Jul 31, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Endings

This weeks questions is: What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the last line?

Like last week, when I didn't participate, I find this a difficult question to answer. I know what one of my favorite endings to a book is, unfortunatly I do not have the book handy to give you the actual last sentence. But it was when I read Garth Stein's THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN. I don't know if it was the last line exactly, or if it was the final paragraph. I do know it was a terrific ending to a great story and it had me until the very last word. You can read my review of the book here.
There was a book that I read recently where the ending left me feeling empty and I distinctly remember the last line falling flat. (I'm not with my books so I'm at a disadvantage). That book was Katie Arnoldi's THE WENTWORTHS. I remember thinking That's it? I was expecting a little more. It's no secret I didn't care much for the book, but thought at least I'd feel a little better about it if it had a good ending. Unfortunatly for me, that was not to be the case.

Jul 29, 2008

Paying It Forward

It's no secret we all love books. Its our passion. But some of us have other passions that we don't always get to share on our blogs. For instance, one of my other passions is cooking. I haven't been blogging much lately about cooking because my reading has pretty much taken over, but I intend to make more time for both. Naida, from The Bookworm has a passion for crocheting and its obvious she is great at it! And she would like to share that passion with us. As I'm sure most of you are aware, there have been an amazing number of book giveaways lately, but now there's a giveaway of a different sort. Naida is going to raffle off one of the beautiful scarfs she has made. I know, its summer, but time goes so fast and the colder weather will be upon us before we know it. Entering the giveaway is easy. Simply click HERE to go to her post titled Pay It Forward, where she has written an excecllent review of Catherine Ryan Hyde's book and leave a comment. There's ways to get addtional entries too, so be sure to read all the way through for the whole scoop! There's plenty of time to enter, so good luck to all of you! So tell me, what are your other passions besides reading and books? Is it gardening? cycling? Do you belong to a league of some kind? I would love to know what your other passions are!

Jul 27, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Back Online!

Hello Saloners! I’ve missed a few Sundays due to the lightening strike, but I’m back online now with my new computer at home. It’s been a busy few weeks, trying to get everything replaced, hooked up and things re-arranged. My reading time has suffered as a result, but I’m hoping things return to normal this week.

It’s still fairly early but so far I’ve had a pleasant start to my day. I read for a few hours this morning while drinking my morning coffee and I put some spare ribs in the slow cooker for dinner and the house is already smelling delicious! The book I read this morning was DRIVING SIDEWAYS. I hope to finish it in the next day or two. I can’t wait to write the review and I know that probably sounds odd, given I haven’t finished the book yet. But there are so many things I want to say about this book. It has cracked me up! I was reading the other day at my office during my lunch hour and I got to laughing and I couldn’t stop! People were looking at me strangely.

I received an email from Library Thing the other day saying I was chosen to review anotherbook for the Early Reviewers. In the three months I’ve been a member, I’ve been chosen twice. This months book is called MY HUSBAND’S SWEETHEARTS by Bridget Ashley. According the LT, it was the most requested Early Review book this month. It sounds wickedly interesting. But first I’ve got to finish DRIVING SIDEWAYS, which should be in a day or so.

I’m going to go now and see what the rest of you are reading today. See you on the blogs!

Jul 25, 2008

Friday Fills

Questions 4-6 this week are courtesy of Sherry!

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you teaches you a lesson.

2. If you're good at something, be thankful and use it often.

3. Why so many cables to hook up my electronics? Couldn't they make it simpler?

4. Something is out there, it's the gigantic squirrels who live in my trees that are jumping on my roof!

5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled 'Dude, where's my truck?'.

6. Sitting on my back porch I see the overgrown yard of the brand new house behind mine that was foreclosed on. (Don't people understand there are zillions of homeless people in the US and we have perfectly good homes rotting away?? I'm sorry, I digress . . .

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to setting up my new computer, tomorrow my plans include re-arranging my home office and Sunday, I want to read, relax and grill something !

Jul 24, 2008

Christmas In July

I’ve always hated that phrase when I see stores using it to advertise a mid-summer sale, but right now I’m experiencing my very own ‘Christmas In July’. After the lightening strike that took out all of my televisions, phones and computer, I’m finally being rewarded for paying all of my insurance premiums all these years! Every day this week, the UPS woman has come to see me! My trash men are going to think I’ve ripped of an electronic store. Either that or they’re going to come back and try to steal all the new stuff they know I just got (from all the boxes I’ve thrown out). Note to self: invest in security system.

