Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What's Up Valentine? It's The Sunday Salon

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's that time of the week again… The time to talk books! So grab yourself a cup of joe, find yourself a comfy chair and settle in…

It's been a cold and wintry week in Connecticut. There was a major snow storm that layered almost 12 inches of beautiful white snow that's here to stay for a while as the temperatures aren't going much above 20 degrees. Baby It's Cold Outside, but at the end of this week is Valentine's Day and that definitely can get HOT! What do you do for Valentine's Day? Romantic dinner, funny cards, HOT reads? Well, this week I thought I would share some romantic reads, plus a book to send your sweetheart, and share some links to some great Valentine's Day crafts!
First the romantic reads… 
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux… Once upon a a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress… 

The thrillingly romantic tale of thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomer, left alone and brokenhearted in an English church, and the sixteenth-century hero who carries her heart away, A Knight in Shining Armor is a story for all time, and for anyone who believes in the power of love… Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there... until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past -- or the grand adventure that lay before them.

This has been on my TBR list for a LONG long time. I have seen this novel on many many "must read" romance lists and so here it is on one of mine! I love time travel romances and this was one of the first I ever read about. I don't know why I haven't read it, except for the fact that romances aren't the norm for my reading pleasure. This is going to the top of my TBR list.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon… Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

This has to be my all time favorite romance. Claire and Jamie are just all that you ever want in star crossed lovers. This story is romantic, sexy, steamy and an adventure waiting for you. It is the first book in a series that follows the lovers as they cross time and space to be with each other. Don't feel obligated to read them all (but you'll want to) and don't feel intimidated by the amount of pages (it's over 800 pages), but read this book!

I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe… "An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War, inspired by a real female soldier's letters home. Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father's side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier. Rosetta trains with the men, prepares herself for war, and deals with the tension between her and Jeremiah as he comes to grips with having a fighting wife. There are many dangers to face, from the constant threat of discovery to intense battles where they fight side by side. With him, she faces the difficult realities of the Civil War, marriage, and staying true to herself. Inspired by true accounts of the more than four hundred women who fought in the Civil War disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is a tender love story, an exploration of gender roles and marriage, and a hard examination of war".

Can you imagine living during the Civil War and having your sweetheart or husband go off to war. How frightening that must have been. How your heart would have ached. Little did I know that there were plenty of women who went with their men! They disguised themselves as men and joined the ranks to fight alongside the men they loved. I am curious as to how this is written. If the writing is good, then this might be a wonderful romantic look at one of those relationships. It's on my radar TBR.

The Shell Seekers by  Rosamunde Pilcher… The Shell Seekers is a novel of connection: of one family, and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations. The Shell Seekers is filled with real people--mothers and daughters, husband and lovers--inspired with real values. The Shell Seekers centers on Penelope Keeling--a woman you'll always remember in world you'll never forget. The Shell Seekers is a magical novel, the kind of reading experience that comes along only once in a long while.

At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling's prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart.

People have constantly told me how wonderful this book is. So, here I am passing it along to you! It's an oldie but goodie. Has anyone read this?! What did you think?!

Here's a book to give to your Sweetheart…. 
An Awesome Book of Love by Dallas Clayton… This book, written for ages 3 and up, explores all the facets of love. It's written as a children's book, but this book says it all when it comes to telling that someone special just how much they mean to you! Your sweetheart, your son or daughter, your wife, a grandchild, a grandmother, or just someone you can very much about. Buy this book, get out a pen and inscribe it, the person who receives it will treasure it forever! ( Psst… I'm giving one to my special guy) You can read the whole book HERE, illustrations and all!

Valentine's Day Crafts…  Want to make something special for your Valentine? Here are some great ideas for some cards and gifts you can make yourself…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How about a Valentine's inspired votive holder from… Or a Heartfelt Bookmark for your someone special…Or another inspired bookmark idea from Evermine BlogScholastic has a fun take on making bookmarks using paint sample cards… And here are some ideas from Martha Stewarts Valentines crafts and gifts… Here are some crafty Valentine's Day ideas from Better Homes & Gardens. Have any ideas you'd like to share? 

Weekly Recap… I read the most wonderful ROMANTIC book. Maybe not so romantic as a wonderful romance, but it was Under The Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan and I LOVED it! This is the much anticipated 2nd novel by Nancy Horan who gave up Loving Frank. She seems to hit it right on the nose with these historical romances about famous men. Loving Frank was about Frank Lloyd Wright and his affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney. Under The Wide And Starry Sky is about the romance between Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny. Read my REVIEW from Saturday. Hmm, this book also counts towards my Chunkster Reading Challenge 2014!  AND, I'm 11 books read out of 50 for my Goodreads 2014 reading goal. 50 books is a lot though, and even though I've been quite voracious, I'm not sure I could really read 50. How many books have you read in one year?! This is also my first year of keeping track of my reading, usually I just enjoy and not think twice about "how many".

Enjoy your Valentine's Day! If reading is your choice, I hope I've shared the perfect Valentine's read for you!

Happy reading… Suzanne


Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I enjoy Jude Deveraux's I must add this one.

And I adored The Shell Seekers. I even have it on DVD (the movie, with Angela Lansbury). A nice cozy movie to watch.


Vasilly said...

This post came at the perfect time! I totally forgot about Valentine's Day! My babe is working all day on V-Day, so we'll celebrate on Saturday instead. I need to buy a gift!

You are doing fantastic on your reading goals! I haven't read a chunkster yet this year. :-( Have a good week.

Harvee Lau said...

I like time travel romances on occasion. This one sounds good. A good one for a Happy Valentine's Day.
Book Dilettante

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Laurel! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. And being one more person to tell me how much they enjoyed The Shell Seekers! On my list!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Vasilly!
Well, you are such a busy girl, I'm surprised you have time to read period! Glad I was able to remind you of V day! Enjoy your week!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Harvee,
It's funny how much I love time travel romances, but they are not on the top of my TBR genre. This seems like a guilty pleasure read and I'm going for it!

Enjoy your week!

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