Saturday, September 28, 2013

Coming Up...Week 39 of 2013

Book to be reviewed:

The Hourglass by Sharon A. Struth

Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?

Until Brenda McAllister’s husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack’s best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?

The release of Brenda’s second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn’t the only one with secrets—Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn’t always on the map.


House of Earth by Woody Guthrie 


Finished in 1947 and lost to readers until now, House of Earth is Woody Guthrie's only fully realized novel—a powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, filled with the homespun lyricism and authenticity that have made his songs a part of our national consciousness. It is the story of an ordinary couple's dreams of a better life and their search for love and meaning in a corrupt world.

Tike and Ella May Hamlin struggle to plant roots in the arid land of the Texas Panhandle. The husband and wife live in a precarious wooden farm shack, but Tike yearns for a sturdy house that will protect them from the treacherous elements. Thanks to a five-cent government pamphlet, Tike has the know-how to build a simple adobe dwelling, a structure made from the land itself—fireproof, windproof, Dust Bowl–proof. A house of earth.

Though they are one with the farm and with each other, the land on which Tike and Ella May live and work is not theirs. Due to larger forces beyond their control—including ranching conglomerates and banks—their adobe house remains painfully out of reach.

A story of rural realism and progressive activism, and in many ways a companion piece to Guthrie's folk anthem "This Land Is Your Land," House of Earth is a searing portrait of hardship and hope set against a ravaged landscape. Combining the moral urgency and narrative drive of John Steinbeck with the erotic frankness of D. H. Lawrence, here is a powerful tale of America from one of our greatest artists.

What I'm Reading right now:

Saving Rain by Karen-Anne Stewart (e-book)

Raina has tried to forget her past, forget the pain, but when she finds herself staring straight into the fury blazing in her ex-boyfriend's eyes, her dark past comes rushing back. Furious with herself for actually having chosen someone like her father, she uses that anger to her advantage and fights for her life...and for her future that she prays will involve the man she can't seem to get out of her head. Kas is a natural leader, a fierce fighter, the type of man you send in when you need to get the job done. He is a courageous hero who is used to risking his own life to save others, but can he save the one who has captured his heart from her horrific past and the men who are hell-bent on destroying her? As Kas and Raina try to navigate through the twists and turns of a deviously intelligent human trafficking group, they find solace in each other's arms. Can they infiltrate the trafficker's tight ring, saving the innocent lives from imminent danger before it's too late?

Saving Rain is intended for readers 18 and older.

Pages: 16 out of 241

Chapters: 2 out of 29 plus prologue 

The Color of Light by Helen Maryles Shankman

NEW YORK CITY, 1992. At the American Academy of Classical Art, popular opinion has it that the school’s handsome and mysterious founder, Raphael Sinclair, is a vampire. It is a rumor Rafe does nothing to dispel.

Scholarship student Tessa Moss has long dreamed of the chance to study at Rafe’s Academy. But she is floundering amidst the ups and downs of a relationship with egotistical art star Lucian Swain.

Then, one of Tessa’s sketches catches Rafe’s attention: a drawing of a young woman in 1930s clothing who is covering the eyes of a child. The suitcase at her feet says Wizotsky. Sofia Wizotsky, the love of Rafe’s life, was lost during the Holocaust.

Or was she? Rafe suspects Tessa may be the key to discovering what really happened.

As Rafe finds excuses to interact with Tessa, they cannot deny their growing attraction to one another. It is an attraction forbidden by the Academy Board and disapproved of by anyone familiar with Rafe’s playboy reputation and Tessa’s softhearted innocence.

But Tessa senses the truth: despite his wealth, his women, and his townhouse filled with rare and beautiful treasures, Rafe is a haunted man…for reasons that have nothing to do with the rumors they whisper about him at school.

Intensely romantic and deeply moving, The Color of Light blends fact and fantasy in an unforgettable tale of art and passion, love and war, guilt and forgiveness, spanning the New York art scene, high-fashion magazine publishing, the glittering café society of pre-World War II Paris, and the evil stalking the back roads of Nazi-occupied Europe.

