Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Month of Letters – March

I read a lot of blogs, and one of my favorite is a blog by Cassie, over at Books and Bowel Movements.  A couple of days ago she wrote about “A Month of Letters“.  I loved her idea, and after a couple of emails with Cassie, decided to join in!

Here’s how Cassie put it in her blog:

To do this, I was hoping to have people to write too.  I’d like to spend 31 days writing to people who are new to me.  Or people, who I haven’t known my whole life, or lived in the bed next to for a summer, or spent my spring evenings with.  So, I’m opening this up to all of you.  I think in order to do this, you will have to believe that I am not a serial killer, and will not take your addresses and spam you with vacation packages, or car insurance quotes.  In order to prove this, I’ve decided to hand-make all of my own cards.  This means, you may think a first grade relative sent you something, but really it’s me, Southern girl from Books & Bowel Movements.

First, you see why I like Cassie – she’s just plain funny!  Second, I just want you to know that I will NOT be making all of my own cards/stationary.  I am not crafty, or artsy, or any combination there-of.  BUT, I do like cards and stationary – I just won’t be making it!  Also, please note that I am also not a serial killer, and I will not spam you if you email me about this project.

I hadn’t thought about the joy of hand-written letters in quite a while, but after reading Cassie’s post I started thinking about some of the letters I have kept and truly cherish.  My grandfather traveled the world for most of my life (and my mothers), he was an engineer and worked mostly on asphalt plants.  He used to send postcards and letters from all over the place, and I was thrilled to get them.  He would sign his name, and sketch a fish.  I loved his little fish – and as I grew older I realized that you could tell his mood by the facial expression on the fish.  I know, I know – fish don’t have facial expressions!  Well, you just haven’t seen my grandfather’s fishes!  Now I’m wishing I had a postcard handy to scan in and show you – I’m currently marking that down on my to-do list.

Other cherished letters include a handful of letters from my grandmother.  My grandmother is 93, and I talk to her at least once a week.  She is amazing, and I adore her.  My grandmother will tell you straight out that she is not a letter-writer.   Her first response to someone’s distress or hard times is to visit them or call them – not send a card or letter.  Because I know that she doesn’t enjoy writing letters, the few I have from her are some of my most treasured.

I have a great-aunt who loves to write.  Cards, letters, on napkins, envelopes, that woman will write until there is no space left.  She will fill the entire page, then start around the edges.  And bless her heart, Egyptian hieroglyphs are easier to read.  I love her, and I love to get letters from her, but it takes me upwards of an hour to get them all sorted out – not only are there pages and pages, they are covered front, back and edges.  Picture me holding the first page, getting to the bottom, then trying to decide if I should turn it over, or start on the edges.  Then I’m turning it around and around as I follow the written edge – around all four edges!  Not only is that a challenge, she writes them over the course of several days, and it’s hard to pick up from one day to the next with any continuity.

Long after my other grandmother died, I was given a stack of cards and notes that I had written to her.  She passed away when I was 10, so the letters I sent her were childish, and grew from scribbles to short sentences.  But she kept them all!  I love looking over them now that I’m grown up with a family of my own, and think how much I will love all the letters I get over the years.

As you can see, I have a long line of letter writers in my past, or at least A line – even if it isn’t all that long.  I grew up where not only did you thank someone in person for their gift to you (for whatever the occasion), but you wrote them a thank-you note within 14 days, AND you mentioned it, or displayed it the next time you saw them, so they would feel properly appreciated.  I have written many letters in my time, but in the last few years I’ve slacked off.  If I can reach someone via email, text or phone, or even Facebook, I don’t typically write them a letter.

Thanks to Cassie, this will change in the month of March.  Letter writing has become a lost art, and I would like to revive it in my life.  There is nothing better than opening the mailbox to find something that’s for me, that’s not a bill or a stupid piece of junk mail (that goes immediately in the recycle bin), but is personal.  It’s even better when it’s a chatty hand-written letter!

So, here’s the deal – I am going to write letters each day in March.  If you would like to receive a letter (or maybe a smallish note), and you trust me not to share your info or send you crazy unsolicited stuff (which I promise not to do), you can email me at muzettew AT gmail DOT com and introduce yourself and give me your mailing address.

