September 30, 2009

Review {of sorts} of: Blood Orange Brewing by Laura Childs

Social darling Delaine Dish is throwing a lavish Candlelight Concert to raise funds to restore a run-down Victorian home-and Theodosia Browning is more than happy to help out with tea and tasty treats from the Indigo Tea Shop.

Unfortunately, the unveiling of Theo's opulent spread proves to be far from grand after retired CEO and beloved politico Duke Wilkes falls to the floor with a jagged piece of metal protruding from his neck.

When the Widow Wilkes begs Theo to apply her sleuthing skills, she can't refuse. But her investigation opens up a simmering pot of shady politics and personal payback, and Theo soon finds herself in a situation stickier than any jam she's ever served.

Warning there is a bit a rant headed your way if you continue to read this post.

This series... I love the setting, a tea shop in Charleston, South Carolina's historical district. I love the characters of Theodosia, Drayton, Haley, Delanie, and Theo's dog Earl Grey. The recipes sound YUM (I haven't tried any yet). The plots themselves are solid.

So now you're saying to yourself, "So what's your problem chick?" Here in ONE word is my problem: proofreading! There seems to be a serious lack of proofreading with this series. It's been an issue that keeps cropping up throughout the series. Blood Orange Brewing is the 7th book and it's still happening. Just one example that is still stuck in my craw (2 months later) is on one page Theo pulls a pen out of her purse and on the very next page when she uses it, it has somehow morphed itself into a pencil!

There are no misspelled words, no awkward breaks. It seems to me that they are being put through an automated spellchecker but not being checked for errors. It just irritates the HECK out of me! I wish I could say that I will continue with the series despite this issue, but I can't. I don't know if I will.

Title: Blood Orange Brewing (A Tea Shop Mystery, #7)
Author: Laura Childs
ISBN: 9780425208076
Pages: 304
Published by: Berkley (April 4, 2006)
Genre(s): Fiction, Mystery, Series
Grade: C What does this grade mean?

Buy Blood Orange Brewing (A Tea Shop Mystery, #7) by Laura Childs:
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September 29, 2009

Review {of sorts} of: Lord Peter: The Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Stories by Dorothy L Sayers

One of the founding mothers of mystery, Dorothy Sayers first introduced the popular character Lord Peter Wimsey in 1923 with the publication of Whose Body? Over the next twenty years, more novels and short stories about the aristocratic amateur sleuth appeared, each one as cunningly written as the next.Now in single volume, here are all the Lord Peter Wimsey stories, a treasure for any mystery lover. From "The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag" to "The Image in the Mirror" and "Talboys," this collection is Lord Peter at his best -- and a true testament to the art of detective fiction.

I enjoyed many of the stories in this Lord Peter collection. I cannot remember any of the titles and I have already returned to book to the library; I read it in July. It was interesting though to see Lord Peter himself change throughout the stories. In the beginning of the collection he is very happily unattached and by the end not only is he married, but he and his wife have a few children.

Title: Lord Peter: The Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Stories
Author: Dorothy L Sayers
ISBN: 9780060913809
Pages: 496
Published by: Harper Paperbacks (December 3rd 1986 (first published 1971))
Genre(s): Fiction, Mystery, Short Story Collection
Grade: C What does this grade mean?

Buy Lord Peter: The Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Stories by Dorothy L Sayers:
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September 28, 2009

Review of: Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Santa Olivia starts out as the story of Carmen Garron. She's a waitress in a dinner in post-apocalyptic US/Mexico border. The story shifts to Carmen's daughter, Loup, when Loup is six.

Carmen's two children have different fathers. Tommy's, who was six when Loup was born, father was a boxer in the military. Loup's father is not. Loup's father is one of the 'Lost Boys'. The Lost Boys were a group of young Hatian boys who were experimented on. As a result of these experiments, the boys developed fast reflexes and other super-human ablilities. They were nicknamed Wolf-Men.

