Anita Shreve – Fortune’s Rocks: A Novel

35. Fortune’s Rocks: A Novel by Anita Shreve (1999)
The Fortune’s Rocks Series Book 1
Length: 453 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 7 July 2016
Finished: 13 July 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 30 October 2001
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Olympia Biddeford is the only child of a prominent Boston couple. She is a precocious, well-educated young woman – alive with her own radical opinions and flush with the initial stirrings of maturity. On a beach in New Hampshire at the turn of the twentieth century – at a spot known as Fortune’s Rocks – she spends her summers with her family at their vacation home. This particular summer will undoubtedly be a life-changing one for her; marked by the arrival of John Haskell – a doctor and a friend of her father’s, whose new book about the plight of mill-town laborers has caused a sensation among those in well-to-do Society.

Olympia, herself, is thoroughly captivated by this man – by his intellect, his stature, and his drive to do right – even as she is overwhelmed for the first time by an irresistible sexual desire. She and the doctor – a married man, a father of four, and someone who is nearly three times her age – come together in an unthinkable, torturous, yet hopelessly passionate affair. So, Olympia casts aside any sense of propriety and self-preservation, plunging forward into a disastrous relationship that will ultimately have cataclysmic results. And the price of straying in such an unforgiving era is incredibly steep.

As Olympia is cast out of the only world she has ever known, she suffers the consequences of her choices. This is a profound and poignant story about unwise love and the choices which can transform a life. It is also the story of a remarkable young woman – her determination to reinvent herself and mend her broken life – and claim the one thing she finds she cannot live without.

I must say that I have always enjoyed reading anything by Anita Shreve – in my opinion, she is an absolutely wonderful author – and this book was no exception. Despite having read this book twice before, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. To me, this was a story that poignantly showed just how someone’s choices can affect so many more people than just that one person; everyone suffers from the consequences of someone’s personal choices – just like the ripples on a pond. Anyway, I would definitely give this book an A+!

A+! – (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

So, I’m Back to Doing Number Puzzles!

Hello everyone! I hope that you’re all just fine this morning – I certainly am! 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to give you an update on how I’m doing so far.

To be perfectly honest, I have never really stopped doing number puzzles. Since I started doing sum-doku puzzles on Monday night, June 20th, I’ve done approximately 33 puzzles in the puzzle book that I have been focused on doing. I’ve also been culling through some of my books a little bit; not too much I suppose, just sort of a Spring/Summer Cleaning! As it stands now, I actually have thirteen – not sixteen books – in the box that I brought up from the garage on Sunday afternoon, June 19th!

I culled a total of six books out of the box straight away; read one and posted it; read one and kept it; which leaves five more on my TBR pile. It’s slow going I suppose, but I’m getting there. LOL!!!

As regards my reading, the last book that I read was The Unholy by Whitley Strieber. Since it only took me a total of four days to read, I was looking for something else to read by Thursday afternoon, July 7th! I finally settled on reading Fortune’s Rocks: A Novel by Anita Shreve, which I started on Thursday afternoon, July 7th! This is actually a reread for me from perhaps twenty years ago.

According to Goodreads – as of today, Monday, July 11th – I’m currently on page 229 of 453; or approximately 50 percent into the story. I’m really enjoying the story; Anita Shreve is such a good author, in my opinion. Anyway, I’m going to get back to cleaning and culling!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Introducing The Flip by Michael Phillip Cash!

I was delighted to learn recently that six books by Michael Phillip Cash will be free to download from Amazon! Yes, for the next three days – from Friday, July 8th to Sunday, July 10th, 2016The After House; Brood X: A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada InvasionThe Flip; The History Major: A Novella; Pokergeist and Witches Protection Program will all be absolutely free!

I had the pleasure of reading The Flip by Michael Phillip Cash back in June of 2014, and have to say, that to my mind Mr. Cash can certainly be counted on to create an appropriately spooky atmosphere with his writing. I’ve actually had the pleasure of reading four of these six books, and can definitely see why Mr. Cash has won so many awards for his books. I would certainly advise you all to grab your own copy of his work sometime soon – I can guarantee that you won’t regret it!

Meet Michael Phillip Cash

Michael Phillip Cash is an award winning and best selling author of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels. Stillwell: A Haunting on Long IslandThe Hanging Tree, and Schism: The Battle For Darracia have all been named to Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Awards. Michael currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.
Connect and Socialize with Michael!