Although I have some people in my life who deserve a letter instead of just an occasional phone call, I would like to have some new people to write and share funny things or great quotes with.   I would love to hear from you.

If you’re interested in participating on your blog, you can grab the badge on the top of this post, and get ideas from me or Cassie.

There are a ton of blogs that did this for February.  I believe the starting blog was LetterMo.

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Mailbox Monday

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of  A Girl and Her Books.  The host for February’s Mailbox Monday posts will be Metroreader.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I go to the library every week, and I try to plan it so I go on the days the library bookstore is open.  I love great deals on books, and have started taking in a list of books I want, so I can remember what to look for!

Here are the books I picked up from the library bookstore this week:

1. Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell – this is the first book in the series, and I haven’t read any of them yet.  I’ve been looking for this book, and although the bookstore has tons of her books in hardback, this one I could only find in mass market paperback.  But, for $.50, I can replace it later with the hardback and give this one away!

2. One Book in the Grave by Kate Carlisle – this is the fifth in the Bibliophile Mystery series.  It’s fun to read a book about books and people who love them!

3. Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross  – I love LOVE Miss Julia.  She is a spunky little lady who takes in her husband’s mistress and love child after his death to prove she can be a “good Christian”.  She ends up loving them, and they make quite a funny little family.  I laugh out loud at all her escapades.

4. The Friday Night Knitting Club by kate jacobs.  I’ve been wanting to read this series, and this is book #1, and for $1, how could I turn it down?

5. Blessings by Anna Quindlen.  I have a confession – I’ve never read any of Anna Quindlen’s books.  *gasp*.  Its true, I don’t know why I haven’t, but I decided now was as good a time as any to get started!  I’d love to hear your thoughts about this book if you’ve read it!

Here are the ARC books I received in the mail this past week.

1. Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher from Thomas Nelson.

“Back in her beloved Virginia, Shannon Adair loved nursing injured soldiers back to health.  but in Grand Coeur, Idaho – the rough-and-tumble place where her father has been called to lead the church – she’s not sure where she fits in.  Then a critically ill woman arrives, and Shannon knows her place at last: to care for this dear woman and ease her pain.

Matthew Dubois is the fastest and most reliable stagecoach driver on Wells Fargo’s payroll.  But his widowed sister is dying and he’s about to inherit his young nephew.  So he takes a job at the Wells Fargo express office in Grand Coeur until he can find the one thing he needs to get back to driving: a wife to care for the boy.

What neither of them knows is that God is at work behind the scenes – and is lovingly bringing them together to discover the true desires of their hearts.”  (back cover of the book)

2. The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe from Hyperion/Voice. Katherine is also the author of the popular book, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.

“A vividly atmospheric love story, The House of Velvet and Glass is set in Boston just before World War I.  After the loss of her mother and sister on the  Titanic, our heroine, Sybil, is obsessed with contacting them in the afterworld.  she turns to a spiritualist medium to help make the connection.  At the same time, Sybil struggles with her brooding father and black sheep brother.  And just as she is sensing that her time to marry may have passed, a surprising series of events brings an old flame back on the scene.

How is a master of period detail, and she brings upper-class Boston vividly to life.  We move from the dangerously seductive opium dens of Chinatown to opulent town houses to Harvard’s hushed libraries.  In addition, there are flashbacks to the glittering salons of the Titanic on the eve of its sinking.”  (from the enclosed letter from the publisher)

3. The Expats by Chris Pavone from Crown Publishers.

“Kate Moore is an expat mom living the expat life.  In the cobble stoned streets of Luxembourg, her days are filled with play dates and coffee mornings, her weekends spent in Paris and skiing in the Alps.  Kate is also guarding a tremendous, life-defining secret – one that’s become so unbearable that it begins to unravel her neat little expat life.  She suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be; plus her husband is acting suspiciously; and as she travels around Europe, she finds herself looking over her shoulder, increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her.  As Kate begins to dig to uncover the secrets of the people around her, she finds herself buried in layers of deceit so thick they threaten her family, her marriage and her life.”  (from back cover)

I also received some E-Book ARCs.

