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Tenth Anniversary means a Fresh Start

Hello! It's hard to believe that ten years ago I started blogging, which lead to books reviews and nanowrimo and learning all about the joys and craft of writing.  I decided it's time for a fresh start so come see me at

Scrawls and Scrolls and Speculation 
~slainte~

Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

First Sentence:  As the man dressed head to to in khaki turned the corner and began racewalking uphill in my direction, I had to wonder:  had we met before?


In Mark Adams Turn Right at Machu Picchu, he takes us into the past while in the present traversing the trails, taking us along for the ride as he explores Peru's history, follows in the footsteps of Hiram Bingham who 'discovered' Machu Picchu and the mysteries of the Inca trail.  He takes what could have been a boring historical travelogue and fills it with humor and insights into the past. We get to experience all his trials and tribulations along the trail as well as met interesting people from the past and in the present.  

A to Z Alphabet challenge - A

The Translator by John Crowley

First sentence:  "The first time that Christa Malone heard the name of Innokenti Isayevich Falin, it was spoken by the president of the United State's John F. Kennedy."

John Crowley's The Translator is another dusty historical fiction book that's been waiting for the right moment.  A young college girl becomes enamored with her professor, an exiled Russian, during the 60's.  His Russian poetry is politically symbolic,  but when translated into English, doesn't have exactly the same meaning. Combine the Cuban missile crisis, political intrigue, students needing to fit in and campus protests with the quest to understand literature and poetry and it makes for an interesting read.

Birthstone Bookology - G A R N E T

Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb

First sentence:  "Was she dead?"

J.D. Robb's 44th book in her In Death series, Echoes in Death delivers once again.  The story is a bit dark and deals with couples being attacked, a  murderous rapist as well as spousal abuse.  Although I did kind of figure out who the culprit was halfway through, I enjoyed seeing how Eve figured it out. We didn't get to see the whole cast of characters this time except for an update on what they've been up too.  I love Eve and Roarke and can't get enough of Robb's In Death series. I'm currently rereading the series and discover something new with each read.

Birthstone Bookology - G A R N E T

Snowed by Maria Alexander

First Sentence:  "I want to kill the person who tore down my flyer."

Once I started reading Maria Alexander's Snowed,  couldn't put it down. What an awesome and unique story. Instantly memories of high school filter through my brain as I read - bullies and clicks, geeks and jocks, trips and tricks in the hallways. Now throw into the pot - a death, a dark past, love, electronics, skepticism, a dash of spice, a tablespoon of humor, and a cup of mythology. Mix it all up and you have an action packed story that won't let you go until the end.  Snowed has been selected as a finalist for the Bram Stoker award for superior achievement in a young adult novel.

Birthstone Bookology - A M E T H Y S T


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

First sentence:  "If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."

Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, a historical fiction novel which left me misty eyed at the end encompasses two timelines.  The story started out in 1995 and takes the reader back into France during WWII and the French resistance from 1939 to 1941.  Two sisters, separated by distance and estranged from their father, get involved in the French Underground.  One sister in the present is sick with cancer and finds an old truck in her attic containing mementos of her life during WWII.   Memories takes the reader back during the days of the German takeover of France, resistance, fear, strength,  and survival.  The story is both haunting and beautiful and well worth reading.

Birthstone Bookology - G A R N E T

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

First Sentence:  "The afternoon was so cold, so relentlessly gray, few pedestrians passed the long island of trees dividing Commonwealth Avenue, and even little dogs, shunted along impatiently, wore thermal coats and offended expressions."

Daphne Kalotay's Russian Winter, a historical fiction novel, is one of those books that  sat in my stacks for a few years waiting for the time is right moment to read and appreciate. The story follows Nina Revskaya in a dual timeline.  In the present as an old woman, getting ready to auction off jewels from her life.  In the past as a rising ballerina star in the Bolshoi during the days of Stalin and the war in the Soviet Union.   Politics and oppression, rebellion and intrigue, life and death, play out in both the past and the present.  Kalotay took a dark subject and made it interesting, pulling me in and leaving much to think about at the end.

Birthstone Bookology - G A R N E T