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Friday, January 4, 2013

My New Obsession

Confession Time: I am a romance novel junkie (clean romances of course!) They're basically all that I read, although I do ocassionally attempt to expand my horizons. But nothing beats that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from reading about true love and happy endings. Recently, I was introduced to a new author, Sarah M. Eden. This author writes clean regency romance novels, and they are very original, absolutely breathtaking, and highly addicting. My obsession began when a friend of mine lent me her copy of "Seeking Persephone." A few chapters in and I was hooked! I simply had to read more! Another friend allowed me to borrow all the rest of Eden's books. I inhaled them. Probably not a good idea. These are the types of books where the characters are so well developed and the storyline is so engrossing that you never want it to end! It's like eating a Godiva chocolate Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. You want to eat it slowly so that you can truly enjoy it.

Here's a list of all of Eden's novels that are out so far, along with a plot description. I've posted them in the order they should be read in, otherwise you will be missing out on some inside jokes from another book:

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When Persephone Lancaster receives a marriage proposal from the ill-tempered Duke of Kielder, she refuses, and then reconsiders. The obscene sum of money he's offering Persephone would save her family from ruin. With her characteristic optimism, she travels to the far reaches of Northumberland to wed a greatly feared stranger. Lodged deep in a thick forest infested with wild dogs, the Duke's castle is as cold and forbidding as the Duke himself, a man with terrible scars on his body and his soul. But the Duke's steely determination to protect his heart at all costs is challenged by his growing attachment to his lovely and gentle bride. With caring persistence, Persephone attempts to pierce the Duke's armor and reach the man beneath. Yet he cannot tolerate such exposure, and his repeated rejections take their toll. But when grave danger arises, the Duke realizes he must face the risk of revealing his true feelings or lose the woman he cannot live without.


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Harry Windover adores blonde, green-eyed Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless man like himself has no hope of winning a young noblewoman’s hand. To add insult to injury, Athena’s brother-in-law and guardian, the Duke of Kielder, has asked Harry to assist Athena in finding the gentleman of her dreams. But the lovesick Harry is cunning as well: as the weeks pass, he introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, downright rude, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous. Athena can’t comprehend why she is having so little success meeting eligible and acceptable gentlemen. Indeed, her circle of admirers couldn’t be less admirable — nothing like the loyal, gentle friend she’s found in Harry. But how long can Harry’s scheme be hidden before it is discovered? And what will Athena do when she uncovers Harry’s deception? Escape into a charming regency world in this delightfully romantic comedy of manners that will entertain you to the very last word.

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When Crispin, Lord Cavratt, thoroughly and scandalously kisses a serving woman in the garden of a country inn, he assumes the encounter will be of no consequence. But he couldn't be more mistaken — the maid is not only a lady of birth, she's the niece of a very large, exceptionally angry gentleman, who claims Crispin has compromised his niece beyond redemption. The dismayed young lord has no choice but to marry Miss Catherine Thorndale, who lacks both money and refinement and assumes all men are as vicious as her guardian uncle. Trapped between an unwanted marriage and a hasty annulment, which would leave his reputation tainted and Catherine's utterly ruined, Crispin begins guiding his wife's transformation from a socially petrified country girl to a lady of society. Their unfolding relationship reveals encouraging surprises for both of them, and privately, each of them wonders if theirs may become a true marriage of the heart. But their hopes are dashed when forces conspire to split asunder what fate has granted, and as a battle of wits escalates into a life-threatening confrontation, will it be possible for Crispin and Catherine to live happily ever after?
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After five years of tracking and capturing spies on English soil, Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lampton, is in pursuit of his last quarry. But at a traveler’s inn, he encounters an unexpected and far more maddening foe: Sorrel Kendrick, a young lady who is strikingly pretty, shockingly outspoken, and entirely unimpressed with him. Indeed, Sorrel cannot believe the nerve of this gentleman, who rudely accuses her of theft and insults her feminine dignity. Doubly annoyed when they both end up at a party hosted by mutual friends, Philip and Sorrel privately declare war on one another. But Philip’s tactics, which range from flirting to indifference, soon backfire as he finds himself reluctantly enjoying Sorrel’s company; and, much to her dismay, Sorrel finds Philip’s odd manner to be increasingly endearing. In the midst of this waning war and growing attraction, Philip catches wind of the French spy he’s been tracking, and Sorrel inadvertently stumbles upon a crucial piece of the puzzle, making her indispensable to the mission. But can two proud hearts negotiate a ceasefire when cooperation matters most?

