Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - the vacation edition

I am without computer access, so can't share from which book exactly I am reading from, so instead here are some teasers from where I am right now!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

TSS: Vacation reading

I know that I am not alone in that when I go on holidays, the issue about what clothes to take, or what supplies to pack pale into insignificance behind the most important question of all - what books am I going to take with me?

Do you take a couple of big chunksters, or do you take several smaller sized books, a mixture of both? Do you take something meaty that you can really concentrate on for a while, or do you take books that you can get lost in for a couple of hours, but it doesn't matter if you get interrupted. Do I take library books that are due back soon or only my own books in case they get lost?

Decisions, decisions.

The fact that I am contemplating these questions means that I am going on holidays myself, and I haven't taken my laptop with me, much to my son's disgust. The boy has recently joined Facebook, and is already playing games such as Farmville (one of the games that I have avoided playing) and he has been begging to take the computer with us. This is also so that his Puffles on Club Penguin don't die too, but I think I am going to be a mean mum and say 'die Puffles, die!'

Here are the books that I did decided to take with me, and so I could be relaxing by sitting in the sunshine reading any one of these books right this moment!

How do you decide which books to take on vacation with you?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Makeover complete.

From this....

To this ..... (I don't know why my ships disappeared!)

to what you see now.....

all thanks to Alex's wonderful skills, especially given the lack of a brief I gave her! I am one of those people who when I go to the hairdresser they say, 'so what would you like done' and my response is invariably, erm, I don't really know.

So here's the brief I gave her:

I would like it to be something fun, definitely something booky. Over the years I have had purple background, red and white flowers, and the current one which had the photo of Rotterdam before it disappeared. Favourite colour is purple. Don't want a dark background.
Way back when I first started blogging I thought I would like something that was a play on the blog title - you know something about books being an adventure, but I don't want anything too cutesy
When Alex first came back with her reasoning for why she came up with a lady aviator I was so touched I nearly choked up! I wish I could find that email!

And so, here we have it - The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader. I am now looking at getting my own URL, but after that things should settle down just a little. There may be a few small adjustments but for the most part it is done!

Thanks Alex, these are for you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Library Loot - March 24 to 30

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and me 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!

I might not have many books to talk about in Library Loot this week, but I am pretty pleased with the ones I do have. Two of the three are brand new, never been read books! New book smell without the new book price tag!

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni - There has been quite a bit of buzz around about this book for a while now, and I was very excited to find that I was getting it so quickly

Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman - I have now read most of Carol Goodman's books. Some times I enjoy them more than others, but I am always willing to give them a try. Fingers crossed for this one!

Gale Force by Rachel Caine - Reloot. Maybe I will actually get to read this book this time!

What loot did you get this week? Leave your link with Mr Linky so we can all come and see your loot!

Excuse the mess!

Over the next couple of days there will be some changes made around here, so don't be alarmed if things look a little different!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

This week my teaser comes from The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark, a novel set in Venice during the Renaissance, and that features lots of very food orientated passages - enough to keep on making me hungry, especially when they talk about making the first cheesecake which is my absolutely favourite dessert!

The teaser comes from page 308 (of the large print edition which is the version that my library had):

What you need to know is that some of us have taken on the task of collecting, recording, and protecting as much of this knowledge as we are privileged to learn. We save ideas worth thinking about, even when they're inconvenient, and especially when they're threatened.

Teaser Tuesday is host by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Head on over to find out all about it, and how to join in!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Historical Tapestry Makeover

The lovely and talented Alex has been hard at work and has given Historical Tapestry a makeover.

We've added some tabs, trying out a new index!

Head on over to check it out, and grab our button as well!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

TSS: Reading the awards

I am kind of still finding my way with this whole Sunday Salon thing and so I think that for the time being, I am going to keep unofficially participating in Sunday Salon and also officially participating in Muse in the Fog's Suddenly Sunday at the same time.

