Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giveaway: The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano

About The Book:
When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others--everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she's stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name.
This one is an excellent read for book clubs and Hachette provides a handy online guide here:
I'm reading this one now so my review will be coming up soon! I hope you'll be back to see what I thought! If you have read this one...what are your thoughts?
Thanks to Valerie @ The Hachette Book Group I have one copy of this one to giveaway!
-To enter please leave a comment with your email addy
-Open to US and Canada Only
-No PO Boxes please
-promote for an extra entry (only one extra entry per person please)

Radiant Shadows Giveaway and Tour Info!



*Woot Woot* I'm doing the happy dance! The Wicked Lovely Series is one of my ABSOLUTE favorites. Melissa Marr is the author who hooked me on Fairie stories so I'm so happy to offer a copy of her newest book for this giveaway! Thanks SO much to Karen at MM Publicity!

Now...you should know that Melissa will be going on a tour to promote 'Radiant Shadows.' Sadly, I'm not close to any of the locations but you might be! So here they are...

DENVER, CO April 22, 2010: Tattered Cover Book Store; 7:00 pm

LEXINGTON, KY April 23, 2010: Joseph-Beth Booksellers; 7:00 pm

ST. LOUIS, MO April 24, 2010: St. Louis County Library; 7:00 pm

BOSTON, MA April 26, 2010: Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA; 7:00 pm

COLUMBUS, OH April 28 – May 2, 2010: Romantic Times Convention

CLEVELAND, OH May 12, 2010: Joseph-Beth Booksellers; 7:00 pm

PHILADELPHIA, PA May 14, 2010: Chester County Book Store, West Chester, PA; 7:00 p

RICHMOND, VA May 15, 2010: The Fountain Bookstore; 2:00 pm

Any of you followers out there close? Are you planning on going? Would YOU like an opportunity to win this one?

To Enter:

-Please leave a comment telling me your favorite fairie character from ANY book!

-Leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

-Open to US and Canadian residents only

-if you would like an extra entry please promote it (only one extra entry per person)

-ends April 8Th

That's it! I can't wait to see who the lucky winner will be!

Review: Beautiful People by Wendy Holden (arc)


By: Wendy Holden

Product ISBN: 9781402237157

Price: $14.99

Publication Date: April 2010
Book Summary:
A witty, utterly addictive novel from bestselling author Wendy Holden, Beautiful People is a tale wicked in its observations yet buoyant at its heart: an irresistible confection you’ll want to devour immediately.

Darcy—a struggling English rose actress when The Call comes from L.A. An Oscar-tastic director. A movie to make her famous. The hunkiest costar in Hollywood. So why doesn’t she want to go?

Belle—a size-zero film star but she’s in big, fat trouble. Hotter than the earth’s core a year ago, she’s now Tinseltown toast after her last film bombed. Can she get back to the big time?

Emma—a down-to-earth, down-on-her-luck nanny trying to weather London’s cutthroat childcare scene and celebrity mom whirlwinds. What will it take for her to get back in control of her own life?

Jet to London, Hollywood, and Italy; toss in a passionate star chef, a kindhearted paparazzo, and a reluctant male supermodel; and find Wendy Holden at her best—a smash international hit.
My Thoughts:
*wooh* OK, let's get going on this review. I for one thought that the beginning was a little bit slow going and had too many characters. If you're one of those people that put down a book after 100 pages because you aren't liking it then I encourage you to keep reading on this one.
Now remember, I'm being totally honest here! I was confused at the start; trying to figure out the whirlwind of characters were going to relate to each other was not happening for me. Oh...but Wendy Holden surprises you!
After you meet the characters the story starts falling together and she magically ties each one's story to the next. (This took some talent...it is quite a group of characters!) It was done well and I was happy with the book once I started to understand it.
Now...I was sitting there through half of the book thinking 'Man! I hope these bitches get what they deserve!." Seriously, that was my thought! So yes, I ended up rushing through to the end of the book and I'm happy to say that yes, they got what they deserved.
Overall, if you can get past meeting all players in the story, them it's worth the read. Once you get into It you'll be sitting there rooting for the underdogs and racing to the end.
**This book was provided by Sourcebooks for review. thanks!

Review: Love In Mid Air by Kim Wright (blog tour)



About the Book:

A chance encounter with a stranger on an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the community. She finds herself cutting through all the instincts that say "no" and instead lets "yes" happen. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom.

My Review:

I have to say this one was interesting. I'll say now that I have lots of mixed emotions about this one. (from a personal perspective) I feel like yes, Elyse's (the main character) marriage is falling apart, but did she really need to make the choices that she did? I was surprised to read a book that was so straightforward about affairs in marriage. (after I read this one I realize that it must be a growing trend...more on that later) My (ex) fiance' years ago did stray so I have strong opinions! (no we never married) The point I'm getting at is that this showed the "other" woman. It made me feel bad for the nonexistent wife in the book. It also let us peer into the life of another woman who had been cheated on. I disagreed with the choices of the main character, but of course this is fictional so my personal feelings color my opinion on this one.

I'll say as a fictional work it was a good solid read. The characters were well developed and the storyline was well done. As a "scorned" woman it was a difficult read, and at times hard to connect and support the main character.

All that aside (as you may be able to tell by the review) I like this book because it made me feel passionate about SOMETHING! It's a book I'll remember because it made such a big impression. So yeah, I had strong feelings BUT at the same time I think the read was worth it!

