Monday, April 27, 2009

Winners!!! Celebrate with Wisteria

The winners of the Celebrate with Wisteria contest for the $27.00 Gift Certificate are:

1. LadyTink from TheMovieholic@Bibliophile'sBlog

2. Alaine from Queen of Happy Endings Blog

Congratulations and thank you everyone for making my first year so memorable. I will post my retrospective thoughts on a later post. Your gift certificates will be Amazon Gift Certificates, since I found out American Express does not come in $27.00 denominations. Please send me your address at my email so that I can send you your prize. Congratulations Ladytink and Alaine. Happy Spending and Happy Reading.


The Winners-Jantsen's Gift Hachette Giveaway

Congratulations to the five winners who have won a copy of Jantsen's Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace by Pam Cope compliments of The Hachette Group.

1. Scrap Girl @Serendipity
2. Wendy @ It's Really Only a Purple World
3. Nickolay@Auto Parts Blog
4. Iliana @Bookgirl's Nightstand
5. Cpullum, cpullum(at)yahoo(dot0com

Please email me at tekeygirl (at) gmail (dot) com with your address by May 1st, so that I can forward your information to The Hachette Group for your copy.
Thanks to Anna Balasi for the opportunity to post this contest.

Congratulations Winners! I hope you enjoy the book!!!

Wisteria Leigh

Mailbox Monday April 27, 2009

mailbox filetype:gif Pictures, Images and Photos

In my mailbox and on my front porch I received many surprises. I already told you about my other purchases, but to keep it all together I may be repeating myself ...please forgive me. The memory is the first to go they tell me.

1. Wolf Song Visions--The Earthwalk of Lela and Kahla Remembered by Linda and Scott Reade
2.Sea Changes by Gail Graham
3. Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji
4. Fire by Kristin Cashore...also wrote Graceling


5.Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir
6.Leap of Faith by Queen Noir
7.The Marmot Drive by John Hershey
8.Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
9.Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles
10.Middle Passage by Charles Johnson


11.Redemption Falls by Joseph O'Connor
12.Song Yet Sung by James McBride
13.The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
14.Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King
15.Mew is for Murder (Theda Krakow Mysteries, No. 1) by Clea Simon

School Books
16.The Good War, by Studs Terkel
17.The Flags of Our Father, by James Bradley...I've already read this one. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it.
18.The American People in World War II
19.The Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson

All I can say is....I think that should keep me busy for a while. My school books are for my grad courses this summer. One is Civil War, the other one is World War II.

I'll stop by to check to see what everyone else got. Happy reading.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Last Chance Time to Party with Wisteria Giveaway Last Chance

Last Chance Weekend to enter the drawing for one of the two $27.00 Gift Certificates to celebrate my one year anniversary of blogging. I am extending the contest until midnight on April 26th. Good Luck!

Help me celebrate in style. See the original post.

Rare Earth....Celebrate with Pete Rivera....Party with Wisteria

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Shopping Spree

Did you ever have one of those weeks when you just needed to find something to make you smile. I'm such an optimist, but even I can face the "wall" on occasion. It is during these times when I head to my Indie Shop, Borders, Amazon or......Good Will. All of these as you know spell trouble, with a capital T, or as an optimist like me would say-bliss, with a capital B.

So today I made three out of four visits. I stopped by my local Goodwill Store and picked up $10.00 worth of books:

Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir
Leap of Faith by Queen Noir
The Marmot Drive by John Hershey
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles
Middle Passage by Charles Johnson

I thought that was a nice stack for the money!

Then I traipsed over to The Book Nook and found:

Redemption Falls by Joseph O'Connor
Song Yet Sung by James McBride

Once I arrived home I wasn't through with my shopping spree
and purchased three more books on Amazon.

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King

The last book I purchased on Amazon was by Clea Simon entitled:
Mew is for Murder (Theda Krakow Mysteries, No. 1). Thanks to Literary Feline at Musings for a Bookish Kitty for getting me psyched about this series.

