Friday, December 23, 2011

The Time In Between

I had heard some buzz about this book, THE TIME IN BETWEEN by Maria Duenas and was intrigued. I was ready for a little heavier read, with historic and social issues and this did not disappoint. It is a runaway hit in Europe. This English translation retains the beautiful prose and  richly textured descriptions of war torn European and exotic African worlds at a crucial time in history.

In a time of unrest and civil war in Spain, the life of a young Spanish seamstress, Sira, shatters when the man she loves betrays her. Abandoned in Morocco, she is determined to pull her crumbling life back together. She finds herself sewing and designing couture clothing for the wives of powerful and influential men. 

The political intrigues and power plays in Europe as Franco and Hitler rise to power leave no one untouched- including innocent, grieving, Sira, who at first becomes an unwitting participant in espionage as a means of survival. Over time and circumstances Sira becomes a practiced spy and a woman of the world. 

Extremely well written. The deep research that must have gone into this historical novel blows my mind. The characters are interesting and many are actual figures from this time period. You see huge growth in the main character from beginning to end. A satisfying read.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SHIFTING by Bethany Wiggins

Maggie Mae is an orphan with a tragic and obscure past. She has so much to learn about herself and her new found "curse" or powers. Now she is in a new foster home in a small town where small minds and superstitions thrive.

As if the perils of high school and being the new girl were not enough, something evil seems to be stalking her.Enter, Bridger. The ultimate, dark, mysterious hottie to baffle and bewitch any female. Can he be trusted? What is his secret?

It's been awhile since I've read a YA novel with a  main character as likable as Maggie Mae. Her character strikes that balance between vulnerable,damaged girl and determined, gutsy heroine. I found myself liking her and sympathizing with her right away. Maggie struggles with how to accept herself, how to trust and how to let herself love and be loved. The human condition can be a real b*#@%-- especially when you are constantly shifting--out of it.

The story is a page turning, supernatural/mystery/suspense/romance that will capture your interest and keep your imagination churning. Bethany Wiggins combines ancient Native American lore with the life of modern teens-- making a fun and compelling concoction. Her writing is clever, creative and well paced with skillfully sketched characters and an emotional pitch that rings true. It delves into darkness and reaches up to redemption in a well crafted roller coaster ride. Smooth and thrilling.

Read.It.Now. (=

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Little Sister

When I was in kindergarten my little sister, Alesandra was born. I was so excited and I remember looking at her little pink body through the glass at the hospital thinking I'd just hit the jackpot. Best. Doll. Ever.
Over the years our relationship has changed from one thing to another and grown into an amazing friendship.
Ali and I are not really alike-- but compatible and simpatico. 
We are raising our kids together-- living just up the street from one another. She's an actress, my husband is in the film business. We are both health nuts and spiritually minded. We like travel and good books, old movies and new insights... We get each other.

Laughing until our tummies ache
Listening and supporting
Cooking, Cleaning, Singing
Sisters are such a blessing.

Friday, December 2, 2011


If you haven't ever watched a Julian Smith skit on YouTube... are you an earthling?
We love this guy. My sons love his funny songs and characters. My hubby, Clark has made a prop or two for him.
Then Clark sent him this-- just for fun. And he loved it! Who wouldn't want a custom made bobble head of themselves with interchangeable hand props all based on inside jokes. Supah! Julian is about to have his own TV show. Go, Julian, Go!

Click to see Julian's thanks tweet.

Big thanks to visual effects artist, Clark Schaffer (Ironman ... on Twitpic