About the Author:

Kim Wright has been writing about travel, food, and wine for more than twenty years for many magazines including Wine Spectator, Self, Travel & Leisure, and Vogue, and has twice won the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing. She is the food and wine editor for Charlotte Taste. She has written the annual Fodor's Walt Disney World with Kids for 18 years and also writes erotica. This is her first novel. Kim lives in Charlotte, NC.
Audio and Video


Read an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

**This book was sent for review courtesy of the Hachette book group. Opinions are my own.

Giveaway! Shadows Of Myth And Legend by EJ Stevens



When EJ invited me to participate in her tour I was really excited! This gal is great and so is her poetry! As part of her book tour you'll have a chance to win an autographed copy of her newest book "Shadows of Myth and Legend" along with some swag!





About the Book:

A collection of dark faerie tales, inspired by folklore, myth and legend, told in the haunting lyrical style of dark poet E.J. Stevens.

ISBN- 978-0-9842475-1-6
Sacred Oaks Press
Release date- 04/11/10



Release Celebration!

Join dark poet E.J. Stevens to celebrate the release of her second book Shadows of Myth and Legend April 11th. E.J. will be online at http://www.fromtheshadows.info/ all day for the virtual book release party. Stop by the party for a chance to win free swag and a signed copy of Shadows of Myth and Legend!



Here are E.J.'s gorgeous bookmarks!



So would you like to win? I know I would! Well here's what you have to do:

-Leave a comment aswering the question: What is your favorite supernatural being?

-Leave your email addy so I can contact you if you win!


-For extra entries: Please go follow one of E.J.'s blogs and if you already do then let me know!
http://www.fromtheshadows.info/
http://shadowsofmythandlegend.blogspot.com/

-Open to US only, Giveaway ends 4/11

There will be two winners...one will receive an autographed copy of the book along with some awesome swag, and a second winner will receive an awesome autographed swag pack!

More prizes for the 250 Followers Giveaway!

More prizes!! Thanks to some awesome people we'll have 3 more winners to add to the 250 Followers Giveaway bringing the total up to 6 winners!!
First up we have an ebook copy of Forever Yours by MJ Smith.

About the Book:


Author M.J. Smith's Forever Yours is an engrossing and sweeping saga of a novel about love, war and bittersweet reunions. Europe is torn apart by World War II and a feisty and beautiful heroine, Liz, answers the call to battle as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Philip, her childhood friend and superior in the air force, is in a position of authority to stop her, but Liz is determined. Before she leaves on a dangerous reconnaissance mission, the two share a passionate night and Philip proposes, giving her his grandmother's ring. Liz's plane goes down during her mission in enemy territory while Philip is sent to train with an elite team of paratroopers. The two discover other loves during their time apart, each thinking the other is lost forever. Will these two star-crossed lovers find each other or will a war that has destroyed so much destroy the greatest love each has ever known? Smith's characters come to life and this perfectly constructed novel captures the mood of war-torn Europe. Smith deftly explores the complex territories of the heart and the pages of this stunning debut novel are suffused with humor, resilience, hope and the enduring tale of an unbreakable bond.
Author Bio: M.J. Smith is a writer and works in customer service. Ms. Smith is currently working on her second and third novels and lives in Quebec, Canada.





Next we have two buttons and two CD's from Heather over at Fire And Ice! If you haven't checked out her blog....go!~ http://fireandicephoto.blogspot.com/

(photo copyright Heather)

Hmmm...Can you guess the theme here? I have one of these buttons myself and they are just so cute!

Now for the CD's!



(photos copyright Heather)

I also have the CD and these are really nice. Their Etsy shop listing explains them better than I can so go here~ http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35277088 and see what they're all about.

Quickly though...each song is a character "inspired" song. Heather actually sings Esme on the CD and she's SIGNED them for you!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guest Post from Author Gywn Cready (Flirting With Forever)


Hi, everyone. Thanks for having me here to blog today. Kris asked me to talk about what about time travel inspires me. I've also been getting a lot of questions about the painter aspects of my new release, Flirting with Forever, so I thought I take a little time to address both those things, and if you hang on until the end, I'll have some news about a pretty nice contest. One hint ladies: shoes.



First, time travel. My friend theorizes I am a time traveler, that I leave this world when I sleep to visit another time, which is why certain times (late 17th/early 18th centuries) appeal to me more than others. Could be true. My mind is open to such possibilities, but personally I think Jamie Fraser made such an impression on me I couldn't let go : ) All I can tell you is I've always been fascinated with the interesting possibilities and conflict that time travel sets up in a story.



Back to the Future is sort of like the basic textbook on that for me. I guess I watched it at an impressionable age, but there you have it. In fact, I was just at a lecture this week given by Audrey Niffenegger, author of the Time Traveler's Wife, who was asked, "How does one study time travel?", in reply to which I whispered to the friend sitting next to me, "One watches Back to the Future." Niffenegger's answer was far more scientific.



As as far as the story in Flirting with Forever is concerned, I've always loved painters and painting and museums, so I knew that someday I'd write a book with a painter hero in it. Two things inspired this particular story, though. Years ago, I was reading Tracy Chevalier's phenomenal The Girl with a Pearl Earring in which Chevalier weaves a fictionalized account of the making of Vermeer's painting of the same name around what little we actually do know about Vermeer's life.



