Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Snapshot - June 29, 2013



Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy.  

It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda’s site.
 
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Check out these threatening clouds that were in Pittsburgh last night around 5 p.m.
They were the precursor to two hours of a torrential downpour. 
 

It has been raining here all week and is to continue into this upcoming week.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Blogger Hop - 6/28 - 7/4


QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

So would you read a book just because of the hype?

MY ANSWER:  

Nope!!!   I read what I like whether it is hyped up or whether it is not.

So...if a book is hyped up, I will check it out just out of curiosity, but I won't read it just to say I read it.

This is an interesting question.  Looking forward to everyone's answers.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers

 

This book is beautifully written, has outstanding characters with depth, includes mystery and intrigue, has a plot that will keep you engaged, and a tale you won’t want to end.

We all have a past whether sordid or lily white.  We either like to keep our past hidden or allow it to be an open book.  Agnes didn't like to think of her past.  She did have an unpleasant history and tried to keep it buried, but people and circumstances caused others to want to "dig" into the life she led before she arrived in Chartres.

The storyline is unique and appealing.  Through Ms. Vickers' skillful style, the book masterfully draws out the secrets of Agnes' life with hints of what she holds inside. The hints at her life capture your attention and then move to something else as you patiently wait for the next piece of the puzzle to be revealed. 

You will not be disappointed and will quickly want to move to the next chapter to enjoy more of the creative, absorbing story.  The chapters move smoothly between time periods giving background information as well information about the life Agnes currently leads. The interaction of the characters was marvelous.  The writing is very detailed, and the characters and scenes are vivid.  

THE CLEANER OF CHARTRES took a few pages to become interesting, but once the story took off, it was quite captivating as the mystery of who Agnes really was and what caused her to be the person she had become unfolds.  You will grow to love Agnes as she makes it through her life simply and effectually and share every turn her life takes.  You will feel sorry for Agnes but will also be amazed at her resiliency since she didn't have an easy life and especially since she was able to function as an illiterate.  The story will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

As well as a wonderful storyline and wonderful characters, you will learn about The Cathedral of Chartres.  The history of this cathedral was fascinating and had me looking up photos of the structure as well as particulars of the church and its beautiful stained glass windows.  The book's cover is charming.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this story of Agnes.  I hope you will be able to read this book and get caught up in her life as I did.  5/5  

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.


Monday, June 24, 2013

It's Monday!! What Are You Reading? 6/24/13

   
This is a weekly meme run by Book Journey!

Post the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week. 



Books Completed Last Week:
 
 
1. THE STORY OF SASSY SWEETWATER by Vera Jane Cook.  

It was a "sweet" read.  Review will be up on July 12 for a blog tour.

2.  LOVE AND LAMENT  by John Milliken Thompson. 

It was a deep, thoughtful read.  Historical fiction.  It was about about the life of Mary Beth Hartsoe dating back to the late 1800's.

Review will be up the week of July 29 - a week before the publication date as requested by the publisher. 


Book Currently Reading:


1.  LETTERS FROM SKYE by Jessica Brockmole.  I love The Isle Of Skye in Scotland...the book so far is enjoyable.  Just started it this morning.

  

Books Up Next:

I had to rearrange some reads, but it is basically still the same as I had last week.














Mailbox Monday - 6/24/13


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. (Library books don’t count, but eBooks & audiobooks do).    
 
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, is on a blog tour! 



The host for June is: 
Meredith @  Dolcebelleza
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I had a welcome not-too-many-books week. I definitely need to catch up.

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On Wednesday, June 19, my birthday, I received:

1.  THE LEMON ORCHARD by Luanne Rice, courtesy of the publisher, Pamela Dorman Books/Viking/Penguin Group. 




Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Blogger Hop - 6/21 - 6/27




 QUESTION OF THE WEEK:


When you are writing your reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you are completely done with the book?


 MY ANSWER:

I always write my reviews as I am reading.  It helps me remember what I want to say, and it just takes a few revisions after I have completed the book to have a review I am happy with. 


When I know I have the "gist" of the book and that my thoughts are written down, I simply read the remainder of the book and make changes where necessary.  

To me this makes the reviewing process much easier...not that it is difficult, but I like to have things completed in a timely fashion.

