Friday, August 26, 2011

Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Cereal

I received a sample of this cereal today and we snacked on the pieces. Tasty and light on the cinnamon. I will buy next time I need more cereal. Organic whole grain wheat, organic evaporated cane juice, organic cinnamon, natural cinnamon flavor.

Monday, August 22, 2011

J. R. R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne is a small, 5 " X 7 ", powerful book about the author who wrote The Lord of the Rings and more.

Mark Horne begins this book when John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was in South Africa as a child of three years of age. Tolkien was born in South Africa on January 3, 1892 and he dies on September 2, 1973. The book takes Ronald, as he was called by his parents, through his young years, college years, his time spent in World War l, his marriage to Edith Mary Bratt, his children, his writings, his Catholic religion, his being a professor at Oxford and his close friends. There is a lot of information about World War l and how some of the war influenced some of his writings.

The author does a good job of using the names of Tolkien's associates and dates of activities. Tolkien knew several languages and liked to read a book in the original language when he could. His mother, Mabel Tolkien, home schooled Tolkien and his brother, Hilary before they entered formal schooling.

Because this book holds so many details, I am listing some names, places and occasions.

Beowulf, Viking Club, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Book of Lost Tales, Midgard of Norse Mythology, Middle English, Icelandic Language, Merton College, Oxford, England, Fredo and Sam, Fairies and Elfs, World War l and World War ll, C. S. Lewis, Germanic mythology, Father Francis Morgan, T.C.B.S. Club, Beren, Luthein and so much more.

Chapters are:

1. Between the Shire and Mordor, Part One (1892-1909)

2. Between the Shire and Mordor, Part Two (1892-1909)

3. Coming of Age (1910-1911)

4. Growing Up in Oxford (1911-1914)

5. The Coming of the Shadow (1915-1918)

6. Language and Legend, Part One (1918-1925)

7. Language and Legend, Part Two (1926-1937)

8. Hobbits and Epic Heroism (1938-1948)

9. The Worldwide Best Seller (1948-1973)

10. Legacy


Appendix: Bibliographical

About the Author

I liked this book and will give it a five star. There were so many details, I feel the author has encouraged the reader to read more on J.R.R. Tolkien and other writers that are mentioned in the book.

I received a complimentary copy from booksneeze to read and review. I wish to thank Mark Horne, Thomas Nelson Publishers and booksneeze for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions are my own.

Find Mark Horne at:

Leona Olson

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Petra: City of Stone

Petra: City of Stone by T. L. Higley

First, I would like to thank the author for the complimentary electronic version of the book, this is my first time to read T.L.Higley.

The book begins with Julian leaving Rome because of religious persecution and the next chapter is about Cassia who has left Damascus with her son Alexander because of the death of the father of her son, Aretas. Cassia knows that Aretas is from Petra and wants to find his family.

Julian and Cassia meet at the Nymphaeum Fountain in Petra where Alexander and Julian quickly become friends. Julian also meets Malik at the fountain; Malik plays an important part in the lives of Cassia and Julian.

Cassia is robbed and attacked the first night in Petra and awakens to find herself and Alexander under protective care of Malik and his followers. It is here she finds that her son is the grandson of the king, Rabbel and heir to the throne. Alexander's father was the estranged son of Rabbel. Rabbel's first wife, Gamilath, Aretas' mother died; King Rabbel remarried and had a son with Hagiru.

Cassia takes Alexander to the Royal House to see the King but his wife, Queen Hagiru, refuses to let them see him because she said the King was unavailable; later the King comes into the room and does acknowledge Alexander is his grandson. Hagiru is upset because she thought her son, Obadas, would be the heir to the throne. The King leaves the room and Hagiru tells Cassia her son would be raised by them and she should leave Petra.

Julian finds Cassia injured and takes her to Malik. From there the story is based on trying to get Alexander back to Cassia and the finding of Christianity for Cassia.

I liked this book and the history of Petra was evident. I thought it would be more on archaeology but found it is based on Christianity. My major is Anthropology/Archaeology and I always have an interest in this subject. I read somewhere that Petra:City of Stone is a book for adults but would highly recommend it for young Christian adults. This is a good book for a book club for a church group or one interested in history.

