Friday, March 30, 2012
The Hunger Games and Green Reading
--posted with permission from Eco-Libris
"The Hunger Games" had a record box office opening, taking in $155 million in U.S. ticket sales over the last weekend and setting up what promises to be one of the biggest film franchises of this decade. The movie is based on the book The Hunger Games, the first novel in the Hunger Games trilogy written by Susan Collins. The success of the movie helps boost the sales of the trilogy and Scholastic, the publisher of the Hunger Games Trilogy announced yesterday that there were 36.5 million copies of the bestselling trilogy in print, a 55 percent jump from the 23.5 million copies in print at the start of 2012.
Why I'm telling you all of this? Because I believe The Hunger Games phenomenon provides some important and valuable lessons for everyone who is interested in making books greener.
Let's start with a fact: According to Lisa Serra, Director of Paper Procurement at Scholastic, the hardcover copies of the three books in the series (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay)are printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody-certified text stock containing 20 percent post-consumer fiber (source: Joshua Martin, Environmental Paper Network Director).
Now, let's move on to three assumptions:
1. If you are interested in reading one of the Hunger Games, most chances are that you don't find it too important what paper it is printed on - you won't look for another book if you will find out the trilogy is printed on 100 percent virgin paper, just like you won't buy it only because it's printed on 20 percent FSC-certified paper or even if it's 100 percent recycled paper. In other words: The sustainability level of the paper will not be a factor in your decision. Most chances are that you probably won't even think about it.
2. Those readers who will be concerned with the issue of the paper might consider reading the Hunger Games electronic version - the e-book costs just like the paperback ($5) and no paper is used at all. Couldn't it get any greener than that?
3. Scholastic probably knows that the fact it is using 20 percent FSC-certified paper doesn't really make a difference for the majority of readers. Most of them probably are not even aware to the fact that Scholastic is making this effort, or to the fact that after making significant progress toward its original targets for 2012, Scholastic decided to increase its 2012 goal from 30% FSC-certified paper to 35%.
As we already know a book is a unique product - it's not like toothpaste or a cleaning product where customers can switch to a competing product that is more sustainable and provide them a better value. If they want a certain book, they will just get it and there's no better example right now than the Hunger Games. Just think about yourself - would you avoid purchasing the Hunger Games just because it's printed on 80 percent virgin paper? Probably not.
You might be considering reading it on an e-reader or even going to the library to get a copy or e-copy of the book, but you certainly won't give it up for 'green' reasons per se.
So what lessons can we learn from the example of the Hunger Games and what actions can we take to apply them?
1. Readers will not be the drivers of change when it comes to printing books on a more sustainable paper (i.e. FSC-certified or recycled paper). Nevertheless, it is important to keep educating them about the impacts of paper, so even if it won't be a substantial factor in their decision making, they will still be aware of it.
2. Readers are moving to e-reading and many of them believe it is also a greener alternative since no paper is involved. It is important to make sure readers will know it's not always the case and be aware that e-reading also has its own footprint. It's also important to encourage readers to demand companies like Amazon to disclose the environmental impacts of the e-readers they sell.
3. Although readers might not be a major driver for change, publishers should make efforts to inform them on their efforts to green up their operations, especially when there is what to report on. Scholastic, for example, should try to make sure every reader of the Hunger Games in its paper version would know that the book is printed using 20 percent FSC-certified paper.
4. Publishers should think of their efforts to make their books more sustainable in terms of stakeholder engagement. Right now it looks like their best shot to generate both tangible and intangible rewards out of these efforts. Just think about the RAN campaign against publishers printing on linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction (Scholastic by the way was among RAN's recommended publishers) or the trouble Gibson Guitars got into when they were accused in violating the Lacey Act, and you can see how stakeholder engagement provide a great monetary incentive to shift to FSC-certified any recycled paper.
5. We still don't have the best answers to the question how to make reading more sustainable - technology provides hope and stakeholder engagement provide incentives, but it's still not enough to drive a change fast enough. Trees are still been cut in an unsustainable way and we know it can be avoided. We just need to keep figuring out how. Any ideas?
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Author: Jennifer Chiaverini
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Source: TLC Book Tours
About the Book:
As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the federal purview.
Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease that is now afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa’s resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive.
