Author Archives: Sheila (Book Journey)

LETHAL by Sandra Brown

LETHAL Sandra Brown, Sheila DeChantal, Book JOurney

 

Honor Gillette is a young widower of a Police Officer.  She now lives alone with her 4-year-old daughter trying hard to provide a stable life for them both.  When a man is found laying in their yard apparently harmed Honor goes to help him only to discover that he is the man flashed across the tv screen that the police are looking for the murder of 7 people, Lee Coburn.

Lee takes Honor and her daughter hostage in their own home, promising if they cooperate he will not hurt them.  Honor has no choice but to do as he says. As the days unfold Honor realizes that Coburn is much more than what the media is saying… in fact as Honor is about to learn – nothing is as it seems and who to trust, including those closest to her becomes the burning question.

How do you run away from the very people who days earlier would have been the ones you would run to?

 

 

 

I read this book as part of our June book exchange for book club.  This is the book that I picked out of the pile of wrapped books.  I had attempted Sandra Brown a few years back thinking I would like her writing style but struggled and had not finished the book, or picked her up since.  This was going to be another attempt.

 

LETHAL was an ok read.  From the moment Honor finds Coburn in her yard and takes her hostage I started having a little Labor Day by Joyce Maynard feeling.  Both books had single mom’s and a single child, both books the woman was taken hostage…. While in many ways the books are not alike, there was just enough there to make me feel like I had been here before.

The storyline felt a bit over the top, however I did find the book to be interesting enough to keep me going to find out what was going to happen.  When I shared my thoughts with my book club in July about this book I called it a steamier version of Labor Day.  In the end I preferred Lee Coburn’s character over Henry in Labor Day.  Coburn was someone I could cheer on…. Henry… not so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Meanderings… CHANGES. Stay Awake For It

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Life is strange.

Stay awake for it.  ;)

I am sitting here this morning pajama clad and coffee ready.  It is the start of what looks to be another beautiful day.  I feel much like I am on the brink of something new and exciting but at the same time I am all knotted up inside.

Tomorrow will be my last day at a job that I have had for over ten years.  It is something I have given a lot of thought too… prayed over for the last couple of months… and finally took the step I needed to.  Current life happenings helped me make the final decision… (life has a funny way of doing that).

While sentimental Sheila is sad to move on from something she really enjoyed, realistic and adventurous Sheila knows it is the right thing to do.  It is possible to be sad and excited all rolled into one.  Future plans include setting up my home office, putting my writing back on track, and being able to say yes to a few offers that have come in that I had to say no to in the past.

Life also…

is never dull.

Last weekend my friend Amy and I were on the Tour Of Saints bike ride which we do every year.  I will talk more about the ride on Saturday morning but for now, I want to talk about the coffee. :) mmmmm coffee.

I picked up coffee the morning of the ride at Carribou Coffee and saw they had a promotion going on for people who took pictures of whatever they were doing with their coffee and hast tagged it #stayawakeforit.  Always game for new things I figured why not.  I would think leaving in the early hours on a Sunday morning for a what was going to be a sweltering hot day would be worthy…

Sheila DeChantal, Amy Price

#stayawakeforit

 

Life… is not always easy.  But is can be adventurous, and fun, and as I mentioned above…. never – NEVER dull.  Stay awake for it.  ;)

 

What are your “stay Awake For It” moments happening right now?

The Book Exchange.. How It Works And Why It Is Awesome

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The book club I am part of (The Bookies) have had a fun exchange that we have taken part in for the past three years.  I recently posted about it here.  It is a lot of fun and a great summer break idea for your book club or for you and your friends just to read really great books.

Here is the basic layout of how to do it.

  • Pick a date when you ask each person in your group to bring a wrapped book to the group.  (*we encourage brown wrap so people do not choose by the packaging ;) )
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY – The book everyone brings NEEDS to be a book the giver has read and liked very much if not LOVED.
  • Inside the front cover of the book place a post it note saying why you loved the book so much and if you want the receiver to keep it or return it after is read.

 

At your gathering you each choose a book and what you pick is what you read.  When you meet up again, you each share the book you read, who gave it to you and what you thought of it.  It is a lot of fun.