In case you hadn't noticed the longlist for the Orange Prize for Fiction was announced this week. It has been mentioned one or two times around the blogosphere, and yes, I am going to talk about it here. What I wanted to focus on though was what it means to a reader if a book is long listed for one of the big prizes, let alone wins one. First, here's the list of books that made the long list:

Rosie Alison: The Very Thought of You (UK)
Eleanor Catton: The Rehearsal (New Zealand)
Clare Clark: Savage Lands (UK)
Amanda Craig: Hearts and Minds (UK)
Roopa Farooki: The Way Things Look to Me (UK)
Rebecca Gowers: The Twisted Heart (UK)
M.J. Hyland: This is How (UK)
Sadie Jones: Small Wars (UK)
Barbara Kingsolver: The Lacuna (US)
Laila Lalami: Secret Son (Morocco)
Andrea Levy: The Long Song (UK)
Attica Locke: Black Water Rising (US)
Maria McCann: The Wilding (UK)
Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall (UK)
Nadifa Mohamed: Black Mamba Boy (UK)
Lorrie Moore: A Gate at the Stairs (UK)
Monique Roffey: The White Woman on the Green Bicycle (Spain/UK)
Amy Sackville: The Still Point (UK)
Kathryn Stockett: The Help (US)
Sarah Waters: The Little Stranger (UK)

My initial thoughts when I first saw this list was 'oh my goodness I haven't read any of these'! I own Wolf Hall, I have The Help out from the library at the moment, and I have had The Little Stranger out as well, but I had to return it unread. I will borrow it again eventually I am sure. There are several others that I have been meaning to read as well, but haven't actually done anything about.

My second reaction was based purely on my affection for Historical Fiction as a genre. Of the twenty books that are listed, twelve of them have a historical setting, or at least are partially set in a different era! The Very Thought of You is set on the eve of WWII (so a must read for me)and Savage Lands by Clare Clark is set in 1700s Louisiana and sounds fascinating and The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver is set during the Mexican Revolution. I really loved The Poisonwood Bible and so this is already on my TBR list. The Long Song by Andrea Levy is about slavery and The Wilding by Maria McCann is set in the post English Civil War era (a time that I find fascinating too). Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is a Tudor novel that has been garnering critical awards all over the place, and Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed is set in 1930s Africa. I can't get enough of books set in Africa. The White Woman on a Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey is set in post Colonial Trinidad, which it is fair to say I have never read about before, and The Still Point by Amy Sackville is partially set at the end of 19th century. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (1960s American South) and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (post WWII UK) round out the list.

Then I saw the longlist for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, which is Australia's most prestigious literary fiction prize, and again, I hadn't read any of them. I had heard of some of the authors - let's face it, you can't be a reader in Australia and not have heard of Peter Carey and Tom Kenneally at the very least - and I have read Sonya Hartnett, and have been meaning to read Peter Temple for the longest time too. It is interesting to have a crime novel make the long list too. That's not something that you see that often.

Figurehead, Patrick Allington (Black Inc. Publishing)
Parrot and Olivier in America, Peter Carey (Penguin Group)
The Bath Fugues, Brian Castro (Giramondo Publishing)
Boy on a Wire, John Doust (Fremantle Press)
The Book of Emmett, Deborah Forster (Random House)
Sons of the Rumour, David Foster (Pan Macmillan)
Siddon Rock, Glenda Guest (Random House)
Butterfly, Sonya Hartnett (Penguin Group)
The People's Train, Tom Keneally (Random House)
Lovesong, Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)
Jasper Jones, Craig Silver (Allen & Unwin)
Truth, Peter Temple (Text Publishing)

So heres the thing. Apparently, despite the fact that in the past 15 months I have read approximately 150 books, I am not reading the books that are garnering the critical praise that comes associated with being nominated with these prestigious prizes. Coincidentally, this week also saw the launch of the third annual DWABAHA tournament, where popular romance novels that have been released in the previous 12 months are pitted against each other in brackets. Participants then vote, until finally there is one book left that is called champion! The initial list was 64 books long, and out of that list, I had read a miserly total of 4. This means that I am not reading the critically acclaimed books and I am not reading the popularly acclaimed books in the genres that I enjoy reading, so what the heck am I reading?

As I do every year, I have added the long listed books to my ever growing TBR list, and think about when I might possibly read some of them, so that I can continue my participation in the ongoing Orange Prize Project challenge at the very least.

Do you like to read the novels that are long listed for prestigious prizes? Some people try to read as many as possible of the long listed novels before the prize is nominated? If a novel does win one of these prizes, do you add it to your TBR list? Does seeing which books made the list attract your interest to those novels, or do prizes not matter to you at all? Perhaps some prizes mean more than others to you?

