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review 2017-04-07 00:41
My Great-Aunt Arizona
My Great-Aunt Arizona - Gloria Houston

My Great-Aunt Arizona written by Gloria Houston is a 4.0 on the Accelerated Reading leveling system. This story is from the point of view of a young girl telling about her great-aunt named Arizona. Arizona teaches at a one room school house for many years. The children come and go, but she touches each of them in a special way. In the end on the story Arizona dies, but her niece knows she lives on in the hearts of all the students she had an impact on. I think this book is perfect for any teacher at any level to read. It can also be used in the classroom at the beginning of the school year to demonstrate that teachers are not scary, but here to help. It also is a good lesson in a little kindness goes a long way. 

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review 2016-11-14 14:51
The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken
The Bachelor Auction (The Bachelors of Arizona) - Rachel Van Dyken

This was an adorable spin on a Cinderella romance. Jane was the perfect mix of Cinderalla and modern woman. She was introverted enough that I could easily relate to her hatred of going out on the town, but not so shy that she didn't stand up for herself when push came to shove. She even owns a cleaning company - a great modern twist on the theme - and loses a shoe along the way. The downside was Brock (I think). The hero was great. I loved him and his family, although they got a bit over the to towards the end. It was the names that did this book in for me. Even by the end I couldn't keep the brothers apart. All with similar names that start with B, and we meet them within pages of each other. The similar names just sort of merged into one giant Wellington son instead of one older brother and two younger twins. I made a cheat sheet half way through so I could keep them straight. I didn't like it. The story was a lot of fun. There were some sad moments as both Brock and Jane deal with their past and how it has changed the way they cope with the present. There are happy and laughing moments that I didn't want to see end. But the whole brother name thing just hung over it all. I'm hoping that book two helps to separate the brothers a little more for me because they were all a lot of fun and I really want to see how their separate lives all intertwine as they find their love. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/the-bachelor-auction-bachelors-of.html
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text 2016-10-26 18:37
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 262 pages.
Ceremony (text only) by L. M. Silko - Leslie Marmon Silko

I'm telling you the story she is thinking.


One of the few things I really detested when I went back to college in 1998 was the penchant so many professors had for assembling huge reading lists that required enormous expenditures of money . . . and then never actually discussing the readings.  Or the syllabus listed only one or two chapters out of the 30 or more in a book, but you had already shelled out thirty or forty dollars or more for the text.


I had one prof who was worse about this than the others.  For one course, the materials included very expensive photocopies -- the bookstore had to get a special license -- of selected chapters from out-of-print books that weren't even available at the library.  (This was before the days of Amazon used books.)  What we weren't told was that these photocopies were not eligible for refund if the text was canceled.  Well, she canceled two of them, and students were pretty upset.  Her attitude was . . . unprintable.


For another class, the reading list was way longer than any instructor could hope to cover in a semester, but we had to buy the books anyway.  One of the books was Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, which looked to me like it would be very interesting.  We never got around to it, however. 


I kept several of the books from that class, some of which we read like When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard and Ceremony which we didn't.


Author Leslie Marmon Silko is my age and lives in Tucson.  Although I am not -- that I know of -- Native American, it is almost impossible not to absorb at least some knowledge of and respect for the native people of the Southwest and their culture when you live here for a long time.  I mean, for crying out loud, I live in a town called Apache Junction!  And while that may be a bit of cultural appropriation by the "settlers," Hieroglyphic Canyon is only a few minutes' drive and a comfortable hike from my house.



The real stuff is out there, all around us.


Dr. Carter Meland, professor of Native American Literature at the University of Minnesota, is the son of friends of mine here in Arizona.  I would have liked to read his novel, Stories for a Lost Child, for this Bingo square, but it won't be published until Spring 2017.  I thought I might be able to find one of his stories online, but only located a poem on his blog.  (I'm assuming the blog name "the-long-one" refers to the fact that Carter is VERY tall!).


But in looking for some of Carter's material, I remembered Ceremony and decided to find it and read it for this Bingo square.


Because I'm thinking all things are connected . . . especially stories.

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review 2016-10-03 02:57
The Bachelor Auction
The Bachelor Auction (The Bachelors of Arizona) - Rachel Van Dyken

Brock has no time for dating.  He's too busy trying to run the family company, keep his grandfather healthy, and keep his younger twin brothers (somewhat) in line.  He would do anything for his grandfather, including agreeing to be featured in a bachelor auction.  Being auctioned off might not be so bad, but he has to date (and maybe marry) the woman of his grandfather's choosing.


Jane is in desperate need of a break.  She's busy running her father's cleaning business while also acting as the maid, chef, personal assistant, and accountant for her older sisters.  While Jane is loyal to her sisters, she's getting tired of always cleaning up their messes in an effort to keep their family together. 


When Brock and Jane first meet, it's clear that they have chemistry.  Brock seems like an unreachable fantasy…until they meet again when Brock goes from seeming like Prince Charming to a toad.  It figures that the one time Brock meets a woman he's truly interested in, there's not much he can do about it.  Jane tempts and challenges him in a way that no other woman has and it doesn’t help that his family continues to interfere.  With Jane, Brock could at least have a chance at happiness until he has to face the auction.


The Bachelor Auction is entertaining, funny, sexy, and heartwarming.  Rachel Van Dyken brings together many different elements to create a story that pulled me in from the beginning.  With a meddlesome grandpa and complicated brothers, The Bachelor Auction is a great start to a new series!


*I received a copy from NetGalley.

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review 2016-06-16 09:58
Review: To Arizona
To Arizona - Meg Hardling

I needed something sweet and something nice and something that would make me smile and do my heart good. Susan insisted this was the answer. She was correct.



I kind of want to reread it for the feel good factor already. A shifter story with a difference and a rather fast hate to love story. I'd read a series with this hockey team in a heartbeat and I know who I want next and everything...



I'd also like a bit more Dustin and Chandler if requests are being taken.

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