Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Short Story Review -- Seeds of Love

          Seeds of Love is an entertaining stranger-comes-to-town story with a sweet theme of love likened to a seed in need of nourishment. I particularly appreciated the unique setting; Blanca Islas finds herself turning a new page in her life as she leaves Chicago to settle in Crouch, Idaho as the new nurse practitioner. This is a town I have never read about before, and I enjoyed the small town setting, depicted beautifully in the following passage:
She grabbed a blanket and dragged it onto the back porch where she curled up on the swing and waited for the sun to rise. Birds sang, crickets chirped, and even a bull frog added his voice to the mix, but none of it fazed her. The sun came over the apartment from behind her and quickly the shadows of the night began to fade away. Still Blanca sat, dazed and lost to it all. Nothing was going to lighten the load Longbow had placed on her the night before.
               Her eyes drifted to his side of the yard where the garden was. Moisture on the plants sparkled like miniature crystals, but there was something wrong. The plants were sagging, bent over and nearly touching the ground. They looked how she felt, like she was dying inside.
JC Willibat really grabbed my attention with this section of monologue, comparing the landscape to Blanca’s inner struggle, a smart approach to bring any setting to life. The entire story is heavy with internal monologue in my opinion, though, and I didn’t feel like Blanca’s inner conflict is ever resolved. While the story ends abruptly with a hasty wrap up, I think this is an enjoyable read for anyone looking to read a short summer love story.
JC Willibat’s story, Seeds of Love, is on sale for $0.99 right now on Amazon. You can find out more about JC Willibat and Seeds of Love on her website.

From JC Willibat's website:

Blanca Islas is city-girl from Chicago who’s tired of healthcare politics and men who refuse to look her in the eye. Sure there is more to life than work and men, she finds a job working as a Nurse Practitioner in central Idaho, thinking the small town of Crouch is just the sanctuary she needs. What Blanca doesn’t factor in, however, is the ramifications of being the only health care provider in the heart of redneck country. It takes endless hours of work to care for an entire community, and violence and natural disasters put her independence as a doctoral level nurse practitioner to the test. Forest Longbow, a sexy and mysterious neighbor, tests Blanca’s resolve to stay clear of men and focus on her career.  An Apache smoke-jumper, who fights forest fires through the summer, Forest is nothing like the men Blanca left behind in Chicago. His strange but effective ways of speaking to Blanca’s soul will leave her breathless and hoping for an early Fall. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Reads

Ah, summer.

Between family vacations, camps and other summer craziness, I've read some great books. Here are a few of them, along with my thoughts, and a short list of the books I still have yet to read before summer is over! :(


Once again, Kristen White's voice shines in Supernaturally, her sequel to Paranormalcy. I really enjoyed reading about Evie again, her dilemmas, her adventures. Kristen has a way of grabbing you from page one and holding you in the story until the end! While I thought the plot could have been better and the story overall wasn't as engaging as Paranormalcy, I really enjoyed this book.

Queen in Exile

One of my new favorites! This book quickly stole my attention and would not let it go! Queen in Exile is a clean, adventurous novel for anyone who enjoys a good romance. And mmm mmm, Kai Darkwood is something hot and dreamy! Oh my, there was romantic tension. The characters were masterfully developed; I felt their pain and cheered them on every step of the way! Queen in Exile promises a captivating romantic journey with an intensely satisfying ending. I'm definitely reading more Donna Hatch books now. :)

The Help

I loved, LOVED The Help. If I could choose any characters in all of fiction to sit down for lunch with I'd choose Abilene and Minny! I love how they act, think, talk. So many parts were downright hilarious. This story grabbed me from the first chapter and didn't let go. I finished in a couple of days. I was so sucked in to the character's lives I almost felt like I was walking through Jackson Mississippi in the 1960's. Amazingly well-written with a lot of heart, The Help is a story everyone should read!

The One That I Want

Main character, Gemma Van Cleve, is a complex character who was fun to read about. I really enjoy Jennifer Echols' voice, her humor sprinkled throughout the novel. Still, I couldn't figure out how four individuals in their right mind could treat each other like such scum and still be "BFF's." Some things just didn't jive. Besides that and an overall weak central conflict, this story was a pretty good, quick read.

Crush Control

Once I started reading this book I just couldn't stop. About halfway through the novel I was dying-dying!-of laughter. The Facebook fan page Quinton starts? I was laughing out loud! Jennifer Jabaley has great character development, voice, dialogue. She spun a compelling story here with humor I wasn't expecting. After reading Crush Control, I think I'll check out her debut, Lipstick Apology.

The Cinderella Society

I thought the love story between Jess and Ryan was engaging, but the whole Cinderella Society thing just didn't feel real to me for some reason. This was a bit of a slow read for me. Still, The Cinderella Society was a fun book with a lot of girl power and a touching message.

Still to read this summer:

What did YOU read this summer? Any recommendations?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Breathing Personality Into Your Home

Now that my blog is back from vacation, I'm starting a new series of posts on OLD BOOK PAGES. I got a little crazy a few weeks ago and ripped everything off a certain wall in my dining room, taped, painted, and now I'm on to personalizing this wall in my home with (of course) book pages! I'm excited to reveal a few of these crafts at a time, along with some basic instructions should  you care to join me in crafting with old book pages.

Old Book Page Matted  Picture Frame

1) You will need a matted frame (craft store), old book pages (I got this old book for a quarter at a library clearance on St. Simons Island), Mod Podge, scissors, and a paint brush.

 2) Remove mat from frame
 3) Cut pages in 1"x1" (or so) squares. I ripped mine to get a jagged edge. (Ripping pages from a book? I know, it feels wrong! But, being the devil that I am (ha!), I've gotten used to it, I guess.)
 4) Position page squares in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement so you get an idea for how it will look.
 5) Using Mod Podge and a craft brush, being gluing pages down flat onto frame, cutting excess off  as you go and fitting like a puzzle.

Craft one of ____, done! More to come.