Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking back 2012


Time passes real fast and before I can reach out for another book, it's the end of the year.

Looking back, 2012 is pretty much a challenging year for me and much as I still enjoy reading, I certainly read much less this year and did less review compared to the previous years.    I also didn't commit much to scheduled reviews and such are more relax and selective in what I read.

PurpleQueenFairyReads will end the year with 75 posts for 2012 which is 23 posts less than year 2011 but all things considered, I'm cool with it.

What's happening next year? Better and bigger things prayfully.

Thank you so much for dropping by and reading my my thoughts.  Here's wishing you a wonderful new year and abundant blessings be with you and your family for 2013.

Happy New Year 2013!

Being the fan of the winning coach of The Voice 2 & 3, here's a song to end one year and to start a new one :)  God bless.




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Deadly Houswives - edited by Christine Matthews

Synopsis :

In the expert hands of fourteen unsurpassed storytellers, being a takes on a whole new meaning.  Get ready for a lethal mix of meddling mothers-in-law, creepy neighbours, cheating husbands, fickle female friends, careers left behind, out-of-control kids, and much more in this thrilling collection  of never-before-published stories!  Go behind the lace curtains and PTA smiles to explore the often mind-numbing reality of being a housewife.

Join Nevada Barr, Barbara Collins, Carole Nelson Douglas, Eileen Dreyer, Vicki Hendricks, Suzann Ledbetter, Elizabeth Massie, Christine Matthews, Denise Mina and many more on a riotous ride through the dark but often hilarious corners of the housewife psyche.

It was an impulsive decision to borrow this book from the library and I can't say I regret it but at the same time I can't say I enjoyed it too. There are a total of thirteen short stories some of which are quite interesting but some are quite boring.

However, I can guarantee you that they are a rather deadly bunch of people as the title promises because there's a whole lot of killing taking place in the book. Some of these killings are for no particular reason at all other than the person being paranoid.  We have a rather psychotic bunch of housewives who burnt neighbour's houses just to be on TV, who murder their husbands, murder their daughters-in-law, murder their neighbours, murder repairmen, murder strangers and murder their mothers-in-law and a whole lot more with revenge being centre of it all.

I won't recommend this book to you.  It's just not edifying at all.



Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blessed Christmas 2012


Image from the web

Here's wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas celebration.

God bless and have a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Master of The Game by Sidney Sheldon

Synopsis :

WHO IS KATE BLACKWELL?

She is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned. And she's a survivor, indomitable as her father, the man who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the bleak South African earth. Now, celebrating her ninetieth birthday, Kate surveys the family she has manipulated, dominated, and loved: the fair and the grotesque, the mad and the mild, the good and the evil -- her winnings in life. Is she the...Master Of The Game?


It's a great feeling to re-read Master of The Game for the n-th time.  Yes, that's right.....I just can't remember how many times I read it since the time I bought this book (3rd June 1990 - it's inscribed in the inside cover).  It's one of the books that I kept at parents' house during my college years and whenever I visited them during holidays, I would get acquainted with the books whenever I can.

Although it's more than 20 years old, the story still never fails in it's thrill factor.  It's just so addictive and once you start you just can't stop until you read the whole book.

The story begins with Kate's father, Jamie McGregor, a Scotsman who traveled to South Africa to strike it rich in diamonds.  He actually did manage to stake a claim but was cheated out of it by Soloman Van der Merwe, a local businessman in Klipdrift.  Jamie vowed revenge and did just that.  The story continues with Kate and subsequently his son, Tony and then ended with Tony's twin daughters, Eve and Alex.

The story would have ended there and all would have been happy but the estate of Sidney Sheldon commissioned Tilly Bagshawe to write a sequel, aptly entitled Mistress of The Game. I read and review the book last year.  It wasn't as good as the original as Tilly certainly isn't yet a master but it was good for the saga to go on.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Other Woman by Jane Green

Synopsis :

When Ellie Black meets Dan Cooper, she feels as though she's found her best friend and soul mate. After an idyllic courtship, Dan proposes and Ellie happily accepts. She loves everything about Dan, even his family: his sister, Emma, has become her good friend, and his mother, Linda, might end up being the mother Ellie never had when she was growing up. 

Ellie's own family was far from ideal--her alcoholic mother died when she was 13, and Ellie and her father withdrew from each other almost completely. She hopes Dan's family will become her own, that is, until she gets to know Linda and realizes how controlling and manipulative she can be. Ellie's resentment toward Linda grows after she gets pregnant and gives birth to Tom. When an accident puts Tom's life at risk, Ellie's bottled-up emotions spill over and threaten not just her relationship with her mother-in-law but her marriage itself. 

Green, best-selling author of Jemima J (2000) and To Have and to Hold[BKL Mr 1 04], is particularly adept at producing engaging women's fiction, and her latest is a prime example--warm, convincing, and eminently readable. Although at times Ellie's venomous anger toward her mother-in-law grates, overall, she is a sympathetic heroine

I took the synopsis from Goodreads as I didn't like the one at the back cover of the book.  This is a more accurate representation of what the story is about.

I have Airasia to thank for as I managed to finish this book in one day.  I was 'trapped' in the aircrafts for 6 hours during what was supposed to be a 2 hours flight.  With a full aircraft with annoyed adults and restless children who kept crying and one kid who kept kicking my seat from the back to my stiff leg from sitting too long, the only thing to do is to dive in the book.  I did just that.

This is not my first time reading this book.  I read it years ago but I think I appreciate the story better this time round.  I was a bit impatient with Ellie the first time but I quite understand her better this time round.   I also felt that Dan is rather a wimp and should have stood up for his wife but at the same time I do sympathize with him for being caught between two important women in his life.

Highly recommended to all wives. Highly recommended to all mother in laws. Highly recommended to all husbands too.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Three Girls and their Brother by Theresa Rebeck

Synopsis :

So you want to know how to become famous?

Step 1 : Get your photo taken for the New Yorker, along with your incredibly beautiful red-haired sisters.
Step 2 : Watch as your face is plastered all over Time Square and New York goes crazy over you (why? Don't ask me.)
Step 3 : Learn to fight off the paparazzi who are camped outside your school. Older brother, especially seemingly invisible ones are useful here.
Step 4 : Pretend to be interested in leetchy old film stars at glitzy parties and don't let them realise you would rather be doing your homework.

