Mailbox Monday – Nov. 30



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page.
From Henry Holt (giveaway at Girls Just Reading)
Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

2010 Reading From My Shelves Project

I know, I know. I said you should stop me if I try to sign up for any more challenges. But this one is really the point of no more challenges – I’m reading my own books! This will be a great way to keep track of the books as they leave my shelves because I’ll give most of them away.

I’m joining Diane’s challenge at Bibliophile By The Sea. Here are the specifics:

  • grab the button
  • decide how many books you want to read from your shelves (minimum of 20 – no maximum)
  • find a new home for the books once you read them
  • post the titles and the authors of books you’ve read and passed on
  • project runs from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010
  • crossover challenge books are allowed

I’ll keep track of my books here:
1. Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson (donated: Library used book sale)
2. East Hope by Katharine Davis (donated: Library used book sale)
3. Angel’s Peak by Robyn Carr (donated: Library used book sale)
4. Time Of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch (gave to my sis)
5. A Matter Of Class by Mary Balogh (donated:  Library used book sale)
6. Marked By Passion by Kate Perry (gave to a friend)
7. Can’t Stand The Heat by Louisa Edwards (gave to a friend)
8. Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas (gave to a friend)
9. Kill Me Twice by Roxanne St. Claire (gave to a friend)
10. Marriage and Other Acts of Charity by Kate Braestrup (gave to a friend)
11. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (gave to a friend)
12. Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery (gave to a friend)
13. Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok (blog giveaway)
14. Roses by Leila Meacham (donated: library used book sale)
15. For The Love Of Pete by Julia Harper (donated: library used book sale)
16. Hannah’s List by Debbie Macomber (blog giveaway)
17. First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh (donated: library sale)
18. Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley (gave to a friend)
19. Where The River Runs by Patti Callahan Henry (gave to a friend)
20. Italian For Beginners by Kristin Harmel (gave to a friend)
21. Real Life and Liars by Kristina Riggle (gave to a friend)
22. Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley (gave to a friend)
23. Sleeping With Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner (gave to a friend)
24. The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens (gave to a friend)

When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge

When She Flew

Jennie Shortridge is one of those authors who is an automatic buy for me. Her writing is beautiful and absorbing. I lose myself in her books. I love that.

When She Flew is the story of a police officer who is part of a team who search for and find a father and daughter living in the Oregon forest. The father is an Iraq War vet, unable to find work due to a war injury, keeping his thirteen year old daughter safe the best way he can. The police officer knows that the legal system’s way of helping the girl is not really in her best interest so she takes matters into her own hands.

I liked several characters in the book, especially Lindy – the young girl, Jess – the police officer, and Chris – another officer. It seems that almost everyone in the book has good intentions and yet a different way to do the “right thing”. Their perspectives are believable. I thought each character was interesting and I wonder if the author had a tough time editing stories of the various police officers. There was enough information about them that I actually was interested in knowing more about them.

I don’t want to say more about the novel except that it is one that will stay with me for a long time. When She Flew would be a great book club selection.

Review copy from Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting

Sunday Summary – Nov. 29


I reviewed one book last week – Bed and Breakfast by Lois Battle. It is one of my picks for the Holiday Reading Challenge. I thought it was a bit different from the usual holiday books but I liked it. You can read my thoughts here.
We’ve had company for the long holiday weekend so I haven’t had time for reading. It’s been nice to have everyone home. A few of us saw New Moon and we were split with our reviews. I didn’t enjoy it as much as my niece and one of my daughters. I didn’t hate it. I just want to know why they talk. so. slowly.
I bought a few books for Christmas gifts – that’s all the shopping I did on Friday (after the movie). I’m not an early bird shopper – are any of you?

Thanks to Justine at A Bookful of Thoughts for the One Lovely Blog Award

Bed & Breakfast by Lois Battle

Bed  &  Breakfast: A Novel

Library Journal:

In this well-crafted story by the author of Storyville (Viking, 1993), Josie Tatternall, a military widow in her seventies, is inspired by a friend’s nearly fatal illness to call together her own three daughters in particular, her estranged daughter, Cam, who has not been home since the death of her father years ago. What starts out as a family gathering for the twilight of Josie’s life actually marks the beginning of her understanding of her achievements and, quite unexpectedly, her second chance at love. The story introduces a cast of memorable characters, primarily Josie herself, who fully reminds us that life, love, and growth are not limited to any particular age. Somewhat light reading, but a good story nonetheless. (Susan C. Colegrove, Athens Regional Lib. System, Ga.)

* * * * * * *

My thoughts:
Holidays bring families together – for better or worse. Lois Battle has family dynamics down pat – whether you’re from the North or the South. Ms. Battle writes the truth – especially about sisters, mothers and friends. I didn’t think this novel was as light as Susan C. Colegrove (see Library Journal synopsis above) but I enjoyed the drama and recommend it to fans of Women’s Fiction.

“No one got through life without regrets. The best you could hope for was that they’d be the right regrets, that no matter what you’d suffered, you had taken a chance on love or whatever else you’d most wanted.” p.369

I read Bed & Breakfast for the Holiday Reading Challenge but it would also be a good book to read for Maggie’s Southern Reading Challenge in 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving


We’re feeding a crowd at our house today –
I’m so thankful to have each one of them in my life.
I’m also thankful for all the people who visit my blog.
Thank you for the great book suggestions
and for your friendship.
Happy Thanksgiving

Waiting on Wednesday – Nov. 25

Winter Garden

February 2nd 2010 by St. Martin’s Press

From the author of the smash-hit bestseller Firefly Lane and True Colors comes a powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past.