When Loup is ten their mom dies. Tommy is sixteen and moves into an apartment above the gym where he is training to become a boxer (like his father). Loup has to go live in an orphanage. Loup eventually takes on the persona of the town's patron saint, Santa Olivia. Santa Olivia does not put up with injustices!

Besides Santa Olivia, I have only read Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series. While I did not get as swept away with Santa Olivia I enjoyed it. If there is a sequel, Santa Olivia ends with that possibility, I will definitely read it. I want to know what happens for/to Loup Garron.
Lushly written with rich and vivid characters, SANTA OLIVIA is Jacqueline Carey's take on comic book superheroes and the classic werewolf myth.

Loup Garron was born and raised in Santa Olivia, an isolated, disenfranchised town next to a US military base inside a DMZ buffer zone between Texas and Mexico. A fugitive "Wolf-Man" who had a love affair with a local woman, Loup's father was one of a group of men genetically-manipulated and used by the US government as a weapon. The "Wolf-Men" were engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, sensory capability, stamina, and a total lack of fear, and Loup, named for and sharing her father's wolf-like qualities, is marked as an outsider.

After her mother dies, Loup goes to live among the misfit orphans at the parish church, where they seethe from the injustices visited upon the locals by the soldiers. Eventually, the orphans find an outlet for their frustrations: They form a vigilante group to support Loup Garron who, costumed as their patron saint, Santa Olivia, uses her special abilities to avenge the town.

Aware that she could lose her freedom, and possibly her life, Loup is determined to fight to redress the wrongs her community has suffered. And like the reincarnation of their patron saint, she will bring hope to all of Santa Olivia.

Title: Santa Olivia
Author: Jacqueline Carey
ISBN: 9780446198172
Pages: 341
Published by: Grand Central Publishing (May 29, 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Grade: B+ What does this grade mean?

Buy Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey:
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September 25, 2009

Week in links

List of links for September 21 - 24, 2009

Review of: Naamah's Kiss (Kushiel's Legacy, #7)

Author: Jacqueline Carey
ISBN: 9780446198035
Pages: 645
Published by: Grand Central Publishing (June 24th 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Erotica, Romance, Adventure, Series
Grade: A+ What does this grade mean?

There is a bit of a time skip between Kushiels' Mercy and Naamah's Kiss. Just the small matter of a few generations. The main character in Naamah's Kiss is a young woman named Moirin. The previous trilogy centered around Imriel and Sidonie. Well, Sidonie has a sister (I don't recall mentioning her before but she was there, she was very special to Imriel, he cared for her very much; like a younger sister) named Alais. Alais apparently went on to marry Connor mac Grainne of Alba. Alais is the great-great-grandmother of our heroine, Moirin. (This, of course, makes Moirin the great-great-grandniece of our star-crossed lovers Imriel and Sidonie.)

Naamah's Kiss is less of a love story (though there is some loving that goes on) and more of an adventure. Moirin goes through many trials, physical, mental and emotional. She resists some and embraces others. You can definitely pick up Naamah's Kiss without having read any of the previous 6 books. Moirin doesn't know about Imriel and Sidonie (or even Alais in the beginning), so it's you can learn about all of the highlights of the past right along with Moirin.
Once there were great magicians born to the Maghuin Dhonn; the folk of the Brown Bear, the oldest tribe in Alba. But generations ago, the greatest of them all broke a sacred oath sworn in the name of all his people. Now, only small gifts remain to them. Through her lineage, Moirin possesses such gifts - the ability to summon the twilight and conceal herself, and the skill to coax plants to grow.

Moirin has a secret, too. From childhood onward, she senses the presence of unfamiliar gods in her life; the bright lady, and the man with a seedling cupped in his palm. Raised in the wilderness by her reclusive mother, it isn't until she comes of age that Moirin learns how illustrious, if mixed, her heritage is. The great granddaughter of Alais the Wise, child of the Maghuin Donn, and a cousin of the Cruarch of Alba, Moirin learns her father was a D'Angeline priest dedicated to serving Naamah, goddess of desire.

