Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Vision of Light

Margaret of Ashbury is a woman of the 14th century. She wants to write the story of her life, but she is unable to read or write. She approaches three clerics to write her story but they scornfully told her no. Brother Gregory, a Carthusian friar, agrees to write her life story as he needs money to buy food. As she begins to tell her story we find that Margaret has lived a extraordinary and at times difficult life. She was married off to a evil man at at the age of 14. She was left for dead by her husband during the Black Plague. Thanks to a wise woman she survived the plaque. Margaret became an apprenticed to the wise woman where she learned about herbs and plants for healing as well as how to be a midwife. Then one day she experienced a Vision of Light which gives her the healing touch. When someone reports her to the bishop courts, she is tried for heresy. Will she be able to survive this challenge like she has all the other challenges in her life?

A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley was a fun book to read. This book gave you a peek into the middle ages. It shows one, how men thought of women and how women had to behave. I loved Brother Gregory and Margaret interactions. Brother Gregory is shocked by Margaret. She does not fit into his view of women. But as he listens to her story, he starts to respect her.

Once you learn Margaret's story, you understand why she wants to tell it and why she wants to read and write.

If I knew what a great book this was; I would not have waited so long to read it. This is the first book in the Margaret of Ashbury trilogy. I can't wait to see what further adventures Margaret will encounter.
Happy Reading


Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Questory of Root Karbunkulus

Welcome to Kamilla Reid's Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.


The Questory of Root Karbunkulus by Kamilla Reid is about Root a 14 year old girl. She lives in the town of Charm. She is being raised by two quarrelsome sisters, who say that they are Root's aunts.

One day Root hears a phone ringing. As she is looking for it, she realizes that her aunts are unable to hear the phone. She finally finds the phone. When she answers it, she meets Argo Bumplekins. Argo informs Root that she has not only been invited to participate in a treasure quest but she comes from the DreAmm, land of magic.

Needless to say Root goes to DreAmm and participates in the treasure quest, with about 150 orphans from Earth and other teenagers raised on DreAmm. She is teamed with two boys. Dwyn Puffler who was raised on Earth like her and Lian Blick who comes from DreAmm. So begins the hunt for the first item in the Magisterial Treasure Quest of DreAmm.

If you are going through Harry Potter withdrawals this teen fantasy is for you. I stayed up to late and got up to early to finish it. I was unable to put it down until the end and then I wanted more.

It seems that every young adult fantasy has the girl in the supporting role. So it is great to see a strong, creative, capable girl as the main character.

Reid has created a wonderful magical world. As with any new world there are new creatures like the wingers, butterflies with a huge wingspan, Valadors, birds who fly into a storm not around them and many others. But my favorite are the hovermutts. They are dog-like and pony sized creatures that float above ground. they are the main mode of transportation on DreAmm. The hovermutts chose who they want to be with not people.

I do have a few questions that I hope will be answered in the next books in this series. One of them being Why were the orphans sent to earth?

I found this book to be a thrilling read. I can't wait for book 2 and read about the further adventures of Root and her team.

I feel readers of all ages will find this book to be an exciting and entertaining read. This book would be a nice gift for any pre-teen or teen.


My daughter who is 11 also read this book. Here is her review.

The Questory of Root Karbunkulus in my opinion was a great story. Everything in the book was interesting from the beginning to the end.

A character I felt I could relate to most was Root because she cares about her friends and animals. I also liked how the hero was a girl. I did not like Hilly Punyun, she was stuck-up and mean.

I liked the hovermutts. It was cool to add that because usually the heros in books just have friends to help him or her, but Root has a hovermutt to help her.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes an adventure story. This book would be a good choice for Chicago's Battle of the Books. Battle of the Books is all about getting kids to read interesting books like Root Karbunkulus. The kids I see there would really like this book.


About the Author:

Kamilla carried around DreAmm in her creative pocket for many years while she happily explored life in theatre. Then, after producing a mountain of musicals she decided it was time to visit Root Karbunkulus at last. It would be an astonishing visit, one that would send her flying to her pen at ridiculous hours spewing DreAmm for many month. Currently, from her home in Canada Kamilla is delving into the second item if the quest.


Check out her website rootkarbunkulus It is great site. While you are there check out the book trailer. It is awesome.

You can buy this book at Amazon.com


I have a dilemma. Kamilla Reid sent me an extra book. She said that I could use the book in a contest, but I would like to donate it to my daughter's school so that more children can be exposed to this wonderful book. What do you think should I have a contest or donate it to the school library. Please comment. Thanks.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Discovery In Passion

Welcome to Shiela Stewart's Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.


