stowed away her widow's weeds.

Elizabeth's family are an admirable close-knit group whom I found myself rooting for along the way, through the myriads of problems from rivers, Indians, tornadoes and the other folks on the trail. The detail to life along the Oregon trail was impeccably displayed, with fun facts woven in such as needing to have beans soak overnight, only traveling half-days on the Sabbath day, and when and where to buy supplies for the trip. The trip itself was expected to take six months, however we don't know what happens past Fort Laramie as the book abruptly ended. At a family celebration, Elizabeth is happily dancing with a dashing fellow and there the story ends. I was not prepared for that, and it turns out there is going to be another book that follows the Dawson and the Martin family and perhaps by the end of that book they will actually settle somewhere close to Oregon.

I found the writing to be smooth, and the intriguing mix of characters to be entertaining. I felt like I learned a lot of the history against the backdrop of mid 1850's and the passion to go forth and follow in Lewis and Clark's footsteps. I am definitely eager to read the next in the Homeward on the Oregon Trail series to see how the love interest develops for Elizabeth after the romantic dance.

Aug 7, 2012

Georgette Heyer Celebration and Giveaway

Here at Burton Book Review there is a permanent spot devoted to Georgette Heyer which I created in January of 2010. It has the complete list of her work, and also serves as my guide for what books I still need to purchase of hers. My goal is (of course!) to own every single one of them. Getting the time to read them will be an entirely different matter.

Sourcebooks now has reissued all of Georgette Heyer's 52 novels, so that your collection won't have the same crumbling vintage feel as mine does.. If you live near a HalfPrice Books, you need to check there because I found a few of the pretty Sourcebook reissues there at a great price.

Have you heard of Georgette Heyer before now? If so, do you remember what or who introduced you to her work? (Sourcebooks introduced me). I fell in love with the clean and classy wit, and the periods in which Heyer wrote are all very intriguing for me. She has romances, mysteries and historicals and I've read a little of each. You can find my reviews linked on my Heyer List Page.

If you would like to enter to win a surprise pack of Heyer novels courtesy of Sourcebooks, please comment here with a "Heyer Moment". Is there a particular book you favored? Sourcebooks wants to hear your personal Heyer stories, and I will choose one commenter to win the Heyer prize pack which will have a mystery, a romance and a historical as the grab-bag prize for one lucky Heyer fan!

The giveaway is open to followers in USA and Canada until Wednesday, August 15th 2012 as part of Sourcebooks' Heyer Birthday Celebration.. and there is even a Facebook page they have created for her; be sure to check it out to get all the latest updates and eBook deals Sourcebooks is planning!

And directly from Sourcebooks themselves:

All Available Georgette Heyer eBooks on sale for $2.99 from Tuesday August 14th – Monday August 20th!  http://www.sourcebooks.com/readers/browse-our-lists/ebook-specials/1776-happy-birthday-ms-heyer-ebooks-for-299.html

Get 30% off any Heyer print book during the whole month of August at the Sourcebooks store by using the coupon code HEYER at checkout! http://www.sourcebooks.com/store/fiction/georgette-heyer/

Also, check out our Georgette Heyer Facebook page where we will be having discussions, parties and giveaways!

Aug 6, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Last week, I reviewed the Wallis Simpson book that piqued every one's interest last week.
The Shadow QueenWords Spoken True

I also posted a review of Words Spoken True, by Ann Gabhart which has a really fun storyline about a young woman working in her father's newspaper business, and I really enjoyed this one. It had a great mix of romance and some scary moments all bundled up in an intriguing historical setting. 