After Moirin undergoes the rites of adulthood, she finds divine acceptance...on the condition that she fulfill an unknown destiny that lies somewhere beyond the ocean. Or perhaps oceans. Beyond Terre d'Ange where she finds her father, in the far reaches of distant Ch'in, Moirin's skills are a true gift when facing the vengeful plans of an ambitious mage, a noble warrior princess desperate to save her father's throne, and the spirit of a celestial dragon.
Books in this series:
Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy, #1)
Kushiel's Chosen (Kushiel's Legacy, #2)
Kushiel's Avatar (Kushiel's Legacy, #3)
Kushiel's Scion (Kushiel's Legacy, #4)
Kushiel's Justice (Kushiel's Legacy, #5)
Kushiel's Mercy (Kushiel's Legacy, #6)
Naamah's Kiss (Kushiel's Legacy, #7)**
**This review.

Buy Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey:
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September 23, 2009

Review of: Kushiel's Mercy (Kushiel's Legacy, #6)

Author: Jacqueline Carey
ISBN: 9780446610162
Pages: 796
Published by: Grand Central Publishing (June 1st 2009) -- (first published 2004)
Genre(s): Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Erotica, Romance, Adventure, Series
Grade: A+ What does this grade mean?

Kushiel's Mercy is #6 in "Kushiel's Legacy", but the third (and final) book in "Imriel's Trilogy"; the first three are "Phèdre's Trilogy". In Kushiel's Mercy there is a bit of an extra element that I don't recall from the previous books. There is some 'spell-casting'. At one point everyone who is gathered in the central courtyard is hypnotized/spelled into believing certain untruths. This in-turn leads to Imriel needing to flee the country. After Imriel is on his quest to find his mother, there is something more 'magical' that happens to him (with his consent).

This one in particular I think I really helps to read the preceeding book, Kushiel's Justice. Kushiel's Justice also deals with the Imriel, Sidonie, Dorelei, Maslin love square. I speak from experience. I read Kushiel's Mercy before I read Kushiel's Justice because Kushiel's Mercy arrived several days before Kushiel's Justice.
Having learned a lesson about thwarting the will of the gods, Imriel and Sidonie publicly confess their affair, only to see the country boil over in turmoil. Younger generations, infatuated by their heart-twisting, star-crossed romance, defend the couple. Many others cannot forget the betrayals of Imriel's mother, Melisande, who plunged their country into a bloody war that cost the lives of their fathers, brothers, and sons.

To quell the unrest, Ysandre, the queen, sets her decree. She will not divide the lovers, yet neither will she acknowledge them. If they marry, Sidonie will be disinherited, losing her claim on the throne. There's only one way they can truly be together. Imriel must perform an act of faith: search the world for his infamous mother and bring her back to Terre d'Ange to be executed for treason.

Facing a terrible choice, Imriel and Sidonie prepare for another long separation. But when a dark foreign force casts a shadow over Terre d'Ange and all the surrounding countries, their world is turned upside down, alliances of the unlikeliest kind are made, and Imriel and Sidonie learn that the god Elua always puts hearts together apurpose.

Books in this series:

Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy, #1)
Kushiel's Chosen (Kushiel's Legacy, #2)
Kushiel's Avatar (Kushiel's Legacy, #3)
Kushiel's Scion (Kushiel's Legacy, #4)
Kushiel's Justice (Kushiel's Legacy, #5)
Kushiel's Mercy (Kushiel's Legacy, #6)**
Naamah's Kiss (Kushiel's Legacy, #7)
**This review.

