Sunday, August 31, 2014

August's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed.

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. August's Book of the Month is:

A Perfect Divorce by Avery Corman
Published as: A Perfect Divorce: A Novel in September 2004
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Birth Name: Avery Corman
Born: 28 November 1935 in The Bronx, New York

Canonical Name: Avery Corman
Pseudonyms: None  

A Perfect Divorce by Avery Corman was the seventy-ninth book that I read in 2014. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since August 20, 2014 and it took me two days to read. This book is definitely a keeper for me.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Nicholas Sparks - Nights in Rodanthe

82. Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks (2002)
Length: 212 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started/Finished: 30 August 2014
Where did it come from? From Walmart
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2007
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Nicholas Sparks is a new author for me.
This was actually a birthday present given to Mareena by a friend for her birthday in 2007.

Broken-hearted and reeling from such betrayal, Adrienne Willis must rethink the entire course of her life after her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Now, at age forty-five, Adrienne has been divorced for three years, and is simply worn down by life. The trials of raising her teenage children alone and caring for her terminally ill father have ultimately left Adrienne completely exhausted and severely emotionally depleted.

At the request of a friend, and seeking respite and self-rejuvenation, she has come to Rodanthe - a coastal village in North Carolina - to tend the local inn for the weekend. What seems to Adrienne like a perfectly restful plan at first, is threatened by the news of a major brewing storm. Her time away doesn't seem too promising...until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. 

At fifty-four, Paul is a successful surgeon, but in the past six months his life has unraveled into something that he doesn't even recognize. Estranged from his son and recently divorced, he has sold his practice and his home and has journeyed to this isolated town with hopes of closing a painful chapter in his past. Inevitably, Adrienne and Paul come together as the storm sweeps over Rodanthe and two battered and bruised hearts find a home with each other. Something begins between them during that single weekend; a bond that will resonate with them for the rest of their lives, intertwining past and future, love and loss.     

In my opinion, this was a surprisingly good book; I really, really enjoyed the story. I don't usually like reading anything that is overtly romantic, but to me, this was a true love story and not just a 'romance-for-the-sake-of romance' plot. The story was well-written, touching and poignant, and I enjoyed it immensely. I know that I have at least one more book by Nicholas Sparks sitting on my bookshelf, and I think Mareena has at least two or three books by this author that she says she'll lend me to read as well. I give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, August 29, 2014

Phil Rickman - The Heresy of Dr. Dee

81. The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman (2012)
The John Dee Papers Series Book 2
Length: 446 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Started: 26 August 2014
Finished: 29 August 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 16 August 2014
Why do I have it? I like historical mysteries and Phil Rickman is a new author for me.

In this second book of the acclaimed historical series featuring Dr. John Dee - Queen Elizabeth's personal astrologer, and esteemed expert on matters of the occult - Tudor court intrigue, murder and the practice of the dark arts abound. England during the sixteenth century is rife with talk of the end-times...and the dead are rising. And John Dee must discover if one of his closest friends may have had sufficient motive to commit murder. However, devious politics and small-town corruption; as much as distorted religion and a sense of brooding superstition, leave Dr. Dee and his traveling companions isolated in the land of his father. 

At the end of the sunless summer of 1560, dark rumor and base innuendo shrouds the death of the one woman who stands between Lord Robert Dudley and marriage to the young Queen Elizabeth. Did Lord Dudley's wife, Amy, die from an accidental fall in a deserted house, or was it actually an act of calculated murder? Even Dr. John Dee, royal astrologer and adviser on the Hidden, as well as one of Lord Dudley's oldest friends, is uncertain. Then a rash promise to the Queen sends him to his family's old home on the Welsh border on a quest to find the Wigmore Shewstone, a crystal credited with supernatural properties.

Traveling with Dr. Dee is Robert Dudley, perhaps the most hated man in England. They travel with a judge sent from London to try a sinister Welsh brigand with a legacy dating back to the time of the Battle of Bryn Glas. This was a battle in which close to one thousand Englishmen died at the hands of the Welsh. According to legend, after the battle many of the bodies were obscenely mutilated. Now, on this same haunted hill, another dead man has been found, similarly slashed. 

