Monday, March 30, 2015

The Rosie Project - First Chapter / First Paragraph and Teaser Tuesday

I've been removing books from my Kindle that I probably won't reread and leaving those that I enjoyed enough to read again. The Rosie Project gets to stay. It's a fascinating look inside the mind of a man who has Asperger syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder), told with humor, warmth, and great insight as he searches for a wife. If you like Sheldon Cooper from "The Big Bang Theory" (but with more heart), you'll like Don Tillman from The Rosie Project even more.

First Paragraphs:
I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem. As with so many scientific breakthroughs, the answer was obvious in retrospect. But had it not been for a series of unscheduled events, it is unlikely I would have discovered it.
      The sequence was initiated by Gene's insisting I give a lecture on Asperger's syndrome that he had previously agreed to deliver himself. The timing was extremely annoying. The preparation could be time-shared with lunch consumption, but on the designated evening I had scheduled ninety-four minutes to clean my bathroom. I was faced with a choice of three options, none of them satisfactory.

Teaser Tuesday excerpt (at 6% on my Kindle) - (Don decides how to screen women who he might possibly want for a wife.)
A questionnaire! Such an obvious solution. A purpose-built, scientifically valid instrument incorporating current best practice to filter out the time wasters, the disorganized, the ice-cream discriminators, the visual-harrassment complainers, the crystal gazers, the horoscope readers, the fashion obsessives, the religious fanatics, the vegans, the sports watchers, the creationists, the smokers, the scientifically illiterate, the homeopaths, leaving, ideally, the perfect partner or, realistically, a manageable short list of candidates.

Genre: Humor & Satire
Book Length: 305 Pages
Amazon Link: The Rosie Project
Sequel: The Rosie Effect

      An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.
      Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
      Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
      The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!
Link at

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.
Link at BibliophileByTheSea

Friday, March 27, 2015

Columbia Winery - Saturday Snapshots

On a cool, drizzly March day my husband and I drove to Woodinville, WA, to visit the Columbia Winery. We've been there many times - we have a wine club membership and receive "releases" every three months - but on this Wednesday afternoon the place was almost deserted. Although we enjoyed our visit, the grounds are much prettier in summertime when everything's in bloom and the sun is shining. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

A grapevine as art. The sign is enlarged below.

The tasting room was empty!
No one stood on the porches or lounged at the tables, 
sipping wine.
I'm looking forward to returning to the Columbia Winery in three months to pick up the next batch of wine releases. We'll try to choose a sunny day when flowers fill the beds. Until then, I guess we'll have to make our own sunshine and drink the wine we just picked up!

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below. 

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) 
have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gracianna - The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings on Friday


I have barely started reading Gracianna by Trini Amador, but I think I'm going to enjoy this story. It takes place in Paris in the early 1940s as the Germans are occupying France. 

Book Beginning (Prologue):
     Odds are I was the only four-year-old to have ever freely fumbled a loaded German Luger.
     I was barely able to lift it. How could I know it was a real gun?

The Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle). I haven't reached this point in the story.
He could never tell Gracianna how badly she had been beaten.Just like that, Constance was going to be "s'en va [going away]," the term used for the many who were sent to the camps.

Genre: Family Saga / Historical Fiction 
   Length: 301 Pages
   Amazon Link: Gracianna

Synopsis from Goodreads:
     The gripping story of Gracianna--a French-Basque girl forced to make impossible decisions after being recruited into the French Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris.
     Gracianna is inspired by true events in the life of Trini Amador's great-grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. As an adult, Amador was haunted by the vivid memory of finding a loaded German Luger tucked away in a nightstand while wandering his great-grandmother's home in Southern California. He was only four years old at the time, but the memory remained and he knew he had to explore the story behind the gun.
     Decades later, Amador would delve into the remarkable odyssey of his Gracianna's past, a road that led him to an incredible surprise. In Gracianna, Amador weaves fact and fiction to tell his great-grandmother's story.
     Gracianna bravely sets off to Paris in the early 1940s--on her way to America, she hopes--but is soon swept into the escalation of the war and the Nazi occupation of Paris. After chilling life-and-death struggles, she discovers that her missing sister has surfaced as a laborer in Auschwitz. When she finds an opportunity to fight back against the Nazis to try to free her sister, she takes it--even if it means using lethal force.
     As Amador tells the imagined story of how his great-grandmother risked it all, he delivers richly drawn characters and a heart-wrenching page-turner that readers won't soon forget.


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

We Have a Winner!


Congratulations, Suzie Quint! You're the winner of an ebook copy of Devious by Mark Love.

Thanks to everyone who entered. For those of you who didn't win, Devious and the other two books in the Jamie Richmond mystery series are available in ebook and paperback formats from:

Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks (ebook only)
Smashwords (ebook only)