So, what do you think of my bibliophile shopping spree? Like a clothes horse in a dress shop I browsed and wandered through the store for that perfect fit. Who needs new clothes when you can have new books? I stared at covers, opened many and read a few opening paragraphs. I took my time, no reason to rush. Selecting s just right book is very special. I still have room for a few more pieces to complete my May collection don't you think? Any suggestions?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Review-The Tory Widow

The Tory Widow
Christine Blevins

Fireworks occur when the irresistible characters in Christine Blevins’ new novel, The Tory Widow come together in New York City in 1775.

After Anne and Peter Merrick are married a kiss takes place just minutes after this arranged marriage-but not between husband and wife. An overzealous handsome stranger leaps out of nowhere to seize and kiss Anne. Sadly she is disenchanted with her husband, a man old enough to be her father, whose breath reeks of onion. The young man is the brazen Jack Hampton, a member of the Sons of Liberty who is a bit drunk from celebrating the repeal of the Stamp Act, and his kiss lingers in Anne's mind like a stubborn stain.

Years later in 1775, Anne is widow with no means of support. She decides to continue printing the Tory propaganda that her husband favored even though she did not. As the Patriots create havoc in the city no Loyalist is safe. Businesses are ruined, people are tarred and feathered and frun out of town.

One day Anne is visited by the Sons of Liberty whose leader is none other than Jack Hampton. She recognizes him as the Patriot bandit who stole a kiss years ago. He is nothing like his former self. Completely changed he is a wild rogue, an evil enemy, and a heartless rebel. He leaves her in desperate straits as they demolish the presses leaving the place in shambles.

Anne refuses to give up. She is a tenacious woman with strength and creativity who reopens as a tea shop, with a new Patriot sign.

Unable to avoid the allure of Jack Hampton and that kiss,she cannot resist his charm.
When he realizes she is not a Tory and gains her trust, she joins his cause and is prepared this time to commit to being a Patriot. The relationship is not a smooth ride as complications interfere. Anne becomes involved with a Loyalist officer who is quartered in her home. His name is Edward Blankenship,a handsome, polite, gentlemen who adores Anne. Jack and Edward enemies in war and enemies in romance fighting on two fronts, makes this story a captive tale. .

A thought provoking ending sets up the possibility of a sequel. Let’s hope. Escape to another era in this mesmerizing historical fiction romance of the American Revolution. Blevins has created plausible compelling characters who live outside the pages, romantic tension and sizzling hot dialogue you won’t believe.

Wisteria Leigh

Mailbox Monday April 20 2009

First, I have to thank everyone for all the get well wishes. I went to school today, against doctor orders, but I had to. It was a tough day, but I made it. I'm still very weak and I guess the stomach just has to heal. I'm just so type "A" that I expect my body to recover overnight. So again....thank you all. It is so amazing to know I have you as my blogger feels really great.

In my mailbox this week I received:

The Song is You by Arthur Phillips...According to the press release, "The Song is You is a closely observed tale of love in the digital age that blurs the line between the longing for intimacy and the longing for oblivion." This is a love story and a comedy.

Bittersweet by Matt McAllester...Per the write up for the press...

Bittersweet follows McAllester back to the place that evoked his happiest memories of his mother: the kitchen. ...a stunning tribute to his mother and a celebration of family and food.

The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine..According to the publisher..

"Levine artfully tells the story of Batuk, a 15 year-old Indian girl whose parents have sold her into sexual slavery. Batuk uses her rich imagination and gift for storytelling to transcend the harsh realities of living as a prostitute on the streets of Mumbai.

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon...I have been waiting for this book since I fell in love with Shadow of the Wind.

The next four novels are published by Permanent Press. I will review these sometime in the future. Keep an eye out.

Beat by Amy Boaz..
Looking After Pigeon by Maud Carol Markson
Internal Affairs by Connie Dial
Every Boat Turns South by J.P. White

John Milton by Neil Forsyth...a biography

It was an exciting week on my front steps and in my mailbox. I think there was a package every day. What could be better than that. Keep smiling!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Salon-Sick Day

Thanks for everyone's well wishes. I am on the mend and taking a break from working too hard. My fur babies are taking good care of me as they teach me how to chill out-not something I do very well. Hopefully, I'll be back to posting soon. Until then they wanted me to show you how they spend their days.