In my opinion, this plot was certainly very intriguing; the story was well-written and strongly researched, and I'm pleased to have read it for that reason. This book is very historically accurate, and the age-old enmity between the Welsh and the English is obvious. If you are interested in learning more about Wales, then this is definitely the book to read.

I found that this book was definitely heavy reading - there were just so many characters to keep straight, and so many parts that those characters played in the mystery - that I had trouble remembering everything. This is definitely not a 'two-minute' reading style mystery - it is intricate and involved - and I found that I had to concentrate inordinately hard on it as I read this book. I think I've read some books by this author in the past, although I can't remember which ones. I would give The Heresy of Dr. Dee a B+! In my opinion, while this was certainly not my favorite book, it was still well worth reading.

B+! - (89-85%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Don D'Ammassa - Blood Beast

80. Blood Beast by Don D'Ammassa (1988)
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 23 August 2014
Finished: 26 August 2014
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 4 May 2013
Why do I have it? I like horror and Don D'Ammassa is a new author for me.

It may have been carved from cold stone...but it pulsated with nothing except the purest evil. It seemed to have existed for eons; in fact, no one could remember exactly where the stone gargoyle had come from. It was just an ugly stone creature high up on the walls of the old Sheffield Library. It perched there, looking out with malevolent eyes over the small town of Managansett, Rhode Island. And looking deep into the hearts of the townsfolk...waiting, always waiting...

Little Jimmy Nicholson liked to go and stare at the gargoyle. It seemed to look straight at him, as if it knew the deepest, darkest, most secret desires that dwelt in the eight-year-old's heart. And Jimmy knew that the gargoyle had the power to give him everything he'd ever wanted. However, first he had to be willing to do the creature's bidding - no matter how evil...

I actually enjoyed reading this book much more than I thought I would. For a horror book written in the late 1980s, I found that the story was very well-written and not too overdone. It held my attention and interest until the very end; unlike so many other horror books that I've read, which have a tendency to fall apart. 

If I did have one slight criticism though, it would be that the author was extremely detailed in writing about the day-to-day running of Managansett's largest manufacturing plant. Other readers certainly may find such details interesting; however, I found them much more intricate than I would have liked. I would still give Blood Beast by Don D'Ammassa an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, August 22, 2014

Avery Corman - A Perfect Divorce

79. A Perfect Divorce by Avery Corman (2004)
Length: 279 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 20 August 2014
Finished: 22 August 2014
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 August 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and had read and enjoyed Prized Possessions by the same author in the past.

Karen and Rob Burrows are the well-intentioned parents of a teenage son, Tommy. They sincerely believe that they can avoid the emotional fallout that accompanies so many other divorces, when it comes to negotiating the demise of their own two-career marriage. Both are successful individuals and since their divorce was finalized four years ago, they have each pursued other personal relationships. However, they have managed to stay connected through their son.

When Tommy starts going off track academically, his troubles send shock waves through the relationships on all sides. Struggling under the weight of his parents' exorbitant expectations and need for denial, Tommy risks everything in order to take control of his own future. And Avery Corman manages to turn everyday life into a page-turning drama.

This is the second book by Avery Corman that I've read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I became completely engrossed in the story, and emotionally invested in the characters. The story was very well-written and believable; the characters were very much based in reality, and to me, their issues and family dynamics seemed universal. I give A Perfect Divorce by Avery Corman an A+! - If I could, I'd give this book an A+++!

A+! - (96-100%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Barbara Vine - The House of Stairs

78. The House of Stairs by Barbara Vine (1988)
Length: 282 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery 
Started: 18 August 2014
Finished: 20 August 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 16 August 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries 
and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Who is the sad, reflective narrator and what mysterious illness does she suffer from? What is the strange hold that the tall, dark woman named Bell has over her, and whatever happened at the carefully described House of Stairs in London that sent Bell to prison? The answers are gradually revealed as the intricate knots of this mystery are untied. 

The narrator of the story is a middle-aged novelist named Elizabeth Vetch who, ever since she learned of her grim heritage at age fourteen, has lived under the threat of inheriting the fatal disease known as Huntington's chorea, which she refers to as "the terror and the bore." Years before, during the late '60s and early '70s, she and Bell and several other vibrant people lived in the House of Stairs, owned by Elizabeth's recently widowed, newly Bohemian aunt Cosette. The story begins with Elizabeth's chance sighting of Bell; someone whom Elizabeth hasn't seen in fourteen years. 

