Monday, April 4, 2011

Giveaway: Song of the Silk Road by Mingmei Yip

Song of the Silk Road   Song of the Silk Road by Mingmei Yip
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: April 1, 2011
Paperback, 356 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7582-4182-5

***My review will be coming later this week***

About the Book:

Following her success of Peach Blossom Pavilion and Petals from the Sky is the release of SONG OF THE SILK ROAD (Kensington Publishing, April 2011, $15.00 U.S./$17.95 CAN.), the third novel by celebrated author, Mingmei Yip.  This richly imaginative novel follows one woman’s daunting journey along China’s fabled Silk Road, a life-changing adventure filled with the most unexpected revelations.

As a girl growing up in Hong Kong, Lily Lin was captivated by photographs of the desert—its long, lonely vistas and shifting sand dunes. Now living in New York, Lily is struggling to finish her graduate degree when she receives an astonishing offer. An aunt she never knew existed will pay Lily a huge sum to travel across China’s desolate Taklamakan Desert—and carry out a series of tasks along the way.

Intrigued, Lily accepts. Her assignments range from the dangerous to the bizarre. Lily must seduce a monk. She must scrape a piece of clay from the famous Terracotta Warriors, and climb the Mountains of Heaven to gather a rare herb. At Xian, her first stop, Lily meets Alex, a young American with whom she forms a powerful connection. And soon, she faces revelations that will redefine her past, her destiny, and the shocking truth behind her aunt’s motivations.

Powerful and eloquent, Song of the Silk Road is a captivating story of self-discovery, resonant with the mysteries of its haunting, exotic landscape.

Thanks to the publicist, Media Muscle, I have one copy of Song of the Silk Road by Mingmei Yip to giveaway.  Simply fill out the form below.  US/Canada only.  Giveaway ends 4/11/2011.  

If you have trouble viewing the form, you can find it here.

Book Review: Wickham's Diary by Amanda Grange

Wickham's DiaryWickham's Diary by Amanda Grange
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date: April 1, 2011
Paperback, 208 pages 
Fiction, Historical, Jane Austen Fiction

My Review:
Why I read this:  I haven't read any of Ms. Grange's books before and didn't realize she had written various diaries by Jane Austen characters.  Although I did not like Wickham in Pride and Prejudice I must admit I was intrigued by who he was before Pride and Prejudice and I wanted to see Ms. Grange's take on him.

My thoughts: I loved this book. Sometimes it's easy to be disappointed by other authors taking a stab at Jane Austen fiction, but I was not at all disappointed with Ms. Grange's take on this Pride and Prejudice character.

A quick easy read, written as a diary by the infamous George Wickham from Pride and Prejudice.  Wickham's Diary takes us from Wickham at age 8 right up to the point where he crosses Mr. Darcy by trying to run off and elope with his sister Georgiana.

It's very interesting getting a better feel for Wickham, who at 12 seems pretty okay, but we start to see why he becomes the type of character he does.  Then going through the teen years and his years at Cambridge.  He's not a likable type, but that doesn't take away from this book at all because if  you have read P&P you don't want him to be a good guy - he's the ultimate bad guy.  It's fun to see him develop and see little glimpses of Mr. Darcy from Wickham's point-of-view.

There is not much more I can say and not give things away, but if you enjoy the offshoots of Jane Austen fiction then you will enjoy this diary.  I think Ms. Grange has stayed completely true to the character of George Wickham that Jane Austen created and has given us a wonderful backstory into his life and personality.

I will now be in search of Ms. Grange other diary books because this was such a fun format to read.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:

This prequel to Pride and Prejudice begins with George Wickham at age 12, handsome and charming but also acutely aware that his friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy, is rich, whilst he is poor. His mother encourages him to exercise his charm on the young Georgiana Darcy and Anne de Bourgh in the hopes of establishing a stable of wealthy social connections.

At university, Darcy and Wickham grow apart. Wickham is always drinking and wenching, whilst Darcy, who apparently has everything, is looking for something he cannot find. Wickham runs through the money Darcy gives him and then takes up with the scandalous Belle, a woman after Wickham's own greedy, black heart.

About the Author: 

Amanda Grange is a popular author of historical fiction in the UK. She specializes in creative interpretations of classic novels and historical events, including Jane Austen's novels and the Titanic shipwreck. Her novels include Mr. Darcy's Diary, Mr. Knightley's Diary, Captain Wentworth's Diary, and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. She lives in England.

Author Website


FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

It's Monday What Are You Reading - April 4

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books and join in! 

Books Completed Last Week 
Reading Now: 
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger (audio, car)
  • Drought by Pam Bachorz (audio, mp3 player)
  • The Face of God by Bill Myers
  • Night Road by Kristin Hannah (review)
  • Lowcountry Summer by Dorothea Benton Frank
  • Stillettos and Scoudrels by Laina Turner-Molaski
  • Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
  • The Arrow Chest by Robert Parry
  • Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
  • Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran
  • The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Berry
  • Red Wolf by Liza Marklund

Summary -

A much calmer week since it rained most of the week - we only had one evening we had to do something with the kids.  Though because of the rain, I did have another flare-up, but thankfully it was only one missed day of work.  

I was hard at work on the reading this week.  I had to finish up judging for a RWA contest and I enjoyed all 4 of the short contemporaries I read.  It reminded me why I use to read various Harlequin imprints from time-to-time.  Wonderful stories that make for great escapism for a few hours.  So that is done and now it's time to play catch-up on my review titles again.

This week's weather looks mostly sunny so I expect it to be a busy week with practices and opening ceremonies on Saturday.  Hopefully they won't have any games that day so I can go the ceremonies and leave and get back to Dewey's 24-hour-read-a-thon that is taking place this weekend!  I can't wait.

Best of the weekTie between Dragon Lady by Gary Alexander and Horns by Joe Hill - two completely different books, but both were great!

How was your week?