The book was fantastic, but because the love story in it was made up I just kept imaging Vermeer up in heaven, stretched out in his bathtub, flipping through the book and doing a spit take with his wine. So I filed that picture away in long-term storage, and when I was doing some research on real-life Restoration painter Peter Lely, who, like Vermeer, left few details of his personal life to history, I ran across an ancient article entitled, "Lely's Love Story," from a British periodical called Burlington Magazine. Turns out Lely has some dark secrets, and men like that make the best sort of heroes. So it was a natural to throw ambitious biographer Cam Stratford in his path, infuriating him enough with her prying and poking to make him return from the afterlife to stop her from writing about him.



But why Peter Lely, you ask? Well if the painting shown here doesn't answer that, then I'm not sure what would. What sort of man can elicit such a pose? I had to know the answer.



I wrote the book in late 2008 and revised it in the spring of 2009. I'm pretty familiar with Lely's time period (the middle and late 1600s)--in fact I was named after one of the characters in the book, Nell Gwynn (yes, my first name is Nelle)--so I'd say the amount of research was a fun level, not an onerous one. One interesting thing was investigating how painters of that era painted. I picked up a great book called, How to Paint Your Own Vermeer by Jonathan Janson. That really helped with some realistic detail in the book. The key, though, was that article on Lely. Thank goodness I have this wonderful university librarian friend who gets me anything I need.


The story is very romantic, the most romantic I've ever written, and I think the cover captures the magic and daring of the book perfectly. Doesn't Pocket Books do a marvelous job? Those zebra-striped shoes are to die for. I'm actually running a Flirting with Forever launch contest where you can win a pair of Michael Kors zebra-striped pumps worth $165 (or $165 Zappos gift certificate for those of you with non-zebra-striped shoe tastes). Go to my website on March 30 to find out more.

If you have any questions or comments, I'm here to answer them. And I need to know, are you dying to see Hot Tub Time Machine or what?
Gwyn Creadywww.cready.com



I want to give a big thank you to Gwyn for being here today! Oh and how cool is that....being named after Nell Gwyn? I think it's awesome!

Review: Flirting With Forever by Gwyn Cready

Product Details:

Pocket, March 2010

Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages

ISBN-10: 1439107246

ISBN-13: 9781439107249

Read an Excerpt Chapter 1
Book Summary:

In RITA® Award–winning author Gwyn Cready’s fun and sexy new time-travel adventure, an ambitious writer discovers that bad-boy painters are as timeless—and irresistible—as their art. . . .

Art historian Campbell Stratford is about to make a name for herself with her scandalously sexy tell-all “fictographies” of famous seventeenth-century artists, but she’s more iintimately familiar with her subjects than her eager readers can imagine.
Thanks to a time portal she accidentally discovered, she has caused quite a stir in the Great Beyond. To save their reputations, the Guild protecting dead artists convinces playboy Peter Lely, portraitist to the king, to sabotage Cam’s latest project.
A few hours posing on Sir Peter’s modeling chaise leads to a night of seductive passion—then Cam returns home and discovers his betrayal. But before she can turn her angry pen on her lover, Sir Peter makes a surprise visit to the future and transforms Cam’s twenty-first-century life into chaos of classic proportions. . . .
My Thoughts:
This was the first time travel romance I've read and I was impressed. I was surprised at the the length of the book, but I came to the conclusion that this was because of having to pop back and forth in time. I assume in time travel romance that this makes attention to detail very important.
Even though it was a longer book (for a mass market) Gwyn's writing is excellent, so that wasn't a problem for me. This was a "carry around in my purse" book...I'm sure you all have those LOL! I would read it here and there, and it was always easy to get back into.
I was happy with the characters in the story, and of course delighted by the end. My ONLY complaint is that I thought Peter should have had to face a bigger hurdle. *eh* (Not that I think character's should be tortured or anything)
Overall...I thought it was a good read and I enjoyed the time travel. It was a first for me, and I look forward to reading more of this type!
**Thanks so much to A. and Simon & Schuster for providing this review copy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Guest Post from Judith Graves! Author of Under My Skin

I'm so excited to have Judith here today and guest posting on the blog! I can't wait to get my hands on her brand new book "Under My Skin." Let's give her a big welcome and see what she has to say!

An Ode to the Class of 2k10


Hey Kris – you asked me to guest post about the ups and downs of writing Young Adult books. Well, I hope you don’t mind if I’ve gone on a bit of a tangent. Writing is one thing, getting published is another – but promoting a debut novel is…whoa. I’m so lucky my journey isn’t made alone. Not only do I have amazing family and friends to give me moral support and ply me with coffee, I’m also a member of the Class of 2k10.

2k10 is a collective of 23 debut YA and MG authors. The Class program was started in 2007 by author, Greg Fishbone. And man, that guy is brilliant! There really is strength in numbers. It’s tough to balance all the promotional stuff with works in progress, edits, day jobs and oh, yeah – your life. Having a core group of authors all facing similar challenges has been invaluable.

We share the highs and lows of launching our writing careers, promote each other’s events, and pool our talents to pull off a few cool events as a group (like our NYC tour in May during Book Expo – watch http://www.classof2k10.com/ for more details).

I encourage upcoming authors to investigate the various author groups out there. It’s just smart – where there was one voice, there will be many. And if the fates are with you, you’ll make a few writer buds along the way.

All About The Book:
All her parents wanted was for Eryn to live a normal life...

Redgrave had its share of monsters before Eryn moved to town. Mauled pets, missing children.
The Delacroix family is taking the blame, but Eryn knows the truth. Something stalks the night. Wade, the police chief's son and Redgrave High's resident hottie, warns her the Delacroix are dangerous. But then so is Eryn - in fact, she's lethal.

But she can't help falling for one of the Delacroix boys, dark, brooding - human Alec. And then it all goes bad.