I have just finishing the reading of Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck (holy moly emotive ending of goodness!!)...

and next up SHOULD be 

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer:

No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

HOWEVER.. I felt like crap & wasn't in the mood for happy-joy-joy-love stuff (even if it's got burning houses in the synopsis) so I decided to jump into the brand new read along of Wolf Hall, which I've had the hardcover on my shelf soon after it came out in 2009. I wanted the new Philippa Gregory book to read as I am really in the mood for some Wars of the Roses material, but it looks like it's not going to land in my mailbox, so Wolf Hall will have to suffice (which, is probably good, as I'd probably rip a Philippa Gregory novel to shreds considering my mood)..

You can  join in now, it just started and you only need to read through part one this week. Here's the schedule.

And in case you haven't heard all about Wolf Hall from six different ways to Sunday, here's the blurb for this Man Booker Prize Winner:

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.


Surprise of all surprises, the 2012 sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, is in the running for the Man Booker Prize yet again.

So.. what are you reading?

Aug 5, 2012

TSS/Swap List


Welcome to The Sunday Salon, where we get to sit back and enjoy our weekend paper.. or our fellow blogger's Sunday posts. And scroll to the bottom to get to my Sunday Swap List.

Now that August is here, it is time to get our kids in gear! School shopping and getting back on a school schedule is our main priority (that they've been ignoring). The summer has been full of hot, lazy days. The kids were waking up just in time for lunch. And then running through the house at midnight. A five year old running around upstairs does not equate to the adorable pitter patter of tiny feet.

And this five year old will start Kindergarten in a few weeks. Yup. The baby is technically not a baby. Only technically. He's got that whining thing down though, so I worry about his new teacher. Hopefully he'll enjoy the school routine, he always did quite well with the daycare setting. It's just been a bit boring for him this summer which is why I have both hopes and fears for kindergarten to get him back to being my happy go-lucky little guy.

Bookish news.. Have you see the Estella Society yet? They are welcoming book bloggers and your ideas to help cultivate blogger relationships. They're on Facebook, too! Co-host Andi says this about The Estella Society: 'We're pretty open to anything you want to share! This is a readerly playground so it should be fun, informative, and freeing to share your thoughts.' Doesn't that sound fun? Official launch date is August 15.

Speaking of bloggers coming together, the BEA 2013 Conference is already under discussion. Is this something you care about anymore as a book blogger? Personally, since I would never go to one in NYC it is not something that is on my radar, but I like to see what is going on there bookwise/bloggerwise. Turns out, 2012 BEA was a bit of a let-down as it was still more author-focused as opposed to blogger-focused. Serena from Savvy Verse & Wit put together some ideas for what she thinks would be a more valuable blogger conference, and you could read them here. And then I direct you to one of my previous posts where I suggest a fabulous location. Put these two together, and Yeah baby! I'm there!

I really enjoyed myself big-time during the Armchair BEA which ran online at the same time as the physical BEA, as I was able to converse with many new bloggers from the comfort of my computer. The twitter parties were awesome, and I look forward to more of those. I just wish there were more bloggers there that were representative of different genres, this time around there were a large amount of YA bloggers. But I did manage to get some intriguing book recommendations through them.

After last week's announcement of me not becoming the slave to the ARCs, I have felt like a huge weight is off my shoulders. The books are still here, but I have ignored at least 20 emails so far (pats self on back). I am on my way to reading what I want to read when I want to read it!

In the spirit of 'I hate being a robot reviewer'.. I had to mention this article I read via mediabistro.. Fake Erotica takes iBookstore by storm.. shooting to the top but can't yet beat Fifty Shades.. the point is that these comedians got their friends/fans to write fake reviews, give out five stars etc for a fake book and now it's technically a bestseller. So if they can do that, so can everyone else selling a book. Just saying. Which means finding a trusted blogger (like you and me!) is so totally important. (GRIN!) Crazy stuff in the book review world.

I have a question:
Have you read Hemingway.. recently?
What would you recommend for me to read first? For Whom The Bell Tolls was put on the top of my list.
I am intrigued. He was a sexy man.. here is a photo Erika Robuck puts of him in her book, which I am loving Hemingway's Girl:

Ernest Hemingway Collection JFK Library
Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
I opened the book, turned a few pages, and *bam* that photo was there. Wasn't expecting that, or his calf muscle. Anyway...