Have a beautiful week! Wisteria

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Update-24Hour Dewey Marathon

I have to tell everyone I am very disappointed. Due to a medical emergency yesterday, I have had to sleep most of the day today. I can't even read anything due to my dizziness and inability to concentrate. I have been looking forward to the marathon with such enthusiasm. It just goes to show you how precious time is. I knew something was not quite right on Wednesday night, but like me, I waited till Friday to get to the doctor and then hospital. I am ok, and will be ok and in good spirits!!! I am cheering for everyone keep on reading. Best to you all....

Where do I find the time for not reading so many books?
Karl Kraus (1874 - 1936)



Friday, April 17, 2009

Review-Tone Deaf in Bangkok (and other places)

Tone Deaf in Bangkok and other places
by Janet Brown
Photographs by Nana Chen
Things Asian Press
$12.95/C$13.95, 155pages

I don’t read too many travel essays or travelogues, but when I heard about Tone Deaf in Bangkok, something made me want to give it a look. Fortunately, my instincts were solid and on target, because this is a delicious combination from two points of view. One, you experience Bangkok as a tourist. Second, the author decides to adopt Bangkok as her home and will assimilate over time. When she does her life in Bangkok is entirely different and we are the beneficiaries.

This is the story of Janet Brown who moves to Bangkok to teach English. At first she is a tourist unable to truly see Bangkok, then in her words,

I slowly realized that Bangkok, with its peculiar mixture of hedonism and industriousness and joie de vivre was where I was meant to be.

This is the story in a series of vignettes of her life and observations as she transitions from tourist to permanent resident.

Janet Brown loves her independence and can easily travel alone or with a couple of friends. She will make plans and take you on day trips to visit Cambodia, and places of picturesque countryside that only few will ever see. It was sobering to read about her visit to The Killing Fields, leading me on a quest to research more information about this time in history.

Her biggest challenge is the language, a miasma of tonal changes so minute, her title, Tone Deaf in Bangkok, only begins to describe her difficulties trying to decipher the subtle changes that reflect meaning. She describes how using a word that sounds the same, except for a slight variance in pitch, will alter the meaning in a drastic and often embarrassing way.

I found myself laughing hysterically as she describes her first encounter with durian, a food that smells enough to make you nauseous but tastes so delicious the contrast is bittersweet. This and more fascinating foods await Brown. Ubiquitous deep fried foods like whole birds, rats and various other delights are served.

Janet Brown’s writing is humorous and honest. She writes from her heart as you come to understand her independence her animistic beliefs, her reverence for exquisite beauty in all she sees.

“The road took us through flat,open fields that were a waterless under an unbroken sweep of sky. Grassland held haystacks that looked like giant wasps nests,small temples that were Grecianly chaste in their simplicity, and trees that were so picturesquely placed that it seemed as though they had been positioned by a landscape architect. Emerald green rice paddies were contained by borders as precise as picture frames, and a huge pond filled with lotus filled the horizon.” (119)

Tone Deaf in Bangkok is a collaboration that includes the remarkably candid and fascinating photography of Nana Chen, who captures glimpses of daily life in Bangkok with a talented eye for split second action.

Bangkok has never been on my list of places to travel, but I certainly feel I have learned more about the culture and country vicariously through Janet Brown.
Perhaps her claims of being tone deaf are true, but her melodic phrasing and lyrical prose makes up for all her language learning deficiencies.

24 Hour Dewey Marathon-Starts Tomorrow

Will Wisteria Make It!!!!

The time is fast approaching and I am ready for the challenge. 24 hours of reading beginning at 8:00AM tomorrow morning. I know I will blog form time to time to let everyone know how tired I am. LOL....I'm counting on the cheerleaders to help me carry through to the finish line. I know my dogs will need a couple of breaks otherwise I will have to listen to a chorus of four howling greyhounds. Although quite hysterical to see, it can be a deafening cacophony to avoid at 2:00am. Wish me luck and I hope to chat with all those who are braving the 24 hour reading adventure.

Don't Forget Wisteria's Party Giveaway a & Jansen's Gift Giveaway!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

OMG!!! In My Mailbox I Just Received...

