Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Review: A Wife for Mr. Darcy by Mary Lydon Simonsen

A GENTLEMAN should always render an APOLOGY

When Mr. Darcy realizes he insulted Miss Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly, he feels duty bound to seek her out and apologize...

When he has INSULTED a LADY

But instead of meekly accepting his apology, Elizabeth stands up to him, and Darcy realizes with a shock that she is a very different type of lady than he is used to...

Darcy is more intrigued than he's ever been by any young lady, but he's already entangled in a courtship. It's a brutal predicament for a man of honor who only longs to follow his heart...

*          *           *

Fans of Pride and Prejudice are well aware that on more than one occasion, Fitzwilliam Darcy states things he later comes to regret.  We first witness this at the Meryton Assembly where he declares that his future love, Elizabeth Bennet is not “handsome enough” to be tempting.  Like in Jane Austen’s original novel, Mary Lydon Simonsen’s personification of Darcy also comes to regret the statement, but he quickly travels to her home to apologize.  Austen’s original plot is adapted frequently from there, but the themes remain the same.  Darcy lives within a genteel world with social, financial and familial responsibilities, and these issues complicate his journey to happiness with the woman he comes to love.

Earlier this year I read Simonsen’s The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy and enjoyed it very much.  The writing is well done, appropriate for the period, but isn’t stilted or difficult to read.  The same can be said for A Wife for Mr. Darcy, but I must admit that I have enjoyed my second experience with this author even more with this latest title.  Darcy and Elizabeth again must dance around the inconveniences of their stations, there is humor and wit in the writing, and I appreciated the lack of extraneous plot points.

I was also pleased at Simonsen’s ability to create romance and sexual tension within the story without revealing ridiculous amounts of detail.  She put a few points out there, and mature readers can easily fill in the blanks.  {SPOILER WARNING} – It was also so refreshing to have a modern author choose to have Darcy and Lizzie’s first time together – gasp! – On their wedding night, not before!!  There were a few steamy details, but given some other things I’ve read in recent years, this novel was tame.  And after all that these characters had been through to be together, it was a welcome moment.  I was genuinely happy for them, for their restraint and for their marital joy. {End Spoiler Moment}

The cast of characters within the story also contributed to its quality.  There are the usual names seen in Austen's original novel, with some given more or less attention than they have in the past.  Georgiana loves to play the little matchmaker and plays a significant role.  However, Lady Catherine De Bourgh is hardly seen at all.  One of Darcy's relatives, Lord Antony Fitzwilliam, is a colorful individual, the life of the party who brings a certain energy with him wherever he goes.  Simonsen augments and diminishes original characters, and brings in new ones, all to great effect, as the plot consistently moves along in a pleasant way. 

If you share my love for Austenesque novels, particularly ones have tones that are true-to-period, both in style and in plot choices, A Wife for Mr. Darcy will be a fine choice for you.  Mary Lydon Simonsen brings new ideas and plot twists to this classic tale, but the characters stay true to their original incarnations.  Darcy is an honorable, proud man.  Lizzie is romantic yet a strong, modern woman.  Wickham is a cad, and Lydia is a fool.   Mr. Collins is painfully loquacious and Jane is Lizzie's confidant. And while all of these characteristics may be expected, A Wife for Mr. Darcy brings new paths, suspense, laughter and romance to this beloved world.  Once again Mary has produced excellent work.  I count this title among my recent favorites and look forward to more work from this talented author.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Giveaway Results: Thunder of Heaven & Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard

We have our winners!  Sorry for the delay-- I've been in the midst of house-hunting for our move to Savannah, GA and tacked on a family trip to Louisiana as well.  But I finally had a minute or two to calculate the winners of our Thunder of Heaven and Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard giveaways.

The winner of Thunder of Heaven is
Vicki of I'd Rather Be Reading At The Beach

The winner of Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard is
Darlene of Darlene's Book Nook.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone who entered.  Stay tuned for more giveaways.  Remember, if you subscribe to The Calico Critic via email or are a member of our Facebook group, you'll always know when the next contest is rolling out.  Thanks for participating!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coming Soon: The Paradise Prophecy by

Lately I've been in the throes of packing up to move to Savannah, Georgia, so my pages-read-per-day rate has decreased significantly.  I'm still plugging along as much as I can, and I'm looking forward to some exciting titles for the end of summer leading into fall.  One title that I'll be reading in the near future is The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne.  The folks at alerted me to some new book trailers-- check them out!