Remembering their past friendship, Elizabeth feels compelled to understand her own reawakened emotions, as well as the events that initiated her and Bell's parting and caused both Cosette and Elizabeth untold pain. Despite "all the terrible things" that passed between them, Elizabeth makes overtures to rekindle their friendship, with terrifying results...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; although, the story being told entirely in flashbacks was slightly confusing to me. I was so eager to know what happened, that being pulled into a flashback scene was at times a little annoying. I still would give The House of Stairs by Barbara Vine - who is actually Ruth Rendell - an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)    

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, August 18, 2014

Robert C. Sloane - A Nice Place to Live

77. A Nice Place to Live by Robert C. Sloane (1981)
Length: 278 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 16 August 2014
Finished: 18 August 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 16 August 2014
Why do I have it? I like horror
and Robert C. Sloane is a new author for me.  

The tiny secluded village of Mill Harbor, Long Island - such a tranquil, restful waterfront community - possibly the nicest place to live. After ten years of marriage, Christine and Nick Marino are just as much in love now as they were when they first met. When they move to suburban Mill Harbor with their young son Joey, they truly believe they are living a dream come true. They live in a cozy, beautiful house, and their wealthy neighbors are just so friendly and welcoming. Yes, indeed, this is absolutely the perfect place to live and raise a family.

However, the Marinos will soon find that their perfect dream is gradually, undeniably, turning into a nightmare. Because something is awry in the charming village of Mill Harbor. Something is very, very wrong.

The Marinos learn that their lovely home was once the setting for appalling displays of violence, that their affable neighbors may not be at all what they seem. And some mysterious force is slowly changing Nick into something bestial and obscene - capable of terrifying his wife with inhuman acts of pure barbarism...

Christine and Nick Marino could not have been forewarned. Now it's too late. Somewhere in Mill Harbor a door clicks shut and something evil rushes out into the night. The Marinos are about to meet their new neighbor - the resident evil that dwells in A Nice Place to Live.   

I really enjoyed reading this book; it was very well-written and the horror was intertwined with every day life. I've been looking to read something in the horror genre for quite a while, and this just hit the spot. This was certainly quite an imaginative plot, and despite being rather fantastic and seemingly far-fetched at times, I was soon immersed in the story and reading it avidly - determined to find out what happened next. I give A Nice Place to Live by Robert C. Sloane an A! I'm on the lookout for more books by Robert C. Sloane to put on my Wish List.

A! - (90-95%)   

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Our Library Visit For August

Hello Everyone! How are you on this fine Saturday? I'm doing just fine. :) Last week, Mareena and I discussed whether we could fit in a visit to our local library - to raid the perpetual book sale! LOL! :)

Well, we finally decided that, as my birthday is next week, today would be my birthday visit to the library. It turned out absolutely wonderfully! We spent about two hours - from 11:15 A. M. to 1:15 P. M. - at the library, and stopped to get sandwiches from Arby's. We brought everything home with us.

Between us, we bought 27 hardcovers and 47 paperbacks. We spent a whopping $56 for a total of 74 books. A pretty good haul, if I do say so, myself. :)

At the moment, I'm reading A Nice Place to Live by Robert C. Sloane - which I started this evening, August 16th! I started reading this book after we arrived home from the library!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, August 15, 2014

Susan R. Sloan - Behind Closed Doors

76. Behind Closed Doors by Susan R. Sloan (2004)
Length: 467 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 14 August 2014
Finished: 15 August 2014
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 12 August 2014
Why do I have it?
I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Raised in a large, loving, closely-knit Irish Catholic family living in Vermont, Valerie O'Connor is a sheltered and innocent young woman who comes of age during the 1950s. At the age of eighteen, Valerie meets and falls desperately in love with twenty-five-year-old Jack Marsh - a handsome, dashing Korean War veteran and a member of the Air Force. Valerie has been raised with the belief that a wife is subservient to her husband and a mother must keep her family together no matter what. However, little does she know that she is about to begin a relationship that is doomed from the start.

