Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Cradle by Patrick Somerville

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Early one summer morning, Matthew Bishop kisses his still-sleeping wife Marissa, gets dressed and eases his truck through Milwaukee, bound for the highway. His wife, pregnant with their first child, has asked him to find the antique cradle taken years before by her mother Caroline when she abandoned Marissa, never to contact her daughter again. Soon to be a mother herself, Marissa now dreams of nothing else but bringing her baby home to the cradle she herself slept in. His wife does not know-does not want to know-where her mother lives, but Matt has an address for Caroline’s sister near by and with any luck, he will be home in time for dinner.

Only as Matt tries to track down his wife’s mother, he discovers that Caroline, upon leaving Marissa, has led a life increasingly plagued by impulse and irrationality, a mysterious life that grows more inexplicable with each new lead Matt gains, and door he enters. As hours turn into days and Caroline’s trail takes Matt from Wisconsin to Minnesota, Illinois, and beyond in search of the cradle, Matt makes a discovery that will forever change Marissa’s life, and faces a decision that will challenge everything he has ever known.

Elegant and astonishing, Patrick Somerville tells the story of one man’s journey into the heart of marriage, parenthood, and what it means to be a family. Confirming the arrival of an exuberantly talented new writer, THE CRADLE is an uniquely imaginative debut novel that radiates with wisdom and wonder. 

This is the debut novel by Patrick Somerville and I for one think that is extremely well written and full of life…not an easy feat for a book that is just over 200 pages in length.  This book actually consists of two stories.  The first story centers around Matt and Marissa.  Both of them have had issues of abandonment due to issues revolving around their childhood, so when Marissa finds out she is pregnant she feels the need to have the antique cradle from her years of infancy.  When Marissa’s mother left the family she took the cradle with her.  It is imperative to Marissa that she has this cradle, so Matt is off on a mission to find it.  And quite a mission it is as he follows the path that the cradle has taken.

In a separate story set 10 years later we are introduced to Renee.  Her son has decided to join the military and this has brought about a flood of memories that she would rather have kept hidden.  These stories intersect and although the outcome was not a total surprise, it was still very well written and tied up nicely.

I really enjoyed this book and look foward to reading more by this author!

Patrick Somerville grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later earned his MFA in creative writing from Cornell University. He is the author of the story collection Trouble (Vintage, 2006), and his writing has appeared in One Story, Epoch and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007. He lives with his wife in Chicago, and is currently the Blattner Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Northwestern University.

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Montana Creeds: Tyler by Linda Lael Miller

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Whether winning championship belt buckles or dealing with Hollywood types for endorsement deals, former rodeo star Tyler Creed can handle anything.  Except standing on the same patch of land as his estranged brothers.  Yet here they are in Stillwater Springs, barely talking but trying to restore the old Creed ranch – and family.

Lily Kenyon knows all about family estrangements and secrets.  The single mom has come home to set things right, to put down roots fro her daughter.  What she doesn’t expect is Tyler Creed, whom she’s loved since childhood.  Now the handsome, stubborn cowboy who left home to seek his fortune just might find it was always under the Montana sky

 

Lily Kenyon left Stillwater Springs years ago, but has returned to help her father recover from a heart attack, and to try and make a fresh start.  Being a single mom isn’t easy, but she feels that Stillwater Springs might be the place for her to start a new life with her daughter, a place that has memories, both good and bad.

The Creed brothers have had problems, but nothing will keep them off of their ranch, trying to restore their family bond.  And Tyler is no different.  A former rodeo star, he is arrogant and thinks that people should look up to him for all of his accomplishments.  What he doesn’t expect is to have Lily Kenyon back in her life.  The history they have hangs heavy between the two – will they rekindle a flame that they thought went out years ago?

This is the third book in the Montana Creeds series and it is certainly not my last book by Linda.  Ms. Miller has such an excellent way of writing her characters to make them jump off of the page, and the emotion that they exhibit is exceptional!  Watching these characters try and overcome their past and rooting them on was a joy.  I would highly recommend this book!

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Win A Copy Of The Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson On Audio

 

 

 

No picture for this one…sorry!  Want to win the first three books in the Women’s Murder Club on audio?

James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, read by Jeremy Piven, Suzanne Toren, Carolyn McCormick, and Melissa Leo“Now, for the first time, the first three books in this series are available in an audio box set that will delight fans of the series, as well as anyone intrigued by thrilling mystery stories that feature strong women characters….”

I will be giving away 3 copies…again, no P.O. Boxes and this is open to the U.S. and Canada only.  Sorry about that.  Please make sure you have a valid email so I know how to contact you.  Good Luck!

