Book Club Day: Those We Love Most + Win Video Chat with Lee Woodruff!

Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff

We’re starting off our first summer book club read with Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff. The books’ family members whose lives are forever intertwined not just by blood and marriage but by a tragic accident. You’ll be able to relate to at least one, if not many of the characters in the book.

I’m also very excited to announce that you can win a live video chat with Lee Woodruff so you and your book club (or friends) can talk about Those We Love Most!

First, take a look at how our From Left to Write members were inspired by our book club selection this month:

Wow, right? Make sure you pick up a copy of Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the book.  Make sure you keep up with Lee Woodruff and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


Ready to enter the giveaway? One lucky winner will win a live video chat with Lee Woodruff, author extraordinaire, so you and your book club (or friends) can talk about Those We Love Most!  To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below. (If you’re using a feed reader, you’ll have to click through to the site to enter.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: Quiet by Susan Cain

Quiet by Susan Cain

Quiet by Susan Cain

Last January, our book club members read Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Cain’s argument that the qualities of an introvert can help them succeed in a world where being outgoing is most desired was eye opening. Many of our book club members realized they were introverts, including me. For all the gory details check out our discussion Quiet.

Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, there’s no doubt that a balance of both types of personalities is ideal for any group environment.  Here’s the publisher’s description of Quiet:

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak– that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

Today Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking comes out in paperback and we have 2 copies to give to two lovely readers! US and Canadian address only. No P.O. Boxes.

Susan Cain is on a book tour so check to see if she’s coming near you.

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

September Book Club Announcement: The Bloodletter’s Daughter by Linda Lafferty

The Bloodletter's Daughter by Linda Lafferty

The Bloodletters Daughter by Linda Lafferty

For our second September book club selection, we’re headed to early 17th century for a fictional account of the Bohemian Hapsburg Court in Linda Lafferty’s The Bloodletter’s Daughter (A Novel of Old Bohemia).  Read more and find out how you can win 1 of 5 copies of the book!

Inspired by a real-life murder that threatened to topple the powerful Hapsburg dynasty, the novel follows Marketa, a young woman who can only dream of being a bloodletter. Women were not allowed to become a bloodletter or a doctor, but as her father’s assistant Marketa studied as much as she could.

More about the book:

 Within the glittering Hapsburg court in Prague lurks a darkness that no one dares mention…

In 1606, the city of Prague shines as a golden mecca of art and culture carefully cultivated by Emperor Rudolf II. But the emperor hides an ugly secret: His bastard son, Don Julius, is afflicted with a madness that pushes the young prince to unspeakable depravity. Desperate to stem his son’s growing number of scandals, the emperor exiles Don Julius to a remote corner of Bohemia, where the young man is placed in the care of a bloodletter named Pichler. The bloodletter’s task: cure Don Julius of his madness by purging the vicious humors coursing through his veins.

When Pichler brings his daughter Marketa to assist him, she becomes the object of Don Julius’s frenzied–and dangerous–obsession. To him, she embodies the women pictured in the Coded Book of Wonder, a priceless manuscript from the imperial library that was his only link to sanity. As the prince descends further into the darkness of his mind, his acts become ever more desperate, as Marketa, both frightened and fascinated, can’t stay away.

Are you intrigued? Grab a copy of The Bloodletter’s Daughter (A Novel of Old Bohemia) and join our book club members on September 25 when we discuss the novel.

Want to win your own copy?  We’re giving away FIVE copies of the book (US addresses only).  Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Echo Through the Snow (Review & Giveaway)

An Echo Through the Snow Book Cover

An Echo Through the Snow Book Cover


Our family owns a cat (or is that vice versa?), but it doesn’t mean we don’t love dogs. It would not be fair to make a dog live in our cramped apartment, since our family would want to own a big dog. I did get to vicariously live as a dog owner as I read Andrea Thalasinos’ An Echo Through the Snow.

The novel alternates between present day-ish and sixty years in the past with seemingly two different plot lines about two native cultures: one in Siberia and the other in Wisconsin. Present day (early 1990s) story revolves around Rosalie whose confidence has been bruised after an abusive marriage. She discovers that she has a gift with dogs and goes to work for a professional dogsled racing husband and wife team. Sixty years prior to Rosalie, readers learn about the Chukchi people of Siberia. The Chukchi people were displaced by Stalin’s army. Many were killed or didn’t survive. The Chukchi not only lost their way of life, but their Guardians, huskies who were the soul of the people, were lost too.

