Friday, February 27, 2009

Author Day

I was privileged to listen to a few authors today! I listened to J. Scott Savage at our elementary in the morning and Heather Moore in the evening. Heather was at Provident Book Store for Ladies Book Club.  There is a new author every month! I also got to listen to Tristi Pinkston 
and some of her ideas/experiences. 
I was hoping to getting motivated by other authors so I could get going on my story again. I've had a hard time switching from my laptop to my PC.  My whole story was on the laptop and FINALLY yesterday I was able to get it off the broken computer.  I will see what this weekend brings...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reading Update

I went back to the Whitney Awards and counted all the books I have read so far.  I have read 12 of them! I have read 6 this week and have started the 7th. I have two more on my floor by my bed.  I guess I'll see how many I have read by Monday.

Book Review

Traitor by Sandra Grey

I made a goal to read as many of the Whitney Award nominated books as I could.  I have read 3 so far. The first one surprised me it got nominated.  Maybe it was the author's first book.  The author has a good writing style but her characters had no depth or closure. 
The 2nd book I enjoyed.
The 3rd book was fantastic.  Traitor by Sandra Grey was well written and researched.  There was always trouble.  No matter what to characters did to get out of trouble it somehow made it worse.  
The starts with Marie parachuting into France to work for  the American government and be with her fiance.  Marie has secrets of her own that gets her in trouble and taken as a prisoner. Events escalate: someone dies, couples fall in love, Marie is taken to a concentration camp and an exchange is made to keep her safe.
Good, clean, riveting book.  Good Job Ms. Grey!
I didn't know this book was the first in a series!  I am 7th in line for the next book, Tribunal.

Monday, February 23, 2009

From Severe Mercy:

"But feelings-feelings were emotions! He was suddenly overwhelmed by the revelation that what makes life worth living is, precisely, the emotions. But, then-this was awful!-maybe girls with their tears and laughter were getting more out of life. Shattering! He checked himself: showing one's emotions was not the thing: having them was. Still, he was dizzy with the revelation. What is beauty but something that is responded to with emotion? Courage, at least partly, is emotional. All the splendour of life. But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, than one wanted the highest, purest emotions: and that meant joy. Joy was the highest. How did one find joy? In books it seemed to be found in love-a great love...If he wanted the heights of joy, he must have, if he could find it, a great love. But in the books again, great joy through love seemed always to go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still, the joy would be worth the pain-if, indeed, they went together. If there were a choice-and he suspected there was-a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe,, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What books are on your bedside table?

I'm trying to read most of the Whitney Award finalists among other books! One of the books I read I was surprised was a finalist.  The character never changed for the better.  And there was no closure for any of the characters. Maybe I read too much into the story...

I cleared off my book shelves a few weeks ago.  So I have a surplus of books I need to give away.  I read them and loved them and determined I would never read them again nor would my children so I am giving them away!
Can you tell what I am planning this summer?  If you come up with the right answer or close to it I will send you a book! The winner will get to choose from a variety of authors so you get a book you don't have/have read yet.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quotable Monday

"A well composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter any other way" Caroline Gordon (1895-1981)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blog Contest

Here is a fun blog contest "Not Entirely British"!

Who can resist a book?  And a free book at that? So go to it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday President Lincoln!

Here a couple of great websites to read about Abraham Lincoln and Ford's Theater:

President Abraham Lincoln struggled throughout the Civil War to preserve the Union. He lived long enough to see it maintained, but not long enough to help in healing the wounds left by the war.
He was a great president who worked hard and slept little to provide freedom and safety to Americans.
In honor of Abraham Lincoln, I am posting his 'Gettysburg Address."

