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Jana L. Perskie "ceruleana" (New York, NY USA)

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October Road
October Road
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 22.62
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars James Taylor Is Back And Better Than Ever!!, Jan. 9 2004
This review is from: October Road (Audio CD)
Over 35 years have passed since I first heard the warm, vibrant, smooth sound of James Taylor's voice and acoustic guitar. This artist just keeps getting better. Like a fine wine he mellows with age. After a five year hiatus from recording, Taylor is back with this extraordinary CD, "October Road." After listening to this fantastic album I can assure you it has been well worth the wait.
The album's first cut, the wonderfully romantic "On The 4th Of July," tells the story of how he and his new wife met and fell in love during that Independence Day a few summers ago: "And the smell of the smoke/And the lay of the land/And the feeling of finding one's heart in one's hand/And the tiny tin voice/Of the radio band/Singing "Love must stand"/Love forever and ever must stand." "September Grass" is another great song, about love and the changing seasons, and is one of my favorite cuts. Not all the selections are love songs, however. "Belfast To Boston" addresses the age-old strife in Ireland - a haunting prayer for peace and forgiveness. "Whenever You're Ready" is upbeat jazzy with a Brazilian touch, terrific background horns and the sound of Taylor whistling at the song's close. "Raised Up Family" showcases Taylor's love for vintage soul and "Caroline I See You" is a deeply moving ballad. Taylor's daughter Sally sings background vocals on "Traveling Star" and "Baby Buffalo." "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," a melancholy, unusual arrangement with Larry Goldings on piano, John Pizzarelli on guitar, and Harry Allen on tenor sax, was recorded right after 9/11 and it is the most beautiful version I have ever heard.
James Taylor is one of my favorite musicians of all time. If you like/love/enjoy his music, you will find this CD well worth the price. It's GREAT!
JANA

Slightly Scandalous
Slightly Scandalous
by Mary Balogh
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
88 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Another Light, Pleasant Read From Mary Balogh, Jan. 8 2004
Lady Freyja Bedwyn is not the usual Regency romance haute ton beauty. In fact she is not a beautiful woman at all, although many would call her handsome, with her prominent nose, dark brows, olive complexion, and mass of fair unruly hair. Her high spirits, independence and competitive ways are anything but ladylike. She was raised with her four older brothers, Wulfric, Duke of Bewcastle, Aiden, Rannulf, Alleyne and younger sister Morgan, and matched her male siblings in all their sporting activities. She was definitely not one to sit still and play the fragile female.
The story opens with Lady Freyja visiting friends in Bath. She has escaped the christening of her ex-fiance's son back home and is depressed by old memories of a time when they were betrothed. She hides her vulnerability behind a veneer of icy pride. In an outrageous encounter on her journey to Bath she meets Joshua Moore, Marquess of Hallsmere, when he barges into her bedroom at a local inn and begs her to hide him. The two meet again in Bath under extremely funny circumstances. This brash, adventurous young man is fleeing his aunt's matchmaking schemes and is much taken by the strongwilled Freyja. There is obvious chemistry between them. In a spontaneous moment the two decide to fake a betrothal - he to get away from his aunt's matrimonial plans, she to prove to the world that she need not remain a spinster. Obviously fate intervenes and the couple is unable to announce their break-up within the week as they originally planned.
This is the last book in the Bedwyn family trilogy. "Slightly Scandalous," as with the first book "Slightly Married," makes for a light and pleasant romantic read. The plot is not very original, although it is much more complex than the storyline in book one. I did like Josh as a hero. He appears quite cavalier at first, but then the depth of his character becomes obvious. I also enjoyed the scenes with their families at their different estates - Freyja's at Lindsey Hall and Josh's in Cornwall. The other characters are charming if predictable. Ms. Balogh writes in her usual warm, emotional style which enhances the somewhat over-used plot. I enjoyed reading "Slightly Scandalous" and do recommend it as long as potential buyers/readers realize that this is not Ms. Balogh's best effort.
JANA

