ALL THINGS HARRY DRESDEN:Last year I became a huge fame of all things Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher. What can you say about a modern day wizard who has a huge heart, is an unintentional knight in beat up armor (sorry Harry but the end does not always justify the means) and loves to make a lot of noise. The last book Ghost Story was, I must say was my least favorite (but even so it will still hold a place of honor on my bookshelves), but am still looking forward to seeing how Harry handles being the next Winter Knight.            

ALL THINGS SHANNARA:From the first Shannara book to the last I have been an avid follower of Terry Brooks. There’s just something about elves, dwarves, druids and good old fashion other worldly things that I just love.  I can hardly waite for the new Wards of Faeirie series to come out. May the elves be with you Terry.

ALL THINGS R.A.SALVATORE: I can’t believe it took over half my life to discover Drizzit Do’Urden. My oldest son Aaron started reading about him twenty years before I did. Have no idea how that happened. Again…love it. It’s hard to beleive Salavadore has written over thirtyfive books about the same character; that is pretty impressive. I’m working on five and praying that my brain doesn’t go dormaint on me before its finished. Just a side note: it’s a bit of a challenge that it took Drizzit over fifty years before he had his first date though. That’s what I call a late bloomer.

ALL THINGS CHARLAINE HARRIS: What needs to be said about Sookie Stackhouse? Don’t we all wish we were blonde, tan and had both the living and the dead wanting to hold our hand? Charlaine has put a whole nother twist on what it means to date a dead beat man. And who’d a thought we’d want to? But it’s not just the undead that Charlaine brings to life,  I adore her Aurora Tea Garden murder series and need I say it- Lily Bard and the little town of Shakespear Arkansas as well.

ALL THINGS JANET EVANOVISH: This one took me a couple of tries but after about the third book the treadmill and I were hooked. When I finish reading one of the Stephanie Plum books I always close the cover thinking “Well shoot, compared to her my life is a walk in the park.” If I need a quick pick me up book, than Janet is my go to girl. In a matter of minutes I’m bustin a gut imaginin Lula and Stephanie trying to catch a skip and Ranger and Morelli standing back, flippin a quarter over whose turn it is to bail her out. She’s got a new series ‘Wicked Appetite”. Read the first installment and liked it (she’s expanding the character Diesel and his Unmentionable’s). Looking forward to book two Wicked Business in May – can hardly wait.

ALL THINGS KATE SHUGAK: Here’s anothrer series that I fell in love with and am in the process of tracking down the hardbacks to complete my library. Dana Stabenow is a brilliant writer and just gets better and better with every book. I’m am currently indulging myself in her Liam Campbell series and find that I’m liking it almost as much as the Kate Shugak. Almost makes me want to move to Alaska.  Her stand alone books aren’t too shabby either. Oh heck. Just buy them all.

ALL THINGS ALAGAESIA: Chistopher Paolini’s Inheritance series was wonderful from start to finish. To think he started out brilliant…what stars will that boy reach next. I could taste Tolkien and Brooks influence in his writing, but since I grew up on Tolkien and fell in love with Brooks (don’t say anything to him or his family- it was crush, nothing more) I see nothing wrong with someone immulating either of these two great writer’s. I should be that good. This is a series that should sit next to Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia and all of Shannara.

ALL THINGS  ANITA DIAMANT: This is an author I absolutely adore. She is a jewish author who weaves a unique blend of culture and the fragility of being human into her words  in a way that draws the reader down into her characters as though you were sitting beside them looking at a photograph of the story they are telling you. My first read was Last Days of Dogtown set in Cape Ann during the 1800’s. It is a poignant book about the gradual death of a small town, it’s unexpected hero’s and the love and loss that made them so. The next read was Day After Night;based on the factual story in October of 1945 when over 200 Jewish prisoner’s were rescued from the Alta internment camp outside Haifa. It’s the story of four woman who have found a way to survive the Nazi’s, the loss of their family and friends and now must find a way to take all that pain and loss and find a way to build a new life. Brilliant. Currently I’m reading The Red Tent. I’ll let you know my thoughts when I’m finished. 

Well I just finished The Red Tent and for once, I’m not sure I have a well enough developed vocabulary to discribe how brilliant this story is. I come from a very saturated Christian background, but Diamanta’s discription of the jewish traditions of The Red Tent and the sense of belonging and purpose that was woven into what has become for most American woman a point of shame, left me breathless. Suddenly I saw just how powerful birth, life and the life giving blood of a woman womb formed and molded and entire culture. It was, and still is, profound. It is a book I recommend for both women (that they might once again regain a sense of how powerful the Lord has created us to be) and men (that they might  once again know how to honor and cherish us). Amazing.

Good Harbor. Another great story by Diamat. This one touched me because it the story of two woman (one my age, the other younger), each dealing with very different crisis in their lives that bring them together. The older woman Kathleen,  learns that she has breast cancer. The younger woman Joyce, is struggling with a young pubescent  teenage daughter and a neglectiful husband.

When haven’t we experienced or been through similar circumstances?

Not long ago a close friend of mine had to walk through the nightmare of dealing with breast cancer. I felt completely useless. All I could be was a friend; I couldn’t take the cancer away, I couldn’t stop the pain or fear or terror. But on the other side, being a friend was more powerful than either the chemo or the radiation. She didn’t need me to fix it or take it away. She just needed me to be there and hold her hand when the darkness was too much.

Set in a cross-religious culture of Catholicism  and Judaism, Diamat once again weaves together the binding force that happens between women in crisis and shows us how powerful the strands of faith and friendship really are.

Anita, I’m looking forward to the next one.

ALL THINGS SARA DOUGLAS: Sara Douglass is an Aussie writer of Fantasy and I fell in love with her when I read the following series: The Axis Trilogy; The Wayfarer Redemption;The Dark Glass Mountain; The Threshold and The Hanging Wall. I never wanted them to end. Fact I loved them so much they all sit right next to Shannara.


Cinda Willams Chima; David Farland; Irene Radford; Mary Stewart; Steven Lawhead; Brian Jacques; J.A.Jance; Rick Jordan;Cassandra Clare; Elizabeth Hayden; Ann Perry;Patricia Briggs;

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