But take it from a tip from me, Amelia, so-called IT Girl, fame is NOT all it's cracked up to be.

all those glamorous parties are really just full of neurotic women studiously avoiding the canapes.  Being followed by hoards of men with cameras can seriously threaten your social life. And no one listens when you tell them you never wanted all this in the first place.

One bit of advice I would give you, and it's an important one so please listen : whatever you do don't do what I did and BITE the most famous film star in the world.  It won't look good, believe me and it'll get you into all kinds of trouble.

I bought this book from a sales last year.   The title is rather unimaginative in my opinion but the cover picture of the red headed girl against the aqua green background attracted my attention.  I don't know the author at all and just buy it because the price was marked down tremendously.

The story was told from the perspective of all the siblings, starting with Philip, the brother and then it moved on the Amelia, the youngest sister, Polly, the second siblings and ended with Daria, the eldest. It wasn't really interested from Philip's perspective and only got interesting when it came to the parts told from Amelia and Polly's perspectives.

The one person I can't stand in this book is their mother.  How can a mother not look out for her 14 year old daughter and be so disillusioned into thinking that it's for her future and that her siblings are jealous of her success when they tried to look out for her.  Neurotic!

Can't say I like it but can't say I don't either.  It's just neither bad nor good but because I paid so little for it, it's worth it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

To The Nines by Janet Evanovich

Synopsis :

Stephanie Plum may not be the best bounty hunter in beautiful downtown Trenton, but she's pretty damn good at turning situations her way...and she always gets her man.

Her cousin Vinnie (who's also her boss) has posted bail on Samuel Singh, who mysteriously disappears just as his work visa is running out.  and Stephanie is on the case to ensure the elusive Mr Singh doesn't make his disappearance more permanent.  But what she uncovers is far more sinister than anyone imagines and leads to a group of killers who give a whole new meaning to the word hunter.  In a race against time that takes her from the Jersey Turnpike to the Vegas Strip, Stephanie Plum is on the chase of her life.

The last time I read a Stephanie Plum book was in May.  To the Nines is the 9th book in the series.  It's quite considerate of the author to title the series this way. Easy for readers to keep track of them. However, I really do not know how does the title To The Nines relates to the storyline.

Stephanie was tasked by Vinnie to look for Samuel Singh.  Naturally, Singh wasn't easy to find and Ranger was assigned to work with Stephanie in looking for Singh.  The search took Stephanie to Vegas and both Lola and Connie tagged alone.  Ranger also assigned his 'Merry Men' to keep an eye on Stephanie as she as become a prize in a killing game.  What else is new you might say? Nothing much actually but if you have read this series and enjoyed the other books, you will enjoy this one too.

Grandma Mazur wasn't really featured much in this book.  However, Stephanie kept getting reports of visions about her from Grandma Bella (Joe Morelli's grandmother) from her having babies to her dying.

And for once, Stephanie didn't blew up her car.  That, was new.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shopaholic Ties The Knot by Sophie Kinsella



Synopsis :

Life has been good for Becky Bloomwood.  She's become the best personal shopper at Barneys, she and her successful entrepreneurial boyfriend, Luke are living happily in Manhattan's West Village, and her new next-door neighbour is a fashion designer! But with her best friend, Suze, engaged, how can Becky fail to notice that her own ring finger is bare?  Not that she's been thinking of marriage )or diamonds) or anything.

Then Luke proposes!  Bridal registries dance in Becky's head. Problem is, two other people are planning her wedding : Becky's overjoyed mother has been waiting forever to host a backyard wedding, with the bride resplendent in Mum's frilly old gown.  While Luke's high-society mother is insisting on a glamorous, all-expenses-paid affair at the Plaza.  Both weddings for the same day. And Becky can't seem to turn down either one.  Can everyone's favourite shopaholic tie the knot before everything unrevels?


Once in  a while, I would need my 'Shopaholic' fix.  Becky Bloomwood is a friend that I can't stand at times and yet I can't do without her too and so once in a while, I would need a 'dose' of Becky. Naturally, I have read Shopaholic Ties the Knot before and at one point it was my favourite Shopaholic book in the series, until Shopaholic and Baby takes the current honour.

Like the title says, Becky finall got married and like Becky, she can't do it like everyone else,she has to do it the Becky way.  I can't really blame her as she just wanted to please everyone but in the process got herself into so much trouble.

I think that whoever wrote that sypnosis really enjoyed writing it.  It's pretty lengthy and covers lots of angles and is just full of expectations!  It is such a fun book.
There are just so many 'Becky moment', from the trying on of wedding dresses to registry of wedding gifts, not to mention the tasting of wedding cakes and finally the wedding itself.  In between all these, Becky managed to help a friend in retrieving back a family jewelry, deal with Luke's issues with his mum not to mention drawing up her will too.

It was just totally out of the world the way Becky manages everything, including both weddings in the end.  Classic.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson




Sometimes I felt the world out there misunderstood fictions.  Most people might think of fictions or novels as just 'story books' and reading 'story books' are just for fun and rather shallow and nothing educational, doesn't challenge oneself and certainly has totally no literacy value. The 'real' people should thus be reading serious, important factual stuff or self improvement books or the real artistic ones would immerse themselves in impressive literature.  To such people, I would suggest that perhaps you need to get down from your high horses and try fictions such as The Ice Cream Girls.  You might find yourself having a dent in your opinion.
 
In the bible there are many parables or stories which were used as a teaching tool to teach the people then.  Such, I do not see anything wrong if we are to modernize this concept and think of fictions and novels as parables of modern days.Yes, the The Ice Cream Girls is a story book because it is a story of two girls whom as teenagers were the only witnesses to a crime and one of them were convicted of it.  Years later, having led very different lives, one of them is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while the other one (who escape conviction) wants no one in her present, especially her husband and children, to find out about her past.

 Having said that, I think I learn more from The Ice Cream Girls than from any self help book out there.  I learn that young impressionable girls can have such low esteem that they can be controlled by a much stronger personality and such it's important to teach girls their selfworth even from young age.  I learn that domestic abuse exist around us and that it can be so invisible that we can't see it or we can be so blind that we dont' see it and such it's important to 'open' our eyes, ears and most of all our heart.

The Ice Cream Girls is not an easy book to read.  Some people might find it depressing as it can mess with your head.  Some people might not be able to or might not want to read something so drastic and dramatic.  There are parts which brought me to tears but not like My Best Friend's Girls did (I really must re-read and review this book!). For me, I was left feeling numb as to why would people subject themselves to years of such torture, physically, mentally and emotionally.  I was left feeling sad as I know that no one can help someone in such situation unless they themselves have the realization that they need help.  I really salute the author, Dorothy Koomson for tackling such subject matter. I can't imagine doing such research.  Like she said in her author's note, 'I hope this book will give someone the courage to change their situation'.