Let's talk prizes!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Book Blogger Hop

I posted about the Book Blogger Hop a couple of weeks ago, and have continued to participate in the hope since then! I am pleased to say that the event seems to be going from strength to strength.

If you haven't heard about this relatively new event, here are some of the details:

This is a weekly event, hosted here (at Crazy-for-Books.com), where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read.  It's a great way to network with other bloggers and make new friends!  The rules are simple - Add your link to MckLinky below (using the new format posted above), POST ABOUT THE HOP ON YOUR BLOG, and start hopping around and visiting other links that are posted!  If you start following someone through the Hop, leave a comment on their blog to let them know!  Stop back during the week to see other blogs that are added!  And, most importantly, the idea is to HAVE FUN!!

So, let's do the Hop!

I've decided to give the post a decidely Australian feel this week! I also wanted to say hi, and welcome, to any one who is stopping by for the first time!

Speaking of ways to find new blogs and to have people find your blog, I am also still participating in the Saturday Network which is hosted over at Books At Midnight. In fact, last week I was the featured blog, so thanks to Jenn for that!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Library Loot - March 17 to 23

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and me 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!

Wow! So much to blog about at the moment, which means I have ended up being a couple of days late with my Library Loot post this week! Lucky it is Eva hosting Mr Linky this week, and not me!

Not only did I carry books out of the library that I have borrowed, I also took six books off of the sale table at the library.There were more I could have taken, but I tried to have some self control!

Here is a list of the books that I bought for a whole 10 cents each:

Midsummer Moon by Laura Kinsale
Harvest Moon by Harvest Moon
Queen of Swords by Judith Tarr
The Shepherd Kings by Judith Tarr
Paint the Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman
The Revolt of the Eagles by Jean Plaidy

I might have to have a look at the table again next time I go too. Then again, one of the reason that I use the library so much is to try and keep my bookshelves under control!

The items that I borrowed were:

City of God by Beverly Swerling (reloot) - Of the three books I have read by this author, I loved two of them. This is the next book in the series that started at the settlement of New York and is following a couple of families through and telling the story of New York.

The Murrumbidgee Kid by Peter Yeldham - I have loved both of the books I have read by this author, and now I am hoping to read all of his backlist!

At Last Comes Love with Mary Balogh - the next book in the Huxtable series.

The Mascot by Mark Kurzem - A few weeks ago in my Sunday Salon post I talked about the books that I had seen other people reading on the train, and this was one of those books!

Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts - I recently read the first book in this trilogy. I am looking forward to the second too!

When Twilight Burns by Colleen Gleason - This is the fourth book in the Gardella Vampire chronices. It's been ages since I read the third book, mainly because my library doesn't have the last two books. I had to get this one as an interlibrary loan, so it has a very attractive green cover on it just like the one I showed here a while ago.

Shadow of the King by Helen Hollick (reloot) - This is the third book in the Pendragon's Banner trilogy.

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn  - I really enjoy Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia series of Victorian mysteries, so I am prepared to go on this journey with her featuring different characters.

The Penny Pincher's Club by Sarah Strohmeyer - I think I have read just about everything Sarah Strohmeyer has written, from her Bubbles Yablonsky series which was Stephanie Plum like mystery,  and now her more women's fiction books. Looking forward to this one.

Vulture Street by Powderfinger - Yes, another Powderfinger CD. I just can't seem to listen to enough of their music at the moment. Once again I leave you with another clip from YouTube. The first part of this video is (Baby I've Got You) On My Mind, and then seques into It's a Long Way to the Top, originally performed by another Aussie band, AC/DC. It is the pre final entertainment from a couple of years ago (think a similar deal to the half time entertainment at the Superbowl!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Once Upon a Time Challenge

It's time for the fourth annual Once Upon a Time Challenge, hosted by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings. Woo-hoo! I love Carl's challenges, although I didn't sign up for the Sci-fi challenge this year.

It's hard to believe that once upon a time I didn't really consider myself to be a fantasy reader. Sure I would occasionally read something that fits the fairy tale/folklore/fantasy/myth type, but for the most part I didn't go out of my way to do so.

Over the past few years I have started reading more and more. So far this year nearly one in five of the books I have read would have qualified for this challenge, including one of only two books that I rated as 5/5 reads - the excellent The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

I have decided that I am going to participate in Quest the First, where the aim is to "Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time IV criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres."