Discover in Passion by Shiela Stewart is the first book in the Passion Series. It is considered a paranormal romance.

Cassandra Evans moves into her first home in the town of Passion. Not only is this the house of her dreams, but she has a sexy and hunky next door neighbor. He is an artist and a contractor, Thomas Healy. The only problem is that her wonderful new house my be haunted.

Thomas Healy enjoys his life of solitude. His peaceful existence is shattered when Cassie moves next door. He tries not to pay attention to her. But it is hard to ignore the very beautiful and sexy Cassie. Then she shows up at his door in her bathrobe and teases him into painting her in the nude. After he says yes he realizes that he made a mistake. He is unable to stop thinking about her. Against his better judgement he sleeps with her. He then knows that his life will never be the same.

As Cassie and Tom start exploring their new relationship, the ghost start to make his presence known. Tom does not believe Cassie until he sees something that he cannot explain. The ghost keep trying to show her something but Cassie is unable to figure it out. Cassie becomes curious about the past owners. As she begins to discover what happen and what the ghost is trying to tell her, she uncovers a mystery and begins to attract the attention of a killer. Will she be able to solve the mystery and will Tom and Cassie be able to keep their relationship alive?

When I opened the envelope in which the book came in, I saw the cover and I was excited to begin reading the book. I thought that this will be an awesome read. I was right.

I loved Cassie. She is sassy and smart. She knows what she wants and she is not afraid to go out and get it.

The interactions between Cassie and Tom are wonderful. Cassie is the aggressor and Tom is playing hard to get. Which is a little bit different in a romance novel. Tom does have issues that he needs to resolve before their relationship can move forward.

This book is considered a paranormal romance, but I think that it should be considered a paranormal mystery with romance. I feel that the ghost and the attempts to solve what the ghost was trying to communicate was the central point in the story and the romance was secondary.

I can't wait for more books in this series. I am curious as to why this book was set in 1983. I hope that will be answered in the other books in this series. I also can't wait to see what other secrets the town of Passion holds. I loved this story.

About the Author:


Sheila Stewart has been writing for the better part of twenty years, pouring her heart out in words, living a fantasy through the characters she creates. It has always been a dream of hers to have her work published, and in 2006 her dream finally came to life.

When not writing, she is busy working on a website for a non-profit organization she belongs to, as well as a promotional blog for other authors, tending to her three children, and spending time with the love of her life, William.

Shiela has a deep affection for animals and it’s evident in the five cats, one dog, eight fish, and three turtles she owns. Aside from writing, she enjoys sketching, painting, singing, and dancing, as well as stargazing, astronomy, and astrology. Her favorite time of the day is sunset.

You can visit her website at http://www.shielasbooks.ca/.

You can buy Discover in Passion at Amazon.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mariposa

Welcome to Candis C. Coffee Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.


Mariposa is the first novel by Candis C. Coffee. It is a story about self discovery. A woman in search of her spirit.

One day Annarose is out in the Texas countryside when she feels a spirit or presence. After her grandma finds out that she was out late with one her male Mexican friend, Ismael. Annarose is sent to California with her sister and brother in law. Annarose is devastated that she has to move and the presence has left her. While in California she meets Estella, who becomes her best friend and encourages her to write and take chances. After reading a letter from Estella, Annarose decides to move to Mexico. Estella has befriended Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera. Estella had gotten the address of Frida and Diego and they want Annarose to visit. Annarose goes to Mexico were she meets Frida and Diego and another artist Crisanto. Crisanto becomes her lover. In Mexico, she continues to grow. But circumstances develop and she feels that she needs to go home, back to Texas.

The story is told through a series of flashbacks and letters between the characters.

The time period for this story is 1920s and 1930s. The historical context of this time is incorporated very well into this story. Especially the items related to Frida and Diego.

My favorite part of the book was when she was alone in California. California was a dark time for Annarose, but also it was the beginning of finding herself. She begins studying cosmology and she is introduced to meditation. She realizes that she needs to live the ideals that she was taught. She also starts to feel the presence but not enough to make her feel alive.

I enjoyed Annarose's quest to find the presence that she felt in her early years in Texas. She has many ups and downs but in the end she found what she was looking for, which made this book a good read.


About the Author:

Candis C. Coffee grew up in West Texas where her family has lived since 1848 when they immigrated from Ireland. The house in Mariposa is based on the 150-year-old home of her grandparents on the banks of the Concho River in San Angelo.

