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Showing posts from June, 2009

My Enemy the Queen.

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My Enemy the Queen by Victoria Holt.

As you may guess from the book's cover this novel is set during the reign of Elizabeth 1.The story is narrated by Lettice Knollys who is a cousin of the reigning queen, through the Boleyn line. Lettice's grandmother was Mary Boleyn, Anne's sister. After fleeing the country during the reign of Mary 1, Lettice and her family return when Elizabeth is crowned queen. The royal court holds much fascination for the young Lettice and much discussion takes place when her mother is summoned to court by the queen.
As Lettice matures , she finds that her beauty and radiance can be used to her advantage and as such she is tempted by many a handsome man. However, there is only one man she desires, Robert Dudley. Dudley was the Queen's favourite, known as Elizabeth's 'Eyes' , Dudley ascended to an extreme high place at court. Elizabeth , enjoyed the companonship of handsome men, and as such felt very possessive of them. She granted Dudle…

Teaser Tuesdays

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Here we are again, and this is what you ned to do to join in,

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Now I have finished one book today and started another, so I'm going to 'treat' you to 2 teasers, isn't life grand!lol!

My first is from 'My Enemy the Queen'
by Victoria Holt, page 373.

'I heard he said as he laid his head on the block:'What matters it how the head lie, so the heart be right.' Wise brave words , I thought, from Essex's enemy.'

My second teaser is from 'Kirkland Revels' also by Victoria Holt, page 5.

'Looking back I realise now that I was a ready victim for the fate which was awaiting me.
Six weeks…

A leisurely breakfast for the weekend?

Twenty Wishes.

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Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber.

A novel based on the lives of friends who also happen to be widows and their desire to find happiness again.
It's Valentine's Day, an unlikely day for widows to 'celebrate'. This is a day when they will plan their dreams. So twenty wishes are born. Each lady begins to write a list of want they want most in the world.
Some want a family they never had, others want romance and courtship, others want to marry again. Some want to learn to belly dance , for others a lunch buddy is a good place to start, and what about those red cowboy boots you've always wanted.

Anne Marie Roche is the main character who owns a bookshop and achieving her twenty wishes takes much courage and along the way
secrets are shared and past histories scrutinised but

'The past wouldn't change.
But the way Anne Marie saw the future would.'

As the story unfolds all the women see their lives in much different ways and realise that the future is there for living.

Tuesday Teasers

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Are you ready to be teased?If you want to be the teaser this is what you do ----
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my choice for today ---

'She learned two things from Melissa. The habits of a lifetime could be changed. And family could come about in the most unexpected ways.'

page 312, Twenty Wishes' by Debbie Macomber.
More teasers can be found here.

The Sunday Salon.

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This has been a busy week; reading has been taking second place to work. Farm work that is , shearing sheep in particular. Although I must add that I don't shear, I'm not capable to shear, I wrap the fleeces which in comparison to the shearer is an easy job.
I have managed to start another book though;
Twenty Wishes, by Debbie Macomber. It's a light read and easy to pickup and dip into when time is short.
One piece of good news this week was my luck in a book raffle on Elaine's blog. When I receive my prize I'll post about it.
Hope you all have a good week.

'One scoop or two Madam?'

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Today was Ladies Day at Ascot, check out the site below for more fantastic hats.
I must thank Molly in the comments for
this link. Photo courtesy of the same site.

The Reluctant Queen

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The Reluctant Queen by Jean Plaidy.
This novel chronicles the life of Anne Neville who was the younger daughter of the Earl of Warwick. She was born during the years of the Wars of the Roses . Her childhood home was Middleham Castle in North Yorkshire. A happy childhood was passed here and a frequent visitor was Richard the Duke of Gloucester(the future King Richard III), Anne and he bonded in friendship. Richard was not the robust of boys and excelling at sports was not his forte, unlike his brother, Edward IV who excelled at most tasks.
As the story unfolds Anne's ambitious father , known as the Kingmaker , uses both his daughters as pawns in his quest for power.

Anne's sister Isabel married the King's brother the Duke of Clarence, who was most unsuitable; quite a feckless young man.
Soon it would be Anne's wedding, a merger with Margaret of Anjou's son Edward (one time enemy in the Wars af the Roses). The thought of which repulsed the young girl and her thoughts qui…

Royal Ascot.