At this stage, my five books will most likely be chosen from the following pool of possibilities:

Mort by Terry Pratchett ***
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
Spirit Walker by Michelle Paver
King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien *****
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Fire by Kristin Cashore
The Sharing Knife: Horizon by Lois McMaster Bujold
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Knife of Letting Go by Patrick Ness

I have quite a few other books left on my shelves that might qualify, but we will see how we go. I certainly have enough to choose from!

***If you are participating in my Terry Pratchett Challenge the books would also qualify for the Once Upon a Time Challenge.

***** Yes, I got way behind in the Lord of the Rings readalong and don't see myself catching up any time soon, but I am still intending to finish reading the books!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Classics Circuit: Those devilish Alastairs

Today I am glad to be participating in the Classics Circuit for Georgette Heyer.  When I signed up for the blog tour, I was asked what I was going to be post about, and because I had just borrowed it, I said that I would post about The Devil's Cub. I then realised that I hadn't actually reviewed the book that comes before it which is These Old Shades, so I thought I would do a post about my experience of reading Georgette Heyer, and a comparison of the two books. In addition, I am also using this post as my entry for the letter H in the Historical Tapestry challenge, Alphabet in Historical Fiction.

Up until a few years ago I hadn't read any Georgette Heyer novels, which in some ways was quite surprising given that I love both romance and historical fiction. Georgette Heyer is often creditted with creating the Regency Romance sub-genre, and over the years I have read quite a lot of those types of romances. I am not really sure what it as that I was waiting for. Since I started reading this author, I have read one of her straight historical fiction novels, one of her mysteries, and now three of her romances. I liked the first romance I read, but I didn't really know what to expect when I picked up These Old Shades. It was therefore a pleasant surprise when I enjoyed it as much as I did!

Here is the synopsis for These Old Shades (the recent Sourcebooks rerelease)

A notorious duke with a devilish bent...

Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon, is called "Satanas" by enemy and friend alike. In the aristocratic circles of both London and Louis XV's Paris he has a reputation as a dangerous and debauched rake.

A cast off urchin with a secret past...

Late one evening, the Duke stumbles upon Leon, a red-headed urchin fleeing a certain beating at his brutal brother's hands. On a whim, Avon buys the boy and makes him his page. But it soon becomes clear that Leon is not what he seems...

When the grubby Leon turns out to be the enchanting Leonie, the Duke is not prepared for the breathtaking transformation or the tender emotions she awakens in him, or the unconditional love she has for the man who saved her.

One of the issues with being a pioneer of a genre, is that in the 80 plus years of subsequent imitators, many of the tropes used in the novel have become pretty standard tropes of the regency romance sub-genre. In this one alone there is the cold, distantly aloof aristocrat, the girl dressing as a boy and the suspense subplot, and yet, despite the fact that these are all storylines that have been reproduced numerous times over the years, there is still a freshness to them in Heyer's writing.

Justin Alastair is in Paris when he comes across a young boy being accosted by others, and decides on a whim to make the boy his page. He very quickly realises that his page is actually a girl and sets out to find out more about her. It seems that she is most definitely something more than a young peasant, and soon Justin finds himself plotting and scheming to unveil a villain of the French Aristocracy.

I really enjoyed that this book was partially set in pre-revolutionary France.

When I rated These Old Shades, I gave it 4.5/5. Some times though the gut reaction rating that I initially apply isn't what I would have rated it a couple of weeks later. I will leave it at 4.5, but having now read The Devil's Cub, I would probably amend that to 4/5, not because I didn't still think I had enjoyed it immensely, but rather because when I put the two books together and compare my reading reaction, then These Old Shades is left in the shadows.

In this novel Miss Heyer has woven 'affairs' of lovely ladies and handsome, if some times wicked, men into a design as intricate as old lace. Love and desire, abductions and escapes, gaming and duelling are inevitable incidents in this full-blooded eighteenth-century story. The many thousands of admirers of Miss Heyer's These Old Shades will meet familiar friends again in Devil's Cub

The main male character in The Devil's Cub is Dominic, Marquis of Vidal, and son of Justin and Leonie, the Duke and Duchess of Avon. Dominic shares many of the same traits that his father possessed. They are both dark and broody, cold and aloof, but where were told that Justin is a man with a deserved reputation as a rake, it is really with Dominic that we see this for ourselves. Dominic is a man who trifles with young women with little thought for the consequences for the lady concerned, the man who fights in duels with the slightest of provocation, and the man who takes on the most ludicrous wagers, and to my mind, he is more overtly amusing than his father.

