Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Forbidden Daughter

Set in the sensual richness of India, Shobhan Bantwal's gripping new novel asks: Where can a woman turn when her life's greatest blessing is seen as a curse?

It's a girl! For most young couples, news of their unborn child's gender brings joyful anticipation. Not so for Isha Tilak and her husband, Nikhil. They already have a beloved daughter, but Nikhil's parents, hard-wired to favor male children above all, coldly reject little Priya at every turn. Vain and selfish, they see female grandchildren as burdens, and would just as soon never meet the one growing in Isha's belly. Even the obstetrician agrees, going so far as to suggest the unthinkable, throwing Nikhil into a rage and changing Isha's life forever.

When Nikhil is discovered brutally murdered, Isha is convinced it had something to do with his reaction to the doctor's hideous "solution" to their problem. Alone, grief-stricken, and relentlessly oppressed by in-laws who believe her baby is a bad omen, Isha sets out on her own.

Born into a privileged class, Isha doesn't know the first thing about fending for herself, but to protect her precious daughters, she will learn. And she will cling to the hope given to her by a strange old mystic: that her baby will arrive on the auspicious night of Kojagari Purnima, the full harvest moon, and be a gift from Lakshmi, the goddess of well-being. Isha and her girls will need all the blessings they can get, for the greatest danger of all lies ahead.

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (August 26, 2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758220308
  • ISBN-13: 978-07582203
My Thoughts:  I picked this book because I had read "The Unexpected Son" and loved it.  I really can't say that about this book.  Right from the start it went very slow.  From the title, I thought the story would have been more about either of the daughters and not about Isha (the widow).  At times I felt connected, but there were times,  I felt detached from the story.   My favorite character was Harish Salvi.  He was such a caring, loving , and in his words, "Nerdy" person.

The premise of the book, selective abortion, was interesting but disturbing at the same time, especially when I heard in the news this week, that this very same thing was happening here in Texas. 
Even though I was disappointed in The Forbidden Daughter, I will still read other books by Shobham Bantwal.

Happy Reading Everyone!!!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

SPANNING THREE GENERATIONS AND HALF THE WORLD, WILDFLOWER HILL IS A SWEEPING, ROMANTIC, AND COMPELLING STORY OF TWO WOMEN WHO SHARE A LEGACY OF SECRETS, HEARTBREAK, COURAGE, AND LOVE. Emma, a prima ballerina in London, is at a crossroads after an injured knee ruins her career. Forced to rest and take stock of her life, she finds that she’s mistaken fame and achievement for love and fulfillment. Returning home to Australia, she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death and a strange inheritance: a sheep station in isolated rural Australia. Certain she has been saddled with an irritating burden, Emma prepares to leave for Wildflower Hill to sell the estate. Beattie also found herself at a crossroads as a young woman, but she was pregnant and unwed. She eventually found success—but only after following an unconventional path that was often dangerous and heartbreaking. Beattie knew the lessons she learned in life would be important to Emma one day, and she wanted to make sure Emma’s heart remained open to love, no matter what life brought. She knew the magic of the Australian wilderness would show Emma the way. Wildflower Hill is a compelling, atmospheric, and romantic novel about taking risks, starting again, and believing in yourself. It’s about finding out what you really want and discovering that the answer might be not at all what you’d expect.

MY THOUGHTS: I can't really say that I disliked this story,  because I read this from start to finish.  There were certain parts that went really slow, but other parts, I didn't want to end.   I really enjoyed the dual narratives of  Emma and Beattie, but to be honest, Bettie's story held my interest a little more than Emma's.  I loved Bettie's spunk and determination through out the novel.  I am not sure why, but I couldn't connect with Emma.  Maybe it was her self-absorbed demeanor, or just winey attitude.  Although, I must say she did soften a bit in the end.   This story was more character driven than plot driven, which is my favorite type of story.  The characters in Beattie's era were so real to me, some of them I love, some not so much, but they all seems so real.  

There were many passages in this book, that really made me stop and think.  Here are some of my favorites:

“There are two types of women in the world, Beattie, those who do things and those who have things done to them.”.

"We don’t really know what goes on in families. Best not to judge."

"Beattie came to understand that she’d come to Wildflower Hill to grieve. Not just for Charlie and Lucy, whom, frankly, she had grieved over a great deal already. She was grieving the loss of her youth, the closing down of possibilities as life became what it was rather than what it might have been."

I would definitely read other books by Kimberley Freeman.  I am giving this a 3/5.

