Monday, November 30, 2009

The Lemonade Award!



Cathy Bryant at Word Vessel sent me the awesome Lemonade Award over the weekend! This award is passed to bloggers for showing great Attitude and/or Gratitude (you know the old saying, "making lemons into lemonade"...). This is a good reminder for me at this time of year when my attitude can get a bit sour due to stress and the hustle and bustle of the season. I must remember to be thankful for my blessings every day of the year. Thank you Cathy!

I'd like to send this award on to these five bloggers:
Thank you to my followers and my fellow book bloggers, whose blogs help keep my book addiction healthy and well-supplied!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mailbox Monday - November 30



Every week Marcia at The Printed Page hosts Mailbox Monday. It's a chance to share the books that came to your house last week, and to check out what other book lovers received. I always end up with several new books on my wish list after I go check out other people's mailboxes on Mondays.

I'm going to be lazy this week and use the Amazon image/link boxes for my mailbox. I don't feel like downloading images and linking each one up by hand this week. :-P

Here's what I received:





  • I won America's White Table by Margot Theis Raven in a giveaway at 5 Minutes for Books. It's a wonderful children's book explaining a Veteran's Day tradition of setting a table in honor of veterans. I also won a copy from Brimful Curiosities, but when I told her I already got a copy, she asked if I'd like to send it to a school. So the elementary school my father just retired from is getting a copy of this book as well. :) Thank you for the great idea!
  • An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon was another giveaway win--but this one is SIGNED! A very special THANK YOU to Deanna at Mom - Musings for this very special giveaway! She actually got to meet Diana Gabaldon and had the book signed. I get geeked out just thinking about it. LOL
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold was another giveaway win (I've been really lucky lately, or just entering tons of giveaways). It isn't the kind of thing I normally read, but I've been finding that going out of my comfort zone is often a good thing. Thank you to Vera at Luxury Reading for hosting this giveaway.
That's what came to my mailbox this week! What was in yours?

Book Review: The Rose Legacy by Kristen Heitzmann




I'll admit, I ordered The Rose Legacy by Kristen Heitzmann to review from Bethany House on accident, but I am SO glad I did! I picked it up on Wednesday night and started reading, and was really pulled in by the story. I had to force myself to put it down that night, and then finished it on Thursday in the car on the way home from our Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws' house.

Carina Maria DiGratia ran away from her family and home in Sonoma, California, to heal her broken heart. She naively chooses Crystal, Colorado, a rough-and-tumble mining town, to start over. Her hopes for a new and better life are crushed by the reality of men hoping to strike it rich and women with few options. As she struggles to adjust to her new life, she also struggles with her relationship with God. Slowly she develops friendships and roots, but when increasing violence threatens the town she finds herself in a dangerous position that could help bring the violence to an end. In the end she learns that she must forgive and let go if she wants to move forward.

I absolutely loved this book. Carina is a spitfire--independent, funny, friendly, and with a quick temper. Just the kind of heroine I adore. The story is suspenseful and heartfelt. It is heartbreaking to watch Quillan, the freighter, work through the ghosts of his own past and his grudge with God while trying to stop the violence in town and deal with those who think he is the prime suspect. This is the first book in a series, so the story isn't really finished at the end of this book. There is still unfinished business for Carina and Quillan, which disappointed me. But this is an older series that is being reissued, so I don't have to wait for the next book to be published. I can just order it! And I will be ordering it--I just have to know what happens next!

★★★★★ This is one of my favorite books this year. I definitely recommend it. 5/5 stars.

**This book was provided for review through the Bethany House Book Reviewers program (for more information on my reviews, please view my disclosure policy).**

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What My Child Is Reading - November 28



Every week Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns hosts What My Child Is Reading. It's a chance to share the books that our kids love and have been reading for the past week.

