Friday, 23 March 2012

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

Title: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Author: Jules Verne
Release Date: April 1, 2008 (this version) - originally published in 1864
Publisher: Puffin (Scholastic Kids)
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: Classic Science Fiction


"An ancient book is opened by the eccentric Professor Lidenbrock and his life - and the life of his nephew Axel - is changed for ever. An old piece of paper has tumbled from the book, a priceless parchment that will lead them on a terrifying journey to find what lies at the centre of the Earth.
A timeless adventure, brilliantly introduced by Diana Wynne Jones, one of Britain's top fantasy and sci-fi writers for children" (

About the Author:

I was in the mood to read another classic, and this one had been on my list for a while. I love adventure books and I always had this image and idea in my head of what this book would be like and what the centre of the earth would look like in this book (to Verne.) Well, what I had in my head was NOTHING like what Vernes imagined up lol. I liked that there was a few chapters about why they traveled down to the centre of the earth, but I got to the point where I thought it was getting a bit drawn out. The journey down into the earth was really really interesting and I felt smart because I actually knew some of the stuff Verne was talking about! Glad to see my university degree did something for me...haha. Overall, it was a really fun book and I enjoyed it. I was a bit disappointed because I had sensationalized the story in my head, but that was my own fault and my disappointment had nothing to do with the author and his creation. I firmly believe that classics should be read and that kids and adults alike should be exposed to them (The Lost World? The Secret Garden? The Time Machine?) I hope you will try this classic and many many others! Happy Reading! And if you have read this book, please let me know what you thought of it!

Related Links:

I thought it would be fun to include some of the different titles that have come out over the years of this book. Hope you like them!!!

Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand

Title: Nantucket Nights
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Release Date: May 12, 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: Adult Fiction


"The ties between women can run as deep as the ocean--but so can their secrets.
For 20 years, Kayla, Antoinette and Val have performed their own special summer ritual. Once a year, the old friends put aside their daily, separate lives to drink champagne, swap stories and swim naked under the Nantucket stars. But on one of those bonding nights, one of their trio swims out from the shore and doesn''t return.
After the surviving friends emerge from their grief, they realize that the repercussions of their loss go far beyond their little circle, and they begin to uncover layers of secrets--and their connections to each other--that were never revealed on the beach. What has made their friendship strong now has the power to destroy--their marriages, families, even themselves." (

About the Author:
 "Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa" (

Wow, talk about a book loaded with twists and turns and things that will make you gasp. I was flabbergasted by some of the stuff in this book (in a good way) and was completely shocked by some of the happenings. I have totally fallen for Hilderbrand's work and I hope you will too! It is fun reading about Nantucket and I now picture it as this beautiful place that holds everyone's secrets and reveals them at the most inopportune moments! SUCH a great read! I contacted Elin and asked her if she would be able to answer some questions for me, but unfortunately did not get a response! Such is the life of a blogger! You can't win them all! Happy Reading everyone!!!!

Related Links:

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

An Interview With Lilian Nattel!!!!!

Along with Sarah Jio, Lilian Nattel was kind enough to answer some questions I had for her with regards to one of her books, Web of Angels. If you missed my review of this book, it was posted on January 19th, 2012 and was a WONDERFUL read. It is not an easy book to get through at times due to the nature of the content, but it sure opened my eyes to a whole group of people I have not given much thought to in the past. I strongly recommend you try Nattel’s book, not just because it was a great read, but because she is CANADIAN and we need to support our own!!!!! 