Buy Kushiels' Mercy by Jacqueline Carey:
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September 22, 2009

Library Loot #1

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva @ A Striped Armchair and Marg @ Reading Adventures that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

This is my first LL post so I will start with what I have checked out now and each week from now on I will post what was returned and what new ones I checked out in the mean time. Since my 3yo and I go to the library together my Library Loot posts will be about both of our books. She can't read yet, so technically her books are books I will be reading too. =)

Here are the books that I have checked out right now:

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy The Lost Years of Merlin
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron -- bookgasm recommended the most recent book in this series in a book whore post

For the Chatting Chicks group on GoodReads
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
On audio
Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1) Crooked House Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr -- performed by Alyssa Bresnahan
Crooked House by Agatha Christie -- performed by Hugh Fraser (aka Colonel Hastings)
Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters by Major Richard "Dick" Winters -- performed by Tom Weiner

Reaghan's current books checked out
The Very Noisy Night (Picture Puffins) Clifford's Halloween
The Very Noisy Night by Diana Hendry, illustrator Jane Chapman
Clifford's Halloween by Norman Bridwell

Checked out for myself
Flashforward by Robert J Sawyer -- checked out because there is a TV series starting on Thursday that is based on this book. I wanted to get a better handle on the premise.

Book images and links provided by

September 21, 2009

Review of: Kushiel's Justice (Kushiel's Legacy, #5)

Author: Jacqueline Carey
ISBN: 9780446500036
Pages: 703
Published by: Warner Books (July 14, 2007)
Genre(s): Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Erotica, Romance, Adventure, Series
Grade: A+ What does this grade mean?

I started reading this series on 2001. I have been a fan of Jacqueline Carey and the Kushiel Legacy ever since. Just like books 4 and 6 in the series, Kushiel's Justice is told from Imriel's point of view. (Books 1-3 are told from his adoptive mom's, Phèdre, point of view.) Jacqueline Carey creates such an in depth world in the Kushiel's Legacy series. The geography of her world is loosely based on western Europe/UK.

I am never bored by Jacqueline Carey's books. In Kushiel's Justice, Imriel comes to realize that he is in love with his cousin, Sidonie. One big obstacle in their way is Sidonie's mother, Queen Ysandre. Sidonie is her mother's heir (Terre' d'Ange is a matriarchal country.) Sidonie and Imriel are certain her mother will never let them marry because Imriel's mother, Melisande, tried to have Ysandre assassinated. And that's just the beginning! So much happens to Imriel in this book.

You don't need to read the previous books to be able to appreciate all that this book contains, but I would recommend it; the whole series is fantastic!
From GoodReads:
Imriel de la Courcel's blood parents are history's most reviled traitors, while his adoptive parents, Phèdre and Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in beauty, art, and desire.

After a year abroad to study at university, Imriel returns from his adventures a little older and somewhat wiser. But perhaps not wise enough. What was once a mere spark of interest between himself and his cousin Sidonie now ignites into a white-hot blaze. But from commoner to peer, the whole realm would recoil from any alliance between Sidonie, heir to the throne, and Imriel, who bears the stigma of his mother's misdeeds and betrayals. Praying that their passion will peak and fade, Imriel and Sidonie embark on an intense, secret affair.

Blessed Elua founded Terre d'Ange and bestowed one simple precept to guide his people, love as thou wilt. When duty calls, Imriel honors his role as a member of the royal family by leaving to marry a lovely, if merely sweet, Alban princess. By choosing duty over love, Imriel and Sidonie may have unwittingly trespassed against Elua's law. But when dark powers in Alba, who fear an invasion by Terre d'Ange, seek to use the lovers' passion to bind Imriel, the gods themselves take notice.

Before the end, Kushiel's justice will be felt in heaven and on earth.

Books in this series:
Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy, #1)
Kushiel's Chosen (Kushiel's Legacy, #2)
Kushiel's Avatar (Kushiel's Legacy, #3)
Kushiel's Scion (Kushiel's Legacy, #4)
Kushiel's Justice (Kushiel's Legacy, #5)**
Kushiel's Mercy (Kushiel's Legacy, #6)
Naamah's Kiss (Kushiel's Legacy, #7)
**This review.

Buy Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey:
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September 17, 2009

Review {of sorts} of: Shimmer

Author: Eric Barnes
ISBN: 9781932961676
Pages: 288
Published by: Unbridled Books (June 30, 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Thriller
Grade: C

If I was way into computers, like Eric Barnes appears to be and like my husband is, I am sure I would have enjoyed Shimmer much more. There was way too much that went over my head though.