A spectacular thriller inspired by John Milton's Paradise Lost in which the final chapter of the War in Heaven is about to play out on Earth, with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. 


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review: A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly

From the Victoria Connelly website:

Dr Katherine Roberts is a lecturer at Oxford University and an expert on all things Austen. But she has a guilty secret; a love of racy Regency novels by Lorna Warwick. She’s even struck up a long-distance friendship with the novelist and the two of them have been sharing their closest confidences.

When Katherine gets her yearly invite to a Jane Austen Conference at the magnificent Purley Hall in Hampshire, she sincerely hopes that Lorna will be in attendance as well. She can hardly wait to meet her new friend, but it seems that Lorna may not have been completely honest with her…

Meanwhile, hopeless romantic Robyn Love is at her happiest when her head is stuck in one of Jane Austen’s novels – if only her boyfriend Jace Collins could be more like Colin Firth.

The weekend retreat is the perfect opportunity for Robyn to escape from reality for a few days – especially when she meets handsome stable hand Dan. But Jace isn’t going to be so easy to shrug off.

With misunderstandings, muddles and a few shocking revelations, the weekend proves to be even more than they bargained for. Like all true Jane Austen heroines, Katherine and Robyn will discover that finding their own Mr. Darcy is far from easy…

*          *          *

A few years ago, before writing for The Calico Critic, I read Shannon Hale’s novel Austenland.  It was one my first forays into the genre of Austenesque fiction and I just adored it.  Since then I have read other novels with the similar theme:  Modern Janeite women who are obsessed with Austen, looking for their own Mr. Darcy.  Some of the titles I have read were fun and enjoyable, others less so.  Fortunately, A Weekend with Mr. Darcy falls into that more positive category.

Victoria Connelly’s plot is fairly simple—two Janeite women meet at a Jane Austen conference and become entangled with new love interests of their own.  Each has their own separate story but are connected by their new friendship.  They enjoy the conference they’re attending, but encounter obstacles in their quest for true love with the men that they meet.

Weekend’s overall story was easy to foresee, but that did not make it boringly predictable in any way.  I loved Connelly’s light style of prose and how she chose to develop the characters.  Their journey to the unquestionable ending was romantic, full of anticipation and even sometimes humorous.  I was completely hooked at the end of Chapter 2, fifteen pages into the book.  On more than one occasion I was kept up far past a respectable bedtime, struggling to put the book down.  Each chapter was delicious, and I always wanted “just one more bite”.

As a modern novel, there is a small amount of adult material within the story.  However, Connelly handles any premarital goings on with tact and very little colorful detail.  As a conservative reader, I highly appreciated this.  She got her point across without salacious illustrations of bedroom activity.  Thank you!

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy was such a delight, the best of its type since the aforementioned Austenland.   It’s a perfect read on your own weekend away this summer, and I highly recommend it.  If you’re a fan of Jane Austen’s work, or the many film and movie adaptations, or even the huge industry of Austenesque novels that have cropped up in recent years, you will love this title.  Connelly’s love for all things Austen is highly apparent, and she connects with her Janeite readers in a delightful, fresh way.  A Weekend with Mr. Darcy is time well spent.

This title was provided by Sourcebooks Landmark.
No obligation other than a honest review was required.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Peak Fit Challenge - End of Week 8

I've survived and thrived in the eight weeks of the Peak Fit Challenge! This was a great week, bittersweet in some ways.  I'm excited about completing this session, but in many ways I'm going to miss the structure and excellence within this program.  Although I'm going to enjoy other videos in my collection, the Peak Fit Challenge will always remain a favorite.  I hope to return to it soon.

Click here to watch video excerpts on the PeakFit Challenge website.

Fellow PeakFit Challengers, share your thoughts, too!

Get your body in peak condition in just 8 weeks with the PeakFit Challenge™, the revolutionary exercise and nutrition program that will help you burn more calories so you can get that lean, ripped, head-turning body you've been dreaming about!

* * *

Week 8, Day 1  (8.1)  July 6, 2011

Today’s Workout: Cardio Strength II
Weekly Weight: 156.6

Despite last week’s water retention, I stayed on track and the results finally showed up on the scale!  I lost three pounds this week, now putting me well within the range I need to be considered a healthy weight.  My new goal is now 155.8 pounds, which would put me down 10 pounds since June 9th.  I have one week left in the challenge, and I think if I stick to it, I just might make or exceed that goal!

