Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

I have to admit this is frustrating when it happens. As an author and blogger, I want to be sure to spread the word about books I've enjoyed time and again. It's hard if you don't remember enough about them. 


Remember the basics, but not how things unfolded or the ending


Remember it was Civil War fiction and the ending that made me angry


Civil War fiction, slaves, and a pool--that's all there is in my pea brain


I remember being fascinated by this novel, but not much else


This is one of my favorites from Kathi Macias, so you think I would remember more about why I liked it


Gordon Butler is introduced in this novel, but I don't recall much else 


Remember there was a vampire and the island was creepy


I recall loving this and talking about it more than once, just not much else 


This had a neat premise and I loved the story, but I don't recall much about it


Loved this series, but drawing a total blank on this one 

How about you? Ever enjoy a book and not be able to remember much about it later? 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Musing Monday - January 22


Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you prefer true Biographies or fiction that tells the life of someone?

How is it Monday again? I must really be getting old if time passes this quickly.

Not a ton happened last week other than the mundane stuff of life. The kids ended up with three days off because we had two and then a snow day. That's not conducive to my getting work done, but it's fun to have them here.

Right now I am reading a couple of books:






I'm working on my goal to read at least one writing craft or writing business book a quarter.This one is due back to the library soon, but I'll be done with it this week. I'm enjoying the writing exercises. More information on it can be found on Goodreads

What a fabulous question Ambrosia has posed this week. I love historical fiction and I love biographies. They both serve their purpose. Often times I am inspired by historical fiction to research the real lives of historical figures; usually that happens with movies more than books because movies can only scratch the surface of fascinating people. I do feel, however, if you are going to call something a biography, what it contains must be factual and able to be proven through research. Biographies can be engaging and true with the right author. If a story is based on true events, like the Little House books and television shows or Melanie Benjamin's novels, then I don't have the expectation that everything happened the way it is portrayed. It's up to the writer to make that clear up front so that credibility doesn't suffer. 

That's it from me for now. Hope you have a great week.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Friday 56 - January 19

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.




Rules:


  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
  • (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
  • Post it.
Took this bit from page 156 since page 56 is blank. 


"I always feel like I need a shower after our visits, Jones. Why don't you just fill me in on the shit you dragged in with you this time? I could practically smell it when I walked in the building."


You can visit this week's Friday 56 at Freda's blog and discover more books to check out. 


Pre-Order: Turquoise Mountain by Diane J. Reed (Giveaway)




Title: TURQUOISE MOUNTAIN
Author: Diane J. Reed
Publisher: Bandits Ranch Books
Pages: 270
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance


He's a fierce protector of his land and sacred heritage--and only a strong woman can capture his wild heart.


Dillon Iron Feather is dangerous and he knows it. Hardened by his championship fighting career, he returns to his remote Colorado ranch to heal, only to discover that city girl Tessa Grove is determined to stake her claim to the old mine she inherited on a corner of his land. Stubborn to the bone, Tessa soon digs up precious gems from deep within the earth to use in her custom-made jewelry business. But those stones turn out to be sacred, and sparks fly as they begin to guide her to the secret chambers of Dillon's heart.

