29 August 2013

A Week In Winter by Marcia Willett, Book review

Publisher: St. Martins; First Printing edition (2001)
ISBN-13: 978-0747271918


Any reader who has ever fallen in love with a house will understand the attraction of Moorgate, a light-and-fresh-air-filled old farmhouse on the edge of the moor in Cornwall. The enchanting house now belongs to seventy-something Maudie Todhunter, the late Lord Todhunter's free-spirited second wife. (The first wife, Hilda, was supposedly a paragon of virtue, and Maudie has always felt second-best.) The light of Maudie's life is her vivacious stepgranddaughter, Posy, who begs Maudie to board a giant English mastiff whom Posy's mean-spirited mother has banned from the house. (The large and ungainly Polonius is an impossibly lovable canine who outshines Lassie by a mile and is destined to become a favorite of readers worldwide.)

When Maudie decides to sell Moorgate, all kinds of old family secrets come to light, and so the saga begins. Along the way, Rob, the contractor of Moorhouse, falls in love with a woman who has a sad secret. Posy's father falls in love with someone kinder than his shrewish wife. Maudie must reevaluate someone she'd fallen in love with years ago. And as the connections intertwine between the past and the present, many unexpected alliances form.

Vivid, lushly written, and entirely unforgettable, this all-absorbing novel provides the kind of abundant reading experience that will leave readers eagerly looking forward to more from this newly discovered and superbly talented author. A Week in Winter achieves a combined richness of character and circumstance that raises it above most modern contemporary fiction, and Marcia Willett is a writer to discover and to celebrate.

Here are my thoughts: 

I will attribute to Marcia Willett my being much more readily opened to reading contemporary novels!  An avid and almost exclusive reader of historical novels, I found her novels so enticing I'll admit it is hard to put them down and thus so far, I am reading longer in the night if that's possible!

My second novel by this author, A Week in Winter ( First novel also reviewed here was  'Christmas In Cornwall') and by no means, the last one!

It has been a year since Lady Maudie Todhunter lost Hector, her husband of 30 years +. Now in her seventies, she is adjusting to her new life largely invaded by Polonius, a mastiff in need of love and acceptance perhaps just as much as she is. 

(English Mastiff - I imagine very much looking like Polonius!)
Listing Moorgate the old farm house is not easy but must be done as finances demands it in so far, she has yet to figure out what happened to her late husband's portfolio. 
However Maudie Todhunter could never imagine what this listing's announcement entails and soon family secrets as well as a passionate love story emerges in the upheaval.

With unmistakable flair, Marcia Willett introduces us to a multi faceted cast of characters and as always a beautiful setting! Located in the West Country, Moorgate's renovation is plainly a labour of love for Rob, the young contractor Maudie has hired. 
If all goes according to plans, Maudie hopes to have enough money after the sale to tidy herself up and cover university costs for her step grand daughter Posy.

Despite the years, Posy's mother, Maudie's youngest step daughter, never re conciliated herself to her father marrying within a year of her mother's death. Maudie was the complete opposite of Hilda's perfection and thus found herself the object of a deep jealousy. It didn't help that Hector her father was obviously head over heels in love with his new wife. 
Married to long suffering Patrick, Selina has selfishly never wavered from her fierce opposition and alienates most of her family. She has not set foot in Moorgate in 15 years but insists Maudie has no right to sell it and demands an equal opportunity to purchase the old farm house.

With equal measures of filial love and unforgettable passion, 'A Week In Winter' reminds us to appreciate all that surrounds us and live for the moment!
Destined to be appreciated by animal lovers, Polonius' antics will delight readers as 'A Week In Winter' reveals a love story to be enjoyed by romantics everywhere!

I give it 5 stars!

About the Author:

Born in Somerset, in the west country of England, on the day the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Marcia Willett was the youngest of five girls. Her family was unconventional and musical, but Marcia chose to train as a ballet dancer. Unfortunately her body did not develop with the classical proportions demanded by the Royal Ballet, so she studied to be a ballet teacher. 

Her first husband was a naval officer in the submarine service, with whom she had a son, Charles, now married and training to be a clergyman. Her second husband, Rodney, himself a writer and broadcaster, encouraged Marcia to write novels. She has published several novels in England; A Week in Winter is the first to be published in the United States.

