Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon

in my own hearts bloodFrom goodreads:

In June of 1778, the world turns upside-down. The British army withdraws from Philadelphia, George Washington prepares to move from Valley Forge in pursuit, and Jamie Fraser comes back from the dead to discover that his best friend has married Jamie’s wife.

The ninth Earl of Ellesmere discovers to his horror that he is in fact the illegitimate son of the newly-resurrected Jamie Fraser (a rebel and a Scottish criminal!) and Jamie’s nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for Ian’s Quaker betrothed.

Meanwhile, Claire Fraser deals with an asthmatic duke, Benedict Arnold, and the fear that one of her husbands may have murdered the other. And in the 20th century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter Brianna is thinking that things are probably easier in the 18th century: her son has been kidnapped, her husband has disappeared into the past, and she’s facing a vicious criminal with nothing but a stapler in her hand. Fortunately, her daughter has a miniature cricket bat and her mother’s pragmatism.

The best of historical fiction with a Moebius twist, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD weaves the fibers of a family’s life through the tapestry of historical drama.

Review…

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This book was AUH-MAZING.

 “I have loved others, and I do love many, Sassenach—but you alone hold all my heart, whole in your hands,” he said softly. “And you know that. “

I feel free and yet, I don’t have a clue what to do with my life after this incredible journey!  I’m beyond attached to all these amazing characters as if they were my family.  I loved all of them, even the ones that got on my last nerve and believe me, there were a few of those!

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Written in My Own Heart’s Blood took me on a whirlwind adventure because I was whisked away from 1778 Philadelphia to 1980 Scotland and then back to 1738 Scotland!!!  There are so many twists and turns, ones that I didn’t even see coming and I love the element of surprise.

There are a lot of POV changes in this particular installment and normally I am not a fan of that but it worked so well and I think it has to do with Diana Gabaldon’s ability to do it effortlessly.

As always, I enjoyed Claire’s medical procedures and as complex as they are I understood every scene from start to finish.  And that’s not to say there isn’t a gross factor involved because there is. *shudders*

Claire and Jamie moved me to tears so many times and I feel as though I know them intimately.  They’ve been through so much but their relationship has stood the test of time.  But they weren’t the only couple I loved.  Rachel and Ian…I adore them. *sigh* Ian still remains my favorite supporting character.  He’s part Mohawk and always a Highlander!  Don’t even get me started on Bree and Roger because that whole bit was crazy, as in crazy good!

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There are so many amazing characters with their own powerful stories that I can’t even begin to write about all of them.

To say that it’s just a romance is to pigeonhole this series in to a particular category.  While there is a beautiful love story, it’s also about war, history and time travel.  It’s everything and more.

“Ye lost your parents young, mo nighean donn, and wandered about the world, rootless. Ye loved Frank”- his mouth compressed for an instant, but I thought he was unconscious of it-“and of course you love Brianna and Roger Mac and the weans… but, Sassenach- I am the true home of your heart, and I know that.”

DG delivered an installment that is out of this world but the series as a whole is EPIC.

5stars

addtogoodreads

LoveCristina

What Was the Last Book That Made You Cry?

What was the last book you read that made you cry or tear up? For me, it was Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. It’s been on my TBR list for awhile, and I FINALLY read it! I absolutely loved it, but it got me all teary-eyed! I’ve heard so many great things about this book, that I just knew I would love it, but I wasn’t prepared for the tears too, LOL! Thankfully, I was reading at home late at night, so there were no witnesses – I hate crying or tearing up in public!

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I don’t mind reading books that require tissues, but I kind of like being prepared for the tears and I have to be in the mood for that kind of book. Nicholas Sparks books (& movies) always get me – and usually it’s full on crying (yeah the ugly kind). So, I definitely have to be in the mood for lots of tears and have a full supply of tissues at the ready when I read one of his books! LOL!

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Do you like to be prepared for when a book makes you cry or do you even read books that make you cry?

