Friday, November 25, 2011


Hello everyone!  I hope that all who celebrate Thanksgiving had a wonderful day yesterday spent with family and friends.  If you are one of the brave souls who are out shopping today, be careful... it can be pure craziness!  It just doesn't seem like Christmas should be just a few weeks away.

Today I decided that I would participate in the new meme hosted by Ginger @ GReads!  It's a weekly meme where she poses questions to us every Friday.

This Friday's Question:

When You're Not Reading: What occupies your time 
when your nose isn't stuck in a book?

When I'm not reading, I am usually working, spending time with family, or surfing Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, or any other book related site.  I know, I know! 

I work in an open heart ICU and love it, but sometimes it wears on you physically and emotionally. It's great to see the people get better and be able to return home to their families, and then there are the ones who don't do well.  The group of people that I work with are really great and we are all supportive of each other when we "need a moment" 


I have two grown boys who I love to spend time with.  They always keep me on my toes by being typical boys, they keep me laughing, grounded and aware of what really matters.  I would rather spend time with them than I had any other people.


I also have an amazing grandson who is THE best.  Nothing better than coming in from work and him meeting me at the door with "Mimi, I missed you!" 

And coming up in January, I am going back to graduate school.  They always say that the medical field is a never ending education and they would be correct!  It will drastically cut into my reading "for fun" time...but that's ok too, right??

So, what do YOU do when you're not reading??? 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: Juliet

Hardcover, 447 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Ballantine Books 
ISBN13: 9780345516107

Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?
From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.


“Everything we say is a story. But nothing we say is just a story.”

Who doesn't know the story of Romeo & Juliet?? Once you read this book and learn of the twists, turns, secrets and truths... it will make you wonder if you ever really knew the story at all.

This book is a modern take on Romeo & Juliet. Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety deposit box in Italy after her aunt passes away suddenly. She travels to Italy hoping and expecting to find riches and money. Instead she finds that she has inherited a mystery and must complete her parents work to stop a curse on her family. She also learns that she is a direct descendant of "the" Juliet.

The story moves back and forth between modern day and 1340, weaving the past and present together and the true story of the doomed lovers. I loved how the story kept me guessing about who really were the bad ones, the good ones and the ones in between. It combines that mystery of underground tunnels, cold crypts, sacred cathedrals, & secret identities. It moves at a great pace, and just when you think you have it figured out.... you are wrong. The rich details, amazing writing and well researched history made this a great story. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2012 Debut Author Challenge

Kristi @ The Story Siren is hosting this great challenge again in 2012.  I didn't join in last year, but decided to go ahead and add one more challenge for 2012.

If you participated in 2011, you will want to make sure that you read the new and changing things for the 2012 challenge.  It is going to be great!!! 

Here's the 411:
  • To read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013.*
*The 2013 extension is so that December Debuts can be read and count toward the challenge.

  • You must have a Blog to post your reviews or be a member of Goodreads. 
  • Your blog must be written in English.
  • Deadline to join is May 31, 2012.
  • Must be a young adult or middle grade title.
  • Must be the author’s YA or MG debut, released in 2012.
  • If an author has a previous novel published for adults or children, they can still qualify for the challenge.
  • If an author has a previous YA or MG title, they do not qualify for the challenge.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2012 Back to the Classics Challenge

Here are the nitty gritty details:

  1. Challenge runs from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.  Books started before January 1st do not count, and all links/reviews/comments for each category must be posted in the correct place by December 31st.  Feel free to join in at any time, but the end date is December 31.
  2. Please feel free to use books in this Challenge toward any other Challenge you may be participating in. However, you must read a different book for each category of this challenge.  Audio and e-books are allowed.
  3. Please sign up for the Challenge using the linky list (or comment section if you do not have a blog/website).  If you would be so kind, please spread the word about this challenge by creating a post on your blog/website and link back to this sign up page.
  4. Once the Challenge has begun, you will see a new bar on the left hand side of this blog.  This will list the places for you to link/comment your reviews of the book you have read for each category as well as a "wrap up" page.  I will not be doing monthly check-in posts this year.  I will probably do a "Half Way" post in June.  These will be important because....
  5. THERE IS A PRIZE THIS YEAR!  People who complete the challenge (and I will check that all categories are completed!) will be entered into a random drawing for $30 worth of books (Book Depository will be used for an International Winner).  I may have other prizes as well.  Make sure you are following me via GFC, Email,  Twitter, or Facebook/Networked Blogs so you are in the know!
Let me know if you have any questions, or if I need to make any clarifications.

Now that is all out of the way, want to see the categories?  Sure you do!  Here they are:

  • Any 19th Century Classic
  • Any 20th Century Classic
  • Reread a classic of your choice
  • A Classic Play
  • Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction
  • Classic Romance
  • Read a Classic that has been translated from its original language to your languange   - To clarify, if your native language is NOT English, you may read any classic originally written in English that has been translated into your native language.  
  • Classic Award Winner  - To clarify, the book should be a classic which has won any established literary award.  
  • Read a Classic set in a Country that you (realistically speaking) will not visit during your lifetime  - To Clarify, this does not have to be a country that you hope to visit either.  Countries that no longer exist or have never existed count.
Well, what do you think?  I'm hoping that something really appeals to everyone, and that maybe one of the categories will make you a little uncomfortable.  There are nine categories for twelve months.  Hopefully you will have enough time to finish without stress, or shying away from a longer/more difficult book because of time constraints.  You do not need to specify which books you plan on reading ahead of time, unless you'd like to.