Vist her website (HERE) for more information! Be sure to visit her husband's blog, writer Rodney Willett (HERE) for regular updates.

Note to Readers: This review was NOT requested and therefore reflects ONLY my opinion!

Alone Yet Not Alone by Tracy Leininger Craven, Book review And GIVEAWAY (And Movie intro!)

Note to Readers: I have some exciting news about a GIVEAWAY! Scroll down for info!

Publisher: Zonderkidz; Mti edition (December 25, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0310730538


A miraculous survival. An extraordinary faith. Autumn 1755. Settled in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, deep within America's new frontier, the Leininger family celebrates the blessings of a beautiful homestead and bountiful harvest. 

Until tragedy strikes with the beginning of the French-Indian War, and the devastating raid known as the Penn's Creek Massacre. The lives of this simple, God-fearing family are forever altered when Barbara and Regina, two young sisters, are carried away by a band of Allegheny warriors. 

Driven by their faith in God and the powerful bonds of family, Barbara and Regina hold firmly to the belief that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again.

Here is some information about the Movie!
Alone Yet Not Alone  will be released in theaters Sept 27th, 2013!

Starring: Kelly Greyson, Natalie Racoosin, Clay Walker, Jenn Gotzon, Joanie Stewart, Ozzie Torres, Tony Wade.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aloneyetnotalone
Watch the Movie Trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n0TORpISk8 (Preview)

Here are my thoughts:

An amazing recount of survival in horrendous conditions, Alone Yet Not Alone is an action packed book preteens and teens will appreciate for the dramatic events this courageous family encountered!
Life in 1755 was hardly easy for those living on the frontier bordering the mountains of Pennsylvania. For most, this represented however the only opportunity for freedom from indentured servitude or slow starvation in the old country.

Based on true facts this tale recalls the story of a group of children captured by Indians and taken far into the wilderness to become members of their tribe. 
But there is where this inspirational story truly begins! What sets Barbara and Regina apart are their unwavering faith in God and their belief in each other.

Separated, each girl is inducted in the Allegheny tribe and continuously look for ways to escape. When eventually the right time emerges, theirs become the stuff of legend as they made their escape with other captives! 

Pursued by their captors unrelentlessly, these children eventually found their way back to their families. This is their story, an extraordinary tale of survival filled with Christian values and biblical teaching!

Author's Tracy Leininger Craven love for History is immediately apparent in this debut novel you will not want to miss!

Note to Readers: Be sure to read the acknowledgements (and find out about Tracy's first draft of this story at age 9!) and check out the Discussion/questions!

5 Stars!!

About the Author:

Tracy Leininger Craven loves history and retelling real-life stories in her historical fiction books. She also loves spending her free time in the great outdoors with her husband David and their three children. 

And now as promised, the information for FLYBY PROMOTIONS GIVEAWAY!!

In conjunction with the release of the movie, I have been given the opportunity to offer one lucky reader a copy of the Special Movie edition Book of Alone Yet Not Alone!

All you have to do is place a comment on this post before Midnight on 5 Septembre 2013!

One lucky reader will be selected via Random.org and his/her name will be announced on 6 Septembre 2013! 

Reminder: Be sure to include a way to be contacted (never published).

Giveaway open to US and Canada only!

I received a paperback copy of this title from FLYBY PROMOTIONS as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

28 August 2013

Rain, Cool Nights And A touch of Autumn In The Air...

'There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.'

(Washington Irving) 

Rain, cool nights and just a hint of Autumn... 
Summer is almost over...

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.

(E. Barrett Browning)

'Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore! There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf...'

(Albert Schweitzer)

Autumn...My favourite season! How about you?

Let me share the following, one of those little gems I entered in my notebook only yesterday...

"Preoccupied with a single leaf you wont see the tree,
Preoccupied with a single tree you'll miss the entire forest."

So true...

Rain, cooler nights, Autumn is definitively on its way...

26 August 2013

A Writer's Desk...

When introduced to a new writer, I like to visit their website (whatever would we do without Internet?!) to find a bit of trivia. If like me you wonder how or where your favourite author(s) writes their novels, you might then find out that for some, the preferred setting is perhaps a secluded place in the country with a large window opening on the moors or a spacious loft in the city facing the riverbank, or even a tiny corner of a basement, or even better, a private office complete with extensive bookshelves in the comfort of their home...