Candis spent nearly fifteen years in Santa Monica, California, where she was employed as a writer for various organizations. She later moved to New Orleans where she helped Chef Paul Prudhomme write the cookbook of his dreams and titled it Fork in the Road. Candis longed for the desert, however, which inspired a move to Santa Fe and graduate school at the University of New Mexico. She has since returned to her birthplace in West Texas where she currently resides.

After receiving a BA in Literature from the University of Texas, she pursued graduate studies in Creative Writing, Literature, and Spanish. She is presently at work on a children’s book and is pursuing a doctoral degree in alternative health care and the healing arts.

You can visit her website at http://www.candiscoffee.com/.

Mariposa is available at Amazon.com

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beneath a Buried House

Welcome to Bob Avey's Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour.

Synopsis:
Things aren’t always what they seem. A police detective’s quest to uncover the truth behind the death of a transient makes him a target…from whom or what, he isn’t sure.

Tulsa Police Detective, Kenny Elliot, brushes the dirt from the surface of an apparent John Doe overdose case, finding a labyrinth of misdirection and deception beneath, and a trail, which leads him to the dark side of religion, a place where anything can happen.

Excerpt:
BENEATH A BURIED HOUSE
Chapter 1

People go missing. Llewellyn knew that as well as anyone but when a whole family fell victim to such a fate, that tended to get his attention. It had the interest of someone else as well. Threats had been made. But the way he saw it, with Millie gone, he didn't have all that much to lose anyway.

Llewellyn watched his step as he moved from the sidewalk to the street, for it was dark, the sun skimming the bottom of the sky in a thin, red line, the color of embers clinging to life in a dying campfire. A disturbing thought—a deep suspicion that had grown to such proportion that he feared it might twist his reasoning—snaked through him. He'd previously abandoned the project with good reason.

At times like this, he would think back to when he was a boy, visiting his mother. Her house sat on a small hill and behind it was a pond with huge willow trees growing from its banks. It always struck him as odd that the surface of the water remained calm and never rippled, as if it were not real at all, but a painting, an artificial backdrop put there for the effect.

Llewellyn had resolved that he too would be like the waters of the pond, unmovable, unflappable, and later, during his adult life, he would call on that image, not every time the going got tough, but when life got particularly hard.

He stared at the dilapidated building with a sign hanging from it; a cheap plastic job with florescent lights inside that backlit the bar's name: CYMRY'S.

He shook his head and pushed open the door, a heavy wooden model that looked out of place, as if it had been ripped from the hinges of an old house and brought there against its will.

Just inside the door, Llewellyn paused, and when his eyes adjusted to the darkness he took a seat in the second booth by the window, like the man who called himself Jerry Sinclair had told him to do. Llewellyn was five minutes late, and he hoped that wouldn't matter, though he saw no one fitting Sinclair's description. At least the darkness was explained. It was the d├ęcor, which included the walls and the ceilings, and even the floors. Everything was black with the exception of a large piece of red artwork that radiated from the center of the floor in a rather unprofessional manner, as if it were a bad afterthought, the awkward brushstrokes obvious even from a distance.

Llewellyn waited but no one showed. He checked his watch. Thirty minutes had passed. He slid out of his seat and went to the bar. The man had his back turned but a mirrored wall showed his face. He must've known Llewellyn was there though he did not acknowledge him. Llewellyn laid a five on the counter. "I'd like a beer, please."

The man gave no visible indication he had heard the request.
"I'll just cut to the chase then," Llewellyn said. "What I really need is some information."

Turning around, the man drew a pint of lager, then set it down and snatched up the five. "What kind of information?"

Llewellyn slid his hand around the cool, damp handle, then brought the mug to his lips, relishing the bitter yet soothing brew. After a few sips, he said, "Does the name Jerry Sinclair mean anything to you?"

"Doesn't jump out at me."

"He said he would be wearing blue jeans and a tan corduroy jacket. Have you seen anyone like that?"

"Not since the eighties."

"Right, some people are habitually late. Perhaps Mr. Sinclair is one of those." After a pause, unable to control his inquisitiveness, Llewellyn asked, "What's up with the artwork on the floor?"
The bartender leaned forward, placing his beefy hands on the railing. "Don't know. It's always been there."

Llewellyn had dealt with his kind before; smug, confident with his size, and, as with any animal, the less challenging you could make yourself the better your odds were. He slouched a little. "Do you know what it is?"

"Maybe."

The bartender said this with a crooked grin, as if he and he alone were privy to the mysteries of the universe, which undoubtedly meant he knew nothing.