Some people will still insist that it's just a 'story book'.  I, on the other hand appreciate it for being more than that.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Purchases at Popular Year End Sales!


 Popular Bookstore year end sales started on last Thursday, 15 November in Permata Carpark Kuching and will run for 10 days.  By coincidence, I went on the 1st day of the sales.


The place was packed!  I had to line up for about 45 mins to pay for my purchases.  I guess it could be because it was a public holiday on that day and the city folks took opportunity to exercise their spending power,buying not just one or two books but by the basket full!  My cynical mind actually wonders how many would actually read the books they bought.


Anyway, I managed to get some very good selections and will look forward to the many hours that I will spend with them.


These are what I bought :


1. To the Nines by Janet Evanovich - the 9th book of the Stephanie Plum series.

2. Man and Boy by Tony Parsons - I have been wanting to try this author.

3. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Carlos is a Spanish writer.  His work is being translated to English. I read his fist book, The Shadow of the Wind many years ago and that book impressed me even until today.

4.  The Circle Series by Ted Dekker - This is the complete volumes of Black, Red, White and Green, i.e. 4 books in 1.


If you have not been and would want to get some good bargains, head to Permata Carpark Kuching.  The sales will end on 24 November.  Who knows, we might meet each other there. :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Change in my reading habit


I noticed that there's a change in my reading habits these few months.  I seems to be reading less nowadays.  While I can managed about 10 books in a month (at one time, many, many moons ago), I am struggling to complete even 1 book nowadays.

On reflection, I hope it's a good thing as I am now utilizing my time on other interests and other aspects of my life.  I hope it's not because I get so tired easily nowadays.

I am currently reading The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson.  I started this quite a while back but it's such a 'dark' story that it's taking me a long time to complete as I just couldn't continue reading at times.

I am also re-enjoying Becky's company in Shopaholic Ties the Knot at the same timeWhat a contrast!

With a few holidays coming up (yipee!) , I really hope I can catch up again on this habit.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards




Synopsis :

This stunning novel begins on a winter night in 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr David Henry to deliver his own twins.  his son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down's syndrome.  For motives he tells himself are good, he makes a split second decision that will haunt all their lives forever.  He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution.   Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own.

Compulsively readable and deeply moving, The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted story of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love.

I was on a lookout for this after reading Kim Edwards's The Lake of Dreams  last year. I found it at the Books 2nd Time Around sale this year.  I knew even before reading that I was going to like it.  I was right! :)  It is indeed a great book that I would be more than happy to recommend to you.  Having said that, I must warn you that it wasn't an easy book to read.  It has its moment of lightness as well as its moment of despair.

It is very much a story of a man haunted by his decision.  A decision made that cannot be unmade. A decision that in the end drove his family apart and indirectly without them knowing, caused grief that never healed even though he made the decision with the very intention of keeping his family happy. You might said what was Dr David Henry thinking but giving away his daughter? How could he do it?  After you read about his past, you might be less judgmental.

The only thing I feel is rather lacking is that there wasn't much focus on Phoebe.  Just enough for the readers to know what she was up to but the focus was more on David Henry, the memory keeper himself, with the author trying her best to share with readers why he did what he did and the impact of the action on the man himself.

I am finally among the 6 million readers (p.s. you would know what I mean if you read my review on The Lake of Dreams :).


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Day After Tomorrow (A novelization by Whitley Strieber)


Synopsis :

The Beginning Of The End

It's a fiercely hot summer, so hot that the north pole's heat record is broken by fifty degrees.  Massive ice melt stuns the world as open ocean appears at the pole for the first time in living memory.  Deep under the Atlantic Ocean, currents crucial to life react, dropping south - and suddenly, storms of unprecedented ferocity start exploding over the arctic as cold air returns, slamming into the heat with cataclysmic results.  The storm grow until they form a blizzard and gigantic blizzard unlike anything ever seen before.  A stunned humanity realizes that a second ice age is about to engulf the earth.

Climatologist Jack Hall tried to warn people of the approaching peril - but it may already be too late for any hope of survival.  Now he must not only find a way to reverse the rampant ecological destruction that is transforming the world into a frigid wasteland, but also rescue his rebellious son, who is one of the millions trapped in the ice depths of a frozen New York City.

I enjoyed the movie (watched it 3 times) and I enjoyed the book (read it 3 times too), the recent being just couple of days ago.  Normally I am not a fan of movies tie-in books but I really make an exception in this case. 

I enjoyed how the story developed and while it's an extreme story on the effect of global warming on our planet, it's also a wake up call for us to be more considerate towards the world as we know it for it might 'disappear' one of these days.  It was also the story of human survivor in the face of world disaster. It was the story of a father's extreme love for his son and while others were being evacuated to the South, he traveled to the 'eye of the storm' to be with his son.

At the end of the book, the world was no longer as we know her but she's changed forever, human being were changed forever too but yet, we survive.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz



I bought this book because I read an e-book of Nicole Seitz many moons ago and liked it.  Trouble The Water is different from Inheritance of Beauty (the e-book) that I read.  However, it is written in pretty similar whimsical tone that's rather soothing and relaxes you when you read it.

The story is about two sisters, Honor and Alice. Most of the story is written in a letter Honor wrote to Alice, six months prior to Alice finding Honor dying in the hospital.   From there you will discover the love they have for each other, the secrets they kept from one another and above all the hope they have for each others' life.

Honor is one troubled girl and is dying and she has a deep secret that she wanted to share with her sister.  She seemed to feel that that incident many, many years ago shaped them into who they are now.  Alice love Honor and for once she stood up to the bullying by her husband who wasn't happy that she choose to be at her sister's bedside.  Both sisters drew strength from each other and Alice got to know Honor more through the letters Honor wrote to her than anything else.

I was also intrigued by Duchess or Ann (her real name), the lady whose home Honor was brought to the night she tried to kill herself.  She has more significance to the story of both sisters but they were not aware of it.  Readers were not made aware of it too and I just loved the way the author just casually revealed that fact towards the end of the book that made me wanted to go back to the beginning of the book to spot if any clues were give!

