Wednesday, April 27, 2011


For some reason the last week or so of this A-Z challenge has been, well, a challenge! Really. I flew right along at first, now I'm struggling. Not really to come up with anything, but just to make myself do it. Hmmmm. That seems to be a recurring theme in my existence.

So, anyway, I've been reading a lot of first person woman's fiction. Some more literary...some even a little chick littish....sorry. But recall, I've confessed to being a romance junkie so you really shouldn't be surprised.

Without further is what I've been reading.

Bloodroot by Amy Greene

Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legacies—of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss—that haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.

I LOVED this book. The voice was amazing, and by 6 different narrators no less. This was fascinating, and she did it so well. The imagery she created was so real I could feel and hear it. This story was intense and haunting and I loved the way it all related. It made me think of my own past  and how connected we are to our heritage by ways we can probably never appreciate. This kind of book is right up my alley, and it's getting really good reviews. Check it out!!!

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn 

First-century Rome: A world of depravity, blood, and secrets. The ruthless and enigmatic Emperor Domitian watches over all, fearing assassination from every direction . . . but not from the woman who fascinates him most.

Passionate, musical, and guarded, Thea is a slave girl from Judaea. Purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia, Thea becomes her mistress's rival for the love of Arius the Barbarian, Rome's newest and most savage gladiator. His love brings Thea the first happiness of her life - but their affair ends quickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.
Oh my gosh!!! I just finished this book last night at midnight....I'm in love with Kate Quinn. I want to be her. I LOVE HISTORICAL BOOKS! I love them. If a book has me getting up and google searching it's facts, I'm all good. If the author is spot on...I'm in heaven. Of course she took some liberties, she admits that...but it's a fiction book. BUT, Emperor Domitian is real and she did him so well!! Thea and Arius The Barbarian....I was in love. They were fictional but you could believe every word of it. I loved the scenes of the Gladiator games. So graphic and realistic. She didn't hold back and you could imagine every second of it. This world was brutal, in fact if you're easily offended it might not be your cup of tea. It's very honest in the telling of what life would have been like for a slave or child in this time period. I love reading about things like this, reminding us of where humanity has been. Relating it to where we are now. I'm in awe of Kate Quinn...she is good, people. Real good.

I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, this book could not go wrong. (Well, yes it could...but it didn't, phew!!) Love, passion, emperor's, Rome, Colosseum, Traitors, Fighting, GLADIATORS!! Yes, you need to read it.

The Provence Cure for the Broken Hearted by Bridget Asher 

Brokenhearted and still mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbot, her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to the small village of Puyloubier in the south of the France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for a mending hearts since before World War II. There, Charlotte confesses a shocking secret, and Heidi learns the truth about her mother's "lost summer". As three generations collide with one another, with the the neighbor who knows it all, an enigmatic Frenchman, Heidi, Charlotte, and Abbot journey through love, loss, and laughter amid the vineyards, and delicious food of Provence. Can the magic of the house heal them all?

The cover of this book pulled me in immediately. Traveling is my dream. The idea of a mother having a "lost summer" spoke to me immediately. As did the idea that a mother and child were alone after the loss of  their father. I've been there. I've written previously on this blog of the need to escape after that loss. So, this book was an easy buy for me. Once I started reading I was a little concerned. Something about this book wasn't pulling me in right off the bat. It was a little too witty. I'm not really sure what I mean by that...but it reminded me of a Gilmore Girls episode. For the record, I hated Gilmore Girls. The whole witty banter was so over the top It made me cringe. This wasn't THAT bad...but it was giving me that vibe.

Thank goodness I didn't cave right then and there. I ended up really enjoying this book. It was a feel good book. With that being said, she described some very real, very spot on emotions of pain and suffering. I could get a good feel for Heidi's grieving. I'm not sure if it's because I imagined my mother or she just made it very believable. I'm thinking both. Once they got on the plane to France, I was all in. Captivated. I loved the relationships, and I loved the imagery. Who couldn't picture themselves living in a little home on the side of a mountain in France surrounded by vineyards? Seriously! This is a perfect summer read. You'll want to get out your passport!

FYI, Bridget Asher, Juliana Baggot, and NE Bode are all this same woman! :) You're children might have read her Nobodies books. This woman writes a lot! Cheers to her!! 

Has anyone read any of these books...or read something good lately???

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