To write any novel, I imagine there must a certain atmosphere for the writer, for some, total peace and quiet for others, a little background music perhaps...I would think a closed door would be an added bonus...Privacy would be important at least to me: No peeking allowed!

Thus a writer begins by stringing words together, like beads to tell his/her story. 
When writing, a novelist communicates real and imagined events, bringing them to life, preserving them for the future. They cannot will it to happen, only persistence and hard work along with a good dose of faith will do I would think!

But a good writer lives his/her dream and shares their passion!

Stephen King (not an author I care to read albeit a very successful one I hear...Truly his one merit: He loves Corgis!) states in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft :

"Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

Non Fiction writer Anne Lamott stated in her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life :

"Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. 
We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

 (Ernest Hemingway's writing desk)

In turn Ernest Hemingway in his book Ernest Hemingway on Writing describes a good book in such a way:

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

(E. Hemingway's cat and typewriter)

Did you know it is rumored that Hemingway was once asked to write a story in six words. The result? "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

How can anyone write a complete story in just a mere 6 words? Well, read the sentence again and imagine 'the rest of the story'...The essence of a good writer?!

(Jane Austen's writing corner)

"Miss Austen was surely a great novelist. What she did, she did perfectly.... She wrote of the times in which she lived, of the class of people with which she associated, and in the language which was usual to her as an educated lady. Of romance—what we generally mean when we speak of romance—she had no tinge: heroes and heroines with wonderful adventures there are none in her novels. Of great criminals and hidden crimes she tells us nothing. But she places us in a circle of gentlemen and ladies, and charms us while she tells us with an unconscious accuracy how men should act to women, and women act to men. It is not that her people are all good; and, certainly, they are not all wise. The faults of some are the anvils on which the virtues of others are hammered till they are bright as steel. In the comedy of folly, I know no novelist who has beaten her. The letters of Mr. Collins, a clergyman in Pride and Prejudice, would move laughter in a low-church archbishop."
(Anthony Trollope, 1870)

What might your favourite writer(s) creative corner look like?...

23 August 2013

On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin, Book review And GIVEAWAY

Publisher: Revell (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0800720827


Caught between the war raging around them and the battles within, two souls long for peace---and a love that remains true.

Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie's cozy life gets more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson.

Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they've made?

With her signature attention to detail and her talent for bringing characters together, Sarah Sundin weaves an exciting tale of emotion, action, and romance that will leave you wanting more.

(Temple of Hera)

Here are my thoughts:

Two thumbs up to Sarah Sundin for giving us yet another memorable WW2 love story with irresistible characters you'll not soon forget! If anything this one tops even her previous novels and that is something!

'On Distant Shores' will take you right into the War theater, you'll hear the shells sweeping by, feel the heat of incendiary bombs and inhale the dust. Never one to miss sharing a bit of archeology and a good dose of faith, Sarah's novels should not be missed!

This is July 1943, the Italians have surrendered and the Allied Forces are digging in whilst the Germans fight back with all their might. Any victory is acquired by sheer desperation and supplies are often trickling in, as we discover for mere aspirin! 

Sarah Sundin has become a master storyteller of unforgettable WW2 romances set amidst the hardship of the front lines and we love her for it! These were times when tomorrow was uncertain and any little joy was to be grasped with both hands.

LT Georgiana Taylor hails from sweet Virginia and finds her flight nurse responsibilities more than she can handle. Her family is pressuring her to return home, marry her boyfriend of 9 years, have babies and hang curtains in her new home. 
Meeting NCO Hutchinson, a pharmacist in the US Army, changes everything and Georgiana is soon smitten. Of course Hutch is engaged and Georgiana herself has committed herself to the love of nice guy if a little on the dull side.

Hutch's skills as a pharmacist are very much needed in an army constantly on the move but this does not earn him the respect he craves above all and not even his best friend Bergie can breach the gap as fraternization betwixt enlisted men and officers is forbidden. Hutch is desperate to earn a commission which means he wouldn't have to put up with the aggravation caused by petty officers unwilling to recognize the need for his skills.