And who is Nurse Sadie, the nurse who helped Honor wrote the letters when Honor was too weak to do so.  Alice spoke to her, heard her sang and ministered to Honor but then no one knew who she was later.  An angel from God?

According to the author, her Aunt Bonnie who died of cancer didn't tell family members about her illness until shortly before her death. While this is a work of fiction, the author wanted to examine reasons why a person might choose to keep such a devastating secret.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Synopsis :

Trisha McFarland has only veered off the trail to get away from the bickering of her brother and recently divorced mother.  She doesn't think there's any chance of losing her way.

Except, in her panic to get back to the path, Trisha takes a turning that leads into the tangled undergrowth. deeper and deeper into the terrifying woods.  At first it's just the midges and mosquitoes, hanging around her ears like helicopters, trying to drink her blood and sip her sweat.  Then the hunger. For solace she turns her Walkman into broadcasts of her hero Tom Gordon. And when the reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her.

As darkness begins to fall, Trisha begins to give up home of being found. Alive. And as she struggles for survival and a way out, she realizes that she's not alone. There's something else in the woods - watching. Waiting....

When I read such synopsis on a book by 'Master of All Masters of Horror' (in my opinion), I have great expectations.  I expect the books to be horrifying, full of suspense.  I expect the book to be a page turner.  I expect what I am used to from Stephen King - think The Shinning, think Pet Sematary, think It.

While the elements of suspense is there,  the book is more of a psychological horror that explores when a young kid is lost in the wood and how she's coping and we know that Trisha wasn't alone and something was following her but what was it?  When the hunter killed the bear (spoilers!) he claimed that the bear for a moment there wasn't really a bear so what was it?  The Gods of the Lost like what Trisha called it?  Definitely something was there.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon was a page turner in it's own way.  It just wasn't really in the earlier gene of Stephen King and certainly wasn't Stephen King's better works.  I borrowed this from the library and completed it in two days.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Hollow by Nora Roberts (Book 2 of the Sign of Seven Trilogy)


Synopsis :

For Fox, Caleb, Gage and other residents of Hawkins Hollow, the number seven portends doom - ever since, as boys, they freed a demon trapped for centuries when their blood spilled upon the Pagan Stone. 

Their innocent bonding ritual led to seven days of madness, every seven years.  But this year, they are better prepared, joined in their battle by three women who have come to the Hollow. Layla, Quinn and Cybil are somehow connected to the demon, just as the men are connected to the force that trapped it.  

Since that fateful day at the Pagan Stone, town lawyer Fox has been able to see into others' minds, a talent he shares with Layla.  He must earn her trust because their link will help fight the darkness that threatens to engulf the town.  But Layla is having trouble coming to terms with her new found ability - and with this intimate connection to Fox.  She knows that once she opens her mind, she'll have no defense against the desire that threatens to consume them both.

A the first book, Blood Brothers was more about Caleb and Quinn, I knew even before reading The Hollow that it's going to be about Fox and Layla.  The same way I know that for book three, The Pagan Stone, it's going to be about Gage and Cybil.  That's Nora Roberts signature.  She did that for The Circle Trilogy too.

Anyway, The Hollow continues with the fight between Fox, Caleb, Gage, Quinn, Layla and Cybil and the thousand year old evil the boys unleashed when they were ten years old.  They did a ritual at the end of book 1 and towards the end of book 2, they did another ritual at the Pagan Stone again.  I am guess there will be a 3rd ritual in the third book.  While the six of them has gotten stronger as demonstrated throughout the book, the demon which rules for seven days every seven years has gotten more powerful too.

I wasn't really into the romance between Fox and Layla.  I quite like both of them but can't really feel their chemistry nor really relate to their characters.  Overall, I'm just interested to see how the story ends.

I was so happy to find The Hollow on the shelf of my local library just when I went to return Blood Brothers.  I hope I have the same luck with the third book, The Pagan Stone.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sushi For Beginners by Marian Keyes


When I first saw Sushi for Beginners years ago in a warehouse sales, I thought it was a beginners guide to all things sushi.  Yes! I actually did.  That was before I knew of Marian Keyes and that was before I read my first Marian Keyes book, Last Chance Saloon.

Sushi for Beginners is set in the world of magazine publication.  Lisa Edwards, the tough editor of Femme magazine and who's based in London suddenly found herself moving to Dublin after being assigned to start a new magazine in Ireland.  Shock and horror are too gentle to describe how she's feeling.  But being the tough cookie that she is, she vows to bring this new magazine to a great launch.  It does help that Jack Devine, the Managing Director has caught her attention.  The only thing to do is to make sure he falls for her instead of his exotic Asian girlfriend, Mai.  But then, someone from the past came looking for her in Dublin.

Ashling Kennedy, the newly recruited deputy editor of the new magazine is being nicknamed 'Ms Fix It' by Jack Devine.  That is because Ashling goes around with a handbag that has almost everything inside from band-aid to cigarettes or hairsprays, etc.  Ashling grew up with a mother who went though years of depression and has to be mum to her younger siblings.  The last thing she wanted was to go through depression herself but then something happen that brought her to rock bottom.

Clodagh who is Ashling childhood friend is extremely beautiful and married with two young kids.  Clodagh is very dissatisfied with her life and having just stay at home taking care of her kids.  She wanted to do something different but ended up doing something really stupid.

This is the third time I read Sushi for Beginners.  You will really enjoy this book if you have read books by Marian Keyes.  It's not as heavy contents wise as some of her other books like This Charming Man but it does deal a bit with the issue of depression.

How in the world would sushi ended up in a story set in Ireland, you might ask. Well, you will have to read it to find out. 




Saturday, September 22, 2012

Windmills of The Gods by Sidney Sheldon

 Synopsis :

She's on the glinting edge of East-West confrontation, a beautiful and accomplished scholar who has suddenly become our newest ambassador to an Iron Curtain country, a woman who is about to dramatically change the course of world events - if she lives.  For Mary Ashley has been marked for death by the world's most proficient and mysterious assassin, and plunged into a nightmare of espionage, kidnapping and terror.  Here, only two people - both powerfully attractive and ultimately enigmatic men - can offer her help. And one of them wants to kill her.

My attempt to re-read some of my old favourites has been rather slow.   I started with The Firm in April and it was about four months down the road before I attempt If Tomorrow Comes.  I brought Windmills of the Gods with me during a recent overnight work trip and enjoyed it once again 

Windmills of the Gods is really a classic Sidney Sheldon. Published in year 1987, the story is set at the era of the Cold War, it has all the elements of a good thriller - wonderful storyline, great writing and captured the intensity of the story with quite a few wonderful surprises.

