Monday, 26 January 2009

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

For twenty years, Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to the majesty of Scotland's mist-shrouded hills. Here, Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones, about a love that transcends the boundaries of time, and about James Fraser, a warrior whose gallantry once drew the young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his. Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful daughter as Claire's spellbinding journey continues in the intrigue-ridden court of Charles Edward Stuart, in a race to thwart a doomed uprising, and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

My View
This is the follow up to Cross Stitch which I read way back in September, I actually mean't to read these after I got back from my holiday but, forgot until a friend of mine mentioned she was reading them.

The story begins with Claire back in the present day (well almost as its back in the 1960's) and with her daughter Brianna, Claire's husband Frank having died two years previously. Claire is investigating the fate of the men at Culloden. Claire is visiting an old friend with her daughter and it is here that Claire finds out things from her past that could very well (and does!) change her future. Claire re-tells her story of what happened and we are then travelling back in time to 1744.

I did find this one dragged on a little towards the end but, there was no way on earth I was going to rush through it there were some parts that could have been more compacted, lets say. However, saying that this volume is nearly 1000 pages in total yet it didn't seem like that at all.

I have to say I wasn't as enthralled with this as I was with Cross Stitch (or Outlander as its known outside the UK) and as I say for me it did drag on a bit in parts but, overall a beautifully weaved tale and although I say it did drag on in some ways its nice to have a descriptive tale as it makes for a more believable and intense story.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Midnight Flight by Virginia Andrews

They lived on the wild side.
Now these bad girls are paying the price.

At Dr. Foreman's School for Girls, the "students" sleep in barns, work on a farm in the blazing heat, and are subjected to ruthless guards who watch their every move. It's an institution run by the dreadful Dr. Foreman, a woman who delights in administering the worst form of punishment -- the mysterious Ice Room where the girls face their darkest fears.

Now Phoebe, Teal, and Robin -- three girls from very different worlds -- are the newcomers in this desert hell. During their stay, each girl will be tempted to commit the ultimate crime of betrayal as Dr. Foreman cleverly tries to turn them against each other -- until they learn that the only way to survive is to stick together...and fight back.

This book has to be read right after Broken Wings as it continues to when the girls arrive at Dr Foreman's School.

Whereas I didn't think Broken Wings was that disturbing a read, this most definitely was. It was very twisted but, not in the way I thought Flowers in the Attic was disturbing just different somehow.

Some parts of it I didn't think was necessary like the diapers that was just ewwww. But, hey ho I guess that part was put there for some reason. This would be a good book for a troubled teen to read because I am sure if they read this they would start behaving as no-one would ever want to go to a school like this!

Virginia Andrews books are now written by a ghost writer and I think that does show as her later books are not a patch on the earlier ones but, still it was a good read just probably not one I would want to read again.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Blogger Award

I was deeply honoured to receive a blogger award from

The rules to follow are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

The blogs that I feel are worthy of this award are:


Sorry to say I couldn't find 15 I will have to make it my task for 2009 to get out there and explore more blogs :-)

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Broken Wings by Virginia Andrews

Three girls from different worlds with one thing in common: They were born to be wild.

Robin...With a mom who's more absorbed in her singing career than in her own daughter, Robin's left to her own devices when the two move to Nashville. That's where her mom hopes to strike gold -- and where Robin finds nothing but trouble.

Teal...This rich girl will do anything to get her parents' attention...even break the law. But after she takes things too far for the guy she adores, Teal loses their trust completely -- and is treated like a prisoner in her own home. Now there may be only one way out.

Phoebe...She's the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, trying to make it in a fast new crowd. She moved in with her aunt to make a fresh start. But now her biggest mistake may be to trust a charming rich boy who could ruin her life and destroy her reputation forever.

This was a very interesting book, it didn't seem as disturbing as some of her other books. The book is divided up in to three parts in preparation for the follow up book, all 3 stories were each as good as the other. I loved reading Robin's story then when it ended was sad because I liked it so much but, then the next was equally as good.

