Monthly Archives: February 2010
A busy week and again I am amazed how fast Sunday comes around. The mailbox was a manageable level this week and I controlled myself and purchased no books. I have one waiting for me at the Library that I am going to try to remember to do on Monday.
Here is my mailbox and thank you to Kristi at Story Siren for hosting this meme!
Zoe Fishman’s Balancing Acts, a charming and poignant story of four former college friends helping each other balance their dreams through the power of yoga and friendship, is a must for fans of The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Reading Group, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Girls in Trucks.
I love books on friendship and this one looks fantastic! When I seen this at TLC Book Tours I had to sign up!
I love a good YA read and a book on Anastasia sounds wonderful! When the publicist guaranteed I would love it from page one and said I would possibly need a kleenex or two along the way – well…. I had to know more!
In 1851, a lawyer named Elias P. Drake purchased a plot of land near Xenia, Ohio with the intent to establish a summer vacation resort where the country’s elite could relax and enjoy the mineral springs in the area. At the time, it was believed that natural water could cure illnesses and bring about good health. What made this resort unusual, however, was that it became a popular vacation destination for southern slaveholders and their enslaved mistresses. Ultimately, these flagrantly open relationships offended the northern abolitionists who also frequented the resort. After four years, the resort closed.
This part of the story has been confirmed by historians. I took this forgotten historical note and sketched in a fictional account of what it would have been like to be an enslaved woman traveling to this free state each summer. Why wouldn’t the women try to escape? What kinds of emotional attachments did they have with these men? Initially, I believed that it was entirely possible that they actually loved the men. Ultimately, I discovered that it was much more complicated than that.
Situated in the free state of Ohio, Tawawa House offers respite from the summer heat. A beautiful, inviting house surrounded by a dozen private cottages, the resort is favored by wealthy Southern white men who vacation there, accompanied by their enslaved mistresses.
Regular visitors Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet have forged an enduring friendship. They look forward to their annual reunion and the opportunity it affords them to talk over the changes in their lives and their respective plantations. The subject of freedom is never spoken aloud until the red-maned, spirited Mawu arrives and voices her determination to escape. To run is to leave behind the friends and families trapped at home. For some, it also means tearing the strong emotional and psychological ties that bind them to their masters.
When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet soon learn tragic lessons,that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the cruelest circumstances as they bear witness to the end of an era.
I seen this book being reviewed on other blogs and thought it looked wonderful. When it was offered my way I couldn’t say yes fast enough!
Come find me two years ago…. Six words that propelled ice hockey playing tomboy, Arizona, into an alternate dimension. In one moment, she went from being a varsity hockey player in New Jersey to a glamorous cheerleader in California. She found herself with a new dad. She found herself in a new life. One that she had apparently lived in always. Everyone knew her as Arizona Darley, but she wasn’t. She was Arizona Stevens. She knew she had to find her way back to her real life. Then she met Kellan….
Ok come on…. doesn’t that sound good? The author contacted me on this one and I am excited to jump into this adventure.
Tiziana Manoretti is an only child in her late twenties blessed with loving parents, a promising career, and a best friend who fiercely protects her. When her mother falls seriously ill and the relationship between her parents becomes suddenly strained, a carefully hidden family secret is revealed and Tiziana’s seemingly idealistic world is turned upside down.
This is a tour set for late April – another one the author contacted me about and it just sounds good you know?
Blast off was a win (woo hoo) from Luxury reading. This just looks like an exciting read and I am always game for learning new techniques and skills. I look forward to investigating this one further soon!
And that’s my mailbox for this past week. I would love to know what was in yours!
Recently I have had the pleasure of being a part of a round table discussion put together by Amy at My Friend Amy’s Blog. The book we discussed was Wounded by Claudia Mair Burney.
Poor in health but rich in faith, Gina Merritt—a young, broke, African-American single mother—sits in a pew on Ash Wednesday and has a holy vision. When it fades, her palms are bleeding. Anthony Priest, the junkie sitting beside her, instinctively touches her when she cries out, but Gina flees in shock and pain. A prize-winning journalist before drugs destroyed his career, Anthony is flooded with a sense of well-being and knows he is cured of his addiction. Without understanding why, Anthony follows Gina home to find some answers. Together they search for an answer to this miraculous event and along the way they cross paths with a skeptical evangelical pastor, a gentle Catholic priest, a certifiable religious zealot, and an oversized transvestite drug dealer, all of whom lend their opinion. It’s a quest for truth, sanity, and grace . and an unexpected love story.
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Sheila: On the back cover of the book the question is: If a miracle happened to you, wouldn’t you tell everyone? What if they thought you were crazy?
That is a great question. First of all I have to admit – would I recognize it as a miracle myself? Honestly I think I would have to have a real faith check and probably a lot like Gina did at times, question my own sanity. As far as sharing this miracle with people, I think much like many of the cases I read about on-line, probably very few.
I would love to hear everyone elses responses to those questions.