The Angel Game
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
469 pages

I'm so excited!!! I just received an ARC gift from Doubleday and Carlos Ruiz Zafón of The Angel's Game due to be released in June 2009. I absolutely loved The Shadow of the Wind! I fell in love with the writing, the characters, the story and the author's talent. I not only recommended this book to friends when it had just been released, but I bought it for many. It was that good. I even have a quote on my blog from the book.

Now, he has written his second book, and I have waited so long for this day. When I went to the mailbox today, I couldn't contain my enthusiasm. I dare not start it, because I have three books going right now.

Included on the front page inside was a really nice letter from William Thomas, Editor in Chief and Publisher for Doubleday. In his letter he says, "If you are a fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafón's novel The Shadow of the Wind, you undoubtedly opened this package with glee." His words couldn't have been more prescient.

This book has been on the best seller's list in Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Norway and Portugal. According to the back cover write-up, "1.6 million copies of the Spanish edition are in print and it is the fastest selling book ever in Spain."

So, should I put all aside and just go for it?

You Don't Say

First I have to give a big Shout Out and Thank-You to The Book Resort for giving me this award. It was very sweet of you and I love the adorable.

The You Don't Say Award is an awesome award that's given to any of your blogger blabber buddies, fabulous friends, stupendous supporters that comment or chat-a-lot on my blog. I know that there are many of you that often stop by and don't chat and I am like that sometimes. Here are my picks for those who often chat--my "count on it" chatters who frequently comment. Thanks to all who visit. Thank you for making me smile, chuckle and glow with sunshine because your my friends.

1. The Book Resort....Had to hand it back to ya!
2. Literary Feline....We sure can ramble!
3. the Bookworm.......A true support since the beginning!
4. Scrap Girl.........Getting to know you better!
5. LadyTink...........Always fluttering around!

Jantsen's Gift by Pam Cope-- Hachette Giveaway

Jantsen's Gift
A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace
by Pam Cope with Aimee Molloy
Grand Central Publishing
The Hachette Group
April 16, 2009
HC 320 pages.

I have five copies of Jantsen's Gift to raffle off in a giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog with a reason why you think you might like to read this book. All winners will be chosen in a random drawing not by content. Please leave an email address so that I may contact you. (This is open to US residents only).
The drawing will take place on April 27th, to celebrate my one year anniversary blogging. This is open to US residents only.

From the Hachette Website:

Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son's baseball games, her daughter's dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.

Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.

Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend's invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son's death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called "Touch A Life," dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.

Pam Cope's story is on one level a moving, personal account of loss and recovery, but on a deeper level, it offers inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered great personal tragedy or those of us who dream about making a difference in the world.

Good Luck!

Thanks to Anna Balasi and The Hachette Group for this generous giveaway.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Review-Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

Sag Harbor
Colson Whitehead
288 pages,$24.95/C$27.95

Sag Harbor is Colson Whitehead’s fourth book. It is a coming of age novel where Whitehead harvests personal experiences to shape the story of two brothers, Benji and Reggie, in the summer of 1985. Sag Harbor is an interesting place because it is a summer haven for African American professional people and families to “come out.” When someone “comes out,” it means they are in Sag Harbor.

Some of the homes are handed down and have been in families for generations, and it would be unheard of to sell your spot in paradise. Reggie and Benji spend the school year as the only two black students in a prestigious prep school in New York City. Sag Harbor and Manhattan are worlds apart.

Colson Whitehead’s style of writing is so free and appears to be effortless. The dialogue flows naturally and his descriptive phrases move like the lapping of the ocean waves breaking on the beach. Sentences flow over and over with a metered cadence of lilting lyrics. Sometimes paragraphs are written so well they are too good to only read once:

The sunset made it appear that the sun and the sky were not separate things but different states of the same magnificent substance - as if the sky were a weakened diluted form of the sun, the blue and the white merely drained-away elements of the swirling red-and-orange disk sitting on the horizon.

Benji provides the narration for the author’s autobiographical story. The characters are different, but the streets, houses, and community he grew up in are the same. When the story begins, Benji and Reggie are inseparable, but as the summer unfolds they drift apart in many ways.