Some tag words I found are Jesus, one God, sandals, amphitheater, death, sacrifice, suffering, strength, stone sculptors, power of Jesus, figs, triclinium, incense, siq and gods which bring you into the time era of the book. Some historical names are Petra, Damascus, Jerusalem, Nymphaeum Fountain, Temple al-Uzza. Petra and Paul of Tarsus. Faith and love are two words used quite a bit. Jesus is very involved with the characters in the book and the reader could sense that with feelings. At one point the "faces" are described as peaceful and there was singing from the Christian group.

I found the last chapters of the book more powerful and emotional as Cassia and others try to rescue Alexander from the evil Hagiru.

The book definitely has history and encouraged me as the reader to do more research on Petra. Check out some sites on the Internet for more information. I did find T. L. Higley (Tracy) on Facebook. She has traveled through Greece,Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy to research. I look forward to reading more of her books. ( )

Nov 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Talon of the Unnamed Goddess by J. R. Tomlin

Talon of the Unnamed Goddess

This was not a good read for me. I hate to begin negative but felt there were so many names and I tired of the war scenes.

Aisha is a Talon, one who is prepared for war and protection of others. Aisha is contracted to protect Rhiannon who is the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Grayna. She has been prepared for the challenge by training for ten years; one of the few women who accomplish this. I found her a strong character and very qualified in her tasks. The book focuses on protecting Rhiannon and helping her to regaining the kingdom of Grayna after the death of her father.

The book has plenty of descriptions of the battles and wounding and death of the warriors. There are no heavy intimate scenes and what was there was well done.

I liked the main characters of the book but would have liked more personal and less battles. I think the book was well written and good descriptions on places, food, herbs and people.

I give this 3 stars.

This is my opinion and hope I do not prevent others from reading this. I have enjoyed other works from the author but not this one as much as I had hoped. I want to thank the author, J. R. Tomlin, for the opportunity to read and review this book. The opinions are my own. I received a complimentary copy from Smashwords, LibraryThing and J. R. Tomlin.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Hardest Thing to Do

The Hardest Thing to Do by Penelope Wilcox

This book is the fourth in a series about a 14 Century Monastery and the lives of the monks that lived there. This is the first of the series I have read but did not take long to know the characters. When Father Peregrime was described in the early part of the book, my mind pictured the High Lama in Lost Horizons, portrayed by Sam Jaffe. The author has the names of the characters in the front of the book and their positions at the Abby; this helps connect the characters. She also has a glossary of terms and a Liturgical Calendar in the Catholic Church's year. This book dates the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. The preparation of Easter and the food and sacrifice one does during Lent walks the reader through some of the requirements of Lent. Food was a major factor and I loved the descriptions of the types of foods and herbs.

Brother John now is the new abbot and is now called Father John or Abbot John. The old abbot, Father Peregrine died and John in now in charge and working at preparing himself to serve as he feels an abbot should serve God and run the Abby at St. Alcuin.

There is a monk from an Augustinian religious order that has come to St. Alcuin for refuge. He is Prior William from a nearby monastery, which had burned down; a place that was more evil than good (as I read into the story) and a problem to the St Alcuin Abby; not all the monks welcome him and he becomes a big factor in the story. One monk uses the word "hate" for his feeling for Prior William. The book has emotion and feelings that brought me, as the reader, into the book.

There are so many human factors in this book such as forgiveness, hate, love, compassion, work, family, death, sin and Church; it keeps the reader interested in the story and the men at the Abby. I appreciated the Latin because it is no longer used in Mass and I for one, miss that. I would have never called a Priest by his first name, taught to us at an early age, and this was new to me to read. I found the book easy to read and a page turner for me. Not too much religion but enough for any faith to read. This would be a good book club choice.

I found what I personally think the Hardest Thing to do was but I will let the reader determine what they feel is the Hardest Thing to Do would be for them.

I received a complimentary copy of The Hardest Thing to Do from Net Galley to read and review. The opinions are my own.

I wish to thank the author, Penelope Wilcox for the opportunity to read and review The Hardest Thing to Do.

Leona Olson