Monday, December 22, 2008

Teaser Tuesday: Breathing Space by Katrina Repka

TEASER TUESDAYS :

My 2 “Teaser” Sentences for today: (Ok - so this one is a bit more than 2) This is a non-fiction book.
After so many years of feeling trapped by my emotions, I allowed myself to hope. Instead of just talking about the problem, Alan had a practical solution. And if it worked for me, who knew, maybe my dad would try it! He had as much need of it as I did, if not more. And it seemed to be the right time. To my amazement he had recently expressed his own desire to change the things he didn't like about himself.
~ p.81, “Breathing Space by Katrina Repka and Alan Finger"

From Amazon:
When Katrina Repka moved to New York, she was eager to shed her past and begin a new life, but she soon discovered that her old problems had followed her to the big city, and that instead of finding herself, she was more lost than ever. It was when she was almost ready to give up on everything that she read a magazine article on Master Yogi Alan Finger and knew that she had to meet him. It was a meeting that would change her life.

Over the next twelve months, with Alan's help, Katrina tackled and overcame many of the obstacles holding her back. Dealing with issues that every woman will relate to--criticism, emptiness, balance, family, and creativity (among others)--the twelve chapters in Breathing Space follow Katrina's ups and downs in New York. At the end of each chapter there is a simple but effective breathing exercise that will help readers eliminate harmful behavior patterns and speed their own process of personal transformation. Breathing Space is an inspiring and instructive book that offers every woman the chance to follow the author's path and become the person she truly wants and deserves to be.
~ Wendi

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published December 22, 2008

Tuesday Thinger: Holiday Gift-Giving

Today's question: Holiday gift-giving. Do you give books for the holidays? Did you participate in LT's SantaThing, either this year or last, or in other blogging gift exchanges? Were you happy with what you received?

My Answer: I will give someone a book (or more than one) if I know it is something that would interest them. I am more likely to give a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or another book store I know they enjoy if they already have a lot of books or go to the library a lot - that way I'm not duplicating their books. Sometimes I am more likely to give them throughout the year as it is easier to simply ask if they have a certain book, then surprise them.

As far as the SantaThing, I didn't participate. Money is tight this year and I already have plenty of books to read in my tbr pile. I did participate in the Secret Santa that some of the bloggers worked on (Nymeth and Dewey). I was very happy with what I got, I received a beautiful journal, a holiday book that looks great and a gorgeous lotus flower candle holder (glows and looks like a lotus flower when lit).

Update: Beginning next week I will be hosting Tuesday Thinger, so please join me next week for a special thank you to Marie and another great question (I hope!). Many of you offered to help me with questions, so if you have any, please go ahead and email me at wbarker(at)hotmail.com and I will begin getting some posts scheduled!

~ Wendi

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published December 22, 2008

Review: Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard (Excerpt Included)

Title: Before the Season Ends
Author: Linore Rose Burkard
Pages: 348
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2008)
Genre: Regency Romance / Christian Fiction
Edition: Paperback - A special thank you to the publisher who sent me a copy of the book to review as part of the WildCard Tour!

Perfect for : Personal reading, book club read (Contains Discussion Questions)

In a nutshell: A wonderful Regency Romance, set in England in 1813, with the added benefit of a little faith added in. Ariana, the 19-year-old strong-willed daughter of the Forsythe's, has determined that she is going to marry the 60 year old village rector! In an act of desperation, her parents send her to her Aunt in London for a season. When she gets to London, at her first real outing, she bumps into Mornay, the man her Aunt has told her to avoid! This is a charming faith-focused Regency romance that is sure to be a favorite for Regency romance readers!

Extended Review:

Characters: We follow Ariana on her adventures in London where she is sent to stay with her Aunt . . . and where she makes the acquaintance of the season's confirmed bachelor, Mornay. I really enjoyed Mornay's character - as he actually took an interest in helping Ariana, and as he transformed into a better person throughout the book.

Story-Line: The author has included many wonderful details from the era to help the reader easily visualize what is happening in the story. In true Regency-form, the main character Ariana goes to London to have a season, where she will participate in the rounds of dinners, balls and parties where many of the ton will try to make a successful marriage match.