Sag Harbor the shipping port, the town in Moby Dick, the summer vacation spot, and now the book. Sag Harbor is a keepsake of memories as two boys have a summer of fun and awareness of their racial identity. As they prepare to leave their vacation and head home, they look to the future with a better understanding of who they are.

Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor is so funny, genuine, and passionate he takes us beyond the limits of racial boundaries.

Thanks go to Barnes & Noble & Doubleday for this
ARC. Sag Harbor was a discussion book for the First Look program in March.

Don't forget the contest Time to Party with Wisteria

Wisteria Leigh

Monday, April 13, 2009

Time to Party with Wisteria Giveaway

I can't believe that my first blog for Bookworm's Dinner was April 27th 2008!!!!

It seems just a short time ago that I began this blog not knowing where it would take me or what I was really doing. More on that later. Today, I want to begin the celebration with all my friends and readers who I have met along the way. I am hosting a raffle for one of two American Express Gift Cards. Each card will be worth $27.00 to commemorate the date of my first post. WOW!! It's really simple to join. I want to meet new friends and be able to read their blogs more frequently as I start my second year. So......

1) Join my blog and you will have one chance to enter. If you are already signed up on my blog, then you are automatically entered.

2) Link to this post and blog about the raffle on your blog.

3) Visit Life in the Past Lane and leave a comment about her post anytime up through April 24th. Then, write in the comment "Wisteria Loves Hunter" as my code. You will also have a chance to win a copy of Jessica James' book Shades of of my favorite historical fiction books. Her site is outstanding and if not for her I wouldn't be writing.

4) Link to her blog and post about her raffle and you will get your fourth chance.

Make sure you let me know when you post on your blog about either raffle, or I won't know to give you another chance.

I will announce the winner on my blog April 25th. Don't you just love a party!!!


Mailbox Monday

This is Mocha, a greyhound that loves to dress up for the holidays. Leave it to her to put her animosity toward bunny rabbits aside and dress like one. As the saying goes....a picture is worth.....
I just couldn't resist sharing her cute face. She is not my greyhound, I was there for our Meet & Greet to raise money.

Now for the books that arrived in my mailbox:

I actually went to the bookstore, and made a vow not to buy any books, yeah well that didn't happen. A friend had recommended the Anne Rice book The Witching Hour, so I had to get that before I forgot. Then I saw this book Lincoln, by Harold Holzer for 5.99 and I just couldn't pass that one up. The rest of the pile came via the mailbox.

1. The Doomsday Machine, Catherine Webb
2. Red Kiss, Deidre Knight
3. The Wish Maker, Ali Sethi
4. Angels of Destruction, by Keith Donahue

Have a great time reading all of your books too!!!
Go to the Printed Page to see what everyone else found in their mailbox.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Don't Tell..It's a Secret Compartment Book

Here are a couple of fun videos about how to make a secret compartment from a book. I thought I would show you a couple and let you vote on your favorite. You must have one book that is ready to be torn to pieces. Haven't you sometimes wanted to throw a book across the room? Here's your chance to turn your book bombs into something useful.

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Here are my questions:

1. Which video did you think was the best?
2. Whould you spend the time to make a secret compartment book?
3. Does it really bother you to cut up a book for this purpose?
4. Any other comments?
5. How many of you already have a secret compartment book?....Remember, don't tell us the's a secret.
6. If you wanted to make a secret book, which book would be a good one to destroy?

Have a fun Saturday...Wisteria

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Weekend Wishes and a late Booking on Thursday

PhotobucketFirst, I have to thank Naida at the Bookworm for kicking off the weekend with a great You Tube video of Aerosmith. You might want to check it out. I just love their music.

Happy Weekend. I happen to celebrate Easter. So I'm happy for that holiday and wish everyone a Happy Easter or Happy Bunny Day.

I've been finishing up Mrs. Lincoln, by Catherine Clinton. This is a very good biography so far. I'm also reading Tone Dear in Bankok by Janet Brown. I can't even express how her sentences read like poetry. Amazing! I will have reviews for these soon.

Speaking of reading multiple books at a time, here is my Booking Thru Thursday for this week.

From Booking Thru Thursday
Here’s the question:

Some people read one book at a time. Some people have a number of them on the go at any given time, perhaps a reading in bed book, a breakfast table book, a bathroom book, and so on, which leads me to…

1. Are you currently reading more than one book?
2. If so, how many books are you currently reading?
3. Is this normal for you?
4. Where do you keep your current reads?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

I am reading three, actually four books right now. One I'm almost done with.
This is very normal for me. With taking a graduate course in history I always have one book I'm reading for that work.
My current reads are on my table next to my favorite place to read, and always one goes in my pocketbook to take along.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Review & Interview-The Disappearance

The Disappearance
by Efrem Sigel
Permanent Press (February 1, 2009)
264 pages

The Disappearance by Efrem Sigel's is a divergent story within a story. Joshua and Nathalie come home after a morning running errands and discover their 14-year old son Daniel is not at home. After a short while they realize he is missing and they are frantic with desperation, not knowing what to do. He has vanished without any clues. They must face the hours, days, weeks -- and perhaps more — of tortuous tension while they wait for any positive word about him. The story is a mystery of what happens to Daniel, but it is also a story about his parent's relationship.

What happens to a marriage when something so gut wrenching occurs? How does a couple cope with such dismal despair? As the weeks go by Nathalie and Joshua cope differently, isolating and insulating their feelings. No longer able to support each other, they aren't even aware of one another as they are hidden behind a victim's veil. Sigel uses densely polished poetic lyrical verse. His sensitive style is beautiful, and through his artistry and details you are able to empathize with Nathalie and Joshua as they face an uncertain future. The Disappearance is a rhythmic roller-coaster of emotions.

Here is an interview I recently had with Efrem Sigel about his book The Disappearance.

Wisteria: The disappearance of a child is such a tough subject. Were you afraid it would scare readers away from the book?

Efrem: The book begins with the disappearance of 14-year old Daniel Sandler, but my hope was always that The Disappearance would be more than just another “child disappears, who did it?” mystery. The mystery is there, of course, but it’s also a family drama, the story of a marriage, a story about how ordinary people can either surmount, or be defeated by, extraordinary and tragic events. If it works, it’s because in the end it’s more a love story on multiple levels than a tragedy.

The way you portray the parents, Joshua and Nathalie, seems to make their emotions so palpable to readers. How did you do this?

I knew that I needed fully fleshed-out and believable characters to make the novel work. Joshua and Nathalie are such different people, one impulsive and action-oriented, the other cerebral and withdrawn, that it was inevitable they would react to this calamity in very different ways. Out of these differences, and the spiraling tension caused by the mystery, I hoped to develop a momentum that would drive the story while enhancing the reader’s understanding of and identification with the characters.

A book about such an emotionally charged experience leads to the natural question: has anything like this happened to you?

No. But as a parent I know the fears that engulf you when a child is not where he or she is supposed to be, and I tried hard to get inside the heads of parents actually living through such an ordeal. By the end, I felt as if I were living through it myself.

Was the ending of the book what you had in mind from the outset?

Yes and no. I knew what had happened to Daniel, though not why, but the ending that I wrote early on quickly got discarded, and it took quite a while to find the ending that felt right.

What made you pick such a tiny town as Smithfield as a setting for the book?

It’s a setting I know well, a bucolic small town in rural Massachusetts, the kind of place where nothing ever happens. The contrast between the idyllic setting and the terrible event is another source of tension in the story, as is the fact that the Sandlers are outsiders in this town.

The Disappearance is your second novel, but it comes 36 years after the first. Why the long wait?

In between novels I started and ran a couple of business newsletter companies, wrote magazine and newsletter articles and nonfiction books, but was always exploring ideas for new fiction. Ten years ago I was able to return to fiction in a serious way, first with short stories and then with the idea that turned into The Disappearance. I’m hard at work on a new novel, and will do my best to see that it won’t take another 36 years for number three.

More information about Efrem Sigel and The Disappearance is available at

Journal from Bookgirl's Studio

I have been looking at Iliana's beautiful journals week after week and so with her recent anniversary on, I ordered one of her creations. What a wonderful surprise I had in my mailbox today. She is a talented artisan who made this exquisite journal that looks almost too special to use. However, I will definitely use it "write" away. Check out the photo to see how Iliana wrapped the journal. Tied with a ribbon over happy bright yellow paper, a colorful confetti treat that made me smile. I honestly felt like it was my birthday. Thanks Iliana, I love it.

Her blog is Bookgirl's Nightstandwhere she also keeps an amazing blog for sharing, reviewing and talking about books. Her Etsy site is called Bookgirl's Studio.

Congratulations on your anniversary Iliana----and to many more.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday's Child, Our Future

They say a picture is worth a thousand words....

I would be happy to hear your comments. I will share mine along the way.
Thanks, Wisteria

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday, Quote it Time

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
"I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice--not because of the voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany."

This is the first line from one of my favorite books of all time! It was so memorable that I named my cat after Owen Meany. If you have never read this book, please put it on your TBR list and read it. You will be happy you did!!

Do you have a favorite first line in a book? Do you have a quote from one of your favorite books you would like to share? I love quotes and would love to hear some of yours. Have a great Tuesday!!



Monday, April 6, 2009

Mailbox Monday- April 6, 2009

This picture was taken in 1899 of a mail carrier on a rural route. I thought it was funny to read that they carried a whistle to let owners know they had mail since many people lived some distance away. The carrier gave them a "heads up". They were paid $400 per year with the horse, however tolls and ferry crossings were extra.


In my mailbox this week I received

1) The Shipwreck of a Nation, by Nennhaus
2) Jantsen's Gift, Pam Cope
3) After You're Gone, Jeffrey Lent
4) The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Katherine Howe
5) The Whittaker Family Reunion, Shirley A. Roe
6) The Glenn Miller Conspiracy, Hunton Downs
7) A Lucky Child, Thomas Buegenthal
8) Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
9) Dracula, Bram Stoker

I'm so grateful for all the reading and that I have Spring from teaching in 3 days.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yup I Won the Zombie Chicken Award!!

I have been awarded this cute and twisted award by my friend Desert Rose from Desert Rose Booklogue.

Now for the explanation of this prestigious Zombie Chicken Award which means:

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..."

So to avoid the wrath of the Zombie Chickens I am bestowing this award to the following outstanding blogs:

1. Musings on a Bookish Kitty

2. Write for a Reader

3. The Bookworm

4. Bookgirl's Nightstand

5. The Burton Review

Congratulations to all those receiving the Zombie Chicken Award including Desert Rose Booklogue. Thank you DR for sending it to me.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sunday Salon-Ready for the Dewey Marathon?

The Sunday

It's that time again for the Dewey 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. For me this will start at 8:AM on April 18th. Am I crazy?

No, just love to read and be with blogger friends that share the same idea of fun. I'll admit to having an eccentric and loving personality. But crazy? Only about books and reading whenever I can. I saw a lot of my blogger friends have already joined up so I know we will have fun writing on our blogs with updates.

Hannah, Ana and Trish define the role of a reader:

What is the role of a Reader?

People who sign up to be readers are committing to reading books, posting updates in their blogs, participating in mini-challenges when they choose to, and, if they need breaks, visiting the blogs of other readers and encouraging them. The most hardcore among us will stay up the entire 24 hours and do nothing but read and update, even going so far as to skip showering and eat meals while reading. However, not all of us are that hardcore, and it’s OK for you to customize this read-a-thon to meet your needs. All I ask is that you be honest in your updates, and that’s about the only rule for readers.

Updating for Readers: This should be individually customized. If you want to spend 5 or 10 minutes updating each hour or every 3 hours, that’s great. If you want to update whenever you feel like you need a break from reading, that’s great, too. If you want to just read and read for 24 hours straight and then write one big update, that’s also great. You do what works for you, OK?

Another Challenge-Book Binge

book bingeYes, I'm accepting a new challenge! I think this one will be fun.

This is hosted by "It's Not All Mary Poppins, so if you would like to accept another challenge, visit her site.

"Here are the “rules”:

1. For the month of April, keep track of the books you read.

2. On May 1, post your list on your blog.

Easy, no? You can write a review or reader response if you wish, but a list of titles and authors is also perfectly acceptable.

Three other points:

1. You may include books you re-read, so long as you re-read them in between April 1 and 30.

2. You may also include books you start but don’t finish, just note the page at which you gave it up. Something like, “Quit, page 47 of 322″.