I write the reviews in an e-mail and make changes there.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say.   I believe we will have many varied answers.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

 
Ok all you wonderful ladies who stayed home and took care of a husband and your kids....you will love this book.  It is simply delightful, just like the author whom I had the pleasure of meeting.

Leslie Carter was a stay-at-home wife/mother who pinched pennies all her life and was starting to wonder why she did.  She was tired of being unappreciated and taken for granted especially when she accidentally found a bank statement her husband, Wesley, never allowed her to see that had a balance of 22 million dollars.  Yes....22 million....she couldn't believe it.

Leslie decided she needed a vacation from Wesley to cool off.  First from the accident she had in Edinburgh which Wesley was so indifferent about and now all this secret money.  She knew the best place to go was her brother's in Charleston, their childhood city.  Leslie found more than she expected once she arrived.

You will love Leslie for how genuine she is, how believable she is, and how brave she is to finally do something to make herself happy.  And....you definitely will dislike Wesley as well as their two children because of their selfishness and disregard for anyone but themselves.

The book has great descriptions both of the characters and the landscapes of the Lowcountry.  It is a sweet, homey read and will make you think about your family and your relationships in a new light or simply  make you happy or unhappy about where you are in your own life.  It will have you doing some introspection as well as having a good laugh.  The ending is awesome.

I truly enjoyed this book. This is the second book of Ms. Benton Frank's that I have read, and I am very happy with both of them. The content makes me want to read all of her books.

I received this book without compensation and free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mailbox Monday - 6/17/2013

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. (Library books don’t count, but eBooks & audiobooks do).    
 
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, is on a blog tour! 



The host for June is: 
Meredith @  
Dolcebelleza

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I received a lot of good books this week.  A few were surprise wins.  

Another surprise was that my cousin also went to New York and stopped at my son's place and brought back my BEA Books.  

Yeah...I didn't have to wait until July.  :)  Thanks, Casey.

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On Wednesday, June 12, I received:

1. A WELL-TEMPERED HEART by Jan-Philipp Sendker, courtesy of Other Press.

2.  LOVE AND LAMENT by John Milliken Thompson, courtesy of Other Press. 


I was at the Speed-Dating Session on Friday at the BEA and met Paul Kozlowski of Other Press.  He asked that we e-mail him to request copies.  

The Speed-Dating Session was so much of fun.  I met a lot of interesting people, and every nine minutes a different representative from a publisher came to the tables where nine of us were seated and gave us a "speedy" review of three different books.  

LOVED this session.  We took some books home and others were mailed and will be mailed to us.

3.  THE HUSBAND'S SECRET by Liane Moriarty, courtesy of a LibraryThing win and Adrianna Romig of Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam.


Looking forward to reading this book.


On June 13, I received:

1.  THE YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLS by AntonDisclafani, courtesy of Lydia Hirt PenguinGroup.

Definitely looking forward to reading this book.


On June 15, I received:

1.  THE TELLING ROOM by Michael Paterniti, courtesy of Erika Greber of Random House and a Shelf Awareness Giveaway.

 My son actually wants to read this book.  I told him he can be a guest reviewer again.  :)


It's Monday - What are You Reading?

 
This is a weekly meme run by Book Journey!

Post the books completed last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish this week. 


Books Completed Last Week:

1.  MEET ME AT THE CUPCAKE CAFE by Jenny Colgan. 

"The book was as sweet as the icing on Issy's cupcakes."  :) Taken from my review of the book....I really enjoyed it.  


2.  IS THIS TOMORROW by Caroline Leavitt.

"It was a bit slow at first, but with all the twists and turns and the terrific plot, you will find yourself devouring the pages looking for answers just as the characters did."  Taken from my review....a gripping read.  



Book Currently Reading:


1.  SASSY SWEETWATER by Vera Jane Cook. 

I have the e-book version for a blog tour.

 



Books Up Next:

1.  LOVE AND LAMENT by John Milliken Thompson.


2.  THE HUSBAND'S SECRET by Liane Moriarty.



3.  LETTERS FROM SKYE by Jessica Brockmole.




I hope I can keep this order.  I had to move a few books around because of some blog tours.

Happy Reading this week!!