Happy Reading

Monday, July 16, 2012

Orangeberry Book Tours - Book Feature - Patchwork of Me by Gregory G Allen

Orangeberry Book Tours - Patchwork of Me By Gregory G Allen
A product of the foster care system, Sara Butler spends her early thirties hiding from her past while striving for a normal life with her small group of quirky friends in Arizona. Seeking treatment for an invisible rash and abnormal dreams, her therapist helps her unlock a heinous past that she is unsure she wants to open. To patch her life back together, she realizes she must travel across country to Maine to confront that past in order to plan for a future.
What readers have said
“Allen weaves an intricate tapestry of characters, successfully transporting the reader into his world…a compelling read.” – Joanne Huspek Blogcritics
“A page-turning, thought provoking, and addictive tale. Allen’s vivid characters are rich and real and thoroughly enjoyable.” – Spencer Seidel Author of Dead of Wynter
“It’s Allen’s wisdom and insight – the hopeful message that it is up to us to shape our life and our future – that truly makes this book special. With Patchwork of Me, Greg Allen has made my short list of favorite authors!” – Terri Giuliano Long Author of In Leah’s Wake
“It’s a kaleidoscope of unexpected twists and turns, emotional and psychological. It’s soul-searching; self-discovering, humorous and romantic!” – Arthur Wooten Author of Leftovers
“This book is for anyone who treasures friendship, asks big questions, looks for the truth, or simply enjoys a great story.” – Pamela Milam, MA, LPC Author & Columnist
Buy Now @ Amazon or Book Depository
Genre – Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Rating – PG13More details about the author
Connect with Gregory Allen on Twitter & Facebook
Check out
where this author will be talking about his latest release!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

There is a fire and they are in There. They are in there . . . Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and runs. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her. Afterwards, Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her family from the person who's still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love

My Thoughts:  First, I must say, that I am so glad this was a holiday week, and I actually could spend some quantity and quality time reading.  This was one of the most amazing books I have read in awhile.

Afterwards has everything that keeps you just turning page after page, and you really don't want to stop.  I loved the way Ms Lupton gave a voice to mother and daughter, Grace and Jenny, victims of a horrific fire.   Telling their story by means of out of body spirits was a unique way of narrating.   At times, Ms. Lupton actually made me forget that they were communicating as spirits. 

The author gave us twists and turns to the point where you just didn't know if the the fire was accidental or intentional.  There were so many suspects and motives that anyone of the secondary characters could have been responsible.  Without giving away the ending, I had no clue .......

Afterwards is much more than just a mystery (whodunit).  This is about family dynamics, not only for the Covey family, but the White family, Hyman family, and the McBrides
The ending just blew me away.  I actually closed my book and said, " Oh my God, what a beautiful story".

I want to thank Net Galley for providing this book, allowing me the opportunity to read this beautifully written story,  being able to experience a band-new author, and being able to give my unbiased review.

Yes, this is my first introduction to  Rosamund Lupton's novels, but I have already put her and her 1st book "Sister", on the top of my favorites and TBR list.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Upcoming Reads

Like my fellow bloggers, I have so many books on my TBR pile, that I decided to join a couple of challenges on Goodreads. Hopefully I will be able to reduce my list a little, read some amazing stories and discover some amazing authors.

This is my list of Challenges and Books I have decided to read.

Challenge 2012 Read Challenge ~ July's Monthly Challenge ~ Spell out Mini Challenge ~ RED
R = Afterwards by Rosamond Lupton
E = Next to Love by Ellen Feldman
D = Daniel's Dream by Peter Michael Rosenberg

Challenge 2012 Read Challenge ~ Quarterly - July thru Sept
S - The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
W- Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman
E - The Escape Artist - Diane Chamberlain
D - Daughters-In-Law by Joanna Trollope
E - Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan
N - Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Challenge 2012 Read Challenge ~ Yearly Challenge - Door Stopper Challenge
Sunday Wife by Cassandra King - 528 Pages

I will keep you updated as I go. HOPE EVERYONE HAS A WONDERFUL 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND!!!!!

Happy Reading

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain

A beloved daughter. A devastating choice. And now there's no going back.

Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. But he's never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life. The reason behind every move he makes. And so far, she is fed. Cared for and Safe.

But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he's worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble...….

Then a miracle. A job in Raleigh has the power to turn their fortunes around. It has to. But when Travis arrives in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions.

With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter's sake. Even if it means he might lose her.

Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Mira (first published January 1st 2012)

0778313468 (ISBN13: 9780778313465
My Thoughts:  Let me start by saying that this is the first novel by Diane Chamberlain, that I have read.  There are many other books out there that I have on my TBR list, that need to be pushed to the top of my list. 
I love how Ms Chamberlain develops vivid characters whom you can’t help but to care about.    I felt and cared about each of them in different ways during the shifting of their personal stories.
"The Good Father" is much more than choices parents make.  I could feel Travis's hopelessness and despair trying to provide for his daughter.   My heart just ached during the time of their homelessness.
We sympathize with Erin's grieving the  loss of her daughter, and not being able to grieve with her husband.   I felt so for Robin, who survived so much in her life, and in the end is able to see what is really important to her.   This novel has so many facets, elements of suspense, deception, romance.   There were parts of this story that were absolutely heart-wrenching, and I just kept turning pages just to see what was going to happen next. 