As a flash flood traps them in a treacherous canyon, only one man is brave—or foolhardy—enough to come to their rescue: Lars Jorgenson, Rosa’s first love and the father of her healthy daughters. Together they escape to Berkeley, where a leading specialist offers their only hope of saving Ana and Miguel. Here in northern California, they create new identities to protect themselves from Rosa’s vengeful husband, the police who seek her for questioning, and the gangsters Lars reported to Prohibition agents—officers representing a department often as corrupt as the Mob itself. Ever mindful that his youthful alcoholism provoked Rosa to spurn him, Lars nevertheless supports Rosa’s daring plan to stake their futures on a struggling Sonoma Valley vineyard—despite the recent hardships of local winemakers whose honest labors at viticulture have, through no fault of their own, become illegal.
About the Author:
JENNIFER CHIAVERINI is the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilt series, as well as five collections of quilt projects inspired by the novels. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and sons in Madison, Wisconsin.
Connect with Jennifer at her website, Elm Creek Quilts Online.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that move them. Susan is honored by enthusiastic readers who say that her books make them laugh, make them cry, and make the world a happier place to live. Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. She’s there for the coffee, not the weather.
Susan, what made BAREFOOT SEASON a story you had to tell?
I find female friendship endlessly fascinating. I feel very blessed to have several strong, supportive friendships that have endured for years. We celebrate each other’s successes, grieve for each other’s losses, nurture and praise and lecture – whatever is called for at that moment. I know how strong friendship between women can be.
But friendship can also be fragile.
One day, I asked myself, What if you and your best friend fell in love with the same man… and then he chose her? Could you be truly happy for her when your heart is breaking? What would you do if he then came to you – this man you both love – and told you that he made a mistake, that he should have chosen you? Could you turn him away? From this spark came BAREFOOT SEASON.
As children, Michelle and Carly were as close as sisters, running free on Blackberry Island. Now, ten years after their friendship was destroyed by love, they’re forced together again by circumstances to save the Blackberry Island Inn. Along the way, they’ll each find love with two great men and the sense of family they’d been missing for so many years. I do love a happy ending!
BAREFOOT SEASON is the first book of your new Blackberry Island series. What can you tell us about Blackberry Island, both the books and the place?
On Blackberry Island, life is sweet and the happy ending is guaranteed! I’m a firm believer that life is better with romance, so you can rest assured that the women on Blackberry Island will find love with men who will make your toes curl. The Blackberry Island books will also allow me to explore other relationships. We women often define ourselves by the relationships in our lives. Not just by our romantic relationships, but by our friendships, our relationships with our mothers, our children, our bosses, our neighbors… For us, it’s not so much “what do you do?” as “whom do you love and who loves you back?” that determines how we feel about ourselves. It’s nice to stretch my wings a little to write about some of these other defining relationships, as well.
Blackberry Island is a quaint island off the coast of Seattle, a popular weekend escape for Seattlites who want to get out of the city. You can get to the island either across Getaway Bridge or by ferry. Locals are friendly hosts, happy to direct you to one of several wineries on the island, the daisy fields that have made it the Daisy Capital of the West Coast, and the Puget Sound Crane habitats. You can learn more about Blackberry Island at www.blackberryisland.com. And yes, it’s fictional, but it’s real in my heart, as I hope it will become real in yours!
BAREFOOT SEASON is more of a women’s fiction, then, rather than a straight romance. Are you moving away from writing romance?
Absolutely not! I love romance. There is still nothing more exciting to me than watching two people fall in love. I adore the first kiss, my heart always sinks when things are at their darkest and it looks hopeless, and I am as thrilled as ever when love triumphs in the end. My next romance will be SUMMER DAYS, book 7 of the Fool’s Gold series, which will land in stores on May 29. Well, that’s the next full-length romance. On May 1, I’ll release ALMOST SUMMER, a Fool’s Gold ebook novella. Then there will be two more Fool’s Gold romances in July and August, plus a Christmas gift-sized hardcover in October called A FOOL’S GOLD CHRISTMAS. If you’ll sign up for my mailing list at www.susanmallery.com/members/, I’ll send you an email on release day.
Do you think book clubs will enjoy BAREFOOT SEASON? Why or why not?
I do! I belong to a book club, and the books we most enjoy discussing are the books that feel like a slice of life. In BAREFOOT SEASON, the two women at the center of the story are both decent people who have legitimate reasons for feeling the way they do, which means that book club members can legitimately fall on either side of the issue that’s causing the conflict in the book.
I’m always very proud when readers and reviewers say that they really identified with the characters in my books. Those characters feel as real to me as people in real life – a fact which is endlessly confusing for my poor husband, who has to ask for clarification when I tell him about something that someone did that day. “Is she a real person?” he’s forced to ask.
I think readers will really connect with the characters in BAREFOOT SEASON. Carly is a hard-working, loving single mom. She would do anything for her daughter, including put up with the woman who betrayed her. If the inn goes under, Carly doesn’t just lose her job – she loses her home, the only home her daughter has ever known.