My evenings have been spent moving old tv cabinets, re-arranging my home office, hooking up tv’s, computers and telephones and learning how to operate them. It’s exciting but tiring as well! Especially for a sight-impaired person like myself. It took me 2 and a half hours to hook up my computer last night. I’m sure most people would’ve had it done in under an hour. That task was made even more daunting because HP forgot to pack the mouse and one of the power cords! So I spent 30 minutes going through the boxes again making sure I didn’t overlook them with my bad eyes and then accusing Jax (my cat) of running off with them! After searching high and low, I’m positive hey are simply not there!

My reading has taken a back seat to all of this electronic installation, but I’m hoping that by the weekend I’ll be back on my regular, tedious schedule. I did have a surprise on my MySpace page the other day. Naida, from The Bookworm, posted a blog about the author of PAY IT FORWARD (the movie version starred Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment) and how she received a signed copy of the book from the author, Catherine Ryan Hyde. I did a search to look at other books by this author and noticed a MySpace page, so I checked it out. I left a comment praising PIF and soon after I received an email from Ms. Hyde asking if I’d like to receive a copy of CHASING WINDMILLS, her latest book released in March 2008. It’s the story about two people who meet on a New York City subway and form a relationship that changes both their lives forever. I’m really looking forward to reading it. Look for that review in the future. It really is nice that authors are so approachable and easy to communicate with. I’ve had some very pleasant experiences with authors and it makes me even happier that books are my passion. What have your experiences with authors been like? Any favorite moments or conversations? I’d love to hear about them.

Jul 23, 2008

More Book Giveaways!!

Bookroom Reviews has announced another huge giveway from Hatchette Book Group. Five lucky people will win a set of 14 books from all different genres so there's sure to be something for everyone! There'a also a chance for one additional person to win Stephanie Meyer's new book BREAKING DAWN. There are many ways to get entered, so click here for all the details. The contest deadline is August 9th at midnight, so you have plenty of time to get entered. Be sure to go to Bookroom Reviews site to check out some of the titles in the set. I saw several that I would love to have!

Also, Lisa over at Books On The Brain is reading QUEEN OF THE ROAD by Doreen Orion and loving it. Lisa describes it as a romantic travel memoir of a year the author and her husband spend traveling the country. She hasn't finished the book, but she says it's really quite funny. She has informtion on her site about a a giveaway of that book as well. You can click here to get full details on how to enter.
I've never been lucky enough to win a book in a giveaway, but its still exciting for the chance! I especially love the thought of getting books from authors I've never read before! Good luck to everyone!

Jul 21, 2008

Manic Monday Part II

Since I'm still computerless at home, I'm catching up on everyones Sunday Salon posts this morning here at my office. I know, I should be working, but its 7:30am and no one is here yet so I thought it'd be ok to sneak a little blogging in very quickly. I'm hoping my new computer will arrive by the end of the week so that I can get hooked up and back online by the weekend.

I did get some reading in this weekend, even though I had a lot going on. I'm almost finished reading DRIVING SIDEWAYS by Jess Riley. It's not a real quick read, but it is a great book! I laughed so hard Friday night that I had tears in my eyes! I can't wait to finish it so I can write my review! I finished HOUSE AND HOME by Kathleen McCleary last week. You can read my review here.

I picked up a few new books last week that I'm excited about. One in particular is MUDBOUND by Hillary Jordan. One of my LibraryThing friends recommended this book to me. It won the Bellwether prize in 2006 that is awarded to books of "conscience, social responsibility, and literary merit". It's a story set in 1940's Mississippi about two unlikely friends who come back to the south from the war to be treated very differently. I'm very excited to read this book.

DOWN RIVER by John Hart is another book that arrived last week. It's described as intense. It's the story of a young man who is accused of murder in his home town. He is acquitted and leaves, but he can't shake the stigma that is now attached to him. Things get more complicated after he returns home a few years later and he is once again a suspect in another murder.