A normal life? Now that's the real fairytale


Thank you again for joining us here! I hope everyone will go out and get this one...I know I will! If you'd like to know more about Judith and her book check out her website: http://www.judithgraves.com/

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Treasures In My Mailbox!

To find the mailbox meme's you can visit The Printed Page or The Story Siren.


I got some fun books in the mail this week!
For Review:
Kissing Frogs In Cyberspace by Dianne Sweeney (So Funny!)
Petals Of Love (A Fairy Story!)
This Little prayer Of Mine (blog tour/giveaway)
Silver Kiss by Naomi Clark (can't wait to read it!)
Rick and Bubba's Big Honkin Book Of Grub
Dragon Moon by Rebecca York
Won:
The Brilliant fall Of Gianna Z (from a twitter contest )
Fang sampler and bookmark (twitter contest from @OldTowneBooks)
Other:
Awesome swag from Moira Rogers

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friends of The Library Booksales...Do you go?

Our library has a "Friends Of The Library" book sale. They have an area set up where all the donated books are kept and you can go "shopping." I visit every few weeks and I ALWAYS find some great books. I was in there on Friday and I had to share the great books I found!


I'm not sure if you can see everything in the picture so I'll list them for you:
(these are the "paranormals")
Laurell K Hamilton:
The Harlequin
Micah
Cerulean sins
Obsidian Butterfly
Stroke Of Midnight
Seduced by Moonlight
Jane's Warlord by Angela Knight
So Still The Night by Kim Lenox
An Enchanted Season (anthology)
Blood and Gold by Anne Rice
(Other Books)
Dinotopia
The Secret Garden
The Convict
The Hobbit
The Horse Whisperer
Seducing Simon
Now let me say that I support authors and buy new every chance that I can, but like most people we don't have a whole lot to spend on "extras." I enjoy visiting the book sale and feel like at least I'm giving to the library.
But, do you know how much I paid for all these books? That's the exciting part! I only paid $4.00 for all of them!
If you've never checked out your library's book sale, well then you should!

Stop In To Check Out my New Foodie Blog!

Hello friends! I've finally opened up the new food related blog I've been thinking about. I'd love for you to stop by and follow!


I'll be having daily recipes, product reviews, cook book reviews, and a follower feature. ('ll be taking submissions for that ASAP so I can start featuring YOUR recipes!)
If you stop by and you do decide to follow let me know! (I'll give you an extra entry into the 250 Followers Giveaway!)

Awards!

I've recieved a few awards over the past few week and I want to send a big thank you out to the bloggers who've given them to me!


The Sunshine Award from Bless Their Hearts Mom


(because I am a horrible blogger friend I apologize big time because I can't figure out who gave me this one... *eek* I'm sorry! If it was you let me know so I can post your link here)


The Happy 101 award from Michelle Emrath over at Southern City Mysteries


(once again the horrible blog buddy that I am...if you gave me this one PLEASE let me know so I can link to you!)


*ack* As you can see I'm horrible keeping up with these LOL But I give a huge Thank You to the people who have passed these to me. It means a lot to me! When I have some free time next week I'll be passing these along to some other awesome bloggers. I have a few people in mind already so I can't wait to pass 'em around!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Guest post and Giveaway: Author Joy DeKoks "Raccoon Tales"

“Time Will Tell” by Joy DeKok

A woman asked, “What’s it like holding the children’s books you’ve written in your hands?”

“It’s really something!” I said.

“It must have been like ‘child’s play’.”

“Not exactly,” I said.

“Well there aren’t that many words,” she said.

“No.”

I tried to change the subject, but she wasn’t going to let it go.

“How hard can it be?”

How could I tell her it took me ten years from start to finish with Raccoon Tales? Would she understand if I told her the word limit meant every word counted more and it was harder to write short than it is to write long? Fear and pride mingled in my heart. The book I had been so glad to share with her was now a bit of an embarrassment.

I swallowed my pride and tried.

Her eyebrows raised and she said, “You invested ten years of your life into this little story?”

The way I might have once had with words vanished as I replied, “Um, yes.”

“Really! Was it worth it?”

“Only time will tell.”

A rock in the bottom of my stomach rolled over. I wanted to defend my investment, but my energy had evaporated along with my enthusiasm. I left the conversation as politely as I could.

Later, snuggled up in my favorite chair and sipping a hot cup of coffee I remembered my first writing dream. It came before I could read. I stared at the words on the page of one of my storybooks, fascinated by the letters. I traced them on paper and taped my pages together certain one day I’d see my own words in books.
I had no idea how much work would be involved.

Raccoon Tales is based on a true-life adventure. My husband rescued and later released a litter of baby raccoons. I wanted to save the story for the kids in our lives and printed off photos we’d taken and let the words flow onto the pages.

We got a call that an uncle of mine was terminally ill and would like a visit from us. When he asked me what I was writing, I told him about the raccoon story. He said, “I’d sure like to read that one.”

I knew his time was short so on the way home I told Jon, I’m going to write that story as fast as I can.

I did and took my uncle that first raw copy. It was awful, but it brought him great joy. I wondered if others might enjoy it so I sent my niece a copy and she read it to her kids. They liked it too. My little story had potential.

I worked those words over dozens of times and then sent it to a professional editor. She wasn’t very encouraging although she liked the story fine – she wasn’t sure there was a market for it. Discouraged, I put it away and worked on two other stories that were dear to my heart as well. I often wondered if the raccoon book would ever really happen – maybe it was just a gift to my uncle and a writing exercise for me.