1. The Last Song by Eva Wiseman from Tundra Books

“Spain had been one of the world’s most tolerant societies for eight hundred years, but that way of life was wiped out by the Inquisition. Isabel’s family feels safe from the terrors, torture, and burnings. After all, her father is a respected physician in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Isabel was raised as a Catholic and doesn’t know that her family’s Jewish roots may be a death sentence. When her father is arrested by Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, she makes a desperate plan to save his life – and her own.”

2. Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin by Robin LeFevers from Houghlin Mifflin

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?”

3. The Acadian Diaspora by Chrisopher Hodson from Oxford University Press

“Late in 1755, an army of British regulars and Massachusetts volunteers completed one of the cruelest, most successful military campaigns in North American history, capturing and deporting seven thousand French-speaking Catholic Acadians from the province of Nova Scotia, and chasing an equal number into the wilderness of eastern Canada. Thousands of Acadians endured three decades of forced migrations and failed settlements that shuttled them to the coasts of South America, the plantations of the Caribbean, the frigid islands of the South Atlantic, the swamps of Louisiana, and the countryside of central France.
The Acadian Diaspora tells their extraordinary story in full for the first time, illuminating a long-forgotten world of imperial desperation, experimental colonies, and naked brutality. Using documents culled from archives in France, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, Christopher Hodson reconstructs the lives of Acadian exiles as they traversed oceans and continents, pushed along by empires eager to populate new frontiers with inexpensive, pliable white farmers. Hodson’s compelling narrative situates the Acadian diaspora within the dramatic geopolitical changes triggered by the Seven Years’ War. Faced with redrawn boundaries and staggering national debts, imperial architects across Europe used the Acadians to realize radical plans: tropical settlements without slaves, expeditions to the unknown southern continent, and, perhaps strangest of all, agricultural colonies within old regime France itself. In response, Acadians embraced their status as human commodities, using intimidation and even violence to tailor their communities to the superheated Atlantic market for cheap, mobile labor.
Through vivid, intimate stories of Acadian exiles and the diverse, transnational cast of characters that surrounded them, The Acadian Diaspora presents the eighteenth-century Atlantic world from a new angle, challenging old assumptions about uprooted peoples and the very nature of early modern empire.”

4. The Weepers by Susanne Winnacker from Marshall Cavendish.

“Sherry has lived with her family in a bunker for more than three years. Her grandfather’s body has been in the freezer for the last six months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago, they ran out of food. Sherry and her father must leave the safety of the bunker. What they find is an empty Los Angeles, destroyed by bombs and haunted by Weepers, savage humans infected with a rabies virus. While searching for food, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a vineyard where a handful of survivors are picking up the pieces of their other lives, before the virus changed everything. Sherry must find a way to help her family, stay alive, and decide whether Joshua is their savior or greatest danger as his desire for vengeance threatens them all. This debut novel is a page-turner that is not easy to forget.”

What books made it into your house this week?

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Lazy Sunday

I don’t really have a Sunday Meme, and although I’ve finished two books in two days, I’m not really feeling a book review out of them.  This post is a reflection of my Lazy Sunday, spent online.

I love Bookman’s video’s.

Here are some song videos I really enjoy….

The Band Perry – “If I Die Young”

Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger”

Gym Class Heroes – “Stereo Hearts” featuring Adam Levine

And this week’s favorite song (of mine) -

Fun – “We are Young” featuring Janelle Monae

What do you do on Lazy Sundays?

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Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.  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 Alyce’s site.   Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

I decided I’d post some pictures of my animals in this Snapshot, since they make up so many funny/fun times in our house.

This is Baxter (L) and Sabertooth (R).  Baxter is like a bowling ball with legs – he’s large.  He’s never had as much exercise as he gets now that Sabertooth has adopted us.  (His family left him when they moved).

This is Lightening (L) and Sabertooth.  Lightening is not fond of how Sabertooth has just taken over half of his bed.

Another interloper – a sweet little one we found in our front yard with no one around.  Turns out she was a neighbor’s new pet, and they came and picked her up later that evening.  She and the dogs had made friends though, so she became a frequent visitor.

This is Jafar.  (See what happens when you let a four-year-old name the dogs?  You get Lightening McQueen and Jafar from Aladdin).

This is Ollie.  We were also adopted by him after his family left him.  :(  Poor Ollie, yay us!  He’s hilarious, and although he comes inside on occasion, he’s an outdoor boy.  He loves to sit on top of my truck and survey the neighborhood.

