Tuesday, January 19, 2010

'204 Rosewood Lane' by Debbie Macomber [5]

Six months after her husband of 35 years disappeared,
Grace Sherman files for divorce -
against her daughter Kelly's wishes.

Meanwhile, Judge Olivia has love problems of her own:
Her ex-husband is giving her on-again, off-again' suitor
Jack Griffin some stiff competition!

But Jack has other problems - his son Eric,
whose girlfriend thinks she's pregnant, has come to bunk with Dad...
Then there's Olivia's daughter Justine who wises up and marries
her high school sweetheart, while Zach and Rosie Cox find their
marriage on the skids. And last but not least, Maryellen Sherman,
Grace's older daughter, becomes pregnant after a brief affair with
an artist...

Romance, babies, divorce and marriage keep Cedar Cove gossips buzzing!

Second novel in the series and it picks up right where the first one finished.

While the main characters are dealing with the problems in their lives, we also are introduced to
a few new people... Zach and Rosie Cox and the Beldons who own a bed and breakfast...

We find out what finally happened to Grace's husband Dan, and it isn't what Grace expected.

We get to know Grace's girls a little better, especially her older daughter Maryellen.

Olivia has problems of her own to deal with...two men in her life are striving for her attention,
but she refuses to see her ex-husband as anything but a friend in need. Jack on the other hand
can see that he has a rivial...he also has to deal with his son and their relationship.

We have a mystery to solve in the bed and breakfast with the Beldons and we cry with the Cox children as their parents go through a divorce.

Sit back and enjoy as the Cedar Cove residents fill you in on whats happening.

I rate this book 5 stars.

Discussion Questions for The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

  1. Warning Spoiler alert: Some of these questions contain spoilers so if you haven't finished the book do not read any further ......

  1. If you have read The Da Vinci Code or Angels & Demons, how do you think The Lost Symbol compared to Brown's other books?
  2. Katherine Solomon worked in a field called Noetic Science. Do you think it is possible that the human brain can transform matter? Would you consider Noetics a real science?
3. How would it change the world if there were more tangible evidence of the spiritual world? How is Katherine Solomon's perception of science different from Robert Langdon's?

4. Do you think that a secret knowledge could exist, such as the Ancient Mysteries?

5. Are you surprised by how many of America's founders were Freemasons? What do you think of all the Masonic imagery in American art and architecture?

6. How familiar were you with Freemasonry before reading the novel? How did your impressions of the organization shift throughout the book, from the chilling prologue to Peter Solomon’s philosophical comments near the end?

7. Do you think it would actually cause a "national security crisis" if somebody had a video of high level government officials participating in the rituals described in The Lost Symbol? Why or why not?

8. Discuss the novel's grand theme of architecture. How did The Lost Symbol change the way you think about the way buildings are designed and the intention of their architects (creators)? What most surprised you about the tributes to the past—and visions of the future—that are captured in the landmarks of Washington, D.C.?

9. Were you surprised to find out that Mal'akh was actually Zachary Solomon?

10. Mal'akh considers the polarity of angels and demons noting that “the guardian angel who conquered your enemy in battle was perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer.” What does this indicate about Mal’akh’s perception of himself in the world? How can his evil nature be explained? Why is he only able to consider his own suffering, while relishing the suffering of others?

11. At the heart of the novel is a quest to unlock wisdom, and the need to keep it "locked" because it can be used for destructive purposes. Do you believe that freedom of knowledge (Wikipedia, a world wide web) is a blessing or a curse?

12. The novel's epigraph, from Manly Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages, encourages readers to become aware of the meaning of the world. What mysteries about the world, and life, do you think are the most important ones to explore?

13. The final chapter raises intriguing questions about the possibility of a multi-faceted God and the potential to find God in all of humanity. Can there be a universal definition of enlightenment?

14. While interpreting the Masonic Pyramid's final inscription, Robert Langdon tries to bring order out of chaos by interpreting each symbol as a metaphor. Peter Solomon instructs him to be literal and accept the inscription as a true map. What does this exchange say about the best way to interpret all sacred messages?

15. What truths do Katherine Solomon and Robert Langdon experience in the epilogue, at sunrise, atop America's ultimate symbol? From your perspective, what does the Capitol symbolize?

16. What does The Lost Symbol indicate about the power of the Word—both ancient texts and bestselling twenty-first-century novels?