Unable to resist the story, I’d pull it out now and then to polish a word here and there. Polishing words can be like a light dusting or like cleaning silver with years’ worth of tarnish on it. This was far more of the latter. On days filled with writers doubt, I decided that even if no one else ever read it, I wanted their life story to be written with excellence.

Eventually I found the courage to share it with my writers group. They liked it and so did their kids. In time, I sent it to my favorite illustrator (Leslie Helen Colwin) and she loved it. Together we worked harder yet.

Not long ago, I had the privilege of talking about writing to a local group of 3rd graders. Their teacher invited me to read a portion of Raccoon Tales to the kids. They wanted to hear more, but our time together was over.

I left the room and kids were chattering as they got ready for lunch. “I want that book,” one little boy said. A little girl’s voice said, “I want to write a book like that.”

In that moment I knew time had told me the truth. Ten years in the making and Raccoon Tales was worth every bit of it.




About the Author:


Joy is an author, national speaker, and author coach. From the time she was a little girl, she wanted to write for children. She has three published children’s books, a novel, and a devotional. You’re invited to visit her website at: http://www.believe4kids.com/.




If you'd like a chance to win this charming children's book then please leave a comment or question for Joy here or on yesterday's review which you can find here:

http://thecajunbooklady.blogspot.com/2010/03/kiddie-korner-review-and-giveaway.html

-open to US residents only
-ends on April 5th

Book Blogger Hop!

If you haven't checked out this fun meme yet go here: http://www.crazy-for-books.com/
About the Hop:
This is a weekly event, hosted at Crazy For Books, where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read. It's a great way to network with other bloggers and make new friends! Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Winners!!!!

From the last set of winners.....
Tabathia
Charleydog
Please email me (ksg_amg@ yahoo.com) as your addy sent me a Failure notice.
Now for more winners!!
Jordan:
#10 Deb
#19 Anna (with the little heart)
#13 Linda Henderson
To Sin With A Scoundrel:
#26 Eve
#16 tweetybrd22
#23 couponmom
At Home With Laurie Ann:
#14 Cheryl
Who said:
I really want this book bad. My main problem is that I can't come up with the ideas. If I see a photo or get handed some decorating ideas, I can go with that; but to come up with my own, it's usually not a pretty thing.
As for decorating tips, the only thing I can tell you that works is to have different throw pillows for your couch for the seasons. I have one set for spring and summer and another for fall and winter. It helps to give the room a new look for very little money. Thanks for the chance to win.

Kiddie Korner Review and Giveaway: Raccoon Tales by Joy DeKok (blog tour)

About The Book:
Raccoon Tales is the true-life journey in the first year of the lives of these little “wash bears.” Written in easy-to-read verse, author, Joy DeKok, tells the story with tenderness and energy. Readers will leave the story glad they came, knowing more about raccoons, and what a wild animal rescue and release looks like. Illustrator Leslie Helen Colwin’s art brings the story to life



Thoughts:

*I like to do my Kiddie Korner reviews with the help of my little ones. This means that their reactions are part of my opinion


My two really enjoyed this one! They loved the tale of the raccoon family growing up, and immensely enjoyed the beautiful illustrations. My seven year old read this one herself, and with my 3 (almost 4) year old I was able to read the book several different times. Why is this you ask? Well, the story of the Raccoon family is broken up into smaller "tales" which as a mom I enjoyed for my child with the shorter attention span.


Now from my POV:

I thought this was a great children's book. (note: it is a christian based book) This one teaches a great lesson of doing the right thing even though it's hard. It also teaches children to respect all God's creatures big or small.


I liked it for my kids and think it's a great addition to anyone's library. I also think Sunday School teacher's would like this for their younger groups.



About The Author:

Joy is an author, national speaker, and author coach. From the time she was a little girl, she wanted to write for children. She has three published children’s books, a novel, and a devotional. You’re invited to visit her website at: http://www.believe4kids.com/.



Thanks to the author I have one copy of this one to giveaway!


-If you'd like to win please leave a comment along with your email addy.
-open to US residents only
-ends April 5th


**Thanks to the author for providing a review copy

Review and Giveaway: This One is Mine by Maria Semple

About the Book:
This One Is Mine By Maria Semple

Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life--except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap.
My Review:
Let's see what my thoughts on this one are...hmmm...
I thought it was interesting. This is the second book I review where the storyline is based around the wife's infidelity, so of course this is another one I had strong feelings about.
There were several things going on in this one which kept it interesting. It was a humorous novel about how really screwed up we all are. I don't feel like I can say too much without spoiling so many aspects of this book, so I'll keep it at this...It was a good read and I enjoyed it. I was very happy with the ending and would certainly read Maria's work again.
Some Book Info for Reading Groups:
http://www.mariasemple.com/index.html

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Thanks to Valerie @ The Hachette Book Group I have 2 copies of this one to giveaway!
-if you would like to enter please leave a comment with your email addy
-open to US and Canadian residents only
-NO PO boxes please
-ends April 15th
**Review copy provided by Hatchette Book group.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kiddie Korner Review: The Birds and The Frogs


