How many places did you visit this year? I went on a world tour. Did you?

Did I visit any country this year? Oh yeah, plenty. I went all over the world.

The Earth

Most people go on big vacation during the summer. Some retirees go at different times during the year. I don’t go on vacation nowadays but I visited a lot of places. Been there, done that. My husband and I used to go on vacation when we were younger. When my kids were young, we went with the kids until they reached 15 and then they don’t want to go on vacation with us anymore. Funny at that age, they were embarrassed to be seen with their parents. It was not cool. We went on a grand tour of Europe with the kids when they were 9 and 12. After 45 years of marriage and my husband having difficulty walking, long trips are not an option anymore. Besides, Charleston where we live now is a great vacation spot so we are basically on vacation all the time. Charleston is No. 1 vacation city in the United States and No. 2 in the world according to Conde Nast.

Nonetheless, I still have visited so many places this year thru my reading. It’s the most extensive, least expensive and most enjoyable trips I have undertaken. Without leaving my home and the comfort of my favorite chair, I have been to several places this year. With all the books that I read this year, I have been to so many places and thoroughly enjoy my trips. Below are some of the books I read in 2015 and the places where I visited.

  1. I just finished reading Hawaii by James A. Michener which took me on an adventurous journey to exotic places in the Pacific – Bora Bora, Tahiti, the islands of Hawaii, an ocean voyage on the Atlantic from Massachusetts westward to Cape Verde Island, then down to Cape Horn, on to The Falklands, through small islands at the southern tip of South America then up through the Pacific to Hawaii. I visited mainland United States from San Francisco on the west coast to Connecticut on the east coast. I also visited Japan and China.
  2. At The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder, I visited Peru and Spain.
  3. The Bells by Richard Harvell took me to the concerts halls in Europe in Austria, Italy, and Switzerland.
  4. Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh took me to the beach at Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Maine.
  5. Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer took me to England and New York.
  6. Mrs. De Winter by Susan Hill took me to England, Monaco, France, Italy and Spain.
  7. With Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, I visited England, Monaco and Italy.
  8. The Glitter and Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan took me to New York, Newport, Palm Beach in U.S. and France and England in Europe.
  9. The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh, I went to Cornwall in the United Kingdom.
  10. Dead Wake by Erik Larssen took me to the coasts of England and Ireland.
  11. Flapper by Joshua Zeitz took me to New York and Chicago.
  12. The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber took me to the Pacific Northwest.
  13. The Lady of the River by Philippa Gregory took me to England.
  14. With The Iron Butterfly which I, Rosalinda Morgan wrote, I took the readers to southern Luzon in the Philippines from Batangas to Manila.
  15. The Steep Ascent by Anne Morrow Lindbergh flew me across the Swiss Alps.
  16. Escape from Davao by John D. Lukacs took me to the wild jungle of Mindanao in the Philippines and Australia.
  17. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell took me to various great houses of England.
  18. At Howards End by E.M. Forster, I visited England once more.
  19. Winter of the World by Ken Follett took me to England, Germany, Spain, Russia and the United States.
  20. The Landower’s Legacy by Victoria Holt, I visited more of England.
  21. In Downtown Abbey, Rules for Household Staff, I visited England again.
  22. Upstairs at the White House in Washington, DC, by J.B. West, I saw the inside of the most famous home in the United States.
  23. All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank I went back home to Charleston, South Carolina.
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Goodreads Giveaways of “The Iron Butterfly” end tomorrow, Sept. 10, 2015

Goodreads Giveaways ends tomorrow, Sept. 10. Don’t miss out. Enter to win:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/142865-the-iron-butterfly…

The Iron Butterfly Cover

Book: The Iron Butterfly

Author: Rosalinda R Morgan

Giveaway ends tomorrow, Sept. 10, 2015

Availability: 4 signed copies available

Giveaway dates: Jun 12 – Sep 10, 2015

Countries available: US

The Iron Butterfly is a gripping tale about the intense devotion and ordeal of Regina Buendia, a young mother who suddenly finds herself all alone and penniless with nine young children to support after her husband died in the pre-WWII era. Facing a bleak future, she has to find a way to tackle a male chauvinistic society where men still rule the business world. Will she be able to break through the barrier?

As the Great Depression affected the colonies, she is now faced with new concern – how to survive with business suffering and money being so tight. She then finds herself in a new adventure but not all is rosy. As her children grow up, she is faced with new dilemma about her children’s changing attitudes towards married life.

Just as she thinks she is getting ahead, a major natural disaster happens with terrible consequence to follow. Then her problems become insignificant compared to what was about to happen – the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the war in the Pacific affects their very existence.

An inspiring story of faith, hope and daring ambition.

The Iron Butterfly is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

LESS THAN 3 DAYS LEFT ON GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

Enter to win:

The Iron Butterfly Cover

Book: The Iron Butterfly

Author: Rosalinda R Morgan

Giveaway ends in: less than 3 days

Availability: 4 copies available

Giveaway dates: Jun 12 – Sep 10, 2015

Countries available: US

The Iron Butterfly is a gripping tale about the intense devotion and ordeal of Regina Buendia, a young mother who suddenly finds herself all alone and penniless with nine young children to support after her husband died in the pre-WWII era. Facing a bleak future, she has to find a way to tackle a male chauvinistic society where men still rule the business world. Will she be able to break through the barrier?

