Saturday, September 23, 2017

Chasing Darkness by Julie Cassar ~ My Thoughts


Chasing Darkness

Chasing Darkness
by Julie Cassar

Series: Stealing Light #2
e-book, 225 pages
Expected publication: September 26, 2017

As Cecelia Walker embraces her gift of stealing Light, she learns of the horror that lurks in every shadow. A hellacious evil force seeks to quench its insatiable hunger for power. Which souls will fall in the path of its destruction?

Angels, Anninox, and other-worldly warriors wreak havoc and join in the battle for souls, while CeeCee and Cash find themselves as pawns in the center of this deadly game. Chasing the Darkness, they discover that all choices come with a cost. Will her power be enough to save them, or will it be used against her as Dark forces invade every inch of her life and threaten to drive a wedge between these long-lost soulmates?



My thoughts about Chasing Darkness ~~ 

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"I stood in the room of white, but could not bring myself to look at the throne where He would soon be sitting. I hung my head in shame and waited for my judgement."

Stealing Light, book 1 in this series just blew me away! And Chasing Darkness continues with that same kind of awesomeness. I went back and re-read Stealing Light just so I could get caught up in the story again. It was just as good the second time. Then the action takes off in Chasing Darkness

I love CeeCee and Cash together and this book gives us a little more of their history as we see their relationship deepen. CeeCee has so much to learn about the Light and the Darkness. This is a scary time for CeeCee as the Darkness and the shadows become evil things. She starts to grasp the power of her Light and learns to use it to fight the Darkness. Epic battles ensue! 

Chasing Darkness is such an exciting look at a different world; a world that is full of light and dark, good and evil. I devoured this story and I can't wait to continue this tale in book three as CeeCee and Cash 'chase the Darkness.'

I received a copy of Chasing Darkness from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I loved book #1 in this series! Read my thoughts here

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About the author



Julie Cassar's debut Young Adult Fantasy "Ruby Blue" Series has been met with rave reviews and has spent weeks on Amazon's Fantasy Series Best Seller List as well as its Top Rated list. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art, specializing in Graphic Design, Cassar has also worked as a production artist, designer, painter and photographer. She has been featured in Fitness Magazine, "Outdoor Athlete," and publishes a monthly blog.

Connect with Julie


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Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.

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The book this week is another book club read from the past. I loved this heartbreaking story and we had a great discussion about it. I got this copy from a friend and now I'm passing it onto one of you. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published June 2nd 2002 by Little, Brown and Company

Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. The Lovely Bones is such a book - a phenomenal #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its narrative artistry, its luminous clarity of emotion, and its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."

So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on eath continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.

Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy

  
About the author

Alice Sebold

Alice Sebold is an American writer. She has published three books: Lucky (1999), The Lovely Bones (2002), and The Almost Moon (2007).

Connect with Anne




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Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? September 18, 2017


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

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We had another great week with some cooler temps, some rain. I love sweatshirt weather! Hubby was gone over the weekend so I was able to have some quality time to myself.... and I spent a good share of it reading cause, why not? 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

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Cardinal Cabin
by Joanne DeMaio

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Treachery in Death (In Death #32)
by J.D. Robb, narrated by Susan Ericksen
(audio-book)

What I recently finished

https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Darkness-Stealing-Light-Book-ebook/dp/B075HNDSQT
Chasing Darkness (Stealing Light #2)
by Julie Cassar
My thoughts will be posted later this week. 

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Stealing Light
by Julie Cassar
This was a re-read for me as I got ready to read book 2. I love this series. Read my thoughts here.

Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems 
Phyllis Cole-Dai & Ruby R. Wilson
Beautiful book, inspiring words. Read my thoughts here.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes
Love and Other Consolation Prizes
by Jamie Ford 
My thoughts will be posted later this week.

What I am going to read next

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A Little Bit of Grace
by Phoebe Fox 

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems ~ My Thoughts

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Poetry of Presence

Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems
Edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson
Paperback, 248 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Grayson Books

Mindfulness poems invite us to bring our whole self to whatever moment we’re in, and truly live it. They encourage us to be more present, more attentive and compassionate, in the living of our days. They grant us a taste of being good enough, just as we are, in this world, just as it is.