So, go ahead and sign up with the Linky below or in the comments!  Please spread the word and share the fun..... Good Luck to Everyone!!

Edited to add:  There are questions about what counts as a Classic for the Challenge.  Hopefully, I've answered the question HERE.  Join the conversation!

2012 New Author Challenge

The idea behind this is to find new authors that you’ve never tried before, not necessarily ones that are debuting.  They can be in your genre of choice or be brave and try something new.  You never know what you’re going to like until you try it.  If you’re looking for some suggestions, you can check out the Author page here at Literary Escapism or the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Challenge pages.  With over 1000 reviews posted, I’m sure there will be something there for everyone.
Here are the guidelines:
  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
  2. Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels.  Anthologies are a great way to try someone new, but only a third of your new authors can be from anthologies.
  3. I want this to be an easy challenge, so you can pick to do either 15, 25 or 50 new authors.  It all depends on how fast you read and how adventurous you want to be.  For me, I want to say I’m going to do another 50 new authors, but with two kids, I didn’t made my goal in 2011, so I’m going to be smarter and say 25.  If you reach your goal halfway through the year, don’t stop.  Any new author you try can be added to Mr. Linky.  We all want to know about your new experience.
  4. After reading your new author, write your review and then come back here and add your link to Mr. Linky.  Make sure you include your name and the author, but adding the title is completely up to you.
  5. Bloggers or Non-Bloggers alike are welcome. You don’t have to have a site to participate. You can link up via Facebook, GoodReads or even Amazon if you’d like.
Once you reach your goal, you don’t have to stop.  Any new author you try, go ahead and head back here and add it to the list.  Introduce us all to whoever you find.  Afterall, there’s no reason to stop trying new authors, right?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

2012 E-Book Challenge

Hosted by Sarah @ Workaday Reads

Challenge Guidelines:
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. Anyone can join, you don't need to be a blogger. If you don't have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
  3. Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.

  1. Floppy disk - 5 ebooks
  2. CD - 10 ebooks
  3. DVD - 25 ebooks
  4. Memory stick - 50 ebooks
  5. Hard drive - 75 ebooks
  6. Server - 100 ebooks
  7. Human brain - 150 ebooks

At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews for that month. If you forget, feel free to add your reviews in the following month. Any reviews submitted will be entered into the draw for that month.

Yes, there will be draws every month for participants. As long as you are signed up below, every review you add to the monthly roundups will get one entry into the giveaway for that month.

There will also be a grand giveaway at the end of the year for eveyone who achieves their goal level (or  higher). There may be different prizes for different levels, but that is not decided yet.

Sign up here: Workaday Reads E-book Challenge

Review: The Rose Garden

Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Landmark
 ISBN13: 9781402258589
From Goodreads:
When Eva's film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina's ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived - and died - long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.

My Thoughts:
The premise to this story is that our main character, Eva, returns to her childhood vacation place to scatter the ashes of her sister to a place "where she was always happy".

Leaving behind her life in LA, Eva is reunited with friends of her childhood at Trelowarth House on the Cornish coast. Upon arriving at the house, strange things begin to happen and Eva thinks that she is slowly losing her mind because of the grief she is dealing with over the recent loss of her sister.

Slowly, Eva realizes that she is able to travel in time back to the 1700's and to the Trelowarth house of that time...and its inhabitants. She meets Daniel Butler, his brother Jack and his friend Fergal. Now she has to decide where she really belongs and where she is really happy.

This was my first book by Kearsley, but I doubt that it will be my last. As I read this, I was reminded some of The Time Traveler's Wife , which I loved. As I got more into the book, I could picture Gena Rowlands as Claire and Richard Gere as Daniel Butler (anyone remember The First Knight?)

I enjoyed the way the story was told, the writing, the emotion, the elegance of it all. The descriptions made me feel as if I were walking through the rose gardens themselves, I could feel the drafts through the old house, and the excitement of seeing grandparents meet for the first time.

Kearsley did an excellent job in weaving all the characters and their stories together. The twists, turns and revelations kept me reading into the early hours. It was definitely one of those books that I wanted to keep reading, but at the same time, didn't want it to end.

If you enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife, Outlander, or even The Forgotten Garden I think that you would enjoy this book.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I just wanted to take the time to apologize for my absence the past couple of months.  I have had so much going on that I have had a hard time figuring out which way was which.

I had started a new job working 60+ hours/week, got put on medical leave due to some health issues, and moved into a new house.... most of that just during the months of Sept/Oct.

I am on the mend physically and the health issues are resolving (I hope) and I am settling into my new house.  I still have some things to work out, move around and organize...but it's coming along slowly.

If I owe you a review, it will be coming.... just may take longer than expected.  I haven't picked up the first book since September.  If you have sent me a review request, I will respond to you in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you to everyone who didn't give up on me or my blog!