3. Children’s books must be at least 125 pages long to be counted. (Books you read to your children, if they are at least 125 pages, would also count.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Review-Hangman Blind by Cassandra Clark

by Cassandra Clark,
Minotaur Books, 2008,

In the year 1382, England emerges from violent religious rebellion into precarious peace. It is during this time, Hildegard, recently widowed, and financially wealthy, becomes a Cistercian nun at the Abbey of Meaux. Her grief is deep and her husband’s death a mystery. It is here she discovers her life’s purpose: to set up a priory to help care for the sick, poor and homeless. Even though the countryside is unsafe, she undertakes an uncertain journey to Castle Hutton in York to ask the Abbot of Meaux for assistance. On the way she stumbles upon the gruesome sight of five hanging eviscerated corpses. Later, she discovers a slaughtered young boy and can’t help but wonder if the two incidents are connected.

Arriving at Castle Hutton, Hildegard reports her findings to Lord Roger. Murder follows her inside when during a celebration feast Lord Roger tumbles over into his plate of food. Assumed poisoned, his apparent death sets up a game of deception and intrigue to catch a killer. Hildegard the key crime investigator faces deceit, evil, lust, greed, and her own divergent feelings.

A debut author with raw nerve, Cassandra Clark places Hildegard, an independent women of means in an unheard of role during this age. This courageous nun is an anachronism I can only describe as CSI meets the 14th century. Hangman Blind, the first book in the Clark’s series, will delight historical crime fans who enjoy constant plot twists with clever subterfuge.

Wisteria Leigh

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday's Child-Author Nick Butterworth

I recently received books from the Independent Publishers Group that included three written by the extremely creative author and illustrator Nick Butterworth. As a media specialist in an elementary school my knowledge of children's literature is keen, but this author was new to me. Here is a short bio from the Harper Collins UK website:

Nick Butterworth is the author of many internationally acclaimed children’s books including ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘QPootle5’, ‘Tiger’ and ‘The Whisperer’ which won the Gold Award at the Nestle Book Awards. He is best known for his stories about Percy the Park Keeper. Nick has also presented children’s stories on television, created a cartoon strip for The Sunday Express Magazine and worked for major graphic design consultancies. He has two grown-up children, and lives with his wife in Suffolk.


By Nick Butterworth, Illustrated by Nick Butterworth
New edition
Paperback, including CD

Tiger is a small kitten who thinks he is a big tiger. This is an adorable picture book for ages 4-7. Butterworth's illustrations will draw young readers to this book. What little child doesn't like kittens and tigers, the perfect combination. There is an accompanying CD which is comprised of a Read Aloud version with sound effects, a poem, and a Read Along to help in differentiated instructions. Very cute and cuddly book.


By Nick Butterworth, Illustrated by Nick Butterworth
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins UK (April 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0006646468
ISBN-13: 978-0006646464

A great tale to use to teach diversity and acceptance. Basil the young bush baby had no sleep one night because he was disturbed by an ugly beast who appeared out of nowhere. Then when he woke up he was afraid of a loud sounding thud, thud, thud he guessed was from a huge monster. Basil asks and gets help from many friend and the ending will surprise you. Great details and expressive faces will keep kids starring as you turn each page. The illustrations are somewhat reminiscent of Maurice Sendak in Where the Wild Things Are. However, where Sendak's book often frightened children, Butterworth creates a huggable menagerie of friends that children will eagerly embrace.

Q Pootle 5..........................................

By Nick Butterworth, Illustrated by Nick Butterworth
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages with poster
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Re-Isaue, Pub. Date: 05.01.09
ISBN-13: 978-000717235-1

On the way to a moon party Q Pootle 5 ends up on Earth with a broken rocket booster.
His first earthling is a frog who unfortunately can't help him. What will it take for Q Pootle 5 to blast off again? He really doesn't want to stay on Earth. The text is simple with easy to read print and vocabulary that is appropriate for the age. Dear Q Pootle 5 is an originally sweet and non-threatening creature. Butterworth's expressive faces are humorous with attention to crafting each with a human persona. No doubt you will hear, "Please, can you read it again?"