Jack Marsh is a damaged man; a man whose inner demons cause him to take his fears and insecurities out on his wife and five children. During their many years of marriage, Valerie has learned to say nothing when Jack, now an airline mechanic, arrives home after midnight, silent and emotionally distant. She ignores the shirts that smell of strange perfume and the handkerchiefs smeared with suspicious lipstick stains. She endures without complaint the bouts of drunken rage, the sudden bursts of violence, the morning after scenes of devastatingly sincere, choking remorse. 

And, whatever the consequences, Valerie will never discuss such private issues with her children; who are themselves too terrified to speak lest they become their father's next victims. To make matters worse, Jack moves Valerie and their children all the way across the country, taking Valerie away from her family, isolating her from the very people who know her and care for her the most. Too proud to ask for help or to admit her failure as a wife and a mother, Valerie is unable to protect either herself or her children from Jack's increasingly visible and physically violent rages.

As they grow up, the five Marsh children will carve out their own very different futures. One by one, pushed to the extreme, the children will manage to escape their fractured home. In one fashion or another, each child will ultimately leave, until they are all gone - even Ricky, the youngest son and the one who is perhaps the most troubled. The only one left is Jack, and Valerie finally must face the reality of her marriage and her life.

And then, as if out of the ashes, another generation begins. Will history repeat itself? Valerie's children worry, and even though they have successfully escaped their dysfunctional family, they will never escape the devastating effects it has had on each of their lives. This is a powerful story of a marriage begun with the best of intentions, but cursed by a legacy of violence that will have shocking consequences - a story that resonates with us all.

I absolutely loved this book; couldn't put it down. In my opinion, Susan R. Sloan is an excellent writer. This is only the third book by Ms. Sloan that I've read, but it most certainly will not be the last one that I read. I give this book an A+! - if I could give it an A+++!, I most certainly would! :)

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Avery Corman - Prized Possessions

75. Prized Possessions by Avery Corman (1991)
Length: 325 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 11 August 2014
Finished: 14 August 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 11 September 2001
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Avery Corman is a new author for me. 

The Masons are a perfect family, with every piece of their family portrait firmly in place. They have high hopes for their children's success, and the money to give them the world. Elizabeth Mason grew up with every advantage in life, her parents sparing no expense on her education and upbringing. Now, on the verge of starting her freshman year at prestigious Layton College, Elizabeth has blossomed into a brilliant and compassionate young woman; if a little entitled and naive. 

However, one shattering night will throw Elizabeth Mason's once-tranquil life into spiraling chaos. At a campus party during freshman orientation, she meets Jimmy Andrews - a handsome, athletic senior; and a popular tennis phenom. That night, the one thing that Elizabeth never expects to happen to her, does. She is raped. 

At first, she tells no one. She numbly slips through her first months of college, keeping her humiliation and shame to herself. Eventually, Elizabeth's self-imposed isolation becomes too much for her and she reports the assault - a decision that launches her on a personal crusade; determined to bring Jimmy to justice, by any means necessary. 

In this powerful and emotionally poignant novel, Avery Corman explores the devastating repercussions - both private and public - of campus date rape and the double standard that surrounds sexuality for both young men and women. In my opinion, this book deals with a subject which is just as topical and significant now as it was at the time that this book was written. 

As I've said before, Mr. Corman is a new author for me, and this is the first book of his that I've ever read - although, Mareena and I did see the movie adaptation of his 1977 book Kramer vs. Kramer when it was broadcast on television about four years ago. I give this book a definite A+! and I am eagerly looking for more books by this author to put on my Wish List.  

A+! - (96-100%) 

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rosamunde Pilcher - Sleeping Tiger

74. Sleeping Tiger by Rosamunde Pilcher (1967)
Length: 280 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 10 August 2014
Finished: 11 August 2014
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 March 2013
Why do I have it?
I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

As a child, whenever Selina Bruce would ask about her late father, the grandmother who raised her would always quickly change the subject. Then, the chance discovery of a photograph gave Selina hope that her father was still alive. It also turned her world on its axis. For the first time in her life, Selina didn't know what tomorrow would bring.