That said, the parts that did not go over my head, I really enjoyed. I ended up skimming a lot of the tech speak. This really is a thriller! If you enjoy Techno-Thrillers or are into computers then Shimmer is one you should pick up.

From the publisher Unbridled Books:
In just three years, CEO Robbie Case has grown Core Communications, a data technology company, from 30 people to over 5,000. Now a $20 billion company made legendary by its sudden success, Core is based on a technology no other company can come close to copying, a revolutionary breakthrough known as “drawing blood from a mainframe.” And Robbie, its 35-year-old CEO, is acclaimed worldwide for his vision, leadership and wealth. Except that all of it is based on a lie. The technology doesn’t work, the finances are built on a Ponzi scheme of stock sales and shell corporations, and Robbie is struggling to keep the company alive, to protect the friends who work for him and all that they’ve built. Each day, Robbie tries to push the catastrophe back a little further, while his employees believe that they are all moving closer to “grace,” the day their stock options vest, when they will be made rich for their faith and loyalty and hard work. The details of the lie are all keyed into a shadowy interface that Robbie calls Shimmer, an omniscient mainframe that hides itself, calculates its own collapse, threatens to outsmart its creator and to reveal the corporation’s illegal, fragile underpinnings. Shimmer is the story of a high-tech crusade nearing its end. The shell game Robbie has created is finally running out of room. And Robbie is the only one who knows or who has a chance to make things right. Or is he?

Buy Shimmer by Eric Barnes:
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Review of: The Greatest Knight

Author: Elizabeth Chadwick
ISBN: 9781402225185
Pages: 560
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark (September 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction
Grade: B

I really wanted to love The Greatest Knight. I didn't. I liked it. I don't feel like I wasted my time by reading, but I did not fall in love with William Marshall. Maybe I've read too much Philippa Gregory. I kept waiting to something huge to happen to/around him. Nothing did.
From GoodReads:
Royal protector. Loyal servant. Forgotten hero.

A penniless young knight with few prospects, William Marshal is plucked from obscurity when he saves the life of Henry II's formidable queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. In gratitude, she appoints him tutor to the heir to the throne, the volatile and fickle Prince Henry. But being a royal favorite brings its share of danger and jealousy as well as fame and reward.

A writer of uncommon historical integrity and accuracy, Elizabeth Chadwick resurrects the true story of one of England's greatest forgotten heroes in a captivating blend of fact and fiction. The Greatest Knight restores William Marshal to his rightful place at the pinnacle of the Middle Ages, reflecting through him the triumphs, scandals, and power struggles that haven't changed in eight hundred years.

Buy The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick:
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September 16, 2009

Review of: Tell Me Something True

Author: Leila Cobo
ISBN: 9780446519366
Pages: 310
Published by: Grand Central Publishing (October 1, 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Women's Fiction, Latina Fiction
Grade: A+

One of the questions in the Reading Group Guide for Tell Me Something True is this: Do you think this is a love story, or a story about mother's and daughters? Could it be both?

I very strongly think it's both. Both Gabriella and her mother, Helena, have these love affairs while in Cali, Colombia in their 20's. Helena is 25, married with a 4 year old child, Gabriella, when she becomes involved with Juan Jose. Gabriella is 21, recently graduated from college, her father tells Gabriella to think about and decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

Both too are rebelling against what is 'proper' and 'expected' in a way. IMO.

About halfway through the book I began crying. Just a heads up... may want to have some tissues ready then and at the end of Tell Me Something True.

From GoodReads:
Gabriella always loved the picture of her mother kneeling in front of a bed of roses, smiling, beautiful and impossibly happy. But then she learns that her late mother hated gardening; that she had never wanted the house in the Hollywood hills, the successful movie producer husband, and possibly, her only daughter. When Gabriella discovers a journal--a book that begins as a new mother's letters to her baby girl, but becomes a secret diary--the final entry leaves one question unanswered: the night her mother died, was she returning to Colombia to end an affair, or was she abandoning her family for good?

