Sep 28, 2013

Sunday Salon: In the Mood for Some Nonfiction Books

The Sunday Welcome to the Sunday Salon! Also visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer; Showcase Sunday at Books, Biscuits, and Tea; Mailbox Monday at Beauty in Ruins, and  It's Monday: What Are You Reading? at Book Journey.

I received two nonfiction books this past week:

Book description: Veteran world-class climber and bestselling author Ed Viesturs—the only American to have climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks, and only the sixth man to do so without supplemental oxygen—trains his sights on Mount Everest, the highest peak on earth, in richly detailed accounts of expeditions that are by turns personal, harrowing, deadly, and inspiring.

Book description: When philosophy rescued him from an emotional crisis, Jules Evans became fascinated by how ideas invented over two thousand years ago can help us today. He interviewed soldiers, psychologists, gangsters, astronauts, and anarchists and discovered the ways that people are using philosophy now to build better lives....This book is an invitation to a dream school with a rowdy faculty that includes twelve of the greatest philosophers from the ancient world, sharing their lessons on happiness, resilience, and more.

I'm in the mood for some nonfiction this winter, really.  

Sep 27, 2013

Book Beginnings: Alternate Currents by Arleen Alleman

Friday 56 Rules: *Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it. *Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice.

Also Book Beginnings by Rose City Reader.

Alternate Currents: A Novel was published July 5, 2013 by Xlibris. It's the fourth in the Darcy Farthing adventure series, which deals with controversial topics the author has chosen to address.

Page 56:
I remembered why I liked him so much from the beginning. Suddenly it seemed as if we had not been apart for nearly a year, and I thought about how much he and Charlie had helped us and how much I cared about both of them.
Excerpt from the journal of Darcy Farthing
November 20, 2010

"Today was one of the best days of my life. Not necessarily the best because that was probably the day I met Rachael. I am very optimistic.From this day forward, I anticipate a future dominated by love and happiness to the extent those ideals are possible. It's not that I haven't had my share of both in the past. It's just that during the past few years, we all - I mean my family and close friends - have hit a few barriers and bounced back, with some lasting effects. physical and emotional scars remain, which only an extended time of renewal might heal."
Goodreads description: As Darcy and her fiance, Mick, are preparing for their wedding, their planning and their lives are interrupted when a good friend mysteriously disappears. Soon, Darcy finds herself in Seattle immersed in the world of domestic partners, alternative reproductive technology, and social bigotry. A shocking child abduction and two murders leave authorities with few clues, as Darcy tries to help and becomes a victim her self. Learn more at

Author: Arleen Alleman is a former senior analyst with the Government Accountability Office. Her interests include health and fitness, world religions, reading, and travel. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Tim and their cat, Xena.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.
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Sep 25, 2013

Mrs Poe by Lynn Cullen; and Golden Malicious by Sheila Connolly

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted weekly by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Let us know what new releases you are eagerly waiting for. Link your post to Breaking the Spine.

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen is due out October 1, 2013, published by Gallery Books.
Quite a story: "a novel about a woman who becomes entangled in an affair with Edgar Allan Poe—at the same time she becomes the unwilling confidante of his much-younger wife." I can't imagine anyone being involved romantically with Poe. Wonder how scary that was?

Golden Malicious: An Orchard Mystery by Sheila Connolly, is also due out on October 1, 2013, published by Berkley. It's the seventh in the series. Orchard owner Meg Corey has to solve not only the mystery of a dead body in the forest preserve, but also a mysterious insect infestation that threatens local crops.

What books are you waiting for in October? 

Sep 24, 2013

Library Finds: Three Mysteries and a Romance

Went to the library twice in the past few days and borrowed three mystery novels and a humorous romance.

Am I lucky or what? I found the new Agatha Raisin mystery at the library, just waiting for me, it seems. As usual, M.C. Beaton has another clever title for her books in the series. Her main character, a 50-plus-year-old English woman Agatha, lives in the Cotswolds in England and is a PI with a personality that is amusing and unconventional.

I do like mystery novels set in exotic (to me) places too, and this is a new series I discovered, one set in Istanbul. The main character is a 40-ish German woman named Kati Hirschel who owns a crime bookstore and becomes an amateur sleuth because of her love of mysteries. I've started with the first in the series, Hotel Bosphorus, published in 2011.

This new romance sitting on the library's New Books shelf,  Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella, was irresistible, as I enjoy her storytelling and her humor. Disappointed when her boyfriend doesn't propose, her main character Lottie and a former boyfriend Ben suddenly decide to get married on the Greek island of Ikonos.  Lottie's sister and a friend of Ben's, however, have other plans for the couple and follow them to Ikonos to stop the hasty wedding.  I anticipate lots of humorous situations...

Found anything at your library lately?

Sep 21, 2013

Sunday Salon: First Day of Fall (The Autumnal Equinox)

The Sunday Welcome to the Sunday Salon! Also visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer; Showcase Sunday at Books, Biscuits, and Tea; and It's Monday: What Are You Reading? at Book Journey

Today is the first day of fall and the Autumnal Equinox, when the hours of daytime and nightime are equal. We watched the full Harvest Moon on Friday, and said goodbye to summer yesterday, Saturday. Some leaves are already turning yellow and red in our area, so autumn is already on its way.

What am I reading this week?
Murder by Syllabub by Kathleen Delaney, for a book tour. That is not a typo in the title; syllabub is a sweet English dessert made with cream, wine, and cider or other acid. I thought at first it was a variation of the plural for syllabus, but it's more tasty than that.

Larry's Kidney by Daniel Asa Rose. This book I bought on sale as I was curious about the title. It's a memoir about the author's trip to China with his cousin Larry, who needed a kidney transplant. The topic isn't funny, but the author manages to make the event and trip quite humorous, so far.