Poetry of Presence is a collection of more than 150 mindfulness poems, mostly by contemporary or recent poets. These poems call us to the Here and Now, and help us to dwell there. The Here and Now is all that truly belongs to us, and as the poets say, it’s enough.

This is a book for the times we live in. An inspiring read for lovers of beautiful, accessible poetry, it’s also a valuable resource for literature teachers, spiritual directors, meditators, interfaith clergy, mindfulness trainers, social workers, counselors, poetry therapists, hospice and grief workers, and medical personnel.

Anthologized poets include Yehuda Amichai • Margaret Atwood • Ellen Bass • Wendell Berry • Robert Bly • Billy Collins • Mahmoud Darwish • Thich Nhat Hanh • Joy Harjo • Tony Hoagland • Miroslav Holub • Marie Howe • Erica Jong • Kabir • Galway Kinnell • Ted Kooser • Howard Nemerov • Kathleen Norris • Mary Oliver • Rainer Maria Rilke • Rumi • May Sarton • William Stafford • David Wagoner • Alice Walker and many more.

My thoughts about Poetry of Presence ~~

Poetry of Presence is a beautiful collection of poems, written by many very talented poets. It is a collection to savor and reread. You will find yourself coming back to it over and over as life changes happen, each time gaining more wisdom, advice, and peace from the words within.

Okay, I have to be completely honest here for a bit. I did not enjoy poetry in high school; all that analyzing and pulling each poem apart, trying to discover it's meaning. It just wasn't fun for me as the teacher tried to get us to 'get it'. So, my attitude has always been, I don't do poetry.

Poetry of Presence advises the reader to slow down, read and enjoy each poem, think about how it relates to your life. Some you may 'get' right away—it will speak to you. Others, maybe not. Or maybe not right now. Maybe it will speak to you at a later time. Come back to it.

This is going to be a slow read for me because I am going to take their advice. I am going to savor each poem, marking the ones I love and noting the ones to come back to. Honestly, Poetry of Presence made me rethink my feelings about poetry—I now do poetry.

Trailer


Purchase Poetry of Presence



About the Editors

PCD for web

Originally from Ohio, Phyllis Cole-Dai now makes her home in Brookings, South Dakota, where she resides with her husband and teenage son in a cozy 120-year-old house. Poetry of Presence is her seventh book, and her only volume of poetry. She has also created four music albums and is in demand as a public speaker. “My profession,” she likes to joke, “is whatever doesn’t pay well.” But don’t let her humor fool you. Her work is driven by a profound desire to help create a more humane world for this and future generations. In 2013 her adopted city awarded her the 14th annual Dorothy and Eugene Butler Human Rights Award.

Ruby Portrait

Ruby R. Wilson graduated from South Dakota State University with majors in German and Geography. Though she had a hard time figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up, she has now found her niche as an archivist in the University Archives & Special Collections Department at SDSU, and as a freelance writer and photographer. She has published three poetry chapbooks: Campus Sketches: Images of South Dakota State University in Word and Photograph (2012), At the Rim of the Horizon (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and Maybe the Moon is Falling (South Dakota State Poetry Society, 2014), one of four winners of the Society’s chapbook competition. She lives on a small acreage in rural Brookings County with her husband Jim. She can sometimes be seen gathering seeds from big bluestem and other native plants, or gazing at stars that aren’t crowded out by city lights.

Fellow writers and great friends, Phyllis and Ruby brought complementary strengths to the creation of Poetry of Presence. Phyllis has practiced mindfulness meditation for more than half her life. Ruby possesses a poet’s eye and ear, and a passionate love of language. They share the belief that mindfulness poetry can help change the world—one poem, one reader, at a time.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Book Spotlight Giveaway! Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler


I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.

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The book this week is another book club read from the past. I got this copy from a friend and now I'm passing it onto one of you. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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Back When We Were Grownups

Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler 
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Alfred A. Knopf 

"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person." So Anne Tyler opens this irresistible new novel.