LoveTricia

Does Skimming Mean You Didn’t Read?

Names have been altered.

Names have been altered.

First of all, hi guys! I’m back! I was going through some personal issues, but now I’m back! :)

So, I wanted to start my return from hiatus by introducing this little issue I had. The above picture is a comment thread on one of my 1-star reviews on Amazon. I mentioned in my review how I had to skim entire paragraphs and pages because I didn’t feel like they were pertinent to the story at all.

My question to you is, does skimming a book mean you didn’t read it? Should I have not reviewed the book then?

I personally think that skimming does not mean I didn’t read the book. No one knows every single detail that occurs in a book, so why does ignoring a sentence or two make a difference?

I give all books a fair chance regardless of anything, but if I can’t get through a page without falling asleep, I will most probably skim. I still read the book, I just don’t care about every. single. detail. 

However, to answer the person who commented on my review: skimming does not mean “not reading”. Here’s one definition of “skimming” that I found on Wikipedia:

Skimming is a process of speed reading that involves visually searching the sentences of a page for clues to meaning. For some people, this comes naturally, but is usually acquired by practice. Skimming is usually seen more in adults than in children. It is conducted at a higher rate (700 words per minute and above) than normal reading for comprehension (around 200-230 wpm), and results in lower comprehension rates, especially with information-rich reading material.

The only downside to skimming is the fact that it affects the comprehension rate. But as I said before, I only ever skim in situations where I don’t care what’s happening in the story.

Here’s my verdict:

I don’t think skimming is bad. I don’t think skimming means that you didn’t read the book. I don’t judge you if you tell me you skimmed a book, because it’s something I do as well. Everyone reads in their own way, and if you want to skim, go ahead.

What about you? What do you think? Did skimming not let me truly read the book? Let me know in the comments! 

LoveMarianne

Have You Ever Left Something in a Book for Another Reader?

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I saw this picture and post on the Facebook page of The Reading Room and thought it was interesting. I wanted to share it with you all! Have you ever left something in a book (on purpose) for another reader, like this note? Or have you ever left something in a book accidentally? Ooh, have you ever found something in a book, like a note or something else?

The only time I remember intentionally leaving something in a book was when I gave a friend (who was moving far away) a book – I left a note at the end. I don’t think I’ve accidentally left anything behind in a book in a long time. After working in a library for a few years, I’ve developed a habit of flipping through books – either when returning them to the library or returning/loaning to a friend.

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Personally, I’ve only found bookmarks, receipts, or blank pieces of paper (bookmarks) in books that I get from the library or used bookstore. When I worked at the library, though, I found all kinds of things!!

I think it would be kind of cool to find a note like these in a book! So, I’m going to try to remember to do this on occasion! I really like this idea! So, have any of you ever left or found a note (or something else) in a book? What did you leave or find?

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LoveTricia

An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) by Diana Gabaldon

an echo in the boneFrom Goodreads:

Jamie Fraser, erstwhile Jacobite and reluctant rebel, knows three things about the American rebellion: the Americans will win, unlikely as that seems in 1778; being on the winning side is no guarantee of survival; and he’d rather die than face his illegitimate son — a young lieutenant in the British Army — across the barrel of a gun. Fraser’s time-travelling wife, Claire, also knows a couple of things: that the Americans will win, but that the ultimate price of victory is a mystery. What she does believe is that the price won’t include Jamie’s life or happiness — not if she has anything to say.

Claire’s grown daughter Brianna, and her husband, Roger, watch the unfolding of Brianna’s parents’ history — a past that may be sneaking up behind their own family.

Review…

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The Outlander series has consumed my life because I’ve done nothing else but read about Jamie and Claire and their blessed family!  I don’t know what I will do with myself once I’m done with all the books! *gasp*

“You’re the world I have,” she murmured, and then her breathing changed, and she took him down with her into safety. “

An Echo in the Bone was absolutely fabulous and I would say it’s perfect except I thought the ending was a bit rushed, the part I’m referring has to do with Claire. When I was done reading I immediately gave it 5 star rating.  After considerable thought, I settled on 4.5 because had the story slowed down a teensy-weensy bit, specifically with Claire, it would have been utter perfection.