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It isn't every day an impoverished young gentleman inherits a sizable fortune and an estate. Nickolas Pritchard, not only impoverished and young, but a gentleman as well, felt his luck acutely the day just such a remarkable inheritance fell upon him.
The future has never looked brighter for once penniless Nickolas Pritchard. Now in possession of an unforeseen legacy from a distant cousin, he can finally woo the exquisite Miss Castleton, belle of the London Season. What better setting for matchmaking than Ty Mynydd, his ancestral home nestled in the untamed hills of Wales? Ideal, indeed . . . except for the ghost.
For nearly four hundred years, Gwen has walked the halls of the home in which she lived — and died a mysterious death. But despite centuries as the reigning force within her ancient residence, nothing prepares her for the charm and unexpected appeal of Englishman Nickolas.
A deep and abiding affection grows between the two, tempered by the unbreakable barrier that separates them. They cannot possibly hope for a happily ever after. there can be no future between a man yet living and a woman long dead.
But how can Nickolas possibly give Gwen up? And how can Gwen face an eternity without Nickolas?


And her new book that is coming out this month. Can't Wait!


Drops of Gold

     When her father dies and leaves her completely destitute, Marion can think of only one thing to do--make a new life for herself. Commencing a life of duplicity, Marion transforms herself into Mary Wood--governess. In possession of a forged letter of recommendation and cloaked in the anonymity of her new identity, she enters a life of self-imposed servitude as teacher and caretaker of young Miss Caroline Jonquil of Farland Meadows. Her idyllic daydream vision of life at the Meadows is dashed when she finds a child desperately in need of hope and a cold and sorrowful home haunted by the past. With her characteristic sunny disposition, Marion casts her spell upon the household and slowly brings to life the long-forgotten joy of those within.
     Layton Jonquil is a man tormented by the lies surrounding the death of his late wife, but he cannot deny his growing attraction for the beautiful governess whose goodness and optimism have touched his dormant heart. Their connection grows ever stronger, and despite the impropriety of harboring feelings for a servant, Layton's heart whispers that this is the woman he's destined to love. But when Layton's fears about the past become too much to bear and the falsehoods in which they are entangled threaten to shatter his and Marion's blossoming attachment, will true love conquer all?
( Taken from Eden's website sarahmeden.com)

Happy Reading!



Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Ratings

I cannot tell you how many times I have bought a book, only to have to put it down because of language, violence, mature themes, etc. Seriously, movies have ratings why not books?! That's where Compass Book Ratings comes in!


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Look how cute that header is!

This website has been a lifesaver (or at least a money saver) for me! I signed up their newsletter and every month I get an email with great, clean book suggestions as well as ratings on recent books that have been read and reviewed. This has made my reading life so much easier! I'm telling you, if you are sick of reading trash then click the link below and join today.
*Blogger Note: Compass Book Ratings did not ask me to endorse their website. They are not even aware that I am blogging about them.  I was simply so impressed with what they do that I wanted to share it with others.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Newfound Hidden Gem

Ok confession time: I'm a sucker for chick-lit. But good, clean romance novels are hard to find. Especially ones that are well written. And then I discovered "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend." And I fell in love.
The title itself is promising. If you are into romance as well then you can tell by the title and the cover whether or not this book is worth your time. I wasn't so crazy about the title at first but I am in love with the cover. Two hot guys and a funky heroine? Yes please.
Now the title itself may deter you. You might say to yourself, "Why would I want to read about a girl who falls in love with two guys at the same time? It's Twilight all over again!" Trust me when I say that this is no Twilight. It's much better. And there are plenty of surprises that will catch you way off guard!

Let's talk about the story itself. This story is about a girl , Jesse, caught in a huge rut. She just went through a very rough divorce after her ex-husband bailed out on their marriage deciding she just wasn't the right girl. So that kind of causes her to lose confidence in herself and in guys in general. Until by chance she meets Ethan.... and moments later meets Troy. And goes on a bunch of dates with both guys where a bunch of hillarious mishaps occur that left me literally laughing out loud! And then Jesse has to make a choice. What will her decision be? Dun dun dun..... 
*Note: There is a surprise ending that shocked me. I never saw it coming but I loved it. I love books that surprise me.