 

 

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Win A Copy Of Age Of The Unthinkable By Joshua Cooper Ramo on Audio

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Would you like to win a copy of Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo on audio?  Here is some info about the book:

For decades, American foreign policy has been based on the seductive belief that there exists a logical relationship between power of states and the physics of change. And yet today policies designed to make us safer instead make the world more perilous. History’s grandest war against terrorism creates more terrorists. Global capitalism, intended to boost the quality of life of people around the world, increases the gap between rich and poor. Decisions taken to stem a financial crisis guarantee its arrival. Environmental techniques engineered to protect species lead to their extinction. Middle East peace plans produce less peace. Our world is not becoming more stable or flatter or easier to comprehend. And what we face isn’t one single shift, like the end of World War Two or the collapse of the Soviet Union, so much as a revolutionary avalanche of ceaseless change.

Now, drawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, human immunology, psychology and his own extraordinary experiences, Joshua Ramo puts forth a radical new model for looking at the world, one that embraces its inherent unpredictability–and offers our best hope for dealing with problems and disasters as they emerge.

I  will be giving away 3 copies of this audiobook. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. I will be drawing the winners on April 12 so make sure to leave a comment. Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!
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Win A Copy Of Undress Me In The Temple Of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman on Audio

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Would you like to win a copy of Undress Me In The Temple Of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman on audio?  Here is some info about the book:

In 1986, Susie and her friend Chloe, fresh-faced graduates from Brown University, were inspired by a placemat entitled “Pancakes of Many Nations” to depart on an epic trip around the world, starting with Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China, then only recently opened to the rest of the world. As the two ventured into what turned out to be a strange and alien land, they encountered places far different from anything they had ever experienced, from the horrors of an open-ditch toilet in the back of a weird hybrid tenement hotel, to a magical boat ride through a fantastic landscape of wind-carved mountains. At every turn, they stumbled upon unforgettable people, including an earnest local who called himself George and loved everything American from hamburgers to Stevie Wonder, a heroic German exchange student named Eckehardt Grimm, and a young waitress named Lisa in an unlikely restaurant in the middle of rural China that specialized in food for weary travelers, such as pancakes and pizza, “just like their mama make.”
Armed only with Nietzsche‘s greatest works and a copy of Linda Goodman’s Love Signs, Susie and Chloe were utterly unprepared for their expedition, and their experience alternated between culture shock and exotic adventure, until a near-tragedy turned the trip into a true-life international thriller. Recounted in Susan Jane Gilman’s inspired and unmistakable voice, this adventure is an unforgettable voyage into a peculiarly modern heart of darkness.

I  will be giving away 3 copies of this audiobook. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. I will be drawing the winners on April 12 so make sure to leave a comment. Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!

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Win A Copy Of Never Give Up By Joyce Meyer On Audio

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Would you like to win a copy of Never Give Up by Joyce Meyer on audio?  Here is some info about the book:

“People who are called to greatness meet great challenges,” writes Joyce Meyer in this essential new book. She reminds us that we have the potential for greatness and provides practical, useful information about how to overcome the challenges we face.

In classic Joyce Meyer style, she provides proven “how-to’s” and practical methods along with her encouragement. Joyce has been there. She offers us the benefit of her own experience and helps us avoid the hazards on the way to realizing our dreams.

As we pursue the best in every area of our lives – health, family, finances, career, future, and all the plans God has for us – we will find the inspiration necessary to keep putting one foot in front of the other. No matter how weary we grow on the journey of everyday life, Joyce’s message will empower us to persevere through difficulties, and remind us in a variety of ways: “You can do it-whatever ‘it’ is for you– if you never give up.”

I  will be giving away 3 copies of this audiobook. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. I will be drawing the winners on April 12 so make sure to leave a comment. Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!

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Win A Copy Of Max By James Patterson On Audio!

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Would you like to win a copy of Max by James Patterson on audio?  Here is some info about the book:

Maximum Ride and the other members of the Flock have barely recovered from their last arctic adventure, when they are confronted by the most frightening catastrophe yet. Millions of fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii and someone-or something-is destroying hundreds of ships. Unable to discover the cause, the government enlists the Flock to help them get to the bottom of the disaster before it is too late.

While Max and her team are exploring the depths of the ocean, their every move is being carefully tracked by Mr. Chu-a criminal mastermind with his own plans for the Flock. Can they protect themselves from Mr. Chu’s army of mercenaries and save the ocean from utter destruction?

I  will be giving away 3 copies of this audiobook. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. I will be drawing the winners on April 12 so make sure to leave a comment. Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!

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