 

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Our group does this every June so in July during our annual picnic, we share what we each read instead of a whole group book review like we do the rest of the year.

 

collage for BJ

 

This year some of the books that made this exchange were:

 

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Burial Rights by Hannah Kent

Night by Elie Wiesel

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

Lethal by Sandra Brown  (this is the book I picked out of the pile)

Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

City Of Bones by Cassandra Claire

That Night by Chevy Stevens

 

My favorite part of the whole process is to listen to what everyone thinks about the books.  As you can see above we had some pretty amazing books in the group and a couple really deep ones (Night and Boy In The Striped Pajamas – two books that I think everyone must read.  For the most part everyone really enjoyed the book they picked.  As readers, at least I know for myself… I love it when a freind recommends that next great read.

Morning Meanderings… SQQQQUUEEEE Package In The Mail!

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Mmmmmmmm coffee.

It was a long stormy night here.  By the time I went to bed the wind was picking up and a lot of thunder and lightning. With temps in the 90′s and the high humidity as well it had been said that we could get winds up to 70 miles per hour in this storm which yes… is a bit concerning.  I sat up in bed and watched out the window for a while worried about my trees, deck furniture, the wild rabbits….

alas, sleep won over.

This morning, things look good.

There are a few branches around but all is well.  I walked out and checked my crazy apple tree too; the one I have propped up with stakes to help its heavy branches and it is fine.

*whew*

 

In other news…. don’t you love receiving packages in the mail?  I love it!  Books thrill me…. every time.  It never gets old!  And the occasional package shipped from a friend or a fellow book lover is another level of exciting!  These are a little more personal because they are planning something just for the receiver.

I had signed up for The Book Monsters Christmas In July for just this reason.  I was given my swap partner which was Tula at Primary School Library Diva, we exchanged a wish list and a little bit about ourselves.  SO FUN! 

My package arrived yesterday…

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Fun right?  YAY!!!  The Rowell book is one from my wish list!  SUPER exciting stuff!  A fun magazine, Skittles, and a cute little card.  Thank you Tula!  LOVE it!!!  I hope you love yours too :)

 

Finally this morning, I hope you seen my post I put up yesterday afternoon about the Page Girls Birthday Week and Giveaway.  It is pretty sweet and a fun site to check out.  (And to be clear the pic is of my blowing a party horn…. lol… there has been some confusion about what is in my mouth or in front of my face. )  :D

Have a super Tuesday!

Page Girl’s Birthday Week Celebration and Giveaway!!!!

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey, The Page Girls

Life has been hard here lately, I am not going to lie.  So when Cecily from The Page Girls asked if I wanted to be part of their launch celebration I jumped at the chance to be part of the fun.

I like fun.

The Page Girls is a lit magazine with themed weekly issues with short stories, book reviews, essays, videos, cocktail recipes, and more.  (Which one of these topics catches your attention?  ;) )

This week – as their official kick off they are having daily giveaways, fun discussions, and more!

The Page Girls, Book JOurney

As part of this weeks celebration they allowed me to join in on the giveaways!  I will be giving away an E-Book copy of Here For The Cake and a set of these super cute coasters :)

The Page Girls

SQQQQUUUEEEE right?  and the coasters match the book cover so how sweet is that?

 

To enter this giveaway please pop over to The Page Girls and look at their site.  Come back here and leave a comment on something you seen or liked on their page.  :)  That is it.  I will draw a winner on Saturday morning and send that winner the link to the E Book and the coasters.

 

The Page Girls, Book JOurney

 

 

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Hey there!  Welcome to It’s Monday, What Are You Reading!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. Fair warning… this meme tends to add to your reading list!

It was another week of not a lot happening here in the reading world.  Here is what I did post:

The Three by Sarah Lotz

Brown Bag Author Event:  Julie Kramer

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

Save The Date by Mary Kay Andrews

The Third Plate By Dan Barber (excellent non fiction!)

 

Ok ok… when you look at that list you would think I read a lot this week, but the only one of these I finished this week was Save The Date, the others are just reviews I am just catching upon.

 

I am exhausted from going on a 50 mile bike ride today in high heat and strong winds so I am not going to list what the plan is for this week.  Please add your link to It’s Monday What Are You Reading below where it says click here.  :)

 

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Morning Meanderings… Going To Woodstock!

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Good morning!  I am up early this Sunday all ready to head out the door, pick up my friend Amy and hit the road for our annual 50 mile bike ride in St. Joseph Minnesota.  We have completed this ride for probably 4 years now (maybe 5)… and it always seems like it is a HOT HUMID day.  Today… is no exception.  Looks like it will be in the 80′s and humid.  Packed double water today.

It is always a good time… even if we do complain about the hills and the humidity.  ;)

 

Here are the books that I welcomed into my home this week:

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After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid ( this was on the Summer Reading hot list)

 

Barefoot In Babylon by Bob Spitz (this is all about Woodstock and I am crazy excited about it!  I can only find a link to the old one, but this book is a new revised copy!)

 

The Bone House by Brian Freeman (Brian was our author at the library last week and he told me this was the book of his to start with.)

 

That’s it.  I need to go… want to pick up coffee and a banana.

Have a super Sunday!

The Third Plate by Dan Barber

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Living in the age of more creates some unique opportunities.  While we are enjoying going out and eating larger than ever portions with meals that fill platter size plates and every fast food joint now not just offering you up the fries, but also asking you if you want to SUPER SIZE that, or more sneakily, “what size would you like?”

Mmmmmmm…

choices.

Do you know how hard it is it so stay “I will take the small” at that point?

Beyond the quite obvious obesity problem parts of the world is having there are other things to consider as well….

supply and demand.

The number of chicken, cows, pigs, and fish to sustain our every growing need to have it available at restaurants and at the local markets is not only staggering, but in this reviewers opinion… disgusting.  As Author and Chef Dan Barber says, that we are being fed (literally) a false promise of the future of food.

The First Plate is the classic meal most of us grew up with; the prime focus being on a large piece of meat, with very little vegetables on the side.  The farm to table movement reflects the current, and second plate where we are becoming more conscious of what we are putting into our mouths.  Looking for more local and organically grown choices, however as Dan points out in his book, is not long-term sustainable.

The Third Plate is based on a system featuring vegetables and grains and working with what the local farmers have at different seasons.

 

At the restaurant I serve a parsnip steak that was soil-aged for 14 months. We roast it like a steak, carve it like a steak and serve it with a rich bordelaise sauce made from beef bones. We flip the classic arrangement on its side. The anatomy of the first or second plate is there, but in keeping with what our landscape can provide. ~ Dan Barber

 

Dan Barber feels there is a healthy way to make this a win for our bodies, the farmers, and make it delicious.

 

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I am fascinated by foodie books.  I love to read about restaurants, cooking, chefs, and new ways to do things.  When I stumbled across The Third Plate while looking for my next audio I was intrigued.  We have local friends who gave up meat 2 years ago using the logic that some day, it will not be offered to us anyway as truly the world can not keep up n the ever-growing population and the ever-growing demand.

Seriously, kudos to them… but I am not ready for that day to come.  Sheila loves chicken!

Author Dan Barber is not proposing a non meat society, what he is offering up in The Third Plate is a radical change on how we look at the dinner plate.  His unique way of looking at the plate and how we can use local resources is fascinating.  He proposes how each area of the world uses the resources the land gives them to create delicious meals and support local growth and support.

I wish I took better notes when listening to this audio.  There are so many interesting facts as Dan visits sheep farmers, fisheries, and more.  The numbers are staggering… the supplies required to complete the demand are almost heartbreaking to me.  What people have learned about how a goose dies affects the taste of the meat is amazing.

This is one I will need to purchase the book because I hope to refer to this one time and again.  I was truly fascinated with everything I learned.  While at points it felt drug out in audio format, I imagine the book would not give the same feel.

Recommended for those who love foodie books like me, people interested in trying new things, and healthy eaters.  Dan Barbers thinking makes a lot of sense to me.

 

I am linking this post up to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.

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Morning Meandering/Saturday Snapshot: People Slut

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Happy Saturday!  Ok ok… my title of this post might have been a ploy to get you click over thinking “Oh my word Sheila… what is going on?”