EXCERPT
“I’m Tessa Grove, and when my grandfather passed away, he left his mining claim to me. It doesn’t expire for another six months, which means I have legal title to that mine.”
“You only have mineral rights to a hole in the ground.” Dillon Iron Feather nodded in the direction of the mine. “Which means you can’t set foot on my property.”
“What?” Tessa crossed her arms.
“You heard me. This piece of paper entitles you to dig behind that old wooden door. That’s all. And my land surrounds every inch of it. Which means you’re breaking the law by getting anywhere near that mine. So get lost.”
“Wait, you can’t deny access to what’s legally mine!”
“Can’t I?” Dillon’s face broke into a wry smile. For a moment, his eyes sparkled at the prospect of challenge, lighting them up to a warm, charming brown.
Damn! Tessa cursed to herself. That’s all I need right now is a guy who gets more good looking when he taunts me—
Fuming, she boldly yanked the mining claim and map from his hand to scrutinize them. According to her documents, it looked like her ancestor was the one who originally built Grove Road that led to this mining parcel, which sat right smack dab on the stranger’s property. Okay, so he was right—her quarter acre didn’t include any of his buildings, but it connected to the road. And nowhere did it specify that she was required to get permission from any stranger to use that dirt lane. But how could she convince him of that?
“Listen,” Tessa sighed, “I know it might seem out of the blue that I’m here. But my grandfather meant a lot to me. And this place—this gold mine—it’s…it’s kind of sacred. What I mean is, my great-great-grandfather found it only because a Native American outlaw gave him some powerful medicine. That might sound crazy to you, but it’s true. His name was Iron Feather—”
“Your great-great grandfather knew Iron Feather?”
Tessa nodded. “He was Benjamin Grove the First, and he helped Iron Feather and the Bandits Hollow Gang hide from a posse.” She dug into her purse and held up the sacred owl feather. “All Iron Feather had to give him in return was this, but it was rumored to have, you know—”
“Special powers.”
To Tessa’s amazement, Dillon’s face darkened in thought. He studied the feather for a long time as though it were a precious artifact. Then he looked out over the mountain tops at the threads of garnet in the sky that had begun to spread from the dipping sun. His eyes seemed very far away.
It’s the feather, Tessa realized. He knows something about that feather…
Dillon returned his gaze to Tessa. Yet when he reached for the feather, she seized her moment and surprised him by lunging for his shotgun. She managed to grab it and run several strides, when she whipped around.
“Back off!” She aimed the shotgun straight at him and pumped it awkwardly, barely remembering how from when her grandfather taught her fifteen years ago. “I want to see that mine,” she demanded, her body visibly trembling. “And I’m not leaving till I do.”
Dillon smirked, his gaze tracing her wild blonde hair that had fallen across her face, her blue-green eyes spitting fury. What Tessa hadn’t noticed in her panic, of course, was that her purse had fallen from her shoulder and spilled onto the ground. He crouched carefully to the grass, keeping his eye firmly on the gun barrel, and picked up some of the contents before standing to his feet.
“Where do you expect to go after this if I’ve got your ID and credit cards, city girl?” Dillon smiled, noticing the blush that suffused her cheeks. Her eyes darted to the drivers license and MasterCard he held in his hand, and that was all the opening he needed. With an expertly aimed kick, he knocked the shotgun from her grip and sent it twirling in air, then caught it. He set the butt down on the ground.
“You should know your opponent a whole lot better before you start a fight,” he scolded. “Now you don’t have your purse or a weapon. Fortunately, you’re far too pretty for shooting practice today. But don’t press your luck.”
Another blush warmed Tessa’s cheeks, and she cradled her arms tight to try and stop the tremors. To her astonishment, Dillon threw down his gun and caught up to her within a couple of strides. Before she knew it, she was born aloft by his strong arms, her body next to his warm, hard chest. Despite her kicks and screams, he set her gently on the grass and pulled a long piece of baling twine from his pocket, then proceeded to tie up her hands and feet.
“What the hell are you doing!” Tessa screamed, wriggling on the grass like an angry caterpillar. “First you threatened me with a gun, and now kidnapping? You’re going to face the law for this!”
“For your information, lady, I deliberately shot out the truck mirror and fired the second shot in the air to scare you off. I have no intention of killing anybody today. But I will make sure you have a soft bed and a good meal in your belly, since you appear to be stranded, no matter how hot headed you are.”
With that, he pulled a bandana from his pocket and stuffed it in Tessa’s mouth. She kept thrashing violently while he picked up the scattered items on the meadow and returned them along with her ID and credit card to her purse.
But he slipped the owl feather into his pocket.
Just then, Tessa saw vivid red and blue lights trace over the cabin and barn as the shrill sound of a siren echoed off the hillsides. A police cruiser appeared at the front gate, and an officer stepped out.
“Dammit, Dillon!” The officer called out. “What have you done to this poor woman? For crying out loud, are you that desperate for female company?” He walked boldly toward them. “Good thing Dusty went to town and called 911 after you shot out the mirror on his truck.”
Dillon laughed. “As a matter of fact, Barrett,” he replied, picking up Tessa’s squirming body and heading toward the cruiser, “I was about to bring her to you anyway. She’s lost, and if she hadn’t been so pig-headed about refusing to leave, I would have driven her to town and put her up in a hotel myself without hog-tying her. Watch out—she’s a feisty one.”



ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble




Diane J. Reed is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight January 31
  • Winner will be contacted via email on February 1
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


USA TODAY bestselling author Diane J. Reed writes happily ever afters with a touch of magic that make you believe in the power of love. Her stories feed the soul with outlaws, mavericks, and dreamers who have big hearts under big skies and dare to risk all for those they cherish. Because love is more than a feeling—it’s the magic that changes everything.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Beyond the Books: Interesting Posts from Around the Web



Beyond the Books is a weekly feature hosted right by Kissin Blue Karen. Beyond the Books is a weekly writing prompt where she throws out a topic (mostly non-bookish) and others blog about it.

Today's Beyond the Books topic is: Interesting Posts from Around the Web


This one should be fun because I like visiting blogs to see what's going on lately.

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening was talking about the beginning of a new gardening year.

Caffeine & Fairydust had a powerful post about overcoming comparision.

Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf shared a review of Into the Guns (America Rising) by William C. Dietz.

Fit Foodie Finds posted a yummy looking recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars.

Finally, Carrots 'N" Cake shared a high-intensity Kettlebell workout video.


What are some posts that caught your attention from around the web this week?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Resolutions/Goals



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Before I get into my Top Ten list for this week, I want to give a shout out to Jana and thank her for taking over Top Ten Tuesday. She's already got a ton of great topics listed and I'm excited.

Top Ten Bookish Resolutions/Goals

This topic is easy for me since a) I've already thought of some goals, and b) I'm a goals kind of gal. 

  1. Top priority - whittle down the TBR pile. There are so many new books I don't order or download simply because I have a ton of unread books here. 
  2. Complete my reading challenges. I kept it simple this year: I committed to 12 books. How can I not cross that mere dozen off my list? 
  3. Get back to the First Chapter Review. I really loved this when I came up with it a few years ago. Read the first chapter, share the blurb and then my thoughts on the cover art, what the first chapter is about, and if I would keep reading. 
  4. Read at least one business book a quarter. I'm so bad about this, but I really need to motivate myself forward to meet my real estate goals this year. 
  5. Read at least one writing craft or writing business book a quarter. I've never been great about this. I have several good ones here and I need to read them. My fourth children's book is coming out and I want to finish the middle grade historical I started eons ago. 
  6. Go through all my books to see if there are any I want to donate or use as giveaways. I often receive books unsolicited. I don't get rid of them right away in case I end up wanting to read them. At this point, I really need to focus on what I can't live without. 
  7. Create a regular feature to promote the free books I've downloaded. I've got hundreds of them and it's not right to hide them on my device without sharing something about them.
  8. Discover two new to me authors this year. I tend to reach for authors I know I'll enjoy, but I would like to discover some new writers this year. Even better would be authors in genres I don't usually read.
  9. Read one book in a genre I don't read often: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, satire, graphic novel....
  10. Read more books than I read in 2017. While gone are the days when I could read hundreds of books, I definitely want to shoot for more than the 31 I read last year. If I could double it, I would be happy. 
What are some of your bookish resolutions/goals? 





Monday, January 15, 2018

Musing Monday - Jan 15


Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION: Have you ever stolen insults from books and used them in real life situations?

We are back to Monday again. I hope you had a great week. My Christmas decorations are finally down and the winter decorations have taken their place. I'm in the middle of deciding what colors to paint the rooms in this house. Some are the original off-white and I'm done with that. I'm thinking maybe a silver gray.

