Monday, May 31, 2010

May Reading Wrap-up

May was an extremely slow reading month for me as I had a million and one personal things to do. So this post is going to be really short. The image above is for my niece who graduated from La Salle University this past month (One of the many reasons I did not have much time to read).

I finished the following books in the month of May:
My favorite book of the month was Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. I believe that this series has potential and I can't wait to read on.

My least favorite book of the month was The Love Ceiling, it missed the mark for me.

I'm hoping that next month brings better reading material and more time to read it.

Some of the books coming up next month for me are:
  • SOUVENIR by Therese Fowler
  • Wild Heart by Lori Brighton (WoWO - June 18th)
  • Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
  • Tall, Dark & Dead by Tate Hallaway
  • The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
So check back during the month to see the various reviews.

*Above image was borrowed from

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Pub. Date: November 1998
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Format: Trade Paperback, 372pp
ISBN-13: 9780375706776

Sybil Danforth was a midwife in Vermont in the 1980's. One fateful night she had a birth go horribly wrong and an emergency C section was necessary. Sybil was sure the woman was dead when she began the the procedure but aspects of the evening bring doubt as to what really happened that fateful night. This story follows the trial of Danforth from the night in question through the end of the trial, from the perspective of Cybil's daughter Colleen, a teenager at the time of the trial, now looking back as an adult telling the story of her past.

I enjoyed certain aspects of this book, the idea of the trial and the details of the birth were very interesting to me. Even the story coming from the perspective of the child was a nice take on the story. I however felt there was too much medical detail for me, I felt squeamish in many of the birthing scenes. I also felt that I new most of the story already in the beginning and then the trial rehashed the story with not much unknown details, a few but not much to me. So I got a little bored with the story until the trial's conclusion. I'm glad that I read the story but I hoped for more from Bohjalian.

This is my second book by Chris Bohjalian, the first book i read by him was Before you know kindness. I was absolutely enthralled with that book but the ending left me wanting a different outcome. That said, I still think that the drama in that story was much better than this one. I can't say that I would recommend to anyone but someone interested in Midwifery but I would give the author another try in the future, I see a lot of potential in the complexity of his writing.

As my last read for the month of march, this book fits the following categories/challenges for me:
  • Hogwart's Reading Challenge
  • RYOB Challenge
  • Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge
  • PBT Bingo (Contemporary Tag)
  • Buddy Read at The Reading Cove

Friday, May 21, 2010

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress Series #1)

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (October 30, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061245089

Cat is half human/half vampire. Cat is a mystery to herself and to others as a half breed. Her mother was raped by a young vampire and ended up pregnant. The result of which is Cat, undetectable and unsuspectable by Vampires and humans alike; This makes Cat the perfect person to avenge her mothers rape. Cat spends her free time killing vampires to help her mother cope with what has happened to her. When Cat meets a vampire, Bones - a vampire bounty hunter, that convinces her to work with him instead of kill him, she reluctantly agrees if he helps her find and kill her father. Cat never thought she'd fall in love, but Bones turns out to be more than just another Vampire.

I really enjoyed the story of Cat. Parts of the story were a bit on the corny side but it was still original and interesting to dive into the lives of Cat and Bones. I plan to read on in the series and see where the story takes me.

This books fits the following Categories/Challenges:
  • Hogwarts Reading Challenge
  • Romance Reading Challenge
  • RYOB Challenge
  • New Authors Reading Challenge

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two New Cards

I just finished making two new cards.

One for a Bridal Shower:

(in person these jewels are lighter )

For my Niece's Graduation: I'm so proud of her!
(the right side of the card cut off a little but you get the idea)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

WoWO Book Club Meeting and The Love Ceiling

On Friday night we had our fourth Women of Washington Oaks (WoWO) Book Club meeting. Sadly it was a tough week for the WoWO's and several tragedies hit some of the women of the club. Some managed to make it, and I'm very glad that they did but for those who couldn't make it this month, we missed you greatly... Here is to quick healing and our loved ones being in a better place.