Slightly Married
Slightly Married
by Mary Balogh
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
90 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant But Predictable Romance, Jan. 8 2004
On a battlefield in Toulouse, France, 1814, Colonel Lord Aidan Bedwyn gives his word of honor to one of his dying soldiers that he will "protect the man's sister - no matter what!" The English had prevailed over Napoleon's army and Colonel Bedwyn, home on leave in England to visit his large family, stops at Ringwood Manor in Oxfordshire to personally break the sad news to the man's sister, Eve Morris. Determined to discover the problem that caused the vehement promise to be exacted, Bedwyn discovers that Miss Morris and all her dependents are to be evicted from their home and reduced to penury unless she marries within the next four days. Her father had bequeathed the manor and land to her for the period of one year. If she had not married in that time, the estate would go to her brother. If he were to die, then a social climbing, grasping cousin was to inherit. Bedwyn, a man of his word, proposes a marriage of convenience to allow the lady to live out her life on her estates. As Bedwyn had never planned to marry, he would, of course, return to the army and the couple would never meet again. As fate would have it, the marriage turns out to be anything but convenient and their time together is prolonged with interesting consequences.
This is the first of a three book series about the Bedwyn family - Wulfric, Duke of Bewcastle, his brothers Aiden, Rannulf, and Alleyne and sisters Freyja and Morgan. This novel about Aiden and Eve makes for a light and pleasant romantic read. There is nothing complex about the tale, no subplots or much tension between the characters, who are charming if predictable. Ms. Balogh writes in her usual warm, emotional style which enhances the somewhat over-used storyline. I enjoyed reading "Slightly Married" and do recommend it as long as potential buyers/readers realize that this is not one of Mary Balogh's best efforts.
JANA

Walk-On
Walk-On
by D. Mikels
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.23
12 used & new from CDN$ 18.61

5.0 out of 5 stars A Story Of Obsession, Fantasy & The Human Dilemma., Jan. 3 2004
This review is from: Walk-On (Paperback)
With simple, direct prose author D. Mikels tells a whale of a tale about the joy of competition, the human dilemma and fantasy run amok.
Justin Chastain, nineteen year-old son of the parents from hell, finds himself an orphan when his estranged father pulls-off a double murder suicide. Justin's mother was one of the victims. Mike Wilson, Chastain's first cousin, retrieves the dazed adolescent after the funeral and takes him home to his wife and daughters. Justin is shy, introverted and lacks confidence, but is a really good kid, especially considering his background. The Wilsons hope to give the boy a new lease on life and the opportunity to go to college.
Mike Wilson seemingly has everything a man could want - a beautiful, loving wife, two bright, healthy daughters, a good job and a lovely home. He is not a happy man, however. He obsessively relives his fifteen minutes of fame, long ago in high school, when he played a significant part in winning the final football game of the season. Wilson was a fierce competitor but unfortunately lacked the physical attributes to become a good athlete. He was admired by all, especially his former coaches, for his drive and commitment to the game. His greatest fantasy has always been to have the body and stamina to match his brain, drive and knowledge of football...and to have another chance in life to be a great athlete. I am reminded here of the old adage: "Be careful what you wish for, it might come true."
Fate brings Justin and Mike together. Intense longing, natural phenomena and powerful chemistry combine to play havoc with their destiny.
This is a tightly written, compelling novel by an extremely talented writer. The characters are so realistic they just about jump off the page. I know as much about football as I do about rocket science and I have never been motivated to learn more about the game. But this story has universal appeal and has much more to do with the human spirit than with a spectator sport. If you happen to enjoy football - than that's a plus and will add to your enjoyment. I could not put this book down once I began reading and did learn a lot, in spite of myself. Highly recommended!
JANA