I also received THE SUGAR QUEEN by Sarah Addison Allen, who wrote GARDEN SPELLS. I'm a new fan of magical realism so I'm excited to see how she incorprates it into this new story.

Now, if I could get more than five minutes at a time to read, I'd be in good shape! My kitten, Jax, who is now 6 months old, can sense when I pick up a book. I have a chair in my bedroom that I love to read in - it has great lighting, and its comfy. He can be asleep in another room and I will sneak in there, sit down, open my book and instantaneously I hear, 'Meeeooooowww!' It never fails!! Then he jumps in my lap smack-dap on the book and that does it! He's such a cuddler and I don't have the heart to put him down, so I guess I've created a monster!!

Jul 19, 2008

Book Review: House and Home

Ellen Flanagan has a sexy, carefree husband who is crazy about her, two beautiful girls she adores, a small business she enjoys and a great place to call home. But when times get tough and money is tight, she makes a decision that snowballs and goes wildly out of control. In order to shock her inventor husband into the reality of their financial situation, she tells him they need to sell their house. What she didn’t expect was for it to go so far. Deep down she really didn’t want to sell the house at all, but is it too late?

HOUSE & HOME by Kathleen McCleary is a beautifully written story about one woman’s obsession with a house she so lovingly made into a home for her family and what that obsession almost cost her. Through many twists and turns Ms. McCleary weaves a story of friendship, love, lust, dreams and the reality of everyday life. Set in picturesque Oregon, she paints vivid pictures in the reader's mind of the cozy town they live in and the beautiful house that causes so many people so much turmoil. And it begs the question: What makes a house a home? Is it the physical house itself or is it the family inside who make the memories that makes it a home? That is the question Ellen must answer.

I enjoyed this book very much and liked the writing style of this first time author. However, there were things about Ellen that did bother me, but not to the point that it took away from the story or made me dislike her. It was simply a feeling of What is she thinking? Especially in the beginning, I felt she cared more for the house and put it before her family. And I felt she didn’t give her husband and their marriage a fair chance. That being said, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more from this author. I think HOUSE & HOME would be a great reading choice for a book club.

Kathleen McCleary is featured on EveryWomansVoice.com. It is an amazing website featuring many Voice authors and includes reading guides, information on upcoming books and even chances to win copies and so much more. If you like womens fiction it’s a site worth checking out!
House & Home, by Kathleen McCleary
Published: July 2008
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages 259
Would I recommend this book? Most definitely

Also reviewed on Books on the Brain, Planet Books and Breaking the Spine

Jul 18, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

Questions courtesy of MindFul Mimi who had some thought- provoking ones this week; thank you, Mimi!

1. For me inactivity is the opposite of creativity.

2. A Thousand Splended Suns was the last excellent book I read.

3. I like fill-ins because its fun and it gets my brain moving on Friday mornings.

4. In nature I like looking at water; the ocean and rivers especially.

5. The least scariest person should win the US elections.

6. The last time I laughed with all my belly was a few weeks ago when my friend, her daughter and I went for milkshakes and we surprised the guy at Burger King with a McDonalds milkshake becuse their machine was broken.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to being home, tomorrow my plans include cleaning out my spare toom and Sunday, I want to see my parents before they leave on an extended trip!

Jul 16, 2008

Lightening Strike Update

Fortunately, things are moving along nicely with my insurance claim. I’ve had the necessary assessments on certain items that were damaged in the lightening storm. Here’s what we ended up with: Three televisions, 1 computer/monitor, 2 telephones.

One of the televisions is functioning, but all the people are blue. It’s like The Blue Man Group who perform in Vegas. Since I can only handle watching blue people for so long (not to mention the fact that there’s not much on tv anyway) I’m getting a lot of reading done. I’m finding I don’t miss it all that much. What I really miss is my computer.

I’m happy to say that in the 15 years I’ve had this homeowners policy, this is the first claim I’ve made and they (Cotton States Insurance) are making the process go smoothly. I’m having everything replaced and as it turns out I’m making out like a bandit! For the small deductible amount I have to pay, I’m getting much better items than I had before and they’re being shipped to me! I don’t have to go shopping (which I despise), worry about who’s going to drive me, how much I can spend and how to get the stuff home. It’s such a breeze!!