To those of us who were able to attend we discussed The Love Ceiling by Jean Davies Okimoto.

Rating: 2.5 Stars
Publisher:Endicott & Hugh Books
Format: Paperback, 320pp
We won copies of this book from, this is a fabulous site for book clubs, it's a great resource and they have lots of great giveaways! So thank you very much to Pauline from BookMovement for notifying me that I won the books and hosting the giveaway. A big thank you goes to Jennifer Justice at Endicott & Hugh Books for sending the copies for the group to read.
The Love Ceiling Synopsis (From back of book):
After the death of her Japanese American mother, sixty-four-year-old Anne Kuroda Duppstadt finds the courage to confront the toxic legacy of her father, a famous artist and cruel narcissist. When a former art professor invites her to his island art studio, she begins pursuing her lifelong dream to become an artist in her own right. But the needs of her family tug at her heart. Her thirty-two-year old daughter s love life is falling apart, and Annie s husband, facing retirement, struggles with depression, leading her to conclude, There is a glass ceiling for women...and it's made out of the people we love.

The Love Ceiling draws readers into the soul of a universal theme for women: the pull between family and creative self-expression. It is the story of a daughter, a wife, a mother and grandmother, and a journey into creativity.

Being that we won the copies of book, the WoWo's were very excited to read the book and discuss it and really wanted to love the book. But sadly several of us (4 to be exact) had trouble getting through the book, and started to skim to the end or completely stopped reading all together.

The story was a nice story but several of us felt that some of the story lines went too far and others didn't go anywhere at all.

Some of the favorite characters were:

  • Sam
  • Lena
  • Martha Jane

The discussion was very light on this book and although Peggy had a lot to say about the book, no one else could really answer the questions posed due to having trouble following the story or not being able to finish. I believe this to be mostly due to not being able to related to the characters and what they were going through. The storyline was not bad, however many of us felt that it was a bit dry at times and it was hard to hold our interest.

As we always try to do, we had something book related at the meeting. Since the book has painting as a major element of the history of the main characters, this time we had a canvas and paints. The WoWO painted the picture below, inspired by the love ceiling's front cover with our own WoWO twist:

It's the WoWO boat! Sorry Tricia that I wouldn't let you do your sun with dark sunglasses ;) This painting is now hanging in the basement where the WoWO's meet to discuss the books we read. And here is a picture of some of us working on the painting:

from left to right: Myself, Louise, Linda, Peggy, Tricia (Photographer: Lori)

The Book fits the following Categories/Challenges for me:

  • Hogwarts Reading Challenge
  • RYOB Challenge
  • Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge
  • New Authors Challenge

Friday, May 07, 2010

Mothers Day Cards

I made a few mother's day cards for my family and thought I'd share them with you:

The didn't scan in the greatest but I think you get the idea.

For Mom:

For Gammy (Grandmom):

For my sister:

Saturday, May 01, 2010

April Reading Wrap-Up

April went so fast! I felt like I spent a lot of time catching up this month in time for the discussions. I definitely need to plan out my schedule better in the future.

Here is what I read this month:
My favorite for April was definitely Eclipse, I really enjoyed this story once I got passed the beginning. I was surprised by this because I had to restart it a couple of times before really getting into it. I was also pretty impressed with The Great Gatsby which I had never read before.

My biggest disappointment for April was Someone to watch over me by Judith McNaught.

I participated in a fun Blogger Hop and got introduced to some great new blogs, which I am now following. I also found an new Craft website that I really like that has lots of great giveaways and tips: FAVECRAFTS. Although I didn't post about it yesterday was BLOGMANIA on a couple of blogs that I follow and I found many new blogs from the list of over 100 that participated. I wish I had time to enter for more contests and find more blogs to love, but I had to actually earn a paycheck yesterday. :-)

I have a pretty good mix of reviews planned for May including another WoWO book discussion:
  • Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
  • The Alchemyst - The secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
  • The Love Ceiling by Jean Davies Okimoto (WoWO)
  • The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri
*above picture found on

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