As a result of an illegal duel, Dominic is hustled out of the country to France, but not before he makes arrangements to have his current young lady, Sophia Challoner, accompany him. When her older, and much more sensible, sister inadvertently finds out about the plan, she is determined to save her sister from certain ruin, and therefore shows up at the rendezvous in her place. Mary expects that she will be able to be back before most people realise that she is gone, but she had not counted on Dominic's temper, and determination, to travel onto Paris urgently. When she wounds him, Dominic begins to realise that Mary is not as dull as he thought she might be, and that he may have at last found a woman who could live up to his mother in terms of spirit, and her sense of adventure.

There was only one scene very early in the book where I didn't like Dominic, and I must confess that I was a bit concerned that I was not going to be able to connect to him as a reader as a result of those actions. Whilst not forgivable, it was not repeated and I got no sense that it would be in the future, and I was therefore able to move on from.

I must confess that there were times that Mary came awfully close to making stupid decisions, but she was saved from being a TSTL (too stupid to live if you aren't sure what that acronym means) heroine by the fact that for most of the time she is no simpering young woman (something that Leonie had down pat in the previous book). In fact, I often found myself wondering what exactly it was that Mary was supposed to be living up to!

It was an absolute delight to watch the chemistry between Dominic and Mary leap from the pages, and to watch a rake whose family members despair of ever reforming (not counting his devoted parents of course) fall in love with a woman that no one would have thought would have been attracted to, and to do so with the utmost care for her reputation once he started to fall for her.

All through both of these books there is a superb cast of supporting characters. Justin's brother and sister, and their respective children in the later book, provide colour, vibrancy, depth and humour, meaning that The Devil's Cub in particular, is an incredibly balanced and readable novel. Leonie and Justin also worked better for me in this novel, having been married for many years now. I still found it a bit hard to connect with Leonie, but I did enjoy that no matter how well she thought she had managed to conceal Dominic's doings from her husband, Justin was almost omnipotent - always having ways of knowing exactly what his firebrand of a son had been up to!

As an aside, the edition of The Devil's Cub that I read was printed in the late 1970s, and it is very interesting to look at the differences between the synopsis and the covers! The other thing that I didn't realise until I was writing this post, is that Barbara from An Infamous Army is a member of the Alastair family! Given that An Infamous Army was the first Heyer I read, I feel as though I have come full circle, and in fact I think if I was to reread her book, I would appreciate more fully Barbara's character. I can totally see myself picking up These Old Shades and beginning my adventures with the fantastic Alastair family again, and this time reading through Devil's Cub and onto An Infamous Army.

In the end I rated The Devil's Cub 5 out of 5.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for the review copy of  These Old Shades.

If you are interested in reading more posts from the Classics Circuit, here are the other stops on the Georgette Heyer tour this week:

March 15, 2010 Booklust Review: Penhallow
March 16, 2010 Carol’s Notebook Review: Cotillion
March 16, 2010 Musings Review: These Old Shades
March 17, 2010 Reading Adventures Review: Devil’s Cub
March 18, 2010 Blog Jar Review: Royal Escape
March 19, 2010 Reading, Writing and Retirement Review: Friday’s Child
March 20, 2010 Staircase Wit Review: The Grand Sophy or Devil’s Cub
March 21, 2010 Medieval Bookworm Review: Cotillion

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week my teaser comes from page 128 of A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James. This is the sixth and final book in the Desperate Duchesses series!

The Duke of Villiers. Age thirteen, going on ... forty.


And now I am off to finish this book off!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Suddenly Sundaying instead of Sunday Salonning

My post title should really be Suddenly Sunday night, and here I am still debating about what I should post about for my first Suddenly Sunday post.

If you are unfamiliar with Suddenly Sunday, it is a meme that was created by Muse in the Fog from Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog as an alternative to Sunday Salon given that Sunday Salon is now closed off to new participants. Given that I was unofficially participating in Sunday Salon anyway, I am instead going to be Suddenly Sundaying instead of Sunday Salonning!

It has been a gorgeous autumn weekend here this weekend - sunshine both days and warm but not too hot temperatures. We spent yesterday afternoon discovering a new beach that isn't too far from us (which we will definitely be going back to), then last night I stood in my driveway to watch a relatively big fireworks display that was held as part of our local community festival, and today we spent time at the festival itself. Very pleasant all round.