In case you missed it, the blog last week had a review of The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page, the last Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish (will continue at a different blog), and The Friday 56 that shared a part of The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

At An Imperfect Christian Mom I posted a review of Go for No! by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz and shared some apps I find helpful for Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts. At Books Can Be Deadly I featured an interview with author Heather Weidner. Finally, at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection I posted a couple reviews, my STORYSTORM update, and an announcement about Janet Halfmann's upcoming book that ties into Black History Month.

Today, I'll begin reading my First Book of the Year in earnest. Did you post a First Book of the Year? What is it?

As for today's question, I can't believe I've never thought of stealing an insult from a book and using it. Maybe because my evil side is snarky and sarcastic enough not to need any help. (Blushes) How about you? Heard any good insults in a book lately? Would you ever use them?

Here's hoping you have a spectacular week.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Friday 56 - Jan 12

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.




Rules:


  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
  • (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
  • Post it.

Contemporary culture focuses so much on the need to have a great sex life. They say sex sells, and it certainly is used to sell everything from hamburgers and cars to vacations and electronics. Yet when it comes to the way media represents sex--from TV to Oscar-winning films to porn--the pleasure of women is presented as secondary, if presented at all.


You can visit this week's Friday 56 at Freda's blog to find more books to check out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review & Giveaway: The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

A tasty, turn-twisting mystery comes to you from the pen of Katherine Hall Page.

The newest book in Page's Faith Fairchild mystery series reunites legendary Broadway producer Max Dane with the cast and crew of his only failed production, Heaven or Hell, while Faith serves up a delicious menu for his guests in the hopes of preventing this birthday bash from becoming Dane's final curtain.

The Body in the Casket has a lot to offer: an engaging mystery to solve, yummy food with recipes included, the glory and excitement of the theater, and more than a few surprises along the way. Dane's Rowan House was the perfect setting for this mystery and the subplots were nearly as delightful as the main one.

I'll admit I had the perpetrator figured out before the end, but not the reasons why. While I like cozies where there is more actual sleuthing time and more explanation why the villain decided on a particular course of action, The Body in the Casket still delivers many reasons to pick up previous and future installments of the series. I'm definitely curious what Faith has been up to and what she'll stumble upon in books to come.


EXCERPT

Chapter One

“Have Faith in Your Kitchen,” Faith Fairchild said, answering the phone at her catering firm. She’d been busy piping choux pastry for éclairs onto a baking sheet.

“Mrs. Fairchild?”

“Yes? This is Faith Fairchild. How may I help you?”

“Please hold for Max Dane.” The voice had a plummy, slightly British tone, reminiscent of Jeeves, or Downton Abbey’s Carson. The only Max Dane Faith had heard of had been a famous Broadway musical producer, but she was pretty sure he’d died years ago. This must be another Max Dane.

She was put through quickly and a new voice said, “Hi. I know this is short notice, but I am very much hoping you are available to handle a house party I’m throwing for about a dozen guests at the end of the month. A Friday to Sunday. Not just dinner, but all the meals.”

Faith had never catered anything like this. A Friday to Sunday sounded like something out of a British pre-World War II country house novel—kippers for breakfast, Fortnum & Mason type hampers for the shoot, tea and scones, drinks and nibbles, then saddle of lamb or some other large haunch of meat for dinner with vintage clarets followed by port and Stilton—for the men only. She was intrigued.

“The first thing I need to know is where you live, Mr. Dane. Also, is this a firm date? We’ve had a mild winter so far, but January may still deliver a wallop like last year.”

A Manhattan native, Faith’s marriage more than 20 years ago to the Reverend Thomas Fairchild meant a radical change of address— from the Big Apple to the orchards of Aleford, a small suburb west of Boston. Faith had never become used to boiled dinners, First Parish’s rock hard pews and most of all, New England weather. By the end of the previous February there had been 75 inches of snow on the ground and you couldn’t see through the historic parsonage’s ground floor windows or open the front door. Teenage son Ben struggled valiantly to keep the back door clear, daily hewing a path to the garage. The resulting tunnel resembled a clip from Nanook of the North.

