Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Thomas by Robert Grimes

This novel tells the story of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, through the eyes of his best friend and beloved wife—Martha, affectionately called “Patty.”

From the time of their first meeting at her father’s plantation in 1770 to her death from complications of childbirth in 1782 their love story unfolds across the pages of Martha’s journal where womanly concern—like housekeeping, pregnancies, childbirth, entertaining, child care, illness, and domestic quarrels and romantic reconciliations—blend deftly with politics and rebellion as the thirteen colonies unite into one nation to throw off the yoke of British tyranny.

If you are interested in what life was like for women in colonial America, I highly recommend this novel, it has a very authentic and realistic feel, it is very descriptive and evocative of the era, though some might find it a trifle monotonous and slow with its endless cycle of pregnancies with both happy and sad outcomes, that was the sad reality of a woman’s life, and it rings true. Ms. Grimes did a marvelous job in recreating the lost voice of Martha Jefferson, who died before she could see her husband become President.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson

When the alarm clock goes off Christine awakens naked in a strange bed beside a strange man with graying dark hair and a wedding ring on his finger. Is this the aftermath of a one-night stand? Did they meet at a bar or party? Christine hasn’t a clue? Was she drunk? And is that robe hanging on the closet door his wife’s and is she likely to walk in at any moment? Christine goes to the bathroom and receives a great shock when she looks in the mirror. The face staring back at her from the mirror is twenty-five years too old, and the hands she is washing are wrinkled and wearing a wedding ring. It is then that she notices the pictures and notes taped to the mirror. Christine is a victim of amnesia and the man she woke up next to is her husband of twenty-two years, Ben.

Christine is the victim of a head injury that erases her memory as she sleeps thus condemning her to replay this scene every morning when she wakes up.

Ben leaves her a scrapbook to look at while he is at work, and Christine spends her day like a typical housewife doing the dishes and laundry. But there’s also a journal Christine has been keeping for herself, and on the very first page are the words DON’T TRUST BEN.  Then there is Dr. Nash, who has been working with Christine to try to help her recover her memory, and the tantalizing, often fleeting memories of half-memories Christine struggles to make sense of. What’s real and what is only imagined? How do all the pieces fit together and what’s missing? Is anyone who they claim to be? And can Christine trust anyone, including herself?

If you like mysteries and thrillers, I highly recommend this one. If I wasn’t up all night anyway, this one would have kept me up.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Making Rounds With Oscar The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat by David Dosa, M.D.

When Oscar arrived at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island everyone thought he was just an ordinary cat whose presence would bring a little comfort to the many elderly patients nearing their life’s end. But there was more to Oscar than anyone ever imagined—the black and white cat had the uncanny ability to predict when a life was about to end. At such times, he would curl up by the dying patient and stay put until the end. When Oscar curls up and begins his vigil, the nurses know it is time to alert family and caregivers that its time to say goodbye.

The author, David Dosa, is a geriatrician, who works at Steere House. At first he was skeptical of the claims made about Oscar, but ended by becoming a believer. In this book he relates not only the stories of Oscar’s deathbed vigils, and what Oscar’s presence meant to those they left behind, but also the tragic devastation caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cover Art For The Turkish Edition of The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy

Here is the cover art for the Turkish edition of The Boleyn Wife. I think it's beautiful, one of my favorite covers so far. I will post more information as I receive it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Another magical book from Sarah Addison Allen, The Peach Keeper takes place in Walls of Water, North Carolina. Willa Jackson, runs a combination coffee bar and organic sporting goods shop that caters to hikers and campers about to venture up into the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her chocolate-coffee snacks, like oatmeal cookies with coffee icing, espresso brownies, and chocolate covered coffee beans are particular favorites.

Willa’s great-great grandfather built a beautiful antebellum mansion, known as The Blue Ridge Madame, as a gift for his young bride, but, after years of scandal and misfortune that cost the family their wealth and prominent place as the town’s first family, it has fallen into ruin. Now Willa’s wealthy socialite classmate, Paxton Osgood, has taken on the task of restoring it as an elite bed and breakfast and banquet hall despite problems of her own—she still lives at home with her parents and is in love with a man who might be gay. During the restoration, a man’s skeleton, an old fedora, a rusty frying pan, a suitcase, and a newspaper from 1936 are found buried beneath a peach tree. These are all that remain of the charismatic con man Tucker Devlin who visited the area selling ladies cosmetics and wrecking lives.

Odd things begin to happen and there’s more than a hint of romance and magic in the air as long buried secrets emerge. I’ve read all of Sarah Addison Allen’s books to date, and I think this is my favorite so far.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Now Available In The UK A Court Affair by Emily Purdy

A Court Affair by Emily Purdy, the British edition of The Queen's Pleasure by Brandy Purdy, goes on sale in the UK today, August 2, 2012 

From the back cover:

Power, passion and politics…
Uncovering the love triangle between Queen Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley, and his wife Amy, and her mysterious death, A Court Affair is an unforgettable story of ambition, lust and jealousy. A love triangle, with deadly consequences…

Agoraphobic Amy, the daughter of a country gentleman, is marrying the great Duke of Northumberland’s son, Sir Robert Dudley. While she fears the bustle of court and city life, she faces a far larger challenge as rumours will abound that the newly appointed Queen Elizabeth is having an affair with her husband.

Meanwhile Elizabeth is coping with various threats to her person and her reign but finds herself drawn to the temptation of an adulterous liaison so as to retain her power. Numerous foreign suitors begin paying court to the beautiful young queen, which fuels Dudley’s jealousy and leads him to question his marriage to Amy. Dudley struggles between these two women: caught between that which he desperately wants and what he knows to be right…

A royal affair overlaid with ambition, lust and envy, this is an unforgettable story of the price one must pay for sin.