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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Patty Pick for 03/24/2016 is "I Shall Be Near to You" by Erin Lindsay McCabe

If you like feisty female characters, Rosetta is for you. She definitely does  not 
act the proper lady for her age or the times. She noticed Jeremiah one day and 
after he helped her defend herself, she was all his. It took a while to move Jeremiah 
to recognize that fact and act on it, but he always had Rosetta in mind for his future too. 

This love story starts when Rosetta and Jeremiah marry. Not too long after they are wed, he joins the army to earn money so they can be able to buy a farm of their own. No one really knew what the war was like or what they would be subjected to. Everyone thought the Civil War has marching and then they would be home before you knew it. Rosetta sets off after him within a few days. She cut her hair and altered a set of his clothes to make 
her look like a man so she could be near him in the Army. Nowhere did she feel safe but by Jeremiah's side. They struggle to keep her identity a secret and manage to steal time together.  

I didn't know there were real women who served in battle in the Civil War. This is a love 
story between Jeremiah and Rosetta. The setting just happens to be during the final 
days of the Civil War, but don't let their surroundings sway you from reading this book. 
And by all means, read the authors notes and her sources from the end of the book. Erin 
Lindsay McCabe did her research for this book and that helped this story become as much 
a historical account as a love story. I always love to learn something new when I read, and this novel taught me more about the woman who fought in the Civil War. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Patty Pick for 3/17/16 is "The Gates Manor Band" by Jan Hemby

A wonderful part of this book is it's uplifting quality. The story will pull you along with well-written characters and mysterious happenings. As we start our story, Julia is dealing with a family scenario, like a lot of us, where her mother has dementia and her father is the primary care-giver. After her mother passes away, Julia is visited by a series of confusing surprises, a strange phone call and a flashback to her high school days. Someone is sending her a message and that someone is God. 
Sometimes He takes a more direct route and that route is prodding Julia to locate her best friend from high school, Margaret. As one event leads to another, we witness the chain of life situations that can follow one good deed after another. With Julia leading the way, she finds Margaret and helps her to deal with the tragic horrors she endured as a teenager and that in turns leads Margaret to finding a way to deal with her addictions and sharing the lie she has been living with her brother, Preston.
The cast from the past and the present come together to solve problems and delve 
deeper into their faith. They find out that by listening carefully, they can find the way 
that life wants to lead them. And in turn, they will go forward to be a help to others. 
Pay it forward is the theme that runs through this tale and you will enjoy solving each 
character's dilemma as they come along. Watching the ending take place will renew your 
faith in others. Take the ride..... 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Missing Pat Conroy

The following is one of my favorite quotes from Pat Conroy. All though to be honest, all 
his words, whether quoted from him directly or written in one of his books, are some of 
my favorite quotes. 

“The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave 
anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the 
genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language. 
Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a 
ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in "Lonesome Dove" and had 
nightmares about slavery in "Beloved" and walked the streets of Dublin in 
"Ulysses" and made up a hundred stories in the Arabian nights and saw my 
mother killed by a baseball in "A Prayer for Owen Meany." I've been in ten 
thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers 
in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous 
English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and 
women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me 
when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English
language. ” 
― Pat Conroy

I think all writers have this same passion, some of us just take longer to get 
to the actual point in our lives that we put it all down. Some of us tell stories 
in our head and never get them out to share with the world. I do think the 
wonderful and amazing English teachers that I had over the years, that 
inspired me to never quit writing and to always do your best work. I hope 
my first written book, A Distance Between Us, will live up to that standard. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

In Tribute to Pat Conroy

Earlier this year, I chose a one-word resolution of 2016! That word was 
"Appreciate". I want to slow life down and appreciate what I have, what 
I can give, and what God & lIfe give to me. Unfortunately, life does not 
slow down for anyone. Grab hold and live! 

We lost one of our great American authors today, Pat Conroy. I did not know 
him personally, but you could not read the words in his books without feeling
that you did. As a Southerner and an author, we all aspire to find 
words like those which flowed off that man's pen, straight from his heart. 
I will re-read some of his awesome books just to be able to once again 
wallow in the warmth of his rich stories. I read this quote online and it 
pretty much sums it up....


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Happy World Book Day!

Happy World Book Day! May your books always be filled 
with awe-inspiring words and your shelves never be empty! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Patty Pick for 3/3/16 is "The Fifteen Lives of Harry August" by Claire North

When reading the short description of this book, I was definitely intrigued. The premise of dying and re-living your own life over again sounded like a interesting theme for a book. Who wouldn't want to redo and change some of the decisions that we have made in our lives.
Harry August was born on the floor of a ladies restroom while his young, unmarried mother died giving birth to Harry. The wealthy family of the Harry's biological father, places Harry in the home of their gardener and wife with compensation to bring 
him up. Harry's father rapes Harry's mother while she worked as a maid in the estate home. Harry's parents are good parents, but his adopted mom dies young and his father never recovers from the loss.
When Harry figures out that he is continually coming back into his same life after each death, he tries many different paths. He eventually meets a member of the Cronus Club, who are other humans that are born over and over like Harry. She takes him under her wing and explains how their mission in life works. As Harry comes to the end of a life, a newer generation member tells him that the world is going to be destroyed and that it is happening at a faster and faster time period. 
Harry searches for the answers to why this is happening. We all come to figure out the cause as Harry works toward stopping the eventual outcome. This book reads like a memoir part of the time, along with a science fiction, and sometimes a thriller. While it 
did make for a lively and thought-provoking discussion amongst my book club, Don't look for happy endings. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

OMG! I'm a Bookaholic!

Trying to clean up today and look what I found not hiding on my desk (in plain view!) It took forever to scan them all into my GoodReads shelf of "Books that I have bought but not read yet." 
Looks like I have my work cut out for me. I'm trying to pick out a good scary book for my next Book Club host date. I do 
not read horror, but a good psychological thriller sounds like the perfect match for October. Do any of you have 
suggestions? Please let me know!