“But even things that heal leave scars.”

Did the ending take away from my overall enjoyment of the book?  Nope. I loved this book. Like a lot.  It was EPIC! ♥

“Here and there, a form stirred feebly, victim of war’s sorcery, struggling against the enchantment of death.”

I know I say it every time but Diana Gabaldon can write like nobody else’s business.  It wasn’t until I read this series that I really learned about lice, how they can fester in your hair and not just on your head but *cough* in your nether regions as well. *shudders*  She described medical and surgical procedures that made me feel like I’m the assisting nurse in the room because that’s how good DG is!

“Come to bed, a nighean.  Nothing hurts when ye love me.”

So much happens in this book, too much for my fragile heart to handle and there’s a particular scene that I found to be quite shocking. This shocking moment left me angry and feeling incredibly betrayed but I understood why it happened as well.  I did text my friend and expressed my outrage with a few expletives to drive the point home.

“It was possible to leave things behind—places, people, memories—at least for a time. But places held tight to the things that had happened in them, and to come again to a place you had once lived was to be brought face-to-face with what you had done there and who you had been.”

There are rumors that Written In My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) is even better than what I just read!  I don’t know how that’s possible but I can’t wait to start it! :)

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LoveCristina

Spook-tober!

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I can’t believe it’s October already. Well, I can but.. wow. Next thing we know, we’re singing Christmas songs and exchanging Christmas book recs! So before all of that, let’s focus on this month. I want to share the spooky books I’ve read this year so far (the top 5) These books don’t have the gore and the bloods and the killing spree kind of scare. But it’ll give you the chills, the creeps and definitely the spooks. Ready?

Oh, and be sure to leave the light open while you’re reading the book. ‘Kay?

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This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

– Oh man, I just finished this the other day and I’m still speechless. Courtney Summers is such a great writer. This is about a group of teenagers and they’re all stuck in a school because ZOMBIES and death is everywhere. THAT SUMMARY IS FROM ME BTW. This book has the right amount of sexiness (yes you read that right) and creepiness (ZOMBIES!) and mystery and the thrill oh my goodness (my heart) and believe it or not, it’s also heartbreaking. Read it! I mean, look at that cover!

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Amity by Micol Ostow

– Uhm, CREEPY PHONECALLS? check! SEEING LITTLE GIRLS WHO AREN’T REALLY THERE? check! CHARACTER WHO LOOKS REALLY NICE BUT KEEPS THINKING ABOUT KILLING PEOPLE? check! and I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard of AMITYVILLE which is where this book was based from. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, I think you’d like this.

 

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Made For You by Melissa Marr 

– Okay so maybe you want to solve a mystery while getting creeped out. Maybe you’re one of those who reads the book in one sitting because YOU WANNA KNOW WHO THE CULPRIT IS. Well, okay, I have this book for you. Eva is the most popular girl in her town AND SOMEONE TRIED TO KILL HER! I never thought I’d say this but I totally enjoyed the Killers POV in here. Got me guessing until the end too. Who is the Killer? You? Me? Her? That guy over there? WHO KNOWS?!!!!

AND BOTH PARENTS ARE ALIVE. AND THEY ARE FUNCTIONING AND ACTUALLY ACTING LIKE PARENTS.

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Donners Of The Dead by Karina Halle

SEXYNESS AND HOTNESS YES. Oh and ZOMBIES AND HISTORY YES. Plus, it’s Karina Halle! The awesome kickass lady, that reason should be enough. But seriously, Donners of the Dead was a fast and a  creepy rollercoaster read for me. The history intrigued me, the zombies and the way Halle writes kept me up and there’s JAKE McGRAW. The relationship between Jake and Eve is a classic! It’s filled with mistrust, desire and intrigue. And all the supporting characters are well-developed. I’m gonna shut up now BUT JUST READ IT. Scare the crap out of yourself. Thank me or kill me later.

