Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Liebster Award--pour moi?

Thanks, Maria!  For those of you who don't know, Maria Hoagland is the author of "Nourish and Strengthen"  She has a super blog and an amazing firsthand knowledge of diabetes and running.  Neither of which I am capable of contributing  to intelligently.

Here are the rules--the blog has to have less than 200 followers, and it has to be awesome.   So, five blogs that I would like to award...  Nancy Allen is a fantastic writer--think Faith of our Fathers, Isabelle Webb.  Yeah, that girl.  And not to brag or anything, but I totally know her.  Writers Dojo for all sorts of tips, lessons and fun anectdotes (ya, I don't really know how to spell that)  about the craft of writing Another awesome writer I know.  Angela does in depth book reviews, and I think we have really similar taste.  Keep your eye on this one, she is going to be famous some day.  Wende doesn't know it, yet, but in addition to being a photographer, scrapbooker and general creative whiz, deep down, she is a poet.  Just give her blog a read.  She can tug at your heart strings. What can I say?  Ya, that's right, this is my family blog.  I am not too consistent with it, but just look at how flipping cute my kids are!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Become--a novel of Desolation


Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.
This book reminded me a lot of "The Mortal Instruments," "Goblet of Fire," or any of the books where the main character has to discover the power inside themselves... Throw in a little Scandinavian Mythology, and a pinch of "Saturday's Warrior" and mix it all together...However, the difference was Desi already knew that she had the power and was fighting to hold it in.  She didn't want to become like her dad.  The thing she didn't realize is that there was more to her, and her destiny wasn't fixed.  She could choose good or evil, because they're both inside her. 
I loved the message of this book--there's good in all of us, we can choose our destiny, etc, but more than that, I loved the characters Ali Cross created.  They brought the story to life and I found myself caring so much about what would happen to them... I was fascinated by Desi's view of sin and evil, and I loved her snarky personality and her desperate need to feel loved. 
The story was quick moving and touching and I loved it.  I can't wait for the next one
Two thumbs up to Ali Cross!!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Let's start with the blurb:

     The Robbins household looks perfect from the outside: no dust, no stains, no wrinkles. Yet a glimpse into its heart reveals no laughter, no closeness, no joy. Olivia thinks that if she keeps everything tidy and serves delicious meals on time, family life is bound to get better. But when her husband, Nick, misses their anniversary, she realizes no amount of domestic success will compensate for failure in their marriage, or for her own failure to develop her identity-always busy as a mother, wife, and neighbor, she has forgotten how to be a unique and vibrant individual.

     Determined to make a change, Olivia joins a local book club, where she nurtures new friendships and explores new ideas. But her growing confidence falters when Nick declares his independence- and while her new friends lovingly encircle her with support, only Olivia can reach into the depths of her fledgling self to find the faith, hope, and love her troubled family needs.

     I love to find a new series and the Newport Ladies Book Club doesn't dissapoint. Each of the books in the series is written by a different author: Julie Wright, Josi Kilpack, Annette Lyon and Heather B. Moore.  Gals we al know and love--So far, so good.  The books each focus on a different woman in the book club and we get to see their lives intertwine as they struggle through trials and find support in each other.  The really fun thing for readers is seeing the characters' lives weave together throughout all four books.  By the end, we'll have the whole picture--exciting, right?  I think so.

     The first book, is about Olivia.  She is the classic "Donna Reed" perfectionist with a clean house, handsome husband, beautiful kids, home made Halloween costumes, and delicious family dinners.  But we come to find out that Olivia is trapped in a seemingly loveless marriage with a husband who is increasingly distant to her.  Determined to make her family perfect, she delves deeper into motherhood, housekeeping and cooking and doing so, fails to develop herself as a person.

     The book club not only gives her the opportunity to make new friends that she can lean on for support during her trials, but through reading and discussing the books, she gains perspective through self-introspection and realizes that she needs to change.  She learns that the things she has seen as her weaknesses are actually her strengths and sets out to make her family life better.

     I have to say, this book was hard to read.  I was teary most of the time as I watched Olivia struggle, but in the end, I felt such triumph as she found her inner strength and changed things for the better.  That's what I enjoyed about it, the personal connection I felt with the main character, and subsequently for her family members, book club buddies and even her husband.  It was extremely tender and so well-written.  I love Julie Wright's books and this one didn't dissapoint.  I can't wait for the next one--Daisy will be out this June!

      The Authors have a cute blog where you can read about the series.  I love that it tells what books are going to be discussed in each book (does that make sense?)  So, it's like WE are in the book club, too!