Today’s workout was Cardio Strength II.  I was determined to give it 100%, as it will be the last time I do the DVD during this challenge.  I stuck to the 12 & 8-pound weights for the entire workout, which I haven’t been able to do for the whole of CSII done before.  There were a few times when my range of motion with the 8-pound weights was a little smaller than usual, but I made it through.  My energy stayed up well during the entire routine, although I was drenched and spent when it was over.  CSII is a tough DVD—I can see how it’s been delivering great results!

Day 8.2
Today’s Workouts: 
Core Dynamics and Pure Cardio

My morning was pretty busy, but I managed to squeeze in Core Dynamics before I had to run my husband to work.  CD is not my favorite routine, but I know it works and that this would be my last time doing it during this challenge.  Not only did I give it my all, but I tried doing a few moves that I’d been modifying in the past.  I even managed to get on my toes when we were on the floor kicking our one leg back with the band—super tough!

Doing Pure Cardio later that day was bittersweet.  I’d had an upsetting family incident that morning, and for a bit I was unsure if I’d even be able to get the energy up to do the video.  But I love Pure Cardio so much, it gave me the desire to do put the DVD in today.  Knowing it would be my last Pure Cardio session for a while, I really gave it my all this time.  Even later when my thoughts drifted back to my earlier family conflict, I forced the tears back and determined to do my best and enjoy PC one last time.  I kept up really well and got a great workout, forcefully “throwing the hammer” with all my might during the last moments of the routine. This one is going to be missed!

Day 8.3
Today’s Workouts:
Pure Strength II and Dynamic Flexibility

On the schedule for today is Cardio Interval Burn, but I’m going to save it for the last workout before my Fit Test.  So I’m skipping to the next day on the schedule, which has Pure Strength II and Dynamic Flexibility on tap.

More family difficulties put me in a foul mood today.  I did not want to work out.  Moreover, I honestly wanted to go take a dive into a bowl of some kind of simple carbohydrate! I’m so thankful for the structure of this program—I’m so close to the end, I didn’t want to mess up all my good efforts with some carbo-binge.  I managed to push through the frustration and get the workout into the player. 

Although the workout went fine, you know it was a bad day if I even felt annoyed with Michelle! I didn’t even want to hear her voice or work out with her!  But I managed to get my act together and give it 100%, using my 8 and 12 pound weights and maxing out on all the moves.  The only exception—I still can’t do those tricep pushups on my toes!  But despite the moody start, it was a good workout and went just fine.

Later that afternoon I had an amazing, redemptive conversation with the family member with whom I’d been having trouble, and I was in a completely different mindset for the second routine of the day, Dynamic Flexibility.  This one is very effective, but it hasn’t been my favorite.  However, I was feeling so great that evening, I was glad to do it.  It wasn’t even a concern when the household wasn’t able to clear out and I had to do the routine in front of everyone.  It’s amazing how a good mindset can make all the difference.

Day 8.4
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Strength I

Despite staying on track with food and exercise, my weight has been climbing for the last couple of days.  The only way to account for this is the increased hand weights in my workouts and stress at home.  Studies have shown that stress can cause weight gain.  I guess it’s time to get some of that frustration out and get some pounds off the scale!

While I wasn’t overly excited about working out, I was definitely in a willing mindset and was enjoying an almost-empty house as two of my men had gone to the local pool.  So it actually came as a surprise when I noticed that my energy levels were far below what they usually are. Minutes into the workout, I kept waiting for my adrenaline to kick in and for my body to get going.  It never did.  In fact, my stamina, strength and energy declined as the segments progressed.  It was really strange, and frustrating.  I pushed as hard as I could and was sweaty as usual by the end, but my performance was severely lacking today.  Reasons? Stress? Stayed up too late last night? (Couldn’t put a fun book down!)  Who knows?  I wish this hadn’t happened so late in the Challenge, but I’ll just continue to do my best and soldier on.  Three more days to go.

Day 8.5
Rest Day

It was a nice day of leisure, although I did end up taking a 30 minute stroll while on the phone with my parents.  I usually call them once a week, and sometimes I use the little .23-mile block of road in front of my house as my treadmill.  It’s unpaved and sandy with little traffic, so it makes for a decent close-to-home option for me to stretch my legs.  Between that and a trip to the store to get a few grocery staples, I was able to still rack up over 12,000 steps for the day on my pedometer.  Ten thousand is a great number to aim for on regular days, so 12,000 is even better!

