Saturday Snapshot: Three More of NYC

Here are a couple more pictures from NYC.

In this one Jack has climbed a big rock hill in Central Park. (Shortly after this picture, his sister tried to join him, but tumbled down instead!).

IMG_1884Notice he’s eating that most New York of treats: the soft pretzel from a lunch cart!

Next the kids watched others ice skating on the pond on Central Park West:

IMG_1888Mean Mom and Dad would not rent them skates or skate with them (mainly because none of us have ice skated and it was quite crowded!).

Then the next morning I ran down to NBC Studios as I’ve always wanted to be on the Today Show in the background. Alas – the weekend hours were different and they were already gone:

IMG_1883I pictured a cute pic of me and Al Roper standing around chatting about the weather – but unfortunately, you get a dark stage set with drizzle. Maybe next year!!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at See her site for participation and linking!




Review: THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd

Oh my. This is a book I can hardly do justice to. It will truly be on my “Best of 2014” list this year!

I loved Sue Monk Kidd’s THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES (and I enjoyed her other two books as well), so I was very excited to get an ARC of her new publication THE INVENTION OF WINGS from Net Galley.

This historical novel tells the story of Sarah Grimk√©, a young girl of Charleston, SC. Starting in the 1830’s. Sarah receives a personal slave, a young girl named Handful (Hetty), as a gift for her eleventh birthday, and upsets her parents by trying to grant her her freedom. Young Sarah dreams of being a lawyer. Plain and intelligent, she doesn’t fit with the Southern belles of her peer group. She forms a friendship with Handful and almost immediately gets them both into serious trouble when she teaches Handful to read. The story follows Sarah, and Handful, as they grow up and become adults. Sarah evolves (along with her younger sister Angelina) into a passionate abolitionist and worker for women’s rights. Handful and her mother dream of one day being free.

While I loved this story, I was absolutely amazed to discover that Sarah Grimk√© and her sister Angelina were real people and that Sue Monk Kidd had based her novel on historical facts. How had I never heard of them?? This is a story that must be told. If you enjoy historical fiction, women’s studies, Civil War genre, and/or basically strong female protagonists who are based in reality, then you will enjoy this well-written and well-researched book.

Do yourself a favor and read this book!

Thanks, Net Galley and Viking, for my copy! Looks like it’s a pick for Oprah’s Book Club, too.

Giveaway! OBSTACLES by Christopher Reardon

I was recently contacted by Chris Reardon to see if I wanted to post about his book, OBSTACLES. Here’s how he describes it to me (Amazon blurb):

A child will die. You’re afraid to live. Would you go to all lengths to save him? Darkness knows no bounds, as Alcott, an African American doctor sees all too well. The man is petrified by death. His fragile existence rests at the mercy of the universe. This fact is far too much for him to handle. From unyielding nightmares to elevator terrors, he’s lost in paranoia.

Assigned to look after an ill child, Alcott’s horrors only heighten. Gari is a nine-year-old boy with a fatal disease. He will surely pass on within the year. Alcott bonds with him more and more each day. Part of him knows this grim fate just isn’t right.

Alcott befriends a hospital patient. This lunatic forces him to lug home an ancient text on bringing back the dead. Despite the man’s obvious dementia, Alcott attempts the scheme. Charging up a cliff, he recites the chant over ocean gusts.

A god woman glides in from the horizon. She instructs Alcott on the trials to save Gari’s life. These fearsome Obstacles require true strength. From battling sharks to wielding a flail, he must prove fortitude against genuine danger. Alcott decides his fate at this moment.

Death’s claws shall not grasp Gari’s soul.

Chris is willing to ship a copy of his book anywhere in the world (yeah, for my Brit, Canadian, and Australian regulars!). I haven’t read his book myself – I’m not a big paranormal/fantasy reader – but I’m happy to hear what YOU think about it if you read it.

Just leave me a comment, let me know how you got here, and I will choose one winner using This contest is open until SUNDAY, JANUARY 19. Good Luck!

YA Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Just out this week, I got this fun YA read from Net Galley.

BEING SLOANE JACOBS is the story of two girls – both named Sloane Jacobs – who switch places one summer at the respective summer camps. Sloane Emily is a wealthy senator’s daughter, bored with her life under the microscope and her power focused parents. She is an expert ice skater who has had some recent issues with confidence, and is headed to Canada for skating camp. Sloane Devon is a tough hockey player from Philly who is sent to camp as a community service due to her bad attitude. Both girls start off hating each other (sort of like Parent Trap!) when they meet at a hotel, but realize that they are similar enough in looks that they could pass for each other; then decide to take a break from their respective lives and “try on” the other’s existence.

I really enjoyed this story – it was light and funny and had a little romance built in. I would have loved this book when I was in middle school. At the end of the day the two themes ring true: “don’t judge a person until you walk a mile in the shoes” , and “East or West, home is best.” I look forward to more from Ms. Morrill!

Thanks for my ARC ecopy!

I’ve Been MIA…

I’ve been MIA except for a few scheduled posts. Sorry about that folks. I took a little break for the Christmas holidays and we traveled to see family. Then I had a family medical crisis which I’ve been dealing with this past week. Thankfully, things seem to be moving in the right direction, so I hope to do some writing catch-up this weekend! In the meantime, catch my latest review via the Bloggers’ Recommend newsletter – and read one of the great books that are publishing this month!

Saturday Snapshot: Metropolitan Museum of Art Favorites

The weekend after Christmas we headed down to NJ to visit relatives. We love to stop in NYC on the way. This time, for the first time, we brought the children to one of my favorite places: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here are some of our favorite things we saw:

IMG_1860Anne loves Ancient Egypt!

IMG_1862Jack loves arms and armor!

IMG_1874This came out a bit blurry, but I loved the big tree they had with all the angels and the kreche set.

IMG_1866And while we were enjoying the period rooms, we decided that it is a very good thing that my husband did NOT live in the 1600’s!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted my Melinda at

Please see her site for posting/participating information.