Buy Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo:
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Review of: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Author: Carrie Ryan
ISBN: 9780385736817
Pages: 308
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 2009)
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Series, Zombies
Grade: A

I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth in just a couple of days, which is fast for me; typically a 300 page book will take me 3-4 days to finish given my limited time to read and my reading speed.

I got so swept up in Mary's life. Carrie Ryan did a fantastic job with this young adult novel, soon to have a sequel. I could smell the fetid breath of the Unconsecrated (aka Zombies ), I could hear and feel the rattling of the chain-link fencing. This is another book that I feel I can't give a lengthy review without spoilers. There is so much I want to gush about... but I can't!

Please feel free to e-mail me if you would like to know more, and aren't afraid of spoilers, or if you have already read The Forest of Hands and Teeth and just want to talk about it with another fan.

kylee.journal AT
From GoodReads:
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
Other reviews:
Suey @ It's All About Books

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September 14, 2009

Review of: The Tudor Rose

Author: Margaret Campbell Barnes
ISBN: 9781402224683
Pages: 336
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction
Grade: A+

Through many of the books by Philippa Gregory that I have read, I know quite a bit about those that orbited King Henry VIII (Yes, I am aware that these are historical fiction). I was so happy to read and learn about his mother, and his father to a much lesser extent.

The Tudor Rose open with seventeen year old Elizabeth of York being fitted for a wedding dress that she will never wear. The France's Dauphin has withdrawn his suit for her. This seems to be a turning point for Elizabeth, affectionately known as Bess. She has been a political pawn before, but this time she takes it a bit more personally.

Eventually she will have two men wanting to marry her. Her uncle King Richard III and Henry Tudor. She suspects her uncle of having done away with her younger brothers and becomes so emboldened by these suspicious that, with the help of a few choice allies, she sends a message to Henry Tudor stating that she will marry him and make him King of England. All the knight has to do is come to England and kill King Richard!

From GoodReads:

One woman holds the key to England's most glorious empire in this intimate retelling of the launch of the Tudor dynasty

A magnificent portrait of Elizabeth of York, set against the dramatic background of fifteenth century England. Elizabeth, the only living descendant of Edward IV, has the most valuable possession in all of England—a legitimate claim to the crown. Two princes battle to win Britain's most rightful heiress for a bride and her kingdom for his own. On one side is her uncle Richard, the last Plantagenet King, whom she fears is the murderer of her two brothers, the would-be kings. On the other side is Henry Tudor, the exiled knight. Can he save her from a horrifying marriage to a cut-throat soldier?

Thrust into the intrigue and drama of the War of the Roses, Elizabeth has a country within her grasp—if she can find the strength to unite a kingdom torn apart by a thirst for power. A richly drawn tale of the woman who launched one of the most dramatic dynasties England has ever seen, The Tudor Rose is a vibrant, imaginative look at the power of a queen.

I am quickly falling in love with Margaret Campbell Barnes books. As of now I have only read two of them, both reprints by Sourcebooks Landmark.

Other reviews:
Lana @ A Hoyden's Look at Literature
For more reviews search book blogs.

Buy The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes:
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Review of: Four Wives

Author: Wendy Walker
ISBN: 9780312367725
Pages: 368
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin (March 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, ChickLit
Grade: C

While I didn't love Four Wives, I did enjoy the time that I spent with Gayle, Janie, Love and Marie. It was a quick read for me. The chapters rotate viewpoints between each of the wives. I just didn't connect with any one in particular. I think that, given the different points of view and the different backgrounds and goals of each wife, Four Wives would be an excellent book club selection.
From GoodReads:
In Wendy Walker’s brilliant debut, the lives of four wives and mothers intertwine and collide in a tale of suburban angst among outrageous wealth.

