Sailing in a Sea of Words

Literature Fanatic. Writer. I tend to lean toward mystery and fiction, but I like to change patterns with the occasional YA or non-fiction book. I hope you enjoy my reviews and they inspire you to read the book yourself!

Question - Advanced Reader Reviews?

I'm sorry I haven't posted any reviews in a long while. I've been flooded with advance readers and I only have a month to read each one from the time I get them. (I'm reading them electronically and they expire.)


I usually don't post my reviews of the advanced readers I get, but would that be something you would like to see? I have about 6 manuscripts I need to read and I'm almost done with one of them so if you want to see what I'm reading before it publishes, let me know!

Book Review: These Few Precious Days

These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie - Christopher Andersen

Book: These Few Precious Days


Author: Christopher Andersen


Genre: Non-Fiction/Biographical/Historical


Summary: They were the original power couple - outlandishly rich, impossibly attractive, and endlessly fascinating. Now, in this rare, behind-the-scenes portrait of the Kennedys in their final year together, #1 New York Times bestselling biographer Christopher Andersen shows us a side of JFK and Jackie that we've never seen before. Tender, intimate, complex, and at times, explosive, theirs is a love story unlike any other - filled with secrets, scandals, and bombshells that could never be fully revealed until now. -Simon and Schuster, 2013.


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Book Review: The Heir

The Heir (The Selection) - Kiera Cass

Book: The Heir


Author: Kiera Cass


Genre: Teen/Fantasy/Romance


Summary: Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon - and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairytale romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible. But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her own Selection - no matter how fervently she protests. Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought. -HarperTeen, 2015.


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Book Review: The Night Sister

The Night Sister: A Novel - Jennifer McMahon

Book: The Night Sister


Author: Jennifer McMahon


Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Horror/Mystery


Summary: In the 1950s, the Tower Motel - with its namesake tower - was the shining attraction of tiny London, Vermont. Now it stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of three women - Amy, Piper, and Piper's sister Margot. They played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and sinister in Amy's family past, something that ruined Piper and Margot's friendship with Amy forever. As adults, Piper and Margot have done everything they can to move on; Piper lives in California, while Margot has devoted herself to studying local history and starting a family. Until, one day, Piper receives a panicked call from Margot: Amy and her family are dead, supposedly killed by Amy's own hand. And before she died, Amy scrawled a message that the two sisters know was meant for them: "29 Rooms." Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to revisit that fateful summer when they found a packed suitcase and haunting letters that once belonged to Sylvie Slater. Amy always claimed that her aunt had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blond bombshell of a leading lady, but the truth is much more complicated. As they investigate, a new story unfolds, one of Sylvie and Rose, two sisters who lived at the motel during its heyday . . . and one sister who carries a secret that will haunt the generations to come. -Doubleday, 2015.

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Book Review: Forever Liesl

Forever Liesl - Charmian Carr, Jean A.S. Strauss

Book: Forever Liesl


Author: Charmian Carr


Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir/Film


Summary: The magic of The Sound of Music lives on in the minds and hearts of everyone it has touched. Now, Charmian Carr, who in 1965 captivated moviegoers as Liesl "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" von Trapp, tells what it was like to be a part of the film that has become a cultural phenomenon. It's all here: from how she got the role (and why she almost didn't) to romances on the set and wild nights in Salzburg; from the near-disaster during the gazebo dance to her relationships - then and now - with her six celluloid siblings. Charmian also reveals why she left acting, what she learned when she met the real von Trapp children, and how The Sound of Music has helped her get through the stormy times in her own life. Forever Liesl celebrates the spirit of the movie and what it stands for: family love, romance, inspiration, nostalgia, and the joy and power of music. -Penguin Books, 2000.


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Book Review: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Book: The Winner's Curse


Author: Marie Rutkoski


Genre: Teen/Romance/Adventure


Summary: Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: to join the military or to get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel's real passion is music. Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave sold as a singer, at auction. It's not long before he begins to change the way she sees everything . . . but he himself is not what he seems. Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for him is much higher than she ever could have imagined. The first novel in a brilliant new series,
The Winner's Curse tells of the star-crossed romance of Kestrel and Arin. It is a story of masters and slaves, spies, rebellion, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake. The gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. -Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014.


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Book Review: Montana Sky

Montana Sky - Nora Roberts

Book: Montana Sky


Author: Nora Roberts


Genre: Fiction/Romance/Mystery


Summary: When Jack Mercy died, he left behind a ranch worth nearly twenty million dollars. Now his three daughters - each born of a different mother, and each unknown by the others - are gathered to hear the reading of the will. But the women are shocked to learn that before any of them can inherit, they must live together on the ranch for one year. They are sisters . . . and strangers. Now they face a challenge: to put their bitterness aside and live like a family. To protect each other from danger - and unite against an enemy who threatens to destroy them all . . . -Berkley Publishing Group, 1996.