Book Info:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Universal Flag Publishing (December 2, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933426136
ISBN-13: 978-1933426136
Book Summary:
Though uplifting rhymes and profound messages of acceptance, respect and understanding, The Birds and the Frogs, author Brian D. McClure educates and entertains children, parents and grandparents by providing and suggesting ways to denounce bulling. I m smarter than you, because you re just a frog, why in the hierarchy of animals, you re really a clog! I m sorry, the frogs said in reply, I m sure I d be smarter if I could only fly. This conversation was the same in each new day and after a time, all the frogs believed that they didn't belong. It was not until a young group of tadpoles teach the birds and frogs a higher truth, that they are able to change their false beliefs, and learn to honor and respect one another. The Birds and the Frogs like the other seven books in The Brian D. McClure Children s book series offer universal life lessons that empower, teach and educate the whole family.
My Thoughts:
*Like all my Kiddie reviews my reviews reflect my children's thoughts.
I agreed with the kids on the illustrations...gorgeous stuff! The story's meaning was easily identifiable...equality between all; no one is better than anyone else! White, black, green, or purple; it doesn't matter because inside we're all the same.
I think there's an interesting thing about what Brian does with his books. No matter what the characters are, whether they are frogs, raindrops, birds, or whatever; Brian takes an "intermission" during the story. He uses this "intermission" to relate the characters behavior to what we see between humans. I thought that was pretty unique!
Overall, I think this was a good book. I think Mr. McClure's work is something that can be used by mom's (or educator's) to teach children valuable lessons.
**This book was provided by The Cadence Group for review.

Guest Post from Author George Bishop : Writing from a Woman's POV


I'm happy to have George Bishop here today to talk about writing a book from a woman's point of view. Letter to My Daughter was an excellent read and I was amazed by the way he was able to get that feminine emotion into his story. So without further ado:



Writing from a Woman’s Point of View

One question I’ve often been asked about my novel Letter to My Daughter is how I managed to write the story from a woman’s point of view. How did I get inside the narrator’s head and skin, both the adult Laura (who’s anxiously waiting for word from her runaway daughter) and the teenage Laura (falling in love with a boy for the very first time)?

I should mention first that what I’ve done isn’t that unusual in fiction. Look at any novel written in the standard omniscient third person (he said, she said, they said), and you’ll see that the author likely speaks through a whole world of characters who do not share his or her gender, let alone age, nationality, race, or profession. James Patterson does this. Dan Brown does this. J. K. Rowling does this. (Stephenie Meyer doesn’t.)

Still, I understand how readers might wonder how a writer can pull off this kind of ventriloquist act. For me, the challenge lies not so much in capturing the larger emotions, but in rendering the smaller idiosyncratic thoughts and gestures of a character. I’ll explain.

Think of universal feelings such as hope, fear, fury, jealousy, love. I’m convinced that people everywhere, no matter their gender, no matter their environment, experience these feelings the same way. The frustration felt by a billionaire Wall Street banker unable to close a deal is the same as the frustration felt by a Mumbai rickshaw driver who’s stuck in traffic and can’t get to his fare. In Letter to My Daughter, it wasn’t that difficult for me to wiggle into these broader feelings that Laura has—her anguish, her regret, her joy. I know those feelings. We all do.

The hard part, though, is in getting the particulars right. What features, for example, does a fifteen-year-old girl notice when she looks at a boy she admires? I’m pretty sure they’re not the same features that the boy notices when he looks at the girl. Or how does a teenage girl react when she’s being grounded by her parents—her actions, her thoughts, her arguments—as opposed to how I might have reacted in a similar situation when I was a teenager? This is where the real work of fiction writing comes in. For me, the only way to accomplish it is through deep and careful imagining. I try to put myself in that person’s skin and see, hear, and feel what they see, hear, and feel, from the inside out, as it were. The danger always, the lazy way to do it, is to write from the outside in—to just sketch a generalized picture of “a teenage girl having a fight with her parents,” for instance, by using what we’ve all seen before in books or movies or on TV.

Of course, writing from the inside out of a character is still no guarantee that I, or any writer, will get the details right. But when, by happy chance and deep imagining, this kind of writing succeeds, the result is that we as readers forget for a moment who we are, who the writer is, and even where we are, and for a few blissful pages we're able to disappear completely into a different body in a different world.



About the Author:
George Bishop holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he won the department’s Award of Excellence for a collection of stories. He has spent most of the past decade living and teaching overseas in Slovakia, Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, India, and Japan. He now lives in New Orleans.
Find out more about George and this book at Random House’s website.

Review: Letter To My Daughter by George Bishop (and a Louisiana Feature!)

About the Book:



Dear Elizabeth,


It’s early morning and I’m sitting here wondering where you are, hoping you’re all right.
A fight, ended by a slap, sends Elizabeth out the door of her Baton Rouge home on the eve of her fifteenth birthday. Her mother, Laura, is left to fret and worry—and remember. Wracked with guilt as she awaits Liz’s return, Laura begins a letter to her daughter, hoping to convey “everything I’ve always meant to tell you but never have.”



In her painfully candid confession, Laura shares memories of her own troubled adolescence in rural Louisiana, growing up in an intensely conservative household. She recounts her relationship with a boy she loved despite her parents’ disapproval, the fateful events that led to her being sent away to a strict Catholic boarding school, the personal tragedy brought upon her by the Vietnam War, and, finally, the meaning of the enigmatic tattoo below her right hip.



Absorbing and affirming, George Bishop’s magnificent debut brilliantly captures a sense of time and place with a distinct and inviting voice. Letter to My Daughter is a heartwrenching novel of mothers, daughters, and the lessons we all learn when we come of age.





My Review:


This was a wonderfully written, beautiful, and insightful story about the relationship between a mother and daughter.


The format in which the story is told is different and made it so much more personal. It was written, literally, from a mother to her daughter. It followed that long time saying from when we were teenagers..."I'll never be a mom like my mother!"