Although all 3 girls are basically trouble I couldn't help but, feel for them in some way because the cause of why thjey were so bad stems back from their home life, it was quite sad really. But, then I guess you could say that about anyone who on the surface just seems to be a troublemaker and I'm sure we all know people like that!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

With its mythic mists and galloping legends, fifth century Britain is fair game and Miss Stewart takes to whole cloth with a couturier's skill. This time applied to Merlin - a seer, Arthur's evil genius and resident engineer - all depending on whether you have your faultless facts from Geoffrey of Monmouth, Malory, Tennyson or a ouija board. Miss Stewart artlessly confesses in an afterword that she followed Geoffrey but loosely and gaily admits anachronisms. (There are Pendragonian sallies: "you were perhaps a little - drastic?"; or bland references to the then non-existent "Germany" or "Ireland.") In any case this is all Merlin's tune - from childhood as a despised bastard at the court of his grandfather the King, with his mother, the King's daughter, who wasn't telling who downed her in the dell.

Then after secret tutorials in the cave of an old clairvoyant and scholar, Galapos, an escape to Count Ambrosius, a ruler who turns out to be. . . . Many ceremonials, prophesies and wars later, Merlin accomplishes his greatest coup - a procurement exercise resulting in the conception of Arthur by Uther Pendragon out of the Lady Ygraine. Period play, ripe and windy, for ladies easily lulled - and there are many of them.

This is a book I have read before but, it was quite a long time ago so thought it was due a re-read.

The Merlin series is probably one of my favourite re-tellings from the Arthurian period that I have come across yet. This one concentrates on Merlin who rarely gets to be IMO the sole focus of attention in a book, or maybe its just the ones
I have read!

We get to see (or read about!) Merlin's childhood and upbringing and Merlin is the grandson of a local king, his father is unknown. I love how this book is as told by Merlin, sometimes I prefer a first person book and seeing everything through their eyes. The book covers Merlin from when he was very young up until he is mid twenties.

I loved how Mary Stewart developed the scenes of how life was like in this long ago time - the Arthurian era is one I would have loved to have lived in.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

The 2009 Pub Challenge

I have signed up for the pub challenge for the second year running!!

These are the rules:

Here are the 2009 rules:

Read a minimum of 9 books first published in 2009. You don’t have to buy these. Library books, unabridged audios, or ARCs are all acceptable. To qualify as being first published in 2009, it must be the first time that the book is published in your own country. For example, if a book was published in Australia, England, or Canada in 2008, and then published in the USA in 2009, it counts (if you live in the USA). Newly published trade paperbacks and mass market paperbacks do not count if there has been a hardcover/trade published before 2009. Any questions on what qualifies? Just leave a comment here, and I’ll respond with the answer.
No children’s/YA titles allowed, since we’re at the ‘pub.’
At least 5 titles must be fiction.
Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
You can add your titles as you go, and they may be changed at any time.
Sign up below using Mr. Linky.
Have fun reading your 2009 books!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Jane Boleyn - The Infamous Lady Rochford by Julia Lewis

After having a hard time of it settling into a new book over Christmas (too many distractions I think!) I finally plumped for something I have not rad for a very long time - anon-fiction book, this about the infamous Lady Rochford!

No matter if you sympathise with her or think she is the most awful woman ever she certainly was a very interesting woman in our history. I am actually one of the former and do sympathise with her some.

Anyway on to the book - SYNOPSIS

Debut author Fox sheds new light on the lesser-known life of Anne Boleyn's sister-in-law. The author vividly captures a pivotal moment in English history in an engrossing text that dances with devilry, opulence and deception as Tudor court intrigue swirls around Henry VIII and his various queens. After Henry dispensed with Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne, Jane was privy to dazzling displays of pageantry, and she witnessed the entrance of a new queen, a new religion and ultimately the Reformation.

This account of her life as an intimate of the doomed Anne offers an intensely personal look inside the day-to-day rhythms of court life. Fox is especially deft at conveying the walking-on-eggshells sensation experienced by all Henry's women, who knew only too well that they were expendable. Although Jane is something of a bit-player in the book's first half, after both Anne and her brother George (Jane's husband) are put to death, her own story and personality come into sharper focus. Living to serve as lady-in-waiting to two more of Henry's wives, Jane's own path to the executioner's block was paved by Catherine Howard, the king's ill-fated fifth wife.A sparkling chronicle, fine-tuned to the personal stories that lend texture and emotion to a biography.

This a very fascinating read mostly obviously because of the subject but, I would say the author is really no Alison Weir/Antonia Fraser as others stated on Amazon reviews there is a lot more speculation here rather than hard facts, it did feel like I was reading a historical fiction novel at times and probably if you look upon it like that you won't be disappointed. It was still nice to see a book about someone other than Henry's wives.