My daughter pulled out a few books from her shelf that we haven't read for a while this week. Here they are:

I'm really glad that she picked out Good Night, Sleep Tight! by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Rory Tyger, because it is one of my favorites. Grandma is babysitting Archie one evening and getting him ready for bed. But he isn't sleepy yet. They try warm milk, they count fireflies, she sings him songs, they go for a walk. What finally gets him to sleep is Grandma tucking him in the same way she used to tuck in Archie's mom, when she was little. The story is adorable, and the illustrations are really sweet.

The Very Noisy Night by Diana Hendry and illustrated by Jane Chapman is another cute bedtime book. Little Mouse can't sleep because he keeps hearing noises. Big Mouse can't sleep because Little Mouse keeps asking what the noises are and wants to sleep in Big Mouse's bed. Big Mouse resists and tries to find a way to get Little Mouse to go to sleep. When he finally plugs Little Mouse's ears, Little Mouse finds that the quiet has made him lonely. Big Mouse finally relents and lets Little Mouse sleep with him. The story and the illustrations are really cute in this book too.

We have a board book version of Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin, Jr, and illustrated by Eric Carle. It is an old favorite that comes out quite often around here, but I think our recent trip to Sea World (where we saw polar bears) prompted her to pull it out more often this week. This book takes place at a zoo, where the zookeeper hears a bunch of children making noises like the animals they see there. Carle's illustrations are, as usual, colorful and eye-catching.

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That's what my daughter has been reading this week. Visit Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns for more children's book suggestions.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Review: Daughter of Liberty by J.M. Hochstetler



Daughter of Liberty by J.M. Hochstetler is the first book in Ms. Hochstetler's American Patriot series. I bought it in anticipation of reviewing the third book in the series, Wind of the Spirit--my review will be part of a blog tour stop here on December 11 organized by Pump Up Your Book. My natural inclination is to read series in order, so I gave myself this duty to read the first two books in the series first. Book two, Native Son is already on its way here.

Daughter of Liberty is set in Boston in 1775, in the opening stages of what would erupt into the Revolutionary War. The main character, Elizabeth Howard, is an unusual young woman. The daughter of a prominent Tory family, she has secret connections to the Patriot cause. Although the role she undertakes is a dangerous one, her family's politics place her in an ideal position to pass information to the Patriots. Her subversive activities become even more dangerous with the arrival of Captain Jonathan Carleton, a British soldier she is intensely attracted to but who also has the job of ferreting out those who might be helping the Patriot cause at the expense of the British army. The story follows the fateful events at Lexington and Concord in great detail from both sides of the fight, and shows how Elizabeth and Jonathan both struggle with their faith in God's plan and purpose for their lives during these difficult times.

I really enjoyed this book. As a History teacher, I am pretty familiar with the events described in the book, and I was very impressed by the authentic feeling I got of the events as I read. I felt like I was there with the soldiers as they tried to retreat back to Boston after their clashes with the militia at Lexington and Concord. I became quite fond of the characters and felt invested in their story. I wanted to know what would happen next, and I was rooting for Elizabeth and Jonathan to finally reveal their secrets to each other. There were a couple of places where I thought some of the dialog didn't fit in with the time period--one example comes from page 20, where one of the characters uses the phrase "crack a book," which is a phrase that seems awfully modern to me. The other thing that stuck out in my mind was when Elizabeth took some quinine to "little Jimmy" to help with his fever--doctors at that time used the bark from the Cinchona tree (which contained quinine), but quinine itself wasn't isolated from the bark until 1820 (honestly, this is a fact I am familiar with only because it is discussed in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series LOL!). I think some of the medical information in this book is a little bit modern for the time period being depicted.

Despite these minor problems, I still found the story and characters immensely entertaining and interesting. I love that Elizabeth is a brave and strong woman who is not afraid to put her life on the line for what she believes in. I appreciated the Christian themes within the book--Carleton comes to a point where Elizabeth helps him see that his past deeds were not too terrible for God to forgive. There is also a bit of discussion among the characters showing how Christians of the time were torn over how to deal with the events that were taking place--should they fight for independence and the rights God gave to them, or should they remain loyal to the government that God had put into place? I was also impressed that this was a book that depicted the losses of war realistically. Elizabeth's family faces some hard losses, and near the end I was brought to tears by the weight of those losses.

