Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

Happy Valentine’s Day, Readers 

The Kindle versions of my romance novel, TROUBLE IN PARADISE, is FREE today on Amazon.com.  If you already have plans for Valentine’s Day, ENJOY.  If you don’t, why not curl up with a romantic comedy today?  Happy reading 🙂

Chocolate and a good book.  What a perfect way to spend Valentine's Day.

Chocolate and a good book. What a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day.

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Christmas in July?  Yes!  I just published CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE, which is a 22,000-word Novella combining three of my greatest passions…Christmas, Cruising…and Romance, of course. 

Several readers of my first cruise romance, TROUBLE IN PARADISE, have written to ask what happened to Alicia and Kenneth after the book ended.  So, CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE started out as their story…until Alicia talked her friends Beth and Jonathan into cruising with them.  After all, it was Christmas!

Set sail on a holiday adventure where two couples search for holiday magic on the high seas.  Bon Voyage and Merry Christmas…in July.

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I just finished listening to JULIET by Anne Fortier (audiobook version, narrated by Cassandra Campbell.)  What a fabulous book, in my opinion!!!

I have been a fan of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet since I was a teenager.  I first fell in love with the story when I saw the 1968 movie adaptation starring Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting.  I couldn’t get enough of that movie when I was a young woman.  That meant going to the movie theater over and over to see the movie, which I did.  Several years later, I bought my first VHS recorder, and Romeo & Juliet was my first movie purchase. 

That being said, I was naturally drawn to the book JULIET like a moth to a flame.  I found the multi-layed past/present plots fascinating and the romance completely satisfying.  Sigh!  I want to emphasize you do NOT have to be a fan of Shakespeare to enjoy JULIET, though.  MY love of the story may have added a deeper level of enjoyment for me, but it’s not mandatory.  I do believe you’ll still enjoy the story if you like mystery and romance combined and especially if you can appreciate the author’s weaving 14th Century and the present day world into a complex interpretation of Romeo & Juliet.  Apparently this is Anne Fortier’s debut novel, and I am impressed! 

This book was perfect for the romantic in me who believes in neverending love. 

Jamie Ford, the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (which I also HIGHLY recommend) reviewed JULIET in part by writing:

“Our story begins when Julie’s beloved Aunt Rose dies, leaving Julie and her twisted sister, Janice orphaned. (Their parents died years earlier in Tuscany). But while Aunt Rose leaves the family estate to Janice, Julie is bequeathed next to nothing, just a passport, a key, and a secret–that her real name is Giulietta Tolomei, a descendant of the Tolomeis and the Salembenis, the real families that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet—and that the “Curse upon both your houses,” is alive and well, 600 years later.

With exquisite detail and flawless pacing, Juliet is a multi-layered tapestry of Julie’s present and Giulietta’s 14th-century past, where families, generations apart, are still at each other’s throats. Betwixt tragedy and epic romance, Juliet will stir your heart and quicken your pulse. After all, if Julie is Giulietta, then where art thou, Romeo?”

In closing, all I can add is…E N J O Y this novel.  I’d love feedback from anyone who has already read and savored JULIET. 


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2011, so far

I’m actually having a really nice 2011.  In addition to the usual day-to-day working and keeping up with domestic life, I’ve been reading…a lot.  I’m always happiest when I have a great story that carries me away.  Thus, part of the reason for my exuberance.

Here are some books I’ve read and would recommend: 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford

Lucia, Lucia, by Adriana Trigiani

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

Three Spencer Quinn mysteries if you are a dog lover (as I AMMMMMMM):  Dog on It, One Good Dog, and To Fetch a Thief.  Fun, fun stories!

And now…drumroll because this is sooooo out of character for me…I’m reading the Twilight series.  I can’t believe it!  No one who knows me would believe it!  I just can’t stand not KNOWING what they’re like, having them recommended to me and feeling ignorant.  The SURPRISE here is (at least half way through the second book, Breaking Dawn) is that I’m truly enjoying the series. 

Oh.  Lest you think I sit around reading and eating bon bons all day, many of my books are audiobooks, which I listen to as I drive to and from work, etc., etc.  My latest passion is my iPod Touch, which my WONDERFUL son surprised me with for Christmas.  My Touch has now joined my Kindle as traveling companions.

Happy New Year.  What are YOU reading?

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I can’t believe how the year has flown by.  December is usually my favorite month since I love, love, love the holidays and especially Christmas.  It can be a beautiful time of year.  Even if holidays aren’t frantic with lots planned, it’s a nice time to wind down and curl up with a good book as the days gets colder.  Okay, so it doesn’t get COLD by everyone’s standards here in South Florida, but chilly is just fine with me <g>.