"If I had to guess," Llewellyn said, "I'd say it has something to do with the occult. But what do I know?"

Llewellyn retrieved one of his business cards and held it out. "I'm a reporter, on assignment."

Taking the card, the bartender examined it. "Florida? Long way from home, aren't you?"

"I go where the story takes me."
"Is that right?"
"So you haven't seen him, the guy I asked about?"

"Who?"

"Jerry Sinclair."

The bartender squinted. "Are you sure you're in the right place?"

"I'm sure."

"What kind of assignment are you on?"

Llewellyn sipped his beer, then set it down. "I look for the unusual. A few years back, I was working some leads, concerning a small town near here. You know, bizarre circumstances and all of that. Good Stuff. I decided to revive it, made a few phone calls, sent some e-mails, ran an ad in the paper. Then I get this reply from Sinclair. He claimed to have some information. It's not unusual. I get lucky like that sometimes."


My Review:
Beneath a Buried House is Bob Avey's second book in the Detective Elliot mystery series. His sophomore effort was very enjoyable. You do not have to read the first book Twisted Perception to read this book. This book does stand alone.

There are many twist and turns in this book. There are many suspects and it is not clear until the end who did it. Which makes this book very entertaining to read. I had a hard time putting it down because it was so interesting.

The use of Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding areas as the setting was great. I like that it was not the usually settings that I find in mystery/suspense books.

I like Detective Elliot and how he believes that there is more to the crimes because his gut is telling him that there is more. I look forward to reading Twisted Perceptions and the other books that will be in this series because Detective Elliot is so likable you just want to more abut him.

About the Author:

Bob Avey is the author of the Kenny Elliot mystery series, which includes Twisted Perception, released April 2006, and Beneath a Buried House, June 2008, several short stories and various non-fiction articles. He lives with his wife and son in Broken Arrow , Oklahoma where he works as an accountant in the petroleum industry, and when he’s not writing or researching mystery writing techniques, he spends his free time prowling through dusty antique shops looking for the rare or unusual, or roaming through ghost towns, searching for echoes from the past. Through his writing, which he describes as a blend of literary and genre, he explores the intricacies and extremities of human nature.

Bob is a member of The Tulsa NightWriters, The Oklahoma Writers Federation (active board member for 2006), The Oklahoma Mystery Writers, and Mystery Writers of America.

Beneath a Buried House is available on line at Barnes and Noble and Amazon

Buy it you won't regret it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Classics

J Kaye was tagged with a meme about Classics. After I commented, I started to think some more about it. Like J. Kaye, I consider myself a Junkyard reader. You will see me browsing the romance section, then the literature section (looking for historical fiction) then to mystery and suspense. I don't seek out the Classics, but if they find me I will read them.

I don't remember a lot of the Classics we had to read in school. In 9th grade, we read William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I really have no feelings about it. I have read 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World. I don't remember much about them. Something about they are watching you, I don't know. The Scarlett Letter, well at the time I don't think I liked it. but over time it has grown on me. I have become more politically aware about the concepts that were alluded to in The Scarlett Letter so it makes better sense. I may be one of the few people in the world who did not like the Color Purple. I had to read it for a class in college. I did not like it then nor do I like it now. I don't understand the appeal of this book.

I love the Little House Books. When I was growing up I read them so many times that I broke book spines and tore covers. As soon as I could I bought all the books in hardcover so that they could last and I could share with my children. Sad to say my eldest did not get into them and I think my youngest will not develop a love for reading. I also loved Little Women

Some Classics I love in movie form but I am afraid to read. I love BCC/A&E's Pride and Prejudice. I recently watched all six Jane Austin adaptions on PBS. I have not read any of the books. The same is true for Gone With the Wind. I know that books usually are better then movies but I can't take the chance of ruining any of my allusions about these stories.

I have bought Classics in the hopes that I will read them. they just sit on my shelf making me look smart and collecting dust. I even entered a challenge so that I would read some classics but I have not read a one. There are other books calling out to me. I answer those calls first leaving the classics unanswered.

I guess I have neutral feelings about the classics. I can take them or leave them. If you want to see what J. Kaye has to say about classics visit her blog . Thanks J. Kaye for challenging my thinking on classics.

I just have to say junkyard readers unite!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Seal Island


Seal Island by Kate Brallier is #7 for the TBR Challenge.

Cecil Hargrave just lost her job to downsizing. She is not sure what to do with her life. She then finds out that she has inherited a house and a business in Seal Island, Maine. She decides to spend the summer there so she can figure out what do to with her life.