I wouldn't forgive myself if I told you all the little bits I love about this story (albeit I'll share Bergie is one of my favourite characters!), suffice to say Sarah manages to grab you attention and never lets go. Her penmanship is so vivid it matters little if you are male or female reader, you will not be able to put down the novel until the end! As a fan, I always wish for a few more chapters but I know Sarah will grant that wish in 2014 with her next title 'In Perfect Time'.

Be sure to check out her 'Wings Of Glory' series and 'With Every Letter, the first novel in her 'Wings of the Nightingale' series! 
And don't miss her acknowledgements and Discussion Questions perfect for your reading group!

5 STARS!!!

(Vickers Armstrong Warwick Air-Sea rescue)

Landing page: 


About the Author:

Meet Sarah: Sarah Sundin is the author of "With Every Letter" and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A "Memory Between Us" was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. 

Vist her website (HERE)

Sarah Sundin is celebrating the release of her latest novel,  
On Distant Shores, with a Romantic Weekend Getaway giveaway!


  One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (good for a perfect couple's getaway)
  • With Every Letter and On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 2nd. Winner will be announced September 3rd at the "On Distant Shores" Author Chat Party on Facebook
During the party Sarah will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills, announcing the winner of the Weekend Getaway, and giving away a ton of books, gift certificates, and more. 
Oh, and she'll also be giving party goers an exclusive look at the next book in the Wings of the Nightingale series.

So grab your copy of On Distant Shores and join Sarah on the evening of September 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)



I received a paperback copy of this title from LITFUSE as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Winter In Full Bloom by Anita Higman, Book review and GIVEAWAY

Publisher: River North; New Edition edition (July 19, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0802405807


Lily Winter's wings are folded so tightly around her daughter that when empty nest arrives, she feels she can no longer fly. But Lily's lonely, widowed life changes in a heartbeat when she goes to visit a woman who is almost a stranger to her---a woman who also happens to be her mother. During their fiery reunion, her mother reveals a dark family secret that she'd been hiding for decades---Lily has an identical twin sister who was put up for adoption when they were just babies.

Without looking back, Lily---with her fear of flying---boards a jumbo jet and embarks on a quest to find her sister which leads half way around the world to Melbourne, Australia. Befriended by imprudent Ausie, he might prove to be the key to finding her sister. But her journey becomes a circle that leads her back home to attempt a family reunion and to find the one dream she no longer imagined possible-the chance to fall in love again.

Here are my thoughts: 

Anita Higman's novels gathers good reviews as she readily grabs your attention from the onset and offers fans and new readers always a good read. For my part, I enjoy her fresh style and gentle reminders each of us can make a difference in the world with Him by our side.

Winter in Full Bloom features the loveliest cover I have seen in a long time! The artist gets my vote! You just feel your fingers reaching for the novel whilst your imagination soars!

Ten years have gone by since Lily last saw her mother. When she attempts a reunion with her estranged parent, a family secret is revealed: unbeknown to her, she has a twin living in Australia.
Horrified, Lily packs her bag and flies to Melbourne, to investigate the possibility of reuniting with this unknown sister, a postcard of Melbourne's beautiful cathedral her only clue.

Winter In Full Bloom guarantees a few chuckles at Anita's illustration of Lily's fear of flying. Meeting the most unlikely fellow passenger certainly brings out a little levity to Lily's uneasy feelings! 
As we follow Lily in her sightseeing we discover the beauty of  Melbourne, the Yarra river and the magnificent St Paul's Cathedral and find a myriad of little details certain to make us love the land Down Under all over again. 

When Lily is befriended by an Aussie/Texan she finds herself looking forward to her stay in this beautiful land whilst searching for her sister's whereabouts. In doing so she glimpses a whole new life for herself if she is only willing to take a chance.

Thus so far, I enjoyed the narrative as you cannot but like Anita's male protagonist. He plays bagpipes after all, speaks with an Aussie accent and obviously cares for Lily very much!

Winter In Full Bloom's plot line is arresting if you enjoy reading about the complexity of dysfunctional and even angry filial love. I do not. 
Even seeing it through Anita's rosy coloured lenses, the whole forgiveness concept was too unlikely to sound true. 
Finally, but for Lily and her sweet Aussie/Texan, none of the other characters were engaging and I lost any enthusiasm in the ensuing plot line.

3 stars!