Yesterday, my claims guy called and we went over the items I’ll be receiving. Wow! Am I happy or what?! Since the CRT televisions are becoming extinct, all of my tv’s are being upgraded to LCD HD Flat Panels!! My 27” was upgraded to a 32” HD Flat Panel widescreen! I’m so excited! My computer was upgraded from a Dell (ancient model) to a HP w/ Vista Premium. I’m not so sure about the Vista part, but I’ll give it a try. I can always downgrade back to XP if I want. (Or so I’m told)

Because I spend so much time at home, it’ll be nice to have all new toys! Oh and believe me, I’m investing is some top quality surge protectors too!

Jul 14, 2008

Manic Monday

This was the first full weekend that I was away from a computer completely. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I didn’t realize how much I’m addicted to it. I think I took it for granted before. However, I had other things going on this weekend to keep my mind off my electrical issues at home.

Letting Go: Saturday was a milestone for me. Since I quit driving last November, my pretty red Dodge pick up had been sitting motionless, except for the times it got moved to have the yard mowed. The squirrels were trying to take it over and if you could see the size of the squirrels I’m talking about, you’d understand my concern. My neighbor, who has almost no trees in her yard feeds them peanuts and corn on the cob, which they bring to my tree-filled yard, eat the corn then discard the cobs. It took me awhile to figure out where all the cobs were coming from. These squirrels are mammoth-sized!

Because of my eye disease, I’ve known for quite awhile that for the safety of others I needed to give up the privilege of driving, so I’ve taken baby steps:

November ‘07: Quit driving
February ‘08: Cancel Insurance
May ‘08: Turn in drivers license to DMV. (They look at you funny when you tell them that’s why you’re there. I’m guessing they don’t get that much!)
July ‘08: Sell beloved truck

I finally bit the proverbial bullet and sold my truck. To my cousin. Hey, at least I sold it! I’ll still get to see it occasionally, as she has offered kindly to tote me anyplace I should need to go. This may sound silly to some, but I have an attachment to that truck. I’ve had that truck almost longer than my ex-husband and unlike him, it has never let me down. It’s a beautiful truck – shiny red with a diamond plate toolbox and pretty chrome wheels. I live in the south and we southerners love our trucks! Even we women southerners.

As I was cleaning out the glove box and console compartments it was like a stroll down memory lane. I found things in there I’d forgotten about or should’ve destroyed long ago.

After we traded money for title and hugged, my cousin climbed in my truck and drove it away. I became weepy as I watched it creak down the street (it needs shocks) for the last time. No more will the ‘Remember #3’ Earnhardt decal be seen on the dark tinted window – it will be replaced by a Harley Davidson decal, I’m sure.

So my loving boyfriend took me out to get my mind off my truck. We had a nice dinner and met some friends for drinks afterwards, which leads me to the next thing that kept my mind off my electrical issues at home.

Lesbian Encounters: I don’t know what it is about me that attracts lesbians but I have more women hit on me than men. Even with my very handsome boyfriend sitting next to me. I have had friends who are lesbians, and I don’t have issues or anything, but they seem to be more bold than men.

Saturday night as we were waiting on friends to arrive for drinks, this nice looking woman approaches John and I and starts immediately fingering my hair and telling me how pretty she thinks it is. She introduces herself as Dee and I introduce myself and my boyfriend. She continues to shower me with compliments and finally moves on. John says to me smirking, ‘We haven’t been out in weeks and the first 5 minutes we’re here, a lesbian is trying to pick you up.’ I counter with ‘You don’t know she’s a lesbian’. He says, ‘Trust me’. Later when our friends arrive, I ask if she knows anyone there with the name Dee. My friend quickly replies, ‘Oh, yeah, she’s the lesbian sitting across the bar.’ My boyfriend almost choked on his drink.

Later a couple comes in who are friends with my friend and joins us. Very nice people and a good looking couple. We have a good time with them and later as they’re leaving, the woman (petite blonde, big boobs) comes over, runs her fingers through my hair and says in my ear, ‘why don’t y’all come to our house and join us in the hot tub?’ I’m two for two! John just shakes his head.

So his mission to get my mind off my truck worked. I didn’t think about my truck at all!

Jul 11, 2008

Friday Fill Ins #80

All questions this week are courtesy of the original founder of the Friday Fill-Ins, Megan;

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a computer at home again!

