A tender, poignant novel about Lucie, who wakes to a state of awareness and finds herself standing knee-deep in the 60 degree water of the San FrancisA tender, poignant novel about Lucie, who wakes to a state of awareness and finds herself standing knee-deep in the 60 degree water of the San Francisco Bay. Concerned strangers help her to shore, and she realizes she has no idea who she is or why she's there. A dissociative fugue state, the doctors say. Retrieved later by Grady, her fiancee, who has been searching for her for a week, Lucie gradually comes to realize at their Seattle home that she doesn't resonate with the driven, secretive, and image conscious woman it seems she used to be. As she searches for her memories, she and Grady reconnect with each other and they both start to come to terms with the losses they've suffered in their lives at an early age. But the dark secrets in Lucie's past may overcome the healing she's been able to accomplish and the fragile relationship Lucie and Grady have developed. Recommend this one to fans of domestic fiction authors like Elizabeth Berg or Cathy Lamb. I read an eARC of this Washington author's novel, provided courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley. The book is due out in April 2013....more
I really enjoyed this time travel historical fantasy, due out in April 2013. I predict a hit. Engaging characters, thrilling romance, great historicalI really enjoyed this time travel historical fantasy, due out in April 2013. I predict a hit. Engaging characters, thrilling romance, great historically detailed adventure story. I'd highly recommend to fans of romantic literary fantasy books like The Time Travelers Wife, A Discovery of Witches, David Liss's The Twelfth Enchantment. Reminded me of an adult version of Kerstin Gier's YA novel Ruby Red. It follows two main characters, Julia Percy, a young woman in 1815 England, and Nick Falcott, a young soldier and British aristocrat who is propelled forward 200 years from a Napoleonic battlefield in 1812 to 2003. A guild of time travelers finds him, acclimates him, and sends him off to America with lots of money to live on and only four rules to follow - two being "you can never return" (in time, and to country of origin). Then the Guild calls him back, tells him they need him to return, and his beliefs about the world are upended. I read an e-ARC of this courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley....more
This has been getting a lot of buzz, so I gave it a try since it's also set in Oregon and by an Oregon author. It's a genre bending novel I'd call preThis has been getting a lot of buzz, so I gave it a try since it's also set in Oregon and by an Oregon author. It's a genre bending novel I'd call predominately horror, but it's also an unsubtle political allegory featuring lycanthropes and an apocalyptic read. Mostly a page turner, but it tries to do a bit too much. A good recommendation for fans of The Stand or The Passage. It reminds me of Kit Whitfield's Benighted in its exploration of racism, politics, and what it means to be human, but it's less creative in its approach and reflects history and current events too closely, I think.
In Red Moon, lycanthropes have always been among us, and are discriminated against in the U.S. in much the same fashion as we treat any "other" group now. Medication keeps the lycanthropy at bay, but also has negative side effects. Rebel lycanthropes commit terrorist acts; there's a lycanthrope homeland as well that the U.S. is coveting & menacing for its natural resources. Young Patrick has boarded a plane to Portland, but a lycanthrope terrorist aboard changes and slaughters everyone but him - he plays dead under a dead body and survives. Young Claire Forrester is a lycanthrope living in a pleasant typical middle class family, until the government raids her house and slaughters her family, whereupon she goes on the run and begins to learn about her family's revolutionary past. These two characters make their way toward each other through a fun-house version of Oregon (with the occasional real political figure thrown in - poor Wyden), the northwest, and America....more
Great characterization in this historical crime novel set in ethnically- and racially-volatile New York City in the 1840s, when Irish immigrants wereGreat characterization in this historical crime novel set in ethnically- and racially-volatile New York City in the 1840s, when Irish immigrants were flooding the city. The main character is 27 year old Timothy Wilde, who reluctantly joins the newly formed NYC police department at his older brother's behest. When a little girl covered in blood runs into him in the street, he's plunged into an investigation of child murders....more
A page turner about a young upper class woman in Georgian England who, driven by love, chooses to make her own way in the world as a member of the demA page turner about a young upper class woman in Georgian England who, driven by love, chooses to make her own way in the world as a member of the demimonde. Filled with rogues, descriptions of gorgeous clothes and jewelry, and the ring of historical accuracy about women's lives at the time. The British author pursued a PhD in history....more
Fun, fast moving historical read about a vividly described, sassy young teen flapper who swills gin and is sent to her uncle's in NYC from her small OFun, fast moving historical read about a vividly described, sassy young teen flapper who swills gin and is sent to her uncle's in NYC from her small Ohio town after one escapade too many. She also has a hidden supernatural power - she can read people's pasts by holding their possessions. Which may prove handy when there is a serial killer about. Teens should devour this....more
Cute bit of humorous and sometimes slightly poignant fiction about a woman who grows a spine with the help of Dorothy Parker's ghost. The chick lit crCute bit of humorous and sometimes slightly poignant fiction about a woman who grows a spine with the help of Dorothy Parker's ghost. The chick lit crew would enjoy....more
Garden designer Penick offers good inspiration and instruction for getting rid of water hogging lawns and the tedium of weekly mowing and replacing thGarden designer Penick offers good inspiration and instruction for getting rid of water hogging lawns and the tedium of weekly mowing and replacing them with lawn alternatives and good garden designs. Similar to another new (2012) book from Timber Press, Hadden's Beautiful No-Mow Lawns. Penick lives in Texas and the pictorial examples she provides are often from western states like Texas and California, with a bit more of a xeric drought tolerant focus, though the advice is applicable across the U.S. Definitely worth a read if you're considering removing some or all lawn.