Pages: 121 out of 573

Chapters: 12 out of 47 plus epilogue and prologue 

Till Morning Comes by Suyin Han

Alone in exotic Chungking, beautiful foreign correspondent Stephanie Ryder is warned to keep silent about the atrocities she witnesses in the city’s teeming slums. Defying a brutal Kuomintang officer, she is swept to an electrifying first meeting with Dr. Jen Yong, a handsome, dedicated and compassionate Chinese surgeon. For Yong, a sexual liaison with an American woman could mean a death sentence. For Stephanie, an affair with an Asian man would cause an irreparable breach with her Texas millionaire father. But just when danger threatens to separate them forever, their passion bursts into flame…and carries them on a fabulous romantic journey from the stormy depths of fear and desire, to the moving affirmation that enduring love is truly a many-splendored thing.

Chapters: 7 out of 27

Pages: 141 out of 620

Tempted Tigress-Jade Lee

China's Grand Canal saw all kinds of transport-food, slaves, even deadly opium. And when one woman planned to sail it to freedom, her flight would end in the arms of a Mandarin prince. There her true journey would begin.

Orphaned and stranded, Anna Marie Thompson could trust no one, especially not her dark captor. Not when his eyes held secrets deadlier than her own. Though his caress was liquid fire, his arms a steely shield, Anna was still an Englishwoman and alone. She could not trust him when he swore they could tame the dragon, could together unearth the riches of the sweet cinnabar cave. But sadness and fear could be cleansed by soft yin rain, he whispered; safety and joy were but a breath away. And perhaps love. All was here for the taking, if she would just give in to temptation....

Chapters: 5 out of 19 plus prologue

Pages: 71 out of 346

Azlander: Second Nature by Gabriel Brunsdon

AZLANDER is a fantastical esoteric journey throughout the realms of Faerie, of Hell and the virtual worlds. Snapshots of magic, spiritual insights - telling of the elven Puck who was formerly known as Robin of the Forest and his travels throughout the mortal world today.

Chapters: 3 out of 200

Pages: 8 out of 423







Imperfect Pairings by Jackie Townsend

Winner, Chick Lit, Indie Reader Discovery Awards 2013

Can love cross borders? In "Imperfect Pairings" a woman’s love for an Italian leaves her confronting this question. He’s Jack in America, but he’s Giovanni in Italy; understanding him means understanding his culture, his language. It means losing the foundations of her identity to become entangled in the deep-rooted vines of his family’s troubled past when she’d vowed to remain disentangled. Her career and autonomy had always come first, and she fell in love thinking she could control it, not give in to it. Is she losing herself? Or is she finally giving in to the woman she’d been all along.

This is an adult love story, one that will leave you thinking long afterwards about the oceans that separate us from the ones we love

Chapters: 12 out of 35

Pages: 131 out of 389

The Good Earth- Pearl S. Buck

This tells the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet their own downfall.

Hard times come upon Wang Lung and his family when flood and drought force them to seek work in the city. The working people riot, breaking into the homes of the rich and forcing them to flee. When Wang Lung shows mercy to one noble and is rewarded, he begins to rise in the world, even as the House of Hwang falls.

Chapters: 29 out of 34

Pages: 294 out of 357

Future Books I will read:

Killer Rumors by Antonello Fiore (e-book)

Father D’Angelo and Bakeman, two devoted priests were brutally murdered while going on one of their nightly walks. Detective Frank Rinelli is called to the case- not only due to his close friendship with the priests, but with his expertise of tracking psychotic killers. Rinelli suddenly discovers these murders were based on a scandal that occurred several years ago at the same Church where the two murdered priests preached. And it doesn’t stop there. The list of people being murdered in connection with the scandal continues to grow until the killer has his ultimate vengeance- and the truth released.

Chapters: 99 plus epilogue and prologue

Pages: 255



The Doctor's Deceit: Sapphire Brigade Book 2 by Kathy Steinemann (e-book)

ALTERNATIVE HISTORY:

Vanguard or villain? Who is the real Owen Vargas?

SARGENT, 1898 -- The Doctor has a secret, a secret he never revealed to his departed wife, a secret he kept from his childhood friend. Is he afraid that the Brigade will find out? Does he fear Retribution? Or does he have another reason for his mysterious behavior?