She leaves her lawyer fiance behind in London and impulsively flies alone to San Antonio - a tiny island off the coast of Spain - brimming with the hope that she will finally meet the father she's never known. What she discovered instead was an unexpected truth about herself and the man she planned to marry. For exotic San Antonio offered Selina more than a lush paradise and glorious days spent under the penetrating brilliance of the noonday sun. It offered her the mysterious George Dyer, a writer who would help her solve the mystery of her past...and who might just hold the key to her future happiness.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The story was gentle and sweet, and not too earth-shatteringly serious. In my opinion, Rosamunde Pilcher has always been a good story-teller; and the plots of her stories have always interested me. I must say though, that this book seemed slightly different from most of Ms. Pilcher's other works - somehow lighter and frothier than I was expecting. I give Sleeping Tiger by Rosamunde Pilcher an A+! 

A+! - (96-100%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Luanne Rice - Sandcastles

73. Sandcastles by Luanne Rice (2006)
The Star of the Sea Academy Series Book 1
Length: 441 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 7 August 2014
Finished: 9 August 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 22 August 2013
Why do I have it?
I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Painter Honor Sullivan once believed that she had the perfect home, the perfect life, the perfect love. Then her husband, a renowned photographer and sculptor, shattered their little family and her heart. John Sullivan's passionate nature had led him into disaster many years ago, and left his wife and family reeling under the consequences. Since then, Honor has struggled to make a safe haven for herself and their three daughters - Regis, Agnes and Cecelia - at Star of the Sea Academy on the magical Connecticut shore. 

Here she teaches art at the convent school's beautiful seaside campus - under the benevolent and ever-watchful eye of her sister-in-law, mother superior Bernadette Ignatius - cultivating young minds to appreciate and to foster the artistic talent that Honor once had in abundance. No one could have foreseen the day rebellious Regis would come home with the stunning news that she was engaged. Nor could anyone have guessed how that sudden announcement would soon change all their lives forever.

Now, years later, a mysterious letter written in a familiar hand hints at John's return. Hearing of Regis' impending marriage, John has ended his self-imposed exile and returned to the family he's always loved; more than anything on earth. What awaits him is a family wounded by the past: a daughter still despondent over his abandonment; one who barely remembers him; and a third who may be in more trouble than anyone knows. And then there is Honor herself - and a passion that may have been interrupted but that has never waned.

Some things, like sandcastles, don't survive the changing tides. But love, family, and friendship - things just as fragile - have a way of withstanding tremendous challenges. It will take nothing short of a miracle to heal the rifts between father and daughter, husband and wife, the past and the present - but the miraculous is what is always at work at Star of the Sea Academy. The only question is: Do you have faith strong enough to face such adversity?

For the most part I enjoyed this story, although it was slightly longer than it needed to be. The story could probably have been wrapped up about one hundred pages earlier and still have been told well - at least in my opinion. Luanne Rice is certainly a prolific author - and I have read several of her books that I've enjoyed immensely - however, I must give Sandcastles a B+! I have several other books written by Ms. Rice sitting on my bookshelf, and I'm sure I'll read another book by this author sometime soon; however, perhaps not right away.

B+! - (89-85%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Karen Young - Kiss and Kill

72. Kiss and Kill by Karen Young (2000)
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 5 August 2014
Finished: 6 August 2014
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 28 May 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Karen Young is a new author for me.

For the past twenty years, Anne Atwood has lived a storybook lifestyle under the glare of Washington's political spotlight. As the wife of a prominent and charismatic United States senator from Texas, she's considered one of the capitol's premier hostesses, entertaining in their posh homes and raising their lovely daughter. Then comes the devastating plane crash that leaves Anne a widow - and brings a sinister stranger out of the shadows, determined to collect an old debt.

In order to uncover the stalker's identity, Anne must delve into her husband's past - and she discovers that some secrets are deadly. Desperate to protect herself and her daughter, Anne seeks help from journalist Ian McKay, a man whose own reputation is tainted by tragedy and scandal. Unwilling to trust him, yet with nowhere else to turn, she fears for her life - and her sanity - because ever so slowly, the truth is coming out...

The entire country knows her husband's name; and someone knows his darkest secret. And as Anne Atwood's picture-perfect life unravels, she begins to realize that for the past two decades of marriage, she has unwittingly been living a lie - one that might ultimately kill her.

As I've said before, Karen Young is a new author for me and Kiss and Kill is the first book of hers that I've read. Mareena had gotten this book as a 'just because' gift for me in May of 2013, and it only took me a little over a year to actually read it! Anyway, I thought that this book was well-written and had an intriguing plot - although, in my opinion, it was just the slightest bit simplistic. Overall though, I give Kiss and Kill by Karen Young an A! and would certainly recommend this book to other readers.