I found the pace of the book a bit too slow for me. I was more fascinated by the Chukchi story, but those chapters were much too short. Rosalie story felt as slow and subdued as her self-improvement journey. Usually with novels that alternate between two stories, I expect them to come full circle. (Spoiler Alert next) With An Echo Through the Snow, it took much longer before the connection was made. I would say more than halfway through the book.

If you’re a dog lover or if you’re interested in learning about the inner workings of dogsled racing, this is the book for you. To learn more about what inspired author Andrea Thalasinos, check out her website.

Want to win a copy of An Echo Through the Snow? I’m giving away 3 copies!

To enter, leave a comment telling me what kind of animal lover you are: cat, dog, fish, or other? 

For an extra entry, subscribe to From Left to Write via email and leave a comment letting me know you did.

Giveaway ends September 2, 2012. Winners will be notified via email and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize. US and Canadian addresses only please. This post contains affiliate links.

Twitter Book Chat: Tall, Dark, and Sexy (Win Prizes!)

Join us for our first Twitter book chat next Wednesday, August 15!

Tall, dark, and handsome men are a common theme in books, from classics like Wuthering Heights to the popular Twilight series. The seductive male dominance is definitely hard to ignore E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. What is it about those types of characters that command our attention?

During our Twitter chat, we’ll talk about sex and romance in our books, both classics and contemporary. How much is too much? Why do they still appeal to women today?

Our special guest is author Alma Katsu who is no stranger to tall, dark, and sexy. Alma’s gothic historical novels contains elements of magic, suspense, and, yes, sex. Her latest book The Reckoning: Book Two of the Taker Trilogy explores the very themes we’ll talk about.

Plus, on August 7 & 8 only, you can download Alma’s newest e-book The Marriage Price is FREE on Amazon! I just downloaded it and am looking forward to reading it tonight after the kids are in bed.

Please join us and you can win some great prizes!

WHO: Don’t miss out on the conversation. Follow our special guest an panelist on Twitter:

WHEN: Wed, Aug 15, 9pm to 10pm Eastern Time

WHERE: On Twitter using hashtag #fromleft2write
I recommend using our TweetGrid or Tweetchat to follow the conversation.

PRIZES: We’ll award prizes during the party. All you have to do is RSVP below and leave a comment. Then participate in the conversation for an opportunity to win. Our first winner will be from our RSVP list. Here’s what you can win:

  • 3 winners will each receive a gorgeous Paperblanks journals courtesy of Paperblanks and Michele Spring Fajeau of Alas, I Digress
  • 1 participant will win a copy of The Taker provided by Alma Katsu AND a $10 iTunes Giftcard

Don’t forget to RSVP with your Twitter handle and link. Help spread the word about the Twitter chat by tweeting:

We’re talking about tall, dark, and sexy books w @almakatsu @fromleft2write on 8/15 9-10pm ET RSVP 4 prizes

Everyone is welcome to participate, but only US addresses are eligible for prizes. You must RSVP, participate in the party using #fromleft2write hashtag, and claim your prize within 24 hours.

A Break Up Letter to My Latest Book w. Giveaway

The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry

The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry

Dear The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry,

I really wanted to like you. Really, I did. As soon as I read your synopsis, I wanted in. You were going to transport me to the life of Princess Louise, the so called “Wild One” of Queen Victoria’s many children. Princess Louise who broke tradition by marrying outside the circle of European royalty.

I didn’t care that you were historical fiction and parts of the Princess’ life are embellished for the sake of the novel. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Plus Princess Louise sounded like she had lots of spunk. My kind of lady. She even convinced her mother, the Queen, to allow her to study art with commoners. Not a small feat in the mid-1800s.

What I didn’t expect was for the novel to turn into a historical romance. I know, I know. Princesses are allowed to fall in love. Usually they’re married off to some foreign prince in order to form alliances. Still I can only stand reading about characters feeling a “warmth in their loins” so many times.

So my darling, The Wild Princess, it’s time we part ways. I gave you over a 100 pages. It’s not you, it’s me. You’re well-written and fascinating. I wanted more history and less talk about loins and less descriptions of naughty bits. (I can’t believe I just said that.) I’m sad we couldn’t work things out.

If you’re not too heartbroken, I’ll be happy to pass you along to one of my blog readers. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a match made in heaven?

Take care,


Want to win my copy of The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry? Leave a comment telling me why the two of you should date. For extra credit, subscribe to this blog and leave a separate comment letting me know. 

I received a review copy of the book. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. I’ll pick a winner via on August 6. Since I’m paying for postage, only US addresses please.