Michelle is sarcastic and funny and kind of crabby. I do love a crabby woman! Michelle is prickly, but beneath that prickliness, she’s loyal and has a heart that won’t quit. Wait until you meet the dog she rescues – and who rescues her.
I’ve included a readers’ discussion guide in BAREFOOT SEASON to help get the conversation started. There are even a couple of recipes! I’d be happy to chat about the book live via phone or Skype with any book club that selects BAREFOOT SEASON. Just email my assistant at jenel (at) susanmallery (dot) com to set it up.
What kind of research did you do?
In BAREFOOT SEASON, Michelle is struggling with post-traumatic stress after being wounded in Afghanistan. Since I’ve never served in the military, I wanted to be sure I got those details right, to honor the women who serve our country. I did a lot of research online, then I spoke personally with Sergeant Betty Thurman. What struck me time and again was how proud our soldiers are of what they do. Rightfully so. These are strong, resilient women. Although they are barred from certain duties, they can and do serve in war zones. They can and do put their lives on the line, and they do it because they love our country.
After I finished the book, I asked a fan of mine who has been deployed twice to read it for a “gut check.” Did I get the emotions right, I wanted to know. She told me that she felt as if I was in her head. On top of being a soldier, she is a wife and mother to four children. She loved the book so much that she has preordered ten copies to send to her “battle buddies.”
What do you hope your readers take away from reading BAREFOOT SEASON?
Friends can become family. We’re not all lucky enough to be born with the family we deserve, but we can build a family by surrounding ourselves with loving, supportive friends.
How did you come up with the title BAREFOOT SEASON?
In the book, Michelle spots Carly’s young daughter in the back yard, barefoot and spinning in circles with her face raised toward the sun and her arms outstretched. It makes her long for the long summer days of her own childhood, when she and Carly ran barefoot around Blackberry Island. In her mind, being barefoot is closely connected with innocence, with the time in her life before she had been hurt, before she knew there was darkness in the world.
What’s next for you, after BAREFOOT SEASON?
This summer, I’m heading back to Fool’s Gold, California – the Land of Happy Endings – with four brand new full-length novels, plus an ebook novella. The titles and release dates are:
ALMOST SUMMER – May 1 (ebook novella)
SUMMER DAYS – May 29
SUMMER NIGHTS – June 26
ALL SUMMER LONG – July 31
A FOOL’S GOLD CHRISTMAS – September 25
I LOVE Susan Mallery! In addition to being a wonderful and entertaining author, she is sweet, kind, funny and interactive with her readers! If you haven't gotten to know her you are missing out. Checkout her site www.susanmallery.com to learn more!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Author: Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Publisher: Fiction Studio Books
Rating: Highly Recommended
Mike and his boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store, and Apron’s world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad’s secret, stormy seas return. Apron starts to see things the adults around her fail to –like what love really means, and who is paying too much for it.
Apron has come unmoored, but now she’ll need to take the helm if she’s to get herself and those she loves to safe harbor.
|Jennifer Gooch Hummer|
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This staircase is located in the middle of the woods of New Hampshire, which happens to be my home state! I'm sending a prize to the person whose statement about this picture inspires me the most. Picture a book case at the top ends edge. Get creative! I'll pick a winner by Friday night. Share this with a friend and have them tell me you did! If they win, you win too!! Let the fun begin! Make sure to leave your email address in the space provided below. It will not be visible to anyone else and I will never sell or give your email address to anyone.
Monday, March 19, 2012
The Baker's Daughter
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Highly Recommended
About the Book:
In 1945, Elsie Schmidt was a naive teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she was for her first kiss. She and her family have been protected from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking her country by a high-ranking Nazi who wishes to marry her. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep in the dead of night on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door would put all she loves in danger.
Sixty years later, in El Paso, Texas, Reba Adams is trying to file a feel-good Christmas piece for the local magazine. Reba is perpetually on the run from memories of a turbulent childhood, but she’s been in El Paso long enough to get a full-time job and a fiancé, Riki Chavez. Riki, an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol, finds comfort in strict rules and regulations, whereas Reba feels that lines can often be blurred.
Reba’s latest assignment has brought her to the shop of an elderly baker across town. The interview should take a few hours at most, but the owner of Elsie’s German Bakery is no easy subject. Reba finds herself returning to the bakery again and again, anxious to find the heart of the story. For Elsie, Reba’s questions are a stinging reminder of darker times: her life in Germany during that last bleak year of WWII. And as Elsie, Reba, and Riki’s lives become more intertwined, all are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past and seek out the courage to forgive.
About the Author:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter
I think what I loved most about this novel was the shift between the past and the present. This is unusual for historical fiction novels. Most of the novels I've read might start in the present but move to the past before ending up back in the present for the finish. The Baker's daughter is expertly written and cleverly crafted. I enjoyed the WWII story just as much as I enjoyed Reba's story. Both women have hardships both inward and outward. The story is complex and full of intriguing and well developed characters. In short, you won't want to put it down. Its heart breaking, haunting, endearing and beautifully told. The story is carefully woven in a complex mystery full of history and plenty of personality. Both Elise and Reba are characters I could understand and relate too. They are well developed and have quite a lot in common though they are both very different. I think many readers will enjoy this novel.
You'll enjoy this if....
You like historical fiction
You enjoy stories that switch between past and present
Your a fan of fiction
You enjoy complex plots
You love a well rounded and intriguing book
You might not enjoy this if....
You aren't a fan of historical fiction
You are sensitive to WWII topics/stories
You prefer to read a story set intierly in the past or present but not both
You don't enjoy stories with dark periods
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Author: Judy Christie
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Source: Pump Up Your Book Promotions
About the Book:
When the short bypass around Green opens with much fanfare, downtown dries up faster than cement on the roadway. While the road is progress to some, it seems to be leading Green toward a national trend--a town that is merely a shadow of itself.
With the town going backwards, Louis is both intrigued and jealous when a fellow business owner comes up with a strategy to save Green. But can his plan rescue the town from the path it's on?
About the Author:
Judy Christie owns a consulting firm that helps busy people slow down and enjoy life more. She is author of the popular Green Series, including Gone to Green and the Hurry Less, Worry Less series, which includes Hurry Less, Worry Less for Moms. Website: www.judychristie.com
I enjoyed this small town, downtown novel. Quite honestly, the book tells the ailing truth of downtown areas across the country. Even large towns and cities are having issues with downtown areas and commerce. Driving traffic through them can be a hard issue to overcome. How do you save a dying area? How do you drive customers into small business? What if anything can be done and do you stay or go? All these questions are common and understandable, but will Green become a downtown ghost town or find a way to thrive and stay alive?
I have not read the previous books in this series, which didn't inhibit my reading of this book, but plan to read them soon! I enjoyed the authors development of the characters and flow of the plot. The book makes you feel like home, no matter what town you live in. It represents small towns across America quite accurately. I loved the quaint, historic and family like aspects of Green. The characters were like friends and family, I easily slipped into their lives and understood their troubles. I was happy when they were happy and sad when they were sad. I really rooted for them and their town, which their love of is evident.
If your looking for a quick and easy read this one will be enjoyable to you. It not to deep but not shallow either. It has just enough to keep you reading and plenty to make you want to read more. I look forward to starting at the beginning of this series and following that characters through the novels.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Proud Parent: ME!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
So... whether you're in a reading slump or want to learn something new or maybe you just want to get your poker face on, Fiesta Poker is sure to offer lots of addicting fun for everyone. Who knows? Maybe you'll even get to play against one of their "famous players." If the reading slump monster has come to find you or you just need a break and want to try or learn something new, head over to Fiesta Poker and try it out. It's a fun game to win!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Source: Author/Chick-lit Plus
Rating: Highly Recommended
About the Book:
Sunday, March 11, 2012
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In asking me what my dream day would be like, I smiled because in some ways, every day as a “Photonovelist” is a dream day for me. I do what I love, whether it’s writing my next book or capturing my next image. But, there are still deadlines, marketing, book signings, and other “business” activities that go with being a writer. As a Photonovelist, the photographer and lifelong adventurist in me enjoys nothing more than exploring the back roads of Big Sur in the Central California Coast with my camera in hand. Just last Saturday I had such a day. It started out by everything I went to do being thwarted! From the post office’s long line to Adobe Illustrator crashing every time I tried to work on a book’s cover, I knew I was meant to be outdoors and intuitively headed down the Pacific Coast Highway.
The drive from Carmel to Big Sur is, in my experience, the most beautiful section of the Pacific Coast Highway. It provides elevated stunning views, the Bixby Bridge (the most famous bridge used for car commercials), and a blend of pastures and mountains that are especially green this time of year. If you turn left (when heading south, of course!) at the Bixby Bridge onto the Old Coast Road, you’re in for 10 miles of nature’s spectacular beauty and rugged terrain. AWD or 4WD are highly recommended, and you may need to move a log or two out of the road to continue on, but it’s worth the adventure. Once at the top, the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and rolling hills provide a sense of peace and perspective. On that particular day, I captured over 100 images and laid out my favorite dozen in my blog describing the day and showcasing the views. (Click here if you want to see.) While in Big Sur, I always drive down to Pfeiffer Beach, which for me is the most magical beach. I’ve had a connection to it for years, and every time I go it’s a renewal and reminder that all is well in the world.