A! - (90-95%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, August 4, 2014

Eileen Goudge - The Diary

71. The Diary by Eileen Goudge (2009)
Length: 207 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started/Finished: 4 August 2014
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 August 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

When Elizabeth Marshall's two grown daughters - Emily and Sarah - discover their mother's old diary stored in her attic, they are stunned to learn that their mother's true love wasn't their father. By reading Elizabeth's private thoughts and feelings about her life, a whole host of questions are kindled in their minds: is all as it seems? This is the mystery that Emily and Sarah must unravel as they stay up late reading the words penned by Elizabeth so many years ago.

Unfortunately, Elizabeth can't give her daughters the answers they so desperately seek. After suffering a massive stroke, she now lies mute and near death in a nursing home. Only the pages of her diary can provide clues as to what really happened.

In a richly detailed journey into the past, young Elizabeth Harvey loses her heart to one man while remaining devoted to another. Finally, she must choose between the devoted and steadfast Bob - who represents loyalty and stability...and the electrifying and unpredictable A. J. - who holds Elizabeth's heart, and who spent time in juvenile detention as a teenager. When a suspicious fire in the neighborhood is linked to A. J., Elizabeth faces another dilemma: she's the only one who can clear A. J.'s name, but to step forward would ruin her reputation. Surprisingly, it is Bob who eventually comes to her rescue, forcing Elizabeth to make perhaps the most painful decision of her life...

The Diary by Eileen Goudge is an intricate love story. However, it is also the story of the unshakable bond of love between a mother and her daughters. This is actually the third book by Eileen Goudge that I've read, and I must say that in my opinion, she really is an excellent writer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I like stories about families; and specifically stories about relationships between mothers and daughters. I appreciated that Ms. Goudge's characters were so vulnerable - they each really resonated with me, and I found myself sympathizing with all of them. I give this book an A+! and look forward to reading more from this author in the future. 

A+! - (96-100%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Susan R. Sloan - Guilt by Association

Reread. Guilt by Association by Susan R. Sloan (1995)
Length: 529 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Originally Read: 23 June 2013
Reread Finished: 4 August 2014
Where did it come from? Originally from Bookmooch, then from my "posted" shelf.

I hadn't read this book in roughly a year and was actually re-cataloging all the books on my "posted" shelf when I noticed it again. Of course, I had forgotten most of the plot of this book, despite Mareena telling me that I'd read it in June of 2013. My first reading of the book was from June 20th, 2013 to June 23rd, 2013, and it took me three days to read this book. The reread took me five days - from July 31st, 2014 to August 4th, 2014!

It was still a very good book, to my mind, but this second time around, the plot seemed just a little far-fetched - at least to me. I still thoroughly enjoyed the story, though.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, August 1, 2014

Reading Wrap-up For July at Moonshine and Rosefire

Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out July with 945 unread books lying around the house and ended the month with 940 books unread. All the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap and authors.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
- The Merry-Hearted Boys: Liam Clancy, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem by Ronald L. Leonard
- My Name is Mary Sutter: A Novel by Robin Oliveira
- The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
- Once in a Blue Moon by Eileen Goudge

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
- Brood X: A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion by Michael Phillip Cash
- The Hanging Tree: A Novella by Michael Phillip Cash
- Keep Calm and Ask On: A No-Nonsense Guide to Fulfilling Your Dreams by Michael Samuels

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))  
- Katie: The Real Story by Edward Klein
- The Day of the Storm by Rosamunde Pilcher
Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash
- The Stars Shine Down by Sidney Sheldon
- Capital Crimes by Lawrence Sanders
- Memories of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
- Up Island by Anne Rivers Siddons
- The Wild by Whitley Strieber
- Fairoaks by Frank Yerby
- A Case of Need by Michael Crichton
- The Chamber by John Grisham
- The Rainmaker by John Grisham
- The Summons by John Grisham
- Heat by Arthur Herzog
- The Clinic by Jonathan Kellerman
- Hide and Seek by James Patterson
- Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson
- The Sands of Time by Sidney Sheldon
- Copy Kat by Karen Kijewski

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 5
Pages Read: 1,753
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was July. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight