Monday, August 27, 2012

Mailbox Monday and Update



Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Our August host is: Jennifer D at 5 Minutes for Books

Here are the lovelies that I found in my mailbox!

Books For Review:

imagesCALAD328 The Care & Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper

imagesCAKNNWKM The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne

imagesCAXP0OQ8 A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis by Jillian Stone

imagesCA46PZ10 Eve & Adam by Michael Grant

merly streep movie club The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March

For Fun:




Books Read Over The Weekend:

molly harper  

What lovelies did you find in your mailbox?


Best Wishes & Happy Reading,

Angela Renee

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Snapshot-The Invasion


To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce @ At Home With Books



Periodical Cicadas have invaded my hometown. I am surrounded by these noisy little insects and they are starting to become a nuisance.

It’s not so much the noise that bothers me but the fact that you cannot leave your car door open for more than twenty seconds without one or two or ten flying inside. Oh, and you might as well forget about bringing in the shopping without incident because one or two or ten seem to have a knack for finding their way into your bags. And it is useless to try to sit in the garden with a book and cupper because they dive-bomb you the moment you step outside.

Their shell’s dot the tree limbs, the siding, the privacy fence, the roof of the potting shed. I am fairly sure that one could easily fill a ten gallon bucket with the shells that are littering my back garden.

Have these annoying lovely creatures invaded your hometown?

Best Wishes,

Angela Renee

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Perfect Elizabeth by Libby Schmais


imagesCA4J9BPJTitle: The Perfect Elizabeth

Author: Libby Schmais

ISBN: 0-312-27080-1

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Format: Trade Paperback    

Source: My Personal Library (purchased from used bookshop)

Rating: Raitng 1


This modern-day Sense & Sensibility is a witty story about two sisters: Liza, a would-be poet who spends miserable days as a legal secretary; and Bette, a graduate student writing her dissertation on Toast in the English Novel. Bette has taken to eating only what the characters she is writing about would eat: boiled eggs on toast, mincemeat, nice cups of tea…Liza’s bit concerned. She’s also worried about the statues of her relationship with her actor boyfriend, Gregor. They’re not living together, and that’s a problem.

Then there’s the issue of Liza’s career, or the lack thereof. Can dog-walking be considered a vocation? Liza’s beginning to think so. Mercifully, Bette is merely a local phone call away.

Throughout this hilarious novel, the sisters deal with unemployment, infidelity, interfering parent, Hollywood, lemmings, a pregnancy, and a wedding. The Perfect Elizabeth is as indulgent and cathartic as a pint of Haagen-Dazs. (from the back of the book)

My Thoughts:

The weekend before last, I went book shopping and found The Perfect Elizabeth: A Tale of Two Sisters by Libby Schmais which claimed to be a modern retelling of Sense & Sensibility. Being a true Jane addict I knew that I had to purchase this book to feed my addiction. Let me say that I was thoroughly and utterly disappointed. If I would have paid more than $1.99 for this book I would have been highly perturbed as it was one of the worst books that I ever read and the only comparison that it had to S&S was that the novel did indeed have two sisters in it.

Believe you me, I searched this book from the front cover to the back for any shred of a resemblance to S&S and found absolutely nothing. I believe that there was only one mention of Jane throughout the book. Truth be told, the novel should have been marketed to Barbara Pym fans as the book is exploding with mentions of her and her novels.

As the book is called The Perfect Elizabeth, I assumed that the book would feature both Liza’s and Bette’s pov, as the two names are derivatives of Elizabeth. However, I was wrong; the book was told entirely from Liza’s pov and Bette was rarely even mentioned. Not only did I find Liza boring, I found her to be whiny and annoying to the point I wanted to chuck the book in the bin and her obsession with cheese was downright ridiculous.

If ever a book had ADD, it was this one as the writing rambled from one thing to another then another with no true point.

The only good thing about this book is that it is only 220 odd pages, but I will never get back those few hours that I spent reading it.

U.S.A. Today reviewed the book as:

“The Perfect Elizabeth is the kind of book women will read, then tuck into the shoulder bag of their closest friend or officemate.”

I am seriously wondering if that was only meant for a way to rid yourself of book rather than a recommendation.

Best Wishes & Happy Reading,

Angela Renee

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

imagesCAB7FQMA Title: Short-Straw Bride

Author: Karen Witemeyer

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0965-9

Publisher: Bethany House

Format: Trade Paperback

$14.99 US

Rating: 5 Cups


NO ONE STEPS ON ARCHER LAND. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a long-standing debt compels her to take the risk.