(St Paul's Melbourne)

Landing page: 

About the Author:

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Visit her website (HERE)

Anita Higman's latest novel, Winter in Full Bloom, has just released. She's teamed up with her publisher, River North Fiction, for a fun giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party on August 29th.

  One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD
  • Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 28th.Winner will be announced August 29th at the Winter in Full Bloom Author Chat Party on Facebook. During the party Anita will be hosting a book chat, talking about family, announcing the winner of the Kindle Fire, and giving away a ton of books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she'll also be giving party goers an exclusive look at her next book.

So grab your copy of Winter in Full Bloom and join Anita on the evening of August 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)




I received a paperback copy of this title from LITFUSE as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

20 August 2013

For A Little Excitement...

For a little excitement today, we felt a slight 'shift' in the Earth and a whole lot of shaking in the house...
Ah well, most of us live dangerously these days...

  1. 3.6 2km ENE of Key Center, Washington 2013-08-20 11:41:30 UTC-07:00 11.7 km
  2. 4.9 158km E of Iwaki, Japan 2013-08-20 10:41:20 UTC-07:00 18.3 km
  3. 3.0 10km N of Nevada City, California 2013-08-20 10:16:25 UTC-07:00 33.7 km
Nothing is broken, both MAC the Corgi and Maira the Cat seems fine and all is well...
Hoping of course it is not the first of a series...

Now back to my baking:

 Stay tuned for more interesting reviews in the next few days...(and Giveaways!)

19 August 2013

The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley, Book review

Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (June 11, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1476703558


An aristocratic French family, a legendary château, and buried secrets with the power to destroy two generations torn between duty and desire. 

La Côte d’Azur, 1998: In the sun-dappled south of France, Emilie de la Martinières, the last of her gilded line, inherits her childhood home, a magnificent château and vineyard. With the property comes a mountain of debt—and almost as many questions . . .

Paris, 1944: A bright, young British office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is sent undercover to Paris to be part of Churchill’s Special Operations Executive during the climax of the Nazi occupation. Separated from her contacts in the Resistance, she soon stumbles into the heart of a prominent family who regularly entertain elite members of the German military even as they plot to liberate France. But in a city rife with collaborators and rebels, Constance’s most difficult decision may be determining whom to trust with her heart.

As Emilie discovers what really happened to her family during the war and finds a connection to Constance much closer than she suspects, the château itself may provide the clues that unlock the mysteries of her past, present, and future. Here is a dazzling novel of intrigue and passion from one of the world’s most beloved storytellers.

Note to readers: 
In the UK, this book is published under the title 'The Light Behind the Window'.

Here are my thoughts:

My first novel by Irish born author Lucinda Riley, and I enjoyed the plot albeit I am still puzzling a couple of facts...
I'll begin by saying I felt the cover(s) and the title(s) (both in the UK and abroad) did not do justice to the plot. The US cover however reflected the beautiful light so particular to the South of France when alighting on a building...

Alternating her narrative betwixt two distinct time frames, WW2 and the late 1990's, author Lucinda Riley endeavoured to capture the essence of two beautiful areas: la Cote d'Azur and the stark beauty of the Yorkshire moors whilst alluding to deep secrets long forgotten in 'The Lavender Garden'.

Readers will immerse themselves in the menacing atmosphere of Nazi occupied France as Constance Carruthers, a Special Operations Executive or SOE arrives in 1944 Paris. When she fails to meet her contact, she blunders into the elegant world of a man known to the Resistance as Hero who appears to entertain in his home both Vichy's and Nazi's elite members. Constance realizes she alone must decide whom to trust as she is certain to face a lengthy stay in the Parisian capital when her mission is suddenly cancelled by London. Any attempt to escape would certainly endanger her host and his family.

Alternately we move on to the 1990's and meet a bewildered Emilie de la Martinieres who recently inherited her family's castle in the south of France. Feeling unloved by her recently deceased mother who favoured the glittery world of gay Paris, Emilie made a new life for herself in Paris, having earned a degree in Veterinarian sciences. She remembers fondly a kind older father who would emerge from his extensive collection of books in their chateau in Gassin only to escape swiftly back to his sanctuary. 