“I’m afraid the date is firm. The thirtieth is my birthday. A milestone one, my seventieth.” Unlike his butler or whoever had called Faith to the phone, Max Dane’s voice indicated he’d started life in one of the five boroughs. Faith was guessing the Bronx. He sounded a bit sheepish when he said “ my birthday,” as if throwing a party for himself was out of character. “And I live in Havencrest. It’s not far from Aleford, but I’d want you to be available at the house the whole time. Live in.”

Leaving her family for three days was not something Faith did often, especially since Sunday was a workday for Tom and all too occasionally Saturday was as he “polished” his sermon. (His term, which she had noticed over the years, could mean writing the whole thing.)

Ben and Amy, two years younger, seemed old enough to be on their own, but Faith had found that contrary to expectations, kids needed parents around more in adolescence than when they were toddlers. Every day brought the equivalent of scraped knees and they weren’t the kind of hurts that could be soothed by Pat The Bunny and a chocolate chip cookie. She needed more

time to think about taking the job. “I’m not sure I can leave my family…” was interrupted. “I quite understand that this would be difficult,” Dane said and then he named a figure so far above anything she had ever been offered that she actually covered her mouth to keep from gasping out loud.

“Look,” he continued. “Why don’t you come by and we’ll talk in person? You can see the place and decide then. I don’t use it myself, but the kitchen is well equipped—the rest of the house too. I’ll email directions and you can shoot me some times that work. This week if possible. I want to send out the invites right away.”

Well, it wouldn’t hurt to talk, Faith thought. And she did like seeing other people’s houses. She agreed, but before she hung up curiosity won out and she asked, “Are you related to the Max Dane who produced all those wonderful Broadway musicals?”

“Very closely. As in one and the same. See you soon.”

Series: Faith Fairchild Mysteries (Book 24)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (December 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062439561
ISBN-13: 978-0062439567

I received a free copy of this book from the author through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story "The Would-Be Widower." The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!


Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Katherine Hall Page and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Casket. The giveaway begins on December 4, 2017 and runs through January 14, 2018. This giveaway is open to US addressess only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)

Because I totally messed up last week and posted this Top Ten instead of the Top Ten New-to-Me Authors in 2017 list, I am simply reprinting this one. Don't forget, Top Ten Tuesday will be moving to The Artsty Reader Girl starting next week.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish (moving to That Artsy Reader Girl on January 16) . Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)



Came from Amazon Vine. Don't know why they even let me grab these. It always takes me forever to read them.


I used to jump at books about Laura Ingalls Wilder, but haven't even cracked this one open.


That also applies to this one. The new year better see me making time for my Little House/LIW fix. 


At least I started this one before needing to break off to catch up on book reviews. It's hiding in my office somewhere waiting for me to find it and finish it off.


Was supposed to review this for Tyndale months ago. Whoops!





I reviewed the fifth book in the Caitlin Strong series and the publisher has been kind enough to send these others along. Really need to read them. Feel like a jerk because I haven't. 


Bought this from the author at a writers conference at least two years ago--I really think three--and promised to review it. Need to get it done. 

What is a book that you wanted meant to read last year, but it didn't happen? My list is endless, so I'll only share these ten. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Musing Monday - January 8


Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION:  Have you ever read a book where a character reminds you of yourself? How did that make you feel?

It's Monday again. How did that happen? Everyone is into their first full week after vacation. A bit of snow today, but warmer than it has been in days.

I finished The Body in the Casket and my review will appear on Wednesday. Right now I am reading The Song of Solomon Revealed. This is a Bible study book. I'm not too far into it, so I'll reserve my comments until review time next week.

As for this week's question, I can see pieces of myself in characters, but have never really been able to say, "Hey, she's just like me." That's probably good. I don't know how much I would like myself. :)

Hope you'll share what you're reading.