Years of constant vigilance harden a man. Yet when Travis Archer comes across a female trespasser with the vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can’t bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifices leaves her injured and her reputation in shred, gratitude and guilt prompts him to attempt to rescue her once again.

Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she vows to stand by his side. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her as merely a short-straw bride? (from the back of the book)

I loved this book!!!! I could not put it down and ended up reading in less than two hours and then reading it again!

The Plot:

After freeing her foot from a metal trap, a young Meredith discovers that the rough and tough Travis Archer is not quite as rough and tough as people describe him as. 12 years have passed and once again, due to overhearing the man who wants to marry her state that he is planning to burn down the Archer farm, she finds herself on Archer land.

Although things go terribly wrong as her intentions to warn Travis goes awry and she ends up being injured and in turn discovered in his bed by her uncle who is now demanding that one of the Archer brothers marry her, even though nothing improper happened.

Further trouble ensues as Travis and Meredith maneuver married life.

The plot was fast paced and continually had me flipping the pages.

The characters:

Meredith & Travis- both characters were headstrong and determined ensuring that interesting events would take place throughout the course of the book.

The Archer men were an interesting lot. Each one of them brought their own flavor to the book, which helped to round out the book nicely. And I would love to read more about them.

Cassie- Meredith’s cousin was a perfect secondary character and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the parts of the novel that she was in.

Roy Mitchell—I found him exceedingly annoying although I am not sure one is actually supposed to like the villain.


I immensely liked this book. Not only was it a light little read, it was pleasantly charming as well.

Best Wishes & Happy Reading,

Angela Renee

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Violet Season by Kathy Leonard Czepiel

av Title: A Violet Season

Author: Kathy Leonard Czepiel

ISBN: 9781451655063

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Format: Trade Paperback & ebook

$15.00 U.S./$17.00 Can.

How I Read It: Trade Paperback from publisher

Rating: Rating 2


The violent industry is blooming in 1898, and a Hudson Valley farm owned by the Fletcher family is turning a generous profit for its two oldest brothers. But Ida Fletcher, married to the black sheep youngest brother, has taken up wet nursing to help pay the bills, and her daughter, Alice, has left school to work. As they risk losing their share of the farm, the two women make increasingly great sacrifices for their family’s survival, sacrifices that will set them against each other in a lifelong struggle for honesty and forgiveness. A Violet Season is the story of an unforgettable mother-daughter journey in a time when women were just waking to their own power and independence. (from the back of the book)

My Thoughts:

First, I have to say that I loved the cover. It has the pick-me-up-and-read-me quality, which catches your eye.

To be honest the book was a bit slow for me. When I started the novel, I was hoping that it would speed up a bit although it stayed at a slow pace throughout. Set in the late 1800’s in the Hudson River Valley amidst booming violet industry we see the struggle of the Fletcher family as secrets and lies are uncovered reveling that people are not who they seem to be.

While this novel is rich in detail the pace is almost painfully slow however, the author was very crafty by keeping the novel suspenseful, which in a way makes up for the slow pace. The characters, for me, were another hit and miss, I found either that I thoroughly liked them or completely found them annoying.

What truly intrigued me about this novel was the fact that the author used the industry of violet farming as a background. I had never read a novel with this particular industry being front and center and I must say it gave the novel a fresh feel.

Key points of interest that made me continue reading:

-The family saga aspect

-The suspense

-The inclusion of the start of women’s suffrage

Best Wishes & Happy Reading,

Angela Renee

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mailbox Monday & Update




Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Our August host is: Jennifer D at 5 Minutes for Books

Now that my internet is properly functioning, I am going to get back into the groove of blogging again!

For Review:

twh The Twelve Room of the Nile by Enid Shomer

av A Violet Season by Kathy Leonard Czepiel  (read)

Imperfect-Bliss Imperfect Bliss by Susan Fales-Hill

imagesCAQINSH1The Island House by Posie Graeme-Evans

imagesCAH1OJ0BAbdication by Juliet Nicolson

For Fun (books that I purchased)


imagesCAV0NB3T  imagesCA63HBAI

Books Read Last Week:

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund

Marrying Up by Wendy Holden

Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight by Grace Burrowes

Call Me Wild by Robin Kaye

Temptation in a Kilt by Victoria Roberts

A Violet Season by Kathy Leonard Czepiel

Currently Reading:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (reread)

Death of a Poison Pen by M.C. Beaton

Plain Fear, Forbidden by Leanna Ellis

What was in your mailbox?

Best Wishes & Happy Reading,

Angela Renee