Readability: For me, the book was an easy read, even with over 330 pages. I've read many Regency romances, so I am very familiar with the words used during that time (ton, tendre, fustian, etc), but for those who aren't, the author has included a wonderful glossary at the end of the book!

Overall: A delightful Regency with an emphasis on faith and values! I sure hope Ms. Burkard has another Inspirational Regency Romance on the way!

It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2008)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Linore Rose Burkard lives with her husband, five children, and ninety-year-old grandmother in southeastern Ohio. She homeschooled her children for ten years. Raised in New York, she graduated magna cum laude from the City University of New York (Queens College) with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. Ms. Burkard wrote Before the Season Ends because she could not find a book like it anywhere. "There are Christian books that approach this genre," she says, "but they fall short of being a genuine Regency. I finally gave up looking and wrote the book myself." She has begun four other works of fiction in the category.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $ 12.99
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736925511
ISBN-13: 978-0736925518

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Chesterton, Hertfordshire

England

1813

Something would have to be done about Ariana.

All winter Miss Ariana Forsythe, aged nineteen, had been going about the house sighing.

“Mr. Hathaway is my lot in life!”

She spoke as though the prospect of that life was a great burden to bear, but one which she had properly reconciled herself to. When her declarations met with exasperation or reproach from her family—for no one else was convinced Mr. Hathaway, the rector, was her lot—she usually responded in a perplexed manner. Hadn't they understood for an age that her calling was to wed a man of the cloth? Was there another man of God, other than their rector, available to her? No. It only stood to reason, therefore, that Mr. Hathaway was her lot in life. Their cold reception to the thought of the marriage was unfathomable.

When she was seventeen, (a perfectly respectable marrying age) she had romantic hopes about a young and brilliant assistant to the rector, one Mr. Stresham. It was shortly after meeting him, in fact, that she had formed the opinion the Almighty was calling her to marry a man of God. Mr. Stresham even had the approval of her parents. But the man took a situation in another parish without asking Ariana to accompany him as his wife. She was disappointed, but not one to give up easily, continued to speak of “the calling,” waiting in hope for another Mr. Stresham of sorts. But no man came. And now she had reached the conclusion that Mr. Hathaway--Mr. Hathaway, the rector, (approaching the age of sixty!) would have to do.

Her parents, Charles and Julia Forsythe, were sitting in their comfortably furnished morning room, Julia with a cup of tea before her, and Charles with his newspaper. A steady warmth was emanating from the hearth.

“What shall we do about Ariana?” Mrs. Forsythe, being an observant mama, had been growing in her conviction that the situation called for some action.

“What do you suggest, my dear?” Her husband reluctantly folded his paper; he knew his wife wanted a discussion of the matter and that he would get precious little reading done until she had got it.

She held up a folded piece of foolscap: the annual letter from Agatha Bentley, Charles’s sister, asking for Alberta, the eldest Forsythe daughter, for the season in London. It had arrived the day before.

Aunt Bentley was a childless wealthy widow and a hopeless socialite. For the past three years she had written annually to tell her brother and his wife why they ought to let her sponsor their eldest daughter for a London season. She owned a house in Mayfair (could anything be more respectable than that?) and knew a great deal of the big-wigs in society. She had, in fact, that most important of commodities which the Forsythes completely lacked: connexions. And as Charles’s family were her only living relatives, she was prepared--even anxious--to serve as chaperon for her niece.

Much to the lady's frustration, Julia and Charles had annually extinguished her hopes, replying to her letters graciously but with the inevitable, “We cannot countenance a separation from our child at this time,” and so on. Charles was unflinching on this point, never doubting his girls would reap a greater benefit by remaining beneath his own roof. They knew full well, moreover, that Aunt Agatha could not hope, with all her money and connexions to find as suitable a husband for their offspring as was possible right in Chesterton.

Why not? For the profound reason that Aunt Bentley had no religion whatsoever.

And yet, due to the distressing state of affairs with Ariana, Julia wished to consider her latest offer. With the letter waving in her hand she said, “I think we ought to oblige your sister this year. She must be lonely, poor thing, and besides removing Ariana from the parish, a visit to the city could prove beneficial for her education.”