The couch is comfy, but a warm laptop is even better!

You can see me?  I thought I was blending in with the couch!

“You’re right, Daddy!  This is comfortable!”

Could I be any cuter???

These socks will never attack me again!!!

See how big that cute little puppy (above) grew up to be?  Still buddies!

If I’m really still, she won’t see me!

Thanks for cleaning off the shelf for me!

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“And One Last Thing”

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been in a book slump.  For as much as I like to read, I hate to quit a book almost as much.  Something I dislike only slightly less is to not feel drawn in to a book, like I’m reading it because I’m bored, and not because I really want too.  That’s how I’ve felt for the last couple of weeks.  I admitted this to a good book friend, and my librarian.  Both assured me that I would get through it shortly, and that they wouldn’t dump me over it!  Color me relieved!  It was embarrassing to be in a book slump.  The good news is I think I’m out of it!  Yay, me!

I picked up a book on a whim, one that had been on my shelf for probably close to three years.  I hadn’t read anything by this author, and it was the only book by her that I had.  I read Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs on a whim, and within a few pages I was really enjoying it.  Molly Harper, the author, is a former humor columnist, and it shows.  I have laughed out loud, usually by myself in an empty house, or in bed, waking my husband, and have loved every minute of the book.  It was a quick read, and I immediately searched my library for Ms. Harper.  I found this book, And One Last Thing, which was her first book about someone that doesn’t have fangs, or turn four-legged and hairy on the full moon.  I enjoyed this book too, and thought I ‘d share a little of it with you.

Lacey Terwilliger is a stay-at-home wife, supporting her husband, Mike, in his prospering accounting firm by joining charities and volunteering with other “corporate wives”.  The first chapter starts out with this sentence:  “If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger.”  If that doesn’t make you laugh and keep reading, I don’t know what will!  The aforementioned half-drunk florist, Cherry Glick, knocks on Lacey’s door to deliver a beautiful bouquet of peach colored roses.  Lacey is pleasantly surprised, and opens the card in the arrangement.  It read, “To My Bumblebee, Happy Anniversary, With all my love, Stinger”.  Mike has never called Lacey by a nickname, and he’s never referred to himself, or been referred to by Lacey, as “Stinger”.  It is also not their anniversary.

Confused, Lacey tells the stumbling Cherry that she’s delivered the arrangement to the wrong house.   When Cherry assures her that the delivery is from Mr. Terwilliger, Lacey checks the billing envelope and sees that the florist was supposed to deliver the “albatross arrangement” to the Terwilliger office.  At first Lacey thinks perhaps Mike is bringing the roses home to her, and giving her a new nickname, Bumblebee.  In her confusion it takes a bit to realize that coincidentally, Mike’s assistant’s name is Beebee.  You can imagine where it goes from there.  Surprisingly, Lacey shows great restraint in dealing with Mike.  She doesn’t tell him about the mis-delivered roses, or that she saw him in his office with Beebee after the mis-delivery, or that she found his new email account, thestinger@quickmail.com, with the password Bumblebee, or that she’s seen all the raunchy emails and photos attached.

Mike continues on his merry way having “client dinners”, “working late”, and generally behaving as usual.  Meanwhile Lacey is vacillating between being angry and disbelieving.  When Mike asks her over dinner how the monthly newsletter is coming along, she gets a vengeful inspiration.  The idea solidifies when Mike instructs her to call Beebee and do a “getting to know you” interview so the clients will be familiar with her when they call the office.

The fourth chapter is titled, “Hell Hath No Fury…Like a Woman with a Mailing List”.  This is a small spoiler, so if you want to read the book, you could just go get it, and forego reading this right here.  She starts off by saying, “As we head into those dog days of July, Mike would like to thank those who helped him get the toys he needs to enjoy his summer”.  She details his purchases, including a bass boat and a condo in Florida.  Then she goes straight for the jugular, “…and a $2,000 set of golf clubs…which he has been using as an alibi to cover the fact that he has been remorselessly banging his secretary, Beebee, for the last six months.”  At this point I am holding my sides laughing!  How many of us have been through something like this, or know someone who has, and we’ve been angry, hurt, devastated, and vented to our closest friends, but not done a public thing about it?  Lacey continues the newsletter, telling Mike’s clients, “I learned that cheap motel rooms have been christened.  Office equipment has been sullied.”  When referring to BeeBee, she writes, “I’ve had a hard time not blaming the conniving, store-bought-cleavage-baring Oompa Loompa-skinned adulteress for her part in the destruction of my marriage.  But considering what she’s getting, she has my sympathies.”  The last paragraph of the newsletter starts with, “And one last thing”, and ends with “Mike Terwilliger will own up to being the faithless, loveless, spineless, useless, dickless wonder he is.”