The Last Arrow
The Last Arrow
by Marsha Canham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Swashbuckling Medieval Romance!! Excellent!, Jan. 1 2004
Filled with swashbuckling adventure, sweeping pageantry and the story of a passionate romance, Marsha Canham outdoes herself with this superb historical novel. "The Last Arrow" is the final book in a trilogy which began with Ms. Canham's "Through A Dark Mist," followed by "In The Shadow Of Midnight." It is not necessary to read the first two books, however, in order to thoroughly enjoy this one. The author gives a wonderful summary of her previous two novels here, and this book certainly stands on its own very well. I have read many series novels and rarely does an author succeed in continuously creating fresh ideas and storylines throughout. One of Ms. Canham's major achievements with this trilogy is that her plots are always original, never repetitious or contrived, and her characters continue to grow and acquire depth as the years, and pages, pass. The backdrop for this adventure-filled romance is medieval England, Wales, Normandy and Brittany during the reign of King John "Lackland."
Lady Brenna Wardieu, daughter of Lord Lucien Wardieu, Baron de Gournay, (called the Black Wolf), is the book's heroine. Lovely, but not ladylike, Brenna has tagged after her warrior brothers since she could crawl. With much tutoring and practice she has become a master of the longbow, rivaling the best archers in the land. Feisty, with the heart of a noble knight in her woman's breast, she meets her match in Griffyn Renaud de Verdel, a mysterious mercenary who unknowingly trespasses on her father's land. Taken aback by her skill with the bow and arrow, Griffyn could have still overpowered Brenna. He allows her, instead, to capture him and bring him to face her family. She discovers that Griffyn and her brother Robin have already met. The two men jousted in the past at a tourney. Griffyn lost - the only loss he had sustained in many years. The consequences were tragic. He is intent on a rematch at the great upcoming tournament in Chateau Gaillard, Normandy.
This wonderful adventure begins long before the treachery at the French tournament. There are fascinating plots and subplots, filled with meticulously researched historical detail and peopled with extraordinary characters. England's troubled times and her evil king are woven into the story with great skill, as is a unique version of the Robin Hood tale. Political intrigue, hatred, revenge and fated love abound. Family sins and throne-rocking secrets are exposed. Royal power is unleashed. Some pretty unsavory, depraved characters murder, maim and threaten. Love and passion sizzle. Armored knights ride to battle and a royal princess is rescued. This novel has it all - from cliff-hanging escapades to steamy sensuality. The action doesn't stop until the last sentence on the last page.
As usual Ms. Canham writes with elegance and flair. Her characters are lifelike, varied and, occasionally, quite humorous. This wonderful book is definitely a keeper!
JANA

