Showing posts from January, 2012

"The Housewife Assassin's Handbook" by Josie Brown

Five years ago, Donna Stone was your average housewife - two preschoolers, a baby on the way, an adoring husband named Carl, and a McMansion in Orange County. But all this came crashing to an end the night she delivered her baby when Carl's car blew up on the way to the hospital. It turns out Carl was a black-ops assassin for the Acme Corporation, hot on the heels of a terrorist cell known as Quorum. And he left behind something that they wanted badly.
To protect her family from Quorum and to avenge her husbands death, Donna joins Acme and becomes a top assassin, all the while juggling the fifth grade phone tree and carpool duty. But the terrorist group has planted a sleeper cell in her neighbourhood and things become a little too close for comfort. Will Donna be able to avenge her husbands death and stop Quorum before it's too late? And will she be able to get her son to his baseball game and pick up the cupcakes for the Father-Daughter dance?
The Housewife Assassin'…

Awesome Home Libraries

Lately I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest. One thing that I absolutely love it for is drooling over the pictures of home libraries! I dream of the day I can have a full-fledged library in my house. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do.

"Sinners & Saints" by Victoria Christopher Murray & ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Team Jasmine or Team Rachel? You might want to pick a side because these ladies are going to make sure they are the last woman standing.
Jasmine Cox Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams are not your typical first ladies. But they have put their scandalous and drama-filled pasts behind them and are focused on supporting their husbands in their roles as Pastor. Naturally, when the position of president of the American Baptist Coalition opens up both women think their husband is perfect for the job. When they find out who they are up against, the women realize that they may have to reach into their old bag of tricks. But will it be enough when both women come up against the current first lady, who has a plan of her own for the coalition?
Sinners & Saints brings together two of the most devious and dramatic first ladies ever seen in Urban Christian fiction. ReShonda Tate Billingsley's Rachel grew up in the church but went seriously astray as a teen. She turned her life around…

"I Got This" by Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson has achieved a lot in her life - appearing on American Idol, winning an Academy Award, releasing her own albums, marrying and having a child. But these days what she is well known for is losing over eighty pounds on the Weight Watchers diet plan. And now she is sharing this journey in a new book called I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down.
While at first glance you would think this book is a memoir it's actually more of an inspirational book. The first half of the book chronicles her life from her childhood to getting started in the entertainment industry and on to starting her family. However, it does seem to skip through this part of her life and she really only talks about these experiences from the perspective of her weight issues. The second half of the book is about her experience with Weight Watchers. She goes in-depth with the program, how it works, and how to do your best on the program. She shares the stories of some of he…

"The Beach Cafe" by Lucy Diamond

Evie has always been the black sheep of the family. While her siblings were getting married and having children, Evie was floating around, trying her hand at everything that interested her. But eventually she realized she couldn't do that forever. And so she found herself in an office temp job from hell, living with a rather dull but dependable boyfriend, and planning to go to school to become a teacher, a career that didn't interest her but would provide stability. Just what everyone thought she needed.
Then Aunt Jo suddenly passes away and leaves her beach cafe in Cornwall to Evie, her favourite niece. Evie sees this as an opportunity to prove herself once and for all and dives in head first. But when she arrives in Cornwall, she finds the staff has gone crazy in the absence of a boss and the locals definitely don't want Evie running the cafe. With the help of a few close friends, Evie finds her way and the cafe soon becomes an integral part of village life. But i…

"The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" by Julie Klassen

To escape her stepfathers pressure to marry a dishonourable man Margaret Macy flees London on a whim. If she can last only a few months on her own until her next birthday she will inherit a large sum of money from her aunt and along with it, independence. With no money and nowhere to go, Margaret reinvents herself as Nora Garret and takes a position as housemaid. She quickly discovers that the house she is working in belongs to Nathaniel Upchurch, a former suitor of Margaret's who she rejected in the failed hopes of attracting his older brother. Can Margaret remain hidden and pass as a servant under the noses of those who are looking for her?
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is a fantastic work of historical Christian fiction. Julie Klassen is a skilled writer who instantly transports you back to the time and place and immediately draws you into the story, keeping you hooked until the very end. The book has mystery, romance, and faith all in one.
The book looks at two worlds of old Engli…

"The Book of Negroes: Illustrated Edition" by Lawrence Hill

Abducted from her West African village at eleven-years-old, Aminata Diallo is forced into slavery on an indigo plantation in South Carolina. Trapped in a lifetime of slavery, Aminata draws on the strength of her ancestors and the skills she learned as young girl to improve her life as best as she can given the violence and constraints that surround her. Her determination lands her the opportunity to register her name in the Book of Negroes, a historic British military ledger allowing three thousand Black Loyalists passage on ships sailing from Manhattan to Nova Scotia.
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill takes the reader on an incredible journey from West Africa, to an American plantation, on to a small community in Nova Scotia, the coast of Sierra Leone in West Africa and finally to London, England. The journey belongs to fictional character Aminata Diallo but is that of the thousands of Africans forced into slavery.
This book is an incredible work of historical fiction. Having …