SUNDAY SWAP LIST!
Every Sunday I will post the current books that I have available for swapping. Many reviews can be found in my Reviews Master List.

Christian Non-fiction:
I Love You to God and Back by Amanda Lamb (used paperback)

Tudor-ish:
In A Treacherous Court by Michele Diener (new pb)
At The Kings Pleasure by Kate Emerson (book #4, these are stand alone; this is a new pb copy)
The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson (book #5, signed, used ARC)
Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth (used ARC)
Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (used ARC)

Other Royal-related:
Queen By Right by Anne Easter Smith (used ARC)
For the King by Catherine Delors (used ARC, one that came bound with that black tape)
Confessions of Catherine de Medici by CW Gortner (used ARC)
The Shadow Queen: A Novel of Wallis Simpson by Rebecca Dean (used ARC)

Royal Non-fiction:
Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll (older ARC & has a little stain on cover even though I never read it)
Sister Queens by Julia Fox (good non fiction if you are interested in these two Queens; Used ARC)

Austenesque/Regency:
Wickham's Diary by Amanda Grange (small book, an ARC)
Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell (used ARC)
A Darcy Christmas by Grange/Lathan/Eberhart (used ARC)
The Gilded Shroud (a Georgian mystery) by Elizabeth Bailey (used PB)

Historical Romance:
The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers (used ARC, this is 736 pages and a LOT of fun)

Historical Fiction:
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (used ARC)
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan (used ARC)
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran (used ARC)
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (used pb)
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott (used ARC)
The Irish Healer by Nancy Herriman (used ARC)
A Parliament of Spies by Cassandra Clark (used ARC)
Come a Little Closer by Dorothy Garlock (used pb)
Madame Bovary's Daughter by Linda Urbach (used ARC, she wrote on it, put my name etc)
Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick (used PB)
The Shadow of The King by Helen Hollick (used ARC)
Child of the Northern Spring by Persia Wolley (used ARC)

General Literature/Women's Fic:
This Must Be The Place by Kate Racculia (used ARC)
Mothers & Daughters by Rae Meadows (used ARC)
The Darlings by Christina Alger (used ARC)
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (used pb)

Others:
The Land of Painted Caves by Auel (ARC)
The First Assassin by John J Miller (ARC)
Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones (ARC)


For Easier Access, I have attempted to add these titles to my Goodreads To-Swap shelf. That way, you can see ratings etc and figure out if they are something you are interested in.
If you are interested in any of these books and have something you would like to offer in trade, you can either email me, or comment on the post. I can reply via comments as well for initial questions or offers.

There are many different books I would be interested in, but to get an idea of things that are on my official wish list, see my Goodreads wish-list shelf, My Amazon Wish List, or my paperbackswap wish list. Or, just show me what you've got! (*USA only, please).

And I am eagerly looking for Gilbert Morris novels, as well as lots of Christian Historical fiction. Just saying.

Aug 4, 2012

Saturday Snapshot

To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at Alyce's blog At Home With Books.


At the old house, we had planted Moonflowers, and they pretty much took over the garden and even had a vine that was growing through a crack in the concrete. My husband destested them because of their invasive nature, I loved them for the majestic flowers.

At the new house, we can't get anything to grow especially because of the wicked drought last year and the soil is much more harder clay over here.

Mother gave me some moonflower seeds (I hid them from my husband) and then I planted them in a big pot on the front porch to see how they would do. They are doing well.

Here it is a few months ago, as it started to grow.
Before...

Angel trumpet, aka Moon Flower
  

I can't wait to see it when the flowers begin to bloom, which are at night as it reaches for the moon. Can you see where the flowers are on this photo?

Taking over the porch column!
Now I just need to keep the grasshoppers away!