The Flip by Michael Phillip Cash (2014)
Length: 391 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Flip Blurb:

Julie and Brad Evans are house flippers. They buy low, clean out the old occupants junk, and try to make a profit. Enter Hemmings House on Bedlam Street in scenic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. 


Too good a deal to pass up, but with an ominous secret. The old Victorian Mansion has dwellers that do not want to be dispossessed. As the house reveals it’s past, will the couple’s marriage survive The Flip?

The Flip Book Trailer:

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Whitley Strieber – Unholy Fire

34. Unholy Fire by Whitley Strieber (1992)
Length: 327 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 2 July 2016
Finished: 6 July 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 October 2007
Why do I have it? I like horror and have read and enjoyed The Forbidden Zone by the same author in the past.

Father John Rafferty is a dedicated priest, yet he also struggles mightily against the temptation presented to him by one of his beautiful young parishioners – a seductive young woman whom he regularly counsels. Despite faltering in his faith, he nevertheless takes the tenants of his vocation very seriously, and so Fr. Rafferty ministers to those among his parishioners who desperately need his help. As he continues to counsel this troubled young woman, he has no idea how much his faith will ultimately be tested by his confrontation with true evil.

After he discovers the woman’s horribly mutilated body in front of the altar of his own church, Fr. Rafferty quickly becomes the prime suspect in her murder. However, as the death toll rises, he begins to suspect that someone close to him – someone with a very obvious and deep-seated hatred of the church is targeting his parishioners in their malevolent killing spree. Yet as each murder increases in brutality, Fr. Rafferty slowly begins to realize that he is battling against something truly diabolical.

As homicide detectives Kitty Pearson and Sam Dowd investigate the case, they struggle to reconcile the evidence that they find with the range of potential suspects. Although all the evidence that the detectives uncover seems to point toward a psychotic murderer, their primary suspect appears to be a dedicated, holy man – a man who seems utterly incapable of inflicting such severe brutality. Sometimes, though, such appearances can be deceiving…

First of all, let me say that this type of story always intrigues me. I’m not sure what it is exactly; maybe it’s the supernatural style of the horror, the mysteriousness of the plot, or maybe even the involvement of the Catholic Church, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I’m delighted to say that the story itself held my attention all the way through in an unexpected way. I would definitely give Unholy Fire by Whitley Strieber an A!

A! – (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

God Bless America!

Hello everyone! I hope that you’re all just fine this morning – I certainly am! 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to give you an update on how I’m doing so far.

So, Independence Day has always held a special meaning for me – my late husband and I both became American citizens in 1988. While I can’t remember if our naturalization ceremony actually took place on July 4th of that year, I vividly remember how a ten-year-old Mareena helped her parents study for their exams! She made up flash cards with bullet points about each president’s history; the constitution and its amendments; everything having to do with American history that she could possibly think of. Granted, the majority of what she prepared us for wasn’t actually on the test – but the thought was there, nonetheless! LOL!!!

Mareena became a American citizen herself on July 4th, 1997 – nine years later. What I remember most about her naturalization ceremony was that the the Mayor of Albany administered her Oath of Allegiance; the television stations covered it all; and at the celebration that was held after she took the Oath of Allegiance, Mareena apparently knew all the lyrics to ‘God Bless the U. S. A.’ by Lee Greenwood.

Mareena and I also adopted our three adorable kitties on July 4th, 2011. I must say that it was absolutely the best decision that we ever made. Ruby, Leila and Lollipop have all brought us so much joy since they’ve come into our lives!

Anyway, with regards to my reading, the last book that I read was Charming Billy: A Novel by Alice McDermott. I started reading this book on Monday, June 27th and finished it four days later – on Friday, July 1st! Then I immediately started reading Unholy Fire by Whitley Strieber the next day – on Saturday, July 2nd! This is actually the second book from the box of sixteen that I brought up from my garage back in June.

According to Goodreads – as of today, Monday, July 4th – I’m currently on page 83 of 327; or approximately 25 percent into the story. I haven’t read Unholy Fire by Whitley Strieber before, but I did read The Forbidden Zone by Whitley Strieber back in February of 2010 – and here is my review. So far, I’m really enjoying Unholy Fire by Whitley Strieber.