Day 8.6
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Interval Burn

I deliberately switched around the schedule this week a bit in order to do this particular workout today.  It’s a favorite, and I always feel like I’ve truly accomplished something when it’s completed.  At over an hour in length, it’s the longest workout of the series.

Today went very well, thankfully.  After the disastrous workout on Saturday, I was a little worried.  But I made sure to have a good breakfast and lunch to fuel up, and I got right to it.  Thankfully, the energy was there this time.  Knowing it was the final full workout of the series, I pushed myself as hard as I could.  It was tough as usual and I shed plenty of sweat, but I loved every second of it.  I can only describe the hour as an act of joy.  I was so pleased at my progress, having fun and incredibly grateful to God that He’s given me the body that can do this and the motivation to make it happen. While I’m ready to try some new routines, I almost don’t want this series to end. 

Day 8.7
Today’s Workout:
  Fit Test

I can’t believe it’s been almost eight weeks since I did my first Fit Test.  It has gone by so fast, but at the same time it seems like it’s been such a long time.  I was excited and nervous about today’s results, hoping that all my hard work would pay off in equally hard numbers. 

As the workout began, I wasn’t bowled over by what I was seeing.  I added 7 reps to my Alternating Lunges, and that didn’t seem like quite a lot.  Next was Prisoner Squats, and I only added 9 to the 32 that I did 8 weeks ago.  But as the test progressed, I began to be excited about my numbers.  The results really began to emerge.  As we performed the Ankle-Grabbers, I was stunned at how quickly and easily I was able to perform these full-body situps.  Sit-Outs, which were a brand-new move for me two months ago (and very difficult to perform initially), have now become a favorite. I cranked them out with no trouble at all.  And Burpies!  A couple of months ago I could barely do them.  On the Fit Test, I was able to increase them by 75%!!  The 28 minutes flew by, and at the end I was very happy, very pleased with the results.  Below are my totals for each 60-second segment and some extra data:

Wow.  I am just amazed.  Yes, pounds have been lost, but look at the improvements in fitness levels!  Tomorrow will be 8 weeks exactly since I started the Peak Fit Challenge, so I’ll take measurements and get a final weight for the session then.  So check back soon for even more results!

*          *          *

May 2013
BLOG POST UPDATE - May 2013: I have since done the Peak Fit Challenge on multiple occasions.  After my third round of the series, I had the privilege of being featured on Michelle's website.  Check out my blog post here:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Peak Fit Challenge - End of Week 7

Seven out of eight weeks of the Peak Fit Challenge are completed! Wow.  And this was one of the best weeks yet.  I gained strength and stamina, and I feel great!  Read on for plenty of details!

Click here to watch video excerpts on the PeakFit Challenge website.

Fellow PeakFit Challengers, share your thoughts, too!

Get your body in peak condition in just 8 weeks with the PeakFit Challenge™, the revolutionary exercise and nutrition program that will help you burn more calories so you can get that lean, ripped, head-turning body you've been dreaming about!

* * *
June 29, 2011  Week 7, Day 1  (7.1)
Today’s Workout:
Pure Strength II
Weekly Weight: 159.6

Well, I wasn't exactly happy with my weight this morning.  For the past 7 days I stayed on track with my eating and gave it my all during exercise. I guess I can only blame it on my monthly water retention and frequent muscle building, because I know that I've made progress physically.  I'm just going to have to stay on track and hope for results in the future.  This has served me well in the past several weeks, so I’m just going to stay the course.  I was tempted several times today to over-indulge, thinking that it didn’t matter anyway, that I wasn’t losing weight regardless of my efforts this last week.  Of course this isn’t true—it does matter.  Imagine where I’d be if I had not been eating well!  I could have gained even more, and it wouldn’t have been water retention, but a gain in fat.  No thank you.

Today’s workout went pretty well.  I used the 8 pound weights for my light ones about half of the time, and I only rarely had to go to my knees for pushup work.  My triceps are still pretty weak.  But my arms are trembling ever so slightly as I type this, so I know something must have been accomplished today!