The book is divided into three parts; part one covers design ideas for grasses (that don't need mowing), ground cover plants, perennials and shrubs, hardscaping with paths, patios, ponds and the like, or simply downsizing the lawn. Part two covers the techniques of lawn removal, installation of hardscape elements, bed preparation and planting, and maintenance tips. Part three offers advice on dealing with HOAs, city codes, skeptical neighbors, ticks, deer, rodents, and fire resistant landscaping. There are 30 pages of regional plant recommendations at the end covering U.S. regions. This book was provided to me as an e-ARC from Netgalley courtesy of the publisher. ...more
This was fun. A readalike for Deborah Harkness' Shadow of Night, but more of a James Bond-like romp, with spies, alchemy and music history rather thanThis was fun. A readalike for Deborah Harkness' Shadow of Night, but more of a James Bond-like romp, with spies, alchemy and music history rather than witches and vampires. Musicologist, grad student & free spirit Sarah Weston is offered a dream summer job in Prague of cataloging rare Beethoven manuscripts, after her mentor mysteriously commits suicide there. When she arrives at the Prague castle, she finds a variety of scholars there, cataloging the newly restituted royal family's treasures that are gradually being recovered from past Nazi as well as Communist seizure. She is drawn into an adventure involving "time travel" of sorts, where through alchemical drugs she sees layers of history being enacted in front of her, including that of Beethoven with his mysterious "Immortal Beloved". She and Prince Max embark on a suspenseful and fast paced quest to solve a mystery through the ages despite danger and alchemically induced nightmares. I have the impression this will be a series. ...more
The story of an environmental scientist in Idaho's Sun Valley area who decides to embark on a home water conservation project. Hippie scientist explorThe story of an environmental scientist in Idaho's Sun Valley area who decides to embark on a home water conservation project. Hippie scientist explores water conservation options in the west, basically. The Sun Valley area only gets about 16 inches of rain a year, so the habits she had from east coast living didn't translate well after she moved to Idaho. She narrates her investigations of options and her scientific exploration of her and her husband's water use (installing meters in the house to try and pinpoint the use per device, for ex.). They focus on the "reduce, reuse, and recycle" mantra, in that order. She shares brief interesting and unreassuring details about water troubles and conflicts in various locales, like the declining aquifer in her area, Atlanta, Bolinas CA, and Las Vegas. It's a pretty good read for those interested in the topic who don't want a how-to book, though I wouldn't rate it as the most riveting narrative nonfiction I've ever read. I could see it going better if it had illustrations & drawings, would have been quirky & fun and would have fit the tone of the book well. The author's evidently also an artist.
She installs new toilets, dishwasher and washer & dryer, finds funky devices for the shower to lower their use (such as the Every Drop Shower Saver to pause water while soaping), explores graywater use options and laws, solar thermal system, weatherproofing her older house, irrigation options for their veggie beds and landscaping (this is a tough one), rainwater collection options, and her "water footprint" via food and consumer choices. She's a scientist so it gets pretty left brained at times - there's a lot of data entering as she gets involved in the minutia of calculating use and potential savings - but I skimmed those and happily read on about her hippie friends and outdoor solar shower adventures in the yard. The only disappointing part was the landscaping aspect. I would have liked much more investigation and details about that. Gardening is not her forte, ah well. ...more