Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Ash Spear by G. R. Grove

The Ash Spear is based in medieval Britain in the 6th century, the Dark Ages, and is the third of the series.
The other books are Storyteller and Flight of the Hawk written by G. R. Grove.
Gwernin Kyarwyd is an apprentice bard, or storyteller, and this is a story of his journeys and trials. He is telling the story which begins in his seventeenth year and his second year of being an apprentice to become a harper and bard from his teacher Talhaearn Tad Awen. Talhaearn is the pencerdd (head poet) and harper to Cyndrwyn, prince of western Powys in mid-Wales.
Gwernim has a love, Rhiannedd, who is "the dark-haired delight of my heart" and she is carrying his child.
There are a number of characters in this book that have a close connections and loyalty to each other. Some other characters are Taliesin Ben Beirdd, Ieuan, Ugnach of Caer Sean and Neirin. The names are Welsh and hard to understand at first.
I had to go back and read the first chapters to get the names straight. I have not read the other two books and think they may have helped but this can be a stand alone book. I began to pull the pieces together.
The book is after the time of King Arthur and Taliesin tells the story of when he was the bard for Arthur and the final battle.
One character in the book, Neirin, is going to walk the Dark Path and needs the help of three bards. The Dark Path is a Druidic spiritual rite of passage. It is becoming a true bard. They go to the Island of Mon,
The Ash Spear was "the symbol of warfare and manhood but also stood for awen, the poet's inspiration of the bards". I had to find this on researching because somehow I missed the definition in the book.
I liked the saying after most chapters" O, my children, is a story for another day" which encourages the reader to keep reading. It was like a bard leaving you waiting.
G. R. Grove does an excellent job of descriptions and helps the reader know where the characters are and what they feel. There are emotions, pain, food, drinks, people, daily lives and worry. I really liked this book and look forward to reading her other books. I give it a five star because of the details and leaving me to want to do more research.
Go to the authors blog on to see what she is writing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Marked by the Moon by Lori Handeland

This is the first boook I have read by Lori Handeland and found it different and page moving. The main characters are Alexandra Trevalyn and Julian Barlow and the electricity between them is very emotional. Alex is trying to klill werewolves and find the killer of her father. She, as her father, belongs to the Jager-Sucher, whose main purpose is to kill the werewolves. Juilan Barlow is the alpha or leader of werewolves who live in Alaska. He makes werewolves, who accept the change, and they are part of his group that live in Barlowsville. Be prepared for some sulty scenes and also some language the author uses. I want to remark that she does a good job using the word, Inuit instead of the common word Eskimo. The book mentions some of the words we no longer use and Eskimo is one of them. (I personally feel it is a matter of becoming educated on words and when people use them, they are used to using the old terms.) Read her book to get a different type of book and "feel" the feelings of the charcters. Lori Habndeland does a good job of bringing the reader into the book. I look froward to reading her other books. Look for her on Facebook.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Precious Moments Storybook Bible Book Review

This is certainly a Precious Moments book with the wonderful illustrations. The stories are from the Bible that can be read to children.
The table of contents has Favorite Bible Classics, Words of Praise and Wisdom, More Stories of the Faith and Songs and Prayers. There is a Family Tree section and as one who does genealogy, I like this. The scriptures are taken from the Bible and are simple for a child. The Lord is My Shepherd on page 70 is in words children can understand.
The stories are not in order but the book does not need to be read in any order. Pick and choose a section to read to your child as they are very short.
This is a wonderful gift for new parents and one they can read to their child when he/she is young.The last chapter has songs and prayers that a lot of us learned as a child. Page 174: God is great, and God is good. Let us thank him for our food. By his hand we all are fed; Thank you, Lord, for our daily bread.
There are 191 pages and the book is 7 3/4 " X 10 1/4 ". The cover is hard.
A recommended book. This copy will go to my 3 year old great-grandson.


I received a complimentary e-book copy of Galveston from LibraryThing and the author P.G. Nagle.
The book is about the Civil War and the personal emotions of the characters in the book; the book works up to the Battle in Galveston, Texas on January 1, 1863 and the retaking of Galveston by the Confederates from the Union.
I also have a new e-reader and prefer a book because it is easier to find a passage in the book when checking details but must say I liked this version because I took it on a cruise and also had other books with me.
I liked this book and since it has been a long time since I had Texas History in school, it taught me something about the Civil War in Galveston and this area. I found the facts in the book interesting and books like this always encourage me to check deeper into the subject. Two examples: Albert Miller Lea has a town in Minnesota named after him ( I now live in Minnesota) and John Bankhead Magruder's middle name is the name of the highway in my hometown of Monahans, Texas; US 80 and now Interstate 20.
The book begins with so many characters, I had to reread the pages to get organized. The Russell family are the main characters in the book and names fall into place; even the horse that belongs to Jamie (James) is named Cocoa. I personally think the names bring you closer to understanding the characters. Emma, sister of Jamie, lost her fiance, Stephen, in the Battle at Valverde and her emotions show in the wiping the tears from her eyes as an example. He is mentioned throughout the book as one really would remember a loved one in real life.
Jamie takes Emma to Galveston to be with the sister of their mother, May, and new characters are brought in to the book. Emma has worked hard on the family farm with her parents and brothers and now in Galveston takes music lessons as well as learning needlework. "She turned over her embroidery hoop and began to pick at her knot with her needle". Anyone who has done needlework knows of this problem.
The actions in the Battle of Galveston felt real and were very detailed. One ship the Harriet Lane is a boat in history and the battle.
The author has a Union Lieutenant, Quincy Wheat, a main character in the book and the chapters go back and forth between the main characters; this gives the reader gets a look into the feelings of both sides.
Reading this book is an opening to gain information about the history of Texas and the Civil War in another area we usually do not think of the war.