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Archive for April, 2009

Spring Contest

 

It’s time to get our first contest going here at WGR. The contest will run from now until May 15. We recently interviewed Lily in Bloom author, Margaret P. Cunningham. Answer the following questions about Margaret and send them HERE along with your name and email address. All answers can be found in the interview. The winner will be announced May 16, 2009 and will receive a $20.00 Amazon gift certificate.

 

What did Margaret say is her favorite part of the novel writing process?

 

Margaret has a passion for gardening and once used buttermilk to grow some lovely, green algae. What disaster befell those algae?

 

How did Margaret meet her husband?

 

That’s it, good luck everyone!

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tiffanysSundays at Tiffany’s

By James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Hachette Book Group, January 2009

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Sundays-at-Tiffanys-James-Patterson/dp/031601477X

 

As a child I enjoyed fairy tales as much as the next girl. They were happy, pretty stories that made me feel good inside for having heard them. Even so, the small details that didn’t quite ring true always left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied. The charming prince who climbed to Rapunzel’s rescue, using her hair as a ladder (ouch!) The busy mice that helped to sew Cinderella’s gown (oh, please!) Such was the case with James Patterson’s latest effort, Sundays at Tiffany’s. A nice, happy story. But …

   

For eight-year-old Jane Margaux, childhood is a lonely time spent living in the shadow of her successful, controlling mother, Vivienne. The pain and confusion of being a little girl living in a grown-up world is softened only by the presence of Michael, Jane’s imaginary friend. Their time together includes Sunday afternoons at New York’s St. Regis Hotel, where the pair shares sundaes and secrets while Vivienne conducts business. When he leaves Jane on her ninth birthday for a new assignment, Michael softens the blow by promising her she will forget him by the next day. But Jane never forgets. Twenty-plus years later, Michael returns to Jane’s life, the perfect man, and the friend she needs more desperately than ever.

 

This charming story has a lot going for it. I found the characters to be extremely likeable, especially Jane. Despite her high-power job and posh lifestyle, Jane is as short on self-confidence as she is long on human kindness. Though he has his flaws, Michael possesses the sort of kindness that restores one’s faith in humanity. The author’s descriptions of New York are spot-on, transporting the reader into the beauty and chaos of the Big Apple, allowing them to alternately experience a night at the Metropolitan Museum, and an afternoon at a Spanish Harlem homeless shelter, without missing a beat.

 

Unfortunately, Patterson/Charbonnet’s story line was not quite as believable as their chosen setting. I had a hard time accepting the premise of a child’s imaginary friend returning to her adult life, and that skepticism made it tough for me to really connect with this story. I found the shifting viewpoints (first-person for the Jane chapters, and third-person for the Michael chapters) to be slightly irritating. Even so, the story was written with a nice blend of humor and touches of poignancy that tugged at the heart strings. It ended on a positive note, with a message of hope that left me feeling good, if somewhat skeptical.

 

— Honeybee  

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sarahsjourney1Sarah’s Journey

By Ginger Simpson

Historical Romance

Eternal Press, March 2009

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Sarahs-Journey-Ginger-Simpson/dp/1926647084

 

 

With the death of her parents, Sarah is faced with the loss of her home unless she gives in to the banker’s demand of marriage to prevent repossession. Marrying a man she finds repulsive not being an option, Sarah joins a wagon train heading west to California. When Indians attack the train, Sarah and her friend Molly are the only survivors. Molly is wounded and although Sarah does all she can, Molly doesn’t make it. Alone and terrified, Sarah decides going back to one of the towns they’d traveled through is the wisest course and after gathering what few supplies the war party had overlooked, she heads out on foot.

 

When Sarah first meets Wolf, he’s injured and thinking he’s part of the war party who attacked the train, she leaves him to die and steals his horse. Unfortunately without a saddle, she can’t mount the horse and leads him until finding a rock to aid her. Not seeing the rattlesnake sunning itself on the rock, Sarah is bitten. Wolf regains consciousness and goes looking for his horse. He finds Sarah and nurses her back to health. After hearing her story, he agrees to take her back to Independence where he’s purchased land in hopes of starting a cattle ranch.

 

Sarah and Wolf are deeply attracted to one another, but being the son of a white man and an Indian woman, Wolf has faced prejudice and hatred his entire life. Regardless of his feelings for Sarah, he can’t see a future for them.

 

This story begins right after the wagon train is attacked, so it immediately grabbed my attention and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. There are some pretty graphic descriptions of the aftermath of the attack, so if you’re squeamish about such things, you may not like that part. The author does a wonderful job portraying the hardships of the time period, and both Wolf and Sarah are likable characters. Their romance is beautifully told and I was sympathetic to their plight. I wanted badly for things to work out for them. I did find some of the dialogue a tiny bit too modern at times, but Ms. Simpson is a great storyteller and I recommend this book to anyone who loves historical love stories. The ending was surprising and I’m not sure how I feel about it…I didn’t take anything from the review rating for this because other readers will have to decide for themselves.

 

Willow

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