This book threw me through a whirlwind of emotions. I think it's because as a mom and once a teenager, it's impossible NOT to connect to this work. I felt for the teen and for the mom. I will say that this book just FEELS so intimate; almost like you shouldn't be reading into such a bonding moment between the two. BUT, this is what keeps you going! It was just beautiful!


I have to say that I was fascinated that a man wrote this book. Maybe, because I never expected a man to "get" the relationship and feelings portrayed. I actually have a guest post from George on that subject coming up a little later. He'll tell us more about that.


And to close this up...I'm not sure how many of you are swayed by reviews to go in search of a book. But, if I've ever wanted to be persuasive I hope I've done that here. I truly hope that mom's (and daughter's) will search out this book and read it.



And as part of my Louisiana Feature:

(sorry I'm working on a new cute badge!)


George lives in Louisiana so I posed the question to him:


What do you love about living in Louisiana?


His answer: That's easy: the food. Can't beat it--the seafood, the gumbo, the jambalaya, the po-boys. That's one reason why I chose to make New Orleans my home when I moved back to the US after living overseas for so many years. All of Louisiana loves its food, of course, but that love seems to be most concentrated here in New Orleans.


**This ARC was provided to me from Random house free of charge as part of the Pump Up tour. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kiddie Korner Review: The Raindrop by Brian D. McClure



Book Info:

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 36 pages
Publisher: Universal Flag Publishing (February 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933426012
ISBN-13: 978-1933426013

Book Summary:

"I am just a raindrop, I am smaller than small. What am I doing here? I have no use at all..." So begins the story of The Raindrop. In this adventurous journey, many Truths are uncovered which help the Raindrop remember the higher purpose of his life. This simple and heartfelt story, allows children and adults of all ages to remember the Truth of who they are.

My Thoughts:

** Like all my Kiddie Reviews I base them on my children's reaction.

From the kids' POV:

They liked the story and the "pictures." It kept their interest, and my 7 year old liked the fact that it was also about the water cycle that they've studied in school.

Mom's POV:

I liked this one...it reflected Mr. McClure's writing style which emphasizes a common theme. That theme being that we are all connected.

Not only is this a GREAT way to easily teach your child about the water cycle, it also shows how we must all work together. The book taught a great lesson about how we may be small and feel unimportant, but we are all significant in the big picture.

Overall, I thought this one was awesome!

About the Author:

Brian D. McClure is the author of a number of popular childrenÂ’s books. His books share a common theme of the interconnection and oneness of all, and resonate with simple Truths which are common to all of us. Brian believes that in order to end fear and violence in our world, we must all be proactive in helping everyone remember who they are. Brian is also the creator of the Universal Flag. This flag was created to represent our Interconnection and Oneness with All. It is a symbol that trancends differences, and honors the uniqueness and commonality of all.

**This book was provided by The Cadence Group for review.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kiddie Korner Review: The Sun and The Moon by Brian D. McClure

Book Info:

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 36 pages
Publisher: Universal Flag Publishing (February 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933426098
ISBN-13: 978-1933426099


Book Summary:

It happened one day right out of the blue, the Sun told the Moon he was tired and through. "What do you mean?" the Moon asked the Sun, "That would be the end of everything, and that wouldn't be fun!" The Sun and the Moon soon allow their fears to turn into anger. In that very instant, they walk out on their responsibilities, and cause unseen harm to the Earth and all who inhabit it. Eventually, the Sun and the Moon remember their interconnection with all, and quickly work together to restore balance. The Sun and the Moon is an entertaining story that reveals the unseen effects of fear and anger on others. It encourages children and adults to take a closer look at their behavior when they are overcome by anger.


My Thoughts:

**please note that my children's reactions are reflected in my Kiddie Korner Reviews.


My kids' POV:

They really enjoyed the illustrations. The story kinda frightened them, but in some ways my kids are VERY sensitive. They were worried that the scenario presented in the book would actually happen. (which in one I guess, is a good thing?)


My POV:

I must agree that this one was a little on the "rough" side. I was happy to be able to sit and discuss this one with my older child, as she did have concerns after reading the book. She was worried about what would really happen if the sun and moon "fought." BUT, the story had a much deeper meaning to it. It included how fighting is born from fear and how that fear can affect everyone touched by it. It's a book that I would say to read WITH your kids as I think they'll have questions.

Overall, a good book that I think would best be read with an adult to field and questions.


About the Author:

Brian D. McClure is the author of a number of popular children's’s books. His books share a common theme of the interconnection and oneness of all, and resonate with simple Truths which are common to all of us. Brian believes that in order to end fear and violence in our world, we must all be proactive in helping everyone remember who they are.

**This book was provided by The Cadence Group for review.

Review: Succubi Like It Hot by Jill Myles (book 2)



About the Book:

Nobody said Sucking was easy.


With a flirtatious new figure, her dream job as an archaeologist, and two gorgeous boyfriends to scratch her seductive Itch—an angel and a vampire—Jackie Brighton is totally getting the hang of life as a succubus.


Then her need for sex spirals out of control, and she accidentally knocks the pizza guy unconscious with her touch. Great, she’s cursed. Unfortunately, neither of her jealous lovers is exactly talking to her right now.


So after Jackie strikes a deal with a crafty demon, she and her best friend Remy take a cross-country road trip to deliver a cryptic message to the nation’s oldest succubus (who doesn’t look a day over eighteen.) Their journey gets weirder with every mile—demonic possession, a charming stalker, a deadly hotel room warning—but when they get to New Orleans, Jackie discovers a dangerous catch to her supernatural bargain. Someone wants her dead (again), but has she been sleeping with the enemy?