Now let's talk about the characters: 
Jesse is a fun hippie-chick who thinks musicals and creamsicles are the cure to everything. She tries to find something to celebrate every day (There is a national potato chip day? Who knew?) A very fun, quirky character
And then there is her wacky cousin Laurel whose hobbies are shopping for designer handbags and helping her social-misfit cousin understand the importance of make-up that doesn't come from the drug store. She gets Jesse into some pretty crazy situations and was just a fun addition to the story. She added so much more.
There's also Jesse's sweet, loving brother David who spends his time hiding from fans of the commercial he never wanted to star in. The love and concern he shows for her and the ways he tries to help her learn and grow and move on from her past were very touching.
And then of course there are the two leading men:
Ethan, an aspiring writer who just can't seem to get his work published. He's the typical good guy that his publishers tell him "In real life girls end up settling for nice guys like you all the time." But I liked reading about him and I certainly fell for him.
And then there's Troy, the typical leading man you find in most romances: Tall, tan, handsome, wealthy, perfect. 

I'll admit that along with Jesse, I fell in love twice.
This book is based on the movie, but in my personal opinion the book is way better. There is just so much more depth to it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

My best friend Kelsey

In my last post I mentioned going to six flags with my friend Kelsey. So let me tell you a little bit about her.
Kelsey moved here in November from Connecticut. She has seven adorable siblings. Her family is so much fun. Kelsey is the sweetest, most talented person you will ever meet. This is a picture of her after she sang "gravity" by Sara bareilles at our school's talent show. (sorry it's so blurry) She was so amazing! This girl will definitely be on broadway someday i'm telling you!
Kelsey is the best friend I have ever had. We talk about everything together, boys, makeup, movies, you name it!
We also do everything together. Movies, Nails, the mall. She's so much fun to hang out with.
I'm so glad Kelsey has come here and I will be sad when she moves away but I will most definitely still keep in touch with her. She's definitely a friend I want to keep for the rest of my life.

Spring break!

For spring break this year I went to six flags with my best friend Kelsey. We rode all the rides we could. It was a very busy day, all the rides were around an hour wait and it was HOT and humid! Kelsey is not from texas so it was especially hard for her but she was a good sport about it and we ended up having a lot of fun (of course who doesn't have fun at six flags?!) This is a picture of us getting ready to go on the Titan (Don't you just love the sweet ponytail I'mm rockin'?) This ended up being her favorite ride. Funny because I made her go on that one and the whole time we were going up to the big drop she was screaming at me"I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!" and she ended up loving it! *Exasperated laugh*
It was nice to get to spend spring break with Kelsey because right after school gets out her family will be moving to Washington. I will definitely miss her but i plan on using up my college visit days to go see her!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My great achievement

Today we got our essays back from our benchmarks. Here in Texas we take the state TAKS test or texas assessment of knowledge and skills. The English TAKS consists of multiple choice questions, O. E. Q.'s (open ended questions) and an essay. On the essay the highest possible score you can get is a four. I have never before gotten a four. My writing has never been anything remarkable before so my average was a 2 or 3. Well today I got it back and right at the top of the rubric, in bright pink highlighter, was written four! Not only this this but at the bottom the teacher commented that my paper was "lovely and profound." what a fantastic compliment! This was a defining moment for me because it shows that I'm finally becoming able to define myself as a writer and have confidence in what I'm trying to say. I've found my voice!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Being a thespian

I guess I can officially call myself that now........
Last year I was in my high school's production of Beauty and the Beast. I was a spoon/townsperson which I'm very proud of. This year I have the amazing opportunity to perform in another musical my school is producing, Oklahoma! At first I had my doubts. The plot seemed cheesy, the music even more so. But I have to say it really is an incredible play! And it's incredibly difficult! It also involves more acting from the ensemble, which I love. What I love about being in an ensemble is we get to come up with our own characters and their background. These often involve a bunch of scandalous stories that entertain all of us and are evident in our performance. It's amazing how once one character is created, it's a ripple effect and soon many characters have been invented, as well as relationships, and families. Because in theatre we are all one big family. The best part of being in the play is getting to hang out backstage in the green room, sitting on the couches, telling stories and jokes, and becoming closer. I love being in a play because it allows me to be a part of something bigger than myself. And it teaches me so much! I have grown so much from being in theatre. I have come so far from the person I was years ago and it's all thanks to these experiences that I've had and the friends that I've made. I'm so blessed to be able to call myself a thespian!