Julie: I, too, loved those questions on the back of the book. It’s hard for me to say exactly what I’d do, but I don’t think I’d be out there telling everyone. I feel that it’s a pretty personal matter between me and God, although I would want my family to share it with me too. I would definitely pray on it (a lot) to understand the “Why Me?” and I’d have to think that God had some way that he wanted to use me to help others. I think I’d be terrified that I wouldn’t be able to figure out those questions.
Sheila: You also made me really think when you mentioned that if you had lived in Biblical Times would you (or I) have recognized him for who he was. Not to get off subject but I have to mention another book called More Than A Skeleton by Paul Maier. I loved this book (there are actually two books) and in this book it is modern day and a man who has twelve disciples, was born in Bethlehem, parents are names Mary and Joseph and has a birth certificate saying his name is Jesus Christ. He also seems to be performing miracles left and right. The book is about trying to prove this man is not Jesus when everything seems to say he is. In that case and in this one – is seeing believing?
Hannah: I think we can’t really know or say whether we’d be able to accept such miracles if they happened to us or around us until they have. That doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile question to ask, just that we can’t ultimately know how we’d react until we’ve reacted.
Thomas: After I had finished the book for the first time, the next time I was at church, it caused me not to pay attention to my pastor’s sermon, but instead I spent it wondering what would happen if someone at my church began to show signs on stigmata. For some reason I feel there would be more Mike’s then there would be Priest.
Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ
This book was one I really enjoyed and it left me with a lot of things to think about. I found the round table discussion bring up even more food for thought. I read this when we went to Illinois a couple weekends ago and I was taking notes on a napkin – thoroughly engrossed in the storyline and knowing there were a few points I wanted to look into further. This book would make a wonderful book club read as there is much to discuss.
Stop by the following blogs to read their part of the round table discussion.
Ignorant Historian — The theology presented in the book
Books and Movies — Jesus as Bridegroom
Booking Mama — Suffering
Debbie — Mental Illness and the church
Book Addiction — The Characters of Wounded
My Random Thoughts — Wounded as a Love Story (and a few other random things)
Wordlily — Stigmata
Books, Movies, Chinese food– The use of “the n word”
Good morning! I had a great time last night when two of my girlfriends came over to have chicken fajitas and watch a movie with me. They are so fun! We celebrated my birthday since I was traveling during that time in February and they surprised me with a pedicure certificate!
I just love those friends that you can talk about anything with – and that’s what I have in these two. I think we all seriously laughed until we cried. We talked, watched funny YouTube commercials, ate great food – and lots of chocolate! (Yikes!) After the movie we talked and talked until almost midnight.
This morning I am still smiling with coffee cup in hand and so thankful for friends like these.
Moving on – this morning I have a baby shower to go to and then I think I am going to leave the day commitment free. I am extremely tired right now after having a few really busy days in a row. Tomorrow it will start up again as I prepare for our week of serving the homeless in our area.
Tomorrow morning I will set up the rooms for the guests to stay in, and then after Church my friend Karol and I are going to go do the shopping for the staples they will need through the week. At 4:30 I will be back there to stay overnight and then by the time I come home at 8 am on Monday – AL will be back home! :) WOO HOO!
So yeah…. even as I write this I am thinking uh…. yeah….. take it easy today, the rest of the week is going to be nuts. The book that will be joining my weekend is The Crown Conspiracy by Michael Sullivan.
I want to mention really quick here that I have signed up over at Galleysmith for the Literary Road Trip. What Michelle has going on is that you can link to her fun meme of reading authors from your state and then each week she will link your Road Trip Posts to her blog. I called dibs on Minnesota! I have a few books waiting for review that are Minnesota Authors. Anyway – go check it out, your state may still be available. :)
Any big weekend plans for you? What book will be joining you?
It is Friday! F R I D A Y!!! Woo Hoo! I had a long and busy Thursday and did not get back into my house until 7:30 last night. On the bright side, I accomplished a lot yesterday and there is something to be said for a productive day. Seriously…. it makes me feel…. taller. :) Even Coffee Cup thought so…
Today though is work all day and then fun tonight! I will be in my office today catching up on some projects. Then this afternoon I am interviewing a girl to work in our business office. After that – let the games begin!
Tonight my friends Heidi and Sara are coming over and we are having chicken fajita and watching a movie or two. Just a low-key hang out night. There is a group of us that tries to get together once a month and who ever can make it makes it. It was my turn to pick for February and here I come scraping in a t the last second due to a BUSY month.
This will be fun and relaxing…. and I am sooooooo looking forward to it.
What do you like to do when you get together with your friends?
This morning I seen this fun post to link to over at Home Girl’s Blog. I had a busy day and had no time to do anything with it until now…. but I do have a funny story to share about a book.
A couple years ago my book club voted our book choice to be a book called Leave It To Cleavage by Wendy Wax. I was horrified. So many good books out there to read and this, this is what gets voted in. Not only did the title make me feel a little uneasy…. so did the author’s name.
I ordered my copy from our local book store and when it came in they called me and I went in to pick it up. I made sure I was alone at the counter and told them they had a book for me under my name. The man at the counter went and looked through a pile of books and in a loud voice said, “Oh, do you mean Leave It To Cleavage?”