What do I plan on reading soon?
The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris, who sent an AUP (advance uncorrected proof) of this historical novel for review.

Fixed: A Gin and Tonic Mystery by L.A. Kornetsky

One Dog Too Many: A May December Mystery by Lia Farrell

The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch

Poisoned Prose: A Books by the Bay Mystery by Ellery Adams

Afoot on St. Croix: A Mystery on the Islands by Rebecca M. Hale
I like mysteries with dogs, islands, and books, and hope I'll be a happy reader.

I am hosting two giveaways this week:
1. Moonrise by Cassandre King till Sept. 27, two finished copies of this gothic romance, for U. S. residents.

2. A Good Home by Cynthia Reyes, two autographed copies of this memoir, till Sept. 24, for U.S. and Canadian residents.

I hope you will click on the titles and enter. What are you doing today and this week?

Sep 20, 2013

The Other Room by Kim Triedman

Friday 56 Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it. *Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice.

It's what her father does best: insinuate himself into other people's relationships. She knows he is right: that she should call, that she has allowed her twin sister to drift out of her field of vision, but she resents the intrusion. His presumption of righteousness.

"Yvonne's been good to you, Claudie. Don't you forget that." (p. 56)
Title: The Other Room by Kim Triedman
To be published October 8, 2013; Owl Canyon Press
Genre: fiction

Book description: Three years after the sudden, mysterious death of their 1-year-old daughter Lily, Josef Coleman, a high-strung New York surgeon, and his editor wife Claudia Macinnes remain mired in anguish and grief. Their mourning has left them reaching out for different things in different ways: Josef for a primal, physical connection that Claudia can no longer bear, and Claudia for a connection of the soul that Josef has never really known how to offer. To numb his pain and attempt to fill the gaping hole of loss, Josef turns to a young surgical nurse named Kiera; Claudia, meanwhile, is drawn into what seems like an unrequited fantasy about her psychotherapist, Stuart. The time she spends in his office--this sole "other room" where she can allow herself to project into the future--becomes a rare bright spot in her weeks. (publisher)

About the author: Kim Triedman is a poet and novelist who has won numerous honors and awards. "I have three books coming out in 2013 -- one novel and two poetry collections. My first full-length poetry collection, "Plum(b)," is to be released in early 2013 by Main Street Rag Press. My first novel, "The Other Room," is forthcoming from Owl Canyon Press in October 2013. My second poetry collection, "Hadestown," is due out in or around November from WordTech Communications."

A note:  Just love the very artistic cover of this book. I only wish the book had been printed in larger print or in a bolder font, as it was difficult to read (with my bad eyes). I may have to finish it as an e-book.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

Sep 19, 2013

Book Review: MOONRISE by Cassandra King

Title: Moonrise by Cassandra King
Published September 3, 2013; Maiden Lane Press
Genre: gothic romance, fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

I noticed the connection to the classic mystery, Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, very soon in the novel. Moonrise is the name of the spooky but imposing mansion in this book, reminiscent of Manderley in Rebecca. Rosalyn is the name of the mysterious dead wife in Moonrise, similar to the name of Rebecca.

Another similarity to the novel Rebecca is the main character Helen, a trusting young woman who marries a man many years her senior, a widower whose close friends dislike his remarrying so soon after his first wife's death. Helen loves the stately old mansion, Moonrise, in spite of the odd occurrences that happen, and is determined to make her new husband's friends accept and welcome her. But the unsolved mystery of Rosalyn's death stands between them and complete happiness.

The mystery: There are still unanswered questions about Rosalyn's tragic accident and death and the circumstances surrounding it. Differences in the books: Moonrise is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee, Rebecca in England. There is no evil housekeeper in Moonrise, but there are intimations of trouble from neighbors and friends.

What I loved: The moon garden at Moonrise, full of plants and flowers that open at night, is intriguing, especially as it was Rosalyn's private garden. The story is told from three women's points of view: Helen, the new wife; Tansy, a neighbor; and Willa, the young housekeeper. Their stories mesh the events that occur at Moonrise and weave the novel into an intriguing and suspenseful read. I also enjoyed the men portrayed in Helen and her husband Emmet's circle - the helpful Noel and the semi-invalid Linc.

Recommendations: Lovers of Rebecca will enjoy this and also appreciate how different Moonrise's mystery is in the end.

From the Reader's Guide to Moonrise, included in the novel: 
1. Moonrise was inspired by the author’s lifelong love of, Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier’s classic gothic novel, reminding us that the novels we admire in our youths resonate throughout our lives.
2. The Victorian house and gardens once cherished by Emmet’s deceased wife Rosalyn are very much their own characters in this novel. Have you ever lived in a haunted house yourself?

CASSANDRA KING, who has been called “the Queen of Southern storytelling,” is the author of four novels, Making Waves, The Sunday Wife, The Same Sweet Girls and Queen of Broken Hearts, as well as numerous short stories, essays and articles. Moonrise, her fifth novel, is set in Highlands, North Carolina. A native of Alabama, Cassandra resides in Beaufort, South Carolina, with her husband, writer Pat Conroy. Her website:

GIVEAWAY: The publisher and Wiley Saichek at AuthorsontheWeb provided a galley of this book for the book tour and review, and are offering two finished copies of the book to readers in the U.S., no post office box addresses, please. 

UPDATE: Congrats to Carl and Rhonda, winners of the giveaway.

Sunday Salon: Japanese Authors and a Mystery

  Klara and the Sun   by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Klara and the Sun was easy to read for a literary novel of such magnitude and celebrity, I found...