Monday, December 29, 2014

Deadly Deception

Alys Clare lives in the English countryside where her novels are set, circa 1093. The series known as the Aelf Fen mysteries consists of six books. Featured is the healer Lassair, a young woman. The series explores an England where pagan ways are giving way to Christianity. Lassair is dynamic, having gone to a Christian school, but trained in the ways of her mystic healer family. There is always a mystery, but really, the novels explore living in a very different time from our modern mind set.
 At the start of Clare's sixth Aelf Fen novel, apprentice healer Lassair helps rescue a foreign woman and her infant son from a mob in Cambridge in the fall of 1093. When Lassair and the sheriff's man later go looking for the woman's missing family members, receding flood waters reveal a body that raises suspicions of murder. ML

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Put a wreath on it!

Wreaths are traditional decorations to celebrate the winter holidays but in the new book Wreath Recipe by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo many other seasons and materials are explored. Although the book is divided into seasons and materials for the season, there is an introduction that is all about the underpinnings. Things like tools needed, branch cutting techniques, and attachment techniques are addressed. The photography in this book is outstanding, clear and colorful. How about a summer wreath of apple branches, buddleia, yarrow and ivy, wouldn't that be beautiful?  The wreath featured on the cover of the book is beautiful, with liquidambar leaves, callicarpa berries, asters and rose hips. Where can we get these materials, you might ask. The authors say although many materials can be foraged, your local florist or nursery will also have either have them or know where you could order them. All in all, very inspiring! ML

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Great Green Room

June Andersen, a successful banker in New York City, has inherited a children’s bookstore. Bluebird Books was a fixture in Seattle and great-aunt Ruby managed it for over sixty years. June must return to Seattle, and her estranged family, to settle Ruby’s estate. She is forced to take a deep look at her childhood and her relationship with her mother and sister. While working in the bookstore she discovers a bunch of old letters linking her aunt to Margaret Wise Brown, the well-known author of Goodnight Moon. She also uncovers some secrets her clever Aunt Ruby hid for many years. Goodnight June by Sarah Jio offers us a what-if glimpse into the origin of a classic children’s book. DB