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Showing posts from September, 2011

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and giveaway



Ann Patchett

Book Synopsis:  Years ago, Marina Singh traded the hard decisions and intensity of medical practice for the quieter world of research at a pharmaceutical company, a choice that has haunted her life. Enveloping herself in safety, limiting emotional risk, she shares a quiet intimacy with her widowed older boss, Mr. Fox, and a warm friendship with her colleague Anders Eckman. But Marina's security is shaken when she learns that Anders, sent to the Amazon to check on a field team, is dead-and Mr. Fox wants her to go into the jungle to discover what happened. 
Plagued by trepidation, yet propelled by her sense of duty, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the unknown, down into the Amazonian delta, deep into the dense, insect-infested jungle to find answers from the company's research team. Led by the formidable Dr. Annick Swenson, the scientists are looking into the development of a new drug that could have a profound impact on Western societ…

Sunday Salon: Row 80 3rd round wrap up and Fall Reading

"There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
-   Percy Bysshe Shelley   
Happy Fall, my darlings!    I just realized it is time to change my header again so will be on the look out for a beautiful fall picture to go with the new season.  So much going on.  6th grade lessons started a couple weeks ago and so far, thumbs up.  James mental math skills have kicked in, plus he and father are getting used to the new science program. A lot more work this year and we are all adjusting to the new schedule. 

The third round of A Round of Words in 80 days has come to an end and I'm happy to say I accomplished my goal of finishing the first draft of Red Thief.  Happy dance!   Going to let it sit on the shelf and rest while I work on editing another WIP3 Eyes in the Ashes.  I started WIP3 during 2009 NaNoWriMo and am ready to get back into it.  Have been reading over the story an…

A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman

A Heart Revealed
Julie Lessman

Back Cover:  "Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?"
A Heart Revealed, book # 2 in Julie Lessman's Winds of Change series brings us to Emma and Sean's story.  Having gotten to know the characters through Lessman's Daughters of Boston series and the new Winds of Change series, I was thrilled to read their story finally.   The story takes place in the early 1930's during the great depression and  continues the saga of the the who…

Monarch by Michelle Davidson Argyle + giveaway

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Back Cover:  Nick’s life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness—a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the U.S. has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he’ll have the chance to start his life over again.

Just when Nick is on the brink of catching Ferreira, he’s framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He’s safe, but not for long…
Michelle Davidson Argyle's debut novel Monarch starts out intense and maintains it through the whole story.  
"The blood pooling on the floor under the assassin’s back reminded Nick of butterfly wings. It spread from the twin wounds and sparkled in the sunlight fil…

6th Grade

6th grade officially started for James last week and we are easing back in to a full schedule slowly.  I think we've come up with a good mix this year.  Last year we tried a few new things which completely bombed and ended up going back to the tried and true mid year.  I just realized I never posted a wrap up of 5th grade.

The Plan:

For 5th grade switched to Learning Language Arts through Literature for Language arts and it was way too casual.  James needs a lot more structure and so do I.  We switched back to Voyages in English and Spelling Workout mid year.  Going to continue with the 5th grade book for VIE  since the only difference between it and 6th grade is exposure versus mastery. Starting Level F for Spelling Workout

Writing wise, will be learning how to Outline and write reports.  Plus will continue practicing cursive with Horizons Penmanship writing out and learning several presidents inaugural speeches. 

James loves to create and write stories both longhand and for his…

Row 80 midweek check in - The End!

Doing the happy dance!   Pleased to report that I have finished the first draft of Red Thief, the story I started during 2010 NaNoWriMo.  I struggled during November to get those 50,000 words and immediately after NaNo was over, ending up deleting almost 1/3 of it.  It has been my goal each round to finish the story and by jove, finally managed it. It may have holes as big as Montana but I'm done for now.  Already missing the characters and feeling like I need to continue, but going to take a break from it. I'm going to let it rest a bit and start editing another story I wrote called "Eyes in the Ashes.  95% certain I'm not going to do Nano this November although have ideas for another story brewing.   How do you manage to edit one story while writing another one without feeling like your brain is split in two.   I hear of writers doing it all the time, so going to have to figure that out.   
Check out how everyone else is doing as this Round winds down with one week l…

BBAW Interview Swap: Brianna of The Book Vixen

It is my pleasure to introduce  Brianna of The Book Vixen.  She is my hero because she stepped up and took over The Novel Challenge blog when Wendy decided to move on to other things.  It is my go to website for all book challenges and book related activities.
A Novel Challenge is such a valuable and resourceful site that I just couldn't bare to see the site go. So as crazy as it sounds, with me being due this month, I took on the challenge of taking over the site. I am lucky enough to have 7 other fabulous people on the Admin team helping me out. Without them, it wouldn't have been possible for me alone to keep up with the site. Brianna started blogging in August 2009 and like the rest of us enjoys talking about books. 
1) Tell me a bit about yourself. What is the one thing no one knows about you that you'd like to share?
I’m a 30-something stay-at-home-mama to a 6-year old and a 4-year old with one on the way. I’m pretty much expecting baby #3 to come any day now.…

Sunday Salon: Row80 and books galore

I'm almost done with the first draft of Red Thief.  One more chapter to go. Yeah!  Next round will be all about editing.  Not sure which WIP going that is going to be. Hubby wants me to finish Eyes in the Ashes because he likes it the best. Need to figure out the best strategy for me to proceed.  The thought is just scary.  How do I go from a junky first draft full of holes to a polished novel.  To see how everyone else is doing, go here and leave them some encouraging comments.  I've kind of fallen off the good chip lollipop sponsor wagon the past couple weeks and apologize for that.  Nor have I had any time to visit anyone else and I'm missing my peeps.  I've been kind of busy prepping for 6th grade which starts Monday. Which also means will be restricting our online time and staying unplugged during the week til 4:00 in the afternoon.  Will try to catch up with everybody soon. 

I went to Borders today for the very last time. Our store officially closes on Thursday…

Sunday Salon: Row80 and August Wrap up

Hello darlings!  Where did the time go? September already and 3 weeks until end of summer and the end of the 3rd round of  ROW80.  The writing is going....well...fine, progressing, but slowly.  We just spent the week at one of the most beautiful spots, so peaceful, so quiet, you couldn't help but be inspired. 
Plus being in the presence of a New York Times bestseller author who is very dedicated to her writing didn't hurt.  *grin*   I enjoyed sitting out of the deck in the early mornings, working on my current WIP.   And my hubby took our experience to heart, making sure to nag, encourage my writing as much as he could.  He also made a good sounding board and helped me work out how to capture the bad guy.  Sat down for a short chat with Cherry and ended up talking for three hours. All this in the midst of her working on a deadline to finish a first draft of the next story in one of her series.  She of the Finish the Damn Book challenge shared advice, humor, and plenty of encou…

Washington Vacation

We've been back a few days now from Washington, basically being lazy and recovering from our vacation.  Had an absolutely wonderful time.   A few months back during Brenda Novak's Diabetes auction I won the bid on a week long stay at Cherry Adair's guesthouse on Lake Morton.  We picked a perfect time to go.
The day we arrived it was raining, but cleared up after that and it was gorgeous, sunny and clear until the day we left.   We arrived to Cherry greeting us with fresh home made cookies and one of her beautiful schnauzer dogs, Chase.
The morning after we arrived, I walked out on the back deck and there was Mt. Ranier in all it's glory.   Found out later that you can't see the mountain 75% of the time because it's too cloudy.  We got to see it for five of the days we were there.  The grounds and garden of the property are beautiful and hubby took a million pictures.  I'll post a few on facebook to share. 

We had lazy days interspersed with fun filled days …