Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Review No. 11 "Remember the Stars"

It has been far to long since I updated this blog. I suppose I will write an update on life soon, but for now I want to share a book review of short novella by a fantastic author Natalie-Nicole Bates.

"Remember the Stars" if a dark story featuring a young woman lost in a dark, unforgiving place of memory. Having no recollection how she arrived, she seeks shelter from a mysterious man who reluctantly helps her.

It is a short novella, so I don't want to give too much away, but it was a fantastic read. Love how the author describes the darkened world, fantastic literary imagery. And although it is short, the characters have depth and personality.

I highly recommend this novella, and all the other works by this up-and-coming paranormal romance writer. Love Natalie-Nicole Bates work!

Here is a link on amazon for the book.

And a link to her blog.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Getting to Know Nature No. 3

As I took my lovely dog Indy out for a walk a few days ago, I saw the brilliant flash of red plumage of the male cardinal.

He was so pretty, which made me want to do a little more research on beautiful birds.

Male Northern Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal has a wide-range, from southern Canada to Mexico. These territorial songbirds live in woodlands, shrublands and swamps. Their diet consists of fruits, grains, weeds and seeds, and when able they eat small insects. Source
Want to attract these lovely birds to your backyard? Set of a birds feeder filled with sunflower and safflower seeds.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welcome to 2013!

Well this is the first post of the new year, and 2013 is a clean slate to accomplish a lot or a little.

With 2013 we plan on working on our little home, finishing some much needed repairs, and just loving what we have. We've don't have much money, and our little home is small, but it is coming together!

To celebrate a year of wonder, here are some great shabby home inspirations!

Love water mill houses, I have always wanted to live in one.
Love this, wouldn't mind reading a good book here!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review No. 11

I just finished up reading "Under the Dome" by Stephen King. This was a big book, I think about 900 pages, but it didn't really seem like a "big book". I love reading, and I get through a few books a week, but something about high page numbers daunt me. Weird, I know, but committing to a book that is nearly 1000 pages, I don't like it.

Anyway, this book was very interesting. I am not a "huge" Stephen King fan, I have read several of his books with mixed thoughts. Some are very good, some I just didn't understand. But hey, its Stephen King, and this book was recommended to me, so I thought I would give it a chance.

The short: A mysterious, impenetrable dome falls down on this small town in Maine, leaving all the citizens inside, unable to leave. The dome is only slightly permeable to air and water. Unfortunately instead of working together, certain members of the community try to take advantage of the precarious situation, and a struggle for leadership is a major issue in town. There are good guys, bad guys, and some people you just are sure who's side they are on.

I did enjoy the book, and I honestly think it is a good representation of what would actually happen if something like this were to occur. The stress of being in that situation would be high, but people being people, I can see a power-struggle, and instead of helping each-other it would be chaos.

Some of the characters you flat out hate (but your supposed to, they are the "bad" guys). King does a great job of giving you many characters to follow, but he makes it easy. I did get lost a time or two, since there is a long list of characters, but I usually figured out who he was referring to in a paragraph or two. The characters really make the book, and he did a great job making them realistic.

I'd recommend this book to any who likes suspense, sci-fi, and thrillers. It isn't really horror to me, sure horrible things happen, but I put it more in the suspense genre. Oh and I guess they are making this in to a tv miniseries, so you might want to check it out before it airs!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Review Tuesday No. 10

Things have been a bit hectic the last few weeks, with the holidays and my Etsy shops, but they should settle down I hope.

This week's review is of a lovely book by Diana Norman called "The Morning Gift". I started reading Diana Norman's works actually under her pen name Ariana Franklin and the Mistress of the Art of Death series. That is an excellent series, which I will likely review at another time.

"The Morning Gift" is set in the 12th century in England, and follows the life of a young Norman noblewoman Matilda, who at a young age was married to a much older man (isn't that how it normally goes). Her first husband dies, leaving her with a small keep he gave to her on a whim. This property is in the fen, where the people have a particular way of life that is much different than her own.

