Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday 56: The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow

 Welcome to this week's Friday 56 - this Friday 56 comes from Liz Trenow's The Last Telegram which comes out in April.

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader/
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions 
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Freda's Voice at
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Here's my Friday 56 from The Last Telegram:
"Name's a bit ironic on a day like today, don't you think?  I'm Leo Samuels.  They call me duty manager, though that's just a posh title for chief muggins."
The blurb:
Decades ago, as Nazi planes dominated the sky, the eighteen-year-old Lily Verner made a terrible mistake.  She's tried for years to forget, but now an unexpected event pulls her back to the 1940s British countryside.  She finds herself remembering the brilliant colors of the silk she helped weave at her family's mill, the relentless pressure of the worsening war, and the kind of heartbreaking loss that stops time.

In this evocative novel of love and consequences, Lily finally confronts the disastrous decision that has haunted her for all these years.  The Last Telegram uncovers the surprising truth about how the stories we weave about our lives are threaded with truth, guilt, and forgiveness.
About the Author:
Liz Trenow's family have been silk weavers for nearly 300 years and she grew up next to the mill in Sudbury, Suffolk, which is the oldest family-owned silk company in Britain and one of a handful still operating today.  Liz worked in the mill for a few months but decided instead to become a journalist and spent fifteen years with regional and national newspapers and on BBC radio and television news.  The Last Telegram is her first novel.  Visit her online at

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield

The blurb:
In the dark days of war, a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice
Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles, when the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are ripped from their home, rounded up—along with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans—and taken to the Manzanar prison camp.
Buffeted by blistering heat and choking dust, Lucy and Miyako must endure the harsh living conditions of the camp. Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako soon breaks. Her final act of desperation will stay with Lucy forever…and spur her to sins of her own.

I hadn't expected to be so engrossed in Garden of Stones but Sophie Littlefield masterfully combines mystery with historical details and takes us back to California, Washington State and the Manzanar prison camp during the time of Japanese American interment.  We get to know Lucy as a young girl and her learn of her mysterious and glamorous mother,  and are soon caught up in the tragedies that seem to follow Miyako.  Carefully plotted, well crafted, and told with sympathy, the story of Lucy, Miyako and their fellow Japanese Americans will move you deeply.

ISBN-10: 0778313522 - Paperback $14.95
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA; Original edition (February 26, 2013), 320 pages.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

About the Author:
Sophie Littlefield grew up in rural Missouri and attended college in Indiana. She worked in technology before having children, and was lucky enough to stay home with them while they were growing up. She writes novels for kids and adults, and lives in Northern California. Visit her online at

Monday, March 18, 2013

John Flanagan's Brotherband Chronicles - Book 2: The Invaders

John Flanagan begins The Invaders soon after Hal, Thorn, Stig, and the rest of the Heron Brotherband have left their home in search of the Raven and the pirates that made off with Skandia’s most valuable treasure of amber, the Aubermal.  Hal, Stig and the Heron Brotherband had won been the Brotherband champions for the year but they failed Skandia in allowing the treasure to be stolen while they were standing guard.  Not only was the Heron Brotherband stripped of its championship title, it was struck from the rolls and all the honors, weapons, and signs of their triumph were taken back.  The boys knew that in their town, they would always be looked down upon and despised for their failure - there was no life left for them in their old home - so they undertook to make things right and to find the pirates and return the treasure.

But seven boys and the older one handed Thorn had the odds stacked against them, even if Thorn had been the Magtik, the greatest warrior of Skandia, a record three times and Hal is a sailor, inventor, and leader of heroic proportions.

This time, Hal, Thorn, Stig and the Brotherband rescue a beautiful young girl Lydia.  Not your usual love interest, Lydia is an impressive tracker and warrior in her own right and she can take the Heron Brotherband to the pirates that they seek.  

Fortunately, Erak has sent his right hand man and a crew find the Heron Brotherband, not to bring them back in disgrace as Hal fears but to aid them in their quest to return the Aubermal to Skandia.  

While our heroes face overwhelming odds and crafty pirates, they bring their own unique strengths of innovation, hard work, creative thinking, and unswerving loyalty.  In this next book in the series, The Invaders, John Flanagan delivers an engrossing and unforgettable read.  The Brotherband Chronicles are sure to be as beloved and popular as the worldwide phenomenon The Ranger’s Apprentice series.

ISBN-10: 0399256202 - Hardcover $18.00 (Paperback release April 9. 2013)
Publisher: Philomel; First Edition edition (May 1, 2012), 432 pages.
Ages 12 and up.

About the Author:
John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. John began writing Ranger’s Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series and its spinoff, Brotherband Chronicles. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.