Day 7.2
Today’s Workouts:
Pure Cardio and Core Dynamics

I just love Pure Cardio and was really looking forward to today’s workout.  I took the boys to their Vacation Bible School class and came home to do the longer of today’s two workouts.  It was enjoyable as usual, but I had an interesting frustration—my workout top has gotten loose enough that my straps kept falling off my shoulders!  This has been developing over the last couple of weeks as I’ve been shrinking, but this morning it was downright ridiculous!  About 20 minutes into the workout, during one of my water breaks I went into my room and changed.  When I purchased my new workout togs several weeks ago, I bought them all in size Large as well as Medium, in the hopes that I would one day need the smaller size.  The day has come, at least in the torso area!  I put the new Medium top on, and while it’s a tad snug around my tummy, it felt great and wasn’t in danger of falling off at any point.  So exciting!

The workout itself went very well.  I took about half the water breaks, every 10 minutes instead of every 5.  My energy level was great, and I kept up with the cast just fine.  I still don’t care for the “party shuffle” near the end of the workout, but everything else was fabulous, and I love every minute of it.  This is one video I’m going to miss doing when the Challenge is over and I’m on to new things. 

The end of the Peak Fit Challenge is also coinciding with the end of 5 years of living in south Florida.  We’ll be moving to Savannah in mid-August, and we are beginning to say our goodbyes in small ways.  Along with the twinges of sadness that I have over leaving Vero Beach, I also have mixed feelings over nearing the end of the PFC.  I’m sure I’ll return to it someday, but in 12 days I’ll be ready to be on to new material for a while.  And while I’m doing other things, I’m going to miss this.  So many goodbyes are going on these days—sigh!

Later in the day I did Core Dynamics, which is still not my best routine.  I see improvement every time I do it, but it’s miniscule for sure.  I did slightly better with the PFC band, the concave roll-overs and I used the 8lb weight instead of my 6lb this time.  Every bit of improvement adds up, I guess!

Day 7.3
Today’s Workout:
The Anywhere Anytime Workout

When I looked at the schedule today, it said I could do Cardio Strength II and/or the Anywhere, Anytime Workout.  The thought crossed my mind—do they really mean “and/or”, or just “or”?  Surely people don’t do both of these types of workouts in one day!   Just to be sure, I wrote Michelle and asked her to clarify.  She confirmed that in this case, it is indeed an “or” choice, that no one does both of these workouts.  It’s okay to pair Dynamic Flexibility with a second workout, but on a day like this, just choose one workout.

Feeling reassured, I chose to do the second option, as I was short on time before I needed to go pick up the kids.  I gave it my all once again, seeing small improvements along the way.  I was pretty spent by the end, as I was barely able to complete the final Peak section with the tuck-jumps-to-plank. But overall it was a great workout. Drenched in sweat, I showered off and showed up at my sons’ Vacation Bible School looking like a drowned rat, albeit a clean and freshly dressed one!

Day 7.4
Today’s Workouts:
Pure Strength I and Dynamic Flexibility

Son Matthew, Pre-Haircut
Unlike yesterday, I had plenty of time and chose to do both workouts on the schedule, as DF can be paired with other workouts on the same day.  My husband took my elder son Matthew to check out an antique airplane and then to get a haircut.  Younger son Colson, who became bored during a previous visit with the same plane, stayed home and had the extreme joy (hardly!) of watching me work out.

Pure Strength I went well today.  I used the 8 and 12 pound weights throughout, and most of my pauses were to just get situated with the PFC band.  The lying chest fly with the 12 pounds was extremely difficult, as was the standing bicep curls with the PFC band.  However, the lat pull down with the band went so well, I was able to choke up on it just a bit for the first time. Progress!

I’ve decided that I have a love-hate relationship with Dynamic Flexibility.  For the majority of the 29 minutes I’m not exactly having “fun”, but that isn’t the point, is it?  I find that my body doesn’t naturally want to perform these moves, and it can be a struggle sometimes.  However, by the end of the routine I feel really great, and I’m always glad that I took the little extra effort to get it done.  I’m grateful I had the time to do it today. 

Day 7.5
Rest Day

Today is a rest day, but not without its challenges.  I’m battling the urge to abandon my healthy eating and not behave myself.  My stomach isn’t grumbling—I have a psychological need to overindulge.  Fortunately, I have a very understanding husband who is enabling me to avoid temptation right now.  My church is having an Independence Day pot luck/celebration, and I feel like an alcoholic who needs to avoid the bar today.  Sometimes I navigate through potluck events with no problem, but right now I’m feeling really weak. If I attended,  I’d either stumble nutritionally or would be miserable wanting to do so. 