No one writes like Sidney but since the story is set in the 80s where there's no mobile phone and other technology that we take for granted now, I can't help but wonder how Sidney would write this story in today's era where technological advancement would have made a difference in how the story goes.

Having said that, it would be a crime to change any aspect of the story.  I enjoy it for what it is.  A great thriller by a great author.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gone by Jonathan Kellerman

Synopsis :

Los Angeles is full of performers. But for psychologist Alex Delaware, spotting what's real and what's not is a matter of life and death.

Called in to evaluate an aspiring actress accused of staging her own abduction, Alex finds nother too unusual - until the girl is savagely murdered.  To complicate matters, Dylan Meserve, the victim's boyfriend and fellow accused, has disappeared.

Is Dylan a calculating killer or another victim? Alex and homicide detective Milo Sturgis are on the hunt for suspects.  Meanwhile, the killer's trawling the seedy underbelly of Hollywood on a very different mission.

I have never hear of Jonathan Kellerman prior to this book although his other titles seems to date from the 80s right up to year 2007.  Gone is published in year 2006 so it's fairly new.  If not mistaken, I bought this book from a warehouse sales couple of years back and it was only recently that I started with it.

It's a fairly okey book. Wasn't really as thrilling as I would have like to be but wasn't as boring as it could be too.   The book started off quite promisingly with great potential, halfway through it got slightly flat but then it picked up it's pace toward the end.  With a psychologist being the main character in this thriller, I guess it could not be help that the killer is a psychopath. 

Enjoy it if you happen to have a copy with you but it's not a book that I would recommend you search high and low for in the stores.

I read this during a couple of my flights so it really can be termed 'airport book'. :)


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts (Book 1 of the Sign of Seven Trilogy)

 Synopsis :

In the town of Howkins Hollow, it's called The Seven.

Every seven years, on the seventh day of the seventh month, strange things happen.  It began wihen three young boys - Caleb, Fox and Gage - went on a camping trip to the Pagan Stone.  Twenty-one years later, it will end in a showdown between evil and the boys who have became men - and the women who love them.

 If I had known that this was part of a trilogy, I might not borrow it from the library.  Reason being I don't like to read trilogy or series when there are no certainty that I would be able to complete the series.  If not because I picked it up in a hurry and missed out totally on the inscription on the front page that this is Book 1 of 3 books, I would have missed out on a rather awesome series.

Blood Brothers is the 1st book of the Sign of The Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts.   The story started with an incident that happened in year 1652 in Howkins Hollow.  From there it went to modern day when three young boys who were born at the same, the same year and in the same town decided to take a field trip to Pagan Stone to celebrate their 10th birthday.  There, they unleashed something evil that has been trapped since 1652 and like they said, things are never the same ever since.

Following quite similar style of The Circle Trilogy, Sign of The Seven also features three guys - Caleb, Fox and Gage and three girls - Quinn, a paranormal writer, her friend Cybil and New Yorker Layla.  Similarly, each of the three books would focus on a couple as Nora neatly pairs them up.

In Blood Brothers, the focus's on Caleb, who runs the family bowling alley and Quinn who's in town to research on the strange happenings but finding herself drawn much deeper into the strange happenings as she has direct link to Howkins Hollow that she wasn't aware of.

I enjoy Blood Brothers more for the way the story develops.  I didn't really care much for the attraction that Caleb and Quinn have for each other.  I quite expected it and thought it was rather draggy at times and do wish for more of the core of what The Seven is all about.

Book two is entitled The Hollow and book three is Pagan Stone.  I will have to visit the library to see if they're available.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steel

Synopsis :

The phone call came on a hot July day—a day like any other for Marin County mom and freelance writer Tanya Harris. But this call—from Tanya’s agent—was anything but ordinary, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to write a major Hollywood screenplay, a dream she had put aside long ago to devote her energies to her family. This time, Tanya knows she cannot refuse, even though she’s torn about leaving her husband and their daughters. From the moment she steps into her lush bungalow at the fabled Beverly Hills Hotel, Tanya is thrust into an intoxicating new world where she feels reborn—energized by the creativity swirling around her—yet the pull of her family at home is strong.

Suddenly she’s working alongside A-list actors and a Hollywood legend: Oscar-winning producer Douglas Wayne, a man who always gets what he wants–and who seems to have his sights set on her. Flying home between shoots, struggling to reconnect with a family that seems to need her less and less, Tanya watches helplessly as her old life is pulled out from under her in the most crushing of ways.

As her two lives collide, as one award-winning film leads to another, Tanya begins to wonder if she can be a wife, a mother, and a writer at the same time. And just as she confronts the toughest choice she has faced, she is offered another dazzling opportunity—one that could recast her story in an amazing new direction, complete with an ending she never could have written herself.



Why oh why do I continue with Danielle Steel when I said I won't after Echoes and Irresistible Forces.     

Bungalow 2 was published in year 2007 and although she tried to modernize her character in many ways, Danielle Steel still kept her as innocent and pure and vulnerable like her other characters. Unfortunately it doesn't reflect women of this generation.  The book was quite predictable in many ways and it just lack that factor I'm looking for now in what I read.

There are too many factors that I dislike about the book, from Tanya's affair with Douglas.  Tanya's husband (whom I have forgotten his name because he was just not memorable) was a rather shallow and weak person despite his promises and assurance.  Bah! A rather waste of my time.  

Luckily I borrowed this book from the library and thus was able to return it after I 'quick read' it.



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Double Exposure by Carol Smith


Synopsis :

Newly qualified doctor Joanna Lyndhurst needs a break, so she escapes to a Caribbean island.   There she meets an enchanting and diverse bunch of characters, destined to become lasting friends.

There's Lowell, an American lawyer, and Vincent, an art dealer from Amsterdam, who travel together but lead separate lives; feisty New York banking executive Merrily Morgenstern, who is tough, ambitious and looking for romance;  arts dealer Jessica, mourning a lost love and dreaming of her big break; and Cora Louise and Fontaine, mother and daughter from the steamy South, with their own murky secret.

The holiday becomes an annual tradition as close friendships develop, yet the Caribbean sunshine hides a dark secret - someone is on the trail of a killer.

This is my first time reading this author.  Have not heard about her at all prior to this even though she seems to have about nine book under her name.