In a small voice I respond, “mmmm hhhmmmm…. that’s the one.”
He brings me the books and proceeds to tell me that there was a big write-up in the Minneapolis paper about that book just that day and it was a rave review. I pay for the book and quickly head out the door.
Turns out, the book was actually a funny lite read and not at all what I was thinking it might be. It kind of reminds me of an early Evanovich style of read. I confess I was guilty of not only of judging a book by its title but also, I judged the author by her name. To this day my book club still harasses me a little bit for my over reaction to this book.
No time for hopping around this morning – I have a builders meeting at 8:30 am on the other side of town. Coffee Cup are not so leisurely this morning! :)
I do want to take a moment to welcome Rachel who has now taken on J Kayes Blog, which is now called Home Girls Book Blog. Pop on over and welcome her, I think she will do a wonderful job!
I am off to the meeting and then to the office, kind of a weird office day, I will be there only for a short time today and then I am taking my Administrative Assistant out for a catching up and planning lunch. Should be a good day!
Oh…. and did you see my post on BEA (Book Expo America)?
If you would have told me a year ago (heck, 8 months ago!) that I would be blogging and carrying on book related discussions with fellow book lovers on a daily basis, I would have thought you were a few fries short of a Happy Meal. If you would have added I would also sign up to attend an event in New York (where I have never been before) and room with 4 other girls (whom I have never met) I would have had some concern over your mental well-being.
Yet here I am – blogging daily…. and yes, with a huge deep breath, I am going to New York to attend BEA (Book Expo of America).
Pause for a cart wheel break…..
I wanted to write this post for a few reasons. One, it’s not often I get to do on-line cart wheels. Two, I really wanted to thank all the wonderful bloggers who took the time to write posts on what to expend at BEA (they have been most beneficial to me!) Here are some of the things I have taken away from those posts (check out the BEA Blog Tour here) that I would not have thought about going in to this:
Bring your own water and snacks for the expo. The food is pricey and this will cover me while I am exploring all the amazing things around me.
Comfy comfy shoes are VERY important! Also to dress neatly, I am representing my blog.
I appreciated learning about “must see” places, bringing business cards, ask before taking, don’t over book myself, and more! I read all the posts and I took notes. Thank you.
So what questions am I left with?
Mainly the BEA site itself. What should I be pre-signing up for now? Is there any thing that I am going to do a head smack when I get there because I didn’t pre register for something? What badge do I register under?
That’s about it – and oh, have you met my roommates?
Stop by and check out these awesome bloggers. Oh – and I really hope to see you there!
Oh and don’t even get me started on BBC (Book Blogger Convention) … but that’s a post for another day… ;)
Doreen Lowe is a young, sophisticated junior associate in a small Manhattan law firm that primarily serves the lower echelons of society. Regularly visited by three ghosts, Doreen is forced to listen to their pleas that she “carry on for them”- after the Holocaust- all while balancing the demands of her career and personal life.
After Doreen marries a banker with an entrepreneurial spirit, he achieves his dream of establishing a telecommunications company. Within a few years, Doreen is serving as the company’s legal counsel while simultaneously raising a son, but is still being tormented by her spirits. As the young couple rides out the tech boom of the late 1990s, Doreen must reconcile her unorthodox personal choices with her widowed father, her friends, and her large conscience.
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Doreen is a likable character. She’s young and career minded and seems to have things heading in the right direction. She lives with her dad and has a wonderful man in her life. It really could be a dream life if she could just do something about the ghosts.
Uhhhhh…excuse me…. did you say ghosts?
I did. Doreen has three spirits that speak to her and have been with her for years. While these spirits represent her heritage, I found them a little hard to wrap my mind around this concept. Her family are survivors of the Holocaust and the ghosts/spirits she hears are constantly reminding her of her responsibilities to this heritage.
The story behind the story is Doreen learning to deal with the ghosts, come to terms with the history she carries with her and all this wrapped up with a little luck. When she meets the man she wishes to marry her family has concerns and this is when Doreen really starts to make decision for herself and head towards quieting the ghosts.
I enjoyed the characters in the book and once I could get used to the voices of the spirits that spoke to Doreen I started to get more into this read.
Kay Mupetson graduated from NYU Law School and has been practicing corporate law for over twenty-five years. She served as general counsel for a New York telecommunications company and previously worked as a journalist reporting on the Middle East. She currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and sons.
I received my copy from Jocelyn Delgado, Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.
Morning! Coffee Cup and I are enjoying a little quiet time before my day goes from zero (now) to 120 (an hour from now).
I have always appreciated good commercials. At one time I even considered going into advertising because a good witty commercial really appeals to me. (Oh come on….. am I the only one that watches the Super Bowl for the commercials?)
Over the last week I have seen a commercial that cracks me up every time I see it. Whoever created this one – it is brilliant. I laugh every time. Nicely done!
Today I have a day in the office, some work to do at home, and a review coming up in a little while.
Do you have any favorite commercials?