★★★★ This is a great book. I'm giving it 4/5 stars. Can't wait to read the second book in the series!

**Source: I bought this book on Ebay.

This is my 12th book for the 1st in a Series Challenge. I'm now finished with that challenge!! ☺


CymLowell

Friday Firsts - November 27


The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence?

"June 7, 1880
With a hollow crack the wagon lurched to the side and lolloped like a large lamed animal."

--The Rose Legacy by Kristen Heitzmann (ISBN 9780764207136

This is a really descriptive and interesting first sentence, the kind of sentence that pulls you in to find out what just happened. Certainly such an event would not be good news, and as a reader I wanted to know just how bad this news would be. The next few sentences further hooked me to learn that this was a woman driving and that there was a very steep drop-off to one side of her broken-down wagon. The main character, Carina, is on her way to starting a new life in the rough-and-tumble mining town of Crystal, Colorado, and this is only the start of her troubles.

For more information on how to participate in this weekly book meme, visit Well-Read Reviews.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Myspace Graphics


He is a wise man who does not grieve
for the things which he has not,
but rejoices for those which he has.
~Epictetus

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wish List Wednesday - The Hidden Flame


This week, I'm wishing for The Hidden Flame by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn. It is book two in the Acts of Faith series. I reviewed the first book, The Centurion's Wife, last month. The Hidden Flame will be available in bookstores on January 1, 2010.

Amazon.com description:
Abigail loses everything and is left with little promise of a normal life. When she discovers the Messiah and joins his followers, she also discovers new meaning and purpose. Maybe she does have a future after all. But increasing persecution is scattering the burgeoning group "to the ends of the earth." And Abigail may have given her heart to the wrong man. Two suitors desire the lovely Abigail's hand in marriage. One is a successful Hebrew merchant and widower looking for a mother for his children. On the other side is the Roman soldier Linux, who is captivated by her winsome charm and could offer the sanctuary--maybe even the love--for which she yearns. But her heart has been captured by neither of these. Stephen, one of the leaders of The Way, has a character and a faith that move her deeply, but his outspoken preaching has marked him for assassination. Will her faith and courage withstand a heartbreak beyond comprehension? And then a glimmer of hope appears, one she never would have foreseen.

To find out what other bookworms are wishing for this Wednesday, visit Wishful Wednesday, hosted by The Bluestocking Guide.

This also qualifies as a pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection, which is the subject of Jill's meme Waiting On Wednesday, at her blog Breaking the Spine. Visit her site to see what other upcoming books other readers are eagerly waiting for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On My Nightstand - November

What's On Your Nightstand

Every 4th Tuesday of each month, 5 Minutes for Books hosts an event called What's On Your Nightstand? It gives book bloggers a chance to connect with each other and see what we are reading and planning to read. It gives me a chance to look back at what I've completed over the past month and to put together a rough plan for the upcoming month's reading.

Here's this month's picture of my nightstand:


This month's nightstand has three books from last month still there, and probably won't be finished before next month's On My Nightstand post, either (nonfiction takes me longer to read)-- 
But there are also two new books that I'm working on too-- 
These aren't pictured on my nightstand, but I'm also planning to complete the three books in J.M. Hochstetler's American Patriot Series and The Rose Legacy by Kristen Heitzmann. Then hopefully some other books from my giant TBR pile!

I finished three of the books that were pictured on my nightstand last month (the links below take you to my reviews):
I also finished and reviewed (links go to my reviews):
I'm trying to get a bunch of recreational reading in right now because I'm going to be teaching a class January-March at the local university (a huge surprise, considering current budgets), and I'm pretty sure I won't get much reading done then at all.

So, that's what's on my nightstand. :) What's on yours?

Review: Dear Baby, What I Love About You! by Carol Casey


Dear Baby, What I Love About You by Carol Casey and illustrated by Jason Oransky is an adorable board book for babies and their loved ones to read together. It touches on all of the sweet and simple things a baby does and how it makes us adults feel. The rhymes are cute and catchy--just the kind of thing babies like to hear over and over. And the pictures are absolutely delightful--they are bright and colorful and sure to catch the attention of any baby or toddler.