In the Shadow of Midnight
In the Shadow of Midnight
by Marsha Canham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Medieval, Romantic, Swashbuckling Adventure - Wonderful!!, Dec 31 2003
Filled with swashbuckling adventure, sweeping pageantry and the story of a passionate romance, Marsha Canham outdoes herself with this superb historical novel. "In the Shadow Of Midnight" is the sequel to Ms. Canham's "Through A Dark Mist." It is not necessary to read the first book, however, in order to thoroughly enjoy this one. The author gives a wonderful summary of her previous novel here, without being repetitious at all. The backdrop for this adventure-filled romance is medieval England, Wales and Brittany under the reign of King John
"Lackland."
Eduard FitzRandulf, illegitimate son of Lord Lucien Wardieu, Baron de Gournay, (called the Black Wolf), is renowned in his own right as a skilled and noble knight. He is also the champion of the lovely Pearl of Brittany, Princess Eleanor Plantagenet, daughter of the deceased Duke Geoffrey of Brittany, son of Henry II and brother of King John. Princess Eleanor's brother Arthur was heir to the English throne after the death of King Richard the Lionhearted. John usurped the crown, and when Arthur sought to retake it, John had him imprisoned and killed - rumor had it by John's own hand. Eleanor was now the true heir and John's prisoner.
As the story begins, William, Marshal of England is visiting his old friend Lucien Wardieu at his home, the Chateau D'Amboise in Tourane. The reason for the visit is to inform Wardieu and his warrior sons that John of England, through nefarious schemes, intrigue, robbery and murder is bankrupting the country. The Marshal also wants Princess Eleanor to be rescued and knows the best man to perform the task is Eduard. While this political reunion is taking place, William's niece, the beautiful and willful Ariel de Clare turns up with her brother and two friends/escorts. King John had sought to marry the young woman off to an unworthy suitor for his own profit, while her uncle was away. She crossed the English Channel to France seeking help and winds up accompanying Eduard to England as part of the plan to aid the princess. Needless to say sparks fly between Ariel and Eduard from the moment they set eyes on each other. The romance is extraordinary, as is Ms. Canham's research and the historical detail she includes in her writing.
This is one wild adventure! England's troubled times and her evil king are woven into the storyline with great skill. Family sins and throne-rocking secrets are exposed, royal power is unleashed, some pretty unsavory, depraved characters murder, maim and threaten, love and passion sizzle, armored knights ride to battle and a royal princess is rescued. This novel has it all - from cliff-hanging escapades to steamy sensuality. The action doesn't stop until the last sentence on the last page. As usual Ms. Canham writes with elegance and flair. Her extraordinary characters just about leap off the page. This wonderful book is definitely a keeper!
JANA

Cry No More
Cry No More
by Linda Howard
Edition: Hardcover
54 used & new from CDN$ 0.27

4.0 out of 5 stars An Unusual And Intense Romantic Thriller!, Dec 29 2003
This review is from: Cry No More (Hardcover)
Milla Edge Boone and her physician husband had almost completed their year in Mexico where Dr. Boone was donating his time to a free-care clinic. The birth of their baby son, six week-old Justin, had brought even more joy to the already happy young couple's lives. Then one day Justin was snatched right out of Milla's arms in the local marketplace. As she tried to prevent the kidnapping, Milla was stabbed and barely survived the attack.
Ten years later, Milla, now divorced, is still searching for her son and for those responsible for abducting him. She is the founder of an non-profit organization called Finders, dedicated to finding lost or kidnapped people, especially children. A focused and determined woman, Milla often puts her life at risk following leads that might bring a young child to safety. She seems to have a natural instinct, a street savvy, for finding lost little ones. One of Finders' wealthy patrons, True Gallagher, has set his heart on making his professional relationship with Milla a more personal one. The other man in her life, the dark, deadly and dangerous James Diaz, was originally a suspect in her son's abduction. Now cleared of the crime, this mercenary and part time government agent is assisting Milla on her decade-old search for her child. Both these men have hidden agendas. And Milla is in more danger than she could ever imagine.
This is a heart-stopping thriller with an alpha-male hero who will take your breath away. Linda Howard has dealt with the terrible topic of child abduction with great sensitivity. Be prepared for an emotional read and have some tissues ready for the dramatic conclusion. A terrific book!!
JANA

Through a Dark Mist
Through a Dark Mist
by Marsha Canham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Medieval, Swashbuckling Romance-Filled Adventure!, Dec 29 2003
Filled with swashbuckling adventure, sweeping pageantry and the story of a passionate romance, Marsha Canham outdoes herself with this superb historical novel. Set against the dark forests and royal court of King John "Lackland's" England, Ms. Canham brings to life a unique version of the Robin Hood tale with this story of political intrigue, hatred, revenge and fated love.
Recently widowed, 18 year-old Lady Servanne de Briscourt has been bartered into her second marriage. Though she is beautiful and intelligent, her husband-to-be, King John's champion Lord Lucien Wardieu, Baron de Gournay of Bloodmore Keep, is more interested in the lands she will bring to her marriage than in the bride herself. In the large, dense forest known as Lincolnwoods, Lady Servanne and her armed escorts are ambushed on their journey to the up-coming nuptials by a band of outlaws armed with longbows. The outlaw leader, known as the Black Wolf, claims his name is Lucien Wardieu, the true Baron de Gournay - and that Lady Servanne is his hostage. The escorts are sent on their way, minus their weapons, to inform the pretender at Bloodmore Keep that his bride is being held captive.
This is one wild adventure! Family sins and throne-rocking secrets are exposed, royal power is unleashed, some pretty unsavory, depraved characters murder and threaten, love and passion sizzle, armored knights ride to battle and are thwarted by a band of merry and determined men and one woman. This novel has it all - from cliff-hanging escapades to steamy sensuality. The action doesn't stop until the last sentence on the last page. As usual Ms. Canham writes with elegance and flair. Her extraordinary characters just about leap off the page. This wonderful book is definitely a keeper!
JANA