Tonight, I tried out not one, but two new recipes with mixed success. I enjoyed both, but the boy didn't like the yoghurt and garlic dressing on the main course, and refused to try the dessert that he helped to make, but never mind. Both recipes were good because he was able to help make them. I have been craving berries and white chocolate for weeks now, and the Berry Meringue Smash that I had tonight really hit the spot. Hopefully that will be enough to satisfy the cravings, because I really, really need to go back on the diet and be sensible about what I am eating.

How about some bookish content for this post? I actually have several ideas for these posts, as well as others that I really should do at some point, but instead I am going to leave you with a bit of a reading update.

At the moment I am reading The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick which I am enjoying. One of the good things about this book is that I suspect that this is the book where she got to know William Marshal, and then a few books after this one he featured in his own book, The Greatest Knight. That book is where I started reading Elizabeth Chadwick, and through subsequent reads, she has since become one of my favourite historical fiction authors. There is a new book coming out soon, but it still seems a long way away! (Is it May yet?)  I need to hurry up and finish this one as it was actually due back to the library last Friday but I am determined to not return it unfinished.

Normally I have two books on the go, but I seem to have a lot more at the moment. In addition to The Champion, I am also reading A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James, the last book in her Desperate Duchesses series. This book is also overdue, so I need to hurry up. I did read a few pages of Mort by Terry Pratchett the other day as well, and just that little bit was enough to put a smile on my face, and then because I was feeling a bit adventurous a couple of nights ago I also started Master by Colette Gale. I am not quite sure what to make of this one yet, as I haven't really picked up what the story line is.  I assuming that there is a storyline, although so far it seems like it is moving from one sex scene to the next. I don't often read erotic romance, so maybe I am just a little out of my comfort zone here.

This week I am planning to post two Georgette Heyer reviews. The first one will be my H post for Historical Tapestry's Alphabet of Historical Fiction, and the second will be my post for the Georgette Heyer tour for the Classics Circuit. Given the two books are linked, it made sense to post about them close together. Of course, I probably need to start writing both posts in order to achieve this.

Speaking of Historical Tapestry, do you love the writing of Anya Seton, or perhaps do you know someone who does? And would you, or they, be interested in writing a guest post for us. There is loads of time before we would need it, so there is no deadline pressure. If yes, then please let me know!

My next reads will most likely be one of the following books:

Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts
The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark
La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
The Various Flavours of Coffee by Anthony Capella
The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham
Young Bess by Margaret Irwin

Any recommendations on what should I read next out of that list?

P.S I was a little surprised when I did a spell check in Word before posting this, and it suggested that this sentence would be better if I changed the is to am. Some times I just have to scratch my head at the suggestions it gives!

I assuming that there is a storyline, although so far it seems like it is moving from one sex scene to the next.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Are you sitting down?


I would hate for anyone to fall over and hurt themself, because I tell you this is a shock to me, let alone to any one else! This week I managed to write not one, but two reviews! The first was for Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland, and the second is a guest post that I wrote for Royal Reviews reviewing Roses by Leila Meacham.

Head on over to see what I had to say!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fireworks Over Toccoa Sweepstakes

Every now and again a book comes out that just sounds like something that I would just love to read. Some times I am destined to be disappointed, but I am hoping that that isn't the case with this book. I love reading books set against the backdrop of WWI or WWII so my interest was automatically piqued when I first heard about this book. The gorgeous cover certainly helps too.  I am hoping to get to read it soon.

If you are lucky enough to live in the US, you could win a beautiful gourmet basket or one of 300 ARC's of the book. If I could enter, I would totally do so! For your chance to enter head over to the Fireworks Over Toccoa website

Here's the cover and blurb:

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before her husband was sent to fight in WWII, Lily is anxious for his return, and the chance to begin their life together. In honor of the soldiers’ homecoming, the small Georgia town of Toccoa plans a big celebration. And Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. But after a chance encounter in a star-lit field, he steals Lily’s heart and soul—and fulfills her in ways her socially-minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband—and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a commitment she’s already made and a love she’s never known before.

Fireworks Over Toccoa takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. A devastating and poignant story, this debut novel will resonate with anyone who believes in love.

Good luck!