My kids loved books from day one, and this would have been a favorite for them. There is a baby yearbook on the last page for adults to sign after they have read the book with baby--which turns this fun book into a wonderful keepsake. This book is a wonderful gift idea for baby showers, first birthdays, or Christmas. I will definitely keep this book in mind for the next baby shower I attend.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

About the author:
Carol Casey began her writing career in Chicago as a news writer and editor. Over the past 15 years she has worked with women’s and children’s charities in the areas of fundraising, media and event planning. She has two children and a grandchild and lives in the Atlanta area with her husband. Dear Baby, What I Love About You! is Carol’s debut as a children’s book author.

About the illustrator:
Jason Oransky is a lead graphic artist for Carter Clothes, Inc. He is an avid Florida State alumni and lives in Atlanta. Dear Baby, What I Love About You! is Jason’s debut as a children’s book illustrator.


**This book was provided for review by Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (for more information on my reviews, please view my disclosure policy).**

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday - November 23



Every week Marcia at The Printed Page hosts Mailbox Monday. It's a chance to share the books that came to your house last week, and to check out what other book lovers received. I always end up with several new books on my wish list after I go check out other people's mailboxes on Mondays.

I had to put my wishlists on hold at BookMooch and Paperback Swap this week because I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by my growing mountain of books to be read. And hubby is starting to grumble about all of the books waiting to be read still every time a new book arrives. Because this week was definitely one where my mailbox was overflowing!

Received for review:




(Left to right)
  • I also received The Rose Legacy by Kristen Heitzmann for review from Bethany House. It is the first book in the Diamond of the Rockies series, set in the mining town of Crystal, Colorado.
Won in giveaways:



  • I won One Fine Season by Michael Sheehan in a giveaway hosted at Word Vessel. Michael is a super nice author--he e-mailed me to make sure I still was interested and sent me a signed copy! Thank you Michael! His book is baseball fiction with Christian/inspirational themes. Learn more about his book here.
Purchased:


PhotobucketPhotobucket

  • I bought a copy of Daughter of Liberty by J.M. Hochstetler, the first book in her American Patriot series, in preparation for reading and reviewing the third book in the series. Hoping to get through it quickly and have enough time to read the second book too before reading the third.
Swaps:




That was my overflowing mailbox, what was in your mailbox last week?

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    Review - Read and Share: The Story of Christmas by Gwen Ellis, Illustrated by Steve Smallman


    Read and Share: The Story of Christmas by Gwen Ellis and illustrated by Steve Smallman is an easy-to-read children's book focusing on the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, starting with the birth of John, and ending with the return of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph from Egypt. Each part of the story includes colorful child-friendly pictures, the location of the Bible verses being retold, and at the end of each story is a question or statement for the child to consider in digesting and soaking in the story. The end of the book features a creative "Can You Retell the Story?" activity, which mixes up pictures from the story and asks the child to put the pictures in the correct order and retell the story. The book would be appropriate for children from preschool age through 3rd grade.

    The book also includes a DVD with six stories from the life of Jesus. The first two chapters in the DVD correspond with the stories in the book about the birth of John the Baptist and the birth of Jesus. But the DVD also includes several more events from later in Jesus's life, including his being tempted by Satan (portrayed by a body with an invisible head in the DVD), several of his miracles (including bringing Lazarus back from the dead), and his love for children. The DVD stories are from the Read and Share DVD Bible, another title at Thomas Nelson.

    We liked the book. The stories are a bit short, so we typically read two at a time (my kids are 2 and 4). The illustrations are reminiscent of children's cartoons--colorful and cute. The DVD is not the highest quality, but it is entertaining enough, and when accessed by computer there are a handful of printable coloring pages (mostly animals) provided. This would be a wonderful gift idea for any young child on your Christmas list.

