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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Perfect Proposal and a Perfect Fairytale. A Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde


Cornwall Beach by Mike Coates

It is easy for anyone with selfish relatives who take advantage of them to identify with the charming main character of this fairytale story, Sophie.  Although Sophie manages to get away from her family, she still has a kind heart.  This is rewarded when she travels to New York and prevents an old lady from falling.  The old lady turns out to be a fellow English woman with a handsome and wealthy grandson, Luke.  Unfortunately, Luke thinks that Sophie is a gold-digger when Matilda invites her to stay.

I  almost always love Katie Fforde's love stories, and I was delighted by Sophie and Luke's adventures as they try to find Matilda's dream house and fix up Sophie's oil interests.  The trip to beautiful Cornwall was especially enjoyable because of the descriptions of the beautiful scenery  finding out about scrumpy, and dreaming about delicious clotted cream.

The beginning was a bit slow, but I liked all of the characters in this book as well as the story.  The only problem is that some of Katie Ffode's characters tend to make me feel inadequate because they're often good at crafts and cooking! I'd love to eat some of Sophie's drop scones!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blood Sisters by Sarah Gristwood

Women such as Marguerite of Anjou,, Margaret of Burgundy and Margaret of Beaufort recruited armies, arranged marriages and supported political factions.  They also gave alms to charity and even played a large role in supporting universities and scholarship.  These important women of the Middle Ages certainly didn't let any grass grow under their feet! The women of the Wars of the Roses have often been regarded as unimportant, but Blood Sisters does them justice.

This book also evokes the splendid pageantry and celebrations of the Middle Ages and the 'lifestyles' of these women.  Even their books are described.  There are also some lovely legends and anecdotes in this enjoyable and interesting book, such as the love story of the beautiful Elizabeth Woodville.
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Unfortunately, I still find the Wars of the Roses pretty confusing, but Sarah Gristwood certainly does her best to explain them.  The facts of this area of history are just baffling by their nature.

I highly recommend this thoroughly researched book for lovers of English history.




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

L.A. - City of Angels or Devils? Red Carpet Burns by Georgia Cassimatis

When young Australian journalist Georgia Cassimatis follows her gorgeous boyfriend, Simon, to Los Angeles in search of 'life, love and adventure', she gets a lot more than she bargained for.  She and Simon lived the 'life of Riley' in Sydney, waking up to views of the glorious harbour at the 'Toaster' building, and dining on oysters at five-star restaurants.  In L.A. it's a different story.

Simon turns out to be a nasty piece of work who can't stand Georgia drinking...COFFEE, shouts at her mother when she buys lemon cake and comes home stoned in front of her parents.  He's a health fanatic, but this seems to be the least of his and Georgia's problems.

Needless to say, the emotional abuse wears Georgia down and she hates L.A. However, her life and her fast-paced and 'sassy' book, Red Carpet Burns, improves when she gets away from him and becomes friendly with nice Australian actors.  Her tales of finding work and dating in L.A. are hilarious.  I will quote from her book here when it becomes available.  She also makes insightful and perceptive comparisons of Sydney and Los Angeles.

Georgia also gets to live the 'five-star life' in Los Angeles, interviewing movie-stars and jetting off to exotic places such as Bora Bora.  I enjoyed reading her accounts of these but she does seem to praise them all, and there isn't any juicy gossip here.

I really liked this book, although I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't more info about the movie-stars.  I also didn't really see why Georgia writes that 'she fell in love with L.A.'  I got the impression that she hated it a lot of the time.  There is some swearing in the book and Georgia is also rather impulsive with men at first, so some people might be a bit shocked.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Amelia Earhart - Case Closed

Amelia Earhart - Case Closed is an excellent analysis of the mystery about the famous woman's pilot's death and the possible solution.  I enjoyed reading about this inspiring woman's life.  However, I found this book extremely technical and it sometimes got a bit dull.


Obtaining Wisdom

The Wisdom Compass by Theodore Henderson involves reading and absorbing The Book of Proverbs.  It contains excellent advice about achieving your goals, discipline, avoiding addictions, and other important 'self-help' topics.

I haven't finished this yet, but I haven't read anything that's really new, so far.


A Captivating Romance from Destiny Romance

A charming and funny heroine, a hero who oozes masculinity and self-confidence, and witty dialogue.  These elements make Elise K. Ackers's  The Man Plan a delight to read.  It's also a moving love story with a surprising amount of depth.  I almost cheered when the two main characters got together!

The story involves Cora, a pretty, blonde girl who is heart-broken when her beloved father dies.  She decides to refuse to be alone for another Christmas, so she develops a 'man plan'.  She then finds that true love is close at hand.

I did wonder why the hero of this book was so incredibly tall! That's the only thing that annoyed me about it, although I was pretty jealous of Cora's youth and blonde curls.

Dear Preston by Preston Bailey

This book by the award-winning event designer, Preston Bailey, offers helpful advice to people who run creative businesses.  It also tells people how to start a creative business.

I thought that this book was useful for event designers and people with similar businesses  Freelance writers probably won't find it all that helpful, unfortunately.