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Book Review

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

"Princess of the Midnight Ball" is a retelling of the '12 Dancing Princesses' with the main character who happens to be a polite, kind orphan boy who knits!  
Galen finds his mother's sister who immediately takes him in. His uncle is the royal gardener and Galen becomes an under-gardner. He soon becomes involved in the Palace and more precisely, the princesses secrets. 
Each princess is named after a flower and Ms. George gives each sister something to remember her. One plays the pianoforte, another takes to praying often, another hates dancing.  
The queen wanting desperately to have children makes an unsavory bargain with an evil underworld being: King Under Stone. After the queen died, her 12 daughters have to fulfill the bargain. 
How will young Galen, a commoner, solve the royal mystery? You will need to read the book to find out. And while you are finding the book, pick up some knitting needles and yarn! There are knitting patterns in the back of the book! 
This book is a fun and intriguing read with its fair share of good twists and bad guys.
Plus surprises until right up to the end!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Favorite Comfort Food Recipe

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
(makes 2 loaves)

2 1/4 flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 C granulated sugar
1 3/4 C (15 oz can) Pumpkin
1/2 C oil
1 C frozen or sweetened dried cranberries

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt in large bowl.  
In a small mixer bowl, combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil; beat just until blended.
Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. 
Fold in cranberries. 
Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 9x5 loaf pans.

Bake in preheated 350 oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes; remove to write rack to cool completely.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Beyond Pride and Prejudice

Hello, readers! 
I pose a question that has been asked many reading divas:
What is your favorite Jane Austen book?
Did the title come immediately to your lips? Did you just say your favorite quote outloud?
What is your favorite Jane Austen movie?
Did you smile as your favorite actor/ess took shape in your mind?

Here is a harder question:
Is your favorite book different than your favorite Jane Austen movie?
Hmmm.  Is that one harder?
For me, I love the book and movie "Persuasion".  And not a step behind is "Pride and Prejudice" both book and movie.

Now, here is a question I don't think I have been asked more than once-a-year:
Do you have a favorite offshoot of Jane Austen's books? 
Is there a book written after the manner or storyline of Ms. Austen that you have enjoyed reading? Maybe you've read the book more than once? 

I have a few and I list them at the bottom.  I don't
 feel disloyal to Ms. Austen.  If anything, my reading other Austen-esque books has given me a deeper feeling for her books. Not many authors or books rival Jane Austen's style and technique.  But there are many out there who try. Maybe this lazy summer you'll want to expand your readying to include a few offshoots of Jane Austen's books: 

Mr. Darcy's Daughters
The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy (Elizabeth & Darcy's daughter)
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First 
Jane Austen Mystery
Pride and Prescience (Caroline Bingley)
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
Mr. Darcy's Diary
Lydia Bennet's Story
Mrs. Elton in America
Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma
None But You (Frederick Wentworth)
The Independence of Miss Marry Bennett
Mansfield Park Revisited
Jane Fairfax: The Story of the Second Heroine in Emma
Just Jane: a Novel of Jane Austen's 
Mr. Knightly's Diary
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Becoming Jane: the Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen
Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners
Jane Austen Ruined My Life
Jane Austen for Dummies (YES. Another Dummy book)
Two Guys Read Jane Austen

OK! There are quite a few more but you get the picture! It might take more than one lazy summer to read the books! But you can start now while it's dreary and grey!

A couple of my favorites:
An Assembly Such as This
Pride and Prejudice Cliff Notes (I know! Weird! But I understood the book even more!)
Wives and Daughters (I don't think this is an offshoot of Pride and Prejudice but it's story line sure resembles it! I believe the two stories were writing in the same era)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Writing (not writing) update

I have been writing for a website that sends the articles to other websites.  If the reader clicks on an advertisement, I get a small portion of the $$.  So far my grand total for the month....58 cents! While the monetary rewards are small I feel the writing payoffs are big.  I write one or more articles a day so I have been practicing writing everyday just in a differnt format than novel writing. 

I submitted one of my stories to a contest. I don't expect to win but if I am in a certain percentage that gets picked, an editor will review my story. That is worth sending my story!

I plan on submitting my WWI story in March.  I need to do a bit of revision and plant soem hooks throughout the story.

I plan on submitting my YA LDS story in April. I am killing off one of my darlings so I need revise this story.

I am also submitting my taxes in February. I hope to use a little bit of the return to buy a new laptop!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

 Groundhog Day

I can't make this link work, sorry.  Here is the cut&paste if you want to read the teeny article I wrote.

Monday Motivation ~ First do no harm, and second to try to do good

"I think we all, as parents, readers, writers, teachers, editors, whatever, have a responsibility to first do no harm, and second to ...

Writer Website in A Weekend

Writer Website in A Weekend