Anyway, Double Exposure wasn't such a bad read after all.  It has this gradual built in terms of suspense but half the time I do wonder where she's going with all her many different characters.  The story is more about all the other characters other than just Joanne Lyndhurst.  It's a bit about everyone here and there with no actual point of focus.   With that many characters to work on, there wasn't really enough space for the author to to grow them and to allow them to form more depth.  Such, everyone was rather one dimensional.

Double Exposure is not that bad if you have nothing else to read but if you do, then keep it for when you don't.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

My recent purchases - Books 2nd Time Around


 I went to the Books 2nd Time Around when they were in town this year from 21 July to 12 August.  This is the 3rd year running that they are running such fair.  I wonder if it will last?  For this year, I actually noted the date wrongly and was surprised to find out that it has already started and felt a bit guilty that I didn't announce it here.  My bad!


Anyway, I didn't have much time to really browse around when I was there but I did notice that the books were more new and clean compared to previous years.  Still, with my limited time there I managed to find these :


1. A Time to Dance by Karen Kingsbury - I love books by Karen Kingsbury.  This is part of her Woman of Faith category.

2. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards - I made a promise to self to look for this book after reading The Lake of Dreams a year ago.  I am so glad to find this.

3. The Skull Beneth The Skin by P.D. James - I got this for only RM1.00!!

4.  Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella - I borrowed this from a friend couple of years back.  Am happy to add this to my collection of Shopaholic.

That's it. Only 4 books but they should kept my busy for quite a while. Now, which should I start first?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Accused by Mark Gimenez


Synopsis :

After years of silence, Texan lawyer Scott Fenney receives a devastating phone call from his ex-wife.  She has been accused of murdering her boyfriend - the man she left Scott for - and is begging Scott to defend her.  If Rebecca is found guilty, she will be sentenced to life imprisonment.  Her future is in his hands.

Scott is used to high-stakes cases, but this one is bigger than anything he has handled before.  As he prepares to take the stand in the most dramatic courtroom appearance of his life, Scott is forced to question everything he believes to get to the truth - to save the life of the ex-wife he still loves.


It's nice to be re-acquinted again with Scott Fenney from The Colour of Law which I read many years ago.   It was the first book by Mark that I've read and since then I have enjoyed his other books such as The Perk and The Abduction.  I have not read The Common Lawyer yet. Can't seems to find it in the stores.

Anyway, I liked Scott Fenney in The Colour of Law and fews year on a couple more books down the road, I still like him here in Accused.  I can't say I like the wife.   She is a tough and smart cookie but not likable.  However, Scott is still very much attracted to her and we can see and feel his mixed emotions as he tries to defend her from the crime that she's been accused of.

He brought the whole family and extended family down to Galveston beach and the whole book was about him interviewing witnesses and others in the golf circuit, finding lots of motives why others would want Trey dead.

I have been a big fan of Mark Gimenez and he didn't disappoint in this book especially in the last chapter where you might be totally charmed by the twist in the epilogue so don't read ahead and spoilt it all for yourself.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Husband by Dean Koontz




Synopsis:

What would you do for love? Would you die? Would you kill?

We have your wife. You can get her back for two million cash. Landscaper Mitchell Rafferty thinks it must be some kind of joke. He was in the middle of planting impatiens in the yard of one of his clients when his cell phone rang. Now he’s standing in a normal suburban neighbourhood on a bright summer day, having a phone conversation out of his darkest nightmare.

Whoever is on the other end of the line is dead serious. He has Mitch’s wife and he’s named the price for her safe return. The caller doesn’t care that Mitch runs a small two-man landscaping operation and has no way of raising such a vast sum. He’s confident that Mitch will find a way.

If he loves his wife enough. . . Mitch does love her enough. He loves her more than life itself. He’s got seventy-two hours to prove it. He has to find the two million by then. But he’ll pay a lot more. He’ll pay anything.



It’s been a while since I read Dean Koontz, this looks interesting’ I said to myself as I take a closer look at the synopsis on the back cover of the book. ‘Ok, give it a try’.

And with that, my future is sealed. I will not read another Dean Koontz again for a very long time. At least not his newer books which is thriller in nature but lack the supernatural or psychotic angle that he was so good at in his previous books. If I’m to recommend Dean Koontz to you, I would recommend his books from the early days.

The only element of Dean Koontz that I can see from this book is the twist on Mitchell’s brother. That was unexpected but everything else seems rather mellow and I just don’t get that ‘umph’ that I used do with Dean Koontz’s previous works. I mean, I used to read his book in one sitting that probably took me almost 24 hours! But that was like 20 years ago so I guess he has changed his style since then. 

If it’s the Dean Koontz of old, he might connect the rather supernatural elements that he hinted here and there, like the nails that Mitch found in the attic and the nails that Holly was working on to set free from the plank. Then, there’s the noise of a trunk being closed that Holly heard just as Mitch got into the trunk of the car to go on that journey that’s he’s not supposed to return from. Somehow, the Dean Koontz of old might find a way to make that work in an abnormally supernaturally thrilling way.

If you still haven’t got it, my overall verdict is ‘very disappointed’...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon



Synopsis :

Tracy Whitney was young, beautiful, intelligent and about to marry into wealth and glamour.  She was on top of the world.  Until suddenly, betrayed by her own innocence, she was in prison, framed by a ruthless Mafia gang, abandoned by the man she loved.

Beaten and broken, but kept going by her dazzling ingenuity, Tracy emerged from her savaged oreal determined to revenge herself on those who had destroyed her life and to fight back against a society that denied her success and happiness.  No one wold ever cheat her again.

From New Orleans to London and on to Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam, with intelligence and beauty her only weapons, Tracy played for the highest stakes in a deadly game, matching her wits against the successful and the unsrupulous.  Only one man can challenge her.  he's handsome and persuasive and just as daring. And only one man can stop her. An evil genius who shadows her every move - a man whose only hope of salvation is Tracy's destruction.

I embarked on a journey of re-reading some of my old collections recently, and until today, I only managed to read The Firm and If Tomorrow Comes.  I need to buck up!

If Tomorrow Comes is one of the earlier works of Sidney Sheldon and it is one of my favourite titles.  Tracy Whitney was one of my favourite heroine growing up.  She' s beautiful, daring, clever and has all the ingredients that appeal to girls my generations.  Girls this generations might not appreciate her innocence but should certainly admire her for her 'never say die' attitude. Indeed we can all learn from Tracy in not giving up but I'm not certain if we should learn from her for her choice of career after she left prison.