"Want to Go Private?" by Sarah Darer Littman

Abby is starting high school, one of the most exciting times of a teenagers life. But Abby isn't feeling very excited. She's having difficulty making new friends and her best friend is drifting away. Abby begins to wonder if anyone understands what she is going through.
Luke does. Luke is a 27-year-old Abby met online. At first Abby isn't sure about him. She knows all about internet safety and that she shouldn't be chatting with him, but he gets her. He understands her struggles with her family and friends. He thinks she's beautiful and smart.
Then Luke asks Abby to meet him in real life, which she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is, and Abby goes missing. The police race to find her as her friends and family wonder if they will ever see Abby again.
Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman is a young adult novel that gives a realistic portrayal of the dangers of internet chatting and meeting people online. It is a timely novel and one that all y…

"Slightly Suburban" by Wendy Markham

Tracey Spadolini Candell has had it with New York City. From the long hours at work, the subway rides home, the tiny but expensive apartment, her husbands best friend spending way too much time on their couch, the roach infestation in her building, and the unknown assailant leaving behind fresh piles of…umm…excrement in the hallways, she is officially done with the city and ready to head for the greener pastures of the suburbs.
But life in Westchester isn't as perfect as she thought it would be. First Tracey loses her job and then they find out that their dream fixer-upper is more like unfixable. Having nothing in common with the stay at home yoga moms, she finds herself missing her friends and her job. Will Tracey be able to survive the suburbs or will she find herself running back to the city?
Slightly Suburban by Wendy Markham is the fifth in the "Slightly" series, following main character Tracey through her life. While it is part of the series it does stand up on …

"The Bomber" by Liza Marklund

It's 3:22 a.m. when a call comes in for journalist Annika Bengtzon. A bomb has exploded in Stockholm's new Olympic arena just months before the Summer Games. Not only has it destroyed part of the arena but it has blown someone to pieces. Annika sets out to cover the story and she develops a hunch that this isn't an act of terrorism but a personal vendetta. Soon, another bomb has exploded and the hunt for the perpetrator intensifies. As Annika digs deeper, eager to get the biggest story of her career, she finds herself in the path of the bomber and her big scoop may be her last.
The Bomber by Liza Marklund is a Scandinavian thriller, one that conjures up the idea of curling up under a blanket while the wind whips cold outside. It is a part of the Annika Bengtzon series, following the lead character as she works her way up the ladder in the journalism world.
Annika is a tough but likeable character. She certainly has her flaws and you can't help but be a little anno…

Book Blogger Confessions #1

I just discovered this brand new meme, Book Blogger Confessions. It is co-hosted by Tiger of All-Consuming Books and Karen of For What It's Worth Reviews. The meme, running on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month, is an opportunity for book bloggers to come together and discuss book blogging, it's ups and downs, the good and the bad.
The first question is: How has the "job" of book blogging changed your reading habits? Both pro and con.
Pros: I'm definitely reading a lot more! Before I would read when I felt like it, now I make time for reading. One of the best things to come out of book blogging for me is that I've been introduced to so many genres, books and authors I never would have touched before. After finishing university I was pretty tired of reading, and when I did pick up a book, it was almost always chick lit. Now I'm reading classics, mystery, young adult, even speculative fiction.
Cons: I find myself pushing through books I don't re…

"MWF Seeking BFF" by Rachel Bertsche

After spending years in different cities, Rachel Bertsche is thrilled to be living with her boyfriend. But soon after leaving her friends and work behind in New York and getting married and settling in Chicago she realizes that there is still something missing in her life - a best friend. Yes, she has lots of BFFs, but they live in other cities. And of course she has friends in Chicago, but no one she would feel comfortable enough with to call for a last minute brunch or reality TV marathon.
So Rachel devises a plan to find herself a Chicago BFF - over the course of a year she will go one fifty-two friend dates, one for each week of the year. What follows is a hilarious, often awkward and touching journey to finding out what a best friend really is and the important role friends play in our lives.
MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend is a recounting of Bertsche's yearlong search for a best friend. She originally chronicled the search in a blog and the book …

Happy New Year!

The start of the year is always exciting here at Curled Up With a Good Book and a Cup of Tea not just because of the exciting reading that is ahead but also because it's my blogoversary! In two days, I'll have been blogging here for two years! It's been a whirlwind and tons of fun. I'm so happy to be a part of the book blogger community.
Yesterday I looked at how I did on my 2011 challenges. Now it's time to look ahead at my challenges for this year. I've decided to take a giant leap outside of my comfort zone and start reading some genres I've run away from in the past.
100 Books Read Challenge This is the 3rd year I'm challenging myself to read 100 books and hopefully this year I'll make it!
Canadian Book Challenge 5 Love this challenge! I'm officially in love with CanLit. The challenge is from July 1-June 30. So far I've read 9 of 13 books.
Back to Classics Challenge Now it's time for me to face those books I've always heard of…