Monthly Archives: May 2009

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier

Frenchman's Creek

Jaded by the numbing politeness of Restoration London, Lady Dona St. Columb revolts against high society. She rides into the countryside, guided only by her restlessness and her longing to escape.

But when chance leads her to meet a French pirate, hidden within Cornwall’s shadowy forests, Dona discovers that her passions and thirst for adventure have never been more aroused. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.

When I received and email from Danielle at Sourcebooks to see if I would be interested in reading a few of Daphne du Maurier’s books I jumped at the chance.  I have heard so much about this author over the years but haven’t had the time to read anything.  Now was as good a time as any.

To call this book a straight romance novel would be doing it an injustice.  This author has a way of dragging you in and putting you in the same frame of mind as Lady St. Columb.  This novel is set in the 1700s in Cornwall.  Lady St. Columb is looking for more to life so she leaves the city and heads to the country home where she honeymooned, bring with her her two children and their nanny.

She happens to find the hideout of a pirate and her sense of adventure is piqued.  She decides she is going to try and live a little and disguises herself as a cabin boy to get closer to the pirate.  What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the pirate, even though he is a scoundrel in every sense of the word…and she’s married.

There are so many different aspects in this book, but the author has such a way of weaving her tale to make you feel as if you know this Lady, and what she is going through.  Even though she is spending time with another man while she is married, I could really relate. 

I am just sorry that it has taken me this long to read something by this fantastic author.  This will not be the last book I read by her though, that’s a guarantee!

Daphne du Maurier was born in London in 1907, the second daughter of a famous stage actor and actress. Her first novel was published in 1931, but it was her 1938 novel Rebecca which made her one of the most successful writers of her time. Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of the book won the Best Picture Oscar in 1940, and he used her material again for his classic The Birds. In 1969, Du Maurier was created a Dame of the British Empire.

At the age of 81, Du Maurier died at home in her beloved Cornwall, the region that had been the setting for many of her books.

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Making Light of Being Heavy by Kandy Siahaya

making_light_of_being_heavy

These days everyone has a society-driven mindset and totally forget to laugh, especially at themselves. This may be cliche but I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine and I think everybody should laugh every day. Period. Over the years as a person blessed with the fat gene, I have been in many situations where if I could not find humor I probably would end up on the couch in the psychiatrist’s office. This book is about as politically incorrect as it gets for such a subject but it is also based on reality. This is a reality that many women have just like me, but do not think they can (or should) at times just laugh about it.

My intention when I started writing this book was to hopefully give insight to many who could never relate but at the same time perhaps provide a different perspective to women just like me. It is a point of view that has given me the strength to live my life happily and project these feelings onto everyone I come in contact with. I have a great sense of humor and a quick with and guarantee you will be laughing (and thinking) with each chapter of Making Light of Being Heavy.

 

I’ve struggled with weight for many years but it really became an issue for me after I had my second daughter.  Having two babies in 16 months really does a number on your body, and I found myself grabbing things on the go more often than not – it was just easier.  I don’t eat much meat but never have.  Let me be the first to tell you that just because you are close to being a vegetarian does no necessarily mean that you are healthy.

I was thrilled to not only have the opportunity to host this author on her virtual book tour, but to read her book.  She brings such fun and light heartedness to being overweight you can see that it isn’t all bad.  Granted, society seems to have a different view, which is funny in a way.  I see more heavy people than thin people every time I am in a public setting and yet the “ideal” body is still considered 36-24-36…or something along those lines.

Kandy has come to terms with her weight, and after reading her book you just might too.  We are who we are, heavy, thin, pretty, not so pretty, it doesn’t mean that you are better or worse than anyone else.  It truly is what’s inside that counts.

So, even if you don’t struggle with weight issues I would recommend this book to you.  It is nice to see the viewpoint of an overweight woman, some of the struggles she has endured due to her weight, and how she has decided to take this and use it in a positive way to get her through life with a smile on her face.  

Kandy Siahaya was raised in a small town in Maine where she graduated from high school in 1984. She worked her way up from her first job as CSW to Manager of Kentucky Fried Chicken and ended up in Brunswick, Maine. When she decided to leave the fried chicken business at age 22, she packed up her little Chevy Chevette and moved to Fort Myers, Florida where she worked as a waitress and had a great time as a single girl in her 20’s. Reality hit when she was 25 years old and went back to Maine and received her Associates Degree at Beal College and promptly moved back to Florida and started a career in medical transcription. In 1995 at age 29, she met her future husband and moved to North Miami Beach, Florida, and continued with transcription starting her own business.

In 2002, Kandy left North Miami Beach and moved back to Maine with her five year old son and eventually divorced in 2005. Kandy still does medical transcription but had an unexpected decline in work which left her with a lot of time on her hands. This is when she decided to write a book. this is something she had been thinking about for a few years but never had the time because she was always so busy with her business. It was meant to be a quick and funny read, something to brighten the outlook of many that really do not see the light through their own tunnel vision. It was also intended to be insightful for those that could never possibly relate to this specific subject. Kandy has succeeded in doing just that with Light of Being Heavy.
For more information please visit http://www.makinglightofbeingheavy.com/

 

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Let the Shadow Fall Behind You by Kathy-Diane Leveille

let the shadows fall behind you

Filled with quirky, heartwarming characters, this novel is a late coming-of-age story shaped by the eternal redeeming power of female friendship. Brannagh Maloney returns to her hometown for a reunion of old friends, carrying the burden of thinking she has lost her lover, Nikolai Mirsky. Once there, she finds it hard to ignore old family secrets, and decides to visit the house where she was raised and treated cruelly by her grandfather. Brannagh forces the old man to tell her what happened to her mother, and the shocking truth finally sets her free as she understands why her grandfather had acted so harshly. When Nikolai turns up unexpectedly, Brannagh’s life takes another turn as her mysterious past deepens.

 

I received this book from the author and was excited to get the chance to review it.  It was right up my alley with suspense as the backdrop.  This author has a way of developing the characters that makes you feel as if you have known them all your life. 

Brannagh Maloney has been fighting for a normal life for years.  She ends up working for Nikki – a wilderness preservationist in northern Ontario.  Nature runs its course and Brannagh ends up falling in love with Nikki.  When Nikki disappears, Brannagh is forced to deal with it, resorting back to feelings of being abandoned due to childhood trauma that has left her permanently scarred. 

This book weaves together multiple stories in such a wonderful way.  It delves into the traumas endured by its lead character and how it made her the adult she became.  It was hard for me to put down and I look forward to reading more by this very talented author.  

Kathy-Diane Leveille is an author and former broadcast journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

For more about Kathy visit  www.kathy-dianeleveille.com.

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And the winners are…

Here are the winners for the multiple book giveaways – you will be getting an email from me so please look for it. Thanks so much for entering!!!

Priceless Memories by Bob Barker
Anne
Kitten 22
Carlene

Boneman’s Daughter
Amber
Mary Ward
Wendy Wallach

No Matter What by Lisa Nichols
Kim V.
Sharon F.
Emilie S.

First Family by David Baldacci
Becky W.
Tiffany S.
Cheryl S.

8th Confession by James Patterson
Darlene
Katrina
Christina

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They Plotted Revenge Against America by Abe March

Join Abe March, author of the political action thriller, They Plotted Revenge Against America (All Things That Matter Press, February 2009), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in May on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

 Abe F. March is an international business consultant and author, living near Landau, Germany with his wife Gisela. An active retiree, he enjoys hiking and exploring the local vineyards and can also be heard singing with a regional men’s choir. Mr. March’s career has taken him around the world to work in many areas from his birthplace in the USA to Canada, Europe and the Middle East.
His first book, To Beirut and Back – An American in the Middle East, was published in 2006 and is a memoir of his adventures that took him to Lebanon in the 1970s. Mr. March grew up in York County, Pennsylvania on the family farm, and he served in the USAF from 1957-61. His business career got underway with the computing sciences division of IBM’s service bureau where he held positions as manager of administration and operations analyst. He later joined an international cosmetic company where he rapidly achieved top distributor status and was promoted to Vice President of Sales Development and Product Marketing Management, an opportunity which took him throughout the USA and into Canada, Greece, and Germany.
With international experience and an entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. March started his own importing business headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, for the distribution of cosmetics and toiletries to the Middle East markets. With an ease about him and a talent for developing business relationships, he also functioned as a locator of goods and services sought by Mid-Eastern clients before the civil war in Lebanon destroyed his successful business enterprise. Mr. March returned to the United States to start over, and was soon working on an international level once again. His subsequent work involved Swan Technologies, Inc., a personal computer manufacturer in West Germany, and back to the US to work with Stork NV, supporting a fleet of 1200 Foker Aircraft. He officially retired in 2001.
For more information please visit http://www.freewebs.com/abemarch
 
An American attack on Baghdad leaves heartbroken and angry survivors. Two different families, one Muslim and one Christian, are wiped out in the 2003 raids and their young adult progeny are determined to avenge the loss of their loved ones. An Israeli Secret Service Agent with a grudge of his own, knows just how to tap into the vulnerabilities that grief leaves, and he organizes the training of select men and woment whose desire for vengeance is strong enouh to consider a deadly covert mission in America. Trainees will learn to blend in, disappear in the multicultural mix of the US and then infest the food and water supply with a deadly flu virus capable of mutating and infecting the human population. The antidote – if it works – will only be revealed under strict demands.
As a part of their indoctrination, mission members must have a deep understanding of the causes of conflict in the Middle East. Peering through the darkness of their grief and hatred, some team members come to realize that they could ultimately be responsible for millions of innocent deaths. Their actions could break the stalemate between the Israelis and Palestinians – or bring unparalleled tragedy.