2. A gallon of milk is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.

3. I never leave home without a book in my purse.

4. If I were a condiment, I would be ketchup because it goes on so much stuff!

5. People who don't listen when you're talking to them is really high up on my list of pet peeves.

6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was this itchy sunburn is driving me crazy!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out with my friend Brenda, tomorrow my plans include having lunch with my aunt and my mother and going to the bookstore and Sunday, I want to stay home, cook something new and read.

Jul 10, 2008

Book Review: The Wentworths

August Wentworth: The patriarch, who drinks, cheats on his wife and thinks all women are after him, even at his age.

Judith Wentworth: The matriarch who cares more about appearances than her family’s needs.

Conrad Wentworth: The eldest son and cruel womanizer.

Rebecca Wentworth-Jones: The uptight daughter who needs pills just to get through the day.

Norman Wentworth: The homosexual, cross-dressing youngest son who hates his family for their lack of acceptance.

Paul Jones: The attention-starved son-in-law who is afraid to speak up.

Monica: The teenage, drug using granddaughter who thinks she’s smarter than everyone.

Little Joey: The grandson who is a kleptomaniac and doesn’t’ see anything wrong with it.

You’ve just met the Wentworths. A rich, spoiled, southern California family as dysfunctional as they come.

Katie Arnoldi’s THE WENTWORTHS is a bold, dark, erotic story of an elite rich family. Some have called it a satire, but that would mean that it was funny or makes fun of the people or their lives. It did do that to an extent, but as I read on I found it more disturbing than anything. I'm no prude and I do like dark comedy, but I would be more likely to label it sadistic. There were a few funny lines early on, but not enough to label it humorous, in my opinion.

The story is told in the first person by each member of the family, along with a few outsiders. It’s easy to tell whose perspective you’re reading by the varying personalities and the quirky titles of each chapter. The chapters are very short, sometimes only a page, which gives the book a choppy feel. It’s not a novel that flows with dialogue. Basically, the story is about a woman who first tries to worm her way into the family with no luck then tries to teach Conrad a lesson. It’s also about how this family reacts to even the most mundane happenings, such as Judith’s obsession with finding missing silver tongs from a tea set.

To be honest, this book was just ok for me. After I finished it, there just wasn’t much I was left with. And nothing really started to happen until the last 50 or so pages. A lot of time was spent explaining the personalities of the characters and how, in they’re own words, they felt about each other.

I understand Ms. Arnoldi’s first novel, CHEMICAL PINK was a surprise cult hit and I’ve read there’s talk of a screenplay. I’m sure there will be a similar following for this latest release. It’s not a book for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for bold, explicit, R-rated fiction, this is the book for you.

The Wentworths
Author: Katie Arnoldi
Publisher: Overlook Press, March 2008
255 pages
Would I recommend this book? Probably not

Jul 7, 2008

Huge Book Giveaway!

Summer is a great time for book giveaways and I'm sure some of you may have heard about the awesome 14 book Summer Reads Giveaway from Trish over at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? sponsored by Hachette Book Group USA. The deadline is July 12th so you still have some time to get in on this amazing offer! Entering is easy! Simply post a comment on Trish's blog to get one entry. There are many other ways to get additional entries as well, so click here for more details about the contest. As many as 5 people can win 14 books from all different genres including mystery, historical fiction, true crime, romance, memoirs, general fiction just to name a few. You don't want to miss out on this opportunity!

I have several ARCs that should be arriving soon that I'm particularly excited about. Two of them are women's fiction, which I love. One is THE REST OF HER LIFE by Laura Moriarty. Another is a debut novel HOUSE AND HOME by Kathleen McCleary. If anyone has read either of these books. let me know how you liked them. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Along with the women's fiction, I have some interesting mysteries by J.F. Englert to review that are sure to be entertaining. They are the first two books from a fairly new series called The Bull Moose Dog Run Mystery Series. They feature Randolph, a high-brow black lab who is not only the narrator, but also cracks the case! The first is A DOG ABOUT TOWN and the follow-up is A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS. I've been told they're cleverly witty and very well written. I'm sure they'll be fun to read!

Don't forget to enter Trish's giveaway! Good Luck to everyone!