    ★★★★ Rating: 4/5 Stars

    **We were given a copy of this book for review through the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program (for more information on my reviews, please view my disclosure policy).**

    I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    What My Child Is Reading - Thanksgiving Books



    Every week Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns hosts What My Child Is Reading. It's a chance to share the books that our kids love and have been reading for the past week.

    This week, we've been reading books with a Thanksgiving theme. My daughter likes the first book the most, my son likes the second.


    Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland is a really fun book about being thankful for the people and things in our lives. The kids in the book are thankful for their family, their friends, for sunny days, for their books, for their rooms, and more. It has been a fun book around here this week because when we finish reading it my kids are inspired to start listing the things they are thankful for too.

    The Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty isn't really a Thanksgiving book beyond that the main characters are pilgrims. It is, however, a fun book for this time of year. Mini is the littlest pilgrim who just wants to be helpful, but everyone things she is too small to help, or they are too busy to notice that she is trying to help. In the end, she isn't too little to make friends with a Native American girl who is just as small as she is.



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    That's what my kids have been reading this week. Visit Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns for more children's book suggestions.

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    2009 Holiday Reading Challenge


    Sign me up for another reading challenge! I just finished the November Novella Challenge, then came across the 2009 Holiday Reading Challenge hosted by Nely at All About {n} and couldn't pass it up. Partly because I was already planning on reading at least one holiday-themed book in the next few weeks, but I also really like the challenge button. LOL!

    I'm planning on reading:
    1. A Christmas Beginning by Anne Perry (reviewed on 12/1/09)
    2. One Holy Night by J.M. Hochstetler (reviewed on 12/20/09)
    3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (reviewed on 12/23/09)
    I was planning for just one, but now it's at two because the first one was disappointing.
    And somehow I managed to get a third one in there too! :)

    Friday Firsts - November 20



    The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence?


    I'm slowly making my way through Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention by Catherine Drinker Bowen (ISBN: 978-0316103985). Here's the first line:

    "Over Philadelphia the air lay hot and humid; old people said it was the worst summer since 1750."

    For me, this was a really good first sentence. I already knew that the founders suffered through a nasty summer while drafting the Constitution, and this goes that much further to tell me it was the worst summer in 37 years. Miracle at Philadelphia is historical non-fiction, but it is written as a narrative rather than an analysis. It tells the story of the Constitutional Convention, and I chose this book because it has been called one of the best scholarly narratives on the convention. So far, I'm really liking it. The narrative style is interesting and it is keeping my attention. The whole first paragraph does an excellent job of setting the stage, and pulling the reader into the environment that the founders were living in. Starting with the second sentence:
    A diarist noted that cooling thunderstorms were not so frequent or violent as formerly. Perhaps the new "installic rods" [Franklin's lightning rods] everywhere fixed on the houses might have robbed the clouds of their electric fluid. French visitors wrote home that they could not breathe. "At each inhaling of air, one worries about the next one. The slightest movement is painful."
    I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to reading more.

    For more information on how to participate in this weekly book meme, visit Well-Read Reviews.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Review: Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison


    Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison is a collection of three novellas. I reviewed the first two novellas in the book on Friday: Revenge and The Man Who Gave Up His Name. I finally finished the title novella yesterday.

    Legends of the Fall is the third and shortest novella in the book, coming in at 83 pages. It begins with three brothers leaving Montana in 1914 to enlist in Canada to join the Great War. When the youngest brother (Samuel) dies, it changes the family forever. The middle son, Tristan, is haunted by his death, and spends seven years basically wandering at sea, even though his actions really hurt the rest of his family and the young wife he abandoned. "[T]here was the unspoken, unthought, unrehearsed sense that time and distance would reveal to him why Samuel died" (pg. 237). I don't think he is ever enlightened, but he does make his way back home when he learns his father's health is failing. He tries to settle down and live a more normal life, remarrying and raising a family, but when his involvement in rum running results in the death of his wife, he loses it again.