I am delighted by this book, and this is only chapter four!  With her life in shambles, and after becoming the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit, Lacey retreats to the family cabin on the lake to hide out.  The story is appealing and humorous.  Lacey has to learn to sleep alone, shop for herself, without caring what Mike’s preferences are, and survive being a media punch line.

Lacey is approached by Maya, the owner of a small greeting card company called “Season’s Gratings”, with card lines such as “Arsenic and Bold Face”.  Maya proposes that Lacey join her company, and write newsletters and emails for other women who have experienced similar circumstances with their husbands.  While the idea is appealing and would provide an income for the newly divorced stay-at-home wife, will this keep her in a mindset of revenge and anger?  Lacey’s transition to a single functioning adult after being a support person to her philandering husband is tricky, emotional and hilarious!

If you get a chance to read And One Last Thing, I hope that you enjoy it.  And if you like humorous, romantic and supernatural stories, you would probably enjoy her two series, “Good Girls Don’t….”, and the “A Naked Werewolf”.

You can read more about Molly Harper and her books at her website.  She also has a companion blog, “Single Undead Female“.

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Wondrous Word Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme from Bermuda Onion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and write a post.

The first word I found in Vampire Sunrise by Carole Nelson Douglas.  It was right at the beginning – sadly, I wasn’t able to read much past that point.  One of the few books I just couldn’t get in to!

Simulacrum – an insubstantial form or semblance of something.  “And three, tracking down ‘Lilith Quince’ – my spitting image – to find out if she is a twin, double, clone, or simulacrum.”

The second and third I found in Murder Under Cover by Kate Carlisle – her Bibliophile series.

Elucidating –  verb \i-ˈlü-sə-ˌdāt\, transitive verb : to make lucid especially by explanation or analysis.  “Elucidating, yes.  Fun?  Not really!”

Fulminating - hurling denunciations or menaces.  “Then he gave me a fulminating stare and I mentally shrank a few inches.”

The last word I heard on a news cast, and didn’t remember ever hearing it before, so I had to look it up!

Abrogate – transitive verb – 1 : to abolish by authoritative action : annul, 2 : to treat as nonexistent <abrogating their responsibilities>

This was used in a report about the Italian captain who recently abandoned the cruise ship before all the passengers and crew.

In other news, thankfully I believe that my book slump is coming to an end.  I’m firmly entrenched in a book for myself, and with my daughter in her current “One Community One Book” event for our school district.  I am reading a very funny novel by Molly Harper, And One Last Thing,  and the book my daughter and I are sharing is The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone!  Yay, me!

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Tuesday Releases

I’m doing a little bit better about my previously mentioned book slump.  As an avid reader and book lover, I feel like somethings wrong with me when I’m not devouring a book!  Several friends suggested books they liked, and I’ve picked them up.  One I really really enjoyed was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkenss.  I loved it, couldn’t bear to put it down, and had that bittersweet feeling when I finished it.  I picked up a “brain candy” book, one that requires no great thought process to read, Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper, and that book made me really laugh out loud!  (I see lot’s of LOL’s on FB and texts, and I wonder if they are really laughing out loud or not).  I’m hoping to find another book that will grab me and pull me in.  Here are some new releases, maybe one of them will grab you! (or me).

Celebrity in Death (In Death Series #34)  by J. D. Robb (Released 2/21/12)

“Lieutenant Eve Dallas is no party girl, but she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating The Icove Agenda, a film based on one of her famous cases. It’s a little spooky seeing the actress playing her, who looks almost like her long-lost twin. Not as unsettling, though, as seeing the actress who plays Peabody drowned in the lap pool on the roof of the director’s luxury building. Now she’s at the center of a crime scene-and Eve is more than ready to get out of her high heels and strap on her holster and step into the role she was born to play: cop.”

