Monday, January 26, 2009

Legend of the Jewel

Former Pinkerton spy Isabelle Webb needs a vacation. The broken leg she suffered while trying to warn President Lincoln of his impending assassination has mended a little, but her grief over his death has not. She and her young charge, Sally Rhodes, have an open itinerary when they board a steamer ship to Bombay. But upon meeting Utah blacksmith James Ashby, the two women opt to join the search for his younger brother Phillip, who’s traveling abroad with the ill-reputed Thaddeus Sparks in search of a mystical treasure. Upon arrival in India, other passengers are also interested in taking up the search. But the seeming good will of some soon turns dark on the streets of Bombay. As murder and kidnapping tears the group apart, James and Isabelle race to uncover the hidden motives and harrowing connections that threaten not only Phillip’s life, but also their own. First in N.C. Allen’s new series, this tale’s cunning characters and twisting plot will wrap you tightly in the action, intrigue, and romance surrounding the Jewel of Zeus.

As if I didn't have enough to do, I joined a book club. Legend of the Jewel by N.C. Allen was the first book we read. We met together last Thursday to discuss the book. N.C. Allen came and talked to us as well about her process of writing this book and the others that she has written. It was a very delightful evening with good friends and a good time.

Eileene, Nancy (aka N.C. Allen), Tristi
N.C. Allen wrote the Faith of our Fathers series. Isabelle Webb and her young charge, Sally Rhodes, are characters from that series. But since I haven't read Faith of our Fathers yet, I didn't know this. And it was ok. You don't have to know this to enjoy the book. And I did enjoy the book. It was light and fun and a quick read.

There was one point in the book that became confused. The main male character gets shot and a few pages later he was in a very physical fight with one of the bad guys. Very. Physical. I thought that perhaps I had missed a passage of time. So I checked. Nope, it was just a few days later. So I asked Nancy about that. And there was a very good explanation. The fight scene was added after the book was done and no one caught the problem. But it is something I can overlook because it didn't really take away from the story- just made me think I was sleep reading.

I liked this book enough that I will be buying the next two books in the series.


add to kirtsy


David G. Woolley said...

Sexist book club. Sexist book club. Sexist book club. Na.Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Sexist book club.

They just don't want a guys opinion. Ever.

That's what's wrong with LDS ficton. Not enough men's voices to bring some rationality to the romantically charged emotional overtones. Women do all the writing. Women do all the reading. And they leave the electrical work and snow removal to the guys. So unfair.

Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na....

Sandra said...

Well, you guys are so good at elctrical work and snow removal.

And, I will have you know that when Karlene asked us to write down what books we want to read and what authors we want to have come speak to us, I wrote down YOUR name.

Now, do I need to take it back? I have a lot of influence with her, you know.

David G. Woolley said...

You will have to drag me kicking and screaming. Or bribe me with some Odwalla Green Juice... (the half gallon bottle size at Costco of course, $5.47 and going up everyday...)

I love secret combinations. Just ask Ether. He opens book seven you know. Right in the thick of Jaredite downfall, whislt preaching that God would bring others to inherit the land if they didn't rid themselves of secret combinations and who would show up with their first landing on the east coast north of the narrow neck of land (in jaradeite territory I might add)? Mulek.

That is so prophetic. And cool. And it makes for some great fiction. What would you do if you were a wicked Jaradite warrior king like say, Coriantumr or Shiz, if you thought Ether was a bloviator and then these Hebrew royalty show up in ships expecting to inherit the land. You kill em. Right? So what does the Book of Mormon say about that? Mulek got back in his ship and headed south of the narrow neck in less Jaradite-infested territory for what the record tells us is their second landing...

Sorry. I was just doing some plotting there. Didn't mean to bore you. How was your final exam?


Sandra said...

I have kids, I can do kicking and screaming. I can also do bribes.

Plotting book 7, not boring at all. You can plot on my blog anytime. I will admit that I did have to look up bloviator. I like that word. Use it.

And I have to wait until Sept. for book 5? I haven't had a great read since Sept of 08. Just filler books whilst I wait.

The final. I either aced it or totally blew it. I feel confident that it is the ace answer. I was the third one done and sometimes that makes me nervous- to be done so quickly while everyone else is still struggling. I begin to second guess myself and wonder why it was so easy for me, did I miss something, did I read the questions wrong, did I... Hopefully she will grade the tests faster than she has graded our papers and other work and I will know soon. Thanks for asking.

David G. Woolley said...

There are other, less kind definitions which include arrogance, but I like this one for what Shiz must have thought of Ehter:

Bloviator: one who speaks verbosely and windily....

That works....

What have you been reading? Have you read Abinidi by Moore. I'm interested in that one because it is Book of Mormon LDS fiction. I have to say that all the reviews say the same thing, that it was a good move to make Abinadi and younger character. But that's all they say. Which leads me to believe one of a few things. It is a short novel and doesn't require too much complexity. It is a romance (again) and the main character has to be young in order to, well, do stupid things that guys do in romances, even if he is a prophet. Or, they all copied the other guys review.

Ver cool on the test ace. Now about that bad writers problem. I think the professor is dead wrong. I hate going to classes like that where the professor looks the published author in the eye (not knowing, of course, who the heck they are talking to) and informs them that they should select a profession that doesn't require a lot of cerebral writing or communication skills because, well son, you just don't have what it takes.