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Book Review: The Ghost Orchid

The Ghost Orchid - Carol Goodman

Book: The Ghost Orchid


Author: Carol Goodman


Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Mystery/Historical



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Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns - Rae Carson

Book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns


Author: Rae Carson


Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance


Summary: Elisa has always felt powerless, useless. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king - a king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could save his people. And he looks at her in a way no man had ever looked at her before. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn't die young. Most of the chosen do. - Greenwillow Books, 2011. 

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Book Review: Black Swan Rising

Black Swan Rising - Lee  Carroll

Book: Black Swan Rising


Author: Lee Carroll


Genre: Fiction/Supernatural/Fantasy


Summary: When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, asks her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to Garet by her deceased mother. Garet can't believe this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening. . . . When she investigates, Garet learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old. Opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity - one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet's family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of the prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to defeat this devastating force? On her journey, she will meet fey folk who walk unnoticed among the humans and a sexy vampire who also happens to be a hedge fund manager who she can't stop thinking about. Can Garet trust anyone to guide her? The fairies reveal a desire to overpower mere humans, and the seductive vampire has the power to steal the life from her body. Using her newfound powers and sharp wit, Garet will muster everything she's got to shut down the evil taking over her friends, family, New York City, and the world. - Tor, 2010.

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Book Review: A Room Full of Bones

A Room Full of Bones: A Ruth Galloway Mystery - Elly Griffiths

Book: A Room Full of Bones


Author: Elly Griffiths


Genre: Fiction/Mystery


Summary: When Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop, she finds the museum's curator lying dead on the floor. Soon after, the museum wealthy owner is also found dead, in his stables. These two deaths could be from natural causes, but once again Ruth and DCI Harry Nelson cross paths during the investigation. When threatening letters come to light, events take an even more sinister turn. But as Ruth's friends become involved, where will her loyalties lie? As her convictions are tested, Ruth and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling, and the mystery of "The Dreaming" hold the answers to these deaths, as well as the keys to their own survival. -Mariner Books, 2012.


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Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

Book: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


Author: Ransom Riggs


Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Supernatural


Summary: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive. -Quirk Books, 2011.


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Book Review: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

Book: A Discovery of Witches


Author: Deborah Harkness


Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/Supernatural


Summary: Deep in the heart of Oxford's Bodleian Library, Diana Bishop - a young scholar and the descendant of witches - unearths an enchanted alchemical manuscript. Wanting nothing to do with sorcery, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery has set a fantastical underworld stirring, and soon a horde of daemons, witches, and other creatures descends upon the library. Among them is the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire with a keen interest in the book. Equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense, A Discovery of Witches is a mesmerizing and addictive tale of passion and obsession that reveals the closely guarded secrets of an enchanted world. - Penguin, 2011.


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Book Revew: Salem Falls

Salem Falls - Jodi Picoult

Book: Salem Falls


Author: Jodi Picoult


Genre: Fiction/Crime/Small Town Life


Summary: A handsome stranger comes to the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls in hopes of burying his past: Once a teacher at a girls' prep school, Jack St. Bride was destroyed when a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation. Now, washing the dishes for Addie Peabody at the Do-Or-Diner, he slips quietly into his new routine, and Addie finds this unassuming man fitting easily inside her heart. But amid the rustic calm of Salem Falls, a quartet of teenage girls harbors dark secrets - and they maliciously target Jack with a shattering allegation. Now, at the center of a modern-day witch hunt, Jack is forced once again to proclaim his innocence: to a town searching for answers, to a justice system where truth becomes a slippery concept written in shades of gray, and to the woman who has come to love him. -Simon and Schuster, 2001.


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#7 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Sailing in a Sea of Words

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Say hello to Kat in Follow Friday book bloggers talks!


Let's meet a blogger behind the Sailing in a Sea of Words blog:


When have you recognized a book lover in you?


My love for reading was most definitely fostered and encouraged by my parents. They read to me as a child and I began reading on my own at a very young age. I can’t remember a time where I didn’t love reading. It’s a core part of me and without it, I would have a hard time recognizing myself. All of my other interests are born from the books that I’ve read.


Please pick three books you’d like to recommend to our readers?


Book #1: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It’s a really brilliant thriller/suspense novel that is beautifully written and well-researched.


Book #2: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. Few books have sucked me in as well as this one. Tessaro’s knowledge of scent and her mastery of balancing two different timelines so that neither is lacking in detail and plot makes this book a real gem.


Book #3: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. This is another book that really sucked me in. I finished it in a matter of days because I needed to find out what happened next. It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story wrapped in mystery and supernatural elements. I’m eager to get my hands on whatever novel she publishes next.


The Perfume Collector - Kathleen TessaroThe Ghost Bride - Yangsze Choo


Why have you decided to start a book blog? Do you like it so far?


I wanted to keep a record of the books I read and my impressions of them. I wanted to make each entry as detailed as possible, but I’ve been having trouble with that as of late. Once I finish my next series of books I have lined up, I’m going to be changing the way I write the reviews so that I can take the time to provide the detail I’ve always wished to give. I love it! I’ve shared my blog with friends and family so they can keep up to date on my recommendations and what I’ve been reading. It helps give me extra incentive to keep going and not let myself fall behind on posting my reviews.


In your short bio you reveal you’re a writer! Please tell us more!


