#NEW Rosie’s Book Club Resources

Hello Friends,

I have been a happy follower of Rosie Amber’s blog for some time now. Rosie is an avid reader and book reviewer who’s goal is to connect readers and authors through her reviews and various posts. She has amassed a wonderful team of reviewers who offer their perspectives daily on a variety of genres.

Now, Rosie has added a resource for book clubs! So, if you’re part of a club, check out the 5-star books rated by Rosie’s team. You will have an opportunity to contact the author as well. I’m honored to note, Both Sides of Love was chosen as one of the many books on this list.

Click on the link below to connect directly to Rosie’s site. Happy reading!

Resources for Book Clubs Appledore Book Festival, Devon, September 23rd- October 2nd details here Bath Kids Literary Festival September 30th – October 9th details here Tenby arts festival Sep…

Source: #NEW Rosie’s Book Club Resources

A Verra Good Series!

Twenty-three years ago, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander was released for public consumption. This past July, I decided to read it. Twenty-three years after publication. On a whim.

Actually, this series was strongly recommended by one of my readers, who is now a friend. So, when I say I read it ‘on a whim’, I really mean I finally decided to listen to her.

I read the 642-page book in four days. I gobbled it down, swallowed it and relished the entire story – every word, every page. It was awesome! If you would have told me I’d love a story that involves time-travel back to the Scottish Highlands of the 18th century, witch-hunts, hangings, and war, I would have said you were crazy.

This was all of that and more – a love story that encapsulated everything I want: a strong heroine, a good looking hero (with an accent), nail-biting scenes and the most romantic dialogue I’ve ever read. Dare I say, it’s as good as The Bronze Horseman. Gasp!

So, I read the next book in the eight-book series, Dragonfly in Amber. Already completely hooked onto Jamie and Claire’s story, I enjoyed it immensely.

Outlander 2014

Here’s where it gets a little spooky (to me). Twenty-three years after this story was published, producers from Starz! decided to make the first book into a TV series. The same summer I just so happened to read it. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Or do I have that power?

If you’ll recall in a previous post, I read The Bronze Horseman late last year (also a recommendation I finally listened to), a decade after publication, and guess who stopped into the Book Revue in Huntington for the first time this Spring? That’s right. Paullina Simons. See?

I’m thinking it’s me.

Anyway, I couldn’t believe my good fortune at being able to see the characters I fell in love with come to life every Saturday night at nine pm. I can’t remember the last time I’ve looked forward to a television program. And I have DVR, so I never actually see a show at the time it airs. Except for this one. To hear Jamie call Claire “Sassenach” and “mo nighean donn” outside of my head puts me in my happy place.

Starz-Outlander-Series-Review-Video

My husband watches the series with me. He’s seen my head buried in these books for weeks so his curiosity is peaked. And, he knows it will be a long, cold winter if he doesn’t.

Each week as we watch, I fill him in on snippets of information I’m privy to, having an intimate knowledge of the story. I truly believe I love the Starz! series even more having read the book – something I rarely say.

“What are they calling Claire?” He asked.

“Sassenach. It’s Scottish for ‘outsider’ or ‘outlander’” I explain.

Though husband was satisfied with my answer, I took it a step further.

“When Jamie calls her ‘Sassenach’ though, it’s with affection. And very romantic.”

I have the third installment, Voyager, waiting on my Kindle. I have forced myself to take a break from this series to read other books – but always, it is in the back of my mind, waiting, taunting, beckoning me.

Husband called me the other day from the car. “Hello, Susquehanna.” He said.

“Are you trying to say Sassenach?”

The next day, he walked in from work. “How was your day, my Sasperillo?”

“Um, it’s Sassenach.”

Tomorrow night is the final mid-season episode, which bothers me. It’s like Starz! gave me a gift and now they want to take it back before I fully enjoyed it. I’m sure the reason will be explained at some point. I hope.

In bed, husband whispered in my ear, “G’night my little Seskatchewan.”

“It’s…nevermind.”

If you haven’t jumped on the Outlander bandwagon yet, I say go ahead. You won’t be disappointed. I promise you, it’s verra good!

outlander-series

My Latest Obsession

51t0jUmcasL tatiana-and-alexanderOh hello.

What day is it?

Wednesday? I must have lost track of time. I started a trilogy two weeks ago, and I’m just now coming up for air. Briefly. I need to find out how this story will end.

I am referring to Paullina Simons’ epic love story of Alexander and Tatiana, beginning with the gripping The Bronze Horseman, followed by the equally compelling second book, Tatiana and Alexander. I flew through twelve hundred pages like it was a novella…in days – forsaking sleep, and a dinner or two, and now I am knee deep in the final installment, The Summer Garden.

As you might already know, I’m not really a book reviewer, per se. There are so many awesome review bloggers out there who take care of that. Once in a while, however, there comes a story that gets so deep under my skin, and absorbed into my thoughts, I feel compelled to mention it.