That happened to me once. Script writing class. The professor was enamored by freshmen or at least the youthfulness of young writers and their daring (insert childish) writing ideas and experimental rhymy dimey stuff. What they needed was a good swift kick, but instead the professor lauded their efforts into obloviation (ha). And whenever he talke to me it was like I had leprosy. I fully expected him to scream "Unclean" when I entered the lecture room. I tried to get there before he did everyday to avoid the feeling. I started near the front of the class and by the time the semester was over I was sitting at the back. It was as if I did not exist.

One of the assignments was to bring some passage from a novel and have it ready to read. At the beginning of each class he asked a student to read the passage and then we disected the story telling elements. Everyone else had taken a turn so he begrudingly asked if I had my reading. I read the epilogue of Power of Deliverance. Didn't tell them I wrote it and since I was reading from a thick book they assumed it was legit. I'm not going to even tell you what the professor said. Just remember:

So much subjectivity. So little time.

David G. Woolley said...

I thought my comment was funny. I don't think the rest of these ladies do. Does this mean I am in the dog house?

Sandra said...

I thought your comment was funny yesterday when I read it. Perhaps the ladies are romance readers and didn't get your sarcasim?

Abinadi is up next to read. I will probably start it (and finish it) by Sunday evening. I'll let you know. You want to borrow it when I am done?

I am in the middle of The Forgotten Warrior by Kathi Oram Peterson. I was asked to review as part of her blog tour or I would have put it down already. 257 pages, I am on pg 150 and I started it last week. My review is scheduled for Feb. 26. I hopefully will be done with the book by then.

And what's up with some professors? Before the final last night some of the class was discussing what our 3 portfolio professors said during our final review when they let us know we made it into the program. I kept my mouth shut. Some of the comments:
"You are too arrogant and need to stop taking yourself so seriously."
"Your paper was one of the worst I have ever seen."
"If you don't start taking yourself seriously, you will never make it to the end of the program"

Comments to me at the end of the interview? "Please don't tell the others what we are about to say. Your presentation was the best we have seen, your paper was stellar, nothing wrong with it. You didn't really need to show up tonight because we had already decided to admit you no matter what. We have nothing but good to say about you."

I assumed they were telling everyone that. Until last night. So maybe I can take a few marks on a paper from a crochety ex-jew/ex-mormon/ anti-woman professor. Only 4 more weeks in his class.

David G. Woolley said...

So what you're saying is they admitted people into a program that has some sort of entrance requirement which none of them met, and were, in addition, had some of the worst achievement standards in recent memory and still they get in?

Sounds like high school to me.

And what's this?

So maybe I can take a few marks on a paper from a crochety ex-jew/ex-mormon/ anti-woman professor. Only 4 more weeks in his class.

Are you taking a class at BYU you didn't tell us about?


David G. Woolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandra said...

Well, if you put it that way then I guess high school is what it sounds like. There were 5 areas that we were being evaluated on. In order to make it into the program we had to pass 3 of them. I was the only one that passed all 5. One of the evaluators was very picky and almost took joy in telling students their weaknesses.

Was your experience at BYU with crochety, disgruntled men? Since my first degree is in Education, most of those classes were taught by females. My psych degree was done mostly by independent study so I could be at home with the kids, but the classes I took on campus were, again, mostly female.

And I am at University of Phoenix. Again so that I can be at home as much as possible. The course I am taking now is Counseling the Culturally Diverse. We have had 8 hours of class so far and I have only 1 page of notes. I assumed that the professor would spend our time helping us learn how to counsel those that are culturally different. Instead he gets off on tangents about how the predominate culture here in Utah is needs to change and learn how to do things the right way- his way. I think no amount of video watching is going to do us any good without discussion and guidance.

David G. Woolley said...

Actually, that was meant to be satiracal. There are no ex-mormon, feminist, women hater, ex-jews at BYU. Hence the question my dear. I fully expected you to say UofU.

Here is my analysis of education. Lower, middle and higher education. With very few exceptions in which I would include BYU and a few other places.

Ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.

These profs. spout off so much balognia it is transforming our society into a terrible place to live, work and hang out. And much of it comes from the how and what we educate our people with.

Another policitally goofy idea of mine is this:

The reason liberals have made fudning education a major part of their agenda is because schools breed liberal ideology. It is astounding. And there is simply no room for GOD in the any discussion within the classroom. Hence, ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. I believe education, except for some of the hardest sciences, has become the new religion. Including, sadly, much of the course work you're taking right now. I got a minor in counseling when I did my master's degree in Sport Psychology. I know much of what they do and it hasn't changed the direction it was headed a few years ago. Very scary stuff.

Sandra said...

That is one of my biggest frustrations with this program so far- there is no recognition of God in any of this. I truly hate this whole "seperation" idea. As I sit with a student having a problem, it is so hard to not bring God into it. How do you help someone find their way if you are ignoring the biggest help of all?

I do not think that your idea is goofy at all. In fact, I agree with it.

I have long wished that I could stay home and do home school for my children, or send them to a private school like The Liahona. Matthew is headed to UofU this fall and I hope that I have taught him well and enough. I pray that his faith is strong enough.

Yes, very scary stuff.

Oh, and sorry I missed the satire. I had a headache and a bad day at work.