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review 2018-01-10 15:10
The Proud Sinner by Priscilla Royal
The Proud Sinner - Priscilla Royal The Proud Sinner - Priscilla Royal

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this series was still going. I had heard book #12 was suppose to have been the last. Not only was a thirteenth novel released last year but book #14 is due to be published at some point this year.


I wasn't feeling as excited for book #14 by the time I reached the end of 13. Like so many series, I think this one is starting to run dry. This book took a step backwards from what made the previous novels so good. Normally these books are four star reads for me. The lack of focus on the primary characters took this book from four starts to three. 


The story surrounding the visiting abbots just didn't work for me. I can only read about how evil women are so many times before I start to get annoyed. I understand that this was the attitude at the time (and even still to some extent) but I don't need to be beat over the head with it. I get it. Women are the reason we were all expelled from Eden. They are all whores who only exist to attempt to drive all men to the Devil. I don't need to be reminded of this every other page.


Prioress Eleanor has always had to deal with adversity, whether it be due to her age (at the beginning of the series) or her gender. The manner in which she deals with such adversity is part of what makes these books such good reads. There was none of this Eleanor present in this book. Instead we are presented with a Prioress Eleanor who borders on whiny. 


I missed the quick-witted, sassy Sister Anne. While Sister Anne is never really a "primary" character, she is always a welcome addition to any story. She provides a fresh breath and comic relief to a time and setting that can be rather bleak. This Sister Anne was non-existent. 


I still appreciated this book for what the previous novels have been, a quick and enjoyable journey into medieval England. I am going to continue on with the series in hopes that the next novel is capable of capturing some of the enchantment of the previous novels. 

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review 2016-05-05 22:35
Lullabies for Little Criminals / Heather O'Neill
Lullabies for Little Criminals - Heather O'Neill

Heather O'Neill dazzles with a first novel of extraordinary prescience and power, a subtly understated yet searingly effective story of a young life on the streets—and the strength, wits, and luck necessary for survival.

At thirteen, Baby vacillates between childhood comforts and adult temptation: still young enough to drag her dolls around in a vinyl suitcase yet old enough to know more than she should about urban cruelties. Motherless, she lives with her father, Jules, who takes better care of his heroin habit than he does of his daughter. Baby's gift is a genius for spinning stories and for cherishing the small crumbs of happiness that fall into her lap. But her blossoming beauty has captured the attention of a charismatic and dangerous local pimp who runs an army of sad, slavishly devoted girls—a volatile situation even the normally oblivious Jules cannot ignore. And when an escape disguised as betrayal threatens to crush Baby's spirit, she will ultimately realize that the power of salvation rests in her hands alone.


If you want to get a child to love you, then you should just go hide in the closet for three or four hours. They get down on their knees and pray for you to return. That child will turn you into God. Lonely children probably wrote the Bible.

We forget, as we get older, how vulnerable it feels to be a child. To not be in charge. Not responsible for where you live, what you eat, or where your money comes from. In fact, we tend to idealize those days, thinking wouldn’t it be wonderful to go back to the worry-free existence of a child? We forget that children have worries too, especially if they don’t have responsible adults in their lives.

This book also reminded me of lessons learned when I was old enough to go stay at friends’ houses: whatever you have grown up with is normal for you. Doesn’t matter how chaotic your own home is, you don’t realize it until you have a calmer home to compare it to (or vice versa). Your family’s regular foods will seem odd to others, your mom’s way of slicing a sandwich may even seem idiosyncratic to some. The “normal” routine may seem very exotic to those children who have no routine to speak of.

I was distinctly reminded of the memoir by Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle, where she and her siblings just accepted the way life was with their alcoholic father and dysfunctional mother. They learned early to take care of themselves, because their parents weren’t going to do it. And let’s face it, every family has their own dysfunctions—no matter how stable, there’s some weird thing that every family does that make it “unhappy in its own way.” (Thanks, Tolstoy).

Many lovely turns of phrase, lots of laugh-out-loud moments, plus that last sentence lifted my spirits with hope!

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text 2016-03-18 22:27
Another Straight A report card...

from Kenzie. Jill also got straight A's, and student of the quarter, but forgot Germany report card in her locker. My son got straight M's (equivalent to A's). Kenzie placed in the top 4 percent in a state wide science exam. I am a very proud momma right now!



And, I get to help work on a school project about The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. Woo hoo! I will have her post a review (it's extra credit if a parent posts a review that their kid wrote)!



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quote 2016-03-11 10:59
“Be proud of yourself for how hard you’re trying.”

~ mhconsumer

Source: wordpress.com/read/feeds/9129435/posts/953555546
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review 2015-12-08 17:04
Cowboy Proud (Wild Western Heat) - Kelli Ireland

Cade, middle brother of three boys had it the hardest. His father took his anger, fear and his broken heart out on him after his wife died. His older brother ran off leaving him and younger brother Ty alone. To protect his brother and try to hold their ranch together Cade did it all, always trying to be the man his father never found him good enough to be. He grows thrives and yet holds onto the resentments of the past. When a difficult young woman walks into his life, he must face the demons of his past.

Emma is a young professional woman with absent parent issues. She is driven to become accomplished,  successful and prove to her now passed parents that she can be the daughter they could love. Her company is under severe financial distress and it might be from within. She takes a job at a ranch in a last desperate attempt to save her sinking ship. What she gets is a lot more complicated than she ever thought she'd have to deal with.

Sweet Cade is a hot romantic broken cowboy and Emma is a beautiful  lonely woman waiting to be loved, together they stir the skies and bring down the rain. Sexy, humorous and heartwarming with a HEA you don't want to miss. It was a perfect quick read next to a roaring fire with my hot chocolate.

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