Tammy: Where did the idea for Web of Angels come from?
Lilian: When my children were young, I participated in a chat room for people healing from difficult life experiences. There I encountered many people who’d survived early trauma by developing multiple personalities, i.e. DID (dissociative identity disorder)—in fact more than 2 dozen. In the process, I discovered that someone close to me was multiple, which I hadn’t at all suspected, but made a lot of sense when I found out. I had thought being DID was like Sybil. It drove me crazy that the media images were so far from the reality, and that the quiet heroism of the people I knew was never recognized or acknowledged.
I asked myself a question: what would a mom with multiple personalities see that nobody else could? And then: what was that about? The answer was that many of the people I’d known who had DID had been victims of the crime that underlies Web of Angels. Then on Christmas Eve in 2004, a friend sent me a link to a news story that haunted me. It formed the basis for the opening paragraph of Web of Angels.
T: When writing a book as intricate as this, how do you keep all the details straight? Do you start out with an outline and work your way through it or does the story come in bits and pieces and you have to put them together like puzzle pieces?
L: This is a great question. I would love to work with an outline but I find it doesn’t work for me in the early stages of a book. I need to write a few drafts to develop the characters and get the story down scene by scene. Once I have that, I outline the story as it’s written and work with that to polish, revise, and polish some more to get it tight. With Web of Angels, I used an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the scenes, the voices, and the pacing.
T: There are some disturbing parts in this book which are hard to read. How did you feel when you were writing them?
L: I live what I write; I laugh out loud, I cry, I shiver. That’s how I know it’s strong. Every month there are news stories from across Canada, and the world, like the one in the climax of Web of Angels. I wanted readers to know, when they see those stories in the news, what is really happening. It was hard, but I was buoyed up by looking forward to the resolution I intended to write!
T: How did you come up with the different "personalities" within Sharon Lewis? Are they based on people you know?
L: Having a male personality, a feisty teen, child alters, a stern personality, and someone who thinks rather than feels, for example, is typical. But at the same time what they do and how they work together has to do with who they are as a whole in this story, a middle-of-the-road mom who values home and hearth.
T: Who is your favourite "personality" within Sharon Lewis?
L: Oh, I can’t choose. When I am friends with someone who is multiple, I love the whole and all the parts.
T: When did you first start writing and what did you write (poetry, short stories, novel, etc.)?
L: When I was young, I wrote poetry and short stories but I was frustrated because my characters and stories were always too large for those forms. Finally I realized I needed to write novels.
T: How many novels have you written? What would you say is your favourite one and why?
L: Web of Angels is my third novel and my favourite because it’s been the most challenging and the most rewarding. I love the fact that I’m already getting emails from readers!
T: Are you working on a novel right now? If so, what is it about and when can readers expect it?
L: I’ve got three projects in mind, one contemporary and two historical. And by now I know better than to make predictions.
T: Do you ever do book signings? If so, do you have any planned for the near future?
L: I sign books at every event and readers can check out my website for upcoming events and news. There is a calendar on the events page.
T: How do you spend your free time?
L: Free? (grin) Reading of course. But I have two children ages 10 and 13. Homework and going to their games and lessons take up a lot of my time. I also skate, swim, walk, go to the museum and art gallery when I have the chance, and watch silly TV with my husband, holding hands. I also love old sewing machines.
T: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
L: I wanted to be a writer and have my own school for orphans like Jo in Little Men.
T: If you ever lost the interest in writing and decided you wanted to do something else, what would you do?
L: I was an accountant before I was able to write full-time, but I was just an okay accountant, and I’m a good writer. In fact there isn’t anything else I’m as good at, so I’d better not lose my interest in it!

Thank you again to Lilian Nattel for answering all of my questions! I did not intend to ask so many, but they just kept coming and coming, I could not stop! I really hope those of you who are reading this will give this book a try, as well as Lilian’s other works,The Singing Fire and The River Midnight. Thanks Lilian, and Happy Reading everyone!!!!!

Friday, 16 March 2012

I Love Sarah Jio!!!!!!!!!!!

This blog post will be a bit different from all the rest. A while ago I read my first Sarah Jio book (I heard about her from Jodi Picoult, who I "like" on Facebook.) I decided to start with her first book, The Violets of March, but it does not matter which one you start with (they are stand-alones.) After reading TVOM in one evening (I refused to go to sleep until I knew what was going on), I decided to contact Sarah and ask her if she would answer a few quick questions for me that I could post on here. She was very kind and immediately said yes. She is currently working on her fifth book and is very busy, so while waiting for her answers I decided to read her second book, The Bungalow (also read in one evening.) I have received Sarah's answers and I am so excited to post both her answers, as well as my review for both The Violets of March and The Bungalow, in this blog post. I hope you will give her books a try and maybe someday you will love Sarah Jio as much as I do!!!!

Title: The Violets of March
Author: Sarah Jio
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Plume (Penguin Canada)
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: General Fiction

"A heartbroken woman stumbled upon a diary and steps into the life of its anonymous author.

In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after.

Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily's good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.

