End of Year Update

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Baby has arrived!
My beautiful baby girl was born November 1st at 9:16 pm. She weighed a healthy 8 pounds 7 ounces. My husband and I are smitten by her. For a person so tiny, she sure keeps me busy! It’s an accomplishment to get dressed and eat lunch by 2:00 pm now, so blogging has fallen to the wayside. Before the end of the year, however, I wanted to update you on a few literary things that have happened in my life recently.

1). Remember my post about writing to authors? Well, I got a response! Katherine Neville sent me a signature. I was surprised since I had written to her in September of 2013. The signature is now proudly displayed on my bookshelf in front of her novel, The Eight.

2). I also had a response from another author – but in a different way. Not long ago, I posted about Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s novel Bittersweet. I mentioned how I was confused by the story’s setting. I went on Goodreads and posed the question on the book’s page. I figured I would get a response from a fellow reader. Lo and behold – I received a response from the author herself. It answered my question and it made me appreciate the book more because the author took the time to respond.

3). I was further surprised to hear about the upcoming closure of my favorite bookstore. The Barnes & Noble located inside the historic Chateau Theatre in Rochester, Minnesota, will close at the end of December. I am saddened to hear this news and hope I can sneak in one last visit over the holiday season. It’s a unique space and who knows what will happen to the building once the books move out.

Happy Holidays to all. May your holidays be filled with lots of family, laughter, good food, and great books.

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Entry #10 – Current Read:

currentreadEntry #10 – Current read:  Speaks for itself—what are you reading right now?

A week ago, I started reading Steve Berry’s 2012 novel The Columbus Affair.  I’ve been a fan of Berry’s for several years, so I was excited to start reading this novel.  I’ve already read ten other books by Berry, including The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophecy, The Third Secret, The Templar Legacy, The Alexandria Link, The Venetian Betrayal, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Paris Vendetta, The Emperor’s Tomb, and The Jefferson Key.  Berry writes fast-paced thrillers that tie in to history—for example, discovering the hidden library of Alexandria, finding the descendants of Alexei and Anastasia, or uncovering the reason why China’s First Emperor is guarded by an army of terra-cotta warriors.

I became a fan of Steve Berry after my aunt gave me The Eight, written by Katherine Neville.  In the book, a computer expert and chess aficionado travels to Algeria to recover pieces of an old chess set.  The story jumps between different times throughout history when the chess set, once owned by Charlemagne, is pursued by people who believe the chess set can lead to incredible powers.  I was immediately hooked by the history, the mystery, the danger, and uncovering the truth about the chess set.  My aunt had told me this was one of her favorite books of all time, and I could completely see why.  I set out to find more books written by Katherine Neville and was disappointed to find out that she hadn’t written many other books.  At the time, Neville only had A Calculated Risk and The Magic Circle published, along with The Eight.  I read her books and was left wondering—what now?!  Where else can I get my historical-thriller fix?!  Luckily, I found out that Steve Berry was another author that excelled at this type of writing.  Berry quickly became a favorite author.

If you’re a fan of history, action-packed thrillers, conspiracy theories, Dan Brown, or Disney’s National Treasure films, I highly recommend any of Steve Berry’s books.  You won’t be disappointed.

Here is Amazon’s blurb on The Columbus Affair

A family’s secret, a ruthless fanatic, and a covert arm of the American  government—all are linked by a single puzzling possibility:

What if everything we know about the discovery of America was a lie? What if that lie was designed to hide the secret of why Columbus sailed in 1492? And what if that 500-year-old secret could violently reshape the modern political world?

Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist Tom Sagan has written hard-hitting articles from hot spots around the world. But when one of his stories from the Middle East is exposed as a fraud, his professional reputation crashes and burns. Now he lives in virtual exile—haunted by bad decisions and a shocking truth he can never prove:  that his downfall was a deliberate act of sabotage by an unknown enemy. But before Sagan can end his torment with the squeeze of a trigger, fate intervenes in the form of an enigmatic stranger.  This stranger forces Sagan to act—and his actions attract the attention of the Magellan Billet, a top-secret corps of the United States Justice Department that deals with America’s most sensitive investigations. Sagan suddenly finds himself caught in an international incident, the repercussions of which will shudder not only Washington, D.C., but also Jerusalem. Coaxed into a deadly cat-and-mouse game, unsure who’s friend and who’s foe, Sagan is forced to Vienna, Prague, then finally into the Blue Mountains of Jamaica—where his survival hinges on his rewriting everything we know about Christopher Columbus.