The woman is Rebecca Davitch, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother. Is she an impostor in her own life? she asks herself. Is it indeed her own life? Or is it someone else's?

On the surface, Beck, as she is known to the Davitch clan, is outgoing, joyous, a natural celebrator. Giving parties is, after all, her vocation-something she slipped into even before finishing college, when Joe Davitch spotted her at an engagement party in his family's crumbling nineteenth-century Baltimore row house, where giving parties was the family business. What caught his fancy was that she seemed to be having such a wonderful time. Soon this large-spirited older man, divorced with three little girls, swept her into his orbit, and before she knew it she was embracing his extended family plus a child of their own, and hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms of The Open Arms.

Now, some thirty years later, after presiding over a disastrous family picnic, Rebecca is caught un-awares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it-how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been-is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.

As always with Anne Tyler's novels, once we enter her world it is hard to leave. But in Back When We Were Grownups she so sharpens our perceptions and awakens so many untapped feelings that we come away not only refreshed and delighted, but also infinitely wiser..

  
About the author

Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University.

The Beginner's Goodbye is Anne Tyler's nineteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Connect with Anne



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Friday, September 15, 2017

On Tour: The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson, an Excerpt and a Giveaway!


Visit other stops on the tour here.

The Pursuit of Lady Harriett


by Rachael Anderson

When wills clash and hearts collide, who will reign victorious? 

Termed an Incomparable during her first London season, Lady Harriett Cavendish is beautiful, spirited, and confident, capturing the attention of a great many suitors. Unfortunately, they all failed to capture her attention, and she concluded the season as unattached as she’d begun it. Only weeks prior to her second season, Harriett encounters Lieutenant Christopher Jamison while visiting Tanglewood Manor. 

Recently returned from war, the lieutenant is everything that Harriett's previous suitors were not. He’s arrogant, ungentlemanly, irritating, and challenges her at every opportunity. When he goes too far, Harriett decides that it’s time to turn the tables on him. But as she sets out to put the lieutenant in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she has no control whatsoever.


Excerpt

Harriett looked at what remained of the cake. Apparently, he didn’t intend to finish it off after all, so she collected their forks and stood. 

“Forgive me for saying so, but you look quite done in, Chris. If you do not go up to bed now, you will probably fall asleep here. Only imagine what Mrs. Caddy might say if she discovers you here with the mostly-eaten cake. For your own sake, you ought to retire. I will do my best to tidy things up.” 

Before she could move away from him, he grabbed her hand and guided her to sit back down, keeping hold of her fingers. 

“Not so fast, my lady. I meant it when I said that I’m in desperate need of the distraction that only you can provide. Thus far, all I have done is burden you with my troubles.” 

“I do not feel at all burdened, sir.” 

Indeed, Harriett suddenly felt breathless and somewhat giddy. The effect this man had on her was something of a wonder. 

“Sir?” he asked. “I thought we were beyond that.” 

“I thought so as well, but you only just called me ‘my lady.’” 

He frowned and blinked as though he hadn’t realized he had. “Forgive me, Harry. I fear my exhaustion has muddled my thinking.” 

This time, she did not let the name slide. She snatched her hand free and frowned at him. 

“Obviously it has.” 

He laughed—not a tired attempt at a laugh, but a real one filled with the richness that warmed her straight through. Only this time, it did not bother her at all. In fact, it felt wonderful, almost like a compliment. 

“I knew you’d come through for me,” he said, leaning close enough to touch shoulders with her. “You have no idea how much I needed to laugh or how good that felt. I could honestly kiss you right now.” 

Harriett tried her best not to blush or appear astonished by the suggestion—he had obviously made the comment in jest—but when his smile widened into a devilish grin, she knew she’d failed. He leaned in closer, and his gaze wandered briefly to her mouth before returning to her eyes. She could smell vanilla and lemon and a hint of something else—leather perhaps? A delightful pulse whipped down her arm, and she was hard-pressed not to shiver. 

“Admit it,” he said. “You have missed me.”



Rachael

USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.




$25 Amazon Gift Card or 
Paypal Cash Giveaway 

Ends 10/1/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 



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