Discover the truth about the Doctor and the vigilante group known as the "Sapphire Brigade"

Chapters: Preface Prologue plus 36 epilogue, afterword

Pages: 229

Promises to Keep by Jane Green

Callie Perry is a successful family photographer living in upstate New York. She adores her two daughters, has great friends, and actually doesn't mind that her workaholic husband gets home at 9 p.m. every night-that is, when he's not traveling six months out of the year.

Callie's younger sister, Steff, on the other hand, has never grown up. She's a free spirit, living in downtown Manhattan and bouncing between jobs and boyfriends. Lately, she's been working as a vegan chef, even though she can't cook.

Lila Grossman is Callie's best friend and has finally met the man of her dreams. Eddie has two wonderful children, but also a drama queen ex-wife who hates Lila. And then there are Callie and Steff's parents, Walter Cutler and Honor Pitman. Divorced for thirty years, they rarely speak to each other. 

The lives of these colorful characters intersect when they each receive a shocking note that summons them together for one extraordinary summer in Maine and changes their lives forever. This novel is about the hard choices we have to face, about having to be your parents' child long after you've grown up, and about the enduring nature of love.

Chapters: 32 plus epilogue 

Pages: 337

The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu, Edward G. Seidensticker

The Tale of Genji was written in the eleventh century by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady of the Heian court. It is universally recognized as the greatest masterpiece of Japanese prose narrative, perhaps the earliest true novel in the history of the world. Until now there has been no translation that is both complete and scrupulously faithful to the original text. Edward G. Seidensticker's masterly rendering was first published in two volumes in 1976 and immediately hailed as a classic of the translator's art. It is here presented in one unabridged volume, illustrated throughout by woodcuts taken from a 1650 Japanese edition of The Tale of Genji.

Chapters:54

Pages: 1090

Living Reed: A Novel of Korea-Pearl S. Buck

The Living Reed follows four generations of one family, the Kims, beginning with Il-han and his father, both advisors to the royal family in Korea. When Japan invades and the queen is killed, Il-han takes his family into hiding. In the ensuing years, he and his family take part in the secret war against the Japanese occupation.
Pearl S. Buck's epic tells the history of Korea through the lives of one family. She paints an amazing portrait of the country, and makes us empathize with their struggle for sovereignty through her beautifully drawn characters.

Chapters: 3 plus epilogue and historical note

Pages: 478





Sons- Pearl S. Buck

Second in the trilogy that began with The Good Earth, Buck's classic and starkly real tale of sons rising against their honored fathers tells of the bitter struggle to the death between the old and the new in China. Revolutions sweep the vast nation, leaving destruction and death in their wake, yet also promising emancipation to China's oppressed millions who are groping for a way to survive in a modern age.

Chapters: 29

Pages: 313





A House Divided-Pearl S. Buck

"A House Divided," the third volume of the trilogy that began with "The Good Earth" and "Sons," is a powerful portrayal of China in the midst of revolution. Wang Yuan is caught between the opposing ideas of different generations. After 6 years abroad, Yuan returns to China in the middle of a peasant uprising. His cousin is a captain in the revolutionary army, his sister has scandalized the family by her premarital pregnancy, and his warlord father continues to cling to his traditional ideals. It is through Yuan's efforts that a kind of peace is restored to the family

Chapters: 4

Pages: 343





The Secret of Emotions (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #1) by Justice Saint Rain

If following your heart has repeatedly gotten you into trouble, but to follow your head feels like a kind of soul-death, then this book will open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. It will teach your head how to understand the language of your heart, and teach your heart how to speak the language of God.
This book explains that our emotional sensations tell us about the virtues we are experiencing, and that these virtues are reflections of the qualities of God in the world. Making the connection between emotions and virtues gives us a whole new vocabulary for understanding our feelings. Since most people make their life-choices based on their feelings rather than reason, understanding the meaning of our emotions is the SECOND-most important lesson we can learn in this life.
The MOST important lesson is that virtues are our path to the Transcendent. Whether you call it God, Higher Power, Creative Spirit, or just your better self, we are all born with a longing to become more than we are right now – to demonstrate that we are, indeed, created in the image of the Divine.