Or do the forces of evil think they’re some kind of match for a vixen in a miniskirt?

My Review:

Alrighty! I'm a big fan of Jill's first book "Gentlemen Prefer Succubi," and this one definitely lived up to my expectations! I LOVE the main character; she sounds like someone I could be friends with and relate to. I mean who doesn't want to be the chubby girl that's instantly turned into the hottie, right? Of course the two main sexy men are in this one. (I love to read about Noah and Zane!)

You'll be laughing and biting your nails while reading this one. The antics of these characters show off Jill's creativity and sense of humor. I should also mention that this woman can write some STEAMY scenes! Wooohhh... *wipes sweat off brow* I'll say that I was both happy and sad at the ending but I know there's more to come.

If you haven't checked out this series yet...well, then you need to! I know I'll continue to snatch 'em up as they hit shelves. Jill Myles will be an auto-buy author for me!

If you want to know more then you can check out the author's site at http://jillmyles.com/books/succubi-like-it-hot/

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Treasures In My Mailbox


**I started calling it "Treasures In My Mailbox because I like both mailbox meme's so sometimes I participate at The Story Siren and sometimes at The Printed Page. :)


For Review:
Forget Me Not (yes there will be a giveaway)
Forty-Eight X
Worst Case by James Patterson audiobook
The Secret Holocaust Diaries
Kissing Frogs in Cyberspace
The S.T.A.R. Powered Twins
How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
Won:
Last Stormlord (signed) by Glenda Larke
Other:
(gifted to me because people are awesome)
My Fairy Grandmother by Aubrey Mace
The Troll King
Dark Deceptions
For the 250 Followers Giveaway:
See those 2 Cd's and buttons well those are going to be added to the giveaway! Big Thanks to Heather @ Fire and Ice for sending them and they are autographed by her! YAY! They are Twilight inspired Cd's where each character has his/her own song. The awesome Heather sings as Esme.
So that's what I got this week! Leave a link so I can stop by to see what you got! Or for the non-bloggers tell me in the comments! Can't wait to hear!

Review: Alice In Wonderland and Philosophy: Curioser and Curioser



About the Book:

From the Back Cover


Should the Cheshire Cat's grin make us reconsider the nature of reality?


Can Humpty Dumpty make words mean whatever he says they mean?


Can drugs take us down the rabbit-hole?
Is Alice a feminist icon?


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as a blue caterpillar who smokes a hookah, a cat whose grin remains after its head has faded away, and a White Queen who lives backward and remembers forward? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence?

This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived—Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche—Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life's ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature.

To learn more about the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, visit www.andphilosophy.com

My Review:

Let me start off by saying that if you are in to deep thought and looking at things from a different point of view then you'll like this one. If you don't like to think too hard then I suggest you just admire the pretty cover. *smiles at readers*

It's just as the cover says: philosophy! But it's also very interesting as an adult to see the hidden meanings behind Alice in Wonderland that you simply don't see as a child. Who would have considered that Alice would have been a feminist or that the Mad Hatter was a chauvinist?

It really delves deeply into the meanings behind the story and breaks them down. I enjoyed it because it made me think!

**review copy provided by FSB media

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Review and Giveaway: The Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader



About the Book:

The electrifying follow-up to the Jack McClure thriller First Daughter from the New York Times bestselling author of The Bourne Sanction and The Bourne Deception


Jack McClure, Special Advisor and closest friend to the new President of the United States, interprets the world very differently from the rest of us. It’s his greatest liability, and his greatest asset.
An American senator, supposedly on a political trip to the Ukraine, turns up dead on the island of Capri. When the President asks him to find out how and why, Jack sets out from Moscow across Eastern Europe, following a perilous trail of diplomats, criminals, and corrupt politicians. Thrust into the midst of a global jigsaw puzzle, Jack’s unique dyslexic mind allows him to put together the pieces that others can’t even see.


Still unreconciled to the recent death of his daughter and the dissolution of his marriage, Jack takes on a personal mission along with his official one: keeping safe from harm his two unlikely, unexpected, and incompatible companions—Annika Dementieva, a rogue Russian FSB agent, and Alli Carson, the President’s daughter. As he struggles to keep both young women safe and unearth the answers he seeks, hunted by everyone from the Russian mafia to the Ukrainian police to his own NSA, Jack learns just how far up the American and Russian political ladders corruption and treachery has reached.

In the vein of Eric Van Lustbader’s latest bestselling Jason Bourne novels, Lustbader takes us on an international adventure in this powerful page-turner that will keep you reading through the night.

My Review:

I knew this would be a good book just from the opening line of the prologue!

"Everything comes to an end. Love, hate, betrayal. The greed of wealth, the lust for power, the comfort in religion. In the final moment, everyone falls, even the kings of empires, and the prince of darkness. In the silence of the tomb, we all get what we deserve."

WOW! What an opener right? It was a story with a very interesting bunch of characters and enough plot twists to keep you racing through.

There was political intrigue, corruption, and enough action to keep you engrossed. The author is a huge name already, but in case your not familiar with him yet...I think those of you who are fans of a government "insider" type novels will enjoy this writer.

Thanks to Anne @ The Book Report Network I have a copy of this one to giveaway!

-Open to US residents only

-ends April 2nd

-please leave a comment with your email addy

**Review copy provided by the book report network. All opinions are my own.