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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 23, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

My first two words came from Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.

1. plectrum – “Those picks — “plectrums,” Finn told me to call them if I wanted to sound like I knew what I was talking about.”

This word was explained in the context but I looked it up to see if it had a broader meaning.  It doesn’t – plectrum means pick – but I did learn that the plural of plectrum is plectra or plectrums.


2. busk – “So I’d busk in tube stations sometimes, and . . . and there was this one night . . .”

Busk means to play music or perform in a public place, usually while soliciting money.


My third word comes from Dogear Diary’s review of The Curious Garden.

3. hellstrip – “Before long there are rooftop and hellstrip gardens all over the place; topiary animals, treehouses and twining ivy climbing up walls”

According to urban dictionary, a hell strip is the strip of dirt between the sidewalk and the street.  We have a hell strip and I didn’t even know it.


 What words do you want to celebrate today?

Author event and giveaway: Dorothea Benton Frank

July 22, 2014

Dottie Frank

Dottie Frank made a stop here when she toured for her latest book, The Hurricane Sisters, and you know I was there because she never fails to make me laugh.  She has been on The New York Times Bestsellers list since her first book, Sullivan’s Island, was published – I think it’s because her sharp wit comes out in her writing.

The Hurricane Sisters is Dottie’s tenth book with Harper Collins.  They’ve organized a Fanfest for her in November and it’s already sold out!

Dottie got the idea for The Hurricane Sisters when she learned that South Carolina is the number one state for female deaths caused by domestic violence.  35,000 women called for help last year alone.  1.3 million women in the U. S. report abuse every year.  She found those statistics very disturbing and wondered what she could do about it.  As an author, she decided she could bring awareness to this issue through her writing.  At her event, she passed out pamphlets from local shelters and said Harper Collins is donating books to women’s shelters.

South Carolina is proud to claim Dottie as one of its own and will induct her into the South Carolina Academy of Authors in 2015.  She is ready to move back to the state and said, “This January, come hell or high water, I’ll be in South Carolina.”

Casting for the movie version of The Christmas Pearl is taking place now – the movie will be filmed in Staten Island and Charleston.  Dottie is working on her next book, tentatively titled, Still Kickin’, about middle aged women who aren’t able to retire.

I got Dottie to autograph a copy of The Hurricane Sisters for one lucky reader.  To enter to win an autographed copy of THE HURRICANE SISTERS, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open worldwide – one entry per person, please.  I will use to determine the winner.Contest ends at midnight EDT Thursday, July 31, 2014.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

Mailbox Monday

July 21, 2014

Mailbox Monday July 21

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.  I thought last week was going to be quiet but I should have known better – it was just as busy as ever but I managed to have lots of fun, so I’m not complaining.  Here are the books that showed up in my mailbox:







Did you find any goodies in your mailbox last week?

Review: Kelsey Green, Reading Queen

July 18, 2014

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen

Kelsey Green loves to read so she’s very excited when the principal, Mr. Boone, announces a school wide reading contest.  The class that reads the most books wins a pizza party and the student who reads the most books in each class gets their name engraved on a plaque.  As a bonus, Mr. Boone will shave off his beard if the school can read 2000 books in a month.

Kesley is determined to win that contest for both herself and her class.  There’s one problem, though, Simon Ellis is reading more books than she is.  She can’t figure out how he’s doing it – is her reading short books or is he cheating?  Kelsey and her friends come up with a plan to figure things out and, along the way, they learn some important lessons about cooperation, teamwork, and helping others.

I thought Kelsey Green, Reading Queen by Claudia Mills was delightful!  Kelsey loves to read and is sure she’ll be the one to get her name on that plaque.  She learns that some things – like family obligations and helping others – are more important than a contest.  Mr. Boone learns a lesson as well when he tries to get out of shaving his beard.

I hope the main character being female won’t scare off young male readers because I think this book can be enjoyed by both boys and girls.  Rob Shepperson‘s wonderful illustrations enhance Kelsey Green, Reading Queen, the first book in the Franklin School Friends series.

As an added bonus, the back of the edition I read includes a list of the books read by Kelsey’s class, fun facts about books, and interviews with the author and illustrator.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: The Accidental Book Club

July 17, 2014

The Accidental Book Club

Jean Vinson is at a loss when her beloved husband dies.  Loretta, her neighbor and best friend, suggests she start a book club to help fill the void she is experiencing.  Jean decides to do it and one night, during book club, she gets a call that her daughter is in the hospital.  Jean rushes to see her and finds her daughter has alcohol poisoning and needs to go into rehab.  Jean’s son-in-law can’t handle Bailey, their teenaged daughter, alone and asks Jean to take her in.  Jean is reluctant at first because she doesn’t really know Bailey but feels like she can’t say no.

Bailey comes to live with Jean for a while.  Things are tenuous at best – Bailey is full of anger and looking for attention and Jean is not quite sure how to handle her.  With the love and support of her book club friends, Jean – and Bailey – learn about love and family.

I loved The Accidental Book Club by Jennifer Scott!  This book spoke to my heart and I cried and I laughed as I read it.  The characters felt so real – I could relate to most of them even though their lives are very different from mine.  They felt like people I know and I was invested in them.  Just like real people, none of them were perfect but they were all doing the best they could.

The storyline felt real to me as well.  These women dealt with issues that many women deal with from horrible bosses to divorce to kids who are in trouble.  Many of their issues were resolved in the course of the book but not everything was tied up neatly which felt very real to me as well.

Scott’s writing is terrific – she kept me fully immersed in the world of these women.  She tells their story with heart and emotion and it totally captivated me.  You won’t want to miss The Accidental Book Club!

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 16, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

This week’s words are from Season to Taste by Natalie Young.

1. jotter – “It wasn’t at all warm; there was an icy wind coming in from somewhere, but Lizzie felt good to be out in the world, and she took her jotter out of her basket and looked through her list.”

I suspected a jotter was a pen and was surprised to discover it’s a small notebook for rough notes.


2. hob – “We’ll assume you’re starting from scratch, and the room has nothing in it but oven with hob, fridge, freezer, cupboards, work surfaces, sink.”

Hob has several meaning but the one used here is the chiefly British one that means a cooktop.


3. catkin – “Alder trees with skinny catkins.”

I was scratching my head after I read the definition of catkin – a spicate inflorescence (as of the willow, birch, or oak) bearing scaly bracts and unisexual usually apetalous flowers – so I searched for an image.




What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Delicious!

July 15, 2014


Billie Breslin’s perfect palate (she can identify every taste in a dish) lands her a job with Delicious!, the most prestigious food magazine out there.  She moves across the country to New York for the job and, just as she’s getting settled in the food scene there, the magazine folds.  Billie is kept on, though, to take care of the correspondence and archives.

Billie finds letters from a young girl to James Beard in the archives and they fascinate her.  She feels like she knows young Lulu and begins to wonder what happened to her.  Her search for Lulu helps her learn more about herself.

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl has gotten some terrific buzz so I really wanted to love it.  I think it may have suffered because my expectations were way too high because, while I liked it a great deal, I didn’t love it.

I thought Billie was a great character.  She feels guilt because of something that happened in her past.  She seems to have found the perfect job and then the magazine goes under.  Being in the office by herself is pretty lonely until she finds those letters and gets lost in Lulu’s world.

I liked the storyline as well but I thought it had some loose threads that really weren’t necessary.  I also thought there were a few issues with the pacing.  Neither of those things were enough to ruin the book for me, they just kept me from loving it the way I wanted to.

Julia Whelan does a terrific job narrating the audio version of Delicious!  The audio book is on 11 CDs and lasts approximately 13 hours.

weekend cookingI will be linking this up to Weekend Cooking which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

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