As the Great Depression affected the colonies, she is now faced with new concern – how to survive with business suffering and money being so tight. She then finds herself in a new adventure but not all is rosy. As her children grow up, she is faced with new dilemma about her children’s changing attitudes towards married life.

Just as she thinks she is getting ahead, a major natural disaster happens with terrible consequence to follow. Then her problems become insignificant compared to what was about to happen – the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the war in the Pacific affects their very existence.

An inspiring story of faith, hope and daring ambition.

The Iron Butterfly is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

My Reading Challenge for 2014

Last year, I challenged myself to catch up on my reading and decided to read 25 books for 2013. I never thought I would reach my goal since during the whole month of November, I was not able to read anything. I was busy with the NANOWRIMO (National November Writing Month) challenge, writing a 50,000-word book which I finished on November 30 at 56,667 words. It is my second book and will be published as soon as I finished editing it. The Iron Butterfly is now up to 72,000+ words.

This year, I only added one more book to read for a total of 26 books for 2014 – one book every two weeks. Right now, I am 4 books ahead of schedule but I know in November, I will not be able to read again because I plan to join the NANOWRIMO challenge again. Also after the summer, I will be busy with other projects being president of Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society so I will not have enough time to do more reading.

I have seen people challenging themselves to read 100, 200, 250 books. That’s an amazing feat! Unless you read a short story, young adults or children books, I cannot imagine how you can finish 250 books in a year. That is like reading 5 books a week. Not feasible if you are reading a 500-page book. I read on Goodreads that someone had read 50 books already before January ended. How did he do that? Do you scan the book or really read it?

I have read some lengthy historical novels this year and I pushed myself to finish it. A stillness at Appomatox (I often wonder how the North won the Civil war) and The Grapes of Wrath (extreme poverty and hardships that kept me saying enough already) were two books that were a real struggle to finish. I had to follow them with light reading before my mind fried up.

Here is a list of the books that I read this year so far:
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
2. Don’t Fall Off the Mountains by Shirley MacLaine
3. Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
4. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
5. The Bells of Freedom by Dorothy Gilman Butters
6. In our Image by Stanley Karnow
7. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
8. The Nabob’s Widow by April Kihlstrom
9. A Stillness at Appomatox by Bruce Catton
10. The Way We Were New York by M. Howard
11. The Women of the House by Jean Zimmerman
12. The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton
13. A Distant Trumpet by Paul Horgan
14. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
15. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
16. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
17. Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark
18. French Silk by Sandra Brown
19. Day of Infamy by Walter Lord

THE BEST HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS IN MY COLLECTION

Per Goodreads definition, Historical Fiction are novels that re-create a period or event in history and often use historical figures as some of its characters. To be deemed historical, a novel must have been written at least fifty years after the events described. Out of the hundred books listed at Goodreads under Best Historical Fiction, I picked up 1 – 19 listed below as truly Historical Fiction. I added 6 more to make the list as my 25 Favorite Historical Fiction books in my library. I want to read as many as I can. So far I have read 11 of them. I have a lot of catching up to do. I fully intend to in between my writing my next historical novel, “The Iron Butterfly”.

1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – saw the movie several times but haven’t fully read the book. Will start again one of these days.
2. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – Just finished reading it, quite long, you wonder when the villain will get his comeuppance.
3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – picked it up years ago but could not continue.
4. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck – read recently.
5. Shogun by James Clavell – read it years ago, intend to reread it.
6. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – read it years ago
7. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco – started reading it but stopped.
8. World Without End by Ken Follett – Want To Read list.
9. Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley – saw the movie, never read the book.
10. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Want To Read list
11. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone – Want To Read list
12. Scarlet Pimpernell by Emmuska Orczy – read it years ago. Will most likely read it again.
13. Sarum: The Novel of England by Edward Rutherfurd – Another long book, read recently, could not keep track of those Welsh names, quite interesting though.
14. Centennial by James A. Michener – Want To Read list
15. Tai-Pan by James Clavell – Want To Read list
16. Hawaii by James A. Michener – started reading months ago, will continue.
17. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett – read recently
18. London by Edward Rutherfurd – Want To Read list
19. North and South by John Jakes – Want To Read list
More Historical Fiction books in my library:
1. Winter of the World by Ken Follett – Want To Read list
2. New York by Edward Rutherfurd – read recently
3. Paris by Edward Rutherfurd – Want To Read list
4. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – read recently
5. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – read recently, love this one better than The Tea Rose
6 A Distant Trumpet by Paul Horgan – read recently.

Book Giveaways at Goodreads

I’m giving away three signed copies of my book, “BAHALA NA, (Come What May): A World War II Story of Love, Faith, Courage, Determination and Survival to Goodreads members in the United States.  It is scheduled to open for entries at midnight on Friday, March 7 and end at midnight on Monday, April 7. Enter to win at www.goodreads.com.

Learn about a young man’s obsession to meet the girl of his dream. Read about his struggle to find his way home from a faraway place after WWII starts and transportation ceases to exist. Gain insight about the Philippines, the Filipino people and how their faith helps them through life and in their fight for survival during the war. “Bahala Na”, “Leave it to God” is one dictum they cling to when they are in trouble.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/84699-bahala-na-come-what-may-a-world-war-ii-story-of-love-faith-courage

 

Rosalinda Morgan, author, “BAHALA NA (Come What May)”.