Or…

Maybe not.  Read on to find out. ;)

This weekend is the BIG Moondance Jam in our area and many of the Brainerdites and people all over Minnesota have gathered in Walker Minnesota to listen to a weekend of awesome bands, eat super bad for you but delicious food, and drink lots of beer and camp on site.  There are a couple of bands I would not have minded hearing:  Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, STYX, The Wallflowers….  but honestly I can only take the big crazy crowds for so long and I would want to just go, listen to some bands and leave (not camp) and it is a long drive… so anyway….

AND

Another group of friends are having their Class Reunion this weekend….

basically, Brainerd is pretty empty. :)

I tell you all of this… leading into my Saturday Snapshot this weekend, it is all about where I am thrilled to be this weekend… at home, hanging out on my deck which is my favorite place to be when the sun is out and the breeze is gentle.  So this morning, I took a little walk through my yard taking a few pictures of some of the things that make me smile:

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

This swing sits in the back yard. I don’t sit in it very often anymore but I like the look of it and at one time it was a great reading nook.

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

Hostas along side of the garage…. I love hostas! They do not take a lot of work, grow huge… and make me look like an impressive gardener (I am not)

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

My crazy apple tree.. the one that never has an off-year and breaks its branches because the apples are too heavy. You may remember the pics of this one last year after it broke in half.

 

Book JOurney, Sheila DeChantal

This is where the tree broke last year and a friend of mine told me you could actually graft the tree branch and tape it back together… crazy idea but what did I have to lose?

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

It worked! This picture was taken this morning from the broken branches! Of course… it looks like it is going to be heavy with apples again so I am worried all over….

 

 

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This is a walnut tree. I am pretty proud of the walnut trees in the yard. There are 5. I don’t know why… no one else around has them… but they have always been on this property.

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Walnuts!

 

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Plum tree! I planted this one after the tornado in 2001.

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

Plums! I only have the one tree so do not harvest large quantities for jelly, etc… I usually leave them for the birds.

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

I like to put out goodies for the critters…. this one is peanuts for the squirrels.

 

Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

We have several crab apple trees in the yard and these do rotate years. This year this appears to be the only one that is going to crazy produce. I think this fall I will make jelly.

 

For more Saturday snapshots… check it out here!

 

Ok…. you have been patient, listening to me babble, looking politely at my pictures and smiling and nodding… I can now tell you about people slut.  I seen to be going through a sentimental season.  I am trying to connect with family and friends and spend time with them.  In other words – I am working on SLOWING DOWN.  Yup.. I said it.  I love being with people – all people (thus the people slut title, which I believe a friend once called me (affectionately – not mean) because I can talk to and enjoy talking to … anyone.

 

Anyhoo… maybe that did not hold up as well as I thought it would when I thought of it this morning. :)  Oh well… still nice to hang out with you.

Today… I am reading California by Edan Lepucki.  I am listening to I Don’t Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer.  I am trying to line up a lunch date with my cousin.  I may go to a movie later with Al.  And tomorrow morning, I am going on an annual 50 mile bike ride is St Joseph Minnesota with my friend Amy.

What are you doing with your weekend?

Save The Date by Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews, Save The Date, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

Cara Kryzik is the owner of a Savannah flower shop called Bloom.  She truly loves her job but with her father on her case for the money he loaned her to start her business, a landlord that will not return her calls when things in her store are not working, a walk in flower cooler that is unreliable, irate mother of brides, and an assistant who is acting stranger and stranger….

what is going to be her breaking point?

When a good-looking guy steals her dog, Cara does not have time to deal with him and manage her flowers for the upcoming weddings… and when this cool drink of water shows up at the wedding Cara is working, she can not believe his gall.  Is he following her???

While Cara is working out the kinks of her own life living event to event knowing that she is one cancelled wedding away from calling it quits… Jack the dog thief has other plans.

 

 

 

Save the date was another fun romp of a read by Mark Kay Andrews.  I enjoyed the protagonist who could not catch a break and the cast of characters that surrounded her flower shop.  I could imagine this as a fun movie.

Looking for a great summer read or in my case, listen?  Do not hesitate to add Save The Date to your list.  Narrator Kathleen Mcinerney does a wonderful job managing a cast of southern fun voices!

 

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 13 hours and 47 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: June 3, 2014

 

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