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Fractured by Erin Hayes

They are TWINS! And they’re no Anna and Elsa. Fractured is such a fast read.. and a terrifying one.. I’m scared of this author. WHERE WOULD SHE GET THIS IDEA?! PLS LET HER STAY AWAY FROM ME. This book is crazier than crazy. How do I describe the creppiness? IDK maybe just stare at this:

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Yeah that’s not creepy or anything.

Well, that was fun. :D I hope something caught your interest from this mini list. And don’t hesitate to hit me up with recommendations as well. This is not a genre I usually enjoy but I want to step out of my comfort zone and read more books that isn’t my usual genre. :) Thank you for stopping by!

LovePaula

The Mortal Instruments TV Show – Will You Watch?

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So, I saw some interesting news on Professional Fangirls.  (I follow them on Facebook, LOL). It seems The Mortal Instruments series will be making it’s way to our TV screens sometime in the future. No idea on when or any other details other than Constantin Film is hoping to go into production sometime next year. You can read the article here.

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 So, if there is a Mortal Instruments TV show, will you watch it? I would definitely check it out to see if it’s any better than the movie. I was very disappointed in the movie. I know sometimes time constraints don’t allow movies to contain every book detail, but this movie felt very different from the book. It didn’t feel the same at all! I’m hoping if there is a TV show that it will be a better adaptation. It has the potential to be really great!

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So, what are your thoughts?

LoveTricia

Unlaced (Undone by Love #1) by Kristina Cook

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 From GoodreadsAll Lucy Abbington wants is to get through her first London season without losing sight of her true ambition—gaining some informal training in veterinary arts so that she can retire peacefully to the countryside with her beloved horses. Instead, she’s caught up in a whirlwind of balls, marriage proposals, and ton intrigues. Worse, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to her sponsors’ maddening neighbor, Henry Ashton, the Marquess of Mandeville. The handsome, arrogant, sometimes infuriating Mandeville stokes a passionate fire within her that won’t be denied, no matter the consequence.

Deep, emotional scars secretly plague Henry, Lord Mandeville. As a result, he’s avoided romantic entanglements at all costs. Only, now he needs a wife—someone from a wealthy, powerful family to further his political aspirations. Instead, he finds himself all but obsessed with the beautiful but unconventional Lucy Abbington—a woman whose passions and wit stir desires he’d rather ignore. And yet…she might just be the one woman who can heal his wounded heart.

Lucy and Henry’s heads say no, but their hearts say yes. Will they find themselves undone by love?

  Review:

I was pleasantly surprised by this Kindle freebie. I haven’t read many historical romances or regency romances, it’s just not normally my genre. However, I was in the mood for a romance book and decided to try something different, and thankfully it worked out!!

So, in Glenfield, Essex, in 1817, all Lucy Abbington wants is to train and work in the veterinary arts. She loves animals and has had some training in their care. However, since she’s a woman in the 1800s, more training is out of the question. She’s supposed to attend balls, find a suitor, get married, and have children instead of learning to care and treat animals. She prefers breeches to dresses and being blunt instead of demure.

 “Riding sidesaddle is not truly riding. It’s ridiculous, is what it is.”

Then she meets Henry Ashton, the Marquess of Mandeville and can’t deny her attraction (and neither can he). They do their best to not fall in love, because he does want to get married, just not to her. He wants a wife from a titled and wealthy family, and Lucy isn’t. He wants the typical 1800s wife, not one that wants to work in the veterinary arts. It’s funny though, because all the qualities that Lucy has that Henry admires are the same ones he supposedly doesn’t want in a wife.

“Surely you realize what an odd situation this is?” he sputtered. “In case you have not noticed, you are a female, and females do not generally possess the ability to diagnose equine injuries –“

“In case you have not noticed, sir, I just did.”

