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Mar 31, 2013

TSS: Happy EASTER! | Bookish Memes

The Sunday   
Visit Svea's blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.

It's here! Easter Sunday! A VERY SPECIAL day for so many reasons, but for me peronally, this day symbolizes the day my children are worthy of Christ =) Baptisms and First Communion this weekend, but boy oh boy I am ready for my life to get back to normal. It's been so busy with all the prep work involved, but it's been for a good cause of course. This day also means my Lenten Fast is OVER!! You have no freaking idea how much I'm craving hamburger/tacos/beef.

I've finally remembered to post something at the end of a month regarding my reading totals:

According to Goodreads:
You have read 16 books toward your goal of 50 books.
16 of 50 (32%) Great work, you're 5 books (9%) ahead of schedule.
That's 6,103 pages. I'll be adding another 2,000 to that when I finish reading the Study Bible, which I am aiming to do by the end of April.

I'll get right on to the Bookish Fun, cuz we've got lots to cover!!

 Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia's Mailbox and is being hosted by Mari at MariReads. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.

a very gorgeous hardcover with gold trim.. this  pic doesn't do it justice

The Secret Magdalene by Ki Longfellow
Raised like sisters, Mariamne and Salome are indulged with riches, position, and learning-a rare thing for females in Jerusalem. But Mariamne has a further gift: an illness has left her with visions; she has the power of prophecy. It is her prophesying that drives the two girls to flee to Egypt, where they study philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy in the Great Library of Alexandria.

After seven years they return to a Judaea where many now believe John the Baptizer is the messiah. Salome too begins to believe, but Mariamne, now called Magdalene, is drawn to his cousin, Yeshu’a, a man touched by the divine in the same way she was during her days of illness. Together they speak of sharing their direct experience of God; but Yeshu’a unexpectedly gains a reputation as a healer, and as the ill and the troubled flock to him, he and Magdalene are forced to make a terrible decision.

This radical retelling of the greatest story ever told brings Mary Magdalene to life-not as a prostitute or demon-possessed-but as an educated woman who was truly the “apostle to the apostles.”

I had a nice delivery of a box of books, so I'll show you half now, and half next week:

The Mistletoe and the Sword by Anya Seton
From a fascinating corner of history, comes a thrilling story of England in the time of the Romans. Quintus Tullius, a young standard bearer for the Ninth Roman legion, vows to properly bury his grandfather who had been killed by the Druids. In the strange foreign country of the Britons, Quintus meets lovely Regan, the mysterious foster daughter of the Warrior Queen of the Iceanians. Once, he saves her, and then in a daring scene, she rescues him. They are at once bound into history in a time of magic and mystery.

Beyond the Blue Mountains by Jean Plaidy
This is a story set against a late eighteenth and early nineteenth century background, telling how the evils of their time affected the lives of three generations of women. Kitty Kennedy loses her lover before Carolan is born; Katharine, Carolan's child, chooses what must inevitably be a life of danger; but it is Carolan, sensitive and proud, bold and reckless, who must suffer most deeply and who is the central figure around whom events revolve.

Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett
Pawn in Frankincense is the fourth in the legendary Lymond Chronicles. Somewhere within the bejeweled labyrinth of the Ottoman empire, a child is hidden. Now his father, Francis Crawford of Lymond, soldier of fortune and the exiled heir of Scottish nobility, is searching for him while ostensibly engaged on a mission to the Turkish Sultan. At stake is a pawn in a cutthroat game whose gambits include treason, enslavement, and murder.

Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin
When a fire at Glastonbury Abbey reveals two skeletons, rumor has it they may belong to King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. King Henry II hopes so, for it would help him put down a rebellion in Wales, where the legend of Celtic savior Arthur is strong. To make certain, he sends Adelia Aguilar, his Mistress of the Art of Death, to Glastonbury to examine the skeletons.
At the same time, the investigation into the abbey fire will be overseen by the Bishop of St. Albans, father of Adelia's daughter. Trouble is, someone at Glastonbury doesn't want either mystery solved, and is prepared to kill to prevent it...

The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin
When King Henry II's mistress is found poisoned, suspicion falls on his estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The king orders Adelia Aguilar, expert in the science of death, to investigate-and hopefully stave off civil war. A reluctant Adelia finds herself once again in the company of Rowley Picot, the new Bishop of St. Albans...and her baby's father. Their discoveries into the crime are shocking- and omens of greater danger to come.

To Die For by Sandra Byrd
Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn's closest friend since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty-five-year-old Anne's star begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.

Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite
Told in the stunning voices of five women whose lives are inextricably bound when a murder takes place in rural Depression-era North Carolina, Ann Hite’s unforgettable debut spans generations and conjures the best of Southern folk-lore—mystery, spirits, hoodoo, and the incomparable beauty of the Appalachian landscape.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.
April 9, 2013

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd (book 3 in Ladies in Waiting)
In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth’s circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen’s downfall, Helena is forced to choose between an unyielding monarch and the husband she’s not sure she can trust—a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences.

Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.

Featured eBook Download:
Feb. 2013
All For A Song by Allison Pittman (I had seen this one making the rounds, and then finally the Kindle edition was on sale! A wise $1.07 purchase!)
Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has everything she ever wanted: her family, her church, her community, and a budding romance with the young pastor who took over her late father's pulpit. Time spent in the woods, lifting her heart and voice in worship accompanied by her brother's old guitar, makes her life complete . . . and yet she longs for something more. Spending a few days in St. Louis with her sister's family, Dorothy Lynn discovers a whole new way of life-movies, music, dancing; daring fashions and fancy cars. And a dynamic charismatic evangelist . . . who just happens to be a woman. When Dorothy Lynn is offered a chance to join Aimee Semple McPherson's crusade team, she finds herself confronted with temptations she never dreamed of. Can Dorothy Lynn embrace all the Roaring Twenties has to offer without losing herself in the process?

The Fatal Crown (The Queens of Love and War #1) by Ellen Jones (yup, gotta love a novel with cumbrous in its description! And then I ADORE this paperback image of it)!!
In this cumbrous historical novel, Jones postulates a turbulent love affair between the English princess Maud (born 1102) and her cousin and rival to the throne, Stephen of Blois--their passion complicated by political strife. Granddaughter of William the Conquerer, the historical Maud was wed at nine to an aging Holy Roman Emperor, later recalled from Germany as a widow of 25, named heir to the crown of England and married to 14-year-old Geoffrey Plantagenet. The novel dramatizes Maud's purported adulterous liaison with Stephen, who, despite their passionate involvement, angrily challenges her right to the throne when her father dies: their rivalry did in fact erupt into a devastating civil war; Stephen won, reigning until his death in 1154, whereupon Maud's son acceded to the throne, becoming the skilled administrator Henry II, husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I started my read along title of The Miracle at St. Bruno's.. thankfully there is no real time frame for this read along as we all want to read it but we have other books to read as well. So we are taking it chapter by chapter and discussing as we read it on Goodreads. This is a novel by a penname of the prolific Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt and so far it is reading quite well. It's sort of a gothicky tale as 'commoners' are forced to undergo changes as King Henry chooses wives.

Also started reading Jody Hedlund's newest A Noble Groom which features a noble guy forced to flee England, and he lands on a poverty stricken farm in America. He doesn't know the first thing about farming, but doesn't mind helping out the widowed woman and her young one while he can.