The Tsarina's Daughter by Carrolly Erickson

Erickson has proven herself a master of rewriting the history of famous women (Marie Antoinette, Josephine Bonaparte, Catherine Parr) in a fictional setting, and this title is no exception.

In this title, set in Russia shortly before the revolution and deposition of Czar Nicholas, we are let into the life (and loves) of Tatiana Romanov, given a front row seat into her mother's madness, the dealings of Rasputin, and the slow degradation of worker rights on the eve of revolution.

Though we know that Tatiana was executed along with the rest of her family, Erickson imagines a very different end - Tatiana lives, and flees with her lover, making a new life in the new world. A much happier ending that the grim true one.

This is a well-researched, interesting read in a subject I've long been fascinated by. Well done!


The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them by Amy Dickinson

You know, this is just one of those pleasant reads.

And by pleasant, I don't mean that as code for "icky" or "boring", I just mean...pleasant.

The kind of book you read while swinging on a porch swing, sipping an iced tea while an exhausted puppy snores lightly by your side.

At least, that's how *I* read it. :-)

Amy is the advice columnist who replaced the late Ann Landers, and this is her memoir of marriage, divorce, and moving back home to Freeville, a tiny town in New York State.
I was enamored not only with her life, but with her easy voice, her companionable storytelling, and it made me want to sit on a porch with her, talking with the "Queens". You come to know Amy's life, as well as her family, and the old matriarchs who keep the family in line, connected, and well-loved. What more could any woman want?

Whether you read Amy's advice column or not, this is just such a gentle, lovely memoir from a talented writer. :-)

And isn't this a great book trailer? I was totally sold after watching that.

I mean, c'mon. Cows. :-)


The Likeness by Tana French

Last year, I had the good fortune to receive a copy from a publisher French's first mystery, In the Woods.

I was blown away by it.

And in a testament to how good it was, I actually BOUGHT French's followup title, The Likeness.

Librarians rarely buy, and I really rarely buy unless I've read it before and adored it!

And yet, this title did not disappoint.

Cassie Maddox, one of the detectives from the previous novel, is back, having left the Murder Squad in Ireland when a bizarre case pulls her back into the fray. A woman has been found dead - using one of Cassie's old aliases from her undercover days, and looking EXACTLY LIKE HER.

This kicks off a twisty-turny, bizarre, exquisitely written mystery, spanning hundreds of pages but leaving you wanting to read more, more, MORE! French has such a command of language, amazing characterization, and a true skill for weaving a story and leaving the reader guessing. I absolutely loved the premise, and couldn't wait to find out the resolution - though it was not quite what I expected.

French is a FANTASTIC mystery writer - you've GOT to check her out! Soooo recommended!


Time for another round of book blurbing! Here we go!

River's Edge by Terri Blackstock
Last of the "Cape Refuge" series of Christian fiction. And now I can say I read it. Yeah.

In the Fifth At Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

Because sometimes, you have to reread childhood favorites, and this series will always be a favorite (though that's TOTALLY the wrong cover)...

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

The fourth book in the "Southern Vampire" series - no Bill, lots of Eric. My new favorite of the series. :-)

The Hollow by Nora Roberts

The second title in the "Sign of Seven" trilogy - another great audio listen, though it was odd that the first book was narrated by a man, and this one by a woman. Waiting for book three on CD now!

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

An amazing YA novel, written entirely in verse. Easy to read, harder to forget. Wonderful recommendation for reluctant readers...

Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich

Another "Between the Numbers" Stephanie Plum novel. Silly, outrageous, ludicrous, damn fun. :-)

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

Another suspenseful Coben read (a stand alone novel), better still when narrated by Scott Brick. Recommended!

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I'm REALLY going to try and not be one of those people who obsessively takes pictures of their little one, but it's so hard when little Zoe is so.darn.cute!

This picture from our first weekend is my favorite so far:

Close Up
*snorfles the puppykins*

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Everybody, meet Zoe!

I've been (im)patiently waiting since Christmas Eve when she was born to bring her home to join me at Sunnymeade. Zoe is a Havanese, and is 10 and a half weeks old. Expect many pictures in the coming weeks!

Isn't she adorable, though?

Welcome, Zoe!


So Cute!

*sniff, sniff*


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