…Now she expected to endure the same fate at the hands of the security police, as she would have expected in Russia. She bit her lip. Her face took on a determined look. No, she would not give them what they want and they would not break her. Without her knowing it, someone had been sitting in the room observing her. She was startled when the person said,

“How did you come to know David Levy?”
“Who’s to say I know David Levy?”
“Are you denying it?”
“I simply want to know who is saying that I know him. And why was I abducted?
“I’m asking the questions. You will answer them.”
“I am not required to answer any of your questions. You have kidnapped me and brought me here by force. And why must I remain blindfolded? Are you afraid to show your face?”
“I ask you again, how do you know David Levy?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“You impertinent sow.” He slapped her across the face. Her head snapped back like whiplash. The stinging of the slap was nothing compared to the fury she felt. If only I could get my hands on that person, he would never slap me again, she thought…
 
MY THOUGHTS:
 
Terrorism has always been a realistic threat, but ever since the 9/11 tragedy the American people have seen first hand what terrorism can do – something other countries have been dealing with for quite some time.  I was very interested in reading Mr. March’s book and was not disappointed. 
One of the most interesting things about this book (to me) is that it takes place in the US – not in some far away land that makes it seem less real (Iraq, Vietnam, etc.)  This book focuses on the survivors of an attack on Baghdad by the US and how the survivors are trying to infiltrate the US and get revenge on the average Joe – not something I like to think about.
This book hit very close to home – really, how easy would it be for a group of terrorists to make their way into our society and contaminate the food and/or water with a deadly virus.  We are battling cases of H1N1 – what if it was something much more dangerous and much more deadly, and we had no idea where to even begin?
To me, this is a terrorist.  Not the militia you see plastered all over the television.  The real threat are the people you don’t see, just like the people that we manning th planes during the 9/11 attack.  That’s what makes this book so frightening.  Just how easy would this be?  And if it did happen, what would we be able to do to stop it?
I really enjoyed this book and found it thought provoking.  Land of the free, home of the brave.  That’s true, but we need to make sure to tread lightly when it comes to invading other countries – how much protection can really be provided to the general public.  Are we truly safe?  Hopefully this scenario will remain a work of fiction…I for one am counting on it!
 
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Win a Copy “The Host” from Stephenie Meyer

the host

Would you like to win a copy of “The Host” byStephenie Meyer? Well, of course you do!  If you don’t know what this book is about, here is some info about it:

The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

I will be giving away 3 copies of this book. Unfortunately winners are limited to the US and Canada…sorry about that. I will be drawing the winners on June 29 so make sure to leave a comment.

Want to earn a chance for some extra entries?  Here’s how:

Blog about this on your blog and send me a link – 2 extra entries
Subscribe to my blog – 3 extra entries
Submit a recipe for one of my other blogs with a story behind it – 5 extra entries

To contact me see the link at the top of the blog.  Thanks so much and good luck!

***Please remember to have a valid email address so I know where to contact you and thanks!

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Boneman’s Daughter by Ted Dekker

 Boneman's Daughter

A Texas serial killer called BoneMan is on the loose, choosing young girls as his prey, His signature: myriad broken bones that torture and kill – but never puncture.

Military intelligence officer Ryan Evans is married to his work; so much so that his wife and daughter have written him out of their lives. Sent to Fallujah and captured by insurgents, he is asked to kill children not unlike his own. The method: a meticulous, excruciating death by broken bones that his captor has forced him to learn.

Returning home after the ordeal, a new crisis awaits. A serial killer is on the loose, and his method of killing is the same. Ryan becomes a prime suspect, which isn’t even the worst of his problems: Ryan’s daughter is BoneMan’s latest desire.

In a story that is devaststing in its skill and suspense, – Ted Dekker brings to bear his ability to terrify and compel in BONEMAN’S DAUGHTERS.

Yet again, a book that has been sitting on my wish list…as well as all of the other books by Ted Dekker.  This is the first book that I have read by this author and he has quickly earned a place in my heart, truly fantastic and a total rollercoaster of a story.

Ryan Evans has served his country well – an intelligence officer in the Navy he is one of the elite.  After a mission goes terribly wrong, he does some soul searching and realizes it’s time for him to put his priorities in place and make his family whole again.  This will be no easy task considering he has not been a very active part of his wife or daughter’s life.

Enter Boneman – a brutal serial killer who captures young girls and tortures them by breaking all of their bones without breaking their skin.  He’s in search of a perfect “daughter” and thinks  he has found it in Ryan’s daughter Bethany.  Not only is Ryan in a fight to save his daughter from an early death, he also has to convince the FBI that he is not Boneman, as they believe.

This book is impossible to put down – when the word suspense is used, this is exactly what they are talking about.  Dekker hooks you by giving you just enough information to keep you turning pages to see where you’re going next, and it is a journey you don’t want to miss!  I HIGHLY recommend this book but be warned – set aside some time because you’ll want to finish it in one sitting.

Thanks so much to Miriam of Hachette for allowing me to review this novel!

Ted Dekker is the author of twenty-two novels, with more than 3 million copies of his books sold to date, 1 million of them sold in 2007 alone.

Known for adrenaline-laced stories packed with mind-bending plot twists, unforgettable characters and confrontation between good and evil, Dekker has earned his status as a New York Times bestselling author.

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