    Tristan's relationship with his older brother, Alfred, is also sad. Alfred doesn't really understand Tristan, and Tristan never let Alfred share in his grief: not when Samuel died, and not when his wife Isabel was killed. Their relationship is further complicated by the fact that Alfred married Tristan's first wife (whom he abandoned when he went to sea after Samuel's burial).

    The novella has a couple of characters who have psychological problems. Tristan goes a little crazy every time someone close to him dies, and his first wife appears to be bipolar and eventually commits suicide because "she could no longer bear the phases of insanity and his [Tristan's] absence" (pg. 265).

    It also touches on the familiar theme of revenge. Tristan and revenge go hand-in-hand--when some rival smugglers threaten Tristan's alcohol smuggling operation in Seattle with a machine gun, he strikes back with an elephant gun. When members of the smuggling gang follow him back to Montana, he doesn't hesitate to kill them with his bare hands. The novella ends with Tristan's elderly father killing two policemen (I can't figure out if they were real policemen who were smugglers or if they were smugglers posing as policemen) to keep them from taking Tristan away. Tristan eventually runs to Canada to avoid the police and reprisals.

    After trying to summarize the story a bit here, I think I'm finding that it wasn't the story itself as much as the emotion in the story that drew me in the most. I'm not generally a fan of illegal activities and murder, but in the context of Tristan's emotional development I could understand why he kept putting his life on the line the way he did. At one point, he even makes the statement that he expected more interference in his smuggling activities. Unfortunately, his own pain and self-destructive actions tended to spill over with devastating results on the rest of the people he loved. Even though he tried to keep himself apart from everyone else, he was never really alone in his torments.

    -----

    Taken as a whole, this set of three novellas is very masculine in style and heavy with revenge, but I really enjoyed it. Even when I found myself disgusted with one or more of the characters, I kept reading because I found myself surprised and intrigued by what I was reading. If I were to rank the three novellas on how much I enjoyed them, I would list Legends of the Fall in first place, Revenge in second place, and The Man Who Gave Up His Name in third place.

    I think one of the things that surprised me about this book was that I enjoyed it even though it isn't the kind of book or subject matter I normally read. Perhaps this diversion into something different helped make the stories stand out for me. Or perhaps it is because Harrison is such a unique and talented writer.

    The novellas are better than their screen adaptations (Revenge and Legends of the Fall were both made into movies), but it's been so long since I've seen the two films that I'm tempted to watch them both again.


    With this review, I am now finished with the November Novella Challenge. I'm going to stop at Level I with just three novellas--one short of Level II. I've enjoyed this challenge, but I'm ready to work on clearing out my toppling TBR pile. Thanks for hosting this challenge J.T.! It has been a fun diversion!

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    Honest Scrap Award!



    Lori at Some of My Favorite Things was sweet enough to tag me with the Honest Scrap award this week! Pretty cool! Love the image that comes with it!

    Here are the rules:
    • This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant. 
    • When accepting this award, you must write a post about it, including the name of the person who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.
    • Choose a minimum of seven blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Show the blog names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with the Honest Scrap award.
    • List at least ten honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!
    Here are ten honest things about myself:
    1. I am sometimes a procrastinator. This is especially true when the task needing to be done is one I am not looking forward to doing.
    2. My children sometimes drive me crazy, but they are also the brightest part of my day.
    3. I am very sleep-deprived right now and need to go to bed earlier so that my brain will work better.
    4. I am very shy in person and don't have very many close friends. My best friends are my husband and my mother.
    5. I think I might be addicted to the internet.
    6. I love autumn. It is my favorite time of the year. I love the crisp air and the beautiful colors in the trees.
    7. I long to move back to my small hometown, but also dread the idea of being so far from the city.
    8. As a child, Santa Claus and the Easter bunny terrified me. The idea that a strange fat man wearing a red suit and a huge rabbit were coming into my house during the night really freaked me out. As a result, my parents revealed the truth to us early on. LOL
    9. I like to do the dishes. I don't like to clean the bathrooms.
    10. My favorite place to spend time when I was in college was at the university library. I loved the quiet, the books and journals, and the way the books smell. When hubby was at work, I'd often stay there to work on projects until the library closed.
    And here are seven bloggers who I have enjoyed lately that I would like to send this award on to:
    Thanks again, Lori! And thank you to my seven chosen bloggers for doing such a great job on your lovely blogs!

