Monday, August 25, 2014

The Mermaid Garden - Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter/First Paragraph

The Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore is such an engrossing book! Montefiore tells two stories--one set in Tuscany in 1966, the other in Devon, England, in 2009--and they eventually come together in the end. The author's lovely descriptions make the scenes come alive (you can tell that from the beginning paragraph), and the characters have depth, each one with a unique voice. I believe this is the first book I've read where the author let me inside each character's head, so I had an idea where everyone was coming from. You'd think that would be confusing, but Montefiore handled it well. I recommend this book as a good read for anyone who enjoys a story with substance that spans decades.  

Prologue, Tuscany, 1966
The little girl stood outside the imposing black gates of Villa La Magdalena and peered up the drive. A long avenue of cypresses cut straight through the grounds, climaxing at the end in a tantalizing glimpse of a primrose-yellow palazzo. La Magdalena sat with the dignity and poise of a grand empress. Her tall, shuttered windows were an elegant teal green, her crown a decorative balustrade built along the top of the facade, her walls as resplendent as silk; she belonged to a world as enchanting and inaccessible as fairy tales.

Teaser (from Page 70 of trade paperback):
She was always neatly dressed, with crisp white shirts and slacks, or pretty dresses in summer, never jeans. Being short, she always wore heels to give her height. He felt paternal towards her, a feeling he relished, having never married or fathered children.

Genre: Women's Fiction / Saga
Length: 418 Pages (Trade Paperback)
Amazon Link: The Mermaid Garden
More From Santa Montefiore: Amazon Author Page


Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea

Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please! Here's the link: Should Be Reading

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Houseboats in Seattle - Saturday Snapshots

Everyone has seen the movie "Sleepless in Seattle," right? But maybe you haven't been to a houseboat neighborhood like the one where Tom Hanks and his on-screen son lived. Several years ago a friend visited me and asked if we could see the houseboats on Lake Union. So off we went! Here are my photos from our adventure.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Access to the homes is via ramps like this one or by boat.
Can you imagine walking out your back door and
hopping on a boat to go out to dinner?
View of the Lake Union houseboat community from the opposite shore.
Taken from a kayak on my one and only kayaking adventure on Lake Union.

    Photo of me, taken by my friend Gina, who took me
kayaking as a thank you for feeding her pets.

The houseboat community is on the east side of the lake, off of Fairview Ave E. -- those little rectangles jutting out into the water on the map.

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

Friday, August 22, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Katie and The Irish Texan - Teaser Tuesday & First Chapter/First Paragraph

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, so when the synopsis for KATIE AND THE IRISH TEXAN said it took place in my hometown, I had to read it. This most recent sweet romance in The Texas Code Series (The McTiernans) is a delight. The characters are likable, believable, and true to the times (1870s), and the plot kept me engaged. I especially enjoyed the author’s reference to names and places familiar to me (the Trinity River, Sanger Brothers, etc.) as well as her inclusion of the sometimes crazy North Texas weather in the story. The author obviously knows her setting well, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.

Jefferson, Texas, April 1873
Dermot McTiernan downed his shot of whiskey, looked across the poker table at the Yankee Lieutenant, and glanced at his cards one last time. Certain the man was bluffing, he pulled out his pocket watch, his second most prized possession, and set it atop the pile of money. With a nod, he placed his cards on the table face up then met the man's gaze. "Call."

TEASER from 49% on my Kindle:
The sound of the rain was deafening making it impossible to whisper, but Kathleen cupped her hand around her mouth in an attempt to be heard. "Mrs. Benning is asking to see the doctor. Is there anyone we can send to fetch him without alarming her husband?

Genre: Western Romance
Length: 81 Pages (Novella)
Amazon Link: Katie and The Irish Texan
Other Books by Carra Copelin: Amazon Author Page

Synopsis from Amazon:
      Dermot McTiernan is determined to move on with his life after losing his one and only love to another man. He decides to try his hand at ranching in North Central Texas with his friend, Ian Benning. He figures if that doesn't work out, there are many other opportunities in the booming post-war state. When the luscious red-head from County Cork, Ireland shows up in Dallas, can he retain the courage of his convictions and move on without her? 
      Kathleen O'Donnell made a monumental mistake marrying, Kelsey Gilhooley. Her decision for entering the union, no matter how honorable, had made her life a living hell. Even though still married, she holds out hope for finding the man of her dreams. When she comes across her tall, dark-eyed Irishman in Dallas, Texas, will she be able to abandon happiness and walk away a second time? 


Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea

Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please! Here's the link: Should Be Reading