I am rating "The Good Father" a 9/10, all the elements of a perfectly written story. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

From GOODREADS:   Edward Warren, twenty-four, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.

With her father’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?

Lone Wolf explores the notion of family, and the love, protection and strength it’s meant to offer. But what if the hope that should sustain it, is the very thing that pulls it apart? Another tour de force from Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf examines the wild and lonely terrain upon which love battles reason

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books; First Edition edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439102740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439102749

  •  My Thoughts:  First of all, the reason for reading this novel is that I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult.  There are only a couple of her books that I have not read, but plan to at some time.  Like Jodi Picoult's other novels, Lone Wolf deals with real life issues; situations that no one wants to find themselves in but that we know people deal with every single day.  For me, being able to identify with real life issues, and real life characters(without reading Non-Fiction),  keeps me reading from page 1 to the end.

    The authenticity of rankings of a wolf pack and how they lived were of  little interest to me while reading this story.  I felt the storyline of the wolf pack was used as a correlation to family (packs)  The main interest was the family dynamics, the subject of traumatic brain injury, advance directives, living wills, and end-of-life care.  I read a review on-line and needed to add this to my review, because I could not have said it better.

     "Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we definitely don't have to agree! That being said, fiction, at the end of the day, is still what it is, what fiction readers appreciate about it, and will never be anything else. I read fiction for a story. A good time. An escape from any reality I will ever know. Characters take me to far away places. I love spending time with them during the duration of a book."

    One of Jodi Picoult's trademarks, if you will, is that all the different fonts are not a mistake.  I enjoy her way of separating each character’s feelings, emotions and thoughts.  This was wonderfully done in each chapter of the Lone Wolf.

    Like other Picoult novels, there are multiple levels of conflict – from simple brother and sister arguments to court room drama, conflict between, mother and son, mother and daughter and husband and wife.     Because of the way Picoult handles these conflicts, with a caring touch and balances, it was very easy for me to see and care about all parties involved in this terrible decision that had to be made.    

    I cannot say that I was surprised at the ending, but as always I was not disappointed.  Even though I am trying to branch out and experience other authors, Jodi Picoult continues to be my favorite.

    I am giving this book a  5/5 because of my favorite author.

    This completes Book I for Spring Thing Challenge 2012.  Now onto Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, for Book II, and the Secret Garden Read-A-Long.

    Happy Reading Everyone!!  See you Soon!


    Sunday, April 22, 2012


    This is my first children's book sent to me from Tyndale Publishers for review  I wasn't sure how I was going to review this adorable book.   When I saw the cover and the beautiful illustrations, I put my hands to my face and worried if I would be able to give this story the review it deserves.

    My first thought when I saw the cover was "What a beautiful soothing bedtime story for my granddaughter Hayden, who by the way just turned 3 last week.   Then I started turning the pages and fell in love with the cutest animals; little bunnies, kittens, baby bears, baby ducks, and little cuddly piglets.

    This story is more than a parent reminding their children that they love them, but that Jesus will always be with them and "Couldn't Love Them More".  Telling our boys that we love them unconditionally has been an important part of our parenting.  It was (is) very important that even though they are now grown men with families of their own, they know that we are always here for them.  We are all in different towns, and states, but we talk on the phone regularly.  Our conversations always end with "I Love You".  I see through my grandchildren, an their young age of  3, these 3 words and the understanding have been passed down to them. 

    I feel truly honored to be given the chance to read and review this wonderful children's book, but also to be able to pass this book onto my granddaughter Hayden Paige.

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Spring Reading Thing 2012

    I just found this challenge and was really taken by the thought of reading a book title starting with the letters in Spring.

    When? March 20th – June 19th
    What? Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, will be to read the word SPRING plus we’ve added three bonus mini challenges. How do you read the word Spring? Good question. You have three options:
    a. Read books whose titles begin with each letter in the word SPRING.
    b. Read books where the authors’ first names begin with each letter in the word SPRING.
    c. Read books where the authors’ last names begin with each letter in the word SPRING.
    1. Read a book with the name of a flower in the title.
    2. Read a book with a flower(s) on the cover.
    3. Read a book where the main character’s name is the name of a flower.
    S ~ Sheriff’s Surrender, The by Susan Page Davis or Susan Page Davis, The Sheriff’s Surrender or Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island
    P ~
    R ~
    I ~
    N ~
    G ~
    I went thru my list of books on my TBR list and found that I have books of every letter just waiting to be read.  Surprise, Surprise.  Here is my list of books that I am going to attempt to read:

    I am really looking forward to reading some of your reviews of books relating to SPRING!!!!

    Happy Reading