Ariana’s father silently considered the matter. His eldest daughter Alberta was as good as wed, having recently accepted an offer of marriage--to no one’s surprise--from John Norledge. Ariana, his second eldest, had been irksome in regard to the rector, but to pack her off to London? Surely the situation was not so dire as to warrant such a move.

“I think there is nothing else for it,” Mrs. Forsythe said emphatically. “Ariana is determined about Mr. Hathaway and, even though we can forbid her to speak to the man, she will pine and sigh and like as not drive me to distraction!”

Taking a pipe out of his waistcoat pocket (though he never smoked), Mr. Forsythe absently rubbed the polished wood in his fingers.

“I recall other fanciful notions of our daughter’s,” he said finally, “and they slipped away in time. Recall, if you will, when she was above certain her destiny was to be a missionary--to America. That desire faded. She fancies this, she fancies that; soon she will fancy another thing entirely, and we shan’t hear another word about the ‘wonderful rector’ again.”

Mrs. Forsythe’s countenance, still attractive in her forties, became fretful.

“I grant that she has had strong…affections before. But this time, my dear, it is a complicated affection for in this case it is the heart of the ah, affected, which we must consider. It has ideas of its own.”

“Of its own?”

Mrs. Forsythe looked about the room to be certain no one else had entered. The servants were so practiced at coming and going quietly, their presence might not be marked. But no, there was only the two of them. She lowered her voice anyway.

“The rector! I do not think he intends to lose her! What could delight him more than a young, healthy wife who might fill his table with offspring?”

Mr. Forsythe shook his head.”Our rector is not the man to think only of himself; he must agree with us on the obvious unsuitability of the match.”

The rector was Thaddeus Admonicus Hathaway, of the Church in the Village Square. Mr. Hathaway was a good man. His sermons were grounded in sound religion, which meant they were based on orthodox Christian teaching. He was clever, and a popular dinner guest of the gentry, including the Forsythes. If these had not been true of him, Mr. Forsythe might have been as concerned as his wife. Knowing Mr. Hathaway, however, Charles Forsythe did not think a drastic action such as sending his daughter to the bustling metropolis of London, was necessary.

Mrs. Forsythe chose not to argue with her spouse. She would simply commit the matter to prayer. If the Almighty decided that Ariana must be removed to Agatha’s house, then He would make it clear to her husband. In her years of marriage she had discovered that God was the Great Communicator, and she had no right to try and usurp that power. Her part was to pray, sincerely and earnestly.

Mr. Forsythe gave his judgment: “I fear that rather than exerting a godly influence upon her aunt, Ariana would be drawn astray by the ungodliness of London society.”

“Do you doubt her so much, Charles? This infatuation with Mr. Hathaway merely results from her youth, her admiration for his superior learning, and especially,” she said, leaning forward and giving him a meaningful look, “for lack of a young man who has your approval! Have you not frowned upon every male who has approached her in the past? Why, Mr. Hathaway is the first whom you have failed to frighten off and only because he is our rector! 'Tis little wonder a young girl takes a fanciful notion into her head!”

When he made no answer, she added, while adjusting the frilly morning cap on her head, “Mr. Hathaway causes me concern!”

Mr. Forsythe’s countenance was sober. “’Tis my sister who warrants the concern. She will wish to make a match for our daughter--and she will not be content with just any mister I assure you. In addition to which, a girl as pretty as our daughter will undoubtedly attract attention of the wrong sort.”

Julia was flustered for a second, but countered, “Agatha is no threat to our child. We shall say we are sending Ariana to see the sights, take in the museums and so forth. Surely there is no harm in that. A dinner party here or there should not be of concern. And Ariana is too intelligent to allow herself to be foisted upon an unsuitable man for a fortune or title.”

Too intelligent? He thought of the aging minister that no one had had to “foist” her upon. Aloud he merely said, “I shall speak with her tonight. She shall be brought to reason, depend upon it. There will be no need to pack her off to London.”


If you have reviewed this book on your site and would like me to add a link here, please leave a link to your review in the comments section!

Reposted from my original blog Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads (and More) in Seattle, some things may have been edited, originally published December 22, 2008
 

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