My last favorite novel was Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, which I inhaled with fervor, before the birth of my blog. I talked the hell out of it to everyone I knew, and was responsible for many book clubs in my neighborhood reading, and discussing, and loving this most unusual, wonderfully told love story.

Now, I’m obsessed with the Bronze Horseman and sequels, a recommendation from a friend (this same friend who got me waxing and spray tanning- she’s a keeper). The last time I was consumed by a trilogy (also recommended by this friend), Christian Grey was teaching an impressionable Anastasia Steele the intricacies of BSDM.

Like most of the female reading community, I was intrigued by 50 Shades of Grey, and though there was controversy about the writing being less than stellar, the subject matter was enthralling, and don’t deny you felt the same way. Hell, I lost my mother for two weeks last year.

We all learned something from Ms. James, who amid the controversy, laughed her way around the globe, meeting fans and depositing truckloads of money into her English bank account. And husbands worldwide were counting their blessings.

But I digress.

Paullina Simons’ epic love story between Alexander Belov, a Red Army soldier, and seventeen-year-old Tatiana Metanova, who meet on the day Hitler invades Russia, is so beautifully developed and captivating, I could do little else until I found out if they would be together, if Tatiana would survive the devastating blockade and starvation of her city, Leningrad, where she lived in close quarters with her family, including her sister, who met and “fell in love”  with Alexander first.

Though frustrating at times, with the back-and-forth of Alexander and Tatiana’s innocent, secret meetings, and her private struggle with her loyalties to her sister, while the family  struggles against starvation, a winter with no heat, and constant bombings, the writing, the expressions of love between these two characters moved me, sometimes to tears.

My kindle comes with me everywhere. I’m that girl–nose to the screen, reading at the ice rink until my son’s game starts, or on line at the bank, or in the car at school, waiting for pick-up. My favorite time is at the end of the day, nestled in my bed, only turning the light out when  my eyes have crossed. And then, in my dreams, I imagine various scenarios of where the plot will take me, all of the different possibilities of what can happen next and in the morning, over coffee, instead of finding out who was killed or raped or got divorced, I might snag a few precious minutes for more.

This love story filled my heart to bursting, shattered it into a million pieces, and filled it again.

Others may feel differently. Others may have read love stories that moved them more. I just found out a friend wasn’t really enthralled by Alexander, or Tatiana, or their story. She’s perfectly entitled to her opinion (even though she’s wrong).

That’s the beauty of writing,  and why I do it too. I want to move a reader, to get into her head, and make her want to forego doing anything else just to find out what happens to my characters.

I’ll keep trying. In the meantime, I learn by reading.

Is there anything better than a great book?

I can’t stay…got to get back. They’re waiting for me.

On The Island

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In my social circles, I am constantly asked for book recommendations. For the past several months, I’ve answered with one question. Did you read On The Island?

So, I thought I’d jot a little blurb about one of my faves this past year for those many readers who frequent this site (3, I think). This is not a true review. There are so many out there and I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. These are just my thoughts on this book and its author:

I read On The Island last year, and like so many others, fell in love with Anna and TJ and their story of survival, friendship and love.

When their plane crashes into the sea near the Maldives, Anna and TJ (tutor and student) eventually end up on a deserted tropical island and together they figure out how to overcome various obstacles, natural threats and against all odds, survive.

I got caught up in Anna’s bravery and then TJ’s. I even envied their life, free from possessions and money and clothes. Living on fish and breadfruit, they were thin and tan and healthy. How could they not fall in love?

I won’t spoil the story for those who have yet to read it. Suffice it to say, I wept and I cheered.

I wrote a long email to Tracey Garvis Graves, author of this newly discovered treasure. In my email, I gushed over her book and asked a bunch of questions about her publishing experience, since I’m a writer (though far less successful at the moment), not once believing she’d take the time to write me back.

I’ve been writing for years, while telemarketing on the side, so I’m ass-deep in rejection but extremely patient. I figured I had half a chance of getting a response. Won’t get answers if you don’t try, right?

Tracey answered me within the hour. Every question. One writer to another, though I’m a struggling unknown. I’ll always be grateful to her.

I started following her blog, friended her on Facebook and waited.

During that time, I tried to convince my husband we should escape to a remote island indefinitely, live on fish and fruit, swim in turquoise water every day, lose weight so we can finally walk around naked and fully tan without embarrassment, really get to know each other without meddling distractions like cell phones and television. I promised I’d even leave my books behind (Looking back, I’m aghast at my desperation).  It sounded positively dreamy. It still does. The man wouldn’t budge; something about “kids” and “responsibility”.

A year later, Uncharted, a novella connected to Anna and TJ’s story, was released on July 2nd. July 3rd, I read the last page, satisfied. But wanting more.

Covet, Garvis Graves’ next novel is due to be released in Sept.

You have less than a month to catch up. Go get On The Island. Then read Uncharted. If you’re not completely happy, let me know. In the meantime, I’ll wait for the next one…

It’s a good thing I’m patient.