Anyway, without getting into a debate with myself, I really enjoyed this book again after so many years.  Am waiting for another round of opportunity to dig into this book again.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Like Sweet Potatoe Pie by Jennifer Rogers Spinola



Synopsis :

Witness as Shiloh’s new life in Virginia crumbles around her. The house she inherited from her mother is much more than a place to live—it represents Shiloh’s changed life and what little financial security she has. But her half sister is contesting their mother’s will and the IRS is threatening to take it for back taxes. She’s also discovering God’s ideal when it comes to love and romance. 

When Mr. Right shows up will she recognize God’s hand or let circumstances and prejudices blind her heart to the love of her life?

Like Sweet Potatoe Pie is the second book by Jennifer Rogers Spinola in the Southern Fried Sushi Series.  We first get to know Shiloh in the first book, Southern Fried Sushi.

Nothing much has changed for Shiloh since then but in a way everything has changed for her.  While she is still stuck in the South and still yearns for everything Japan, she is living a very different life now as a believer of Christ.  She is learning of ropes of trusting God in all that she does and have adopted a 'What would Jesus do?' mentality in her approach to life..

However, she is still very much in doubt when it comes to affairs of her heart. Much as she felt the attraction to Adam, she seems to think that he’s rather simple and not someone whom she would look for in Mr Right.  However, she forgot that she is not the Shiloh she once was.

Kyoko came over for a visit and found Shiloh to be very different from who she once was.  Some other unexpected person came over for a visit too and with it, came much temptation for Shiloh that tested her new faith and believe.

I always felt that God will not give us more than what we can bear and in this case, God did not give more trials and temptation to Shiloh unless He knows that she be able to pull through by His grace and by His strength.

I am also much taken by this conversation between Shiloh and Adam :

“You gave up a college scholarship for Rick.” It misted out before I could catch myself.
Adam tossed a small white stone from the garden before answering. “It’s not a big deal. Rick lost his legs, Shiloh. I hardly think putting off college a few years qualifies as major suffering. And he’s. . .well, he’s a great brother. I love him.”

“I know you do. But anytime we give up something for someone else it’s suffering. It’s what Jesus did, in a different way. A choice of the heart,” I said, looking across the garden at Adam in a sudden burst of courage.

It was such a revelation to me. The love one has and the willingness to give up something for someone and not making a big deal out of it.  A choice of the heart – it’s just so wonderful and beautiful.

Like Sweet Potatoe Pie is published by Barbor Publishing. I review this for netGalley.com. 

You will be happy to know that the third book on Shiloh entitled Till Grit Do Us Part will be out in November 2012.  I hope I get to review it too.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

BookFest @ Malaysia 2012



I was reading the papers just now when I noticed the above article.

BookFest in back in Malaysia again.  This time round it's from 18 - 26 August 2102 in KLCC.  The theme this year is 'Like Reading'.  Yes, I like reading, so I should go to BookFest?

Yes and no.  I wasn't able to make it to BookFest in Malaysia last year but I managed to catch BookFest in Singapore end of last year.  Needless to say, it wasn't really what I thought it would be.  You can read about my account on BookFest@Singapore here.

The event will be from 10 am - 10 pm and admission is with purchase of the BookFest catalogue at RM2.50 per entry or RM10 for multiple-entries over the nine days.  Catalogues are available at all Popular and Harries bookstore outlets nationwide and at the Bookfest entrance.  Entrance will be free for students who are 18 years old and below and for senior citizens aged 60 and above.

For more information, go and visit bookfestmalaysia.com.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Saying good bye to part of my collection


I didn’t realise that I have been away from this site for 2+ months.  It has been such busy but incredible 2+ months for me doing something else other than reading.  I have been reading, but in much more smaller doses and I think and feel that the ‘break’ did me good.

But like I said, it’s been more than 2 months and I have been itching to get back here again on a regular basis and to pick up my love for sharing what I have reading again.

Remember my bookshelf tour.  Well, while that shelf is looking all nice and dandy, I have not shared with you the other shelf as what was once a very nicely arranged shelf has been looking like an overcrowded low-cost flat for quite a while, with books on top of one another and spilling over.  One of the solution is to either get a new shelf but I know that even if I do, it won’t be long before it’s spilling over again as I seems to be buying books faster than I read!


 The other solution is to ‘get rid’ of some of the books that I know I am not going to read again.  I was supposed to sell some of them at a fund raising function a month ago but that event was cancelled so when the opportunity of a ‘car boot sales’ came up in a neighbourhood mall, I was quite quick to book my slot.


That was yesterday and I brought about 60 novels to that sales.   The event was at the basement car park of the mall and it ran for 6 hours.  I am happy to say that I managed to sell more than 20 of my collections of novels, children’s books, some old magazines and even some old westerns that are no longer in publication!


While part of me is happy for the successful sales, part of me was rather sad to say good bye to some of my collections. However, I know very well that I’m not going to read these titles again and so instead of them sitting unread and abandoned on my shelf, I am happy that they found new homes to go to.

There’s this nice lady who told me that her friends introduced me to Nora Roberts and she was so excited to find Nora in my collection that she bought Birthright and The Circle Trilogy. I did tell her that I have only book 2 and 3 in this trilogy and was secretly hoping that the information would deter her from purchasing but it didn’t work!  I have 2 more Nora Roberts that I haven’t read – Blue Dahlia and Black Rose so I shall be consoling myself in these instead!

I also said good bye to Tersias all because I sold GP Taylor as the author and that young man was so excited because he has Shadowmancer.  I am excited too as I am not a fan of fantasy book and he is, so I really hope he can appreciate Tersias much, much more than me. I did tell him honestly that I didn't appreciate this book as I don't appreciate fantasy.

The Eyes of Jade also found a new owner – a man whom I overheard telling his friend that he has expensive taste when the friend was making comments about the book! Hey, I really hope you enjoy it and appreciate it as me no fan of Asian authors so I didn’t really appreciate it.

One lady bought 4 chick lites which includes The Guy Not Taken, Four Blondes and Glamour and another lady was taken by my No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency collection.  Hey, lady, I forgot to tell you that I also have the 6th book – In the Company of Cheerful Ladies but I haven’t read it yet. Maybe the next round, ya?

All in all, it was a good day of finding new homes for my collections.  I really hope that the new owners will enjoy and have many wonderful time reading and enjoying them.