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Today saw the beginning of Ascot and the Queen and members of the Royal family attended. Her outfit, no doubt made of silk looked beautiful, perfect for a summers day.The BBC commentator remarked that the Queen's brooch was a present from her grandmother, Queen Mary and that she always wears it on these occasions.A nice touch I think.
Princess Anne, has obviously inherited her mother's style,she looked very smart as usual.

Photos courtesy of
this site. You can see more 'royal' photos here too.

Teaser Tuesdays

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It's Tuesday again, are you willing to be teased?

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my lines,

'Laura Bostwick would use it as an opportunity to harangue Anne Marie about the huge mistake she'd made in marrying Robert. Laura had disapproved from the start. Trapped in her own unhappiness, she seemed to take a malevolent pleasure in destroying other people's joy.'

page 93, 'Twenty Wishes' by Debbie Macomber.

That's 3 sentences I know but all three seemed to gel together well.

Check out more teasers
here.

Musing Mondays

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Here is today's question ------

Do you feel compelled to read prize-winning (Giller/Booker/Pulitzer etc) books? Why, or why not? Is there, perhaps, one particular award that you favour? (question courtesy of MizB)

I don't feel compelled to read award winning books. I will read reviews of them and if they appear interesting I might check them out. I'm not influenced solely by awards ,as I know myself what books I enjoy and usually my choice proves correct.

More book discussions can be found here.

The Sunday Salon ---- Great books and a little stitching.

Hello Saloners hope the last week has been kind to you.

If a book can transport a reader to far flung places, then I have had a great week; medieval England and Florence to be exact. My first port of call was Florence,I was invited to
a party in San Niccolo. As well as a party I indulged myself in the architecture and atmosphere of Florence as Christobel Kent described the wonders and at times the 'seedy' side of this wonderful city. It was a brilliant read .

After saying 'Arriverderci'(with some sadness I might add)I drifted back through time to the 1400's in England. 'The Reluctant Queen' by Jean Plaidy is a novel set in the time of Richard III. The Wars of the Roses(the house of York v. the house of Lancaster) divided England and into this troublesome time was born Anne Neville. She was the daughter of the Earl of Warwick, or the Kingmaker as he was known. Her childhood was spent not too far from where I live, Middleham Castle in North Yorkshire . Once a te…

Booking through Thursday

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This is today's discussion ---
There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)

But then there are books that only YOU read. Instructional manuals for fly-fishing. How-to books for spinning yarn. How to cook the perfect souffle. Rebuilding car engines in three easy steps. Dog training for dummies. Rewiring your house without electrocuting yourself. Tips on how to build a NASCAR course in your backyard. Stuff like that.

What niche books do YOU read?


On my book shelf I have a few books I dip into occasionally,
Books on Catholicism including prayer books , one dating from 1890.
Old nursing/midwifery books from my nursing days.
A couple of general sewing books and also embroidery books that belonged to my Mum.
Gardening books, although you'd never think I owned them if you saw the garden, lol!
I think the largest collection is cookery books, they seem to breed I'm sure as I have so many and I don't remember buying them.
All of the …

A Party in San Niccolo.

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'A Party in San Niccolo' by Christobel Kent.
At four-thirty in the morning Gina Donovan woke with a start. She was anxious, for this was the day when she started her holiday; not a family holiday with husband and children but a holiday with friends in Florence.
This is only one week in Florence but a week she won't forget. Staying in this beautiful city with ex-college friends , what could be more wonderful?