I’m sure most women would declare their dream day as a faraway place or a spa day filled with pampering treatments; but, for me being in the energy of Big Sur with the ocean air and spectacular views is rejuvenating to the soul. Add my soul mate to the picture, and everything comes into focus.
Journals from the Heart Series:
Whispers from the Heart (2011)
Write from the Heart (2011)
GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe (2011)
Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008),
Messages of Hope and Healing ( Sunpiper Media, 2006)
Blue Ridge Anthology (Cedar Creek, 2007) with David Baldacci and Rita Mae Brown
2009 Mature Media Awards, Merit Award
2009 New York Book Festival, Honorable Mention
Heather's books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Health, Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. A graduate with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, Heather holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in English and Secondary Education. She is currently earning a Ph.D. in Metaphysical Sciences.
Visit Heather’s website at http://www.heatherhummel.net/
Follow Heather on Twitter @HeatherHummel:
Like Heather’s Fan Page: http://www.Facebook.com/HeatherHummelFanPage
Post contributed by Hilton Miranda
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I'm excited to read this book after reading The Midwife's Confession! Diane has a great back list of titles for readers who may not be aware of them! Check it out on her site.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Litfuse Publicity Tour
Rating: Highly Recommended
About the Book:
Nate Stanton always hoped he'd marry someday, but running the family ranch meant he had no time for romance. When his father deposits Lucy Marsh—a city girl—on his doorstep, with two siblings in the bargain, he expects ranch life will send her running on the first train out of town. But Lucy is made of tougher stuff than Nate imagined. When danger moves in, Nate finds he'd give anything to protect Lucy and the children he's grown to love. Even if it means giving up his ranch.
After reading The Light Keepers Ball, I was thrilled to read Blue Moon Promise. I love Collen's writing, characters and imaginative direction. This new novel is book one in her new series, "Under Texas Stars", the main character, Lucy is a character who reveals a little about the author while maintaining a natural personality and easy to relate to characteristics. I instantly connected with Lucy. She was in a place in her life where the rain kept falling and she only wanted to see some sunshine. When one bad thing after another takes place, Lucy is overwhelmed, as anyone would be. Considering it all, it was no surprise that Lucy took a life changing offer of marriage to ease her troubled mind. When she arrives at Nate's ranch, she has a whole new host of trials to overcome, including proving herself to her new and unsuspecting husband.
I felt for Lucy. She seemed to feel the need to prove herself to everyone instead of letting go and letting God provide. Lucy is a character that has a lot of characteristics and sometimes flaws that plague most women by nature. I enjoyed reading this relaxing story as I watched Nate and Lucy's lives unfold. It has a bit of everything including mystery, romance, history and suspense. The story is one of hope and new beginnings.
The idea of a proxy marriage is much like an arranged marriage and definitely gave this story a unique edge and intrigue. I enjoyed watching Nate grow to love Lucy and her siblings, much like Lucy grows to love Nate. The storyline behind the romance kept me on my toes. The two characters had much in common that brings them closer together. It was well written and easy to read.
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About the Author:
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com. Twitter @colleencoble.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Litfuse Publicity Tour
Rating: Must Read
About the Book:
To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.
As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?
About the Author:
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com
I absolutely love historical fiction and this book is one of the reasons why! Nestled within the pages is a story of hope, fear, secrets, deceit and the life of a 19th century woman trying to escape a marriage, at least one she doesn't want.
Set in the intriguing world of 19th century England, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is a fast paced, thrilling and romantic read. I found myself glued to the pages, totally submerged in the story and miles away from life going on around me. From the moment I entered Margaret Macy's world, I was unable and unwilling to leave it. The characters are well developed. Each is well explored and thought out. They come alive in the story, giving the reader the ability to explore their lives and understand them in the process. The plot is wonderful, believable and keeps your attention.
I loved how the author opened each chapter with a fitting quote. I found myself excited at the end of a chapter because I knew another wonderful quote awaited and I was anxious to read it. Based on this book, I would read another by Julie Klassen and fully plan on reading her back list. This is a must read, especially for those who like historical fiction, christian fiction, 19th century England, romance and intrigue or well developed characters and plots.