She is drawn into island life. She starts to open up to the people who would become her friends. For the first time she has not one love interest, but three: Richard nice and amiable, Tom the sexy lobsterman and Ronan a handsome uneducated drifter. Which man will she choose?

This book started out slow but it kept my interest because my mom told me that it involved the legend of Selkies, seals who can become human. So I kept reading to see where the selkies fit into this story. I am glad that I did. Just as Cecil was drawn into island life I was drawn into this book. I loved seeing Cecil blossom into a confident girl with lots of people who care about her. I enjoyed the why her relationship developed with the men in her life. How she had to figure out who the right one was and how to handle getting out of the wrong relationship into the right one. To find out who she chose and how the selkies are involved you have to read this book.
Happy Reading


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vacation Book Buys

I was on vacation when we went to a outlet mall. I discovered Border's Outlet. Needless to say I bought some books at a great price. Here is the list of books with the price I paid and retail price.
  1. Passions of the Ghost by Sara Mackenzie paperback $1.99/$5.99
  2. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy trade paperback $2.99/$13.99
  3. A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith Trade paperback $3.99/16.95
  4. Duchess, A novel of Sarah Churchill by Susan Holloway Scott hardcover $4.99/? unable to find the price.

Walmart Purchases:

  1. Someday Soon by Debbie Macomber
  2. Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs

Please feel free to comment on any that you have read or heard about. Thanks

Happy Reading

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Book Buys

I found some great books at the Salvation Army store. They were .50 cents each. My daughter also found some books. It was a good trip. Some days you go and there is nothing and some days you go and you hit a Jackpot. This was jackpot.

Here is a list of books that I bought:
  1. Afterglow by Catherine Coulter
  2. Fallen Angel by Debbie Macomber
  3. The Last Judgement by Iain Pears
  4. Tiger Prince by Sandra Brown
  5. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  6. Simply Sexy by Carly Phillips
  7. The Religion by Tim Willocks
  8. Street Dreams by Faye Kellerman
  9. Embers by Sandor Marai
  10. Washington by Wanda E. Brunstetter and Lauraine Snelling
  11. The Heroine's Journey by Maureen Murdock

I also found two children's book that I can use with my preschool class. Seven Little Rabbits by John Becker and Will I have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen and Lillian Hoban. I was very excited to find Will I have a Friend? this is a classic for the beginning of the school year or when a new child starts in the class. LOVE IT.

The books were mostly by my favorite authors so I had to buy them. The Religion was on my wish list. So that was an exciting find. 4 books seem good after reading the back cover. If they are not; I am not out much. It was a good book shopping day.

If you read any the books; please tell me your opinion. Thanks

Happy Reading

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Daring Book Challenge


I kept returning to this challenge. At first, I thought I would not do it but I kept thinking about the books. I read so many of them when I was growing up. It is nice to know that I have read classics at one time. I kept feeling the pull towards this challenge. I finally decided to give in to my inner girl and relive the books from my girlhood. On the bright side I talked my daughter into doing this challenge with me.


Here are the rules for the A Daring Book Challenge:

You have 3 tracts to choose from plus you can choose to join me in trying to read them all.
1. Read one book from each category from June 15/08 to February 15/09 (6 books in 8 months)2. Read any 9 books from the list from June 15/08 to June 15/09 (9 books in 12 months)
3. Read one whole series from this list starting June 15/08. If it contains up to 10 books, by June 15/09, if 20-30 books, by June 15/11 and for the Trixie Belden series and Nancy Drew series by June 15/12.

PLUS
4. Want to work on reading them all? It's an ongoing challenge so take all the time you need. You can do this and still do one of the above.


Few more general guidelines for the challenge:

1. Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
2. Audiobooks are allowed.
3. For the ongoing challenge, books you've read in the past count, you don't have to re-read them.
4. For the first 3 tracts, all books read must be read AFTER June 15/08.


My daughter is going to do tract 1. Here are her choices.

  1. 20 Girl Classics: Mandy by Julie Edwards
  2. Other Favorites: Pride and Prudjuice by Jane Austen
  3. Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
  4. Classic Girl and Her Horse Books: Black Beauty by Anne Sewell
  5. Mythologies and Fairy Tales: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
  6. Old Fashioned Girl Detective Series: Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell

I will try to do tract 2 as well as the on-going challenge. My choices are:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  2. Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit
  3. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  4. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  6. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (1st book in the Earthsea Trilogy)
  7. Black Beauty by Anne Sewell
  8. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  9. My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara

I chose books that I did not read when I was a girl. This list can change depending on the availability of the books at the library.