'The train had left the plains around Pisa and was moving through the Appenines to the west of Florence, steep, wooded hills, villages, the Arno winding through them, crossing the path of the train and then back, choked with reeds here and there and gradually widening as they approached Florence.' Such a picturesque sight this could only be a memorable holiday. A holiday which combines elegant parties and a couple of murders!!
For this city , like many others, conceals in it's alleyways and it's open plains criminals, pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers and mu…

Teaser Tuesdays

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Here we are ready for another teaser,

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This is mine,

'Once a week the flower-sellers laid out their banks of mimosa,tulips, and lilies, potted jasmine, Japanese tree-peonies with tissue-paper blooms, pink and yellow roses, filling the vaulted space beneath the massive marble art-nouveau arcades along one side of the Piazza della Repubblica, and flooding it with colour and scent. Once the warm weather had arrived in earnest, as Frances felt, today, that it had, the atmosphere of the flower market became intoxicating;perfumed and opiate,and even when a summer downpour would fill the piazza with pelting rain, beneath the arc…

Musing Mondays

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This Monday the discussion is ----

Do you have a set reading time (before bed, perhaps)? Do you read more at night or during the day? Is there a day of the week, perhaps, that you set aside to catch up on reading?

My answer is here ---

I'm usually too tired when I go to bed so my main time is in the evening. There never seems to be any great programmes to watch on t.v. so that's when most of my reading takes place. If we have no plans, the weekend is great for turning a few pages.

More book talk can be found here.

'Half Moon Street.'

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Half Moon Street by Anne Perry.

An Inspector Pitt Novel.
Set in Victorian England this novel chronicles the investigation of a murder. Inspector Thomas Pitt leads a polce hunt around central London after a body is found manacled to a punt. The body is male dressed in women's clothing.
The Inspector's wife, Charlotte is on holiday in Paris with relatives and his children are enjoying a break by the sea. With plenty of solitude at his disposal the Inspector delves into the murky underworld of the capital in order to solve the murder.
As he progresses there are revelations of his wife's family. Family secrets hidden for many years, causing much anguish, are eventually aired , bringing with them much shock and horror.

'Grandmama could hear her own heart beating. She was holding her breath, as if that could somehow stop him from answering. This was her worst nightmare come back no longer a dream...'

With this disclosure of family secrets the story highlights the differnce be…

Booking through Thursday

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Another Thursday, another task --------

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

Murder Most Royal by Jean Plaidy.
The House of Shadows by Paul Doherty
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin
A Rare Benedictine by Ellis Peters
Myself My Enemy by Jean Plaidy
Revelation by C.J.Sansom
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir.
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt
Little Women by Louise M. Alcott.
The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

Here are my 15,
These are in any order and I'm sure there are more I have included.

Check out more books
here.

Tuesday Teasers

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Do join in, this is what you have to do,
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my lines,

'It must have been a tremendous risk to wait long enough to take off whatever clothes the dead man was wearing, dress him in this torn silk and velvet gown and chain him on to the punt in this obscene position, then set the boat adrift out in the water, getting himself wet in the process. Why had anyone bothered?'

from page 6, 'Half Moon Street' by Anne Perry.

More teasers can be found here.

Musing Mondays

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Another week over and it's Monday again, here is the question ---

How much time (or how many pages) do you give a book that you aren't really enjoying before you'll set it aside? If you're reading it for a book group discussion, or for review, will you give it more of a chance then, say, a book you're reading for your own interest? Why, or why not? (courtesy of MizB)

Firstly, I only read for personal pleasure, so I don't need to consider book reviews for outside sources. In the one reading group I have joined , the Jean Plaidy group ,I'm certain this dilemma would not arise as I love Jean Plaidy books.
However if I did start a book and it was proving difficult to finish I try and stay the course till about halfway. If it has not improved by then, it's usually placed back on the shelf.
More answers can be found here.

On the farm in June.

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June is a busy month on the farm,we are busy working with the sheep.
Today has been a beautiful day , a day to sunbathe perhaps but not for the hard workers here. We have been dosing lambs. This is a medicinal dose to remove any worms they may have picked up from the grass. Each lamb is given a set amount of wormer, this is kept in a large plastic container . The farmer then places the nozzle attached to the container in the lambs' mouth and squeezes the tube and so the lamb is given the correct amount of medicine. The dose is calculated by the animals' weight. With hundreds of lambs to dose this work will last a while.

Later in the month as long as the weather is still warm we will start shearing the ewes. We need warm weather as tthe heat helps the fleeces to rise a little from the ewe's body and makes it easier to shear. My husband usually shears all the ewes and my daughter and myself 'wrap' the fleeces. 'Wrapping' is a particular way the fleeces are rol…