“– much less the skills to treat them.”

“Oh, but I do.”

He raised a brow. “But you are a female?”

“Undoubtedly.”

“I thought so.”  The corners of his mouth twitched.  “I just wanted to make sure you knew it.”

“I can assure you I’m in possession of many years of informal training in veterinary arts.”

This has a predictable story line, they keep trying to steer clear of each other only to end up making out a lot when they do run into one another. There are forces constantly pushing them together and also pulling them apart. However, there are sweet and funny moments, too. And little steamy moments as well. I’m sure there are some inconsistencies, I doubt some of the language in the book was exact for that time period. But I read to be entertained, and I was entertained by this book, so I’m not too critical of it.

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All in all, if you like period romances (or historical or regency romance) where the heroine and hero try not to fall in love and yet can’t keep away from each other, then this is the story for you! I enjoyed this fluffy read and plan on reading more by this author!

4starsaddtogoodreads

 

LoveTricia

Do You Read Horror?

Thought this would be a good question with it being October and all – soon it will be time for all the ghosts and goblins to go trick-or-treating for Halloween. October is the “spooky” month, so does this time of year make you want to read more spooky, scary, or horror books? Or do you like to read horror novels regardless of the time of year? What are some of your favorite horror or scary books and/or authors?

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For me, it doesn’t matter the time of year – I don’t read horror. Nothing against horror books, their authors or their readers, it’s just not for me. I like mysteries and some thriller/suspense novels, but not horror. I don’t think the scare factor has anything to do with it, it’s usually that they’re too gruesome and gory for my tastes. I can handle some violence in books (like Hunger Games or similar), but I feel that horror books probably contain way more than I ‘d like.

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I don’t like scary or horror movies either, and I’m already sick of all the commercials for Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights and Busch Gardens Howl O Scream (I’m in FL, so they’re both advertised A LOT!!). To me, it’s not scary, it’s just sickening and gross! It probably makes me a wimp, but I’m fine with that, LOL! I prefer cutesy Halloween décor, funny movies, and HEA. But if you like horror, don’t worry, we can still be friends. No worries, no judging.  ;-)

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So, do you read horror?

LoveTricia

Bookish Pumpkins

It’s October!! Which means it’s time for pumpkins and pumpkin-flavored everything!! I’m actually not that into pumpkins, but I saw an interesting post on Book Riot – http://bookriot.com/ – and I thought I would share – bookish pumpkins!! Seriously, there are some really talented and creative people in the world. In these posts here and here, Book Riot shows book inspired pumpkins. They’re absolutely amazing!! I thought I would share a few plus some others I found as well. I’m just so impressed with these pumpkins, especially since I can barely carve a smiley face on a pumpkin!

I could probably do this one! Use pages from an old book or newspaper to make a decoupaged pumpkin. Really cute!

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My oldest daughter would love these – Alice In Wonderland is her favorite story!

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Probably my favorite!! Harry Potter inspired pumpkins!! So very awesome!!

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I’m sure my friend Julie would love this Lord of the Rings pumpkin!

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Winnie the Pooh pumpkin

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And here are some that I found on the web:

Hunger Games pumpkin

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A pumpkin inspired by Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys series!!!!

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A pumpkin inspired by Ally Condie’s Matched book

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The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland

Truly amazing!!!

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Here are pumpkins inspired by The Fault In Our Stars and Fifty Shades of Grey

 

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Edgar Allan Poe Nevermore pumpkin

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Of course, some Twilight pumpkins

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and here:

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Finally, The Hobbit

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Aren’t these awesome?! I know some (or most) were probably done with some sort of stencils, but it’s still awesome! Even with stencils, I don’t think my pumpkins would look this nice – I’m crafty, but not artistic, LOL! Did you see any that you love? Do you carve pumpkins? Have you done any challenging designs like these?

 

LoveTricia