(Maybe I should start at #1 of this series – with 34 out, this might keep me busy for a month or so!)

A Perfect Blood (Rachel Morgan Series #10) by Kim Harrison (Released 2/21/12)

“Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the I.S. and the FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth: a human hate group is trying to create its own demons to destroy all Inderlanders, and to do so, it needs her blood.

She’s faced vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more, but humanity itself might be her toughest challenge yet.”

I am not up to date on this series yet, but the ones I’ve read, I’ve really enjoyed!

 

 

The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation Series #9) by Lauren Willig (Released 2/16/12)

I’m only up to book #3 in this series, but it makes me happy that I have 6 more just waiting for me!!!

“Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can’t bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.

New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus’s side. An old school friend of Napoleon’s stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus’s poetry.

As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend’s entertainment.

Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? She’ll do anything to postpone the decision-even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonaparte’s house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted- especially Augustus’s feelings for Emma.”

 

 

What recent books have you been excited about?

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Mailbox Monday

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of  A Girl and Her Books.  The host for February’s Mailbox Monday posts will be Metroreader.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

My week is never complete without going to my library to peruse their bookstore.  Here were my finds this week:

Little Girl Gone by Drusilla Campbell (author of The Good Sister)

“Madora was seventeen and heading for a load of trouble when Willis rescued her.  Fearful of the world and alienated from friends and family, she ran away with him and for five years they lived alone in near isolation.  When Willis kidnaps a pregnant teenage girl and imprisons her in a truck trailer behind the house, Madora is torn between her love for him, her fear of the world, and her sense of right and wrong.  A pit bull named Foo bring Django Jones, a brilliant but troubled twelve-year-old boy, into Madora’s life.  As Django struggles to understand his place in the world, he helps Madora discover the personal and moral courage to free herself and the girl from Willis’s control, and learn to stand on her own.  (from the back cover)

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner (author of In Her Shoes)

“Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That’s what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they’re both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school’s scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents’ house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She’s just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. “Something horrible has happened,” Val tells Addie, “and you’re the only one who can help.” (from the Indiebound website)

You can read a couple of chapters  here.

I also received some ARC E-books this week:

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown from Random House Children’s Books

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters must prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually they select their victims at random, but this time around the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother’s death.

It’s going to take the whole White family to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder’s job is to gain Hancock’s trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock’s daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love—just as Lily starts to suspect that there’s more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between family and the girl he loves. One thing’s for sure, whatever Calder decides, the outcome won’t be pretty.   (from NetGalley)

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world-as they know it-apart. (from NetGalley)

All These Lives by Sarah Wylie also from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky.  She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal.  And Jena is wasting away.  To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives.  Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one.  Someone like Jena.  But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization.  Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all.  Maybe she really only ever had one.  (from NetGalley)

What books made it into your house this week?

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Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.  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 Alyce’s site.   Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

These are some photos I took when my little one and I made a trip to the Butterfly Palace in Branson, MO.  It was a really neat place, and there are more beautiful butterflies than I knew existed.  I don’t know the names of all the ones we photographed, but maybe you will!

These guys are hanging upside down on a glass bowl in a garden area.

Up close and personal with this guy!

 

Playing Hide N Seek

My little heart

Such Vibrant colors!

He looks like a stained glass window

You can see him drinking the nectar

Taking Flight

While we were there we saw this lady that was attracting butterflies, every time I saw her she had a couple of them catching a free ride.  I told her I really needed a picture!  This is the same type of butterfly as in the first picture  (and further back on her wrist) – the inside of his wings.

This chart showed all the different types of butterflies there.

I love how his body is alternately red and black.

The Elvis Butterfly – new species?

Another tiny inhabitant at the Butterfly Palace

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Wondrous Word Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme from Bermuda Onion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and write a post.

I came across this word in The Lies that Bind by Kate Carlisle

Chary: 

archaic : deartreasured
: discreetly cautious: asa : hesitant and vigilant about dangers and risksb : slow to grant, accept, or expend <a person very charyof compliments>
“‘I agree it’s all become a bit chary,’ Derek confessed as he struggled to keep the bookcase suspended.”

Have you come across any new words lately?

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