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father fails ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time – and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

A Quick Giveaway – Angels Everywhere by Debbie Macomber

Cover Image

I picked up a copy of Debbie Macomber’s Angels Everywhere several months ago. It was on a left-overs table at BN or Borders (can’t remember). Anyway, I discovered I already had it on my shelf so I’d like to give away this copy. It’s “Two unforgettable holiday tales of love and miracles“.

If you’re interested just leave your name in a comment and then check back here on Thursday, Nov. 26. The winner’s name will be posted. If I don’t hear from the winner by Friday at noon (eastern) I’ll draw another name – I use
Good luck!

* I have to limit it to US residents

* leave your name in a comment

* ends Wednesday night, Nov. 25 (that’s tomorrow) at 9pm (eastern)

NOTE: I’m no longer requiring email addresses to be included in a comment. Just check back to see the winner’s name.

Sunday Summary – Nov. 22



Bill Walker, author of A Note from an Old Acquaintance, stopped by this week to guest blog. If you missed his post you can find it here.
I listed three books in Friday Finds.
I’ve reached my self-imposed limit on Challenges for 2010. Here’s my list:
That’s it. I know the Holiday Challenge is 2009 but it’s new so someone stop me if I try to add to the list!
Perfect On Paper by Maria Murnane was my Show Me Five Saturday post.
Here’s to a great week ahead. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the holiday.

Show Me 5 Saturday – Perfect On Paper by Maria Murnane


That’s A Novel Idea hosts a MEME called Show Me Five Saturday. This meme will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week. It will work like this: Each Saturday you will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week

2 Words that describe the book
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it
5 Stars or less for your rating

1. Perfect On Paper by Maria Murnane

2. Chick Lit, Contemporary

3. San Francisco, Manhattan, Atlanta

4. Liked:
The pace of the story
The humor throughout the book
The main characters
The friendships

5. 4 stars

Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)adventures of Waverly Bryson

From my bookshelf

The Outlander Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Jenn. You can read the specifics here.

Anytime between Nov. 17th, 2009, and Nov. 17th, 2010, read the entire Outlander series. (You do not have to start on Nov. 17th you can start the challenge anytime in the course of the challenge you like there is not any right or wrong way to do it.) Read Outlander through the latest book An Echo in the Bone. (Any format is acceptable – be it paperback, hardback, ebook format, or audio *the unabridged audio is best as you will miss a LOT of the stories if you get the abridged versions, but is not strictly required*


I’ll list each book here as I finish.


Bill Walker – Blog Tour Guest Post

Brian Weller is a haunted man. It’s been two years since the tragic accident that left his three-year-old son dead and his wife in an irreversible coma. A popular author of mega-selling thrillers, Brian’s life has reached a crossroads: his new book is stalled, his wife’s prognosis is dire, and he teeters on the brink of despair.

Everything changes the morning an e-mail arrives from Boston artist Joanna Richman. Her heartfelt note brings back all the poignant memories: the night their eyes met, the fiery passion of their short-lived affair, and the agonizing moment he was forced to leave Joanna forever. Now, fifteen years later, the guilt and anger threaten to overwhelm him. Vowing to make things right, Brian arranges a book-signing tour that will take him back to Boston. He is eager to see Joanna again, but remains unsure where their reunion will lead. One thing is certain: the forces that tore their love asunder will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

Filled with tender romance and taut suspense, A Note from an Old Acquaintance is an unforgettable story about fate, honor, and the power of true love.

Author information:

He’s a graphic designer specializing in book and dust jacket design, and has worked on projects by Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. Between his design work and his writing, he spends his spare time reading voraciously and playing very loud guitar, much to the chagrin of his lovely wife and two sons. Bill makes his home in Los Angeles and can be reached through his web site:

* * * * * * *
Today I’m very pleased to welcome Bill Walker, author of A Note from an Old Acquaintance

* * * * * * *

You can find A Note from an Old Acquaintance here or here.

Sunday Summary – Nov. 15


I was happy to be a stop on the blog tour of White Picket Fences. You can read my thoughts here about Susan Meissner’s latest novel.
A new novel by Anne Tyler (due out in January) was my Waiting On Wednesday pick.
My Friday Finds highlighted 3 books that are now on my TBR list. In fact, one is on its way to me for review.
I managed to read ONE book: Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews. You can read my very brief thoughts in the Show Me 5 Saturday meme – it’s the first time I’ve joined in the fun and I may do more “reviews” using this form.
Cover Image
My youngest daughter is home right now while she has H1N1. She’s on Tamiflu and getting a lot of sleep. We’re hoping for a quick recovery. Since she lives and works in another city 90 minutes away, I’m relieved we could bring her home to give her TLC.
That was my week. I wish you all good health and good books.

Show Me 5 Saturday – Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews

That’s A Novel Idea has started a new MEME called Show Me Five Saturday. This meme will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week. It will work like this: Each Saturday you will post the answer to these questions. The number indicates the number of answers you will provide.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week

2 Words that describe the book
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it

5 Stars or less for your rating?

1. Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews

2. Chick-Lit, Mystery

3. Savannah;
the local antique furnishings scene (especially at Beaulieu, a “crumbling rice plantation”);
Weezie’s carriage house (behind her ex-husband’s townhouse).

4. Liked: the humorous writing of Ms. Andrews;
the main characters (Weezie and all her family and friends);
the budding romance of Weezie and Daniel;
the fact that I want to call my sisters and good friends to suggest this book.

5. 5 stars because it was such a fun read. I looked forward to picking it up again as soon as I had to set it down. There’s a sequel, yay!

Cover Image

From my bookshelf