In the meantime,  I better go and tidy up my shelf.

And you know what? It's great to be back!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Intermission

I will be right back real soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker

Synopsis :


Mary Beth and her younger sister Leeann are trying to support themselves in their small Southern hometown. To make ends meet, alongside her job at the diner Mary Beth works by practicing her own unique talent : song reading. By making sense of the song lyrics people have stuck in their heads, Mary Beth can help them make sense of their lives. In no time, Mary Beth’s reading have the entire town singing her praises, including scientist Ben, who falls hard for Mary Beth and her unearthly intuition.

When her gift leads to a secret truth about a prominent neighbour the pain of the past threatens to overwhelm the sisters’ future. And without Mary Beth’s music, the town’s silence is louder than ever. Could it be that the lyrics to all those foolish love songs really aren’t so foolish after all?

I have mixed response reading this. It’s a rather bittersweet story about growing up and the joy and pain that come with it. Leeann is the narrator of the story and it’s through this teenage girl’s eyes that we see how her life is, growing up with just her sister as her family. Mary Beth being the older sister tried to protect her sister the best way she knows how.

Along the way and always there for each other, they learnt about themselves and their family and what all these mean to them. Secrets were kept and secrets were revealed and readers discover the truth as when Leeann discovers it too.

While it wasn’t really that great a book, it has its poignant moment that tugs the heart string and you can just feel so sad for these sisters for what they have to go through and yet happy for them that no matter what, they have each other.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Best Way You Know How by Christine Pountney

Synopsis :

At the age of 25, Hannah Crowe moves from Canada to London, intend to cure herself of a puritan upbringing and to find a husband. A few months later, she is married to Daniel and living in Camberwell, south London. Together they attempt to pursue their shared desire for a creatively rich, emotionally intense and sexually passionate domestic life, but it soon becomes apparent that this kind of relationship requires more from them than their individual ambitions will allow.

Funny, spirited and heartbreaking, Hannah and Daniel are pulled between kindness and infidelity, freedom and and responsibility.  Their story is one of misplaced passion, of yearning and the refusal to compromise.

This is not really of chic lite gene. It’s more intense. It’s also not really of romance gene either. It’s less romantic. I have mixed feelings reading this book. Part of me enjoyed it a bit. Part of me felt it’s a waste of time.

Basically the takeaway lesson here is that one should not just get married for marriage sake. It would have been better for both Hannah and Daniel to get to know one another first but when love rules the heads, do you think they thought of that?

Anyway, since the deed is done and like the title of this book, they tried to make the best of the marriage, the best way they know how. But whether that's good enough or not, you have to check out the book to find out.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Key on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson


Synopsis :

God’s Plan Revealed. . .Stitch by Stitch
 
From a distance, the building may resemble a castle, but it’s the last place Jane Prescott, Mamie Dawson, and Ellen Sullivan thought they’d be, and the last place they expected to see love grow.
 
Broken in spirit and wondering if God has abandoned her, Jane is serving a ten-year sentence at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, even as she hides a startling secret. How will one caring physician help unravel the hidden meaning behind Jane’s courthouse steps quilt?
 
Mamie told God she’d go anywhere, never dreaming He’d send her to nurture women the world had forgotten. But while helping those around her, will she stubbornly keep the attentions of a kind guard at arm’s length?
 
Ellen was never going to leave Kentucky, but then marriage made her a Nebraska warden’s wife. Can she reach past uncertainty and fear to find God’s purpose in it all?
 
Together, these three women form an unlikely friendship that takes them to the end of themselves and, ultimately, on a journey that proves prison walls can neither frustrate God’s plans nor keep love out.

This is my first time reading a historical novel.  I usually stay away from such as I just don’t like it but I didn’t know this is one such novel when I first got hold of it.  However, I must say I enjoyed it. 

Set in the 1890s in Lincoln, Nebraska, I enjoy the story of Jane, Ellen, Mamie and the other ladies.  I feel for Jane for what she had to go through and I’m so glad that things worked out for her.  I especially feel for her need to experience God’s ‘grace note’ in her times of darkness and it is such grace note that pulls her through. 

I love every characters in the book. Each brought so much charm and life to the story.  From Ian Sullivan, the warden to Minnie Dawson, Matron Mamie's sister, I would love to continue to read about them.  

The Key On The Quilt was published by Barbour Publishing in March 2012. I did this review for netgalley.com.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Sister's Forgiveness by Anna Schmidt

Synopsis :

Teenage cousins Sadie and Tessa are best friends, just like their mothers, sisters Emma and Jeannie. Their families are close and the girls themselves are inseparable. And then the unthinkable happens. A single instant of Sadie’s inattention causes a tragic accident—and Tessa is dead. Everything changes in that moment: Jeannie’s lost her only child, Emma’s daughter is facing legal consequences, and both families are reeling from grief and loss. Soon sorrow becomes bitterness as Jeannie’s marriage disintegrates and Emma’s two children are mired in guilt and depression. But through faith, can each sister find a way from heartbreak to forgiveness?

This is both a tear jerker and a page turner.  I can’t stop bawling my eyes out as I read along and neither can I stop reading. 

The story is not uncommon.  Someone you love with all that you can die and the person responsible is another person whom you love as well.  How do you cope? How do you react?  Is it a case of ‘an eye for an eye’ or is it a case of ‘turning the other cheek’

Emma and Jeannie are sisters.  They have been very close to each other since young.  Tessa is her only daughter.  Sadie is her niece.  For Jeannie, it’s even worse as she felt she is partly responsible for her daughter’s death too.  If only she didn’t go with Sadie to get her learner’s permit. But then Sadie should know better than to drive without an adult.  For Emma, she is glad that her daughter's alive but trying her best now to get her out of trouble.  She felt for Jeannie but if only Jannie didn't go behind her back to get Sadie's learner's permit.

In a situation such as this, everyone get hurt, even the bystander and in this case, it’s Matt, Sadie’s brother who felt that post the accident, the family is no longer a family and everything is focus on  Sadie.  He started to hang out with the wrong crowd after being ignored by Greg, Tessa's father who knew that Matt is not to blame but he can't help but to think of what Sadie did each time he saw Matt. If only Greg has insisted to send Tessa to school that morning.

 Eveyone is a victim but everyone is also on offender at the same time.  Expected publication: May 1st 2012 by Barbour Publishing, Inc. I review this for netgalley.com.