Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cold River - Book Review

Mandy Steenburg thinks her doctorate in education has prepared her to run any school district - until she tangles with the moonshine-making, coon-dog-owning denizens of a tiny district in Pacific Northwest timber country. She's determined to make a difference, but the local populace still looks to the former superintendent for leadership. When Mandy lands in the middle of an old feud and someone keeps trying to kill her, instinct tells her to run. And though she has to literally swim through perilous waters, she finds a reason to stay and chance the odds.
My review:
Liz Adair is a master at creating delightful and intriguing characters. I loved every character in the book and kept guessing and pondering on who was trying to kill Mandy and who she was going to fall in love with. The setting of this book is delightful, the town one that I would love to visit. Cold River is another well-written book by Liz Adair.
What I liked: Loved the people, the setting, and the author's voice.
What I didn't like: I wouldn't have touted the book as a suspense. The plot was definitely intriguing and well-done but from the publisher's description I was looking for more suspense.
Audience: I would recommend this book to everyone.
Where to buy Cold River: Amazon or Deseret Book.
Check back tomorrow, I'll be posting a giveaway of Cold River. What a fabulous Christmas present that would be!

Working during the holidays

Sorry I've been out of it the past week. It was too much fun having all my boys home through the Thanksgiving break. Then I had to catch up with ten loads of laundry and a cute baby who thinks Mom shouldn't be more than two inches from his side at all times (usually he prefers in my arms, he's a 32 pound 15-mo who can't walk so it's a fabulous workout to carry him everywhere). I do have some exciting things coming up though. On this blog I'll be reviewing and giving away Liz Adair's new book, Cold River. I'm also really close to declaring my latest manuscript finished and sending it off. I promised myself it would be done by January, so I'll have to force myself to actually work instead of just bake December away. How do you fit in work during the holidays or do you just relax and enjoy and figure January is for working?
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Changing my Attitude

My oldest son broke his foot last weekend and two of my other boys are really sick. Usually my oldest is my greatest helper, so without him I've been running ragged and not very happy about it. Last night I got everybody to bed and opened Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans. The people in this book have just been through horrific things, the girl in this excerpt was severely abused and shuffled through foster care. See if this doesn't inspire you to appreciate life. "I heard someone say, 'There's no problem so big that whining won't make it worse.'" I laughed. "The way I see it," she said, "everyone has problems. It's how you choose to deal with them. Some people choose to be whiners, some choose to be winners. Some choose to be victims, some choose to be victors." I put my hand on her shoulder. "You're the type who thinks of the glass as being half full instead of half empty." "No," she said, "I"m just grateful for the glass." I read that to my 12yo and we both sat and thought for awhile. The I opened The Ensign and found this suggestion by President Thomas S. Monson to Elder Carl B. Cook, "It is better to look up." It hit me that I've been looking down, dealing with the drudgery of sickness and sadness and not turning to the Lord to help me through my trials. Because I truly believe that He cares about us through every trial, big or small. How do you keep a positive attitude and keep looking up?
Monday, November 14, 2011

Jabberwocky and Hatter by Daniel Coleman

I've been searching for fun reads for my 9 and 12yo boys. Lo and behold Daniel Coleman shows up to my critique group last week. When I heard about Jabberwocky and Hatter I knew I must get them for the boys. The books sounded interesting, are a very good price (.99 & 2.99) and based on the excerpt Daniel read to us that night he is an extremely talented writer. Jabberwocky's back cover blurb: “One, two! One, two! and through and through the vorpal blade went snicker-snack!” Blood pounded in Tjaden’s ears as he breathed in the acrid odor, and his sword didn’t falter. Not after the convoluted road that had led him to set out alone to find and slay the manxome Jabberwocky. But the secrets he’d learned about the Jabberwocky’s sorrowful past made it a sour victory. How different would the situation be if the girl he loved wasn’t at risk? Why didn’t anyone tell him the dark secrets surrounding the Tumtum tree? Jabberwocky, a short novel by Daniel Coleman, is the untold story behind Lewis Carroll’s beloved poem. Meet the characters and creatures that inhabit the world long before Alice ever fell down the rabbit’s hole. While staying true to every detail of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, Jabberwocky provides twists that will keep you turning pages. You might know how it ends, but you won’t believe how it happens. . Hatter's back cover blurb: There’s nothing wrong with a touch of madness. – Cheshire Cat Someday Hatta will save the kingdom. In his mind, at least. But his talents of uncharacteristic kindness and a passion for colors hardly qualify him for such a destiny. In a kingdom that doesn’t need saving, a young man ignorant of social norms is the unlikeliest of heroes. Along the way, the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts, White Queen, and other familiar characters emerge to fill their eminent roles as well. Witness literature’s most lovable lunatic’s tangled ascent into madness.

Prioritize

Lately I seem to be spending less time working on my writing and more time reading Facebook posts. In my mind I'm not giving up on my dreams but I'm definitely not working towards them very quickly. Ian S. Ardern said, "With the demands made of us, we must learn to prioritize our choices to match our goals or risk being exposed to the winds of procrastination and being blown from one time-wasting activity to another." "Prioritize our choices." I love that. There was once a time when I would get the baby down for his nap, read an article in the Ensign, and then focus on my manuscript until the baby woke up. Now I'm wasting time on social networking, folding laundry, or taking a nap myself. Sometimes I need the nap but the laundry and social networking can wait. I'd really like to become focused again. How do you prioritize your choices? How do you teach your children this concept?
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Giveaway Hop

I am so excited to be a part of the November Giveaway Hop hosted by Tristi Pinkston and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.

I will be giving away a copy of The Broken Path. It's no longer possible to buy the book in print form. Actually there is one copy available on Amazon for $999.97. So you could win my copy, resell the book (after you read it, of course), and have a very nice Christmas.

Involved in a debilitating accident at age six, Ethan Searle believes women eye him with a mixture of pity and disdain. He’s tried love before. He won’t again. Autumn Reader escaped her abusive marriage with her daughter, a stack of debt and fear. Autumn’s precocious two-year old becomes enraptured by Ethan. Autumn is on the path to following her daughter’s example when her ex-husband reappears.

You can enter three times for the giveaway.

Mandatory entry: Must be a follower of this blog and leave a comment below. (Open to US residents) Optional entry: Follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook.

The hop runs from November 8th - 11th. Participating blogs:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Middle Grade Book Help

My 9yo and I just finished the Peter and the Starcatchers series by Ridley Pierson and Dave Barry. Love those books! It's my second time through and they were still fun. But now I'm not sure which direction to go. Should we start Fablehaven or Harry Potter? Are those series still a bit above his level? My oldest (now 12) read Fablehaven and Harry Potter at nine but you all understand how each child is a bit different. My 9yo is very smart but hasn't been as passionate about reading as his older brother. I hate to start a series that's too advanced for him and frustrate him. Any suggestions for fabulous middle grade book series? My son likes adventure, humor, and scoring lots of points on AR tests. Maybe we'll just read Chickens in the Headlights again. He hasn't done an AR test on that one yet and Matthew Buckely is always great for a laugh.
Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Autumn Time

Fall is officially here - my leaves have fallen, I don't want to get out of bed in the morning because it's dark and cold, everybody but me is doing NaNoWriMo, and I've gained five pounds. I'm not doing NaNaWriMo because I'm polishing and not ready to start something new (good excuse, eh?). I've gained five pounds because of hot cocoa and cookies. I don't want to get out of bed because I stay up late reading to my boys (while drinking hot cococa and munching on cookies). Despite the five pounds and my barren trees I love autumn. What's your favorite thing about this time of year?

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