17. What common thread runs through this and each of Dan Brown's previous works? What makes The Lost Symbol unique? How has Robert Langdon's perspective changed from Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code?

18. Rate The Lost Symbol on a scale of 1 to 5.

Many thanks to Dan Browns site for some of these discussion questions :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

'16 Lighthouse Road' by Debbie Macomber [5]

When Cecilia Randell and her husband
appear in Judge Olivia Lockhart's Cedar Cove family court,
seeking a divorce, the good judge senses the
couple still love one another and just need time to get
over their infant daughter's death.

Denying their petition, Olivia makes headlines in the Cedar
Cove Chronicle - earning her more than journalistic admiration
from the paper's editor, Jack Griffin!

Meanwhile, Olivia's daughter Justine must decide whether to
marry an older man her divorced mother insists is wrong for her;
while the judge's best friend Grace Sherman is frantic since the
disappearance of her husband Dan. Everyone in
Cedar Cove is talking!

This is the first story in the 'Cedar Cove' series which so far consist of nine books...
they have been sitting on my self for a year... I absolutely adore Debbie Macomber as a romance author, she write so beautifully. After reading quite a few fantasy style books I needed a change and thought it was about time I started on this series.

I have whizzed through this first book and wasn't disappointed at all.

As you get to know the characters of this series they become like your very own neighbors or your best friends. I love the way the story is set in a little town and apparently this was done deliberately by the author.

I won't give away any of the story as the introduction says enough...
if you want a light hearted easy read with a little romance, mystery and a little wisdom thrown in...then you'll truly love this series.

Sit back and acquaint yourself with the Cedar Cove residents and enjoy!

I rate this book 5 stars.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter (4)

Emily Albright, a 29 year old New York bookstore manager, has been on her fair share of disastrous dates. A Jane Austen fan, she's all but given up on finding her Mr Darcy.

In a bid to avoid a holiday in Mexico with her co-worker and friend, Stella, Emily signs herself up for a relaxed tour of Mr Darcy country.

Upon arriving in England she discovers that the tour bus is full of spritely, gray-haired Darcy fanatics and one young man, Spike Hargreaves, a journalist researching for an article he is writing.

Emily's first impressions of Spike are less than favourable and after over hearing a conversation he has on this mobile she decides to try and completely avoid him throughout the tour.

Early into the tour, a jet-lagged, slightly hung over Emily comes face-to-face with the broody and handsome Mr Darcy.

Suddenly her fantasy, and every other womens, is becoming a reality.


I picked this book up at the airport so that I would have something to read on the plane. It is a light hearted chick-lit about a women searching for her Mr Right. For me this was a perfect holiday read - quick and easy.

The book takes it's plot from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but Potter hasn't tried to match Austen's writing style.

The book is predictable and all the loose ends are ties up nicely at the end.

Unfortunately, unlike Austen, Potter has felt the need to add frequent swear words throughout the dialogue. In my opinion it was unneccessary and spoilt the read a little for me.

So if you're looking for a good beach read and can see pass bad language - this just might be the book for you.

I give this a 4

Irish reviewed this back in November 2008 - click here

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"The Seduction of Sarah" by Helen M.Ide [3]

Sarah is a young southern girl who is striving
to be an adult.
She finds herself lost during the war and
seeks refuge with her Uncle. Her mother
tries to keep her safe, but Sarah has her own plan.
She meets Robert, a young brash Colonel from the North.
He takes her on a journey that she will never forget.
They have a love hate relationship that will capture your heart,
make you angry at times, and will surely
leave you wanting more.

I saw this novel while reading a 'Good Read' and thought it sounded really interesting and it's been a while since I've read any romance novels set in the American Civil war...of course the cover was lovely too....

Well what's the old saying...'you can't judge a book by it's cover'...oh boy this is a shocker!
I have only given this book 3 stars because the basic story was interesting, but everything else about it was terrible.

It was a chore trying to get through it because it just doesn't flow well. The story is told by two people which is fine but the author hasn't put in paragraphs too show the difference, so it just all flows into one and half the time doesn't make sense.

The story seems to skip and you feel like you've missed out parts that you should of read about.
In general I think it has been poorly written, I really struggle with it.

I hate writing a bad review but I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone. Such a shame because it has potential.

I rate this novel just 3 stars.

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