So this morning I made up a healthy edamame/pasta/chicken salad to contribute, and hubby let me stay home from the event after our church service this morning.  I arrived home to see the very last point of Wimbledon on television and have been enjoying the quiet house ever since.  The guys are having fun with the burgers, hot dogs and inflatable playhouses at the celebration, so everyone’s happy.  I know I can’t always be a recluse and avoid all social situations with nutritional pot holes, but I needed to today and am grateful for the oasis.

Day 7.6
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Strength I

Today is the 4th of July, and I was unsure how I was going to work in my exercise today with everyone home for the holiday.  Fortunately, my hubby had to take the boys out on errand running about an hour after lunch—perfect!  I got the A/C cranking, got my water and towel ready, and got right to it.

For some reason, for the last day or so my left knee has been feeling weird.  There isn’t a lot of pain, but when I turn my upper body while my feet stay planted, there is some kind of tendon or ligament around the knee that feels funky.  I don’t know if there’s some inner band that has been strained from the workouts, but today I was very cognizant of that part of my body.  Anytime Michelle had us doing any quick twisting or turning, I didn’t necessarily slack off in my efforts, but I took care to watch the knee.  To quote the great Petra Kolber, we should always “unload that weight” when working out and doing quick movements on carpet.  As much as I like having the extra padding of the carpet, it can still be dangerous.

I gave it my all again today, using the 8 and 12 pound weights again.  Those amounts are still pretty challenging for me—who knows when I’ll be ready to move up a level.  I kept up with the class pretty well, although my tuck ski jumps in one of the Peak sections are still pretty pitiful.  But I stayed on my toes for all pushup-related moves and was able to complete everything, including no problems with the knee.  As I’m writing this, my husband just called to say he’s on his way home.  Perfect! 

Day 7.7
Today’s Workout:
Cardio Interval Burn

Anticipating a cardio-heavy workout, I had a hearty breakfast of oatmeal with walnuts, whole wheat toast with sugar-free spread and 3 egg whites.  An hour later I felt fueled up, and I noticed that the kids were happy outside playing.  As I’m sure they’ll be inside later today avoiding the heat, I decided to go ahead and get the workout done, instead of waiting for the afternoon.

This was by far the best execution of Cardio Interval Burn to date.  It was tough, sweat-inducing and challenging, but my energy level was great and I kept up just fine.  There was one moment when I could feel the flexibility gained from Dynamic Flexibility kick in when we had to swing our bent knee around in front of us.  The weakest moment came during the tuck-jumps with the knees open.  Anything tuck-jump related with me is still pretty pitiful!

At one point, my younger son came in, sat on the couch and watched for a little while.  I explained to him what the decreasing numbers were on the screen, so every time I finished a segment and the number went down, he’d cheer me on.  “Yay Mommy!  You’re down to level 7! Level 6 is next!”  It was so cute.

As I write this, it’s now 1:20pm, my hair is still wet and I’m pretty hungry.  I torched some serious calories in that workout—breakfast is GONE!  I’m going to go make up my favorite lunch of salmon on whole wheat, get a shower and enjoy the rest of my day.  Feeling great!

*          *          *

Check back next week for the next installment of my PeakFit Challenge experience!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Coming Soon: The River of Time Series

Very soon I'm going to be starting a new book series, and I'm really excited about this one! It's a new YA time travel series by Lisa T. Bergren called River of Time.  The three books that are currently holding very high positions on my TBR list are:

Waterfall - Released February 2011

Waterfall: A Novel (River of Time Series)Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one.  Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved…and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know…and love itself.

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds…until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Cascade - Released June 2011

Cascade: A Novel (River of Time Series)Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.

But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

Torrent - Releasing September 2011

Torrent: A Novel (River of Time Series)When Gabi and Lia finally learn to surf the river of time, they realize they must make hard choices about life and love in the third and final book in the River of Time series.

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.

But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

Here are some thoughts from Lisa, as well as some book trailers for the first two titles:

The River of Time
Series: a teen time travel series in which two girls go from modern times to medieval Italy. Adventure, romance, suspense, and a hefty dose of conflict will hopefully make this series page-turners for young women…that’s my goal, anyway! I concepted the series after reading the Twilight series with my teen.

Waterfall Trailer

Cascade Trailer

Don't they sound great?  I can't wait to get started!  Let me know if you've read the first two books, and be on the lookout for Torrent, available in just a few months!


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