On the outside, it appears as though Love Welsh, Marie Passetti, Gayle Beck and Janie Kirk lead enviable lives, with marriages to handsome, successful men; bright, happy children; and homes right out of Architectural Digest. But in the wealthy suburb of Hunting Ridge, appearances mask a deeper truth: These four wives are anything but perfect. As they try to maintain a façade of bliss, behind closed doors they each face their own crises—infidelity, dissatisfaction, self-doubt. As springtime draws to an end, doors are both opened and closed and the women come face to face with the most difficult and heartbreaking challenge of their lives—to reconcile their innermost desires with the lives that each of them has chosen.

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September 3, 2009

Review of: Testimony

Author: Anita Shreve
ISBN: 9780316067348
Pages: 336
Published by: Back Bay Books (May 2009) - this ISBN
Genre(s): Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Grade: B/B-

While I liked Testimony, it was a bit disturbing at times. Set in a Vermont private school. The 'incident' happened during the typically boring winter months. The decisions and actions of 4 students forever change their lives and the lives of many around them.

I think Anita Shreve is a great writer. I was just caught off guard by some of the things that happen; these made it a difficult read for me personally. I don't feel like I can say anymore without giving away key plot points. If you would like to talk about this book privately, then please email me - kylee.journal AT
At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices--those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal--that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in TESTIMONY a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.
Additional Reviews:
There are many reviews on the internet for Testimony. Instead of linking them individually, I am going to link the Google Book Blog search for it.

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September 2, 2009

Review of: The Treasures of Venice

Author: Loucinda McGary
ISBN: 9781402226700
Pages: 352
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca (September 2009)
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Mystery
Grade: B+

I really don't know how to explain how much I enjoyed The Treasures of Venice. Venice... how romantic. I was swept away from the very beginning. A handsome stranger walks up to Samantha and asks her to play along and act like they are together. (Yes, please!) Most of the chapters end with a flash back to Serafina and Nino in 1485 Venice; you notice some correlation between the two couples.

I would really recommend this to any fan of romance/historical fiction.

From GoodReads:

When American librarian Samantha Lewis and Irish rogue Keirnan Fitzgerald set off to find priceless jewels, they become embroiled in a 500-year-old love story that eerily prefigures their own...

In 15th century Venice, beautiful and wealthy Serafina falls in love with Nino, a young Florentine sculptor. They decide to flee to Padua, and to fund the trip, Nino copies a set of jewels that then disappear.

In modern-day Venice, Keirnan needs Samantha's help to locate the jewels so he can pay his sister's ransom. Samantha must decide whether the man she's so drawn to is her soul mate from a previous life...or are they merely pawns in a relentless quest for a priceless treasure?

Buy The Treasures of Venice by Loucinda McGary:
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September 1, 2009

It's Tuesday, Where Are You? | Teaser Tuesday {9/1/09}

I am in France on my way to Chartes; it is March 1173 and my name is William Marshall. I am with Prince Henry and we are leaving Chinon, Anjou. Prince Henry has had another argument with his father, King Henry II. Prince Henry has ordered us, his hearth-knights, to accompany him to his father-by-marriage's home in Chartes.

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  • Grab your current read
  • Let the book fall open to a random page
  • Share with us two (2) "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you're getting your "teaser" from ... that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
  • Please avoid SPOILERS.
This week's Teaser comes from THE GREATEST KNIGHT: THE UNSUNG STORY OF THE QUEEN'S CHAMPION by Elizabeth Chadwick. These sentences come from page 118 of my ARC copy (and therefore may differ from the final, published version). It's out today though!
For a while, they concentrated on putting distance between themselves and Chinon, the knights grim, the servants who had chosen to come absorbed in their effort to keep up. William sent outriders to the front and rear, the space between his shoulder blades prickling.

For more travels visit raidergirl's blog an adventure in reading. For more teasing visit MizB's blog Should Be Reading.

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In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kylee's Journal would like everyone to know that the books reviewed on my blog were either provided to me by the publisher/the author for free OR were purchased by me OR were borrowed from the library. Books recieved for free do not get special treatment, if I don't like something, I either will not finish it (DNF) or I will struggle through to the end; both get reviews posted here.