One thing I LOVE to do (in keeping with my “Favorite Things” header is  relax and read while sipping on a flavored coffee such as French Vanilla, Spicy Eggnog, or Chocolate Glazed Donut.  THUS, one purchase I’ve made this holiday season is a Keurig brewer.  I’m soooooo enjoying this.

Do YOU have a favorite coffee pot, brewer, teapot? 

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I read an interesting comment on FB by a passenger that was on the Carnival cruise that had a fire and lost power.  He (or she) saw iPads going “dead” and being rendered useless.  His Kindle stayed charged for the whole ordeal, and he was able to sit on deck and read.  What a great way to make lemonade out of lemons, in my opinion. 

I was on RCCL’s Majesty of the Seas last weekend.  It’s the smallest ship in the fleet.  I’m used to cruising on the biggest, newest ships, but had a wonderful time.  Instead of running around all weekend, I spent a good amount of time sitting in a deck chair and enjoying reading on my Kindle while gazing out to the turquoise Caribbean waters.  I felt sooooo lucky to have my Kindle with me.  It was PERFECT. 

Where is YOUR favorite place to read a book or an eReader?

Majesty of the Seas

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Okay.  Halloween is behind me, and I’ve switched mental gears to Christmas and the holidays.  Of couse, anyone who knows me knows I’m ALWAYS in the mood for Christmas books and movies.  Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Angels books rank in my list of absolute favorite books year round, and now I’ve added Call Me Mrs. Miracle to that list.

Call Me Mrs. Miracle is a totally feel-good story from start to finish, one that drew me in and made me want to have Christmas dinner with Holly, Jake, and Gabe so I could experience the satisfying conclusion of the book that I will NOT divulge <g>.  What I enjoyed most is how Mrs. Miracle (a/k/a an angel on a mission) taught life lessons to everyone without their realizing what was happening.  The underlying message of love was artfully woven throughout the book and enveloped me in a tapestry of comfort. 

I loved this simple story and will cherish it to read again over the years!

Good news!  Call Me Mrs. Miracle is going to be aired on the Hallmark Channel at the end of  November.  I’ll be setting my DVR.

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I haven’t read many YA/teen novels, but I wanted to read something Halloween-ish.  Yes, I know it’s now November 2nd, but I did start reading Past Midnight on Halloween.  Anyway, I don’t like really scary books, but I wanted something light and creepy to set the mood.  I don’t know if “cozy creepy” is such a thing, but that’s where I would categorize this book.  Past Midnight (Harlequin Teen) was just right for a scaredy cat like me.  I flew through the story and happily read this is Book One of the Past Midnight series.  Nice! 

This is Ms. Purnhagen’s blurb on Past Midnight:  “Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I’m not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I’m usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven’t gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents’ research trip in Charleston—and now I’m being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents’ creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….”

Yes, this is tagged as a teen novel, but it’s as much fun for an adult (in my opinion).  I enjoyed the ghost aspect and the mystery behind why they are drawn to Charlotte more than anyone else.  The fact that Charlotte is 17 but her parents are the paranormal experts was an interesting twist.  She was young and grounded, while her parents traveled around with their energy meters and cameras.  Yet, Charlotte ended up completely embroiled in her parents’ studies for several reasons.

I definitely recommend Past Midnight for a fun, spooky read without being terrorized.  I’ll be following this author’s future books.

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Reading by Kandle Light

If you use an eReader and need a great little “booklight,” I highly recommnd the Kandle.   It comes in black or white and apparently fits most eReaders.  I’m using one now on my Kindle 3.  It’s lightweight, folds up for on-the-go storage, and is perfect.  Believe me.  I’ve tried other booklights over the years and wasn’t completely happy.  I felt like Goldilocks, but this one is “just right.”

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What I’m Reading Now

Actually, I finished reading The Enchanted April a few weeks ago, but I feel compelled to comment on it.  What a “delightful” read.  I don’t normally use the word “delightful,” but the words “delightful” and “charming” immediately spring to mind when describing The Enchanted April.  Yes, it’s a CLASSIC.  I’m realizing I don’t read enough classics and intend to rectify that lapse in my reading.  I need more hours in each day!!!

The Enchanted April was published by Elizabeth von Arnim in 1922.  The basic plot involves four British women who for various reasons want to escape their everyday lives.  The interesting part is they’re all strangers to each other, yet end up sharing an Italian villa for a month.  Girlebooks.com, where The Enchanted April may be downloaded for free, describes the characters thus:   “Lotty has her nervous tendencies; Rose always puts her religious obligations before everything else; Mrs Fisher can’t reconcile her contemporary life with the past she so idolizes; and the beautiful Lady Caroline can’t figure out why everyone around her is so dreadfully dull.” 

Don’t expect intense action.  This isn’t that kind of story.  What’s fascinating is the INTERaction between the women.  I liked this book…a LOT.

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