I haven’t published anything I’ve written online, but I’ve written a bunch of short stories. I’ve been outlining and playing with an idea for a novel, but I haven’t waded into the deeper waters as of yet. The short stories I’ve written mostly revolve around chance encounters and pushing the boundaries of the world one has lived in for all of his or her life.


You write “I tend to lean toward mystery and fiction, but I like to change patterns with the occasional YA or non-fiction book”. Which YA and non-fiction books have amazed you?


Blythewood - Carol Goodman I’ve only just started re-reading YA books within the last year or so. I enjoyed Blythewood by Carol Goodman.

As far as non-fiction goes, I’ve been exploring books related to topics I like as well as biographies. I really enjoyed Carl Sandburg’s biography of Abraham Lincoln  that’s broken up into the Prairie Years and the War Years. I also enjoyed Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill. It’s a memoir of Hill’s time as Jackie Kennedy’s primary Secret Service agent. I really admire Jackie Kennedy and Hill’s memories made me want to dig deeper. I have a few books on the Kennedys and Jackie lined up for future reading. Stephen Sondheim’s Finishing the Hat has been really insightful as I love his musicals and I’ve had fun finding out his thoughts on the musicals he’s worked on.


Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years - Carl SandburgMrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir - Clint Hill,Lisa McCubbinFinishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics, 1954-1981, With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes - Stephen Sondheim


How much time do you spend reading?


Many people I know would say too much. I try to read every day. I have a long commute and I take public transportation so I read on my trips to and from work. On the weekends where I don’t have plans, I tend to read all day. That’s when I’ve been notorious for finishing books within hours.


What are your three favorite book covers?


Book #1: Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman. This was the first Goodman book I read and the cover just drew me in with how mysterious and elegant it looks.


Book #2: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson. It’s one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen. The fields of lavender leading up to the lonely looking cottage is so mysterious yet so soothing.


Book #3: Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet. If you worship autumn like I do, this cover speaks to that love and adoration. I love mysteries to begin with so it was helpful that this book was one, but I wanted the cover just as much.


Arcadia Falls - Carol GoodmanThe Lantern - Deborah LawrensonWicked Autumn - G.M. Malliet


What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)


When’s a nice day, I’ll read in the window ledge in my living room. I’ll prop up a pillow, grab a blanket and read away.



A paper book or an e-book?


Paper book, always. I don’t want to strain my eyes, plus I love the texture and smell of books. I’ll never go all digital – not for books.


Three books for a desert island?


The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle Book #1: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s easily one of the best mystery novels of all time. I would argue that it is the best one, but I know many who would disagree. This book is responsible for my love of mysteries as my father read it to me when I was young. I love Sherlock Holmes so I need this novel, if not one of the collection of short stories. Who doesn’t love that line, Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound. Chills.

Arcadia Falls - Carol Goodman 

Book #2: Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman. It’s not just the cover that I love about this novel. I adore the story and it’s one that I can read over and over and never get bored. It brings the feeling of autumn to me and I love that feeling, even if it’s while I’m on a desert island.


Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics) - Vivien Jones,Tony Tanner,Claire Lamont,Jane Austen Book #3: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I know I’m a minority, but I love Pride and Prejudice. It was close, as I would also love to bring Jane Eyre, but I just love Austen a little more. I need at least one love story on my island.


Favorite quote?


There are so many it’s hard to choose! I’m going to have to go with the inner romantic here:

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.


I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.


― Jane Austen, Persuasion


If you could meet one author, who would it be and why?


I’d love to meet Carol Goodman. She’s the only modern author where I have bought every single book she’s ever written. I haven’t read all of them (yet), but I love her writing, her subjects, and I would love to just chat with her on her writing as well as her inspiration.


The best thing about books?


The escape! Books allow you to travel to worlds and places too numerous to count. You can transcend time and place to follow the lives of people you’ve never met – both real and imagined. Books are an incredible gift and one that needs to be always appreciated.


Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)


I don’t have huge bookcases to house all of the books I own (yet), so here’s a photo of some of the books I have in my bookcase.


Thank you!


Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:



Remember, you can nominate your blogger friends for the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.


See you next Friday!

Book Review: Ravencliffe

Ravencliffe - Carol Goodman

Book: Ravencliffe


Author: Carol Goodman


Genre: Teen/Fantasy Fiction/Romance/Sequel


Summary: Avaline Hall is no ordinary girl. She's a student at the Blythewood Academy, an elite boarding school that trains young women to defend human society from the shadowy forces that live among us. After the devastating events of her first year at Blythewood, Ava is eager to reunite with her friends - and with Raven, the compelling but elusive winged boy who makes her pulse race. She soon discovers, though, that the sinister Judicus van Drood hasn't finished wreaking havoc on Blythewood - and wants to use Ava and her classmates to attack a much bigger target. Ava's the only one with any hope of stopping van Drood. But to scuttle his plans, she must reveal her deepest secret to everyone at Blythewood. What's she willing to sacrifice to do what's right: Her school? Her love? Or her life? -Viking/Penguin, 2014.


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Currently reading

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson