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End of Hiatus!

It’s been a couple of months since I last blogged and I must say, I missed it terribly.

This summer was a bit of a whirlwind for me. I moved across the country and made a career change that has kept me incredibly busy. I love what I do, but it’s definitely taken my attention away from this blog.

I am now at a place where I have gotten into a routine and I believe that I can manage my blog again. Before my unannounced hiatus, I revealed the different changes that I wanted to bring to this blog. Those things have not changed and I can’t wait to unveil a new look, add new features, and get back into the blogging community!

To those of you who have continued to check back for updates, thank you for your patience! I’m happy to say that I’m finally back.

Until Thursday,

Debbie

Book Review: Crow Hollow

crowhollowTitle: Crow Hollow
Author: Michael Wallace
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Rating: 5/5

Crow’s Hollow is a historical novel that takes place in the New World in 1676, uniting a devout Puritan woman and an English spy. Prudence Cotton was notoriously widowed after the Nipmuk tribe attacked her town, killing and torturing the inhabitants. Prudence and her young daughter, Mary, were taken as prisoners after watching Prudence’s husband get brutally murdered. Prudence is able to escape, although she must leave her daughter behind. James Bailey is a British spy, intent on taking back the colonies’ charter and reigning in certain liberties, but is telling everyone that he is investigating the peculiar death of Prudence’s late husband. Prudence begs James to let her come with him into Indian wilderness to find the Nipmuk tribe so that she can find her missing daughter. James concedes and as they make their journey to the Indian wilderness, they find out chilling details about the Indian attack that indicate corruption in the colonies.

My favorite thing about this novel was the amount of rich details throughout the story. The world building and descriptions of the settings were done wonderfully and I felt completely immersed in the novel. The dialect that the characters spoke in, the clothes that the characters are described wearing, and even the food all seemed incredibly authentic and it is obvious that there was an incredible amount of research done.

I really liked the characters in Crow Hollow as well. Prudence Cotton was my favorite character and I really enjoyed watching her character develop throughout the story. She was a very strong, intelligent, and dynamic character. James Bailey was very ambitious and apologetically brash, but I thought that his bold demeanor added humor throughout the novel.  I wasn’t sure if I would like him in the beginning of the novel but as he grew closer to Prudence, he became more genuine and vulnerable. Peter Church, a Quaker Indian, accompanied James from England in order to help James with his mission. I thought that the community’s reaction towards Peter was sad but intriguing, as it showed the hostility that the Puritans held against Quakers and American Indians during the time period.

I really enjoyed the plot of this story and it really kept my attention. There was a lot of action as Prudence and James traveled to find the Nipmuk tribe. I thought that the relationship between Prudence and James was really interesting to read and the two characters complimented each other well. I liked the ending of this novel and I thought that Wallace did a good job of bringing the story to a satisfying close.

I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a piece of historical fiction. I don’t think that Crow Hollow requires a vast knowledge of the time period and I think that any casual reader would enjoy it. The characterization, setting, and pacing were all wonderfully done and I think that this was a really enjoyable read.

If you have read Crow Hollow, I would love to hear your thoughts as well. To view Crow Hollow on Amazon, please click here.

The Start of a New School Year

Well, it’s that time of the year again. Summer is beginning to wind down and all of the children are headed back to school. I graduated from college over a year and a half ago, so I’m not one of the millions headed back into classroom this school year. Even though I’m not packing my backpack and straightening my books, I still absolutely love the start of the new school year.

One of my favorite things about this time of the year is the sales. Back to school sales are always the best. I have a small obsession with office supplies and this is one of the only times of the year where this stuff is steeply discounted. You can get journals, writing utensils, planners, and just about anything in an office supply store for nothing more than pocket change. Really though, I recently got a journal for 17 cents. Along with office/school supplies, there are also excellent deals on clothing and shoes as well. A lot of stores take advantage of the back-to-school rush and usher in some of their fall collections. With the new fall arrivals, a lot of the summer clothing goes on sale. If you live in a warmer climate, it’s great because you can get these items on clearance and still get another month of use out of them.

Keeping along the line of discounts, the back-to-school season also marks a decline in travel. Families must forgo summer getaways for school day structure and for those of us who don’t live in a household with school aged children, it’s amazing. In an attempt to keep the market alive, the tourism industry offers massive discounts on just about anything travel or hospitality related. Airplane tickets, hotels, cruises, and just about any package vacation are all going to be much cheaper than they would be in the summertime. Not to mention the decline in crowds. Try going to Walt Disney World in the middle of July, and then go in October when all the children are back in school. You will notice a stark difference.

Lastly, the beginning of the school year sort of marks the end of summer. Although the first day of fall is officially September 23 this year, the start of the school year makes it feel like it’s almost here. It’s not that I have anything against summer. I love the summertime. However, something about a warm sweater, jeans, boots, and a nice mug of hot chocolate sound much more inviting than another day of 100*F weather.

To those of you who are going back to school, regardless of the grade, I wish you the best. I hope you all meet plenty of new friends, enjoy all of your new teachers and classes, and have your best school year yet!

Debbie