Through struggle, hardship and growth the Matilda learns to love the fens, and the freedom it brings. But as England is thrown into turmoil of civil war, Matilda's small world comes crashing down life.

I love how Diana Norman writes romance, yes, this is a romance, but you wouldn't know it at first. She is so good at telling a love story that is realistic, and that is intertwined in the story but not the main portion of the story.

I'm going to have to rank this as one of my all time favorite books, I love it! The world will surely miss Mrs. Norman's works, I know I will, she was an exceptional writer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book Review Tuesday No. 9

A beautiful and thought-provoking story filled of hope, determination, and love. “The Dervish” by Frances Kazan is set right after WWI in Turkey amongst the turmoil of the falling Ottoman Empire. Distraught at the death of her husband, Mary travels half-way across the world to try to heal the grief over her loss. Not long after reaching her sister, whose husband works at the American Consulate, Mary has first-hand encounters with the rebellion brewing amongst the citizens. A chance encounter with a woman, and a small case of mistaken identity, throws Mary into the battle for Turkey’s freedom.

This book was a very enjoyable read, the main character’s perspective of the tumultuous situation in Turkey is well-written, and makes it difficult to pick a side in the revolution, which I think it is point the writer is trying to make. Nothing is clear-cut, right and wrong. The descriptions are marvelous; it makes you feel like you are walking the streets, breathing the spiced air.

My only problem with this book, and it isn’t a big issue, is how quickly the main character falls in love. There was no development,  I guess it was a kind of love-at-first site thing, but I would have liked to read a little more development before she falls head-over-heels for someone.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in this region of the world, who likes period novels, and who likes some adventure!

A copy of this book was provided to me for my honest opinion.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review No. 8

I know this isn't Tuesday, but I wanted to share this great book I just finished reading.

This is my favorite type of book. “The Romanvo Cross” by Robert Masello is an excellent read with a rich story line filled with historical references, believable science and likable characters.

This book is split between two times: present day Alaska and 1910’s Russia. The two times intertwine, and I think Robert Masello did a marvelous job keeping both stories separate, but linked.

The main character of the book was Frank Slater, an epidemiologist who has worked in some of the harshest locations on the planet. After a shipping vessel comes into contact with an old casket from an abandoned Alaskan island, Slater is called in for his expertise. Although no one has lived on the island in nearly 100 years, there is still the thread of a contagion spreading to the mainland. In 1918, all of the members of a sect devoted to Rasputin died of the Spanish Flu, one of the deadliest epidemics there has ever been. Slater selects a team of scientist from around the world to study the unique conditions on the island that may have led to the preservation of the Spanish Flu virus in the permafrost entombed bodies.

The second story line in the book is about the ill-fated Romanov family, the last rulers of Russia. The family’ relationship with the historically misunderstood Rasputin caused a great deal of turmoil in the upper echelon of Russian government. Ultimately the murder of Rasputin by close members of the royal family sets the stage for the fall of the Romanovs. The sudden decline and kidnapping of the family was presented through the eyes of Anastasia, the famed youngest daughter who for a long time many believed lived through the terrible massacre.

Masello’s ability to link present-day epidemiology to the Romanov family was just brilliant. First, I like Frank because he is a reliable character, he has an interesting job and he is up for a little adventure. I also love the science part; being a scientist myself these are my favorite types of books to read. A little history, a little adventure, mix in some science and romance, and sold! You can tell Masello did a lot of research on the Spanish Flu and the Romanovs, which only makes the story much more realistic. Also, by reading this book, it intrigued me to do some of my own research. If a book catches your attention, and you want to dig deeper, then it is a good book. My only small problem with the book was how quickly the romance was introduced. I like romance, but it seemed kind of thrown in at the last minute.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story with historical figures, real science, and a bit of adventure added for spice.

A copy of this book was provided to me for my honest opinion.