    **On a related note, I also wanted to thank Ashley at After All...Tomorrow is Another Day for picking me for the Kreativ Blogger award. I received this award earlier in the month, so I'm not going to pass it around again (it was hard enough picking blogs for that round!), but I still wanted to recognize Ashley and thank her.

    Wish List Wednesday - The Silent Governess


    I have wish lists at both Paperback Swap and BookMooch, and am always adding new books to them. So, I'm going to feature a book (or two) each week on Wednesdays that I'm wishing for. You are welcome to join in on the fun!

    I have read both of Julie Klassen's books (Lady of Milkweed Manor and The Apothecary's Daughter) and loved them both. So now I'm wishing for her next book, The Silent Governess, which will be available in bookstores on January 1, 2010.

    Synopsis (from the publisher's site):
    Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his.
    But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything--his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.
    He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.
    Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.
    To find out what other bookworms are wishing for this Wednesday, visit Wishful Wednesday, hosted by The Bluestocking Guide.

    This also qualifies as a pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection, which is the subject of Jill's meme Waiting On Wednesday, at her blog Breaking the Spine. Visit her site to see what other upcoming books other readers are eagerly waiting for.

    So, what are YOU wishing for this week?

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Teaser Tuesday - November 17

    Teaser Tuesdays logo

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title AND author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
    Here's my teaser:


    "She didn't know what to do. She could hear Horatio wandering around downstairs, unable to sleep, but at least he wouldn't find any alcohol."

    --Pg. 224 in Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Mailbox Monday - November 16



    Every week Marcia at The Printed Page hosts Mailbox Monday. It's a chance to share the books that came to your house last week, and to check out what other book lovers received. I always end up with several new books on my wish list after I go check out other people's mailboxes on Mondays.

    I had an exciting week in my mailbox. :-) A couple of wish list books received, a few contest wins, and a couple of purchases...

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    I probably should have bought this a couple of years ago, but it's never too late to try, right? Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice by Sarah Chana Radcliffe has actually been on my wish list for over a year now. I finally got it last week from Paperback Swap. Hopefully it will give me some pointers on how to avoid my tendency to yell at the kids when they've pushed my buttons.

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    I received Across the Endless River by Thad Carhart from Marcia at The Printed Page through her Read It Forward program on Mailbox Monday. She is so nice for passing her books along in this way, and I cannot wait to read it. She gave it a great review. Frequent visitors to my blog are aware of my love for historical fiction, and this book, which focuses on the son of Sacajawea and Toussaint Charbonneau, is right up my alley. I've been working on reading more hist-fic based in America.

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    I won The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova in a giveaway last month at Revenge of the Book Nerds! (Thanks Jaime!) It's a bit creepier than my usual reading fare, and I'm not really into vampire books, but I just had to give it a try--the title alone called out to the historian in me. ;-)

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    I am feeling the Thanksgiving spirit and decided to buy The Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty and Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland for the kids. I bought them at BookDepository.com--free shipping worldwide made it a really good deal.

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    I won an ARC copy of Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr from Cindy at Princess Bookie. It's a YA book, and it sounds like a really good read (and hopefully a really fast read!). When I'm done with it I'm probably going to pass it on to my schoolteacher sis-in-law.

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     I also got a second book from my Paperback Swap wish list this week: Hood (book 1 of The King Raven Trilogy) by Stephen R. Lawhead. Why this book? I have always had a "thing" for the story of Robin Hood and thought this looked like an interesting spin on a familiar tale.

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    Lastly, I received a review copy of The Story of Christmas by Gwen Ellis from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. It looks like a really neat gift idea for the holidays--it includes a Bible story DVD! I'll hopefully look this over with my kids this week and get a review up by Sunday.

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    So, that was my exciting mailbox from the past week. What was in your mailbox?

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