Jul 6, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Sunday Saloners! I hope everyone has had a happy, relaxing weekend. I went to my sisters for the long weekend and there was a lot of lounging by the pool, munching and jello shooters!! Need I say more? I didn't get the chance to read much, but I did get a few pages of DRIVING SIDEWAYS in. And I was able to get this post written.

Earlier this week I finished GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen. You can read my review here. Her second book, THE SUGAR QUEEN was released last month. I ordered it the other day and look forward to reading it. I also ordered John Hart's DOWN RIVER after reading such a great review from Caribousmom the other day. It sounds like a very intense, suspenseful read. My TBR list is growing so fast!

I'm planning on spending the rest of my Sunday unpacking from my trip and getting ready for the work week and hopefully getting some reading done. I still haven't been able to get my computer replaced after last weekends lightening strike, but I should make some progress with that this coming week. In the meantime I continue to rely on my family and friends (and their computers) to keep my blog going. I hope you all are having a relaxing Sunday with lots of reading time. So tell me, what are you reading this week?

Jul 3, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Holidays

It’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S., so let’s keep today’s question simple–What are you reading? Anything special? Any particularly juicy summer reading?

Since Mother Nature played a nasty little joke on me last weekend by striking my house with lightening and frying all my electrical possessions, I'm packing up some books and my kitten and going to my sisters for the long weekend. Besides, she has a pool!

I'm currently reading THE WENTWORTHS by Katie Arnoldi, the author of CHEMICAL PINK, the suprise New York Times bestseller. I got this book as an ARC from AuthorsOnTheWeb a few weeks ago. It's an interesting read and by that I mean a little strange. And I'll leave it at that for now. I've got less than 100 pages to go then I'll borrow someone elses computer and post my review. (Just call me The Nomad Blogger!)

As for this weekends reading, I'm taking with me DRIVING SIDEWAYS by Jess Riley. I have so been looking forward to this book and I think its the perfect choice to take to my sisters and read while lounging poolside. My sister has gone out of her way to ensure that we have a wonderful weekend and I can't wait! We've got food, drinks and fireworks!! Saturday evening is the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race in Daytona, so I won't be doing any reading then! We live close to Daytona Beach and we are die-hard NASCAR fans, so we'll be cheering our driver on! Who's our driver? you ask? DALE EARNHARDT JR. of course!!!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July!!

Jul 1, 2008

Book Review: Garden Spells

Sisters Claire and Sydney Waverley live in Bascom, North Carolina and they’ve always known their family was considered a little strange by the townsfolk. For one thing, they have a magic apple tree in their garden that produces very special apples. And that tree is desperate to be considered a part of the family.

Claire is the older of the two sisters and she embraces the Waverley traditions while Sydney has tried to run away from them. After all, their mother hated their home town and ran away from it not once, but twice leaving two small children behind the second time. The two girls deal with their mother’s choice to leave them in very different ways. Claire stays in Bascom and learns the treasured family recipes from their grandmother. She uses the flowers from their special garden in her recipes she makes for her catering business, which is very popular in the community even though some prefer to be secretive about it. Sydney, on the other hand, had little interest in the strange practices and felt she didn’t belong, even though she was born in Bascom and Claire wasn’t. So Sydney leaves town and lives very similarly to how she imagined her mother must’ve lived. Wild and crazy with adventure. And ultimately fear. And it’s that fear that sends her and her daughter home to Bascom.

Garden Spells is the most refreshing, entertaining book I’ve read in some time. I breezed right through it and felt the Waverley magic on every page. I also enjoyed all of the interesting and quirky supporting characters. It not only centers on the two sisters, but a whole cast of characters that easily fit with one another. The story itself was fresh and different. It’s about family, friendship and loyalty. I didn’t know what to expect as I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre, so I didn’t know how I’d feel about this magical realism. But I found it was something I really enjoyed. It was not over the top and it was well incorporated into the story. I can say now I am a fan of this type of writing.

This debut achievement of Ms. Sarah Addison Allen is quite captivating and I look forward to reading more books from her. In fact, her new book The Sugar Queen was just released last month and I’ve heard from early reviewers that it’s equally as entertaining and enjoyable.

Click here to visit Sarah Addison Allen’s website to find out more on Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen and other author news.

Garden Spells
Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: Bantam, August 2007
304 Pages
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!