Mareena was ‘surfing’ the Internet yesterday afternoon, July 3rd and brought something to my attention that she saw posted on Facebook. It was a video about the true story behind Francis Scott Key and his writing of the American National Anthem: ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’. Mareena told me that while she knew something about the history of the National Anthem as well as about Francis Scott Key himself; she hadn’t heard the entire story behind the writing of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner‘. When she showed me the video, I was so moved by it that I just had to share it here!

So, I hope that all of you have an absolutely wonderful Independence Day and God bless America!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Alice McDermott – Charming Billy: A Novel

33. Charming Billy: A Novel by Alice McDermott (1998)
Length: 243 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 27 June 2016
Finished: 1 July 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 21 November 2001
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Alice McDermott is a new author for me.

The people who knew and loved Billy Lynch the best have all come to comfort his widow Maeve, and to eulogize a man whom many considered to be one of the last great romantics. From all accounts, the late Billy Lynch was such a wonderful man – a man who was an extraordinarily unique soul. As forty-seven members of his funeral party gather together at a local Bronx bar to reminisce over their memories of the past; each trading their own tales of his legendary humor, immense charm, and deepest, most profound sorrow – Billy Lynch will be remembered most by the people whose lives were touched by his presence.

As the mourners linger on into this extraordinary evening, their voices will eventually blend together to tell Billy’s own tragic story. What is finally revealed to all present is a complex portrait of an enigmatic man; a loyal friend, a beloved husband, a functional alcoholic. While Billy’s loved ones continue to hold Maeve in the highest esteem and admire her strength, there are those among the mourners who cannot remember Billy without also recalling the source of his unfathomable grief and sadness: “There was that girl.” Their various stories weave together to become a gentle homage to all the lives in their close-knit community fractured by grief, shattered by secrets, yet sustained by the simple dream of love.

In a voice that is resonant and full of deep feeling, Alice McDermott tells the tale of Billy Lynch within the complex confines of a tightly knit Irish-American community. Charming Billy is a poignant masterpiece about the unbreakable bonds of desire and memory. Ms. McDermott’s striking novel, is an intricate study of the lies that bind and the weight of familial love, of the way good intentions can be as destructive as the truth they were meant to hide.

I must say that I really enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, this was a poignant and well-written story; one that I found both intriguing and intricately detailed. Having said that, I will admit that I found the book somewhat confusing with regards to some of the relationships between the characters and the frequent shifts back and forth between the past and the present. I would still give this book an A! and am happy to note that I have three or four more books by this author on my bookshelf.

A! – (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Reading Wrap-up For June at Moonshine and Rosefire

Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter’s blog, Emeraldfire’s Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! 🙂

Anyway, I started out June with 1,047 books lying around the house and ended the month with 1,043 books unread. All the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap, a Library Book Sale that Mareena and I went to on the 7th to celebrate her birthday and Bookmooch.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Rereads
The Last Time They Met: A Novel by Anita Shreve 
Dark Debts by Karen Hall
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
– The Castaways: A Novel  by Elin Hilderbrand

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
Absent Friends by S. J. Rozan
The Dive From Clausen’s Pier: A Novel by Ann Packer
Henry and Clara: A Novel by Thomas Mallon
I Said Yes to Everything: A Memoir by Lee Grant
Japan Took the J. A. P. Out of Me by Lisa F. Cook
Keeping Faith: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Last to Know: A Novel by Elizabeth Adler
Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury
Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
More Than You Know: A Novel by Beth Gutcheon
My Theodosia: A Novel by Anya Seton
An Old Betrayal by Charles Finch
On the Street Where You Live: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix by Jane Kirkpatrick
The Phantom Coach: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories by Michael Sims
– The Race: A Novel by Richard North Patterson
Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
The Spire by Richard North Patterson
Stone Angel by Carol O’Connell
A Table by the Window: A Novel of Family Secrets and Heirloom Recipes by Hillary Manton Lodge
The Tender Bar: A Memoir by J. R. Moehringer
The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Eleanor: The Years Alone by Joseph P. Lash

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell
Cold Mountain: A Novel by Charles Frazier
Julian’s House: A Novel by Judith Hawkes
Diabetes A to Z: What You Need to Know About Diabetes – Simply Put by The American Diabetes Association 
The Complete Diabetic Cookbook by Mary Jane Finsand
The Return by Bentley Little
Dark Debts by Karen Hall

Well, there it is…the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me. Here’s a further breakdown:

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 1,363
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was June. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. 🙂 See you all next month! 🙂

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight