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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 13, 2016

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!

I found several words in an uncorrected proof of Unearthed by Alexandra Risen.

1. moraine – “Does he really think a layer of fresh bark can compete with age-old glacial moraine?”

Moraine means a ridge, mound, or irregular mass of unstratified glacial drift, chieflyboulders, gravel, sand, and clay


2. chornozem – “He is one of many authors whom I explore, each more controversial than the next, but the word bloodlands penetrates my consciousness, maybe because I’ve read so much about the rare and fertile chornozem soil.”

Chornozem is a very black topsoil, rich in humus, typical of cool to temperate semiarid regions such as the grasslands of Ukraine and southern Russia.


3. geomancer – “He’s a geomancer.”

Geomancy is the art of placing or arranging buildings or other sites auspiciously .


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Heat and Light

July 12, 2016

Heat & Light

Once a booming town, Bakertown, Pennsylvania lost it’s hope and prosperity when the coal mines closed.  When it’s discovered the town sits on a deposit of natural gas, the energy companies make their move and come in to buy the rights to drill for that gas.  Most people are eager to sell – it feels like an answer to their prayers – but others have their reasons for holding out.

Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh is her latest book set in the fictional coal town of Bakerton.  Coal is out and the town and its residents have fallen on hard times.  Most people don’t know how they’re going to pay their bills.  When the energy companies come in and offer them money just for the rights to drill on their land, it seems like their luck has turned around.  Some residents question the practice of horizontal drilling (often called fracking), though, and hold out.  They all discover there are no easy answers.

Told from multiple points of view, Heat and Light is a fascinating story that explores our methods of extracting energy and the price we pay for them.  Prison guard Rich Devlin is eager to sell his gas rights to finance the farm he’s always dreamed of but organic farmers Rena and Mack are cautious because they wonder how it will affect their cattle.

Haigh’s writing and story telling are outstanding and once I started this book, I couldn’t put it down.  I had heard of fracking but didn’t know much about it and was happy to learn more.  As I read the book, I found myself researching the subject even more.  I love the way Haigh weaves issues into the lives of ordinary people – people that are easy to relate to.  I was eager to talk about the book and it gave me a lot to think about so I think it would be an excellent book club selection.   Whether you’re in a book club or not, be sure to pick this book up!

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

July 11, 2016

Mailbox Monday July 11

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   What a sad week for the U. S.  When I think back on last week’s events, posting about the books I got seems rather silly, but I guess life has to go on.   I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:




What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Animal Bites from Animal Planet

July 9, 2016

Animal Planet has teamed up with Time Inc. Books to publish some gorgeous books for young readers.  If you know any young animal lovers, you’ll want to grab these books for them.  Full of gorgeous illustrations and chock-full of information, I guarantee kids (and adults) will pick these books up over and over again.

Farm Animals


Animal Planet Farm Animals by Laaren Brown obviously focuses on animals that are found on a farm.  It shows how and where different animals live and shares interesting facts about them.  A really fun feature called “Just Like Me” shows features these animals share with humans.  The back of these books include Resources, Farm Activities, Glossary, and Indexes to make these terrific books even better.


Wild Animals


Animal Planet Wild Animals by Laaren Brown is all about non-domesticated animals and it’s another fabulous addition to the series.  Readers learn about wild animals that are familiar to us, like skunks and camels as well as lesser known creatures like the indri and the pika.  The pages of these books are attractive and appealing and draw readers to the photographs and the fascinating facts.  Wild Animals even touches on extinction and conservation and shows what part of the world the animals are found in.


I don’t claim to be an animal expert but I learned something from both of these books!  In case you can’t tell, I loved them and spent quite a bit of time savoring them.  These Animal Bites books are done so well, kids won’t even notice they’re learning as they read them.  I highly recommend them for every home and school library!


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.

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

Giveaway: Baby Doll

July 8, 2016


TV writer Hollie Overton’s debut novel will be published on July 12 and, thanks to Redhook, I’m thrilled to have one copy to give away!

About the book:

“What a compulsive read! A brilliant first novel that kept me transfixed and entertained until the very last page.” — Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Die Again 

Escape was just the beginning.

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next… to Lily, to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter—and to her captor.

For fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, BABY DOLL is the most tense thriller you will read this year.

About the author:

HollIieOvertonPhotoA tense, unique psychological thriller, BABY DOLL is a remarkable first novel from TV writer Hollie Overton, who has worked Cold Case,The Client List, and the new Shadowhunters on ABC Family.

Debut author Hollie Overton was raised by her single mother, and Hollie—an identical twin herself—draws on her unique childhood experiences for her first novel, Baby Doll. Overton’s father was a member of the notorious Overton gang in Austin, Texas, and spent several years in prison for manslaughter. Hollie is a television writer and resides in Los Angeles.


Visit Hollie Overton’s official website
Follow Hollie Overton on Twitter or like on Facebook

Purchase from IndieBound

To enter to win BABY DOLL by Hollie Overton, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open to those with a US address only – one entry per person, please.  I will use to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EDT Thursday, July 21, 2016.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

Review: Something New

July 7, 2016

Something New

I’m a huge fan of Lucy Knisley‘s graphic memoirs so was excited when her latest endeavor, Something New: Tales of a Makeshift Bride was released and I grabbed it to read the weekend our nephew got married.  It was a great decision because I was completely charmed by this book!

When Knisley’s boyfriend proposed and she started planning her wedding she was taken aback by the wedding industry.  Since she’s artistic and she and her husband-to-be aren’t fancy people, she decided to forgo many of the expectations and do much of the wedding planning and preparation herself resulting in a delightful, personal wedding.

In Something New, Knisley not only shares her experiences with wedding planning, she also gives ideas on ways to personalize a wedding and save money at the same time.  She also fills readers in on her back story and the story of her relationship with John.

Knisley really knows how to get to the meat of the story and give readers the details that are important.  Her outstanding illustrations are fun to study and bring the story to life.  I found Something New to be a quick and satisfying read and I do recommend it.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 6, 2016

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!

The first word I found is from Mystica’s post on The Living by Anjali Joseph.

1. chappal – “Two alternate lives – Claire working in a shoe factory in England and Arun working as a chappal maker (which is featured on the cover) in Kohalpur.”

Chappals are Indian hand-crafted leather sandals.  I’ve seen them plenty of times but never knew they had a specific name.


I found another word in Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh.

2. factitious – “The term ‘factitious’ describes symptoms that are artificially produced rather than the result of a natural process.”

This word was defined in the sentence but I thought there might be a little more to it so I looked it up.  Factitious artificially created or developed.


What words do you want to celebrate today?


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