In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

30 March, 2007

Book Review: Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy

Reviewed for armchair interviews.

St. Anne’s well. It is a relic site, located in the Whitethorn Woods outside of the town of Rossmore, Ireland. It is believed to be a holy place where many people have traveled over the generations. There, they pray and share their hopes, dreams, and fears for St. Anne to hear and answer.

However, the tranquility of St. Anne’s well is being threatened. A new road has been proposed that would bypass Rossmore and ease the traffic congestion that the town currently suffers from. Everyone has an opinion on whether the road would be beneficial to Rossmoor, or not. However, the planned route for the road cuts across farm fields, and through the Whitethorn Woods. If the road is built, the grotto housing St. Anne’s well will be destroyed.

Father Flynn, the younger of the two priests in the town’s Catholic Church, is caught in the middle of the debate. One side believes that the well should be protected, as it is a site of spiritual power. However, the other side scoffs at the superstitions surrounding the well, and argues that progress should be allowed to freely push forward. Father Flynn, not having decided which side to favor, listens to the stories of the people involved in the conflict. It is through these stories that we are introduced to the people living in Rossmore and those visiting the town. The stories show us the town’s past, and how the actions made during the current day will affect and change the town’s uncertain future.

The prolific Maeve Binchy, once again, brings Ireland to life by intertwining each story too magnificently to create a tapestry depicting life in Rossmore. I found that the short story style of the book made the overall story much stronger. I have not read many of Maeve Binchy’s books, but based on this one I will definably look forward to reading more from her.

26 March, 2007

Book Review: The Bone Whistle by Eva Swan

reviewed for frontstreet Reviews

Darly lives on the outskirts of Denver with her mother Vivian. Darly is twenty years old, struggling with school and her first major heart break. As miserable as her life is, she is not looking forward to a summer spent on the Lakhota reservation. Spending her days in an isolated cabin with her mother is not the most ideal summer vacation in Daryl’s eyes, no matter how much it recharges her mother or how long they've been spending summers there.. However, when her grandfather gives her an old bone whistle, it leads to an astonishing discovery: Her father is not dead, as she has believed her whole life, and he was not human, but wanaghi.

Who are the wanaghi? An elusive fey-like folk that lives under the Dakota hills. According to Lakhota legend, they once were a part of the Lakhota people. Long ago, as change was introduced through the coming of the white settlers, the wanaghi made the decision to retreat under the hills and preserve the ancient ways of life.

Determined to find her father, Darly makes her way under the hill into the land of her father’s people. It is a dangerous place full of magic and the old customs. With the help of a young wanaghi named Osni, Darly looks for her father. There is a war raging between factions among the wanaghi and Darly with all her innocence is thrown into the middle of the battle. She is faced with the fact that Osni, the man she has lost her heart to, and her father are on opposite sides in the fight.

As Darly fights for self-discovery during the days that pass, she must struggle with the choices she has been given. Can she show Osni her love for him, reunite her family and help end a battle that may lead to the end of the wanaghi?

What power is contained in the bone whistle her grandfather gave her and can it help her journey?

Author Eva Swan has crafted a lovely fantasy story. I loved the inclusions of Native American legends into the plot. These themes, are explained extremely well, for those not familiar with them without being to simplistic sounding. This is Eva Swan’s first novel, and is a strong debut into the romantic fantasy genre.

23 March, 2007

Spring Reading Challange

Katrina over at Callapidder Daysis hosting the Spring Reading Challange. Books I plan on reading this spring for the spring reading challange:

1. Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
2. Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey
3. Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey
4. Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey
5. Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing by Frederick Franck
6. Rhaeva By Linda Moore
7. Night of the wolf by Alice Bordchardt
8. Tom O Bedlam by Robert Silverberg
9. In the Forest at Midnight by Rita Pratt Smith
10. Good Benito by Alan Lightman
11. Geography of a Heart by Fenton Johnson
12. Hotspur by Rita Mae Brown
13. Witchblood by Will Shetterly
14. Slow Fall to Dawn by Stephan Leigh
15. The Year of the Quiet Sun by Wilson Tucker
16. Riders of the Sidhe by Kenneth Flint
17. The R Master by Gordon Dickson
18. The Forest People by Colin M. Turnbull
19. Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani
20. Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray

This is a good starting list, as I don't know how many review books I'll have to slip in the way between now and the end of June. As you can see, I'm planning on tackling a big series that I've had on my I need to read this list for awhile now. the others are books on my TBR pile gotten through bookcrossing and the old book relay site.

19 March, 2007


Ms Breeni let me know about this comment left on the Amazon posting of the review for Rags and Old Iron.

It was a nice way to start my morning.

I should share the fnatastic comment sent to me by the author of The Flight of the Goose. That one really made my week :)

02 March, 2007

Debut a Debut wrap up.

When Susan over at the West of Mars blog anounced the winners of the Debut a Debut contest last week I was informed that I had won an audio copy of Every Secret Thing by Lila Shaara.

it's been a bit hectic here since I got the e-mail informing me of the win. So, I had filed it to the back of my brain as "Coool, I won something!" (I should test this contest luck I seem to have gained over the past few years and go and buy some lotto tickets). So, today when I pulled in the mail, I opened up an envelope to find a beatiful (but slightly squished) audiobook. I then actaully thought about Susan's email and realized I had seen that last name before. Checking out the author blurb on the back, I find that yes it is a very familiar name. Lila Shaara is the daughter of Michael Shaara and sister to Jeff Shaara. Both of whose books I've devored several times and have copies on my bookshelves gifted to me by my father when I was in high school.

I'm really exited about this one.

We have several audio books in the queu right now, and tend to listen more during long car trips so it might be a little bit before I can listen to this one.

But y'all can be sure I'll post a review of it when I finish it :)

Another cool thing I discovered today is that Neil Gaiman's Stardust has been made into a film, and according to his blog will have a US release date right around my birthday in August of this year.