Now alone, she faces the enormity of the task ahead of her as her inheritance comes with much debts and she must decide where her future, the castle's and the vineyards attached lays. 
Meeting almost by providence a young British art broker willing to see the real Emilie, insecure and much in need of some TLC above all, the young woman is swept in a whirlwind romance and soon finds herself in Blackmoor Hall, County of Yorkshire with her new husband.
However Blackmoor Hall has a few secrets and Emilie comes to realize there is a connection betwixt her family home and the old Hall in Yorkshire. 

Lucinda Riley's novel has a little of everything for her readers enjoyment including some poems. For my part I found it immeasurably agreeable that she chose her protagonists not to be Barbie and Ken look alike! In fact she does a credible job of showcasing people who are not perfect but given a chance, might just be part of the future! 
I mentioned a couple of puzzling items...Oh well!
As to the end, it was most certainly not a disappointment!

I'll happily give it 4 stars!

Note to readers: This review comes with a warning due to adult thematic contents and therefore should be read only by a mature audience.

About the Author:

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland and wrote her first book aged 24. Her novel 'The Orchid House' (also called 'Hothouse Flower') was selected for the UK's Richard and Judy Bookclub in 2011 and went on to sell over 2 million copies worldwide.

Her second novel, 'Girl on the Cliff' made its debut on the New York Times Bestseller list in its first week and her latest book, 'The Lavender Garden' (also called 'The Light Behind the Window') topped the German bestseller list for eight weeks.

'The Midnight Rose' is to be published in most markets of the world in early 2014. Lucinda's books are translated into 22 languages and published in 36 countries. She shares her time betwixt the North Norfolk coast in England and the South of France.

Note to Readers: This review was not requested and therefore reflects ONLY my opinion!

18 August 2013

Reading, A Gift No One Should Go Without...


A day for resting...
In the background  Mozart 'Sinfonia Concertante', (1st movement) playing...

A day to remember the Lord...

A day to enjoy another great read...so many books, so little time...
After all, it is said housework will not kill you but why take the chance?

A cuppa, a great novel, MAC the Corgi at my feet, a gentle breeze blowing in the trees, the sun peaking through the clouds, deer drinking at the bonsai bowl and eagles flying above the island...

Leaves falling in the garden...
Autumn is approaching...

Here are a few more gems picked up whilst reading...

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.
( Robertson Davies)

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.
(Victor Hugo)

A house without books is like a room without windows. (one of my favourites!)
(Heinrich Mann)

Every reader finds himself. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.
( Marcel Proust)

16 August 2013

Do You Remember The Book Thief?

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; Later Printing edition (September 11, 2007)
ISBN-13: 978-0375842207

Some of you might remember I reviewed Marcus Zuzak's 'The Book Thief' in March 2011 and shared these thoughts:

"...The Book Thief is the amazing story of a young girl named Liesel growing up in Germany's wartime era. Her father is a communist, her mother is in trouble with the Nazi party and her little brother soon dies.
She is sent to live with her foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann in Himmel street and befriends amongst other children, a boy named Rudy who is in love with her and becomes her best friend.
Theirs are a poor life and hunger their constant companion. Both children are also members of the Hitler Youth movement.

Books are a rare commodity in Nazi Germany, and Hans or Papa, teaches Liesel to read whilst writing on the basement wall and playing his accordion.

The book is written from Death's point of view -quite a novelty - and we discover Liesel will eventually meet Death 4 times."

(see full review HERE

I ended by stating:

"This book is rated as Young Adult material but I am convinced any adult will discover in it a world rarely even acknowledged.
The original format, the 550 pages, the words of the narrator alone - " I am haunted by Humans" - makes this a powerful message to be read not just by young people!
This is the kind of book that at the end, you close, rest your hand on its cover and just feel with your heart as well as your mind.

Always forgive, never forget!
Such a simple message, and a hard earned one at the cost of over 60 millions souls..."

By now Amazon has listed more than 2400 reviews! Definitively a hit for the author with over 1900 of these with 5 stars

For those of you who appreciated this unique novel, I am happy to share the news the book is made into a movie

Canadian young star Sophie Nelisse will play the part of Liesel along with other well known actors such as Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush!

The Book Thief will be released on 15 Novembre 2013 in U.S. theatres (additional releases dates HERE!)  

I hope to review the movie as soon as possible!