Under the Skin
Under the Skin
by Michel Faber
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.96
48 used & new from CDN$ 1.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Take A Surreal Ride With Isserley On Highway A9!, Dec 28 2003
This review is from: Under the Skin (Paperback)
Isserley drives for a living. She motors along Scotland's A9 and looks for male hitchhikers - buff, hunky males, the bigger the better. If a man meets her standards, she takes them on the ride of their lives...destination unknown. Isserley is tiny, though well developed where it counts. She is shy, introverted and scarred - inside and out.
"Under The Skin" is a chilling, bizarre, and erotically charged novel that explores how we view humanity, other races and species. Michel Faber almost forces the reader to observe how we, as human beings and caretakers of the earth, protect our environment and each other. This psychological thriller is at times macabre and gruesome, occasionally humorous with its satirical take on mankind, and often very sad. It is difficult not to empathize with Isserley's moral dilemma, yet how can we not condemn her? It is impossible to judge and we are not asked to here.
Mr. Faber's demonstrates his seemingly boundless imagination with this, his debut novel. If you allow him, he will take you to places you've never been to before in the world of fiction. Faber's plot and characters are some of the most original I have encountered in a long time. He weaves his compelling tale with a tightly written, elegant narrative and superb dialogue. He also created a language for the book that reminds me of the "Nadsat" language in "A Clockwork Orange." I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Faber's "The Crimson Petal And The White" and, wanting to read more by the author, picked up "Under The Skin." The two novels are as unalike as two works of fiction can be, although both are clearly written by the same extremely talented author. If you are looking for a totally unique reading experience, this is it! I doubt very much that you will be disappointed.
JANA

ATP People's Guide To Mexico
ATP People's Guide To Mexico
by Carl Franz
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 1.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Been There. Done That Best With People's Guide!, Dec 27 2003
If you're headed south of the border, down Mexico way - then pack a suitcase and be sure to include "The People's Guide to Mexico." Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary edition, this is the travel book to take along if you want the real lowdown on Mexico. Every important travel topic is covered here - From: how to get to Mexico; when you arrive, how to get around (bus/driving, etc); the best of Mexico - the regions - where to travel in Mexico and when (weather/climate, etc.); best hotels/pensiones/accomodoations; restaurants and local food; markets and shopping; local fairs; and speaking Spanish - To: exchanging money; necessary vaccinations and preventative healthcare; tourist information; safety and the law...and so much more. Also included are black & white illustrations, charts, maps, and an English/Spanish dictionary.
If you are looking for a standardized, purely factual guide to a five star stay and 4-5 star resorts, and only like to travel first class, THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU. If you enjoy colorful stories, personal experience and gaining real insight into the culture of our neighbor to the south, then this IS your book! Written in an entertaining style, it offers many practical tips and personal anecdotes. I have traveled back and forth between the US and Mexico for years and this is the only book I take. Even as a seasoned traveler to the country, I learn new and interesting things about Mexico all the time from "The People's Guide."
Winner of the "best travel book" award from the Independent Publisher Association, this is one of the most popular guides on the market. Highly recommended!
JANA

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