Chapters: 8

Pages: 1-76 out if 267

4 Tools of Emotional Healing (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #2) by Justice Saint Rain

Though they are not quite the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the painful emotions of shame, anger, loneliness and fear have destroyed countless lives. The need to numb and distract ourselves from them leads us to engage in behaviors that only draw us deeper into shame and isolation. We do not need distractions or drugs, we need healing. This healing is not about solving our problems; it is about making us whole.
This book explains how the qualities of honesty, forgiveness, compassion and faith can ease the pain of these negative emotions by filling the empty spaces they represent. Emotions are messengers. Positive emotions tell us when we are experiencing the presence of virtues such as kindness, and justice. Negative emotions tell us which virtues are missing in our lives. By developing our own capacity to practice these four core virtues, we not only heal our painful emotions, but we become masters of our own feelings. This book builds on the understanding of emotions explained in The Secret of Emotions, book one in the Love, Lust and the Longing for God trilogy, but is a stand-alone introduction to the practice of Honesty, Forgiveness, Compassion and Faith.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with anger, shame, loneliness or fear, this book will jump-start the healing process. This series can be used by therapists and treatment centers to build a foundation for a wide range of recovery programs.
This book is the second of three in the Love, Lust and the Longing for God trilogy. Look for excerpts on our FaceBook page of the same name. Other books in the series include:
The Secret of Emotions
Longing for Love

Chapters: 11

Pages:  77-171 out of 267


Longing for Love (Love, Lust and the Longing for God #3) by Justice Saint Rain

The problem with most relationship-advice systems is that they assume that we are rational people and then give us rational advice as to how to attract another rational person.

But we aren’t rational. If we were, life would be much easier.
Longing for Love backs up to the beginning – explaining how our irrational infatuations are based on familiar patterns rather than healthy attraction. It teaches us how to retrain our hearts to love the kind of people that will nurture our souls, not just satisfy our lusts. Full of profound insights and practical advice, it is unlike any relationship guide you’ve ever read.
The problem with most relationship guides is that they assume that we are rational people and then give us rational advice as to how to attract another rational person.

This is book three in the series Love, Lust and the Longing for God. In the first book of this series, The Secret of Emotions, I explain that emotions are sensations that tell us about the attributes of God, or virtues, that we experience in our environment, and that love, in particular, is an attraction to these virtues.

An understanding of these two ideas, especially the second, is critical to any attempt to find true love and have healthy relationships.

The goal of this third book is to expand our ability to recognize and become attracted to virtues so that we fall in love with people who are ready to have healthy, nurturing relationships. We will take a look at what these ideas look like when applied to finding and building healthy relationships in the real world.

How does our understanding of the relationship between emotions and virtues help us find healthy people to be friends with?

How does understanding the difference between love and lust change the way we enter into sexual relationships?

How do we tell the difference between the sensation of love and all of the other sensations that are generated by relationships?

How do we maintain healthy relationships once we commit to them?

How do we avoid temptations that can destroy the relationship we have?

These are the questions that we will be exploring in this third book. If you are unsure of the answers, then this book is a good place to start.

This series can also be used by therapists and treatment centers to build a foundation for a wide range of recovery programs.

Chapters: 11

Pages: 175-265 out of 265

Truths and Roses: A Love Story by Inglath Cooper

When Will Kincaid’s professional football career comes to an abrupt end in a single night, he’s left to figure out what he’s going to do with the rest of his life. He heads home to the small Virginia town where he grew up and crosses paths with Hannah Jacobs, the only girl in high school who had ever rejected him. It’s Hannah who once made him question the choices he had made, and it’s Hannah who’s making him question them all over again. But with the weight of a secret he’s managed to hide from the world his entire adult life hanging over him, he can’t afford to question his choices. Hannah Jacobs had once made the choice to deny her feelings for Will Kincaid, at the time finding it the only possible option for a young girl intent on burying a nightmare she only wanted to forget. The life she’s made for herself as a librarian in Lake Perdue is a quiet one, and she’s hardly prepared for the day when Will rams his fancy Ferrari into her dependable old clunker. But for Hannah, Will Kincaid can only stir up memories she had long ago put away forever. And there’s nothing at all good that can come from bringing them back to life again.

Chapters:64 plus prologue and epilogue

Pages: 274

The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister 

Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And there’s Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn’t expect. . . .

Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes joining in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given. A beautifully imagined novel about the ties that bind—and links that break—The Lost Art of Mixing is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship.

Chapters:N/A plus epilogue and prologue

Pages: 272

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