A mesmerizing debut with an idyllic setting and intriguing dual story line, The Violets of March announces Sarah Jio as a writer to watch." (,,9780452297036,00.html?THE_VIOLETS_OF_MARCH_Sarah_Jio)

About the Author:
Sarah Jio is a frequent contributor to major magazines, including Real Simple, Glamour, Cooking Light, and Redbook, and is also the health and fitness blogger for She lives in Seattle with her family.

This book was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! The journey the main character has to go on and the story she learns about are absolutely incredible and magnificently written! I got sucked into this story from the get-go and had such a hard time putting it down (which is why I finished it in one night!) I felt like I was part of the story when I was reading it and that everything Emily was learning was having the same effect on me as it was on her. Jio certainly has a way with words and they flow together as though they were always meant to be that way. I think if I continue to say anything more it will just be gibberish and I won't be making any sense. The most important thing I can say is YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!! And I hope you will...

Related Links:
Sarah Jio Website
Penguin Canada,,9780452297036,00.html?THE_VIOLETS_OF_MARCH_Sarah_Jio

Interview with Sarah Jio

Tammy: When did you know you wanted to write novels?

Sarah: I'm one of those people who knew what they wanted to do at a very early age. I wrote my very first "book" at the age of seven, and it was called "A Tug Boat's Dream." Funnily enough, it won a young author award, which is what I think inspired me as a child. I have always loved to tell stories, and after working as a journalist for 12 years, I find it quite freeing to be able to sit down at my desk and use my creativity in different ways (aka "make stuff up"!).

T: Where did the idea for The Violets of March come from?

SThe idea came to me over time as I was thinking about the type of story I wanted to tell. I knew it needed to be a story that came from my heart, and one I felt an affinity to. So, I assembled all of my favorite things, places and ideas—Bainbridge Island, the 1940s, a lost love, and a long-held mystery—and created a story that resonated with me. Now, working on my fifth novel, my rule is that I will not continue writing  a novel if the story doesn't haunt me by day and keep me up at night the way VIOLETS did as I was writing it.

T: TVOM is a pretty complicated story. How did you write a book such as this one? Did you have to work backwards?

S: I admit that I did get tangled in the web of details and past-and-present sometimes. I kept a good diagram going of notes, and frequently checked in with myself to make sure I was keeping things straight as I went. But, as I always do with my novels, I did write the last chapter first. I found that it gave the story a cohesive feel and I loved knowing where I was going and that I had a destination in sight. (Besides, as a writer, there is nothing more satisfying than typing the words "the end"!)

TWho is your favourite character and why?

SI connected with Emily, for sure, but I think my heart belongs to Bee. I love her quirkiness and her strength. I also think I could move right into to her big home on the shores of Bainbridge Island. Forget the month of March—I'd live there year-round! :)

TDo you have any future stops in Canada?

SNot yet, but I adore Canada, and hope to get up to visit on tour, perhaps, for my third novel, BLACKBERRY WINTER, which comes out on September 25th! I'm so excited about this new story, and can't wait to share it with the world.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Sarah Jio! It was a very exciting opportunity for me, and Sarah is the first author I have interviewed! I am hoping to have more interviews with authors in the future! I just received a response from another author, so look out for another interview soon!

Title: The Bungalow
Author: Sarah Jio
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Plume (Penguin Canada)
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: General Fiction

"A sweeping World War II saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting.
In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war.
A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne's determination to discover the truth about the twin losses-of life, and of love-that have haunted her for seventy years" (,,9780452297678,00.html?THE_BUNGALOW_Sarah_Jio)

She's done it again. I could NOT put this book down and, again, I read it in an evening! It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! Honestly, I hope she writes forever because I can't get enough and I would be so sad if she ever stopped! I loved the setting in this book, the South Pacific. I also really like books in war settings, so this was a real treat for me! This book is full of love, loss, betrayal, but most importantly, hope. It is beautifully written and, being a hopeless romantic, I can't get enough of the love story! Jio does not write like other writers and give the reader what they expect, but throws in twists and turns, and keeps you wondering what is going to happen in the end. I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope you try this book! Recommend it to a friend! Recommend it to ALL of your friends! Happy Reading everyone!!!!!

Related Links:
Penguin Canada,,9780452297678,00.html?THE_BUNGALOW_Sarah_Jio
The Literary Life of the Well-Read Wife Blog

*Blackberry Winter Release Date: September 25, 2012