Favorites from 2017

Back when I had more time for blogging, I used to compile a list of 10 favorite books and give out award badges. These days, I'm only reading about 30 books a year. I'm hoping 2018 will break that cycle. Here are a few of my favorite reads from 2017:










What were some of your favorites from 2017?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Bargain E-Book: Washington by Fergus Bordewich


Washington, D.C., is home to the most influential power brokers in the world. But how did we come to call D.C.—a place once described as a mere swamp "producing nothing except myriads of toads and frogs (of enormous size)," and which was strategically indefensible, captive to the politics of slavery, and the target of unbridled land speculation—our nation's capital? In Washington, acclaimed, award-winning author Fergus M. Bordewich turns to the backroom deal-making and shifting alliances among our Founding Fathers to find out, and in doing so pulls back the curtain on the lives of the slaves who actually built the city. The answers revealed in this eye-opening book are not only surprising but also illuminate a story of unexpected triumph over a multitude of political and financial obstacles, including fraudulent real estate deals, overextended financiers, and management more apt for a banana republic than an emerging world power.

In a page-turning work that reveals the hidden and unsavory side to the nation's beginnings, Bordewich once again brings his novelist's eye to a little-known chapter of American history.


File Size: 1747 KB
Print Length: 402 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060842393
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (March 17, 2009)
Publication Date: March 17, 2009
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English
ASIN: B00188V818

Order at:

HarperCollins
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iBooks
Google
Kobo


Friday, January 5, 2018

The Friday 56 - Jan 5

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.




Rules:


  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
  • (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
  • Post it.


"Of course, I would love to be of assistance."

"You would be compensated as well." The man's weathered face concealed his age. But he was an imposing presence.


You can visit this week's Friday 56 at Freda's blog to find more books to check out.

New Historical Fiction: The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam



The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.

At the beguiling age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. At her first public ball during the Christmas of 1828, she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya is swept up in a courtship and then a marriage full of passion but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads Alexander to defend his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, he tragically succumbs to his injuries. Natalya finds herself reviled for her perceived role in his death. In her striking new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, Jennifer Laam helps bring Natalya’s side of the story to life with vivid imagination―the compelling tale of her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court and that of her greatest love.


EXCERPT

From The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam. Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted with permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.
________

A man says he will die for you. A woman is taught to lower her gaze and blush before hiding once more behind a silken fan. Men are given to self-aggrandizement, while women flatter egos and keep men tied to this earth. Such is the way of the world, or so I was taught in the days before I gained a reputation as the villain of St. Petersburg.

I know better now.

When a man declares he will die for you, sometimes a woman must take him at his word. For to allow one’s husband to perish on the field of honor is a shameful affair, worse even, than murdering him by your own hand.

The solemn men who gather at our flat fall silent as my husband draws his final breath. A prickly chill, like the first wave of a fever, washes over me as I realize my husband is gone. The sorrow tightens my chest and clamps down, squeezing until I think my body will snap in two. I sway on my feet and believe I will faint. Only the invisible force of my will keeps me upright. Dark blood still seeps from his abdomen and a sharp metallic scent clings to the air.

For two days my husband had been one of the waking dead, suffering a cruel and lingering death. Though I was not present at the duel where he fought to defend my honor, the image of Alexander collapsing, his blood staining the snow crimson, haunts my every thought. I have slid into despair, veering between hysteria and hopelessness, while Alexander’s wound festered and his once vibrant face distorted with agony.

His friends stand in a semicircle around his body, backs erect, mouths set in stern lines, and expressions stoic even as their eyes dampen with tears.

“What a waste,” I hear one of them mutter. “A genius lost over a woman.”

The words echo in my head. I was the wife of a distinguished man of letters, the greatest in our land, and I let his life slip through my fingers. These men suppose I care only for material comforts and romantic diversions and don’t believe I possess the wits about me to appreciate my husband’s talent. Rumormongers have convinced them I love the empty-headed Georges d’Anthès or have fallen prey to the advances of our iron-jawed tsar. They consider my behavior traitorous, as terrible in its own way as if I had joined the ranks of the Napoleonic soldiers who once threatened our very heartland.

I will confess to basking too long in the attention of Georges and even the tsar himself, yet I am no Jezebel, merely human, as vulnerable to flattery as any other creature. Much as I may wish to do so, I cannot change the past. The damage is done. A fresh wave of tears threatens and subsides, as though nothing remains inside me to expel. I wonder how long I will live with the torment of my guilt and the censure of those who claim to love my husband.

Order here!



JENNIFER LAAM is the author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar and The Tsarina’s Legacy. She earned her master’s degree in History from Oakland University in Michigan and her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. She has lived in Los Angeles and the suburbs of Detroit, traveled in Russia and Europe, and worked in education and non-profit development. She currently resides in Northern California.


Website: https://jenniferlaam.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlaam.writer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenlaam

Discussion Guide: https://images.macmillan.com/folio-assets/discusion-guides/9781250121882DG.pdf

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Beyond the Books - 2018 Blogging Goals



Beyond the Books is a weekly feature hosted right by Kissin Blue Karen. Beyond the Books is a weekly writing prompt where she throws out a topic (mostly non-bookish) and others blog about it.

Starting off the year right our first topic is....

2018 Blogging Goals 

I've already set my writing, real estate, and personal goals for 2018, but let's nail down blogging in some detail. 

I shared on The Children's and Teens' Book Connection (TCTBC) that I wanted to be sure to blog at each of my four blogs twice a week. TCTBC focuses on books for pre-schoolers up to young adults (depending on content).

The Book Connection, as you know since you're here, is for adult fiction and non-fiction.

An Imperfect Christian Mom is a blog discussing topics that are important to me as a Christian mom, including family friendly books and movies.

Books Can Be Deadly is a blog about mystery, suspense, thrillers, and true crime books.

I also blog twice a month at Christian Children’s Authors where I am one of a group of Christian authors discussing family activities, books, writing, and more.

How can I achieve my goal?


  1. Add blog days to my calendar. I'm working on time blocking my calendar in earnest and adding those dates (I'm such a paper calendar girl) to Outlook so they feed into my phone and provide me reminders that aren't as easy to ignore.
  2. Set aside one hour on Sunday evenings to pre-schedule the following week's posts. This will be tough because I work so much and in the evenings I am usually tired. It might have to become early Saturday morning. 
  3. Participate in two weekly blog memes. This is one of the easiest ways to add blog content. Some are more time consuming than others, so I'll have to choose wisely.  
  4. Look over my book review spreadsheet and put forth a plan to promote books if I haven't had time to read them yet. While I can't control how long it will take me to read a book or how much reading time I'll have, I want to focus on creating a regular blog column that enables me to discuss books in my TBR pile. Used to be the First Chapter Review, but those might take more time than I have. Still plan to continue the First Chapter Reviews when I have time.
What do you think of these goals? What are some of your blogging goals for 2018? How many years have you been blogging? If you have a special blogging anniversary coming up--5 years, 7 years, 10 years, etc.--are you planning anything special? 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)

I really missed participating in this meme in 2017. I'm working to participate more often this year.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish (moving to That Artsy Reader Girl on January 16) . Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)



Came from Amazon Vine. Don't know why they even let me grab these. It always takes me forever to read them.


I used to jump at books about Laura Ingalls Wilder, but haven't even cracked this one open.


That also applies to this one. The new year better see me making time for my Little House/LIW fix. 


At least I started this one before needing to break off to catch up on book reviews. It's hiding in my office somewhere waiting for me to find it and finish it off.


Was supposed to review this for Tyndale months ago. Whoops!





I reviewed the fifth book in the Caitlin Strong series and the publisher has been kind enough to send these others along. Really need to read them. Feel like a jerk because I haven't. 


Bought this from the author at a writers conference at least two years ago--I really think three--and promised to review it. Need to get it done. 

What is a book that you wanted meant to read last year, but it didn't happen? My list is endless, so I'll only share these ten.