Intimations of Austen by Jane Greensmith

Maybe it's been too long since I read most of Jane Austen's novels. I don't remember all of the characters and few of the details, so I think I may have not been the best audience for this book. Out of the collection only two really struck me. The first, "Rainbow Around The Moon," a sequel to Persuasion was a short, touching tale about Captain Wentworth and his daughter. I don't think you necessarily needed to read the original to appreciate it. The other was "All I Do," the last story and longer than the others. In this tale of Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth is not married to Darcy.  The characters are a bit fuller than in the others and I guess I remember the original story better than the others. It was enjoyable, seeing the "what might have been" and how in the end Darcy and Elizabeth still get happiness. The others were neither here nor there for me. They weren't bad, they just...
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Rungle in the Jungle by Robert Logan Rogers

It sounded like a cute book. The animals get together for a race, the snake tries to intimidate them, but positive thinking and creativity win the day - should be fun. Instead, it just wasn't very good, in my opinion. First, there is no punctuation, which always bothers me- yes, it's a kids book, yes, it rhymes, but please give me quotation marks. When reading books aloud, the quotation marks are great indicators that a change of voice is needed. I want to sound like a slithery snake during his boasts or big and bold when the ape states that he weighs more than a ton, and quotes would have given me the cue. I'm still not sure about the ape's assertion that he would lose weight before the race, though; it bothers me a bit. Second, many of the rhymes are forced or don't make a lot of sense and the pattern isn't consistent. Even rungle isn't a real word. I'm all for making...
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Dead Wrong by Leighann Dobbs

This is a really light mystery with a bit of PG romance. I enjoyed it but there wasn't much to it. I like the sisters and how they all support each other, but I kind of felt like we didn't really know much about them or the other characters. On the one hand, that's good, we're not bogged own with a bunch or back story, but it left me with a few too many questions. I love the house and the shop and can see why the girls will do anything can not to lose it. Oh, and there's a magical cat. There's a bit of a rumor around town that Balckmores may be witches, which they're not, at least they don't seem to be, but they do have this cat that has an uncanny way of being in just the right spot or finding just the thing they need. It's just a hint of paranormal. The mystery is okay. We get...
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Spotlight: Budapest Romance by Rozsa Gaston

Excerpt: How could she not notice being noticed? Floating in a thermal bath pool at a spa hotel in Budapest, Kati discreetly eyed the rugged blond man lounging in the next pool. He had glanced in her direction several times over the past two days. She was mourning the death of her father the month before, and was in no shape to be looking at the opposite sex. But the man's shaggy, blond hair had caught her eye that first evening in the pools; it had wandered down over his shoulders and powerful chest as well. Béla Dunai would have forgiven her, she knew. At that moment, the man lifted his head and looked directly at her. Immediately, she pretended to be studying the clock on the wall behind him. She hoped he was too far away to notice the blush that had sprung onto her face. She wanted to pass for a sophisticated European woman while in Hungary. But here she was, blushing...
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Reindeer Dust by Kate Dwyer

Christmas is my favorite time of year - even if I hate the cold. So today, as part of A Month of Favorites, I thought I'd share a review of a new Christmas picture book I received this year. A Month of Favorites is hosted by Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge. Today we’re linking up at Estella’s Revenge. When Amber was little, we always put out milk and cookies for Santa, but she's always been an animal lover, so we couldn't forget about the reindeer. They got carrots, but I bet they would have preferred reindeer dust. This is a cute story. Santa's got so many presents to deliver that he doesn't have time to feed his reindeer and, to make matters worse, it's a foggy night. Happily, William has been watching the weather reports and comes up with a plan to help Santa find his and his friends' houses - reindeer dust. Don't worry, the recipe's included in the book. I...
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Character Guest Post: Riella from Tom Stacey’s Exile

I'm happy to welcome Riella to my notebook today. Riella is a character in Tom Stacey's Exile and she's got a lot to say about women in historical fantasy. I should have my review of the book up soon. From Riella Historical fantasy used to be something only men did. Only men wrote it or only men read it or only men enjoyed it. It used to be that women were relegated to helpless perfumed maidens in castle towers or filthy old hags that had only wisdom and stink to offer. Sure, sometimes we were allowed to fight: we got given elegant looking blades and revealing armour that was more likely to kill you through cold than stop a blade. If we were allowed to stand up for ourselves at all it was only on their terms, as objects for them to gawk at. Perhaps more men do read historical fantasy than women. After all, they’ve always been obsessed with maiming and killing,...
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